Learning Curve, profits and evaluation (NL Hold'em)

    • ByronVW
      ByronVW
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2008 Posts: 37
      Hi all,

      This is something new for me and maybe new to this forum but we will see how everything goes. I love poker, well I thought I did until I lost my entire bank roll over a period of a 3 month downswing. I have not played a single hand in over 4 months as I wanted to completely relax my mind and get off the tilt I was put on :) It got me thinking, where did everything start going wrong for me

      After the announcement of the free second bankroll from 888 pacific, I decided to start playing poker again. What have I learn't from my experiences, where did things start going wrong, what is an acceptable profit margin or learning rate that I should be achieving. All these questions I don't have the answer to and I am hoping that this blog and the advice and feedback that I get from the pokerstrategy members will help me improve my game and at the same time even reveal things about your own game. So to summarise, my objectives of this blog is to reveal the following

      1) What is an acceptable profit margin monthly i.e. 1 June = $50 at the end of June I am on $80 meaning a profit of $30 with an increase of 60% based on my starting amount. Is this to high, too low, what % increase should we be targeting as a guideline for good profit

      2) What aspects of my game need improvement. What hands am I getting involved in, where clearly the signs said fold that hand

      3) Tracking of my performance


      I will once a week post the following information in the following order every Monday for the previous week

      1) Bankroll at start of the week
      2) Bankroll at the end of the week
      3) Hand evaluation of where I won the most money
      3) Hand evaluation of where I lost the most money
      4) General review of the week, my findings on other players, styles and of course upsets (there always are)

      I really hope the community at poker strategy can help me improve my game by offering any advice and I will take all comments as constructive criticism. Oh yes. I usually play 4 tables but to understand my own game better I will only be playing on 2 tables. I will try my best to apply the strategies of this site to everyhand and will not be multitabling, just encase any of you were thinking that :) Also I will be playing 2 hours everyday and no more


      Cheers and can't wait to see where this thread goes. Thanking you all in advance
      Byron
  • 11 replies
    • EagleStar88
      EagleStar88
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.10.2008 Posts: 7,359
      Hi Byron,

      Nice intro, good to see you back and blogging again.

      Don't think you will have any problems in finding members willing to help with your game, the place is full of helpful and very experienced members :)

      Good luck at Pacific, will read with interest how you get on there.

      Best regards,


      Bart
    • Tim64
      Tim64
      Black
      Joined: 02.11.2008 Posts: 7,401
      Hi, good start. We'll try to help if we can.

      My only thought about what you've written so far relates to point 1:
      "1) What is an acceptable profit margin monthly?"

      The difficulty is that, simply, it's quite hard to know. I've been playing for 4.5 months now and still don't know what my true profit level is. Of course, it also differs from person to person as some of us are just better at those aspects of the game that can all affect profit, i.e.:

      concentration, multitasking, self control, mathematics, psychology/reading people, courage etc.

      As you know from bitter experience, downswings can hit long and hard. May can be a loosing month while June might leave you thinking you're a poker God... It's probably best to commit to playing a certain game (SSS, BSS, SnGs, FL, or whatever) and for at least 6 months or 100,000 hands. Only then will you have a true guide to your ability to generate profit. As a guide, playing SSS, anything above 2BB/100 hands is fine and for BSS I have heard you can expect slightly more (4-5BB/100) in the long term - though it's much harder to learn.

      On the other hand, it's easy to assess the quality of your play. For that reason, I would post more than 2 hands a week (in the hands forums) - at least until you are confident you're doing the right thing. In this way you'll be able to eliminate your 'leaks' quicker and start playing profitably sooner.

      All the best,
      Tim
    • ByronVW
      ByronVW
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2008 Posts: 37
      Hi Eagle and Tim

      Thanks so much for feedback thus far. Eagle, yes it is good to be back and glad to see I'll have your support on this thread :) I was lost, but now I am found LOL.

      Tim, just to comment on some of your feedback. You 100% right on the profit margin being quite difficult to determine, especially the point you made about, "May can be a loosing month while June might leave you thinking you're a poker God..." Too true.

      I also forgot to mention that due to my limited bank roll I will be playing only SSS on 05c/10c tables. This means that I will only be taking $2 to the tables. I will do as you say, and stick to playing only this version of the game for a while so as to learn from my mistakes. One of the articles actually makes a comment about trying to play different styles to quickly, I will definitely not make that mistake .... again :)

      I will also post more hands in the hand evaluation forum as only 2 hands will not be enough for me to see what I am doing wrong.

      One other thing guys does anyone know how I can use the hand history from pacific and convert it so that it may be evaluated easier in the forums?

      Otherwise, really glad I have gotten some great feedback so soon. Will be back here on Monday with my review
      Gents all the best, enjoy the weekend, and if you are going to be playing, may the poker gods be with you :)


      Cheers,
      Byron
    • ByronVW
      ByronVW
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2008 Posts: 37
      Hi Everyone,

      As promised I would provide feedback every Monday on my results and performance from the previous week. Unfortunately, the $50 from pacific is still not in :( Who knows why this is taking so long as Pokerstrategy has confirmed that they have sent the names off to them for processing. So unfortunately I have no feedback for this week

      What I did do though is download pokertracker 3. WOW, what an awesome application. I heard a lot about it and decided to give it a try. VERY NICE tool that I'm sure will be able to help me understand my game and my opponents weak points. I will now be able to post additional informamtion on my performance through means of some of the graphical analysis this tool provides.

      Otherwise all, hope you had a good weekend and as the poker commentator from EPT says " May your cards be live, and your hands be monsters" (I think) LOL


      Cheers,
      Byron
    • ByronVW
      ByronVW
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2008 Posts: 37
      OK I'm tired of waiting for this bankroll from 888 so went checking at all the poker sites I have and guess what.... one of them has a bankroll... if you can call it that :)

      This is going to be very interesting and fun to see what happens. Firstly, I have about $0.79 on full tilt and going to see where I can get that by the end of the evening should be fun. I will post some hands and some graphs tomorrow for all to look at. Might not even be that many hands, can't say I have much to work with

      Until tomorrow, may your cards be live and your hands be monsters :)

      PS: I also never gave any personal info on myself, so to introduce myself here it goes, I'm 22 (nearlly 23), live in Johannesburg South Africa, busy studyin my Bsc in Statistics and Mathematics part-time while working full time as an MIS Analyst, being playing poker for about 2 years as well as the guitar for about 5 years on and off. And that about covers it


      Cheers,
      Byron
    • ByronVW
      ByronVW
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2008 Posts: 37
      Firstly the 70c didnt go so well LOL, but there is some good news looks like my bankroll at 888 pacific arrived :)

      While looking around and getting a feel for the software and some of the comments made on this site, it seems like SnG's would be a nice place to build up my bankroll slowly. Therefore my strategy for today is the following

      1) Double or Nothing : A very nice way to quickly make some money as long as you are in the top 5. This seems quite easy to do and will give it a try and see how things go. Oh will be only playing the $2.50 sng's of this type
      2) SSS NL5/10c will bring in 2 dollars. This will be my ring game of choice over the next couple of weeks.


      Will provide an update on my progress and everything else I discussed next Monday.


      Cheers,
      Byron
    • Berkstajger
      Berkstajger
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.03.2009 Posts: 878
      Hey Byron.

      DoNs on Pacific might be a nice, but they are sure not quick way to build BR. I was playing 1$ and 2$ and one tourney could last as long as an hour or more. In the time I was playing there was new one open every 10, 20 minutes, so it's hard to even multitable properly since the lack of players. Well, maybe it's different now, but I would still prefer playing regular SNGs or 0.88$ MTTs, because those DoNs just take way too much time and even with tight game and you can still get sucked out, so you have to play a lot of DoNs for a little profit in my experiences.

      Other of that I wish you all the luck and maybe we bump into each other on the tables someday. :)
    • ByronVW
      ByronVW
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2008 Posts: 37
      Hi Berk,

      Thanks for your feedback man. Wish I never started the DoN SnG's. So here for my weekly feedback and will be back next week with an update

      1) Bankroll as @ beginning of the week = $50
      2) Bankroll as @ end of the week = $30
      3) Don't have
      4) Don't have

      Unfortunately, pokertracker does not work with this site. If anyone has figured out how to get detailed hand histories from 888. Please let me know so that I can post them in the forums for review.

      Ok now for why things went wrong for. One of the key aspects of my game that I picked up that is causing this loss is my psychological state of mind. I played about 6 DnO's and only won 2. This brought me down to about $40. From there I went to ring games and was worrying too much about my bankroll and should have been focusing more on making as few mistakes as possible during my sessions. This contributed to me starting to play mediocre hands and at the end of the evening went down to $30.

      I decided to play a bit on my sister's account :) at partypoker (love the layout there) and decided to multitable 6 tables on FL0.10/0.20. Multitabling for me was a way for me to focus less on the bankroll and more on playing only strong hands in decent position. Oh this was 6 seats only. I prefer 6 seaters in FL. Anyways, my session went really well and after about 700 hands, I was up $9.25

      For the purpose of this blog, I won't be playing any FL on 888 as my goal is to improve my NL game and understand my mistakes, changing formats will not do me any justice I feel. So gonna slog it out and definitely work on the mental aspect of my game this week


      Till next week, GL all
    • purplefizz
      purplefizz
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.03.2008 Posts: 4,508
      gl in ur quest. building the BR is esp. hard at the start. dont think about the profits first. just in learning to play a good and solid SSS game. and yeah, DON's arent as simple as they seem :)
    • Berkstajger
      Berkstajger
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.03.2009 Posts: 878
      Sorry to hear about your BR Byron, but if you played tournaments and jumped from one game to another that all can be just variance. There's a good article about DoNs in silver section, but unfortunately you don't have access to that section. Maybe it's a bit against the rules, but I'll one good tip from there - never get involved in big pots unless you're certain you're gonna win. So - raise your premium hands preflop, but fold if you get to much resistance postflop. It just isn't worth it, leave the others to knock each other out while trying to stack for the rest of the tournament and wait for your chance. I played some DoNs there and to me it seemed like I was getting nowhere, but PT3 graph showed I had quite some sucess:



      However, everything was just to slow for me and to spice it up, I played MTTs and turbo SNGs at the same time and I lost 3 times more there than I won on DoNs. :D

      As you can see PT3 does work with Pacific, you just have to download latest beta from their site. You have a tab Settings on top of the Lobby where you can find Hand History and you just set the default history folder and configure PT3 to extract hh from that folder.

      Overall I think it's nothing critical about going down to 30$. For start start playing the lowest limits to get a hold of your game and then move up to where your BR allows you to. I went up to 150$ in about a month just using basic and bronze articles for FL, so it shouldn't be hard for you neither if you follow them. I think the most simple way to gain BR at microlimits is by playing FL FR, but if you feel comfortable at NL, just play there and I'm sure you'll suceed if you stick to the articles. ;)

      GL @ tables. :f_grin:
    • ByronVW
      ByronVW
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2008 Posts: 37
      Hi Berk,

      Just want to say thanks for taking so much interest in my quest to success :) and by taking the time to provide DETAILED feedback. I have some good news but broke a few rules on the way, but will explain all in detail now.

      As for the hand history, I saw that the other day and it seems like they record your hand history in a .txt format and all hands get recorded in a single file for any particular table. Really annoying format and will take some time for me to extract what I want and post here in PS for feedback. But will definitely take the time.

      Now what I did is against BRM but here is what I did and why, feedback on this is very critical and I don't want anyone reading this to go against what PS says, as lets be honest, they know what they are talking about.

      I have been playing poker for about 2-3 years and have played 100's of 1000's of hands. I have had everyhand available in poker, including a RF :) whopee but could never understand why things seem to spiral downwards all of a sudden. I have always played SSS and decided it is time to try something different by playing BSS and moved up a few limits.

      I did this because, irrespecitve of me following the rules and strategy on this site and reading my opponents reasonably well, they would always catch their dream card, where they should of never even played that hand due to equality and so on. So in an effort to avoid these fishes and donks i moved to a limit where I assumed I would run into players that are better, and therefore for me, easier to read and win pots against

      I took $20 to a NL0.10/0.20 table and did reasonably well and followed all the rules as per the articles. I also only moved to BSS once I read the articles in the bronze section (was silver for several months... and well u know the story :) ]

      So now for the good news. This took me to $60 which I was super stoked about. I then today had a free entry into a $2000 freeroll, which I played really well and did really well :) and made $60 from that tourney. Came 5th where I was chipleader but got 2 bad beats that ended my journey. Final hand that knocked me was where my AKs lost to A7 where the flop came JA7. But not going to complain about the free $60


      SO BANKROLL AS OF NOW IS $120 :) BEFORE I PROCEED I WANT TO KNOW SHOULD I CONTINUE TO PLAY AT THIS NL SIZE OR FOLLOW WHAT PS SAYS. I JUST REALLY WANT TO STOP PLAYING AGAINST DONKS AS THEY REALLY GET LUCKY WITH ME EVERYTIME.

      PS: Purplefizz, checked your blog out. Quite a substantial number of hits, it helps being a model, doctor and everything I guy looks for in a chick :) LOL Otherwise gl to you as well and thanks for the encouragement


      Cheers and until next time
      Byron