Am I on the right track?

    • Fiszy
      Fiszy
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.03.2010 Posts: 52
      Hi, I'm a very new starter to poker in general, and I would like clarification that I am on the right track in my efforts to improve. Recently I have:

      Read 2-3 instructional books on the subject and counting.
      Played computer simulations with AI.
      Played dozens of online games with play money, mostly I lose.
      Begun with the ICM (though find it confusing).

      I have had no prior experience with poker up until this point, but I'm confident based on my playing so far that I can be adept at it with enough experience. I am definitely committed and determined to learning. I have no instruction or guidance, though, so I don't know whether I'm applying effort into the correct areas or not. Is there anything else I should be doing on top of this? Right now I am working on remaining calm and objective during games. The area in which I think I am failing is the statistical calculations, which I cannot really grasp.

      Sorry if this is in the wrong section, but the beginners section seems mostly to be about money bonuses, and has substantially less views per thread than this area.
  • 4 replies
    • mishkagg
      mishkagg
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.07.2008 Posts: 1,354
      Some advice:

      1. Find and read Collin Moshman's Sit and go Strategy.

      2. ICM trainer - play with it but try to understand why the ranges are what they are. When you do above 92% in 300 situations go play the $1 SnGs. You are going to smoke them in no time.

      3. Read and apply as much Psychology as you can.

      4. AI simulations and play money means jack shit. Don't do them.
    • Fagin
      Fagin
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.05.2008 Posts: 544
      Hi,

      reading books is a great start, I would suggest Doyle Brunson's "Super System II" and Dan Harrington's "Harrington on Hold 'em" as being good starting choices. Also read the articles on this site as they will give you some excellent insights into the game.

      Computer simulations are by their nature limited and I would not bother with them, personally I have only seen 2 and they were both quite poor.

      Play money is just as bad as it has no value so most players do not even try to play well - I would avoid it at all times.

      Remaining calm and objective is an excellet approach. Just as important is to watch what happens when you are not involved in a hand. Try to put the other players on a range of hands based on their actions. Narrow that range down on the flop, turn and river and see how close you were at showdown. This is something that every player should do but many don't.

      Don't worry too much about the statistical calculations at first. Concentrate on playing good solid ABC poker, particularly at the lower limits this is the best approach. As you get more experienced at the game and start to move up the limits, read more and the stats and odds side of it will start to make more sense.

      Depending on where you live you could see if there are any free live games available. I live in England and there are numerous free local poker leagues with live games being played in pubs and clubs and they are a great way to learn and find other players to talk t about poker.

      Good luck with your learning.
    • Fiszy
      Fiszy
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.03.2010 Posts: 52
      So:

        Discard play money and simulations

        Keep researching

        Pour more hours into ICM

        When ICM goes well, start playing for real money


      I wouldn't say the play money games are totally worthless. I've learned a lot about psychology and thought patterns + strategies through it that I wouldn't have gotten from books, although after a certain point it does reach its limit on how much can be learned.

      The ICM is a bit confusing, even despite its apparent simplicity. Am I supposed to play about with the right hand settings or not? And what exactly is it using to determine the push/fold % of each hand?
    • mishkagg
      mishkagg
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.07.2008 Posts: 1,354
      Originally posted by Fiszy
      The ICM is a bit confusing, even despite its apparent simplicity. Am I supposed to play about with the right hand settings or not? And what exactly is it using to determine the push/fold % of each hand?
      No hand settings. I just set Hero edge to 0%, 4-6 people, everything else is random. I usually make like 95-96% over 400 situations.

      ICM is a mathematical model which assigns monetary value to your chip stack and then calculates your hand range and tells you which ranges are profitable to push. It is not perfect though.