Don't want to lose anymore

    • cbucsan
      Joined: 08.10.2009 Posts: 55
      Hey guys,

      I think i only posted a few messages on poker strategy since I joined but I self-excluded myself from stars for a while until Sept due to some frustration caused by losing to some idiotic plays by other players and suckouts where I was 90%+ favorite on the flop.
      I also went way above my monthly poker allowance :) because I had more free time (spent 3 weeks inside the house with a back hernia).

      Since I have this free time I figured I would study as much as I could and try to better myself as I player.

      I've been playing poker since 2009 and and i think and I repeat...I THINK that i'm a losing player or at best break-even.

      I learned A LOT from pokerstrategy and other strategy sources and I almost laugh looking back at the time when I though that if i had AK and the flop on the previous hand showed an A or K then on the next hand the chances of hitting were lower =) ...i know i know...

      Along the years i never had a solid BRM because I was mostly a recreational player and still am if considering the volume (500 tourneys/year).

      But I never had an issue with reloading so this is why I think I never used a proper BRM. Also my monthly poker allowance would only allow me to play $0.50 tourneys which I would be fine with if I was a serious grinder but otherwise the money involved just doesn't do anything for me.

      Although I understand that BRM is important I don't think it's what prevents me from being a winning player and over time i reduced the possibilities to:

      - I really really suck
      - I'm an average player but the following things that affect me:
      High expectations --> Getting unlucky when I play good --> tilting (not a huge issue but it happens) --> making mistakes

      I will explain the high expectations part:
      - I finished law school...went through some bad times during college where I didn't have a place to stay and I was sleeping wherever i could from friends to park benches
      - Got a job in a company...worked my ass off for 3 years...made it to manager and got bitchslapped off my job by the other department manager who was the Brutus to my Caesar (not a sexist here...but she was a woman who panicked when I got promoted and was thinking she will lose her job if she doesnt boot me)
      - I got there by having fresh views on things and always trying to better myself and always coming with ideas to improve the department, save money, make more money.
      - When i got booted of my position I switched departments and was moved to another one where my job is to...well...learn to do things that nobody in the department knows how to do and also...improve things.
      - Now I got downgraded I felt like a runner who sees the finish line...give 110% to get there and gets tripped by someone and he has to start all over again...i just don't have the strength or motivation to start again and give it 110% again. So now I just give the minimum requirement and just float.
      - The above happened one year ago and at the time i read a blog that made me SOOOO pissed off and I don't have it to quote it exactly but the idea in it was about working for "the man". The guy there was saying why he gave up his job and explained that people delude themselves into thinking that a job means security and he said something like "What fcking security do you have when you financial life is at the mercy of the man paying your salary?" He also mentioned things like how you give up you right to speech because you can get canned and how you produce money only 8hours a day.
      - At that point I said that's it...fck this sh.t....i gotta do something to be on my own and do something that I like and what was that ? ...yes...Poker
      - Now I would like to win a tourney...hit big and build a bankroll where even the mincashes mean something.

      I browsed OPR and noticed that most high-rollers on stars have started the same way...they played smallstakes and got a shot at a 20k+ prize at some point and from there they started making serious money.

      Please don't get me wrong as I am not looking for a short way to the top. Again i've been playing since 2009 and that is by no mean a short way up :) .

      To get back to why I opened this thread...I do not know what to do to get myself to be a winning player.

      Recently I started opening tourneys with $100+ buyins to see what the highrollers are doing different than me and I just follow a specific player and notice that well...they either play a strategy beyon my level of comprehention or they get lucky. Below you have an example of what I mean:

      109 turbo tourney - Pokerstars - 9 Handed - Blinds 100/200 25 ante
      Player X - $3000 - UTG+2
      Player Y - $4500 - MID +1

      Player X opens for 2xBB ($900 pot with his raise)
      Player Y raises ALL IN
      Player X calls and shows KhTh
      Player Y shows AhQc

      The board is not important but Player X wins with trips and after that I stopped watching him cause I though I'm not learning anything :) .
      Now I thought about it and I could not come with a justification for that call.
      Player Y is also a winning player (OPR) and I don't get why someone would call that with 1.2:1 pot odds with those cards.

      As I am writing this I checked the tourney lobby and player X made it to the final table and there are 5 players left and he has 2nd largest stack :O .

      So my questions is...WTF ?!?!

      On another note I tried to understand why players at low/micro limits play the way they do so...
      In 5.5 tourney 100/200 blind, the UTG+2 open shoves for 20bb, MID reshoves for 35bb and the BTN calls with AJo for 80% of his stack and hits a straight.
      So i asked him what he though that those players was pushing as they showed a lot of strenght and he said that its not important :O .
      I asked ok but if you KNEW for SURE that one had AK (which UTG had) would you still call and he said "Yes" 2 x :O .
      I then ask "Why?" and he replied... "Maybe i get lucky and win and get a lot of chips". And to make sure he stays stupid I told him "Man you know...that makes total sense...guess you need some balls to win a tourney".

      Now wtf do you do with that ? :)

      Anyway guys...i apologize for the long post and if you would be so kind as to provide any insight it will be much appreciated.

      Best of luck at the tables.

      Thank you!
  • 8 replies
    • TJtheTJ
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,583
      Hey cbucsan,

      Wow, long post! :D

      Though it may not seem obvious at first glance, I think what you're going through at the moment is actually a form of tilt. People are making bad plays but still win, and it's making you angry (sort of).

      I would strongly recommend you post in this thread as well: +++Q&A with Jared Tendler!!+++

      Here, one of our mindset experts, Jared Tendler (who also wrote the book "Mental Game of Poker, which is an excellent book btw), will be able to answer any mindset questions you might have. I think this could certainly help you out :)

      As for your examples, yes, people make stupid plays in tournaments and get to the top. But that's all variance. Variance can go both ways of course: you can run insanely hot and win lots pots in a row where you're a dog, but it can also be the other way around. This goes for you, but also for all other players.

      If you see somebody make a bad play and still win, just let them be! If anything, you should be happy that they're making bad plays, because that means they'll also play badly against you. And when your opponents play poorly, you can make a profit off of them.

      All you can do is identify the bad players and try to exploit them. Just look at your own game and try to improve it as much as possible. Don't pay attention to bad players who win and start tilting because they're winning. That will only affect your own game in a negative way. Instead, try to figure out which mistakes the fish are making.

      For example, if you notice that a fish is willing to stack off with second pair and a bad kicker even when 100bb deep, you should value bet relentlessly with your top pair type hands, whereas against a tighter player you may want to be more careful.

      Hopefully this has helped a bit!

      Again, I can strongly recommend posting in Jared Tendler's thread, as well as picking up his book ;)

      Kind regards,
    • cbucsan
      Joined: 08.10.2009 Posts: 55
      Hello TinoLaan,

      Thank you for your reply.

      I know that i sometimes get angry when I see bad plays getting rewarded because i can't always keep focus on the fact that they are the players that feed the BR of winning players.

      Its just frustrating to see them either win the tourney (player X ended up taking 2nd place for $3,4K) or bust you and few hands later they lose their stack (and yours) to another player in the same manner that they busted you.

      I also tried playing cash and lost to set over set 2 time in no more than 100 hands. Lost set to runner straight, lost with set to runner flush.

      The hand below is what made me self-exclude from pokerstars:

      PokerStars - $0.10 NL ZOOM - Holdem - 9 players
      Hand converted by PokerTracker 3

      BTN: $8.83
      SB: $10.32
      BB: $10.81
      UTG: $9.12
      UTG+1: $9.95
      Hero (MP): $12.64
      MP+1: $12.39
      LP: $12.64
      CO: $6.21

      SB posts SB $0.05, BB posts BB $0.10

      Pre Flop: ($0.15) Hero has 9:diamond: 9:club:

      UTG raises to $0.20, fold, Hero raises to $0.50, fold, LP raises to $1.70, fold, fold, fold, fold, UTG calls $1.50, Hero calls $1.20

      Flop: ($5.25, 3 players) Q:heart: 6:club: 9:spade:
      UTG checks, Hero checks, LP bets $1.90, UTG calls $1.90, Hero raises to $10.94 and is all-in, fold, UTG calls $5.52 and is all-in

      Turn: ($21.99, 2 players) 2:club:

      River: ($21.99, 2 players) K:club:


      The idiot had A:club: T:club: and these things always happen and I end up losing.

      And micro-stakes tournaments cannot be beaten without a sh.tload of luck. Tried playing just my cards, no bluffing and etc. and still nothing :( .

      Wtf can I do when a guys raises 2xbb with 18BB stack in LP and I shove all in for 20 BB with ATs and he calls and shows K8o and takes it down ?

      I know its variance and you just have to focus on correct decisions but doing that just doesn't feel like i'm getting any closer to my goals.

      Pffff I guess i'm just tired mentally of being put down and getting busted like that and waiting endlessly for good results that never seem to happen.

      All this makes my confidence in my abilities to get below sea level.

      Guess this thread ended up being a steam-blow because most players will probably answer "Suck it up! Make the right decision, play your best and you'll get there!" Right ? :)
    • TJtheTJ
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,583
      Guess this thread ended up being a steam-blow because most players will probably answer "Suck it up! Make the right decision, play your best and you'll get there!" Right ?
      Yep, you pretty much just answered your own question right here ;)

      Being on the wrong side of variance sucks of course. But you'll get out of the swing eventually. Soon enough you'll be the one making the suckouts!

      However, don't make the mistake of playing crap hands like your opponents do just because you see them winning! Just because they make a bad call and win doesn't mean they made the right play! But you already know that, so I trust you won't do that ;)
    • gadget51
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      Hi cbuscan,

      I've moved this to the MTT forum, it may get a few responses there that may help you out.


    • VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 10,363
      Originally posted by cbucsan
      And micro-stakes tournaments cannot be beaten without a sh.tload of luck. Tried playing just my cards, no bluffing and etc. and still nothing :( .
      Hi cbucsan,
      All tournaments require a load or two of luck. Not only that, but there are dynamics to tournaments that do not involve the cards at all.

      Some of these are:
        Stack size
        Blind size relative to pot size, and to stack size.
        Player style.
        Mental state -- not just yours, but the other players as well.

      I second Tino's motion about the "Mental Game of Poker" Since you're out of the game until September, now would be a good time to read it.

      It involves a process -- it is not a book you can just read and absorb, you must read and DO what it says for it to work.

      I watched some of the WSOP on TV a while back, and what impressed me more than the hand reading skills was the ability to lay down a hand. They showed a hand where Doyle Brunson laid down trip tens. The other guy had a straight.

      I doubt I could do that.

      The point is that the straight was luck. The skill was Brunson's -- he lost a lot less than he could have -- and a lot less than I would have.

      Finally -- do you play tournaments only? SnGs or MTTs?

      I much prefer cash games. Each hand stands alone. In tournaments of whatever kind, you lose the whole thing with one mistake or one suckout.

      Best of luck,
    • cbucsan
      Joined: 08.10.2009 Posts: 55
      Hello VorpalF2F,

      I will get my hands on that book and other sources on that subject.

      I made some lay downsa myself that I was proud of and I am more proud of a good laydown than of good trap or a big pot that I win.

      I know its a lot easier to play the nuts than to fold a strong holding and its a valuable skill.

      I try to play everything once things start going to bad in MTTs i switch to cash and I always play good/great get my stack to a nice 160-170 BBs and then I lose it to a suckout or a crazy play.

      Don't get me wrong I make mistakes and once I switch to cash it's kinda hard to switch from the MTT mentality where you rarely/never fold KK preflop.

      I can't keep the same focus in cash because in MTTs i have a goal...a finish line if you wish...and that is the FT.

      These days what I did was as soon as I got near to 200bbs i would close the zoom table and re-open it with the starting stack (100bbs) just to avoid losing to a suck out. (i know...bad thing to do but I end up being scared).

      I don't think cash will ever be something that I can do...i mean I could but seeing that you could work a table for 2 hours...get your stack really nice and big and then lose to a cooler it just messes with my balance :) .

      I prefer MTTs because of the investment / potential winning ratio and the clear goal to get at the final table.

      I really don't think I'm a bad player...sure I have leaks...even the best players have them so I'm well aware that I got even bigger holes in my game.

      I try to adapt to the players at my table and in micro's I usually make the mistake of thinking that if I create a TAG image...players will actually pay attention :) .

      Another thing is that each time I learn something new (ex. position play) i focus on that too much and lose track of the other aspects.

      Often when I get a big stack i'll try to bully the table and if players play back at me too much I will tighten up and just wait for strong hands that usually don't come and or when they do...everyone folds and due to this although I am a big stack I end up getting blinded into a average stack and it frustrates me.

      Again...I know I have leaks but I also know that i'm better than the majority of those nano/micro-stakes players and it frustrates me to see that some donks will get to the FT even though there are different donks each time...they still get there and I get blinded off or suckout or end up making a bad move which everyone does at some point.

      I guess was expecting that in 4 years I would be at a another level and as I mentioned before I end up doubting my abilities and thinking that after getting busted so many times which affects my play as well.

      After some contemplation I decided to play micro-mtts as rebuys where donks push all in with all kind of will just wait for a big hand and bet bet bet...

      No more 2.2bb open-raise and what not...I think those play are made for limits where players actually think about something else other than their hands and hoping to get lucky and hit.

      Final word/question - I don't understand players...usually big stacks that open-limp from UTG with cards like K7o ?! Any insights ?

      Thank you,
    • VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 10,363
      Originally posted by cbucsan
      Final word/question - I don't understand players...usually big stacks that open-limp from UTG with cards like K7o ?! Any insights ?
      When you are the biggest stack at the table, you have the luxury of being able to play a much wider range, an re-evaluating on the flop.

      Recently I've noticed there are a lot of unraised pots in the big MTTs that are decided on the flop and turn.

      Even in cash games, having a big stack opens up a lot of hands that are not playable w/ only 100BB but are playable if you're against another deep player and have position. It costs a very small % of your stack to see a flop, then you can decide what to do.

      I'm not a fan of limping UTG ever, though.
      OTOH, if he has me covered in a tournament, am I going to mess with him?

    • tommygecko
      Joined: 11.08.2012 Posts: 1,229
      Originally posted by TinoLaan

      Being on the wrong side of variance sucks of course. But you'll get out of the swing eventually. Soon enough you'll be the one making the suckouts!
      nope because he will never call a shove with a backdoor flush draw and backdoor straight draw on the flop :facepalm:

      I sympathize with OP. Poker is really harsh and unfair and you see people getting there but don't really deserve it and some people who work hard as hell and are still stuck at low stakes.

      And of course there are retards who call a shove 5% equity and get there. Just tell yourself that they only won this time, next time they will lose all their money and end up where they should be. (since they are big degens/drunkards) It's a fact that all of them end up broke(how long can you survive if you get it in with 5% equity most of the time) , but guys like us with proper brm will never end up in that state :D

      Sometimes I run super bad vs a particular fish in husng (losing several in a row). I then look up their stats and find out that they lose thousands this year and I feel much better :D