struggling to make profit

    • christoff010
      christoff010
      Basic
      Joined: 05.07.2016 Posts: 4
      Hi there,

      I'm decent player I think, I've read a few poker books / watched some vids and been playing off and on for last 3 years. I can read well and bluff ok and try to vary my style and bets to keep image different. But I must be making some mistakes somewhere and I'm hoping some more experienced players can help.

      So I have bankroll 150$. I usually play: {NL}

      .50 turbo 45 sngs
      1.50 turbo 45 sngs
      and occassionally $1, 750 Guaranteed tournaments.

      My strategy for turbo is to be aggressive throughout, but in the end it seems to come down to endless showdowns of AK vs 10 J or whatever since you can't wait for a nice hand. Not to mentioned some people are so loose at the table, they call my pre-flop AK, 2.5-3.5x BB raise with rubbish and then get lucky on the flop. Obviously it varies depending on stack size but should I just be pre-flop raising for more or what??

      But I really enjoy the slower tourneys where you can bluff more and have more time to figure your plays and also the opponents. Its just a shame that they are so large. I registered for a 1$, 180 NL SNG today and in 3 hours it went from 31 to 45 players :{ BUt if I could I'd choose those to try to build my bankrooll.

      But since I can't the only other options I can think of to make quick money at my bankroll are:

      different approach to turbo sngs {help?}
      play cash games with micro stakes instead
      ...something else but I forget dammit

      Thanks
  • 3 replies
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      Hi christoff010, welcome to Pokerstrategy!

      First of all, I don't think that there is a way to reliably make "quick money" in poker. No matter which format you choose, building your bankroll will always be a marathon instead of a sprint, with all the usual swings in between. Both cash games and tournaments can be played profitably, though, so it's mostly down to your own individual preferences.

      It should be noted that tournaments and SNGs are played in a different way than cash games, so they obviously both require a different strategy. Are you familiar with the concept of the ICM, and the Push-or-Fold phase? If not, then I will have some helpful material for you.

      Playing cash games instead is certainly an option, but like I said, you will need a different strategy in those games. Do you have some experience with cash games already?
    • christoff010
      christoff010
      Basic
      Joined: 05.07.2016 Posts: 4
      Hi Harrier, thanks for the welcome and advice.

      I haven't played cash games yet. ICM vaguely rings a bell, is about the same as the "M"? That's what I work with basically so if your M is 10 or less {i.e 10 BB , or less if ante} , you go all-in every time. Never heard of push-or-fold phase, could you kindly explain?

      I guess i'm struggling to find "the sweet spot" in tourneys / sngs and really getting frustrated.

      I try to get money out of loose aggressive players as I read on the forums here, but then they seem to call anything bar a huge pre-flop raise, and if I make that I won't make any money since everybody folds. And then half the time they call me they seem to have hit something on the flop and/or I miss.

      THere also seems to be an awful lot of times where people make min raise in first position and I am at the button, and I often have to fold. Otherwise on the button sometimes be able to raise and steal the blinds pre or post flop. In other woreds if I stick to my usual game I just be blinded out / lucked out by fish. Is it just because this is such cheap tournaments I'm in?
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,971
      Hi Chris,

      Yes, Harrington's "M" is related concept, and this is also basically what the "Push-or-Fold" phase is all about. It means that if your effective stack is below a certain level like 12BBs (meaning that either you or all the players behind you have less than 12BBs), you either go all-in with your hand preflop or fold it. This is pretty much the decisive phase of a SNG tournament, everything that happens before it is basically just the way to get there.

      The Independent Chip Model (ICM) is a way of assigning a monetary value to your stack of tournament chips, which gives you a mathematical basis for your decisions. The key concept here is that in tournaments, a chip that is lost is worth more than a chip that is won. Practically speaking, this means that while in cash games, it is always a profitable decision to put your stack in as a 51% favorite, the same thing doesn't necessarily apply in tournaments, because you don't automatically double your money when you double your tournament chips.

      You can learn more about this in our SNG articles on chip value, which can be found here. We also have a useful tool for practicing the decisive Push-or-Fold phase in SNGs called the ICM Trainer, which is free to download. Just keep in mind that rooms like Pokerstars won't allow you to run this software while your poker client is open. And if the version you downloaded is in the wrong language for some reason, just let me know.

      You may also be interested in our SNG Beginner's Strategy. Not everything in there may be new for you, but it could give you some useful guidelines for certain aspects of your SNG strategy.