Should I give up?

    • safeasfcuk
      safeasfcuk
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.08.2014 Posts: 42
      Iv only been playing poker for about 2 months and i really enjoy spending my evenings playing the odd sit and go (infact iv played for nearly 3 hours ever night for nearly 2 months) However iv just looked at my stats over the last month and iv lost $110 on poker stars :( Whilst i understand I'm still learning and there is a lot to learn i feel I'm better than this. What i mean is iv joined this site learnt a lot about hands to play and not to play learnt to be more aggressive and iv also joined another video coaching site (big stacks) iv learnt a lot in the first month and half however my bankroll is getting killed.

      I have been playing both on pkr and stars and my sit and go performance on pkr is a lot higher however i understand there are a lot of week players on pkr (I'm prob one of them) I enjoy using stars there software is faster and not so umm lets say social network / xbox like.

      I have a understanding of what hands to play and understand to be tight at beginning and when blinds raise to say 150 and I'm under 12 bb to shove to earn value on my hands the lowest range i shove with seems to be say k9os or A5os

      I also understand to bet say 3bb or 2.5bb based on my position and also how to work out my outs.

      I seem to be a losing player (that enjoys playing poker)

      What advise would you give me to improve my game?
  • 10 replies
    • evolv87
      evolv87
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.06.2011 Posts: 114
      What limit are you playing?

      On stars, there are definitely weaker players and fish as well but they aren't as common. The average player has a general understanding of starting hands and how much to raise. The average player also has a basic knowledge to play tight at the beginning and loosen up as the blinds increase. Most often though, these players limp too much near the beginning and spew off chips when they hit top pair with weak kickers or they chase draws while getting bad odds. Also they do not loosen up enough when they reach the late stages so you can run them over when they are in the blinds. Simply put, they allow the increasing blinds to cripple their chip stacks and wait until their stack has diminished to the point where it is almost impossible to come back.

      But I notice you did not mention anything about ICM in your post so that would be the biggest thing for you to improve. Understand how ICM affects your play around the bubble so you know when you can shove wide or make a nitty fold. If you can get a strong grasp of ICM and how to play the bubble phase then you should be able to show a profit. I have found that at the micro limits on stars, ICM mistakes are the biggest leak in most players' games.

      Here's a common example:
      Blinds are 200/400
      CO has 600 chips
      BTN has 2500 chips
      SB has 7000 chips
      BB has 3400 chips

      Everyone folds and the SB raises All-in. The chip leader has raised all-in the last 3 hands. The BB has KQo and decides to call, assuming the SB could have a weak hand. SB shows A2s and wins the pot, eliminating the BB.

      How the BB played here is a common mistake made by many average micro stakes players, and this is just one scenario. (There are thousands)

      There are lots of good articles in the SnG section and several videos that help understand these situations. You can use the free ICM trainer as well. Hope this helps :)
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      Hi safeasfcuk,

      First of all, if it's any consolation to you, I actually lost about $160 playing SNGs at Pokerstars earlier this month. :f_frown:

      It should be said that SNGs are a quite variance-heavy format, and sometimes you can end up losing session after session despite making little to no mistakes, so don't be disheartened when you encounter a little dry spell once in a while.
      Nevertheless, it is obviously very important to keep working on your game, and plug leaks wherever you can. A single mistake can be enough to cost you your entire tournament.

      As evolv87 noted, a good understanding of the ICM is especially important. The late phase of a SNG is the decisive one, and the most costly mistakes are made right there. If you haven't already, definitely check out the ICM Trainer and keep practicing until you can score consistently >90% (or better yet >95%) over 100 hands. That should be enough to have some decent success at the micros.

      You can find some more helpful stuff in our Overview of SNG lessons.
      Maybe you'd also be interested in some of our articles on Poker Psychology?

      In any case, as long as you're still enjoying the game, there is no reason to quit, so hang in there.
    • safeasfcuk
      safeasfcuk
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.08.2014 Posts: 42
      Many thanks for both your responses this has given me some hope ;)

      I have spoken to a semi pro who advised me tha icm is useful however is not 100% necessary to understand ( don't get me wrong i have understanding that chips don't = cash however by having the biggest stack surly you are in a good spot to take down the opponents?

      I think I'm going to try and get a better understanding of bubble play as i seem to go out a lot on the bubble say 2 times last night out of 6 games. I will also increase my knowledge on icm and try the icm software on this site.


      again thank you
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      It is true that the ICM is not a perfect model and not 100% accurate in every situation, but practically speaking, it is probably the best way to make a decision on the tables that is as close to the optimal play as possible.

      Originally posted by safeasfcuk
      by having the biggest stack surly you are in a good spot to take down the opponents?
      I believe this applies more to MTTs, where you are under pressure to run deep. SNGs are more about survival. Don't get me wrong, if you are in a situation where you can profitably put your opponents under pressure, by all means go for it. But keep in mind that a shortstacked opponent may be willing to call with a wider range because he is under pressure to double up, so shoving super lightly is not always the best solution.

      Btw, if you want to practice a specific situation like bubble play or playing against short stacks in the ICM Trainer, you can do that by adjusting the options for the number of players or the stack sizes.
    • safeasfcuk
      safeasfcuk
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.08.2014 Posts: 42
      Sadly im o a mac meaning i can't install icm trainer :( however i have poker tracker 4 which has an icm quiz built into it. Have anyone every used this?
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      Originally posted by safeasfcuk
      Sadly im o a mac meaning i can't install icm trainer :( however i have poker tracker 4 which has an icm quiz built into it. Have anyone every used this?
      I've tested it a couple of times. From what I can tell, it works fine for ICM training (I believe it actually includes a few more options), but it isn't as user friendly because it takes a lot longer and you receive your results only after you're done with the quiz, so it's harder to compare your answer and your gut instinct with the recommended ranges.

      It's still usable, and better than nothing.
    • PerusJamppa
      PerusJamppa
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.01.2008 Posts: 2,714
      Originally posted by safeasfcuk
      Sadly im o a mac meaning i can't install icm trainer
      I know nothing about computers, but doesn't Mac have any emultators to run Windows softwares?
    • Rihard4a
      Rihard4a
      Gold
      Joined: 08.09.2010 Posts: 2,038
    • safeasfcuk
      safeasfcuk
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.08.2014 Posts: 42
      Thanks guys :)
    • MaxLange
      MaxLange
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.09.2014 Posts: 195
      If you're going to play sngs read Sngs by colin moshman it will really help you.