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Beginner beating the NL10 rhythm

    • Duudalinja
      Joined: 21.12.2009 Posts: 1,030
      Hello, howdy, hey! Won’t introduce myself, because it doesn’t really matter, does it? :) The main thing is that I’m playing poker!

      So some friend introduced me to poker already about 3 years ago, I even made my first deposit at some online pokerroom, but it didn’t go really well, so poker was just a game to sometimes play at Friday evenings with friends and mainly just for fun.

      At the end of the last (2009) year I found PS (again with friends advice) and after some reading I understood that poker is more than just a random game where you wait for random cards and win randomly. That’s where my online path started again – now it was much more determined, but still a fun.

      So I got 50$ first deposit, started with lowest limit SNG. Ouuuch, it went down way too fast and I ended up having 8$ in my bankroll. I knew I had to change something or I’ll end up empty and lonely. Luckly I had rakeback offer from PS, so it really helped, without it I would be done. Few SNG sessions were more or less fine, so I had enough money to change something. So I red few articles about BSS and did my best – in few weeks I build my bankroll back to 50$ and even more playing NL2.

      When I had like 70$ I decided to move up one limit – to NL5 FR. That’s where I’m standing now.

      As you see, I had played solid amount of hands, but win rate is horrible, much worse than in NL2. When I started NL5 I ended almost every session with +$. I played a lot, even for 7 hours a day, but I had time to do it then and I really tried to do my best, but I was too lazy to read additional articles, although I knew I have to do it to improve. I ended January with -30$ loss in ONE day (+38$ in total) and decided – no more losses in February. It went well at the beginning, but then… One -14$ day, which I considered as little downswing. February 18th was the borderline – 3 day losses in total of 23$, two days +8$ in total and then -17$ again (171$ BR atm). Most of the time I’m playing 6 tables tiled and feel comfortable, but lately I came down to 4 tables – I don’t really know why, it seems I though it would change decisions I make, but it seems that decision making doesn’t depend on this option, but more of fact that I don’t have enough skills and knowledge to think in winning way. Lately there were a lot of bad beats and unlucky situations – I’ve run like 6 times with KK in AA preflop, lost few gutshot flips and the crown was loosing with KK to K9 yesterday, but I know aswell that I’ve made wrong decisions. That was the point I decided to write a blog to express feelings, emotions, show how I am going and hopefully receive some help and support when I’ll really need it.

      I have no idea how often I’m going to write something here, but I would like to do it regular enough, so I could see myself what’s happening with me.

      Most of bloggers are setting some poker objectives, goals or whatever. So I believe I have to do that aswell, but I don’t really know what goals should I have? At the moment I’m not thinking about making some huge money, moving up the limits at cosmic speed or something – I gave myself a promise not to move up if I won’t reach solid BB/100 rate at NL5 at least for a few weeks and feel totally comfortable with my actions at this limit. Downswings and bad beats can happen, but I have to believe that everything I did was right. So few things for a start:

      -- no objectives atm as I've decided to make some changes.

      I’ve no idea what to add here more, so see ya soon! :)
  • 12 replies
    • TheBu11d0g
      Joined: 25.07.2008 Posts: 2,019
      Hello Duudalinja,

      Its good to see you making a blog and it seems that you have reachable goals to start with.

      Great start to the blog and i wish you luck in your journey.

      Kind Regards,
    • BattleHunter
      Joined: 12.11.2009 Posts: 880
      Hey Duudalinja :]

      It's good to see a fellow blogger on the micro limits (as all cool bloggers are way past that stage :P )

      I wanted to talk a bit about the goal setting system, but keep in mind that this is just an opinion that generally works for me, but might not work for others. So to get to the point - I pretty much never set short term goals for a Bankroll. I believe that it's not a healthy thing to do. I'd much rather set a goal like "play 30 000 hands that month on a +BB/100" than "I have 150$ BR, I should make it $200 by the end of the month".
      There are a few reasons why I don't like that kind of goals and here I will explain why:
      1) You pressure yourself, might often lead to playing scared money or more than you actually have to. In the short term poker is pretty much depending on luck, so even if you play good, you can eventually run in some bad beats and/or cold deck. So if you get on a little downswing (if you respect your goals as much as I do) you might do some stupid things try and fulfill your BR goal, which is definitely something you don't want to do.
      2) Adding an exact time to when you should climb a limit (like in your case) is pretty much the same. You would do your best to do it and if you're not doing good enough on the luck basis you will be quite disappointed when that time comes.

      I wrote it quite long, sorry to bash u from the first post on something that might not even be right :P That's just the way I think and if it can help you I'd be very glad ^_^

      If you could post some stats / graphs that would be awesome, because I just got myself a tracker software and am still getting used to it and need some more ppl to compare myself to :f_biggrin: (tho don't feel obligated to do if you're hiding it or anything, there are some private things that some ppl just don't like to share so it's not a problem)

      So good luck completing your goals, I'll be looking forward for your updates ;)
    • Duudalinja
      Joined: 21.12.2009 Posts: 1,030
      TheBu11d0g, thanks!
      BattleHunter, yea, it's ofc interesting to read those mid/high stakes blogs, but it's kinda still far enough for me, so it's nice to have some kind of my level experience by reading what others say and do as well as sharing with my of thoughts and progress time by time.
      These goals are more like draft, because I'm still not sure how strong and strict they should be, because I'm kinda bad at time management. :) Thanks for reminding my real goal, it was like you said - play xxxxx hands with solid +BB/100 (was thinking about ~5BB/100 should be ok for NL5) and only THEN move up the limit.
      I made this 200$ rule just because I was already really close to it (~190$) and then this downswing came, pushing me down to 170$ atm. It's not like borderline for something huge at the moment, just like a check mark for myself - I can go over 200$! As I mentioned I won't go to NL10 until I will reach solid winning rate. BM is made to protect BR against bad beats, but I've decided to make it not only more safer in terms of bankroll, but my own skill aswell. First point you mentioned about pressure is totally true as well as second. In my goals this climbing limits up means not climbing up when I've reached enough BR, but when I fell confident enough and BB/100 shows that more or less, so it means - I have to learn, watch, do so I could go higher. Gonna remake those goals when I'll made up some better plan to stick to. :)
      No worries about length and content of your post, it's totally ok, and I'm really glad you already have some advice to share - that means it was already worth writing the blog.
      I don't have much to hide, what graphs would you like to see?
      BB won:


      By the way, I've heard that winning without showdown should go down all the way, so isn't that obvious leak?
    • Duudalinja
      Joined: 21.12.2009 Posts: 1,030
      February 24th

      Had more or less free day, so without hurry decided to check some PS articles and hopefully videos. Started with basic psychology section - easy and relaxing read. Then I decided to watch Mathematical Concepts Part I video. Oh, well, that took some time. Had to split attention a bit few times, but I understood the most part as I've already been introduced to this theme. Still, had some confusing parts aswell, but won't make any inconsiderate conclusions and gonna watch next parts of these series asap and then I'll see how can I sum up everything I know and use it in game. Now most of the decisions are very approximate - I'm not chasing gutshots with pot bets, but can't really calculate equity in a few seconds so sometimes my calls could be -EV.
      Later, I felt good enough to give a shot to tables. I played on 4 tables instead of 6 and decided to play cool poker - no rush, no tilting, no insane moves. I must agree that today was fish day and had such a silly and fishy calls from opps that made my profit: 12.47$. Didn't have any huge pots, didn't have any really slippery decisions to make, but posted one hand in Hand Evaluation Section:
      NL5 88 mid pair

      Well, to have some idea what I'm talking about fish, take a look:

      Hand converted with online hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.02/$0.05 No-Limit Hold'em (8 handed)

      Known players:
      BU (Hero):

      Preflop: Hero is BU with K, A.
      UTG2 raises to $0.10, MP1 calls $0.10, MP2 calls $0.10, 2 folds, Hero raises to $0.45, 2 folds, UTG2 calls $0.35, MP1 calls $0.35, MP2 calls $0.35.

      Flop: ($1.87) 9, 2, 4 (4 players)
      UTG2 checks, MP1 checks, MP2 checks, Hero checks.

      Turn: ($1.87) 7 (4 players)
      UTG2 checks, MP1 bets $0.05, MP2 calls $0.05, Hero calls $0.05, UTG2 calls $0.05.

      River: ($2.07) A (4 players)
      UTG2 bets $0.10, MP1 folds, MP2 calls $0.10, Hero calls $0.10.

      Final Pot: $2.37.

      Results follow:

      Hero shows a pair of aces(Kd Ac).
      MP2 shows a pair of sevens(Th 7h).
      UTG2 shows high card ace(Ks 8d).

      Hero wins with a pair of aces(Kd Ac).

      These 3 callers were with stats like 50+/<10 (VPIP/PFR) so AK was like honey to me. I didn't really try to cbet there, because it would really make no difference as there is no way I could shake them off the pot and they won't fold the hand if they made at least pair. When Ace came I did bet ofc and results made me laugh - if I was a bit worried if someone of them have ace with lower kicker which paired results were true power - T7s and K8o. Amazing.

      Now a bit more serious hand:
      Hand converted with online hand converter:

      Play hand

      $0.02/$0.05 No-Limit Hold'em (9 handed)

      Known players:
      BB (Hero):

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 4, A.
      UTG1 folds, UTG2 calls $0.05, 6 folds, Hero checks.

      Flop: ($0.12) K, K, 3 (2 players)
      Hero checks, UTG2 checks.

      Turn: ($0.12) A (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.10, UTG2 calls $0.10.

      River: ($0.32) T (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.20, UTG2 calls $0.20.

      Final Pot: $0.72.

      Results follow:

      Hero shows two pairs, aces and kings(4d As).
      UTG2 shows two pairs, aces and kings(Ad Jd).

      UTG2 wins with two pairs, aces and kings(Ad Jd).

      When Ace came on turn I decided to bet and that call made me cautious. Now I'm doubting that I had to bet river, because if he had K i would got reraise, if he landed his draw most likely I would get re-raise and he could have A with way better kicker. Limping from UTG was talking against A and K option (now he got note about this move), but it could be flush aswell as straight. So what I was trying to say - I doubt I had to bet the river, because there were a lot of hands which beat me and there is almost no way he could call this raise with hand which I could beat.

      That's all about this session, any comments/suggestions/opinions? :)
    • Duudalinja
      Joined: 21.12.2009 Posts: 1,030
      It's been a while since last update, but it was kinda "party hard" weekend for me, so didn't have chance to play or learn much. Had two 4 table sessions, 960 hands played and solid 17BB/100 winning rate. Once was kinda lucky, because I had KK on button, I raised and BB short stack shoved - ofc I called and he got AA, but had lucky on river where K came. From one side was a bit angry, because lately KK vs AA comes waaaay too often, but ofc was happy, because I didn't lose this time. Nothing much to say now, still in weekend mood. :) Gonna post some hands and update this post in few minutes.
    • xero100
      Joined: 06.08.2009 Posts: 1,355
      man why dont you bet more on river at that first hand with AK?
      pot was 2$ and you call 10c
    • Duudalinja
      Joined: 21.12.2009 Posts: 1,030
      I didn't raise it because I was worried that they could have Ax and he had already pair before river when A came and this Ace made second pair. Now, when looking back, that bet looked way too small and I should have raised it, but that's one thing I have to solve - I often assume they have better hands then they could really have if looking what they do and when/how much they bet. Bad play, true. :)
      So here are the hands I posted in forums and judge opinions:

      NL5 AQo drawy board TP2K
      NL5 AQ TP2K + nuts flush draw
      NL5 A2s flash draw
      NL5 99 mid pair
      NL5 JQs pair/two pairs
      NL5 KJs TP3K
      NL5 QQ action/no action
    • Duudalinja
      Joined: 21.12.2009 Posts: 1,030
      Had free hour yesterday, so decided to try this FTP feature called - Rush poker. They've added NL5 limit lately (or not so lately, just hadn't noticed it yet), so this limit was for my bankroll. Played for a half an hour and had +1BI with 16 BB/100 rate. Because it was running well I played it once more today, because ofc if you are winning it always seems cool, but I really had to find out cons of this. And I got `em more or less.
      Today game wasn't going so well. Played 2 tables of NL5 rush poker for about 3 hours and 40 minutes result was:

      (there's upswing to 0.22$ at the end)
      I played 2,8k hands, generated 8.25$ rake (according to PT stats) with rate of 0.08 BB/100 (lol). Lets compare it vs some of my 6 table and 4 table sessions

      Rush: 2.870 hands/3h40m per 2 tables -> 780 hands/hour -> 390 hands/hour per table
      6T1: 1.488 hands/3h20m per 6 tables -> 448 hands/hour -> ~75 hands/hour per table
      6T2: 3.101 hands/6h52m per 6 tables -> 451 hands/hour -> ~75 hands/hour.
      4T1: 567 hands/1h50m per 4 tables -> 301 hands/hour -> ~75 hands/hour

      Rush: 8.25$ rake -> 2.24$ per hour -> 0.60$ as rakeback per hour
      6T1: 4.26$ rake -> 1.28$ per hour -> 0.34$ as rakeback per hour
      About the same for other tables.

      Winning rate depends on skill and other factors, but difference here is kinda big - you can play 5.2 times more hands in rush and generate more rake.

      So should this mean this is "must play" for everyone? For some time I felt like grinding machine - fold, fold, fold, see something good, raise and so on. I even misclicked some times because of routine. This smells like ABC poker, BUT... I don't really know if it's playable like that, because actions there sometimes are not habitual for me. Some crazy 3bets, raises, squeezes. Villains are calling, re-raising and doing whatever with mid/lower pairs on flop/turn and treat em like nuts. At least that's what I've seen. Yea, it's good if there are many fishes around, but when mixing it with Rush poker speed - I can't really feel comfortable. Winning rates can be huge as well as losses.
      Another fact is players - you meet same players again even in Rush tables, but you don't have time to really check out how they are playing, because you are rarely involved in any hand and you don't have chance to spectate their game and make some conclusions or notes. I still feel a lot more comfortable if I've seen the player play few hands before and he's already having some stats about him. PT hud is running behind, so I'm not using it in Rush. At the same time Rush gives chance to practice ABC play without special reads - maybe that is the thing beginner like me needs?
      Well, it could be possible that I'll try it sometimes again, but now I believe I'm gonna learn, practice and crawl through default NL5 tables.

      Any opinions? :)
    • eteris
      Joined: 26.08.2007 Posts: 383
      I played couple of times rush poker, so I've seen some crazy plays with nothing or sometimes with gutshots... crazy people on 5NL. But I saw one player on 5NL with ~80$ stack... so ye... you can make money there. rush poker I think is very good for bonus clearing but for everyday play I don't know.
    • Duudalinja
      Joined: 21.12.2009 Posts: 1,030
      Ouuuh, totally forgot bout this blog. :)
      In a few words:
      Switched from FR to SH. Went to NL10 when reached 21BI, played a bit and got cracked by runner, runner flash and straight, lost AA vs KK, lost one more random hand and was down a lot, had to move back to NL5. EV line now looks terrible, but there's nothing I can do about it.
      As I said I'm playing SH now, but I'm almost constantly losing. I feel more or less fine, I like more action compared to FR, but it seems I can't handle it. I don't really wanna switch back to FR, but such a loss just burns down dedication a lot. I know I should learn more, but...
      Won't post any graphs and stats, but can say I'm down by 70$ last month (March). Rakeback saved me a bit, but still - that's a lot. 40$ of them are on NL10, but 30$ are on NL5 and that's 23k hands played in total.
      So now hopefully I will manage to get back on line and push myself up.
      I may be looking for some solid NL5/NL10 players who are dominating this limit, so I could take a peak on game, maybe that could help find my worst leaks I can't see at the moment.
      That's it for now, thank you and see ya. :)
    • Duudalinja
      Joined: 21.12.2009 Posts: 1,030
      Long time since last post, but having a lot of stuff to do @ uni, so can't dedicate enough time for poker. Hopefully gonna fix it after a few weeks and make some more action. At least good news - I'm at NL10 now. :)
    • Duudalinja
      Joined: 21.12.2009 Posts: 1,030
      Ho, ho, ho!

      Well, uni is over now for a while, so can dedicate more time to poker.
      At the end of May/beginning of June I had great start when I recovered from my little swing down (not the same as downswing -_-) and it seemed that I've used to NL10, I somehow didn't have many tricky situations, I managed to widen up my preflop range, felt more comfortable postflop - overall it was great feeling after such a long sessions of crushes. Even if I some sessions were a bit negative - that was small matter .
      Things changed after a while when it started all over again - the swiiiiiiing. -12BI loss can't be just bad luck, there were few coolers/bad beats, but now I really start seeing that I'm leaking money. I don't have plan how find and fix these leaks, but there are basically only two options:
      1) I pull myself together and put enough effort to improve my game for real, not just imaginary;
      2) Keep playing like this and go broke sooner or later.
      Tough, huh? :)
      The choice will fallow after my decisions and plans - what to do, what to read, what to watch, how to play, and more, more, more. So bring it on!
      Oh, and here's my NL10 graph: