Insights from newborn poker player

    • thiaz
      thiaz
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.10.2013 Posts: 18


      ThiaZ - When stupid isnt enough!

      Sup guys...

      This is my blog about my thoughts and experiences towars becoming a good poker player.

      CAUTION!!!: I'm a sick builder of walls of text so be careful when reading further on, you might never get to the end.

      My history:
      All my life I've been interested in gambling, sports and games. First i was mostly interested in betting on soccer matches but it later evolved to tennis, hockey, basketball and even some computergames.

      When i went into some periods with huge losses i went for a break. But then i were missing something - that was what made me start playing poker 6 years ago i think it was.
      But i was a dumb little boy who never wanted to read or use knowledge to my own advantage so i went out and just played the best i knew in all kinds of freerolls, cheap sitngos and whatnot.
      Sometimes i cashed some, sometimes i fell down hard - mostly the last. So i quit playing poker and went back to betting on sports.
      Now it's been 6 years and I'm getting a bit tired of sports. At least tired of sitting 3-4 hours a day watching different sports.
      So i wanted to take up poker again as a new and different man.
      Since the last time i've changed from a physically active dumb kid who never opened a book, to a nerd that sits inside reading all kinds of books, and wants to get clever in every aspect possible.
      With that said, what i set my mind in to, i will accomplish.

      So with not further due, i present to you... ThiaZ! your future poker celebrity - considering the guys in this topic so far.

      My current situation:
      1 week ago, i was searching the web for no deposit bonuses for Poker - and i searched A LOT.
      After a lot of search the day turned Monday 21st. This was the day when i stumbled upon a site called something i wont mention here, but i was redirected to this site called pokerstrategy.com - you heard of it? :)

      This site, did not look like all the other sites i had been to the last 10 hours. All the other sites kept advertising about big bonuses and about saving money and all - this site had focus on me improving my poker skills - and them offering a help to get started.

      WTF - was the first thing in my head - I have to take a quiz? what quiz? curious getting curious! - i clicked "TAKE QUIZ" and the next page then showed: "You have passed the quiz!!" (at least it was something like that). So i got my promo.

      But that was not what i wanted anymore - what was this quiz, and would i even be able to pass it?

      I started searching the site and then fell over the articles. First article blew my mind. Now i had been playing like 10,000 hands and some of the very basics of poker redefined my whole understanding of the game. I felt like some religious guy getting a revelation that its actually the truth, the thing he believes in (if you get my drift). I felt like i found the bible of poker.

      I stormed out and made a big can of coffee and started reading 12am in the night. After the first couple of articles it was crippling in my fingers, i wanted to play!

      2am i got a mail about my promo at winner poker was received successfully and i were able to play immediatly. I went out for another can of coffee and started playing!

      After 2 hours of play my 100 blinds had been turned to 180 blinds. I was exstatic. I went into the website again and kept on reading till i fell asleep around 5am (this morning).

      I overslept and skipped 3 lectures untill i arrived at my university 4 hours to late. I were sitting in the auditorium for 5 hours and all i could think of was how i could improve my game, so i continued reading articles and actually also played a bit - still improving my blinds to up around 250blinds.
      Then i was greeted by the most delightful and helpful moderators i've seen in my 25 years. I've been on countless amounts of different forums but this beats it. I knew i was at the right place - if i wanted to get better at poker.

      So this is where i am today - completely new in the business but hungry as a lion for poker!

      TL;DR (at least for my history) I'm a 25 year old fag who never played poker like it should be played - Pokerstrategy, my jesus, has shown me the path i wish to follow - and this blog is about my steps towards eternal poker happiness.

      Goals:

      Before 31st December 2013:

      • Persistent increase in profits / Satisfying bankroll management
      • Get to Silver membership status (Don't know the reqs for gold yet so thats why)
      • Read all articles on PokerStrategy for Basic and Silver status
      • 100% complete all quizzes/questions for Basic and Silver status
      • Stop writing so much bullshit and write about what this topic is about(serious goal)
      • Win a SitnGo
      • Get to $50 in the bank (in profits, not including deposits).



      In this topic, i will post about my games, frustrations and successes and perhaps even post open questions that anyone can feel free to answer.
  • 16 replies
    • thiaz
      thiaz
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.10.2013 Posts: 18
      Today has been a very odd day - It's been like a rollercoaster. I've read around 10 articles today and one of them was about keeping my cool, not to get frustrated and not letting myself getting tilt.

      Sadly enough, i laughed my whole way through this article. At this very moment, i regret i was so naive about myself.

      I thought i had so much selfcontrol that i would never let others get their way with me.
      For starters, i can tell that my 300 blinds lead ($5.5) has been reduced to a merely $0.89.

      The reason? I'm stupid, over confident, not concentrated and i was seeking revenge.

      The very article that i laughed at, because i knew that was not me, has now become my own reality.

      Let me give you an example:

      Player 1 keeps raising at like every 2nd hand he gets. I know that he cant have that good cards every so often, so i try to call or reraise whenever i get cards that would give reason to do so.
      At the flop, i get no proper hands, maybe a draw but nothing special. Player 1 keeps betting or raising and forces me to fold.

      The keeps on 3, 4 and 5 times - keeps beating me.

      The 6th time, he does it again - i have ATs, but the flop does not suit my hand, but i raise. The other guy reraises. and there is where i lost it. Not in a million years i was getting him to beat me again, so i reraised, even so at the turn, and at the river when i had NOTHING - i went all in.

      ALL IN - ON NOTHING!! - and on a guy that i KNOW will raise or call - never fold.

      When i saw my bankroll had decreased i realized what dumb shit i had actually been and why Poker Strategy makes an article about revenge and playing for profits, and not for showing the next door fella.

      I felt i was getting more focused, so i took an hour or two where i read further on in the strategy section. I felt like playing again so i joined a table and played for 2 hours - i gained like 25 bb's before losing it again, and it continued for the 2 hours. Then i started getting a little bored - mostly (i think) was because the table was nothing but passive and tight players that folded on anything higher than a bigblind. Every time i had a good hand, they would just fold.

      I started watching some TV, and before i knew it i had forgot everything about an article that i ALSO read today. This article was about concentration - about no matter hos good you are - concentration are key for proft.

      I threw my bankroll away on stupid calls and raises - and this is where i am down to half the size of my start.

      __________________

      This is where i thought - ThiaZ. You have to start writing a blog with all the thoughts you have, and about some of the things you read today. Mostly because - a lot of it slipped my mind when i've been playing a hundred hands without actually changing my starting point.

      When i read the first articles about the starting hands chart - i printed it out and followed it to the letter. I have later found out that you cant use it for 6man tables which i play - its the thing called short tables right?.

      well i've done that, and i actually think it worked better than when i tried 9man table for an hour.

      I've also learned later on, that the SHC dont take a lot of data into consideration. For example the play styles of the opponents and stack sizes etc. So i adopted is merely as a guidance of how to proceed.

      I'm going to start up playing some poker now - and then trying to enforce the rule of not get my feelings to play the game instead of rational decisions. And then i'm reading more articles tomorrow.

      I have a really hard time calculating odds and pot odds - i understand how to calculate them but i have a very hard time using them in practice - partly because it takes some time for me to calculate it in my head - but also because i dont seem to know how to weigh the result with my current situation in a game.

      _________

      I will read this post tomorrow to check if it is completely broken regarding the purpose of the blog.

      For others to laugh at, i will post some pictures of my failures.

      My winnings since yesterday (notice the high decrease in net won in the last hand).


      My infamous retardedness doing with ATs



      Catch you all later - have a great evening :)

      edit:

      a little side note:

      I'm having a bunch of problems with some terms. Since there isnt a direct order to read a lot of the articles in, there often tends to be terms i do not understand and therefore neeed to find the article where they are explained ending in the articles drown in each other and me getting nothing out of it - or at least making the learning curve a lot harder.
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 10,079
      Hey thiaz,

      Glad to see you've taken the plunge and started a blog. I may be your first subscriber. :D (Proves already it was worth starting)

      It definitely can get very frustrating when those situations arise. It's even worse at the micros because your raises will never get the respect they deserve.

      Key elements in poker include concentration and discipline. Once you start to lose either during a session, you are on a slippery slope to "Bad Decisions".

      I had Jared Tendlar's book "The Mental Game Of Poker" for about a year and only looked at it a couple of months ago after I had become so discouraged I couldn't click the login button. Every time I tried to move my mouse to click it I would be filled with an overwhelming fear of dread.

      Within 30 minutes I could login again. Just from the 1st 20 pages, Jared presented things in such a way that I felt that I could look inside my mind, see the broken pieces and put them back together again.

      My discipline and concentration levels are the best they have ever been, with the pinnacle (so far) coming a couple of days ago when I had a 7 hour run in the Biggest $2.20.

      Jared has a Q and A thread somewhere on site which I can't seem to find atm. Maybe some helpful mod will come up with a link.

      Hope my little story helps.

      Laz
    • TJtheTJ
      TJtheTJ
      Silver
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,582
      Hey again thiaz,

      So many words :O

      Interesting to read though, shows that you put a lot of effort into it, which is great to see.

      Jared has a Q and A thread somewhere on site which I can't seem to find atm. Maybe some helpful mod will come up with a link.
      +++Q&A with Jared Tendler!!+++

      Will be following as well, just make sure you keep updating!

      Kind regards,
      Tino
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 10,079
      lol. Should have known it would be Tino. Would have found it myself if I could spell his name right. ?(
    • TJtheTJ
      TJtheTJ
      Silver
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,582
      Would have found it myself if I could spell his name right.
      :f_biggrin: :coolface:
    • thiaz
      thiaz
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.10.2013 Posts: 18
      @TinoLaan and Lazza61,

      Thanks for posting the reference to his Q&A, i will definitely look it up one of these days - but at this moment i've been really busy - I have not even played poker today :(

      I just went to inspect my new apartment and it's really awesome so I will be moving within 1 month so I got a lot of things to take care of.

      Another fun note is that i today created my very own PokerClub! :D I made a status on Facebook about anyone being hot for having a guys poker night once a month - and my inbox was literally flooded! :D

      I guess all the guys needs a break from their girlfriends, so it's really cool that i had enough guys after 20min. This gets me even more hooked on PokerStrategy and to get better before our very first pokernight! :D

      edit:

      i just took a rough beating - and i wonder if it was just one of those unlucky (VERY) moments or if i really played it dumb.

      First, this guy is really aggressive and makes huge raises and ALL-ins very often to steal blinds. Normally i would just insta fold with a 75s, but i felt like he was really bluffing and i felt that i could easily get a good hand.

      But he gets all the cards he needed to beat me, and got thrown out of the sit n go.
      I have a really tough time vs. these loose aggressive types and i read an article about how to handle em, but i have not had my luck with it yet - since he did this to me twice.

      Picture:
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 10,079
      Hey thiaz,

      Just continue the way you are going. Guys like that will be very profitable for you over time.

      Well done. You made a very solid read and acted the way you should of. Sadly, sometimes the "Poker Gods" look after these idiots.

      Keep up the good work

      Laz
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      I don't agree with Lazza, and think that instead of making a solid read imo you made a mistake preflop by flat calling when your stack size is so small.

      from Flopzilla (which is quite a useful tool with free trial that you could check out) this is what 75s will flop, you can see that you don't actually get a good hand that often:

      Quads: 0.03%
      Full House: 0.09%
      Flush: 0.83%
      Straight: 0.96%
      3 of a kind: 1.35%
      Two Pair: 2.02%
      Top Pair: 2.85%
      Middle Pair: 14.1%
      Weak Pair: 12.0%
      No Made Hand: 65.8%

      Flushdraw: 10.9%
      OESD: 7.58%
      Gutshot: 14.6%

      I don't feel that your call preflop is going to be profitable long run.
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 10,079
      Thanks Metza,

      Silly silly me. :facepalm:

      Ofc, now I look at it again it's a clear shove/fold. If he's that aggressive you probably don't have much fold equity with 8BBs so fold. With that size stack you can still wait a little for better spots.

      Sorry.

      Laz
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Originally posted by Lazza61
      Thanks Metza,

      Silly silly me. :facepalm:

      Ofc, now I look at it again it's a clear shove/fold. If he's that aggressive you probably don't have much fold equity with 8BBs so fold. With that size stack you can still wait a little for better spots.

      Sorry.

      Laz
      Thinking about it more, you might have been right the first time: I actually wonder if it might not be +EV to stackoff everytime we hit something ok, and fold when we don't.

      I mean, everything I know about SnG tells me we push or fold in these spots, but in this case opponent is extremely different to normal players and I wonder if we can mine a hand and get paid off so I'm gonna do big boring EV calc here to make sure I am not telling a guy he did it wrong when he did it right hehe.

      At first I was thinking its 300 raise vs 1200 stack but since we were bb its 150 to call.

      I'm gonna assume villian is opening 100% of hands here and then shoving 100% of flops. T4o can fit into 85% but I think he's stealing everything.

      We stack off any pair, any FD, any OESD, but not gutshots. To call 900 into 1500 we need 37.5% equity above hands are all we can call, w gutshot we only have 32%

      So, the massive EV equation is gonna have us with

      Hand Probability Equity vs villains range ( I just guessed this roughly, since its different each flop)
      quads .0003 99.99%
      boat .0009 98%
      flush .0083 90%
      straight .0096 85%
      trips .0135 92%
      2p .0202 75% (seems low but sometimes 2p is 75 on 997)
      TopP .0285 70%
      MidP .141 64%
      WeakP .120 59%

      FD .109 50%
      OESD .0758 42%

      Miss .4729 0% (since we always fold)

      This is the EV calc I used

      (.0003*.9999*1500)+(.0009*.98*1500)+(.0083*.90*1500)+(.0096*.85*1500)+(.0135*.92*1500)+(.0202*.75*1500)+(.0285*.70*1500)+(.141*.64*1500)+( .120*.59*1500)+(.109*.50*1500)+(.0758*.42*1500)-(.4729*150)

      Maybe I've done something wrong here but it comes up as 396 chips +EV.

      Assumption is we make 1500 chips net profit every time we win the all in after hitting flop and lose 150 chips when we call and then fold the flop after missing (since the bb is dead money once its in). I'm not 100% sure we use 1500 or 2400 in the equation (2400 gives even higher ev), because we win a 2400 pot but we only make 1500 chips in profit. I feel like its 1500 but there's a chance its 2400.

      So unless I've done something wrong here, well played thaiz.

      Actually, I dunno about ICM considerations for the SnG, which will have a some effect on $EV vs ChipEV, hopefully someone who plays SnG as their main game can comment.
    • thiaz
      thiaz
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.10.2013 Posts: 18
      Thanks for replying guys! :) It's very appreciated.

      I'm sorry @metza, but i'm a little confused - I'm pretty new to all the advanced terms of poker.

      The first post you made, made perfect sense to me and understood it all. But how you can revert that to me maybe doing a good job makes no sense at all in my head - futhermore i see no logic in your calculations (i simply just dont know what it is :D )

      I think i will start using that flopzilla, because i need a tool like that a lot. But I downloaded so many already.

      I have PokerTracker 4, Holdem Manager 2, Equitylab and now flopzilla :p don't many of them overlap much?

      _______

      I have not played much poker today since my account was locked since i apparently had typed my pw wrong too many times. I just had it reopened - i will take 1 sitngo - then i will read up on that stuff you just talked about.

      edit:

      I've played some games today :) 2 sitngos and some cash games.

      I placed 3rd in 1 sitngo and made profit, and i quadrupled my buy-in in cashgames in 1 hour. from $1 to $4.5 so it's great :)
      I kept being tight untill i had proper hands and then i made some proper raises in the start so the turn and river would be very expensive for them :)

      Feelin great! :D
      Now i will go on to the next article
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 10,079
      Hey thiaz.

      I wouldn't worry too much about the terminology. As you progress through the beginners' course, a basic explanation of these terms will be given as well as instructions on where to go to next.

      If you plan on playing Single table SnGs then terms like ICM, Nash push/fold ranges and cEv and $Ev will become terms you'll need to understand to be able to play profitably and more importantly optimally.

      Keep up the good work

      Laz
    • thiaz
      thiaz
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.10.2013 Posts: 18
      Lazza61, i will only play sit n gos as long as i get tokens for it as part of the promotion. I feel more like playing cash games because i feel i have a higher rate of profits there - and i like it more.

      But i will read up on those terms in this sites articles at some point when i'm done with the NLH articles :)

      I had some interesting hands today which i dont know if i played that well. I rather want to just post them here than make another topic at the evaluation category.

      1st one,
      I think i made the mistake of going all in? But then again - i had an overpair, and bb's were coming pretty high, so i dont think i could have gotten a better hand anytime soon.


      2nd one,
      I suppose this is pure damn luck, but again - after the last evaluation you gave me, i kinda learned that it has a lot to do with betting sizes too, which i dont think i have so much knowledge about yet, care to comment this one?


      3rd one was in my last sit n go, where i was a bit behind because i never really hit any cards. But i called on this one because i had a guy you had 100% preflop raise AFTER 25 hands. (HM2 called him a whale) On a side note he ended up with most chips in a long time, but ended as 3rd

      But i lost it - i think my mistake was, that i called after i saw another player calling before me, so i knew we would be 3. But besides that i cant see what i did wrong.


      ______

      As soon as my project has been written (13 November), i will have more time to make evaluation topics where they belong, and make this blog more interesting :)

      I kinda thought of making a livestream of me playing poker :D - with a 1min delay or something - but dunno if its even legal at most streaming websites. I dont know, i'm just sure that i'm soon gonna read a lot more on this website.
    • thiaz
      thiaz
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.10.2013 Posts: 18
      I started using Holdem Manager 2 today, and using the Preflop raise and value to pot stats.

      I had 2 whales at my table where one of them called or raied 98% of hands played.

      I folded a lot in my opinion but i got classified as "Loose, passive". That crushed my confidence entirely. Since i've read that its the easiest and most profitable player to go up against :/

      Oh well, i had a couple of fights with the biggest whale. But even though she was in on everything, she went from $0.7 to $5.4 in the end before she left.

      Every time i played up against her i lost, and she had good hands (mostly achieved at river).



      I went ahead and wasted 200 big blinds that session. Even though i feel i played cleverly, with only mediocre to monster hands, i always pressured by her aggressiveness. Only time she folded preflop was when i had AA.

      I guess it is again my feelings who got in the way, but when i evaluate specific situations, i cant figure out what i did wrong and how i get out of here :(

      Maybe, i should read all basic and bronze articles again before playing any further.
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Hey thiaz,

      On the SnG hands you posted

      #1, you have only 8 big blinds so just go all in preflop. As played, getting it in on the flop is totally fine w overpair. Unlucky result.

      #2 your raise size is a bit weird, it makes no sense to raise to 3000 and leave about 1000 behind, just go all in preflop. Unlucky result again.

      #3, same as #1 there is no point raising to 3bb when you only have 8bb, just go all in preflop. Once you've raised to 3bb it would be ridiculous to fold, so going all in is fine here but better off to just go all in straight away for 8bb.

      I guess it doesn't matter too much if you're swapping to cash games.

      If you are unsure of a hand, you can always post it in the Hand Evaluation Forums where a hand judge will assess what happened in the hand
      It's a very useful resource here.
    • TJtheTJ
      TJtheTJ
      Silver
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,582
      If you are unsure of a hand, you can always post it in the Hand Evaluation Forums where a hand judge will assess what happened in the hand
      It's a very useful resource here.
      This is excellent advice. I can definitely recommend this as well.