Nicky Learning to Suck Less at Poker

    • nickycakes
      nickycakes
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.10.2015 Posts: 118
      Hey guys, doing this mostly for the bankroll challenge but might update with some progress stuff as well. Not looking to go pro with poker, I already have a good business that I run full time, but poker has always fascinated me and I fell like anything I do, I should try to be good at.

      Currently going through the beginners 6max course with lemon and playing NL2, hoping to move up to NL5 when I hit $125

      Starting bankroll: $103
      Current Goal: $1000

      Weekly Bankroll Challenge Summary:
      Week 0: $103.00 ($0)
      Week 1: $122.83 ($19.83)
      Week 2: $166.93 ($44.10)
      Week 3: $109.22 (-$57.71)
      Week 4: $142.77 ($33.55)
      Week 5: $185.21 ($42.44)
      Week 6: $195.88 ($10.67)
      Week 7: $234.69 ($38.81)
      Week 8: $239.67 ($4.98)
      Week 9: $248.28 ($8.61)
  • 45 replies
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,116
      Hi nicky,

      you are surely not alone with not wanting to be a pro, but still treating poker like a nice hobby. Unlike other hobbies, this one can actually bring a bit of money if we take it serious :-)
      I am looking forward to your first report, but obviously we also gonna see some hands & graphs here, right? Our reporting thread: Get Rich or Die Tryin' - The Bankroll Challenge - Reporting thread

      btw, nice to hear that so many people are interested in our course!

      CU,SvenBe
    • nickycakes
      nickycakes
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.10.2015 Posts: 118
      Thanks Sven. I guess if I have time to do a review after each session I'll post any fun hands in here after posting hands I had trouble with in the hand review section.

      Here are 2 back to back hands vs same player tonight:

      Full Tilt, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, Rush, 5 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      Hero (SB): $2.60 (130 bb)
      BB: $0.99 (49.5 bb)
      MP: $1.03 (51.5 bb)
      CO: $2.07 (103.5 bb)
      BTN: $3.23 (161.5 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with K K
      2 folds, BTN raises to $0.05, Hero raises to $0.18, BB folds, BTN calls $0.13

      Flop: ($0.38) K 2 5 (2 players)
      Hero checks, BTN bets $0.24, Hero raises to $0.84, BTN raises to $3.05 and is all-in, Hero calls $1.58 and is all-in

      Turn: ($5.22) 6 (2 players, 2 are all-in)
      River: ($5.22) Q (2 players, 2 are all-in)

      Results:
      $5.22 pot ($0.32 rake)
      Final Board: K 2 5 6 Q
      Hero showed K K and won $4.90 ($2.30 net)
      BTN showed 7 A and won $0.00 (-$2.60 net)



      And then, following hand:

      Full Tilt, $0.01/$0.02 No Limit Hold'em Cash, Rush, 5 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      SB: $2.14 (107 bb)
      Hero (BB): $4.90 (245 bb)
      MP: $0.96 (48 bb)
      CO: $1 (50 bb)
      BTN: $2.20 (110 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with Q Q
      3 folds, SB raises to $0.06, Hero raises to $0.21, SB calls $0.15

      Flop: ($0.42) 6 6 4 (2 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets $0.29, SB raises to $0.69, Hero raises to $4.69 and is all-in, SB folds

      Results:
      $1.80 pot ($0.11 rake)
      Final Board: 6 6 4
      SB mucked and lost (-$0.90 net)
      Hero mucked Q Q and won $1.69 ($0.79 net)


      And, as requested, here's a graph of my progress to date:



      I can only guess the red line being so low is due to getting blinds stolen from me way more often than I steal, and c-betting the flop 100% of the time. I imagine that gets improved on later in the beginner course or something, but I'd definitely like to make it better.
    • nickycakes
      nickycakes
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.10.2015 Posts: 118
      Ok, it's been a whole week. Rather than just post exciting hands like I thought would be cool when I started this, I think it would be more useful for myself to post things that I think I struggled with, areas I think I improved or learned from, and post some goals for the coming week.

      Struggles:
      As has been a problem since I've ever played poker, I have a tendency to get excited and start deviating from my strategy. I wouldn't say I get tilted, because every time I lose a big hand and feel upset about it, I get up and take a break and make sure to tell myself that my goal is to follow my strategy and learn, and not to gamble before sitting back down. Mostly the problems come when I go read some strategy stuff that has a bunch of suggestions that are different from the beginners strategy that I'm following now. Basically I sit down to play after and try to implement all of it at once, and there's no way I can remember it all so I just start playing like an idiot. This week I watched w34z3l's walkthrough video on preflop ranges, which differed quite a bit from the beginners strategy. I then sat down and tried to use all that information immediately, and basically just started playing a ton of hands in every position, trying to remember in my head if it was in the ranges he used. Total failure and I lost a bunch of money before going back to my old charts and making some smaller adjustments to my play instead of trying to do a ton of stuff at once.

      Another time it happened was when I moved up from nl2 to nl5 today after hitting $125 total bankroll. For some reason, I just started playing loose as hell and chasing things with no real reason I can now think of looking back. I nearly lost all the money I had made from the entire week playing nl2 before taking a break and making a note to play by my strategy and calming myself down and starting again, after which I made most of it back. I guess I just get excited and need to work on staying calm and remembering that the results of the individual hands don't matter as long as I made the right decision, it will pay off in the long run

      One thing I noticed was that I have nearly 100% fold to blind steal rate. I'm not sure how much this matters in the grand scheme of things if the players are too bad to notice it at micro stakes (could use some feedback on how much this matters), but I guess I should be expanding my BB call range, especially against players who have high % of steals or are really loose in general.

      Last point I think was that after each session, instead of doing a proper review of hands, I was kinda mentally exhausted and said fuck it, went to bed, and didn't post any hands for review on the forum. That's really counterproductive. Even if I play a million hands, they're worthless if I'm not learning from them as I'm doing this to get better, not to grind out money.

      Improvements

      I did a lot of reading and watching videos this last week. The one thing that I think I improved a lot on was setting up my HUD properly (i'm using the free trial of HM2) and learned what each of the stats mean, and how I could use some of them to exploit other players. Here's the video and he also offers a free hud that I imported. Some of the things I started exploiting were people who fold a huge % to steals (I started getting excited when 2 people after me were 80%+ fold to steal) and huge fold to c-bet flop. The NL beginners strategy tells me to c-bet every flop, but I felt like this was losing me money, especially to really lose players, so I started only c-betting trash vs players who folded a lot to c-bets on flop, and checking to players who called everything.

      I made it a point to do at least an hour of learning every day, and have been taking notes on videos I watch.

      Goals for the week

      • After doing this weeks coaching with lemon (which is really great btw, even though I need to stay up till 3:30am here in BKK to watch it), I'm going to start expanding my BB call range vs steals.
      • Post at least 1 hand per session that I was unsure of for review
      • Post at least 1 hand where I deviated from my strategy on purpose for review


      This weeks results

      Hit $125 total bankroll yesterday and today moved up to NL5!
      Week 1
      Hands Played: 4352
      Profit: $19.83
      Bankroll: $122.83

      This includes $5 in bonus money and I think about $2.50ish I won at a pokerstrategy freeroll on fulltilt yesterday.



      You can clearly see where I started playing like a moron after starting NL5. Hope to not repeat that.
    • LemOn36
      LemOn36
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 07.02.2009 Posts: 1,356
      Hey, great that you've started a blog! Especially when fun and challenge is your primary goal I think it's a must :)

      The concept that you will struggle at first when you learn a new concept is totally normal - as I was mentioning just like I recommend you guys to discuss hands with other players, I have a skype group of mid-high stakes players I learn from all the time, and right now I'm applying new concepts and make a ton of mistakes as a result as I get to new situations (+ev in the long run though!)

      I talked about it in previous coachings, but it's important to apply everything one step at a time, don't scrap your changes just because you don't have short term, results for example.
      Say you know beginner strategy by heart, and you want to move towards w34z3l's more advanced ranges - what I suggest is keep everything as it is, and just take for example Big Blind vs Button ranges (as I mentioned, BB vs steals is where beginner strategy differs the most from optimal play besides 3bets and vs 3bets), play standard in all other situations, and only focus on adjusting your strategy in this one, getting feedback from others, until you get comfortable. Then you move to another one situation etc.

      But your progress is great, and it's awesome that you started your blog! Keep it up
    • Jakkosh
      Jakkosh
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.07.2013 Posts: 261
      Hey Nickycakes,
      Nice start to your blog :s_drink: . I thought its only right I follow as we are both doing the same course at the time. I am in the same boat with c-bet situation, Lemon gave me detailed answer to that in the beginner course thread which has helped me alot. I find that using the delayed c-bet in position has helped me keep the pot low and has kept me out of trouble quite alot. Looking forward to following your journey. Have subbed.
      GL at the tables :s_thumbsup:
    • nickycakes
      nickycakes
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.10.2015 Posts: 118
      Hi Friends,

      Week 2 is in the bag, and the results were quite good! It was kind of a rollercoaster, or felt like it anyway. I had a downswing, which looking at it on paper was only about 3 buyins, but it didn't make me feel great, and I knew immediately after that most of the hands that I lost during were my own fault and me chasing stuff I shouldn't have been (gambling). Nonetheless, I took a break, and plowed through.

      This week I played fewer hands than last, mostly because I lost a day to computer problems. Holdem manager was being sluggish as hell, even after disabling antivirus and trying all the stuff they suggested on the forums, so I bought 8gb more ram and fucked up my motherboard while installing it. Frantically ran to the nearest computer store to buy a new one, which ended up taking 3 hours, and then when I got home with it, it was too big for my pc tower. Computer store had already closed by that time, so here's what we're working with now:



      Had to go through all the BS of installing windows again etc, and finally got up and running around 1am after what I thought was going to be a nice long evening session.

      Anyway, let me review my goals from last week and see how I did, and then set some new ones:

      Goals from last week

      I'm going to start expanding my BB call range vs steals.
      So what I did here was watch w34z3l's walkthrough video on starting hands, and take his BB call/raise ranges, and make my own charts in excel, and use them when I'm in BB instead of the beginners strategy BB ranges. Looks like this:



      Looking at the chart, I expected it to take my fold to steal rate way way down from around 100% where it was using beginners strategy, but in reality it puts it at about 80% which is well in the exploitable range. It was really fun though watching how many attempted steals folded to me when I 3bet them. I'm not sure if this means I need to start 3 betting steal attempts more when they have a really high attempt to steal %, but for now I just stuck to the charts to get a feel for what it was doing to my game.

      I really felt the difference, though, with calling more often from BB. With beginners strategy, we're almost always the aggressor pre-flop, and we almost never use the part of the post-flop strategy dedicated to when we call pre-flop. I felt pretty helpless in this position when my hand didn't hit anything on the flop as I know donk betting is supposedly bad, and the people who are attempting to steal a lot pre-flop are also the same people c-betting a huge % generally, so I end up folding to c-bet a ton of the time. Not really sure where to go from here, maybe start bluff-raising c-bets post-flop to people with 100% c-bet or something. Will have to read more.



      Post at least 1 hand per session that I was unsure of for review
      Post at least 1 hand where I deviated from my strategy on purpose for review
      I posted several hands from my play in the review section, and got some great feedback, and some that I didn't quite understand. I think one of the things I struggle with when it comes to the feedback (which is awesome by the way, amazing having an awesome community helping me who don't even know me) is that they will say what they think i should have done differently, or what they would have done differently, but I have no idea WHY they would do that. I'm pretty new, and it's hard for me to tell how I should apply the advice sometimes. Obviously not for just that exact pair of hole cards, and that exact flop, but do I apply it everywhere? Do I use it for all suited connectors? etc, etc. I really have to sit down and look at the responses more thoroughly, and maybe take some notes and figure out exactly why people are giving the advice that they do.

      Struggles

      Getting excited... I don't know why, but I felt anxious most of the time I was playing this week. I really need to find a way to get into a more relaxed mindset before playing. Maybe hit the gym in the evening before I play rather than first thing in the morning. I know feeling on-edge is not helping me make calm decisions.

      One thing I really realized I'm doing poorly is focusing on the game while I'm playing. Once I've "memorized" my strategy, I just alt+tab out and play on fb/reddit/whatever while I wait for cards, instead of watching how the table is going and how people are acting. I should turn my phone off and close chrome and just focus on playing.

      I also still haven't been doing session reviews after playing. I need to come up with a concrete process for this involving at least a simple set of questions I ask myself about the stats or hands from the session. If anyone has experience in this area, please help me with some suggestions or share how you do your session reviews.

      The beginners strategy calls for 100% c-betting, but at some tables and vs some opponents, they are almost never ever folding to my c-bets. I have the fold to c-bet numbers for each players right on my hud, and I think it would improve my play a lot to have a strategy for these people who are constantly raising me or calling me when i'm c-betting flop with nothing, which is most of the time.



      Improvements

      I did a LOT of learning this week. Watched, and re-watched some videos, made a chart for pot-odds based on the size of the bet i'm calling, and started just practicing that as I play even if I'm not really using it for most of the hands. I'm definitely getting a better feel for exploiting certain things like blind stealing, re-raising people who steal a lot. Tightening up when I'm behind someone with 50% vpip, etc.

      I started reading psychology articles in the strategy section which are great. Probably read and watched an average of 2 articles and 2 videos per day this week. There's a lot of info to process, but I'm taking notes and will come back and read them again later when I'm focusing on certain areas of my game down the line. So much cool shit to learn, very exciting.

      Goals for the week

      I'm going to come back and write these after the coaching session tonight, because I think it's going over a lot of areas for improving.
      At the rate I'm going, I really doubt I'll hit 25 buyins for NL10 by next Monday, unless something crazy happens, so maybe in 2 weeks I'll get there.

      Results

      Week 2
      Hands Played: 3870
      Profit: $44.10
      Bankroll: $166.93

    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,116
      Very nicely done the work with the charts!
      Also the PC.... i avoid at all costs installing windows new :-) Last time i did it was 4 years ago - i am afraid it will be about time not too far in the future!
    • nickycakes
      nickycakes
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.10.2015 Posts: 118
      Ok adding some goals for this week:
      • Start playing 4 tables instead of 2
      • Read at least 1 article and watch 1 video per day and take notes
      • Post at least 1 hand per day for review
    • nickycakes
      nickycakes
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.10.2015 Posts: 118
      Originally posted by SvenBe
      Very nicely done the work with the charts!
      Also the PC.... i avoid at all costs installing windows new :-) Last time i did it was 4 years ago - i am afraid it will be about time not too far in the future!
      Yeah, actually I used to feel like that back when I was sticking with windows 7 and doing the updates from a fresh install took 6+ hours, but windows 10 has been pretty much a dream so far. Pretty happy with it.
    • nickycakes
      nickycakes
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.10.2015 Posts: 118
      Welp, I got totally blown the fuck out this week. What a disaster.

      I started out the week trying to play 4 tables at the same time, up from 2, and after losing a bunch, I dropped back down to 2 again after 1 session. The rest of the week was just a complete cascade of a mix of getting outplayed, awful luck, and getting tilted after the previous two and spewing money until turning off my computer almost every day.



      It's been a very frustrating poker week to say the least. Felt so bad after every session that I didn't even want to look at the hands I lost to post anything for review. So now it's time to embarrass myself with my bad play and post the top 10 biggest losses this week and see how bad I fucked up.


      1

      Full Tilt, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, Rush, 5 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      Hero (SB): $17.56 (351.2 bb)
      BB: $2.20 (44 bb)
      MP: $12.47 (249.4 bb)
      CO: $0.98 (19.6 bb)
      BTN: $3.29 (65.8 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with Q Q
      MP calls $0.05, CO calls $0.05, BTN calls $0.05, Hero raises to $0.35, BB folds, MP calls $0.30, CO raises to $0.98, BTN folds, Hero calls $0.63, MP calls $0.63

      Flop: ($3.04) 2 7 J (3 players)
      Hero bets $2.12, MP raises to $11.49 and is all-in, Hero calls $9.37

      Turn: ($26.02) A (3 players, 1 is all-in)
      River: ($26.02) A (3 players, 1 is all-in)

      Results:
      $26.02 pot ($1.53 rake)
      Final Board: 2 7 J A A
      Hero showed Q Q and lost (-$12.47 net)
      MP showed J J and won $24.49 ($12.02 net)
      CO showed 9 9 and lost (-$0.98 net)


      Ok, so I fucked up in 2 spots here I guess. First, I should have shoved pre-flop after the 3-bet shove. I can't remember but I believe I either didn't see someone else in the pot, or expected him to fold behind.

      Second, I should have not called the shove on the flop. Even though beginners strategy says that QQ that was 3bet pre-flop as a made hand should be considered a monster, but really, the only person shoving that huge stack vs my huge stack on the flop is someone who flopped a set, or at very least 2 pair.

      2

      Full Tilt, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, Rush, 6 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      SB: $5.56 (111.2 bb)
      BB: $5 (100 bb)
      UTG: $5 (100 bb)
      MP: $9.09 (181.8 bb)
      Hero (CO): $10.21 (204.2 bb)
      BTN: $5 (100 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is CO with A K
      UTG folds, MP raises to $0.40, Hero raises to $1.40, 3 folds, MP calls $1.00

      Flop: ($2.87) 4 J 5 (2 players)
      MP checks, Hero bets $2, MP raises to $4, Hero calls $2

      Turn: ($10.87) Q (2 players)
      MP bets $3.69 and is all-in, Hero calls $3.69

      River: ($18.25) 3 (2 players, 1 is all-in)

      Results:
      $18.25 pot ($1.07 rake)
      Final Board: 4 J 5 Q 3
      MP showed 5 5 and won $17.18 ($8.09 net)
      Hero showed A K and lost (-$9.09 net)


      Tilted and praying for a 10. No idea what the fuck was wrong with me.


      3

      Full Tilt, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, Rush, 6 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      SB: $5.12 (102.4 bb)
      BB: $5.63 (112.6 bb)
      Hero (UTG): $6.26 (125.2 bb)
      MP: $7.61 (152.2 bb)
      CO: $2.66 (53.2 bb)
      BTN: $2.76 (55.2 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is UTG with K A
      Hero raises to $0.20, MP calls $0.20, CO calls $0.20, 2 folds, BB calls $0.15

      Flop: ($0.82) 7 T A (4 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $0.57, MP calls $0.57, 2 folds

      Turn: ($1.96) Q (2 players)
      Hero bets $1.37, MP calls $1.37

      River: ($4.70) A (2 players)
      Hero bets $3.29, MP raises to $5.47, Hero calls $0.83 and is all-in

      Results:
      $12.94 pot ($0.76 rake)
      Final Board: 7 T A Q A
      Hero mucked K A and lost (-$6.26 net)
      MP showed Q Q and won $12.18 ($5.92 net)


      Ok so this one, I followed beginners strategy and don't see much I could have done here really.

      4

      Full Tilt, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, Rush, 4 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      SB: $2.42 (48.4 bb)
      BB: $6.14 (122.8 bb)
      CO: $3.93 (78.6 bb)
      Hero (BTN): $7.17 (143.4 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BTN with 6 6
      CO calls $0.05, Hero calls $0.05, SB raises to $0.25, BB calls $0.20, CO folds, Hero calls $0.20

      Flop: ($0.80) 7 8 6 (3 players)
      SB bets $0.80, BB raises to $2.24, Hero raises to $6.92 and is all-in, SB calls $1.37 and is all-in, BB calls $3.65

      Turn: ($14.75) 5 (3 players, 2 are all-in)
      River: ($14.75) A (3 players, 2 are all-in)

      Results:
      $14.75 pot ($0.86 rake)
      Final Board: 7 8 6 5 A
      SB showed 9 9 and won $3.44 ($1.02 net)
      BB showed A 9 and won $10.45 ($4.31 net)
      Hero showed 6 6 and won $0.00 (-$6.14 net)


      Got screwed here too -_-


      5

      Full Tilt, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, Rush, 5 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      SB: $11.13 (222.6 bb)
      Hero (BB): $6.01 (120.2 bb)
      MP: $5 (100 bb)
      CO: $3.21 (64.2 bb)
      BTN: $7.60 (152 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 6 Q
      MP folds, CO calls $0.05, BTN calls $0.05, SB folds, Hero checks

      Flop: ($0.17) A J J (3 players)
      Hero checks, CO checks, BTN checks

      Turn: ($0.17) 9 (3 players)
      Hero bets $0.11, CO calls $0.11, BTN calls $0.11

      River: ($0.50) K (3 players)
      Hero bets $0.35, CO calls $0.35, BTN raises to $1, Hero raises to $5.76, CO folds, BTN calls $4.76

      Results:
      $12.37 pot ($0.72 rake)
      Final Board: A J J 9 K
      Hero showed 6 Q and lost (-$5.92 net)
      CO mucked and lost (-$0.51 net)
      BTN showed 9 J and won $11.65 ($5.73 net)


      I guess I should have folded the shove? I expect a fh to raise me on the turn here. Guess he played it smart.

      6

      Full Tilt, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, Rush, 6 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      SB: $2.96 (59.2 bb)
      Hero (BB): $5.09 (101.8 bb)
      UTG: $5.18 (103.6 bb)
      MP: $1.45 (29 bb)
      CO: $10 (200 bb)
      BTN: $7.53 (150.6 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with K K
      UTG folds, MP calls $0.05, CO raises to $0.10, 2 folds, Hero raises to $0.44, MP calls $0.39, CO calls $0.34

      Flop: ($1.34) 5 Q T (3 players)
      Hero bets $0.93, MP calls $0.93, CO calls $0.93

      Turn: ($4.13) 6 (3 players)
      Hero bets $2.89, MP calls $0.08, CO calls $2.89

      River: ($9.99) A (3 players)
      Hero checks, CO bets $5.74 and is all-in, Hero calls $0.83 and is all-in

      Results:
      $11.65 pot ($0.68 rake)
      Final Board: 5 Q T 6 A
      Hero mucked K K and lost (-$5.09 net)
      MP mucked J T and lost (-$1.45 net)
      CO showed Q A and won $10.97 ($5.88 net)


      Called that shove on the river like a retard.

      7

      Full Tilt, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, Rush, 6 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      SB: $5.42 (108.4 bb)
      BB: $9.63 (192.6 bb)
      UTG: $1.83 (36.6 bb)
      Hero (MP): $5 (100 bb)
      CO: $5.55 (111 bb)
      BTN: $4.22 (84.4 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is MP with 2 2
      UTG folds, Hero raises to $0.15, 3 folds, BB calls $0.10

      Flop: ($0.32) A 7 T (2 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $0.22, BB calls $0.22

      Turn: ($0.76) 2 (2 players)
      BB bets $0.45, Hero raises to $1.58, BB calls $1.13

      River: ($3.92) Q (2 players)
      BB bets $3.10, Hero calls $3.05 and is all-in

      Results:
      $10.02 pot ($0.58 rake)
      Final Board: A 7 T 2 Q
      BB showed J K and won $9.44 ($4.44 net)
      Hero mucked 2 2 and lost (-$5 net)


      I guess I can't really blame the dude for staying in that pot after the hands I've posted above.

      8

      Full Tilt, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, Rush, 5 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      SB: $5.10 (102 bb)
      Hero (BB): $5 (100 bb)
      MP: $3.72 (74.4 bb)
      CO: $11.73 (234.6 bb)
      BTN: $2.53 (50.6 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 7 A
      MP calls $0.05, CO calls $0.05, BTN calls $0.05, SB folds, Hero checks

      Flop: ($0.22) 3 A 8 (4 players)
      Hero bets $0.15, MP folds, CO calls $0.15, BTN folds

      Turn: ($0.52) 7 (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.36, CO raises to $1.35, Hero raises to $4.80 and is all-in, CO calls $3.45

      River: ($10.12) 2 (2 players, 1 is all-in)

      Results:
      $10.12 pot ($0.59 rake)
      Final Board: 3 A 8 7 2
      Hero showed 7 A and lost (-$5 net)
      CO showed 7 7 and won $9.53 ($4.53 net)


      2 pair is not a monster....2 pair is not a monster

      9

      Full Tilt, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, Rush, 6 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      Hero (SB): $6.14 (122.8 bb)
      BB: $5 (100 bb)
      UTG: $6.93 (138.6 bb)
      MP: $10.76 (215.2 bb)
      CO: $22.89 (457.8 bb)
      BTN: $5.67 (113.4 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with 6 A
      3 folds, BTN calls $0.05, Hero completes, BB checks

      Flop: ($0.15) A 5 K (3 players)
      Hero checks, BB bets $0.10, BTN folds, Hero calls $0.10

      Turn: ($0.35) A (2 players)
      Hero checks, BB bets $0.20, Hero raises to $0.70, BB raises to $1.95, Hero calls $1.25

      River: ($4.25) 2 (2 players)
      Hero checks, BB bets $2.90 and is all-in, Hero calls $2.90

      Results:
      $10.05 pot ($0.59 rake)
      Final Board: A 5 K A 2
      Hero mucked 6 A and lost (-$5 net)
      BB showed 5 A and won $9.46 ($4.46 net)


      What the hell am I supposed to do here? Lose the nut flush draw but pick up trip aces on the river.. I guess I should know that he must have an ace and a higher kicker.. Dumb

      10

      Full Tilt, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, Rush, 5 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      Hero (SB): $5 (100 bb)
      BB: $8.52 (170.4 bb)
      MP: $4.33 (86.6 bb)
      CO: $8.41 (168.2 bb)
      BTN: $7.30 (146 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with 6 7
      MP folds, CO calls $0.05, BTN folds, Hero completes, BB checks

      Flop: ($0.15) K A 4 (3 players)
      Hero bets $0.15, BB calls $0.15, CO raises to $0.75, Hero calls $0.60, BB folds

      Turn: ($1.80) 6 (2 players)
      Hero checks, CO bets $1.80, Hero calls $1.80

      River: ($5.40) 9 (2 players)
      Hero checks, CO bets $2.40, Hero calls $2.40 and is all-in

      Results:
      $10.20 pot ($0.60 rake)
      Final Board: K A 4 6 9
      Hero mucked 6 7 and lost (-$5 net)
      CO showed 2 Q and won $9.60 ($4.60 net)


      stupid



      If you read through all of those, I hope they were as entertaining to read as they were shitty to play. I'd like to add that I lost to quads 4 times in 1 session on saturday.


      Goals from last week
      Start playing 4 tables instead of 2
      This worked out for about 1 session. I'll save moving to more tables for when I feel comfortable at 2 without wanting to throw my monitor through a wall.

      Read at least 1 article and watch 1 video per day and take notes
      Read half of harrington's cash games book which someone recommended to me. Decent so far, and learned a lot about hand reading, and got me thinking in ranges a little bit more.

      Post at least 1 hand per day for review
      Epic fail.

      Improvements
      Really none that I can see.

      Goals for the next week
      • Move down to NL2 until I'm back at 25BI for nl5


      Honestly I can't even come up with any decent goals for this week other than don't give up on playing. Gonna watch tonight's coaching session and maybe get some inspiration.

      If anyone has any advice for improving, such as stuff to read or tools to practice with or whatever, I'd really appreciate it.

      The one positive thing this week poker wise was winning a free upgrade to gold in the weekly bankroll challenge. Going to be watching as many gold videos as I can while it lasts. Really appreciate it :) )

      Week 3
      Hands Played: 5918
      Profit: -$57.71
      Bankroll: $109.22
    • LemOn36
      LemOn36
      Coach
      Coach
      Joined: 07.02.2009 Posts: 1,356
      Hey, I've got some time:
      H1
      When you are starting out and your bankroll is shallow, just don't play deep with other people. Simply sit out when you get to >150bb and find another table so you can focus on your strategy. Unless you have extensive reads on a recreational player really. I'd actually re-raise small and fold if MP shoves preflop as it's pretty much always aces when someone limp cold 4bets over a lot of people deep
      H2
      Again you are deep, just avoid playing deep with folks, it just adds depth to strategy you don't need to focus on yer.
      Post is normal, you 3bet with AK and are frustrated that you missed, pretty common really just realize that and recall that situation next time :)
      Correct play is cbet around 30-40% pot on flop, fold to a raise.

      H3
      This one's fine against unknowns
      H4 perfect, you have to assume you will be beat quite a bit but of course have odds to stack off
      H5 your hand is not as strong s you think here on a paired board when everyone was passive on previous streets, there's not that many flushes you beat actually and a lot of Ac flushes that beat you. the call of the raise is close, probably making it because of the odds, but definitely do not shove, you have a made hand at this point!
      H6 you can't fold river, you have to call with these odds! Shove the turn instead next time
      H7 I would actually check and fold on this flop - this is the first hand you should make the adjustment with actually as you have 2 outs on the turn, he will call flop most of the time (broadways call, higher pairs can call some as well) and all you'll do is check fold the turn. Well played afterwards, you can raise the turn larger
      H8 It can be! This hand is really close, in a limed pot especially multiway your hand strength goes down, people don't have an incentive to bluff with their weak hands really. I think this will be opponent dependent actually, I like your play against a recreational that can do this with Ax, I would call the turn and see what happens on the river against regulars. And fold against very nitty player who only limp pocker pairs
      H9 I actually recommend you flat the turn only. The opponent should have a lot of aces that beat you, and when you raise people will tend yo believe you, so just do it with Ax that beat other aces like AJ+ and sets, and flat weaker ones. His re-raise is very concerning, why would he bluff here ever and all better Ax beat you. You must call the turn though but against regulars, nitty players and basically anyone who's not very aggressive you can actually fold the river here as most AX hands beat you
      H10 I just re-raise, get it in on the flop here. We get it in good vs sets, some 2 pair will call and we don't want a spade or board pairing falling down really


      That you lose doesn't matter, everyone does. What makes the difference between players is how they react to it :)
    • nickycakes
      nickycakes
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.10.2015 Posts: 118
      Takin' notes man. Thanks for the analysis!
    • nickycakes
      nickycakes
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.10.2015 Posts: 118
      Quick update for Tuesday:

      Played my first winning session in over a week. Things I did differently today that I think helped a lot:
      • When I got to 150bb stack, left the table and started a new one. Kinda weird on fulltilt, you need to start a 3rd table and close the current one after, because it forces you to re-buy with your large stack if you close and re-open. Not sure the time limit on that, but it seems to be at least an hour.
      • Started taking detailed notes on player actions, keeping a table replay window open and noting what players were playing and betting from what positions any time I saw a showdown. This took a lot longer to do than I expected, but also kept me quite focused on the games, whereas before I was kinda zoning out and not really paying attention to much other than my own cards.
      • Started adjusting my RFI range to fold more when players behind me started 3betting me a lot, or not folding to steals .


      Pretty good start to the week. Going to stick to 2-tabling NL5 for now.

      Have a good week, friends.
    • NoOneSpcl
      NoOneSpcl
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.04.2011 Posts: 118
      Hey nick. Nice blog :)
      I was just looking for interesting posts/hands to look at.

      Been away from the game for several years (same stakes as you are in now), and am glad to see good forum posters are still around :)
      Good luck in the challenge.

      Just read your posts and I think I can suggest a few bits of advice.
      Would be nice if Lemon (or anyone else, just saw that he posted here) would post what they think about the advice, as I'm not that good of a player.

      Warning - long post ahead :)

      1) Cbets - I've noticed a very strange remark in your posts:
      The NL beginners strategy tells me to c-bet every flop
      That's not just a very big leak, it's also incorrect. And I believe the way you've tried to adjust is also problematic.

      At first I thought I may have forgotten what the beginners strategy was suggesting, so I double checked.
      However, it is as I remembered, both in the beginners strategy article "how to play after the flop" and in the video, it is specifically mentioned to not try to attack every flop, and it even gives examples of flops which are good or bad to c-bet on. So I was wondering where did you take the "beginners strategy" that stated the 100% c-bet rule from?

      Now, for the problem I find in the way you fixed that, in my opinion -
      Except the part where you don't bluff against full fledged calling stations, which is of course always a good strategy, whether or not to bet against most players really doesn't have too much to do with whether or not you have trash or a real hand.

      It's about the flop texture and what is the likely range of the other players (nothing too fancy, just what it seems like based on the pre-flop action at first).
      The article and video about "how to play after the flop" here gives several examples regarding that.

      too many c-bets as well as too few bluff c-bets are both quite big leaks. It's also very exploitable by any beginner using a hud against you. Also, it's probably one of the easiest leaks to fix in my opinion.

      Again, I'm wandering what strategy articles/videos you're following because what I see here on pokerstrategy basic NL strategy articles/video is different than what you mentioned...

      2) Blind defense -
      BB defense against steals puts you out of position post flop, or with a lot more marginal hands than normal in position against the SB, so it's a lot more difficult than stuff like fixing c-bet frequencies issues...

      However, you said you're not sure how much it matters in the grand scheme of things. Well - more than you'd think.
      If a player with a large hand database (100k or preferably more) has a winrate of 7 BBs per 100 hands, he's considered a very good player at the limit he's playing (with fewer hands this value can go a bit crazy, so disregard it until there's enough material to work with).

      even a 5bb/100h rate is a not a bad rate if you can sustain it.

      Consider this then - you play 100 hands in a FR table. You pay the BB 11 times during these 100 hands. if your BB (and I'm ignoring the sb for the sake of simplicity now) is stolen from you 50% of the times, you're losing 5.5 BBs, most or all of your winrate, from the BB alone. So, if you can defend it even 20% more (just as an example, not talking about optimal play), you're already increasing your winrate by a few dozen percent.

      That said, I can't defend my BB with all hands it is considered good to do so. Too difficult for me, at least for now.
      What I suggest, and the way I find it easier to do, is to NOT just replace the entire range, as that will put you in many super-tough spots, but rather, expand the range gradually.

      Start by adding the hands closest to what you're playing now (Not just 1, but a few at a time). Expand it gradually, until you start feeling more comfortable with it, then expand it further, with the full range being your goal, not the immediate result.
      Playing it all out of nowhere sounds like an exercise in masochism to me... (and is very difficult to do, which means probably not profitable early on).

      3) Big pots - I've noticed one thing in many of your posted hands. Lemon called it you playing "deep" and recommended you leave the table once your stack gets too big, but I think while this might protect you from deep stack implied and reverse implied odds there might be another thing I think is going on -
      readless, a basic premise in poker is - "small pots for small hands, big pots for big hands". Although you might be the only one who knows if that is true or not in your case, I think you seem eager to commit to stacks with small hands. Overpairs are not a hand you should be inclined to go for stacks with normally. Definitely not in the lower stakes. Reads can change that of course, but if you treat top pair top kicker and overpairs as monster hands, it might be another big leak in your game. They usually aren't. Definitely in these limits.

      With most players in these limits, willingness to play for stacks post flop means they have a monster (two pair or better).
      If you're playing against players who ARE willing to do that (stack with an overpair or less) - do take notes on them. They'll be your favorite customers when you do hit your monsters :)

      Not sure if that is a problematic tendency of yours or not, since I can only see the hands you choose to post :) But that is for you to think about.


      Sorry for the super long post. Hope it gave you some useful things to think about.
      If Lemon (or anyone else reading this) cares to say what they think of the points I've made, I might be able to learn something from it too (such as how to better incorporate a wider BB range etc.), and it would be greatly appreciated :)

      Hope you get closer to your goal soon :)
    • nickycakes
      nickycakes
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.10.2015 Posts: 118
      Hey, NoOneSpcl, thanks a ton for the long feedback post. Really awesome that you took the time to do it.

      1. C-betting
      I'm wandering what strategy articles/videos you're following
      No limit Starter Course with LemOn36 is the latest 6-max starter course by lemon that I've been following every week. I believe the video you watched was in the strategy section in the full-ring beginners videos.

      I just went through and read the BSS After the flop - You Have Initiative article (i read it before, but even taking notes, I forget a lot of the stuff immediately after). So what I'll try to do for the short-term for my c-betting is:

      • Always c-bet top-pair or better made hands
      • Always c-bet strong draws vs 1 opponent
      • Check strong draws vs multiple opponents and call according to pot odds
      • Only c-bet bluff on non drawy boards that I can represent a hand and probably missed opponents vs max 2 opponents.
      • Don't c-bet bluff vs opponents unlikely to fold to c-bet.


      2. Blind defense
      I get your point about not trying to expand my range so quickly all at once. What I've been doing is paying attention more to the steal stats for the PFR ahead of me when in the BB and using this range accordingly. If it's someone trying to steal with huge ATS%, I'll use what's on the charts from w34s3l, and tighten up if it's a more nitty player. So far, I think this has been good practice for me because it's only in 1 position, and it's making me think about my opponent's stats, range. The beginners strategy I've been using doesn't have any ranges for calling other than set-mining, and it's helping me see that the position of the PFR matters a lot for what I should be calling.

      Would you recommend I stick with what I'm doing, or go back to a single chart and expand on it like you said? Keep in mind, my goal is to improve my game as much as possible, not to win the most in the short-term.

      This kinda brings up another point that I'm struggling with: I'm a bit lost as to what's the most efficient way for me to practice and learn. One extreme would be stick as closely to the newb strats and very slowly add tiny bits to my game over a long period of time, and the other extreme would be read up and implement more advanced stuff immediately, knowing that I'm going to probably do it wrong, and run into situations where I'm lost, and lose some money, but learn a lot more quickly.

      My time for poker is limited compared to most, as it's a hobby at this point. I run multiple businesses during the day, and have social life stuff too, so getting in an hour of learning and a few hours of play during the week is about as much as I can manage at this point.

      3. Big pots
      I would say that both you and lemon are correct at different times as far as suggestions, and they're not mutually exclusive as far as implementing them, I can do both.

      I play like a retard with TP occasionally if I get tilted, which would both benefit from having 100bb in my stack rather than 200, and from keeping the pot small with my bet sizes. Lemon is basically telling me (in a nice way) how to protect myself from being an idiot and losing 200bb by making it impossible for that to even happen, and you're telling me to play better to protect myself. Both are helpful advice, yours more in the long-term.

      Since I'm almost always the preflop aggressor, would you say I should be varying my c-bet sizes based on the hand I have to keep the pot small, or is this bad play because people can figure out what I'm doing and play accordingly? Beginners strategy calls for 2/3 c-bets at all times.


      Again, thanks so much for the detailed feedback.
    • SvenBe
      SvenBe
      Headadmin
      Headadmin
      Joined: 19.04.2006 Posts: 13,116
      He guys,

      regarding the cbets, please consider one thing here:
      The Beginners course is for players who start their poker careers. Many rules with "if this...than that..." complicate the game and make it difficult for new users to make their first step at the tables. Hence: we tell them to cbet 100%.
      A further reason to do so are the weak tendencies on microstakes: "see if i hit and then fold". It is of course risky to generalize that but with the point before it makes good sense.

      Keep on learning!
    • NoOneSpcl
      NoOneSpcl
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.04.2011 Posts: 118
      SvenBe - understood.
      Though that means the term "beginner strategy" is starting to have several different meanings on this site :)

      When I was a complete beginner (to be fair, I still am a beginner, but just not a complete one...) before leaving several years ago, the BSS was considered the beginner strategy :)


      I would say my own thoughts about that though -
      When I didn't know much back then, and was starting out, I didn't find the extra rules in the BSS flop play complicated at all. On the contrary, it gave a sense of learning, since I could try to follow it when playing, then get back to it and see if I did things correctly, and if I didn't I had a clear thing to improve and work on, and I had an immediate goal to reach.

      Having an overly simplified (as in - no rules - do "x" always) system would, in my opinion, leave me with a "stuck" feeling - nothing to be able to work on and towards simply (which the other system gave).
      I think things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler than that.
      (That is - most people who actively seek to improve tend to like having things to work on and clearer short term goals for learning help a lot there).

      Also, while I have only been back to the game for a very short while, and have only a bit more than 10k hands at the lowest micro stakes since then, and while I'm sure both player types are there -
      I see (tracker seems to approve) more people who call a bit too often than people who play fit or fold. (not full fledged calling stations, just call somewhat too often). This makes me not entirely certain that the 100% cbet doesn't lose a lot more than it seems.

      Of course, you guys (and girls) have a lot more hands and data than me on this, and so are much better equipped than me to know the lay of the land (or the lay of the micros... in this case) :)

      Those are my thoughts on the issue.

      Thanks for helping to clarify my confusion.


      Anything I say should be taken with a grain of salt, since while I am also a teacher (in other fields), I am still a beginner in Poker. Just like to voice my opinions :)
    • NoOneSpcl
      NoOneSpcl
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.04.2011 Posts: 118
      Hello again Nick :)

      About forgetting the stuff you read immediately later - Why try so hard to remember it in the first place?
      Work on understanding why things are suggested as they are, and if you can't figure out why, ask. You have plenty of helpful sources here on the site including the coaches in your course.
      If you can understand the general reasoning (even if not all the specifics, which are usually much harder), it tends to become a lot easier to remember, at least partially.

      Work on understanding, not blind memory of most things, and you'll remember it a lot more quickly.

      Even more specific things like hand ranges usually work the same way - if you had to blindly remember each position separately you would have a really hard time; However, once you understand the general reasoning/thought process behind them -
      such as why early positions need to be tighter, and later positions gradually get looser (such as more players after you = higher chances for a good hand, domination issues etc.) , for example, It's much easier to remember and remembering one position helps you, by using this same logic, understand and/or remember more clearly, the ranges you would play for others.

      In fact, you are doing something similar now - realizing why blind defense is important, and how it works, helps you understand you need to open up more ranges, and that how wide the range is will depend on what type of steal (what position) you are defending against.
      Understanding gives us direction. The exact specifics come with time and experience (and effort), but without understanding, they may or may not come.

      For example - you said that you didn't remember the c-bet rules on the article you read. Well - don't try to remember them like that. If you can't understand some of the situations described there (or the reason the action suggested is what it is) - ask.
      Here, your coaches, somewhere else on the forum... Plenty of help available here :)


      Now as to my opinion about your blind steal practice - I think it's a very good habit to look at steal % of the PFR, but when it comes to calling ranges (3-bet ranges are something else, as you have fold equity. Not talking about those), How do you play 43s? if it's fit or fold, you're losing money on these.
      I cannot give too much advice on that example, since I cannot play that hand profitably from the BB (yet).

      So, while responding to the stats of your opponent is the right idea, I would say adding the lower Suited connectors should only come once you feel comfortable playing the mid-higher suited connectors. The problem with the lower ones are the same as with the higher ones, except you get less credit for hitting with a weak draw (as a semi bluff), meaning, less fold equity, and you run the risk, against a wide steal range of running into a higher flush/straight.

      So - it's a more complicated version. If you think you can add the 34s to your ranges there with the rest of them, go ahead. I know some people may be able to learn that fast enough. I can't :)

      I would add a few % at a time (not one hand at a time... but not all at once). But again, you can do whatever you feel is your comfort zone (or just slightly outside of it, which is often important in order to push yourself to improve. Just don't go too far away from it early in my opinion).


      I have to disagree with one hidden assertion you have made in your post - (You phrased your question assuming that to be true)
      That is, that if you try to incorporate many advanced strategies you read about immediately you will get stronger more quickly.

      I would say - the opposite is true.
      That is the first thing I have written here that I can stand behind 100% as part of of job as a teacher.
      That is - while trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone is an essential component of learning, trying to implement more advanced techniques when the basics these techniques are built on are not understood at least at a reasonable level first,
      slows down learning.
      Sometimes destroys it.

      The basics are always more important. without a solid base, you would lack the means by which to understand and analyze the more advanced techniques you are trying to implement at a sufficient level. (Sometimes making it hard or impossible to learn from your losses while using them).

      The more specific way of putting it - it would make your learning process more "random", as it will be a lot less based on understanding, instead of "directed", which is the way you normally want it to work.

      So, sure, read and watch anything you want. That can only help. Sometimes even give you new ideas to think about, sometimes it's just fun :)
      But using knowledge incorrectly can be an issue.
      I would be careful before trying to use everything you read about / watch. make sure you understand it and the reasons for doing what you are trying to do. Also make sure it doesn't build on something you don't understand all that well to begin with.

      If there's something you want to try and am not sure about it (or that you understand it all that well) - use your coaches, forums, other sources :)
      Sometimes it'll be enough.


      The bottom line - reading, watching, playing = always good :)
      Incorporating new ideas/techniques - one or 2 new ideas at a time. Once you feel comfortable with these, add more.

      Of course, you can play what and how you want :) These are only my thoughts and experiences.
    • nickycakes
      nickycakes
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.10.2015 Posts: 118
      NoOneSpcl, you really hit home with your learning process thoughts.

      Memorizing the beginners strategy only took me a few days, and I can mindlessly sit there and follow it quite easily, but not only is it boring, I can't really think of any way to improve on it unless I understand WHY I'm doing what I'm doing. I feel like a kid, always asking "why? why? why?" etc. That's the only way I can learn anything valuable about any strategy: understanding why I'm doing what I'm doing.

      Thanks for correcting me on my view of the learning process as well. Trying to implement too much at once is useless, especially if I don't fully understand why I'm doing it.