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Your thoughts please

    • Valsomething
      Joined: 12.08.2010 Posts: 20
      Hi All;

      I am posting to ask for your thoughts and experiences (and maybe advice).

      In short, I have been playing online poker for the past 5 years part time and play a range of games - MTT, SNG, SAT and of course cash tables.

      The good news is I have won over $100k with my ITM being around 16-18% - not bad considering I am a low stakes player with Buy In's around $1-$5 and my cash stakes generally around $1/$2-$2/$4. The bad news is I have bought in/lost over $100k during this period so that after 5 years my total net position is a whole $15 - extremely good ROI (not)

      Some of the problems I think are;

      1. Even though I ITM ok, I rarely go deep and have only reached the final table in a big MTT once in the thousands of MTTs played (always working to improve this but this is the result so far). Hence whatever I cash is quickly used up in the following buy ins.

      2. Tilting - not so much of a problem but am guilty of tilting away my winnings once in a while although certainly not enough to warrant the total poor ROI but it hasen't helped either.

      Over the years, I have tried and tested all the different playing styles from tight aggressive to loose maniac and have settled on starting the MTT relatively loose and tightening up as the BB gets bigger - this seems to have the best results for me.

      So my question is, is this roller coaster a not so unusual fact of online poker? I hear and see stories of many people building their bankroll from $50 to hundreds of thousands and some millions. These people are probably better players than me but surely an ROI of 0.000000000001% is unusual?.

      I am not expecting or even aiming to make millions. I just want to build my bankroll and after 5 years of trying different approaches with varying results I am a little lost for ideas of how to get out of this win-lose cycle.

      Your thoughts are welcome.
  • 8 replies
    • gadget51
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      Hi there Valsomething,

      I've moved this to MTT forum for you, it seems to be a more appropriate place.


    • TJtheTJ
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,587
      Hey Valsomething,

      The one thing that stands out to me is the stakes you're playing. You are playing up to $5 MTTs, but then you're playing NL400. That's an incredibly large difference. Would it be possible that you are simply not good enough for NL200-400 yet, causing you to lose money there?

      If you have put in at least a decent amount of volume in those 5 years, then being pretty much exactly break even means you are likely just that - a break even player. Over a smaller sample it can just be variance, but if you're break even over a large sample in 5 years, then that could certainly say a lot. You might still be slightly winning/losing, but the difference will be small.

      Therefore it will be important to work a lot on your game. For this, it might help to seriously stick to one type of game and maybe only play other games for fun every now and then (but not often). That way you will be able to completely focus on that particular game, which will help a lot in improving your game.

      Hopefully that helps at least somewhat :)

      Kind regards,
    • Asaban
      Joined: 22.09.2006 Posts: 9,180
      Hey Valsomething,

      welcome to the tournament strategy forum =)
      I would be happy to see you around more often!

      TinoLaan already gave you a few very good tips and I can second his opinion in every aspect.

      In addition I would like to add, that you are right if you assume that you won't get winning player by finishing ITM more often. A high ITM percentage might suggest that you play way to tight around the money bubble as well as in the mid-late game.

      I would recommend concentrating on cashgame OR tournaments (depending on which of them suits you best as well as your results).

      Watch videos in our video section, re-read our strategy articles and post hands in the hand evaluation forums as well as general questions in the strategy forums.

      If you still can't see any progress you may consider getting a private coaching to get feedback on your game from one of our coaches (for example from me :D ).

      If you have any further questions feel free to ask!

    • Lazza61
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 10,685
      I agree with Asaban. 18%ITM is too high for MTTs. It generally means tightening up near the bubble, which means a lot of small cashes and very few big ones. Why do I say this? Because my NLHE MTT NLHE is 22% and I'm a small loser. I'm also a scaredy cat.

      Most winning MTTs players have an ITM of between 12-15%. These guys are not afraid to bust on the bubble, so they don't tighten up and are able to take advantage of other players who wait for the bubble to burst.

      This has two effects. 1) The player tightening up is blinding off and losing all of his fold equity while waiting for the bubble. 2) He is also missing opportunities and folding in +EV situations.

      I'm glad you are comfortable with your manner of play as it is the reverse of a lot of players. I see a lot of successful players play only premiums early and widen their range once antes start. The reason for this is that you can lose a lot of chips when the blinds are small, but you can't really win a lot of chips.

      These are only my observations as I am not a successful NLHE player but I do believe there is some food for thought in my comments.

    • TJtheTJ
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,587
      If you still can't see any progress you may consider getting a private coaching to get feedback on your game from one of our coaches (for example from me :D ).
      What's with the shameless advertising? :coolface:

      Either way, there is one more thing I would like to add to what has been said already. You also mention that you are still somewhat susceptible to tilt. Even though you say it's not your biggest problem, this is another one of those things that might cause you to be a break-even player instead of a winning one.

      Of course, most players get mad every now and then after losing a pot when they had 500% equity on the flop (obvious exaggeration is obvious). However, if you start leaking money because of tilt, that's a whole different story.

      To fight tilt and improve your mindset in general, I can strongly recommend taking a look at our Psychology articles and videos. These focus on things such as your mindset, the learning process, goal setting, etc. All of them are very useful, but you can decide which ones would be best for you of course.

      Here's a link to all our psychology videos:,bronze,silver,gold,platinum,diamond&lowerlimit=0&upperlimit=100&ob=date&od=desc&page=2&rpp=10

      You will also find that a lot of these are available even for Basic members, so you should be able to watch most of these videos :)

      And also yes, getting a private coach can definitely help your game a lot as well! Though of course it's not free, it often will certainly be a good investment. :)
    • beerzy
      Joined: 30.06.2011 Posts: 183

      As someone mentioned already, I find it also preety wierd that you play micro mtt's and NL 400, I don't know if you're using a tracking software or keeping track of your profits in general but you should check out if your losses are coming from the cash games.

      I don't think you can assume much from your ITM rate, mine's 15% and I'm a winning player in the same levels, but I've seen other regs that had higher ITM percentages...

      If you have skype and as we play the same levels if you want to send a pm so we can discuss some hands and change some ideias feel free to.

      A possibility is private coaching too, I'm sure you can find some good coaches with 40$/hour rate, and of course watch videos of mid/late stage/bubble play, from what I've read that might be your problem.

      Post here your Stage finishes, you can find it in official poker rankings

      Oh to the tilt part, if you are someone who cares for reading, read mental game of poker 1 and 2 [Edited by TinoLaan], but basically the resume of the all book is you can only be a pro poker player when your reaction when you lose or win a pot are the same, I don't give a sh$$.
    • Acespeci
      Joined: 19.04.2012 Posts: 340
      Originally posted by Valsomething

      The bad news is I have bought in/lost over $100k during this period so that after 5 years my total net position is a whole $15 - extremely good ROI (not)

      Even when your millionaire your suppose to still be using Bankroll Management. :s_biggrin: (kidding)

      Phill Ivey wont be using Bankroll Management cause he beat every limit :]

      Bankroll Management may seem irrelevant since you can reload anytime but if you dont have the skill for a particular limit then you will be reloading often.

      e.g If you were playing Micro MTT and you won a Tournament for $20K that doesnt mean your suppose to make a big jump and play NL400 (which you may not be ready for as yet). You should probably play NL50 24 tables then move up fast :D

      If you spend 5 years at NL400 and you cant beat it and lose over $100K (100% of your Bankroll) you probably should move down. #Bankroll Management
    • Itsnevereasy
      Joined: 08.08.2010 Posts: 381
      I am a low stakes player with Buy In's around $1-$5 and my cash stakes generally around $1/$2-$2/$4.

      In my opinion you should play NL400 more. Heads Up. With me. :coolface:

      Just kidding. Im not a tournament pro but there are obviously a ton of leaks in your game if you can not beat the micros. If I were you I would get a bunch of training videos and try to improve my game!