Beginner to Pro? Attempting a cautious comeback

    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      I have decided to write my own poker diary, because I figured that would keep me disciplined, get me some advice and maybe it will be an interesting read, because I just started playing (played less than 5000 hands in total since July,1).

      I think there are 2 interesting facts about me and poker:

      1. I have been a poker dealer for 5 years, so I am quite familiar with live games (more 7-card Stud thean TH, though), but never played myself.

      2. I started playing online poker, because I needed a new start. So I wrote down things what I am good at and things I would like to do and somehow ended up with online poker.

      Thats it for a start. I will update often, hopefully, so If anyone is interested in following someone from very beginning, then add this blog to favourites and post something to keep me motivated! :)

      Good luck at the tables, everyone! :f_cool:
  • 234 replies
    • MrMardyBum
      MrMardyBum
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 2,206
      Hello SilverSag,

      Always nice to start reading a blog from the beginning (less posts to catch up on), it seems you should already a slight edge given your background as a dealer! And you're right keeping a blog does add a little more disipline, even more so when you have people commenting on your progress and coming along for the ride with you! If you let yourself down you'll let all your readers down too and we can't have that can we? :P

      What bankroll did you start with?
      Have you set yourself any goals?
      What site and limits are you playing on?

      I'll try to keep up with your progress :)
    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      Good to know that at least one person is reading this :D

      I started with 20 GBP on PartyPoker. Fooled around, made some mistakes, tested some micro limits, 1$ MTTs, untill I realised there are actually freerolls!!! :) Yes, I am completely new to this :) Played some freerolls with pretty good success following a strategy from PokerStrategy.org (yes, not this site) - was finishing in top 10-20%.

      Opened account in Full Tilt Poker, looked around, played some freerolls. Did the same on PokerStars (no clue, why it is so popular? - graphics are shit, its difficult to follow, interface is not very user friendly).

      Then a friend told me about PokerStrategy.com. So I opened account in Everest Poker to get $50 :)

      Installed Elephant, found that it doesnt work with Everest and switched to Poeker Tracker 3 trial version. After a while I started to pay attention to rakes and decided to test how the rakeback works, so opened account in Cake Poker. Thats the story so far, in short.

      Now to the money question:

      8.50 GBP (from 20 GBP) left on Party Poker - so down a bit, but I am fighting my way back :)

      24.50$ (from 25$) on Cake Poker - played just a little there as minimum limit is NL4

      55.50$ (10$ my own money) on Everest - also slowly fighting my way back from few bad beats while exploring NL10

      So, all in all, with the help of bonuses and Poker Strategy I am still up and future looks promising :)

      I am the guy who reads the manual :D , so I am now focusing on perfecting SSS on micro limits. Basically, I am grinding 4 tables 0.01/0.02 $ NL on Everest. PokerStrategy says to play a minimum of 10 000+ hands, so thats what I will do :evil:

      I need to prove to myself that it really works, because I did have a 2000+ hand run on Everest, where I was constantly going only down.

      My Goals:

      Ultimate goal - to get to the final table of WSOP by year 2015.
      Long term goal - to become a professional poker player.
      Short term goal - to reach a 5.80 GBP/hour (roughly 9$/hour) income by the end of this year.

      Immediate task - to perfect SSS, get all three poker accounts firmly into green and accumulate enough winnings to move to NL 0.02/0.04
    • Helipacter
      Helipacter
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.07.2010 Posts: 474
      This a good read for the serious beginner (something I consider myself to be), Please keep writing this, and tells us all about any problems you encounter.

      Do you use other pieces of Software other than PT3?? I've downloaded pokerstove and ICM trainer. But I find that using pokerstove during a session is quite difficult to input the details and watch the board - but this is probably just a newb issue. ICM trainer, on the other hand, is something I'm finding very useful.

      Keep up the good work!
    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      I have a week long holiday now, which I will spend playing poker. Since I still have 300$ bonus to clear and 50$ from PS allows me, I went into NL 0.05/0.10. Played 1000+ hands. Feels pretty comfortable with 4 tables and I am up, so I will stay for a while :)

      Reached 10 000 hands played. Laughable for someone, but a little milestone for me :)

      I have ICM trainer, but tried only a first stage so far. I guess I have to look into it. No idea what pokerstove is... I wanted to try Holdem Indicator, but trial version only works for play money tables unfortunately.
    • EagleStar88
      EagleStar88
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.10.2008 Posts: 7,359
      Hi Silversag,

      Nice blog, look forward to seeing your progress.

      You might like to check out PokerStrategy's own software. Elephant is a useful tracking & HUD piece of kit, especially good for beginners (oh and it's free to members :P )

      Best regards & enjoy your poker. ;)


      Bart
    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      Probably it is not the most appropriate place to post this, but:

      Elephant was the first software I installed and I still have it, but I am using PT3 for 2 reasons (apart from the fact that both softs are very confusing and complicated for a beginner).

      1. I did not manage to make Elephant to show me the data from Everest. I struggled for quite along time, but did not succeed. It looks to me that it has a problem with me having the same screen names on both PartyPoker and Everest. It shows the PartyPoker stats (which was my first account), but refuses to do the same with Everest data.

      2. I find the HUD from PT3 much better looking and unobtrusive. HUD from Elephant completely obstructs the cards and bets on some positions when playing PartyPoker. That goes for 4 tables on one screen, if you play one table, then it is OK I guess.
    • summermonkey
      summermonkey
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.12.2009 Posts: 483
      Welcome welcome! Will be following your blog. =)
    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      I have played over a 10 000 hands of NL10 now and I am 42$ down :f_frown: Part of it is because of really ugly downswing (I checked stats - I won 1 out of 17 AI showdowns with QQ,KK, AA) part of it is, obviously, because of my mistakes.

      Yesterday I tried really, really hard not to make any mistakes, and... I played 1000+ hands of NL10, lost 7$ :f_frown: So I started to go through statistics to find leaks. I knew that I did only one obvious mistake - at one moment of weakness I decided to slowplay pocket aces :f_p: and that cost me 2$, but there should be more. I looked through all the lost hands and couldn't find any... and then I started to think:

      They say that win rate for SSS is 0.5-2.0BB/100hands. OK, lets say its the 1,5 BB/100h. So in my 1000-hand session I should win on average 1,5$, right?

      Wait a second! :f_confused:

      That's if I am playing perfectly! If we take into account that a mistake in SSS will cost you all stack (2$ in average) then, according to this info I am allowed to make no more than 1(!) mistake in 1000 hands. If I happen to make two, then I am doomed to neverending downswing! :f_cry:

      If I am understanding it right, then there is no point in playing SSS unless you have some bonus to clear or a rakeback deal in effect, because nobody is perfect, and there always be some mistakes?

      So? Can I get a straight answer to this? Is SSS a "perfect strategy for a beginner" only because I will lose less than by playing any other strategy? Is there any reason to think that SSS can be profitable without any bonuses and rakebacks?

      Or... the only way how to actually make money in SSS is to succesfully steal blinds and to perfect postflop freeplay when on BB?! :f_eek:

      I would really appreciate an answer from someone who knows what he is talking about , not just some "I have played SSS for 100 hands and it works just fine!" gibberish, because I dont want to waste my time practising something what can brake me even at best :f_mad: I'd rather switch to playing SnGs then...

      Thank you in advance!
    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      I also have my doubts about profitability of tables...

      Everybody says its very important and I can see why, but I play on Everest and most of the time plyr/flop percentage is around 15%. Yesterday at one moment half of the tables were showing 7-9%. :s_evil:

      There are so many rocks that it feels like sitting in a Stonehenge, not poker table :s_evil: You could probably succesfully steal blinds from UTG3 there :s_evil: How can you choose anything there?

      Should I go to different poker room? But which one? For now the bonus on Everest keeps me afloat, but if it goes like this I will need to change, I guess.
    • dragonste
      dragonste
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.06.2010 Posts: 70
      i would like to follow ur blog, btw i totally understand your point on the SSS i really do not like the SSS, an i find the BSS a 1000 times better because you can make moves that you are not allowed to make on SSS, i would say try the BSS but i am an almost new guy myself but i think there is so much more profit in BSS, for example i have never seen a pro with a small stack.
      best of luck...
    • jbpatzer
      jbpatzer
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.11.2009 Posts: 6,944
      I've been playing SSS on Pokerstars for a short while to try to clear my bonus, and am pretty much break even after 12K hands. I think you have to blind steal a bit more than the basic strategy tells you too, but with such small win rates, variance is always going to be a real bastard. I'm going to quit it once I've cleared my bonus. Good luck!
    • Wacko118
      Wacko118
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.06.2009 Posts: 300
      Hate to play SSS with a passion, although i love to play against them. BSS is the better of the two for a number of reasons:
      1) you can afford to actually pull some bluffs off, which just isn't possible on SSS.

      2) If you hit your hand and stack off cos you have a bigger stack then the pay off is more, i realise the same is true for losing but the idea is to get our money in good at all times, hopefully :)

      3) BSS is much more fun, you actually get to play poker rather than going all in as your only play. You wont learn postflop strategy by playin SSS and the players at the limit your playing with a few strategy articles under your belt you should crush. :)
    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      I do realise all the pros and cons of SSS. For now I am staying with SSS, for following reasons:

      1. I am still very new to poker (20 000+ hands)
      2. I need to learn one thing (SSS), then progress to another (BSS)
      3. I do not feel comfortable postflop yet
      4. I need to clear bonus

      p.s. I would appreciate some simple tips on best way to learn to calculate odds & outs. How are you doing it? How were you practising when you just started? PS article is very complicated and it doesn't give any actual learning tips...
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      Here's a tip I found in a book for calculating odds:

      If you know the number of your outs (FD, OESD, overcards, gutshot) you can roughly estimate your equity from flop to river by a simple multiplication which is 4*no_outs. It doesn't give the exact number but an estimate that is very helfpul. It works better with less than 8 outs. When you have more than 8 outs your equity is bigger than this formula gives you but it's still a good number to help you out in a hand. Now, for turn to river or flop to turn (one card to come) you just calculate 2*no_outs.
    • Wacko118
      Wacko118
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.06.2009 Posts: 300
      I use the 4x 2x rule for work out odds.

      On the flop take the number of cards that turn your hand into the best one, so say you have AK of spades, On a board of 7s,2s,9c.
      You have 9spades left in the deck, so you have 9spades outs. Then you also have 3Kings and 3aces so overall you have outs of 15.

      Now to work out percentage chance of making your hand you can do it properly but this takes less time.
      On the flop if you multiply your number of outs by 4 then you have roughly percentage odds of making your hand on turn and river.
      So 15x4=60%

      On the turn if you miss you simply take your number of outs again and this time multiply by 2
      15x2=30% to hit your hand on the river.

      Problem is SSS wont really teach you anything, you cant learn postflop if your not gonna get to play postflop see?
    • dragonste
      dragonste
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.06.2010 Posts: 70
      i agree with them, the 4x 2x rule works great for me, simple but effective.

      if u want to learn odds an get practive just try it for every single hand u play, or even hands that you folded. i still tr an do it, but sometimes forget and i know its something that i have to work on myself.

      also if u want to learn these properties such as odds and implied odds move to BSS, just go to the 01.02 stakes an learn a little bit by bit, bringing somethin else to ur game each day, it would even improve ur SSS game if you were wanting to go bk..

      gd luck...
    • TankUveryMuch
      TankUveryMuch
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.07.2010 Posts: 4
      "Yesterday I tried really, really hard not to make any mistakes, and... I played 1000+ hands of NL10, lost 7$ So I started to go through statistics to find leaks. I knew that I did only one obvious mistake - at one moment of weakness I decided to slowplay pocket aces and that cost me 2$..."

      if you slowplayed aces then you aren't really following the strategy are you? i have been playing mostly SSS for a while on FT and Everest. i find that at everest LP blindsteals are necessary here and there to keep ahead of the blinds the players seem tight enough at .05/.1 to do this every 2nd orbit or so. FT is full of fish and is easy money if you can tolerate the odd rediculous bad beat.
    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      I think that poker Gods are testing my patience. I really start to understand people, who keep telling about poker rooms being rigged :evil: After 12 000 + hands of NL10 I am down 50$...

      By loking at stats I noticed that I am losing money with AKs - I have won only 2/11 all-ins :evil: I guess 12 000 hands is not big enough sample...
    • SilverSag
      SilverSag
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.07.2010 Posts: 512
      This is how my first 9 days in NL10 looks like :evil:



      Seems that more I learn, worse it gets... In the beginning I was kinda going up, but now...