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Live fast, die young (but hopefully not) - Zoom micro stakes

    • GaspodeWD
      Joined: 17.02.2019 Posts: 39
      The past
      I am returning to poker after about 2 years of not playing. Prior to starting out on my poker journey last time i spent a lot of effort in match betting and EV gambling, making about £8,000 in just under a year. Due to changes in how free bets are taxed and more people taking up match betting this started to dry up so i decided to switch to poker. Unfortunately, I got too fixated on the idea of making money through poker taking every loss as a personal affront. I worked on my mental game reading The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2, probably without putting enough of it into practice. I tried a donkey button that locked me out of accounts when pressed. But to no avail I kept throwing money away, so decided to just call it a day.

      The present
      I have come back to poker partly out of boredom but also that i did enjoy the learning and i don't want to feel like poker "beat me". I have had a quick dabble back in the pond, but am starting it all from today as I was mainly messing around.

      I am going to be starting a NL2 Zoom. I like to play Zoom because of the increased volume, but also I find that i can concentrate more on a few tables going faster that lots of tables going slowly. I also have a short attention span (which isn't ideal)...

      I know my biggest leaks from last time, and from my little dabble over the last few days they seem to still be there, are;

        - Tilt
        - Predicting (through the previous action) what hand the villain is holding, but even when I consider I am beaten I still can't find the fold button.
        - Not being able to pick a bluff spot correctly, and then get wed to the bluff on all 3 streets even if the cards make it even worse.
        - Not stealing enough, making my red line plummet quicker than my blue line can rise.

      The future
      I'm not trying to make a living from it (full-time job is £50k+ so the desire for money should be less of a factor), and for the foreseeable future not even make a little bit of extra pocket money. It is going for the enjoyment of learning the game.

      As it is just for enjoyment i might mix in a few tournaments because every now and then they take my fancy, but it will be from a casual angle rather than something i am likely to study.

      I don't have any real plans for the blog, I'm not running a bankroll challenge but for a goal i would like to get to NL10 as a winning player. I got close last time before variance broke me, so hopefully can get further this time.

      I make no commitment to this blog, if i start to lose interest i will probably just leave it as I want to play pressure-free and solely for the challenge of learning the game. So it might die young, but hopefully not.
  • 15 replies
    • Team0zum
      Joined: 06.04.2018 Posts: 158
    • GaspodeWD
      Joined: 17.02.2019 Posts: 39
      Hadn't planned on posting anything so soon into it, but my red line has never looked like this;

      (Can't post pictures, for those that don't want to follow the link across 500 hands my red line stayed roughly along the £0 line)

      Not particularly sure what has caused it. Before playing I spent a lot of time converting a Range helper from excel to Google sheets, as I don't want to have to pay for excel, so it now works in google sheets with checkboxes for the various positions. Before this I had been playing mainly from "instinct" and I have found in comparison I was very tight but also didn't have enough value 3 bets or bluff 3 bets. It also has me playing slightly looser around the button. However I feel it probably isn't enough to explain keeping my red line where it is.

      I've started to try and not watch as much Poker streams of MTT as it won't cut across to cash games well, I did find a good cash streamer so watched him for a bit.

      Going to keep using the ranger tool and see if the red line continues or if it was more of a fluke (not sure if it would even be a good fluke?)
    • Lazza61
      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 11,368
      Hey GaspodeWD,

      I have fixed your image so it will display. Also we have an image cloud now, so you can drag and drop images directly into posts.

      Even though the image won't display (you can see it in preview mode), a friendly passing moderator should fix the image so it will display.

      Have fun :gl:

    • GaspodeWD
      Joined: 17.02.2019 Posts: 39
      So the graph stayed like that for a bit longer, and then it went back to what i am use to seeing.

      Not much to say about it. I am to be inconsistent. Staying positive also seems to rely heavily on my red line, as after about 700 hands it starts leaking away and my win line follows it. My blue line doesn't seem to be able to lift it up.

      NL2 is still full of crazies, which is making it hard to put them on a hand. Really struggling with random donk bets especially when they are in the blinds. I also have a bad habit of if I get unsure about what they are doing i slip into just calling.

      I also think that I have certain hands that I overplay, especially after the flop. AKs is my biggest losing hands...

      I then am probably not getting the value I should from made hands, I think this is usually that I always fear that they have the one hand that has me beat.

      Not particularly sure what to do. I'm pretty happy with my pre-flop play, but only because I am following my ranges almost religiously. My only concern (on the scale of things at least) is I don't bluff 3b/4b enough so normally only do it with strong hands. After the flop i think i just get lost, so going to have to do some more reading up on it.

      I also got $2.40 from The Deal... more than I have won in 6k hands by a long way :D

    • GaspodeWD
      Joined: 17.02.2019 Posts: 39
      It's Sunday
      So it has been an up and down week. I feel i am battling just to break even, which isn't fun and shows that what i am "learning" either isn't going in or i am not putting it into practice. During the week I had two shots into NL5. I wish it was for a good reason, but both times was because i good sucked out at NL2 by an absurd hand. So that i didn't just jump in an go crazy i held myself to playing 500 hands at the level. This was so i didn't just keep telling myself the NL2 $hit doesn't happen at NL5. Both times turned out well, a lot by luck with some being better value play (in my opinion).

      My leaks have stayed pretty much the same, with all of them being post flop. I'd say my pre-flop is pretty good, but only because i don't actually need to make many decisions.

      My worst post flop play is AKs and AKo (but some of the other big hands also aren't looking too good.

      AKs (-184bb) AKo(-342bb), so something is going horribly wrong. They are the hands i'll be focusing on this week.

      I have been posting quite a few hands in the hand discussion forum, so won't clutter the blog with them. Big thanks to all those responding.

      My set up
      To try and help with my play my screen has got pretty busy.
      I have my preflop ranges:

      Then added some pot odds and out odds

      Topping it all off with some postits for me to consider during post flop play.

      Any suggestions for the post its greatly appreciated.

      The Graph
      Everyone loves to see a graph;

      Thankfully you can see that i am running pretty hot in terms of EV. One thing which does feel weird is that in all the 12k5 hands at NL2 i only have about 40 all ins. I have even lost my excitement when seeing AA as i have only had 2 all-ins with them in the full 12k5. This has left me feeling that people can see my cards (obviously can't). At least i am not losing money on them.

      Up Next
      So again this coming week i am going to focus on post flop play. I have read the bits on this site, and have a few books in mind;
      - Post flop By Ben Hayles - keeps coming up on google, any thoughts on it?
      - Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Poker Cash Games by Jonathan Little - Comes up on Kindle and is on kindle unlimited so i would get it for free.

      If anyone knows any new and relevant books let me know.

      Anyway best of luck on the tables people.
    • marcvz
      Joined: 03.04.2012 Posts: 34
      It looks like you really put in the work! Good job, keep it up and this green line will go up as well.

      I had a graph looking like yours to.
      Now it is much better. So maybe you can use some tips from my struggle ^^
      The biggest and most easy change I've made is, check back every hand out of position. (this is not the right way in the end, you wanna lead some hands, especially mid-strong hands for protection) but I found it easier to fix that leak by just checking every single hand first and evolve from there.

      Second thing. Don't bluff.. There is a lot of money to be made with bluffing. But I swear, if you just check-call/check-fold everything, you will make money at nl2. Surely not optimal, but its a money making baseline where you can build upon.

      Third thing. Label players.
      I give every fish a color. A big fish an even brighter color. So I can table select and join tables with at least 2 bad players.

      I also have tags for LAG, TAG, NIT and 3betters.
      A table with 2-3 fishes and some nits to top it off is the best.
    • GaspodeWD
      Joined: 17.02.2019 Posts: 39
      Been playing the tables too much without any improvement, so just slowing watching money leak away. To try and turn it around a bit i put through a 48 self-exclusion. Going to use the time to ignore poker for a bit and then do some reading on post flop so when i start up again i am not just auto-piloting and hopefully, see an improvement. :f_cool:
    • GaspodeWD
      Joined: 17.02.2019 Posts: 39
      The return

      So i didn't play any hands since my last post until yesterday. Mainly for the same reason mentioned, that i was just leaking money away and i wasn't really feeling it.

      In that time i have been reading strategy articles, hand reviews and watching some cash players on twitch. I have also started reading a poker book called "Master Micro Stakes Poker: Learn to Master 6-Max No Limit Hold'em Micro Stakes Cash Games" don't know if people rate it highly or not, but it comes with my kindle unlimited subscription and so far i am finding it an interesting read. Any other book suggestions welcome, especially if they are on kindle unlimited :f_cool:

      Between the book and the twitch streamer i have noticed that i play very scared of monster and always assume that if the flop can give a monster hand, that the villain has the monster.

      With this in mind i have started playing my hands stronger on scary boards, and so far it seems to be paying off.

      Another thing that was mentioned in the various "studying" was putting villains on a range. To help with this i knocked up a little google sheet;

      I input a hand from hold'em and then can pick ranges after each action. I'm not great at it so far, but it is pretty interesting giving it a go. One thing i have found is that some people are doing crazy stuff that i would never put them on, but could be me being the crazy one...

      I'm still doing some pretty poor BRM and have stayed at NL5 after a couple of shots rather than going back down to NL2 like i should do, but just seem to "prefer" NL5...

      I also seem to be doing well on the EV front. Graph below;

      I decided that waiting to use my stars points for a cash rebate was taking too long so have been "gambling" them by buying $0.25 tickets that i have been using on spin & goes. So far it has been going ok;

      So I am up $0.25 if i had just turned the points into cash at 1 point = $0.01

      So that is it for now, best of luck at the tables.
    • GaspodeWD
      Joined: 17.02.2019 Posts: 39
      A quote from the book i am reading has stuck with me as i have gotten further into it;

      Understanding rather than imitation

      For over 19,000 hands i have been very reliant on my range google sheet. Following it pretty blindly as it was (and probably is) very good unexploitable ranges. However the way i was using them is what, i now think, was leading to some of my post flop difficulties. I didn't understand why the ranges were structured as they are, which left me without a plan post flop. I haven't suddenly become enlightened but i have found that rather than memorising the ranges but more what they are meant to be achieving and playing without the google sheet has made me more confident with my plans post flop, and the results seem to be agreeing. (i am aware it is a small sample size)

      (could look healthier but KK into AA twice when deep stacked)

      And my stats a roughly were i would expect based on the ranges i am aiming for without using reference ranges. Each hand i actually (trying to) consider why I am raising, calling, folding.

      Obviously still learning, but i am starting to feel that i am at least moving in the right direction.
    • GaspodeWD
      Joined: 17.02.2019 Posts: 39

      And that is what tilt looks like....
    • GaspodeWD
      Joined: 17.02.2019 Posts: 39
      Fish on a heater...

      Seems i am currently getting a helping hand.... Even so 4bb/100 at EV i am pretty happy with. It probably should be more but have easily spewed off 5 buy ins after getting sucked out on and having a mini tilt, just start burning money for the next few hands trying to play big pot poker...

      What to do at BB

      I seem to be having some issues at BB. If i just folded every hand a BB would be -100bb/100 and i am only just doing better than that currently... Not sure if i am just not defending enough or that it has been over weighted because looking at my logs i have lost a lot of KK/AK/AA in BB....

      Can't help the premium hands losses too much so going to focus on learning a bit more of the blind defense.

      Finally sorted out a HUD as well as i am starting to get okish hand sizes on some of the zoom population;

      One stat finding very had is the f3b, have a few people in the population with 100 sample hands (i know very small) that have been folding 100% to 3bets.. for these people i've currently been seeing how far i can push this and so far it is working out to be free money...

      Stars points

      Still punting my stars points off on spin and goes. Still looking like a pretty fruitful spend;

      Good luck at the tables all....
    • Talisker74
      Joined: 17.08.2009 Posts: 1,474
      So BB defend seems to be a problem

      So could you post your BB Ranges vs every position?

      Maybe can find something to change/ improve
    • GaspodeWD
      Joined: 17.02.2019 Posts: 39
      Haven't particularly been using ranges as i found that it was getting me stuck when i got to post-flop as i wasn't sure why i had used the hand. But i think i probably need to revisit them off the table, but not use them as a reference whilst playing.

      Looking at my stats for BB i think i am playing too tight;

      However mind is not in the place to have a further look over it, was just coming on to post today's session where I got completely ran over;

      Most of the big dips were actually not as bad as the loss showed, i just kept running into monsters with 2nd best hand. Also ran into slow play AA twice, once when i had KK and once when i had AKs. Personally feel slow played AA should get sucked out on every time just for doing it but that is a different story.

      Only the last drop would i put down to tilt as i just punted off a full buy in without really looking at the board. Had planned to stop at 5 buy in loss, but things got away from me near the end so down 7 buy in.
    • GaspodeWD
      Joined: 17.02.2019 Posts: 39

      Following my comments yesterday about BB defence, i have dug a little further into the stats. Total loss for BB is $133 over 2,835 hands. A massive chunk on this is some big losses with premium hands (with some being pre flop All ins)

      So all losses over $1 (so less of a defence but more a hand i played) come to $87.09 in 30 hands. So this is massively skewing the figures.

      Had i just folded my loss bb/100 would come down to 32bb/100 which i think is a far more reasonable number. I am still going to look at my defending ranges, but i think it is less of an issue than it first looks.

      My biggest leak by far is still calling light and running big (terrible) bluffs. I think i need to focus on playing more straight forward before i try and get too fancy. I think i'll be able to get away with this longer than normal because of being on zoom tables, so it will take longer for people to get a good hand sample on me....

      Best of luck all.
    • GaspodeWD
      Joined: 17.02.2019 Posts: 39
      Think my graph proves i can't actually play poker and only do well if i have good cards. Yet another day of running into monsters and nothing hitting.

      36k hands, 3600 mins played, and I can't even break even when running way above EV....