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Old 07-09-2017, 02:28 PM   #1
Breadfish666
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New player, downswings and setting goals.

Hey all, I'm a newer player and I'm coming up on about 100 hours of live play.

Just a warning because there's a lot of info here and I'm not sure if this is the right place to post. I highly appreciate anyone's input.

My main games are all live low buy in tournaments ($5-75 range) that are usually pretty turbo and 1/2nl ($60-$300). I'm currently in the red about $700 and wondering what my gameplan should be.

My goal is to get to 1000 hours and hopefully be a winning player but I'd definitely feel pretty empty inside if keep putting hours in with no results and might not be able to make my goal. I've broken my records down seasonally, 4 seasons, with spring being a small win at the end of the 3 month period. I'm coming up to the halfway point on summer with a huge loss.

I enjoy the game and I've put at least 10 hours of active studying a week with equity calculators, push/fold charts at 1-12bb's, watching streamed games/YouTube, and assessing whatever other information I have readily available.

I work full time and I can afford to set enough aside for at least one 1/2 buy in and a couple small tourneys a month. However, I can't say my brm has been that good. I had only started with about $1000 and as you can see I'm only one or so buy ins away from busto. That's partly due to me playing much more live tourneys than cash games but I guess it could also be part downswing, or me just being a poor player.

I really enjoy the tournament experience, despite the huge variance. The players are generally weaker. However, of the 26 tournaments I've played I've only cashed 2. One in 14th place and one in 8th. This is probably a decent result being a newer player but after all these buy ins I've definitely created a major impact on my bank roll.

Cash games I enjoy, but I believe even the 1/2 games can be tough as there are a few strong regs at almost every table. The more I play in these games the more I notice the regs.

Most games I've experienced lately are weak-tight and prob akin to Vegas games. I could profit by lagging it up but I'm just not that good at hand reading yet, nor do I have the roll for when I have the wrong reads. It's also incredibly hard to bluff at 1/2 where I just almost never fire barrels because some opponents will just call with bottom pair garbage kicker no matter how scary the board gets.

Also, cash games in my area seem to be just looking for spots to cooler your opponent, spots where your opponent has KK or AK and you have aces pre, or the river brings your opponent his flush and your full house. Are cash games basically just looking to cooler your opponent every time and stack them?

It seems like besides some short stacking fish most players with the bigger stacks are competent players just looking for these cooler spots and it's just a battle to see who got lucky and rivered their full house while you river your flush or had AA vs KK. In a game like this how do you ever expect to have an edge? You have to just play mubsy and fold your straights and flushes on paired boards? Fold KK/Ak pre facing the 4 bet as the pfr?

Also, for cash games it seems like I'm only ever getting action from stronger hands since I play a tight abc style. My vpip is maybe 20% or less and I generally only raise when entering the pot unless I'm in late positions with good holdings. I'll sit down and get dealt some top 10 hands very early in my session and get minimal action because I'm a newer player. My general pfr is usually around the 6bb area. I'll either get ~4calls with this sizing or it could go heads up. Sometimes everyone will fold.

Most games I'll make a small increment to my stack early on by stealing these pots with premium hands just to lose it in a bigger pot down the line to a cooler. In general I'll make a big hand and pay off my opponents bigger hand because of my straightforward play style it's prob easier for them to read me.

Well, I guess what I'm wondering is how big of a downswing can I expect? What else should I be doing for studying? Should I limit my tourney buy ins to once a month? Should I primarily focus on the cash game and "coolering" my opponent? Is two tournament cashes out of 26 good for a newer player with limited experience? Should I just get up after my 30 minutes of run good to book the win?

My game definitely has leaks but I'm getting to the point where the game is getting more frustrating then enjoyable. These cash games may just be too hard for me to play and the game might just not be for me. Just really trying to figure out where I stand and whether this venture is worth the investment.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:48 PM   #2
King Spew
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breadfish666 View Post
My game definitely has leaks
Do you know what leaks you have?
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:14 PM   #3
venice10
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

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Originally Posted by King Spew View Post
Do you know what leaks you have?
He might not be aware of it, but he's hinted at several. I'm just going to look at the cash games since I haven't play in a casino tournament for years.

OP, you've stated two separate observations which on the face of it can't both be true.

Quote:
It's also incredibly hard to bluff at 1/2 . . . because some opponents will just call with bottom pair garbage kicker no matter how scary the board gets.
Quote:
I'm only ever getting action from stronger hands since I play a tight abc style.
I'm going to guess that when you have an over or top pair on the flop, you bet hard on each street through the river. When you bluff, often one or more streets have been checked and you make your stab at the river. For a decent player, this behavior is easy to read. You need to adjust your thinking that TP is a hand where you can get 3 streets of value. There's an art to where to pick up the two streets of value that takes too much time to explain in a post.

The second thing I see is that you haven't recognized that pf people's 3bet ranges are very narrow at 1/2. At most, people will 3bet JJ+, AK. Many will only 3bet AA or KK. They'll only 4bet with AA. So, you need to fold to 4bets unless you know you are up against the rare player to will bet wider.

Third there is a difference between relative value and absolute value. Straights are a good hand in isolation. On a paired board with 3 of a suit showing, they often aren't even worth using as a bluff catcher. If someone calls down a hand with the FD on the board, it hits on the river and all of a sudden they make a bet, you're most likely beat. Don't pay them off.

Finally, poker is about winning money, not winning pots. At 1/2, you win money by putting lots of it in when you have a big edge against their range. Generally, if you are calling a hand on the river because it might be a winner, you're making a mistake. When you're no longer sure you have the best hand, for the most part stop betting.
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:21 PM   #4
Breadfish666
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by King Spew View Post
Do you know what leaks you have?
I mean my hand reading could be better. I think I make the most betting mistakes currently. Even then I'm still not so sure.

Also, I guess I'm not sure if I can push my opponent off of one pair hands when 3 to a straight comes in even though I whiff my draw. So I guess I still can't read the player types I'm up against fully yet either. It just seems so random, like some old man coffee types can switch from being really nitty to calling down with tptk. I almost never call without pot odds to do so either, so that definitely makes me look transparent when I'm caling down and my draw whiffs.

I think bluffing is really difficult in 1/2 and also by playing very patiently and by the book it's also difficult to get paid off.
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:49 PM   #5
Breadfish666
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

*
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Originally Posted by venice10 View Post
I'm going to guess that when you have an over or top pair on the flop, you bet hard on each street through the river. When you bluff, often one or more streets have been checked and you make your stab at the river. For a decent player, this behavior is easy to read. You need to adjust your thinking that TP is a hand where you can get 3 streets of value. There's an art to where to pick up the two streets of value that takes too much time to explain in a post.

Are you saying that I shouldn't try to get all three streets with TPTK? It's definitely villain dependent here but sometimes you can only get two streets with TPTK so I absolutely agree with you if that is what you are saying.


The second thing I see is that you haven't recognized that pf people's 3bet ranges are very narrow at 1/2. At most, people will 3bet JJ+, AK. Many will only 3bet AA or KK. They'll only 4bet with AA. So, you need to fold to 4bets unless you know you are up against the rare player to will bet wider.This helps a lot but if I'm 3 betting AK-AQ, A5s, KQo and I whiff I just don't have the balls yet to c-bet the bloated pot everytime if I whiff. Even if I c-bet most of the time my opponent is only calling when I'm drawing dead.

Third there is a difference between relative value and absolute value. Straights are a good hand in isolation. On a paired board with 3 of a suit showing, they often aren't even worth using as a bluff catcher. If someone calls down a hand with the FD on the board, it hits on the river and all of a sudden they make a bet, you're most likely beat. Don't pay them off.I guess I have a hard time when I'm in position and my opponent takes the lead with betting and the river card completes both our draws

Finally, poker is about winning money, not winning pots. At 1/2, you win money by putting lots of it in when you have a big edge against their range. Generally, if you are calling a hand on the river because it might be a winner, you're making a mistake. When you're no longer sure you have the best hand, for the most part stop betting.
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:52 PM   #6
Kelvis
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

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Originally Posted by Breadfish666 View Post
I think bluffing is really difficult in 1/2 and also by playing very patiently and by the book it's also difficult to get paid off.
As mentioned those cannot both be true. If it is difficult to bluff people that means they aren't folding and if they aren't folding then for sure it isn't difficult to get paid.
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:14 PM   #7
Breadfish666
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

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As mentioned those cannot both be true. If it is difficult to bluff people that means they aren't folding and if they aren't folding then for sure it isn't difficult to get paid.
Yep. I guess I'm having a hard time switching gears against the call stations and the nits. I also think I'm relying on my abc game too much. I could also just be playing on tilt at this point.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:11 PM   #8
the_glaive
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

It sounds like you're relatively inexperienced versus the field that you're up against, particularly with some of those bigger buy ins. Really, you have made a pretty significant loss and the idea of the game is to make money, so you need to reset with that as your goal.

I wanted to ask where you're living and whether playing online is an option. If you can play online, I would recommend that, as playing high volume against experienced internet players will help you improve and you can play low or micro stakes while you hone your skills.

If playing online is not an option, I would recommend that you play lower stakes and maybe if you're doing well then reward yourself with a higher buy in tournament.

Basically, while you're learning, you need to be able to experiment with your playing style and taking different lines, but you shouldn't be doing that with money you can't afford to lose.

I would also recommend that you play smaller tournaments and sit 'n' gos, because the variance is lower. At the moment, you could continue to lose for a long time without really knowing whether you're a good player or not.
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Old 07-09-2017, 07:58 PM   #9
Breadfish666
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

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Originally Posted by the_glaive View Post
It sounds like you're relatively inexperienced versus the field that you're up against, particularly with some of those bigger buy ins. Really, you have made a pretty significant loss and the idea of the game is to make money, so you need to reset with that as your goal.

I wanted to ask where you're living and whether playing online is an option. If you can play online, I would recommend that, as playing high volume against experienced internet players will help you improve and you can play low or micro stakes while you hone your skills.

If playing online is not an option, I would recommend that you play lower stakes and maybe if you're doing well then reward yourself with a higher buy in tournament.

Basically, while you're learning, you need to be able to experiment with your playing style and taking different lines, but you shouldn't be doing that with money you can't afford to lose.

I would also recommend that you play smaller tournaments and sit 'n' gos, because the variance is lower. At the moment, you could continue to lose for a long time without really knowing whether you're a good player or not.
I live in Florida so playing online really isn't an option and lowest cash limit is 1/2 $300 max. I guess I could play something like ignition but I'm not sure about playing online and would have to do more research.
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Old 07-11-2017, 03:50 PM   #10
Nepeeme2008
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

As far as the turbo tournaments you're playing, The faster the blind structure, the more luck comes into play and the less skill matters.
To be successful you have to develop a whole different skill level from both cash games as well as normal tournaments.
That's where the danger lies of blurring those lines.
I Know, it happened to me.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:26 PM   #11
Breadfish666
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

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Originally Posted by Nepeeme2008 View Post
As far as the turbo tournaments you're playing, The faster the blind structure, the more luck comes into play and the less skill matters.
To be successful you have to develop a whole different skill level from both cash games as well as normal tournaments.
That's where the danger lies of blurring those lines.
I Know, it happened to me.
I definitely play differently for these two games. I know when I get my KK all in preflop to 2 callers and lose to a set of nines in tourney it's just luck.

The thing is, I'm realizing I'm still a weaker player but cash games just seem really difficult especially when they are weak-tight with less callers to the flop.
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:29 PM   #12
The1Kid
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

My Advice....

Stay away from the Tournaments

Save Up $4000 before you play, anything less and you will be scared money or go broke.

Read poker books....
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:24 AM   #13
MIB211
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

Quote:
This helps a lot but if I'm 3 betting AK-AQ, A5s, KQo and I whiff I just don't have the balls yet to c-bet the bloated pot everytime if I whiff. Even if I c-bet most of the time my opponent is only calling when I'm drawing dead.
Ask yourself why are you 3-betting any of these hands, and in particular AQ, A5 and KQ. If you're going to play fit-or-fold post-flop, I think all of the above hands, and maybe even AK, are better to flat pre or fold pre rather than 3-bet. If you're 3-betting you need to win sometimes when you whiff. For instance, if you 3-bet AQ consider c-betting K-high boards.
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:09 PM   #14
Breadfish666
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Re: New player, downswings and setting goals.

Thanks for all the responses so far. I think for cash games I need to tighten up my ranges a bit. I seem to be struggling playing against the tag player type the most. I know it's best just to avoid confrontations with this player type but if it happens it happens.

One solution is for me to tighten up my range like I said I was going to and to start playing more like a tag myself and less like a tag fish.

I'd appreciate it if anyone could recommend some good threads for playing against tags or on coordinated boards.

Also, I'll prob just shy away from the bigger tourney buy ins for now at least until I recover some.
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