Insert humorous/profound title here.

    • Tyuchevv
      Tyuchevv
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.05.2014 Posts: 10
      My blog.


      Hey all, as this both my first post on pokerstrategy.com and also my first ever blog i hope you will forgive me if it is slightly disjointed.

      My name is James and i am a university student in England. I have been interested in poker for a long time and have over the years played alot with friends, and a small amount of $0.01/0.02 cash games and microstakes SnG online.
      Previously i have deposited £10 on both pkr and partypoker...
      Needless to say, without any knowledge of how to really play poker i lost both sums in fairly short order.


      I really enjoy playing poker, but as a student i dont exactly have alot of money to be losing online! Therefore when i discovered this website it seemed perfect for me.

      I have created this blog to document my progress in the world of poker, but also intend to use it to help me motivate myself in other area of my life.

      I have started to read the Basic level BSS and NL-full ring strategy articles. After just looking at the starting hand chart i can already see some gaping holes in my poker knowledge!

      I have set up an account on poker 770, and claimed the free $10, which will hopefully arrive soon. Although before i start playing, i think i will read the basic articles in the strategy section.


      As a way to quantify my progress, here are a few goals i have come up with;


      Work on life goals from 09:00 until 18:00, and on Poker goals from 19:00 until 23:00


      Life Goals along the way;

      Finish University with a 2:1

      Achieve a grade of 78% in my third year

      Take my exam on Friday, while studying for at least 6 hours a day until then.

      Go out Friday to celebrate

      Achieve a body weight of 85kg - A loss of 15 kg

      Eat only food that i have cooked, no ready-made food.



      Over-aching goal; Achieve a salary of £1000 gross a month from poker

      Poker Goals along the way;

      Achieve Gold status on pokerstrategy.com

      Achieve silver status on pokerstrategy.com

      Achieve bronze status on pokerstrategy.com - COMPLETE!

      Earn enough (£50?) money on poker to buy a poker HuD

      Achieve a bankroll of £200

      Achieve a bankroll of £100

      Achieve a bankroll of £50

      Read one article, or watch one poker video a day

      Play at least 50 £0.01/£0.02 hands a day, or one microstakes SnG



      These are the goals that i could think of in the writing of this post. In anyone has any other goals that i should be aiming for, please feel free to suggest them.


      Any advice or tips for a new poker player looking to seriously improve would be greatly appreciated, and any sections of this website that i may have missed, directions would also be appreciated.

      Let me know if ive missed anything :)


      Thankyou for your time,

      James
  • 17 replies
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      Hi James!

      So you just registered on this site and you're already writing a blog? Impressive.

      I wish you the best of luck on your journey, and I'll be sure to drop by every now and then.

      Some advice to help you get started:
      - Check out the overview of our new NL lessons, it contains everything you need to know for the beginning and in an order that makes sense.
      - Take a look at our live coaching section and see if there is anything that could be of interest.
      - If you need advice on any of your hands, you can post it in our hands evaluation forum. Ideally, you should have some tracking software for this, but there are other ways to upload a hand.
      - You can download a free 30-day trial version of any tracking software you like.
      - I'd recommend sticking to either cash games or tournaments in the beginning. In my opinion, learning how to play cash games is the better choice if you're still new to the game, but that's up to you.
      -If you're playing SNGs, definitely check out the ICM Trainer, it' a great tool. If you're playing cash games, the Equilab should prove to be useful. Both of these tools are free.
      - ALWAYS use proper bankroll management. The importance of that cannot be overstated.

      Maybe not all of this was news to you, but I hope there was some helpful stuff in it.
      If you have any other questions, just fire away.

      Good luck at the tables. :s_cool:
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,255
      Hey James,

      Welcome to PokerStrategy.com :)

      You certainly haven't wasted any time. Signed up, grabbed the free money and started a blog. It may take up to 48 hours for you to receive the money and then you'll be upgraded to bronze status.

      Getting silver is easy as we have an ongoing bonus promotion. Earn 1 SP (between .25c and .40c rake) in a day and get 10 bonus points. This is how I used to get silver. :D You can read about our status and points system here.

      If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to ask.

      Hope to see humourous/profound title inserted soon. :tongue:

      Cheers

      Laz
    • Tyuchevv
      Tyuchevv
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.05.2014 Posts: 10
      Day 2 of my new blog!

      Thank you for the responses, I really appreciate the advice!

      I do have a couple of questions;

      Originally posted by Harrier88

      - I'd recommend sticking to either cash games or tournaments in the beginning. In my opinion, learning how to play cash games is the better choice if you're still new to the game, but that's up to you.

      :s_cool:
      May i ask why cash games are better for beginners than SnGs? I actually really enjoy cash games, so not a problem for me :)

      I can definitely see the reason for good bankroll management. It stops me from being wiped out if im having a bad day and helps lessen the impact of variance (i think?).

      Which tracking software is the 'best'? Most of the reviews i have read suggest that it is mainly down to personal preference. Should i just try both and see which I get on best with?

      EDIT: Another question referring to the free $10 i will receive on poker 770;
      http://www.pokerstrategy.com/poker-770/getting-started/
      Part 2.1, generating $1 rake. Does this mean, for example, i will need to play 50 $0.10 (0.08+0.02) SnGs? Or an equivalent number of cash game hands where i VPiP?

      Thank you for the helpful links!

      I started the blog so soon after joining because i find that if i don't write something down/am not held accountable i find it difficult to stay motivated. Posting in here seems to fit both criteria!

      I will update the title as soon as i think of a good one :)


      Cheers,

      James
    • badgerer
      badgerer
      Silver
      Joined: 29.03.2010 Posts: 555
      gl sir, from a fellow brit. solid start to your poker career.

      make use of those free trials for tracking software and when you're done you'll know which you prefer.
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,255
      Hey James,

      Totally agree with badgerer. I used my 30 day trials on Holdem Manager 2 and Poker Tracker 4. I only chose Pokertracker because that was the most recent trial I used and what I had learnt was still fresh in my mind.

      You can find out if we have any exclusive offers here.

      You've hit your rake requirements pretty much on the head.

      My opinion on cash games being a better starting point than SnGs/MTTs is really about learning to play deepstack poker. Deepstack poker forces you to play more post flop hence learning those skills is advantageous to all games.

      In SnGs and MTTs, you play a lot as a mid or shortstack where post flop decisions are not so critical as a lot of play will revolve around getting your stack in pre flop.

      Regards

      Laz
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      Originally posted by Tyuchevv
      May i ask why cash games are better for beginners than SnGs? I actually really enjoy cash games, so not a problem for me :)
      Both cash games and SNGs can be played profitably, but I believe it makes more sense from a learning perspective to start with cash games, since they are pretty much the "real" format of poker, while SNGs are more of a variation.
      In my opinion, it is much easier to switch from cash games to SNGs than the other way around. I started out playing SNGs myself, and when I made the switch to cash games some time last year, it was almost as if I had to relearn the entire game from scratch.

      On a lesser note, cash games are less variance-heavy than SNGs, and knowledge of cash games can also be useful in MTTs, in case you want to play them some time.

      Originally posted by Tyuchevv
      Which tracking software is the 'best'? Most of the reviews i have read suggest that it is mainly down to personal preference. Should i just try both and see which I get on best with?
      That's pretty much what I have heard as well, both programs seem to be on the same level. I personally use Pokertracker 4 and I'm quite satisfied with it. Feel free to download both trial versions and see which one you prefer.
      You might be interested to know, though, that PokerStrategy is currently offering a 10% discount on Pokertracker 4. Visit the Poker Tools section for more information.

      Originally posted by Tyuchevv
      Another question referring to the free $10 i will receive on poker 770;
      http://www.pokerstrategy.com/poker-770/getting-started/
      Part 2.1, generating $1 rake. Does this mean, for example, i will need to play 50 $0.10 (0.08+0.02) SnGs? Or an equivalent number of cash game hands where i VPiP?
      Yes, that's correct. 50 tourneys might seem like a lot, but that has to be expected with only $0.02 rake per game.
      Cash games are generally a much better way to generate rake, anyway (which is normally a bad thing, since rake paid is essentially money lost).
    • Tyuchevv
      Tyuchevv
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.05.2014 Posts: 10
      Thank you for your support!

      Okay, once ive got the basics sorted i'll try out both pieces of software. Unfortunately Sidekick doesn't track hands on PKR, so im manually working out my number of hands right now.

      Ah, i see. Cash games happen to be my favorite form of poker, so improving at them is my first priority anyway :)


      So, onto the results of my first day taking poker seriously!

      I played poker for 2 hours and played just over 100 hands. I fully understand that this is a tiny sample, but that is all ive had time for today, as i have a tournament starting in 20 minutes (the $200 premium freeroll on pkr) I have tickets that for this that run out fairly soon, so i thought i should probably use them.

      Unfortunately i made a small loss. Annoyingly this is entirely my fault. I was up almost 100BB when i refused to put down a hand when there were clear danger signs. This ended up with me having 3/4 of my stack in the pot vs someone who was all-in. I lost. It was stupid. Don't do it again :)

      I took a 30 minute break and then decided to play another 100 hands. Within 73 hands i had lost 93BB and decided to stop for today. This brings my loss for today to $1.23.

      While a loss is not great, I can't expect to start winning as soon as i start. I have definitely learnt several lessons today (and written them down), so hopefully i can start to minimize mistakes in the future.


      Day 1 (25/05/2014);


      Ring games, $0.01/0.02;

      Some 6 handed, some FR

      Starting balance $15.62.

      Session 1 Ending Balance $15.29

      Session 2 Ending Balance £14.39


      I have a few questions about hands if anyone has the time to help;

      Notable hands;


      77 as CO. Villain is BU and Calls PFR of 4xBB. Flop comes 2 hearts and 1 over card. I cbet 2/3 pot. Villain goes all in. I fold. - Maybe don’t cbet? Or smaller cbet? Background - Villain is playing most hands and calling until turn on almost all.


      Prepare for a wall of text, is there a better way of formatting this hand history? (considering i dont have any poker tracking software yet :) )

      I'd like to know if i was bet-sizing correctly, and if i was correct to bet the turn. I bet the turn because if he had the flush, i was expecting a reraise, to which i could fold, or a fold if he thinks i have the flush. (Spoiler, he did)
      I would be unsure of what to do if he just calls. Any pointers?



      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Table #55052932 - Blackpool
      Starting Hand #2575768909
      Start time of hand: 25 May 2014 16:40:28
      Last Hand #2575768615
      Game Type: HOLD'EM
      Limit Type: NO LIMIT
      Table Type: RING
      Money Type: REAL MONEY
      Blinds are now $0.01 / $0.02
      Button is at seat 4
      Seat 1: Brendon23 - $2.11
      Seat 2: taurus1963 - $2.62
      Seat 3: dikey72 - $2.54
      Seat 4: herd82 - $1.60
      Seat 5: Kolli512 - $1.90
      Seat 6: Tyuchevv - $1.99
      Shuffling Deck

      Moving Button to seat 5
      Tyuchevv posts small blind ($0.01)
      Brendon23 posts big blind ($0.02)

      Dealing Cards
      Dealing [K s][Q h] to Tyuchevv

      taurus1963 folds
      dikey72 folds
      herd82 calls $0.02
      Kolli512 folds
      Tyuchevv calls $0.02
      Brendon23 checks
      Pot sizes: $0.06

      Dealing Flop [6 d][Q s][3 s]
      Tyuchevv bets $0.06
      Brendon23 folds
      herd82 calls $0.06
      Pot sizes: $0.18

      Dealing Turn [2 s]
      Tyuchevv bets $0.12
      herd82 folds
      Pot sizes: $0.18
      Taking Rake of $0.01 from pot 1
      Tyuchevv doesn't show
      Tyuchevv wins $0.17

      Seat 1: Brendon23 - $2.09
      Seat 2: taurus1963 - $2.62
      Seat 3: dikey72 - $2.54
      Seat 4: herd82 - $1.52
      Seat 5: Kolli512 - $1.90
      Seat 6: Tyuchevv - $2.08
      End of Hand #2575768909

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------



      I did receive the first two pocket aces of my online poker career :)
      Unfortunately everyone folded to my 4xBB raise the second time.

      I did see quite a bad beat. KK ran into KJs. The KJ hit quad Jacks, one on each street. Ouch.


      Statistics for the hands i played.

      On my first table i played 9 out of 62 hands dealt. (6 handed)

      On my second table i played 6 out of 44 hands dealt. (FR)

      How are these statistics? Am i still playing too many hands?


      The premium freeroll tournament starts in 20 minutes, i'll update this post later with my results.

      EDIT; My internet cut out about an hour ago. When i finally got into the tournament i had 3BB's and pocket 88's, went all in but someone was holding pocket 10's. Ah well. I'll try again tomorrow!


      Thank you for reading this excessively long post. I will try to include some pretty graphs next time to break up the monotony ;)

      Cheers,

      James
    • Tyuchevv
      Tyuchevv
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.05.2014 Posts: 10
      This morning i have downloaded HM 2 and collected my statistics from yesterday.

      There are as follows;

      VPiP: 17.8
      PFR: 6.79
      3-bet 2.63
      Agg: 5.71

      Could someone explain what Agg means please? And how do my stats differ from a solids Tag player?

      I also now have my first days graph, however i don't know how to upload it to this thread, could anyone tell me how :)
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      First of all, some advice about blogging: If you feel that a portion of your post, like a posted hand or an image, is stretching the post out for too long, you can cover it with a spoiler tag, so people can close it when they're done looking at it and it won't interfere with the layout anymore.

      Originally posted by Tyuchevv
      Notable hands;

      77 as CO. Villain is BU and Calls PFR of 4xBB. Flop comes 2 hearts and 1 over card. I cbet 2/3 pot. Villain goes all in. I fold. - Maybe don’t cbet? Or smaller cbet? Background - Villain is playing most hands and calling until turn on almost all.
      2/3 pot is pretty standard. While a c-bet can make sense in a spot like this, you need to be aware of your intentions and your opponent. It is unwise to bluff against an opponent who doesn't like to fold.

      You can find some more general advice on this topic here. There is also a more elaborate video on this, if you have the time.

      Originally posted by Tyuchevv
      VPiP: 17.8
      PFR: 6.79
      3-bet 2.63
      Agg: 5.71
      That seems pretty solid, but the sample size is obviously still much too small for any valid conclusions.

      Originally posted by Tyuchevv
      I also now have my first days graph, however i don't know how to upload it to this thread, could anyone tell me how :)
      You'd have to make a screenshot and upload it to an image hosting website like imgur. You could then use the "insert image" function in your post, but I believe you need to be bronze status or higher to do that. However, you could still link to the picture as a basic member.
    • Tyuchevv
      Tyuchevv
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.05.2014 Posts: 10
      Originally posted by Harrier88
      First of all, some advice about blogging: If you feel that a portion of your post, like a posted hand or an image, is stretching the post out for too long, you can cover it with a spoiler tag, so people can close it when they're done looking at it and it won't interfere with the layout anymore.

      Thanks, i'll remember to do that :)


      I had good session of poker yesterday. I got 2 good AK hits on the flop which both led to not-quite double ups. Apart from that i played a few small hands and folded almost everything else.


      Day 2 (26/05/2014):

      Starting Bankroll: $14.39

      Ending bankroll: $18.28

      I have more than recovered from my mistakes of yesterday and now have a profit of $2.65. I am pleased that i manged to recover some of my BB's, but need to understand that this could just be variance, and i need to focus on playing the correct hands, in the correct positions.

      Here is my day one graph;






      As you can see, less than ideal.


      Here is my graph for both days;





      It looks a bit nicer :) Im going to continue working on playing Tight, and laying down hands. These at the moment are my biggest leaks, i think.

      Advice is always welcome,

      Cheers,

      James
    • Tyuchevv
      Tyuchevv
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.05.2014 Posts: 10
      Day 3 (27/05/2014);

      Today i only played 48 hands instead of my goal of 50. This was due to a lack of time. While im not overly pleased with this, i did read 4 educational articles on Implied odds, hand ranges and equity. I also watched the corresponding videos.

      The hands i did play were not very interesting. I simply paid the blinds for a while before hitting a pocket pair and raking in roughly 20BB.

      Starting Bankroll: $18.28

      Ending bankroll: $18.48


      Here is my total graph for the last three days;





      Tomorrow i am going to aim for a higher hand volume and slightly less studying to give myself a higher hand sample to work with.

      Cheers,

      James
    • Tyuchevv
      Tyuchevv
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.05.2014 Posts: 10
      Day 4 (28/05/2014);

      I was extremely pleased with how today went. Instead of playing my goal of 50 hands in cash games, i played a $1000 premium freeroll MTT. Out of a field of 1090 runners i placed 36th!

      I was especially pleased with my fold of KK preflop when i saw a raise followed by 2 all-ins. Luckily, being in position allowed me to see this multi-way pot and fold the hand. If this had been a week ago i think i would have thrown my chips away. One of the players hit trip 5's on the flop, so 'id have lost anyway!


      Tournament: $1000 premium freeroll

      1090 entrants

      Placed 36th

      162 paid

      Buy-in; Free ticket

      Payout; $3.50

      Notable hands;

      Folded KK pre flop. Multi way all in. Don't want to take a coinflip. Would have lost to trip 5’s.



      My bankroll has grown slightly, as i have received the free $10 from pokerstrategy.com, and the $3.50 from the MTT. I only played 25 hands, but i did make a small profit!

      Ring games, $0.01/0.02;

      Starting balance $31.98

      Ending Balance $32.17

      Here is my cash games graph;





      Cheers,

      James
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      Originally posted by Tyuchevv
      I was especially pleased with my fold of KK preflop when i saw a raise followed by 2 all-ins. Luckily, being in position allowed me to see this multi-way pot and fold the hand. If this had been a week ago i think i would have thrown my chips away. One of the players hit trip 5's on the flop, so 'id have lost anyway!
      Do you remember the exact circumstances of this hand (blind levels, number of players left, etc.)? I'm no expert on tournaments, but I could imagine that it's actually right to push KK in a spot like this. If you still have this hand, maybe you could post it on the tournament forum for discussion.

      Keep in mind that the results of the hand are irrelevant when it comes to hand evaluations.
    • Tyuchevv
      Tyuchevv
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.05.2014 Posts: 10
      Unfortunately i cannot find the hand.

      It was early in the tournament one of the first 2 blind levels. The table was still 10 players, and i was the CO or BU. I understand that KK is always a raise, but i did not want to risk my tournament life on one early hand, with a already 3 way flop (and what would have turned out to be a 4 way flop, if i hadn't folded).

      I do, however, understand that making the correct play is more important than actually winning the hand, I just felt that the strength of my kings was severely diminished going into a 4-way pot all-in preflop.
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      It's true that you can probably expect someone holding AA if there was a raise and two shoves in front of you. Early in a freeroll, however, I think you should go for it. I've heard people say a number of times how important it is to double up early in these games, and there should be plenty of recreational players who are willing to go broke with less than KK+.

      I'm not sure if the same would also apply to regular tournaments...
      You'd have to be 100% certain that one of them has AA to find a fold there, in any case.

      Are you familiar with this video? Not necessarily educational material, but interesting nonetheless:
    • Tyuchevv
      Tyuchevv
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.05.2014 Posts: 10
      Originally posted by Harrier88
      It's true that you can probably expect someone holding AA if there was a raise and two shoves in front of you. Early in a freeroll, however, I think you should go for it. I've heard people say a number of times how important it is to double up early in these games, and there should be plenty of recreational players who are willing to go broke with less than KK+.
      Okay, thank you for the advice, I will be sure to investigate further :)


      Day 5 (29/05/2014);

      I did manage to play my 50 hands today, so I am pretty pleased with myself. However, i did make a loss. I built up a decent amount of profit, (roughly 40BB's), before suffering a fairly bad beat. I believe i played the hand correctly, so i am not too worried about the disappointing result.


      Table #55093390 - The Aegis
      Starting Hand #2577994686
      Start time of hand: 30 May 2014 01:17:12
      Last Hand #2577994112
      Game Type: HOLD'EM
      Limit Type: NO LIMIT
      Table Type: RING
      Money Type: REAL MONEY
      Blinds are now $0.01 / $0.02
      Button is at seat 6

      Seat 1: eboooooo - $2.79
      Seat 2: andrimit - $1.21
      Seat 4: Hannelore - $1.98
      Seat 5: Tyuchevv - $1.90
      Seat 6: lilMsBluff - $2.37
      Seat 7: mgcmshr - $6.20
      Seat 8: noslioj - $2
      Seat 9: VremyaVelesa - $1.43
      Seat 10: 19ed55 - $0.55

      Shuffling Deck
      noslioj will be dealt in after the button
      Moving Button to seat 8
      kilko99 brings $0.80 to table 55093390

      VremyaVelesa posts small blind ($0.01)
      19ed55 posts big blind ($0.02)
      andrimit posts $0.02
      Dealing Cards
      Dealing [Q s][Q h] to Tyuchevv
      eboooooo folds
      andrimit checks
      Hannelore folds
      Tyuchevv raises to $0.08
      lilMsBluff folds
      mgcmshr folds
      VremyaVelesa calls $0.08
      19ed55 folds
      andrimit calls $0.08

      Pot sizes: $0.26
      Dealing Flop [K h][Q d][2 h]

      VremyaVelesa checks
      andrimit bets $0.17
      Tyuchevv raises to $0.62
      VremyaVelesa folds
      andrimit calls $0.62
      Pot sizes: $1.50

      Dealing Turn [2 s]

      andrimit bets $0.51 (all-in)
      Tyuchevv calls $0.51
      Pot sizes: $2.52

      andrimit shows [4 h][K s]
      Tyuchevv shows [Q s][Q h]

      Dealing River [K c]

      Pot sizes: $2.52
      Taking Rake of $0.25 from pot 1

      andrimit has Full House, Kings over 2s
      andrimit wins $2.27 with: Full House, Kings over 2s


      If anyone has any pointers as to what i could have done better, they would be appreciated. Maybe i should have reraised higher on the flop?

      HM2 state that my equity on the turn was 95.5%, so this means that 95.5% of the time i will win these spots?



      Starting balance: $32.17

      Ending balance: $31.55

      Cash games graph;



      My goal is to increase the amount of hands i play daily. On day 8 of this endeavor i will increase my minimum number of hands a day to 75.

      I am starting a new job on Monday and so i will have less time to play poker while i get used to the requirements of said job. In addition from Thursday until Sunday i will be in Hull trying to look smart (unlikely :) ), so i will unable to play poker during this time.

      Thank you for your time,

      Cheers,

      James
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      Originally posted by Tyuchevv
      HM2 state that my equity on the turn was 95.5%, so this means that 95.5% of the time i will win these spots?
      Correct, there were only two cards in the deck that could help your opponent (the two remaining kings), which corresponds to a winning chance of about 4.5% for him. Unfortunately, one of these cards popped up this time.

      I see nothing wrong with your raise sizing either. Remember that you do want hands like Kx to call here.

      Hands like these are classic examples of a bad beat. You'll get plenty more of these in your career, sometimes even five times in a row, and in the most inconvenient situations. It is one of the biggest challenges for any poker player to stay calm and reasonable in these spots, so if that hand didn't bother you too much, you're on a good way already.

      Also, didn't you mention that you created an account at Poker770? It should be easier to put in some volume at a room like this than at PKR.
      They also offer Speed Poker (are you familiar?), which would be an even better way play a nice volume of hands in no time, but the lowest stakes are NL5, so you'd need a bigger bankroll.