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An amateur's journey through the ranks

    • yrgnuh
      Joined: 16.07.2017 Posts: 4
      Greetings All!

      I've never done anything like this before so if you guys got any suggestions let me know!

      I decided to start this thread to document my journey playing and hopefully moving up in stakes. I'm an early 20s guy and have always enjoyed poker. First learned to play 5 card draw when i was pretty young from my neighbor who was an older guy. He and his wife used to babysit me after school until my parents got home from work. Since then I've always loved the game of poker. I was always playing whenever I could with my friends after school. I played like that until I got to college where i started playing online. I casually would play on a Friday night here or there where I'd play some SnGs and some small stakes tournament but never very seriously. I was your average broke college kid so I could never really invest much into it. After school I landed a good job and had a little extra cash to start actually putting some time in. Over the past year and a half I've invested a great deal of my free time reading, studying, and playing both live, online, and the occasional live tournament. For the first year my closest playable casino was about 2 hours away so I generally played low stakes online but I'd make the drive once every 3 or 4 weeks to play some 1-2. I grinded out a little over 25k+ hands at 2nl/5nl but not with great success about a 7-10bb/100bb loss. I was losing closer to 15-20bb than that through roughly the first 15k hands but have since tightened up some of my leaks and have seen better results but still not with total success. Back in February a local casino opened up about 20 minutes away and since then I've played mostly live. I've had varied success over the past 6 months. I play 1/2nl there with a $300 max buy in. I ran pretty well my first day and ran my first $300 buy in up to $1000. Got that up to around $1400 in the first few weeks. I hit a bit of a downswing and spent some of the winnings on seeing a Celtic's game (go celts!). I haven't ever hit busto but I haven't really profited I've pretty much just been break even. Some days I feel like I play well and don't get out of line other times I find myself being impatient and and making poor plays. I decided yesterday that I'd make a trip over a to play a few hands, try to document them, and get some general feedback. I really love the game and think its time to start trying to really get better and maybe turn a little profit on the side. So if anyone like myself is interested in sharing hands and getting better at the game that's really what I started this for!
  • 5 replies
    • yrgnuh
      Joined: 16.07.2017 Posts: 4
      Couple hands from the first day of the blog!

      So I went to the local casino yesterday and decided I'd play some 1/2. I wasn't planning on staying very long I was really only looking for a 2.5/3 hour session and was hoping to stick to the schedule. I only brought $200 for the trip and was planning on short buying for $100 and if I lost that I'd buy in again or leave depending on how the table was. There's a $300 max but I'd say the average stacks are usually $200 here. I don't really mind playing short if I'm planning on just playing a quick session though I know buying for 100bb or the max is more ideal. Anyways here are some hands from the day!

      Hero: Laggyish early 20yo wm. I generally play pretty loose pre limping a decent amount in later positions but folding most of those hands early. At this casino $2 limps are pretty common to see go all around so I'll usually do that unless I get the occasional aggressive table in which case I'll play a raise or fold preflop game. This is also usually what I do when I play short as well.

      Hand 1:

      This is one of my first few hands dealt in the session definitely within the first 5 or so hands in the 1st rotation so there aren't really any reads I have at this point.

      Villain(~$200): Villain is what I'd guess to be a late 20s/early 30s wm. Don't have reads other than I've seen him limp a few times prior to this hand. Not really sure if I've played with him before but he doesn't look all that familiar.


      2 limps to hero in CO who looks down at 2 black 10s. Hero raises to $15 and it folds to Vil in the LJ who decides on a flat.
      Flop ($35ish): Qs6d2d vil checks to hero who bets $20. Vil thinks about it for maybe 30 seconds and decides on a call.

      Turn ($75): 10d vil checks to hero. Not exactly the 10 that I was looking for as that completes the obvious front door diamonds. I'm pretty sure checking here might be a good idea to kind of pot control. I guess I was thinking looking ahead to the river what are we going to do when vil decides to lead into us. I'm probably going to have to call but I'm not sure if this guy is capable of bluffing the diamond draw with something like AQo and if he is bluffing hes probably going to bet a decent size bet which I'd also expect . I decide to bet $35 and kind of set my own price. If he jams I'm not really in that great of a spot and am probably going to have to call it off given the odds and me being so short which is one of the reason i think checking could be a better play. It might be easier here to just check and hope he takes that a whiffed AK and tries to stab with AQs/o or maybe KQ. I think that is probably the more ideal line to limit variance and the better overall line. Anyways he thinks for a good while and decides on a fold. Not sure what he had but my best guess would AQ/KQ or 99/JJ. Think we could have played this one more ideally.

      Hand 2:

      Villain($175): 50-65yo wm. Don't have a ton of info on this guy either as it was about an orbit after the 1st hand. In the orbit + I've played I've seen him do a lot of limping pre. Paid off a small river bet with mpwk a few hands earlier but he didn't lose much on the hand maybe $30. Picked up one hand for $50ish on a J high board never saw what he had.


      5 limps including by villain in MP2 to hero in CO with 107cc who limps behind. Button and SB fold.

      Flop ($15): 972r one club. Checks to vil who leads for $10 HJ flats and hero flats everyone else folds.

      Turn ($45): 10h bringing backdoor hearts. Vil leads for $30 HJ folds. At this point I think I have 2 options. Villain here can have various hands. Given he doesn't seem to be that active preflop and limps a lot I think overpairs are possible here. At this casino people love to limp big hands like AK QQ+. Already in the session AA has been limped by someone. He also can obviously have sets here though we block 10s and 7s. 68 suited could also be here. There's also a lot of hands that could limp pre bet flop and pick up decent equity on the turn. 98/910/108 we block 67 78 and a combo of 109/8 but those could both be here though I don't know if he would lead those except for 109/8. 88 and A9hh are also possible. Hands we beat that I think he likely has are an overpair or 98/910. We're losing to pocket 10s which would be unlikely and then 9s 2s and 86. After turning 2p there's no way I'm folding. The pot will around $105 and we will likely face at least a 50-60 dollar pot on the river. Which we will then have decent odds to call with our 2p. If I'm going to be calling on pretty much all river's except a jack I think I prefer to get my short stack in now where I could be ahead some of the time and even when were not we still have some chances to boat up. Villain tanks for a couple minutes and decides on a call with JJ. Board comes blank and we scoop. Villain is clearly tilted after this hand.

      Hand 3:

      This hand is a good 1.5 hr after hand 2 and I haven't played really any pots other than some limps pre that I folded on the flop since.

      Vil from hand 2 ($200): Recently topped off after losing a $75 pot in which he had the lead until the river. Slightly tilted.

      Vil 2($300: Have seen him limp a good bit pre and have played with him before. He will bet TPTK and call down relatively light with TPDK but not very aggressive.


      Full round of limps to hero with Q7cc in CO and I decide on a flat which is probably too loose but my plan was to hope to see a cheap flop and fold if I whiff. Button (vil2) puts in a raise to 12 and gets 3 callers(vil 1 in MP2) and its back on me. At this point a fold is probably ideal but with all the money in the middle I decide to call and see a flop. If there was only one or 2 callers I'd be folding here.

      Flop(~$60): Ac9c4h checks through to button who puts in a $20 cbet. Definitely putting him on an ace here. Folds to vil 1 who makes the call. With my Q high flush draw i decide to make the call and hope to land a club on the turn.

      Turn($120): 10d checks to button who puts out another bet this time $45. Vil 1 snap calls. It's on me and I definitely know that I'm behind. However given that vil 1 seems pretty tilted and we've got decentish odds to draw I decide to call. If a club comes on the river I expect to get paid off for sure by vil 1 and by vil 2 at least 50% of the time.

      River($255): Qs checks to button who bets enough to bring us both all in. Vil 1 snap calls and I clearly make the fold. Vil 1 rolls over KK and Vil 2 rolls over AQ.

      Probably could have gotten away from this one on the turn but i don't hate the call.

      Hand 4: Last one and about an hour after hand 3

      Vil 1($200) Mid to late 20s bm. Just sat down 1 rotation ago but has been pretty active. Never seen him before. Don't have many more reads than that.

      Vil 2($450) Mid 30s wm. He has done a fair bit of limping pre but seems like one of the better players at the table. Has made some nice hands and hasn't shown down a hand that wasn't a winner except for 1 hand in which he was beat by 1 on his kicker. Value bets the river well.

      Hero($75) Have lost a bit since hand 3. Have gotten AJ 2x raised pre whiffed flop and ended up folding. And lost 1 hand with 2nd pair that checked flop and turn after calling a small river bet.

      Folds to hero in MP2 who looks down at 2 black 6s and opens to 10. Folds to vil 1 in SB who calls and vil 2 in BB calls as well.

      Flop($30) 9c65dd SB leads for 15 BB flats and its back on hero. With all the draws on board this is a pretty clear raise.I elect on a shove for 50 more and get called by both the SB and BB.

      Turn($225) 5h (bingo!) SB jams and BB folds

      River Js

      SB mucks and we take it down.

      I end my session an orbit or 2 later after having pretty janky hands at exactly $200 for a $100 profit on the day after 3.5 hrs. Definitely some hands I could have played better but I'll take the results. Definitely need to work on not putting my money in without super nutted hands but that's what I'm here for! Sorry for the lengthy post but if you take the time to read this let me know your opinion on the hands or maybe what a better presentable way might be for them!

      Thanks and good luck on the grind to all my fellow amateurs out there!
    • metalmonkey80
      Joined: 15.08.2013 Posts: 2,778
      Hello yrgnuh,

      Welcome to :welcome:

      Enjoyed reading about your success in the casinos and I look forward to reading more in the coming months :f_drink:
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      My regards and good luck at the tables.

    • yrgnuh
      Joined: 16.07.2017 Posts: 4
      Thanks man ill definitely check all those links out. I'm certainly not a crusher so any feedback or useable info is always welcomed. Going to be playing this Friday with the intention of doing the first 100BB buy in of the vlog. The max is 150BB but when I'm that deep I find myself playing much looser than I should and tend to lose the extra 50BB before settling back in. For now the 50-100BB is the plan until I have better control of my patience and can play deeper.
    • yrgnuh
      Joined: 16.07.2017 Posts: 4
      Not much to report from this weekend but here's a little post. Made a poor call earlier in the session down $100. Rebought for $100 worked it up to around 130-140ish.

      Villain: mid 20s Asian male has been playing pretty solidly not getting involved too much but playing Broadway's and PP. Less limpy than the rest of the table but still limps. Haven't played a pot with him over the course of 3 hrs this is our first hand we played.

      Couple limps to hero in the BB who looks down at Q10 of diamonds. I decide to raise this hand and take control of the pot. I make it 18 to go vil utg calls (he limped in utg) and another in mp calls

      Flop (~$65): kj9 rainbow. I lead out for 26 it's a smallish bet but flopping the current nuts id like to keep both opponents in the hand with kx and potential straight draws. Both call.

      Turn (~$135): j. at this point I bet out $55 with $30 behind. Definitely think I shoulda just jammed here but for whatever reason I had convinced myself it would fold out kx and draws if I jammed. I think now looking back it looks super sketchy for me to leave such a little ammount after the turn when both opponents know I'll probably just be sticking that in on the river. As played villain decides to shove over the top. The other opponent folds I call and villain rolls over AKo. Turn is a Q and we scoop a $300ish pot.

      I think all in all the hand was played okay until the turn. Think we just should be jamming for 85 instead of 55 to charge and jack hands that might call and have a chance to boat up. Maybe the smaller bet looked weak to him but really I don't know. Think we're fortunate for him to just have AK here but maybe the small bet made us look like we didn't have a Jack I'm not sure. That was really the only hand worth note in the session. Picked up some limped pots with a raise pre holding aq/aj but nothing else aside from that.
    • SDK1987
      Joined: 12.11.2008 Posts: 39,320
      How is everything going the last weeks?
      Further is wish you all the best with improving your game :gl: