Looking for advice on how to improve my game

    • Harrier88
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 2,081
      Hey guys,

      I've been playing poker for about a year and a half now, originally on 888, now almost exclusively on Stars since this summer, and while I believe that I have most of the basics down, I also feel like I have pretty much plateaued recently.

      My current game of choice is FR NL10 Zoom (regular cash games put me to sleep). I used to focus on SNG's for about a year, but I grew tired of all the Push/Fold drama and the relatively high variance, so I decided to make the switch to cash games a few months ago.

      Right now, I'm going through a nasty break-even stretch that I just can't seem to get out of. A good part of it is down to bad luck, of course. But who am I kidding, I need to work on my game. The only question is how to do it.

      What I did so far:
      - I'm familiar with most strategy articles up to bronze, and even a few silver ones (I used to be silver status for about a month).
      - I'm about halfway through hasenbraten's "Crushing NL50" video series. I've also seen some other videos.
      - For the last few weeks, I've been lurking around the Hand Evaluations forum quite a bit. Helped me to make a lot less spewcalls.
      - Occasionally, I tune in to some coaching sessions when I have the time.

      What I am planning to do:
      - I'm considering investing in some tracking software, like Pokertracker 4. I've heard many people say that this kind of software is absolutely essential these days, while others say that it is really not necessary at the micros. Any thoughts on this?
      - I might purchase a couple of books about poker, haven't read any of them yet. Jared Tendler's "The Poker Mindset" is currently on my wishlist for Christmas. Do you have any recommendations for books that deal more with the strategic aspect, and do you think that they are still relevant today or are most of them pretty outdated?

      So I'd be thankful for any advice on how to step up my game in the long run, since I don't plan to grind the micro stakes for the rest of my life. Please keep in mind though that I cannot really afford any kind of private coaching or even purchasing status upgrades, and I'm also unlikely to improve my status through playing alone, since I forgot to register my Pokerstars account through Pokerstrategy (I'm still kicking myself for that :f_frown: ) and I dislike playing on most other sites.

      Thanks a lot!
  • 3 replies
    • Lazza61
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 10,562
      Hey Harrier88,

      For starters, all those things you mentioned that you currently do, continue to do.

      Have you looked at our NL Beginners Course. The lessons are presented in a structured and orderly manner to ensure that no information is missed out.

      Poker tracking software is definitely worth the effort. Both PokerTracker4 and HoldemManager2 are excellent products. They make it easier to analyse your own hands and bust your own leaks.

      Also the micros are full of players who literally have no intention of winning. They'll deposit their $20/$50 or whatever and donk it around until it's gone. You WANT their money. Tracking software and HUDs will help you identify those players and make it easier to cash in on.

      Both of these products can be tried for free for 30 days. You'll find a lot of players will use both trials and then purchase the one they feel most comfortable with.

      Also if you keep an eye on our Software page, you will often see special offers and discounts.

      It is true that a lot of poker books have become outdated in the last ten years due to the rapid evolution of the game. The smallball approach of books like 'Harrington on Holdem' has been supplanted by the super aggressive strategies of 'Kill Phil' or 'Kill Everyone'.

      As for zoom cash game books I can't really help as I'm mainly a SnG player.

      Phew. That's enough for now, but if you have any further questions then fire away.


    • Tomaloc
      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 7,000
      hi from someone who built a roll in zoom fr :f_biggrin:

      first off, fr zoom is like the nittiest game ever, or at least it was 1 year ago :D
      anyway, poker tracking software are your eyes on zoom, absolutely essential, can't really put it any better than that. you can argue that you don't need them on micro reg tables because you can still somewhat follow the other player actions, which you can't do in zoom.

      how to improve... that is a tough question :D i mean, there's definitely work involved, but how should you do it/when does improvement actually happen? heh
    • Harrier88
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 2,081
      Thanks for the replies, especially for the link to the software page. I see there is a discount on Pokertracker 4 right now.

      Originally posted by Tomaloc
      first off, fr zoom is like the nittiest game ever, or at least it was 1 year ago :D
      Yeah, I know what you mean. I remember those sessions where I kept getting dealt pocket aces, and all I ever collected was the blinds. Then again, I also had sessions where I kept running into re-raises with my drawing/marginal hands, and I usually just took the safe route and folded, since I didn't know anything about my opponents. Having stats should help me to make better decisions in those situations.

      Originally posted by Lazza61
      Have you looked at our NL Beginners Course. The lessons are presented in a structured and orderly manner to ensure that no information is missed out.
      I did look at it at some point, but I don't think I finished it, because I felt that it is mostly stuff I already know. It can never hurt to go back to basics once in a while, though, so I might take another look. For now, however, I'll probably focus on learning about stats, since I skipped these sections for the most part in the past.

      Originally posted by Lazza61
      As for zoom cash game books I can't really help as I'm mainly a SnG player.
      While we're on the subject, what do you think about commercial SNG software? ("SitNGo Wizard" comes to mind, don't know much else) I've heard that most of it only starts getting really useful in the medium stakes and upwards, while knowledge of the ICM is typically enough to win at the lower stakes.
      I'm not really a SNG player anymore, but I might get back to it one time, so we might as well talk about it.