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Old 06-16-2017, 10:27 AM   #1
ThoughtOuttaSeason
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Poker Study Structure for Beginners?

Hi,

There is so much information about learning poker on the internet that its difficult to not waste a lot of time sifting through poor quality videos or finding an article that looks useful, only to find out it so basic it contains nothing you haven't read 5 times somewhere else already. But the largest problem I'm facing is a lack of STRUCTURE.

I was wondering if anyone knew of a syllabus for learning online poker that someone had put together with free, online resources (or even books one has to buy) that is useful in 2017.

In particular as I have no coach or teacher, its difficult to know WHAT topics are most fundamental and in what particular order I should study them so that each topic builds on and refines the last.

So far I've read Harrington On Online Cash Games to get some fundamentals, though even a lot of this basic book seems kind of dated (especially for example in its advice on how to handle 3bets...it was written when people in the micros 3bet much less I suppose and as a result it seems dealing with 3bets, knowing when to 4bet is much more complex now).

I also read Ed Miller's "Playing the Player" though this seems very oriented to exploiting the way live low stakes players play.

I've been watching in no particular order: SplitSuit videos, Jonathan Little hand review videos, and some others, as well as reading the free articles on Upswing Poker which actually seem good in that they get a bit deeper than most short, online articles. Related to that, I just found this book from like 2008 Ryan Fee wrote called "6Max NL Strategy Guide" and was wondering if anyone on here had read it and felt it was still useful for today's games http://www.**************.biz/books/2p2NL6max.pdf
It looks well organized and like it will go into more intricate detail than the Harrington Book so will probably read it.

I'm probably wrong, but my plan has been to focus on mastering things in this order:

1) Preflop play
2) Ranges and board texture analysis
3) Exploitative Strategies
4) Betting an Bet Sizing
5) 3 and 4 Betting
6) Playing from the Blinds

Obviously I'm moving around from topic to topic but trying to master these topics in this order as it seems logical to me.

Any advice on how to STRUCTURE my study would be greatly appreciated
Thanks
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:34 PM   #2
King Spew
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Re: Poker Study Structure for Beginners?

You have already done a good deal of studying..... so I will turn this thread back onto you.

What does "mastering" mean to you? As an example, you have read TONS of articles and books. What don't you understand about Preflop Play?

((as a follow up, if you are looking for the magic formula [ALWAYS do this, NEVER do that] that will lead to success....let us all know when you find it.))
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:53 PM   #3
ThoughtOuttaSeason
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Re: Poker Study Structure for Beginners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by King Spew View Post
You have already done a good deal of studying..... so I will turn this thread back onto you.

What does "mastering" mean to you? As an example, you have read TONS of articles and books. What don't you understand about Preflop Play?

((as a follow up, if you are looking for the magic formula [ALWAYS do this, NEVER do that] that will lead to success....let us all know when you find it.))
My studying lacks a system in which new knowledge builds on what's already learned. So I've spent a lot of time reading about concepts that would probably have made more sense to me if I'd first studied more basic concepts.

It would be like trying to learn mathematics by reading some short articles and videos about addition/subtraction, then moving to a day of algebra, then moving backward to study division/multiplication, then studying calculus, then realizing my algebra study didn't help me very much because my division/multiplication knowledge was poor when I tried to study it. So I have to go back to algebra. For example, I spent some time early on studying preflop opening ranges. Then moved on. But actually, I realized this week I have no idea what hands I should be calling with. Only opening myself. So here I am, calling with the wrong hands preflop like a total fish, but I read the first few chapters of Bill Chen's "Mathematics of Poker" which I figured out now if basically useless at 5nl.

In time, I will absorb the information. I just wish there was a course of study that presented the most fundamental poker concepts in a standardized order, the way schools organize the study of math and science.

And so little of what I read if comprehensive and in depth. Like I'll read/watch 5 videos about 3betting and 80% of the info will be a repeat of the others, but there will be a few gems of info in each video that is new info. With more structure I feel I'd waste less time.

And there seems to be no consensus on which study materials are actually good. If I wanted to study any academic topic, an hour or two of research would lead me to what were clearly considered the best, most current books in the field by the experts in the field. Or take a "training site" like Deuces Cracked: perhaps quite a few videos are useful, but it is basically a sea of information all mixed up in no particular order and you are left, as a complete amateur, to your own ability to sort through it and find the gems. Its less a training site than a library.

Upswing Poker's Lab is marketed as the sort of thing I am looking for, but am very reluctant to pay $100 only to find out its no more structured than watching videos randomly on youtube.

I'm certainly not looking "always do this never do that" solutions. If they existed poker would probably bore me. Its the creative aspect that most interests me.
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:50 PM   #4
King Spew
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Re: Poker Study Structure for Beginners?

Do you feel your confusion has to do with your level of play? As in, "I am a 10NL cash player, yet all this stuff put out lately is geared toward the 100NL level...or tournament play"? Or do you not recognize that materials have different audiences?
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:26 PM   #5
ThoughtOuttaSeason
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Re: Poker Study Structure for Beginners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by King Spew View Post
Do you feel your confusion has to do with your level of play? As in, "I am a 10NL cash player, yet all this stuff put out lately is geared toward the 100NL level...or tournament play"? Or do you not recognize that materials have different audiences?
I think the the main problem is I've really been making a serious effort to study for just a few weeks. So probably with a bit more time I'll be able to sort things out for myself and study in a more structured way on my own. At first I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information about nlhe online and in print. And didn't know where to start. But its definitely becoming clearer now. I've definitely put aside what I clearly see are more advanced ideas for the time being and am just running through very basic material in a very thorough way and not letting myself move on too quickly. All in all my game has improved massively in a few weeks so, all is good I guess.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:52 PM   #6
Tripletire
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Re: Poker Study Structure for Beginners?

I sympathize whole-heartedly with this problem, it's one most of us face. My main advice is to not be discouraged that it's taking so damn long to find the right material to study from, that you just spent an hour and a half of your 2.5 hours allotted study time figuring out what to study over the next couple days. It can bring you down and make you feel stagnated, but don't worry, there's a lot of time left to learn what you have to learn. I remember that frustration that'd pop up every once in a while about how I should know all this stuff by now, I should be pro by now, etc. It's bad for our mental state. Try meditation if you struggle with this stuff often.

Either way, you'll end up in these times having to gather materials. You'll decide that your check/raise game is lacking so you try to figure out what to study first, and there's never a clear answer. Just find what you can and get started as soon as you can afterwards, learning everything you can find.

Very reliable learning resources to pick and choose topics from:

runitonce - far and a way the one I spend the most time with
pokervip - really strong articles
upswing - quality articles

The Grinder's Manual - dope book
Easy Game - even better but much denser book
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:05 AM   #7
jeffmray
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Re: Poker Study Structure for Beginners?

get in there and play 12 hours non-stop of 5NL.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:33 PM   #8
surgeonmagic
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Re: Poker Study Structure for Beginners?

I observe that Poker is a game of risks. You can develop your poker skills step by step. This is to provide a solid foundation. I notice that learning really depends on what fits best for your personal style. Some would suggest that the studying could be "between 50% and 75% of your poker time and playing between 25% and 50% of your poker time".
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