Advice needed: Crushed on NL10, looking for alternatives

    • rowzee
      Joined: 24.08.2008 Posts: 151
      Hi all, just wanted to share my experience and hear your advice on how should I proceed.

      So, I discovered some ten days ago by pure accident and this is were I encountered SSS on NLHE tables (I'm not new to Hold 'Em per se). After receiving my starting capital of $50 I thought of it as a great opportunity to study the game and increase the bankroll. Boy, was I wrong.

      I have strictly followed the bronze sss strategy and basically it's all been a huge downswing for me. I've been playing on Titan and after a couple of hundred hands I already understood that it's not a great site to play SSS on - the players are incredibly tight and there are a lot of shortstackers around. So, when I do play my premium hands mostly one of these two things happen:
      1) I get no action at all
      2) I get action from independently solid hands and the best part starts here - my AK's get crushed by underpairs, my QQ's and JJ's get crushed by overcards, my AKo's turn up against AKs's and get crushed because the villain catches his flush, and my personal favorite - my AA's crushed when a couple of undercards/underpairs catch their trips, straights and flushes on 4th and 5th street. Seriously, I should start to think that the software on Titan is rigged to put shortstackers at a disadvantage.

      That being said, here's the graph of what has happened:

      So, 4000 hands played and I'm down to about $25. (Some of you might say that 4000 is not enough for things to even out and that 11-12 BI downswings are possible, but frankly I think I've had enough of SSS on Titan)

      Now I want to take a break from SSS and look for something else. I could play $1 SNG's, but there's a number of problems:
      1) I haven't got the bankroll
      2) I'm sceptical about the volume of SNG's on Titan
      3) 20% rake is, to say the least, off-putting

      That's why I have started to think about FL. I have already read the basic strategy sections on FL, and, given the loose nature of players on FL, I might actually succed. Then again, I don't have 300BB to play on .05/.1 (had it earlier today), and would start only at .02/.04.

      Well, now that I think I have said everything I wanted to say I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on the subject, thank you for reading this rather long rant.
  • 16 replies
    • Kraelog
      Joined: 29.06.2008 Posts: 546
      Looking at the graph and the fact that you are a beginner i would advise you to try to improve your play rather than switch to FL. -3 BB/100 on NL10 at Tiitan is quite simply impossible if your play is flawless. Probably there are a number of leaks in your game which cost you at lot of money although you might even not be aware of the fact that you have them.

      My advice:

      1. Read (reread) at the SSS Articles.
      2. Post Hand samples on the forums
      3. Watch video's
      4. Join Coaching
      5. Get the trial version of Elephant/PT3

      Then play another 5K hands and i'm positive you will start to make money. Switching to FL without fixing your leaks will only cause you to loose money at FL aswell.
    • extpan
      Joined: 17.11.2007 Posts: 289 many table do you play?from 1 to 4?When I play 4 cant play profitabile because get on tilt or something else...but when play 9-12 are very good to me...about 4,7BB/100 on NL10.....and now for 15k hand on NL25 3,8BB/100.
    • rowzee
      Joined: 24.08.2008 Posts: 151
      Thanks for the reply, Kraelog. However, when I say that I have been strictly following the basic bronze SHC and strategy per se, I really mean it, after all its a ready-to-use (I'd even say a no-brainer) strategy and is relatively easy to follow. I know that I can vouch for 99.5% of my hands having been played accordingly to the strategy.

      I have watched some of the SSS videos available for Bronze members, the basic ones proved that what I'm doing is right, and the more advanced ones I have no real use of as I don't use HUD's on NL10. But yes, I will take a look on the other videos as well.

      But yeah, I'll try to find some leaks nevertheless and post the hands on the forum.

      Extpan, i started with 1-2, then built it up to 4 tables, after a while got bored and went to 6, now I'm comfortably playing 6-8.

      Another thing, don't get me wrong, I don't want to boast or anything, but I'm not that kind of a person to go on tilt easily. I don't think I have had a serious tilt in any poker session so far (having played tons of MTT freerolls and micro SNG's before turning to cash).


      I have gone through my hands in which i have lost my whole stack. As I already expected, I have lost most of my money when being all-in preflop with premium hands facing coinflips which I just cannot seem to win at all and situations where I'm sucked out on being a 70:30 to 80:20 favorite. This is just to show that the largest part of my downswing has been bad beats. I do realize that I might have some leaks in post-flop play, but so far I have lost a fortune playing 100% correct preflop.
    • fostie
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 75
      start anew, skip SSS, go straight to BSS or play sng's

      not everyone can play SSS, I've tried it several hundred hands and kept leaking money, not because I made big mistakes per se (as you said, its a no brainer strategy)

      BSS or sng's might work out better for you, as long as you're prepared to work more to beat the same limit (yes, theyre harder, imo)
    • punta
      Joined: 10.02.2008 Posts: 297
      Originally posted by fostie
      start anew, skip SSS, go straight to BSS or play sng's

      not everyone can play SSS, I've tried it several hundred hands and kept leaking money, not because I made big mistakes per se (as you said, its a no brainer strategy)

      BSS or sng's might work out better for you, as long as you're prepared to work more to beat the same limit (yes, theyre harder, imo)
      Totally agree :D
    • rowzee
      Joined: 24.08.2008 Posts: 151
      Having started to post hands on the forum and to participate in the coachings, I'm back to SSS. This time I pay more attention to table selection, and on Titan it's a real pain to find 4 tables with P/F percentage above 20% and wait lists below 3ppl. And once you have found the juiciest tables, it takes only 20 minutes for them to become ice cold with P/F varying mostly from 10% to 15%. That's just sick.

      Also, this happens way too often than it should:

      iPoker No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (10 handed) - iPoker Converter Tool from

      MP3 ($1.86)
      CO ($19.79)
      Button ($1.96)
      SB ($1.90)
      BB ($2)
      UTG ($1.90)
      UTG+1 ($1.90)
      UTG+2 ($2.14)
      MP1 ($16.11)
      Hero (MP2) ($1.85)

      Preflop: Hero is MP2 with A:spade: , A:heart:
      2 folds, UTG+2 calls $0.10, 1 fold, Hero raises $0.50, MP3 calls $0.50, 5 folds

      Flop: ($1.25) 6:spade: , 7:club: , 4:club: (2 players)
      Hero bets $1.35 (All-In), MP3 calls $1.35

      Turn: ($3.95) 9:heart: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      River: ($3.95) 4:diamond: (2 players, 1 all-in)

      Total pot: $3.95 | Rake: $0.19

      Results in white below:
      Hero didn't show A:spade: , A:heart: (two pair, Aces and fours).
      MP3 had 4:heart: , 4:spade: (four of a kind, fours).
      Outcome: MP3 won $3.76

      On the bright side though, today I won my biggest pot in cash games with these cowboys:

      iPoker No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (10 handed) - iPoker Converter Tool from

      MP2 ($2.04)
      MP3 ($2.14)
      Hero (CO) ($2.15)
      Button ($9.65)
      SB ($9.80)
      BB ($2)
      UTG ($4.75)
      UTG+1 ($4.65)
      UTG+2 ($3.66)
      MP1 ($2.15)

      Preflop: Hero is CO with K:spade: , K:heart:
      4 folds, MP2 calls $0.10, MP3 raises $0.40, Hero raises $2.15 (All-In), 3 folds, MP2 calls $1.94 (All-In), MP3 calls $1.74 (All-In)

      Flop: ($6.47) 2:club: , 3:diamond: , 8:spade: (3 players, 3 all-in)

      Turn: ($6.47) A:club: (3 players, 3 all-in)

      River: ($6.47) J:spade: (3 players, 3 all-in)

      Total pot: $6.47 | Rake: $0.32

      Results in white below:
      MP2 had 7:spade: , 5:spade: (high card, Ace).
      MP3 had 9:heart: , 9:club: (one pair, nines).
      Hero didn't show K:spade: , K:heart: (one pair, Kings).
      Outcome: MP3 won $6.47

      Still, it hurts to loose a session.
    • fostie
      Joined: 28.07.2008 Posts: 75
      I know what you mean, titan seems kinda hard to get started on with SSS

      which is why I suggested you try a different playstyle... but only then if you actually enjoy that style/gametype
    • SoyCD
      Joined: 20.02.2008 Posts: 6,356
      Hello rowzee,

      Usually when I hear SSS beginners speak of downswings I immediately think of "leaks" since that is the most common source of losing money when starting out. In SSS where you usually have a small win-rate every mistake makes itself felt in your overall results. You seem to however be quite critical in your approach - and apparently going at the subject in a very thorough manner - so maybe are really just in the middle of a run of bad luck. Since you are already selecting your pre-flop hands well - all that is left is to work on potential leaks in your postflop game. Here it is very good that you have started posting hands. This will certainly help you in getting forward and to find situations in which you are losing more money than you should be (or maybe playing too weak/tight)

      Since you have a graph of your winnings do you also have some VPIP / PFR / WTSD etc statistics?

      @Your question in the original post: I think you are on the right track - and at the end of the day it doesn't matter if you play FL / SNGs or SSS - your willingness to learn and improve is the real key to success. Play the format that you feel suits you most and that you have the most fun at.

      Good luck in getting on track :)

      Best regards,
    • NiekamNeidomu
      Joined: 29.05.2007 Posts: 307
      no matter how much i like SSS i wont do that again T_T
    • rowzee
      Joined: 24.08.2008 Posts: 151
      Thank you all for your input.


      Over 4.3K hands my basic stats are as follows:

      VPIP: 5.08
      PFR: 5.01
      WTSD: 34.32 (not really helpful because I'm very frequently all-in preflop)
      W$SD: 59.62 (I suppose this should be higher, but due to the number of suckouts it isn't)
      AF: 6.22

      Fold BB to steal: 98.48 (I don't resteal)
      Fold SB to steal: 96.72 (same)

      Why is my VPIP and PFR so low (I read that the advised range is 6-7)? Because of two things:
      1) I don't steal/resteal
      2) I really do fold 88;77;AJ;KQ in, say, MP3, or TT;99;AQ if confronted with a raise in front of me etc. In other words, my preflop play is disciplined.

      Regarding postflop play, this is where some questions still arise, that is why I've started to post hands with tricky/marginal cards and boards.
    • Leo
      Joined: 10.01.2008 Posts: 4,512
      Hi rowzee,

      Looks pretty solid. Sure your VPIP/PFR can be up to 6. I think 7 is somewhat high on NL10 though. That restealing isn't advisable yet on NL10 and also I would fold those hands mentioned in MP3 (do watch sitouts or empty seats though, as sometimes youre not in MP3!). You might, however want to take some minor additions into consideration:
      • When somebody minbets before you, dont look at the hands you should reraise with, but just the hands you would normally raise with. So actually you treat minbets as a limp. Do reraise them 3 times though. For example: On NL10 someone would bet 20c, you can then reraise to 60c with your hands like AJ in late and stuff.
      • After 3 or more limpers, just push any hand you would normally raise with. It saves you quite some hassle postflop ;)
      • Come to my basic coaching on sunday, 7pm and download the Bronze+ SHC. There are some extra additions in there about late position. Also this SHC should help you work on playing draws and finding postflop leaks.

      Just try to play your A-game and you'll get there mate. Dont try to focus on the money too much (its very hard, I know).
      Ofcourse posting hands is also a great way to improve your plays - just always try to review your sessions afterwards and look at the most profitable hands and the least profitable ones. If you then spot anything you're not sure of, just post! Thats what all these guys here are for ;)

      Anyway, hope to see you on sunday, and maybe we can discuss it in some more detail.

      Good luck at the tables!

    • rowzee
      Joined: 24.08.2008 Posts: 151
      Thank you for your response and the kind words, Leo.

      I will certainly continue to attend your SSS coachings as I find them invaluable.

      I am already using the Bronze+ SHC, though I'm not sure how to read the discount outs table in some cases, I will prepare questions for you in the next coaching about this.

      Also, I'm down to $20 right now, my major goal right now being not to loose it all until I become silver so that I could furnish my knowledge with new articles and videos :) .
    • TheBrood
      Joined: 17.07.2008 Posts: 4,382
      umm sounds like me when I started.

      1- You werent new to Holdem
      2- You lost at SSS at Titan
      3- You dont use Software
      4- You are closely watching your money
      5- You are trying to go up to the next level
      6- You joined any table

      my thoughts:

      1- I switched to BSS which is basically my pre-PS style but without the leaks =)
      2- I started winning at BSS
      3- I installed software
      4- I give more importance to learning than to making money at the moment. Money comes on its own when you learn =)
      5- I am in no hurry to level, unless i dominate my current level. (Im still learning)
      6- I choose my tables carefully now.

      Seems to me you are out of your league at NL10. I play NL2 and recently NL4. Also, it seems like you took too long to post here, hence the downswing.
      The biggest problem with SSS is that people notice you are very tight and only play monsters against you.
      I wouldnt even touch Silver strats until Im winning with the bronze strats.
    • gonetrolling
      Joined: 10.05.2008 Posts: 28
      Hi, i must say first of all that i am not a big fan of the SSS, although i have told my friends to use it, if they are relatively new to poker. I myself only use the BSS and turned my original $50 into over a $1000. I made that $1000 on Mansion poker. Now i have made most of that money on tournaments and omaha. I have now switched to Titan and have noticed that some of what you are saying is true. The reason I switched to Titan is that they just depostited $50 into my account and wanted to try the sss and see how i could make out but i found that when i used the sss that i wasn't making any money, because the players tend to be rather tight and was getting no action when i hade the top hands. I have now switched back to the BSS and have turned that $50 into over $500. I take what i have learned from the hours of playing sss and used it against the players that i once used sss on. The only advice i can give is take alot of the information they give you about the SSS and use it on the BSS, starting position, raising preflop, etc but since i am an aggressive player, don't be afraid to raise with crap if you find the tables are tight, try pushing some players around it's fun but when you truly have a good hand you will tend to get paid off more. JUST PAY ATTENTION TO THE OTHER PLAYERS AT THE TABLE and don't get to confident because they will be waiting to trap you. Good luck
    • AussieIan
      Joined: 10.12.2007 Posts: 366
      how do you select your tables rowzee? I've found that since i started to be more choosy in what tables i sit down at, my winrate has improved. I always sit at a table with over 20 %p/f, if the table i'm at tightens below that, i'm outa there when the blinds roll around. I play NL20 SSS, and occasionally NL10 if i cant find the right tables at 20.

      Try that and see how you go, hope things turn around for you soon
    • rowzee
      Joined: 24.08.2008 Posts: 151
      I'm happy to see so many helpful people!

      Nice to know someone knows how its been for me.
      I view the SSS only as a means of getting started at the cash tables and slowly increasing the BR so that in a while I could be able to play some more "proper" poker like BSS or SNG's.

      As for your 4th point, I'm watching my money closely not because of axienty to make money fast, but out of fear that I could loose it so fast that I'm not able to play anymore. You're absolutely right that at the beginning learning is the most important factor and money at this stage is just a means of entering the game and doing that, but one cannot do it without money, right? :)

      I would love to move down a level if it were possible, unfortunately NL10 was the lowest that SSS could be used in due to the BI restricts.

      Yes, SSS is not what I look forward to doing in the future also, I would just increase my BR so that it would be big enough to start playing BSS or SNG's. Thank you for sharing your experience on Titan and BSS, I'm going to take that into account once I move up my poker career.

      I select tables with above 20% p/f (preferably above 25%). However, it is a matter of 15-20 minutes once it drops below 20%. Since there are not that many tables and the p/f is changing so fast (also the waiting lists tend to be too long), I find it very hard to follow all this while I'm playing and to choose the right moments when to switch to other tables.