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Old 03-16-2013, 07:12 AM   #1
juggle5344
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theory vs. reality and winning money

So, how do people actually win online?

I have read books, I have even independently scrutinized the math and I actually understand it, I have played hundreds and hundreds of hands. I have improved a lot, but I am still about dead even with rake. It seems like theory goes out the window when you are playing actual games and it really all comes down to beating up on fish. Is this really what it's all about? If that is so, I'm not sure I even want to continue playing the game.

For instance, ICM goes out the window if the other players aren't actually acting in their best interest. It works in 2-player but not always in multi-player. Particularly in double-up, the chip bully can just call with anything if he feels like being an a-hole, and his bad move is actually bad for both of you in some such situations.

So, what games should I play if I actually want to WIN without having to resort to too many slimy tactics. I just want to play straight poker. But it seems like even the mini-stakes (4.60 and lower) games are filled with people who know what they are doing. Any advice appreciated.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:16 AM   #2
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

move up a level where they respect your raises
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:21 AM   #3
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

You mean SNG eh

Learning how to count outs does not suffice to win nowadays

You'll have delve into ICM
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:21 AM   #4
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

Hundreds and hundreds of hands ??
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:25 AM   #5
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

OP, you do understand ICM results change based on villains' calling frequencies? If there's a CL who is going to call very wide, the correct adjustment is to narrow your jamming range.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:45 AM   #6
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

I think people get so angry at this because they're angry at themselves for being stupid enough to lose to a so called fish. (edit: not hating, i saw this in myself a long time ago)

Frying fish is an art form all by it's self. There are many kinds of terrible player and it's up to you to figure out what type they are and adjust your strat accordingly. That *is* poker.

If you just want to play by a pre-defined set of rules with everyone on the same page, this game probably isn't for you.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

Quote:
Originally Posted by misterfrench View Post
move up a level where they respect your raises
Ignore things like this.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:40 AM   #8
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

Like anything, practice, work hard, improve, then look over it, plug your leaks and slowly move up...
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:30 AM   #9
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjamjahaa View Post
Frying fish is an art form all by it's self. There are many kinds of terrible player and it's up to you to figure out what type they are and adjust your strat accordingly. That *is* poker.

If you just want to play by a pre-defined set of rules with everyone on the same page, this game probably isn't for you.
+1 to this. I have spent years looking for a "silver bullet". Through these forums I am beginning to realise that the correct answer on how to play a hand is "it depends". My hope is to learn on what and hopefully spot it and apply it at the table.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:11 PM   #10
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

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Originally Posted by juggle5344 View Post
his bad move is actually bad for both of you in some such situations.
You're saying that if villain is playing bad its bad for you too?
Go play against Phil Ivey, I'm sure he'll play optimal so you can beat him.

No but really, review your sessions if you made right decisions on important hands. Also, you say you have played 100s and 100s of hands. Try playing a lot more and see how you are doing.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:39 PM   #11
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

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Hundreds and hundreds of hands ??
Hundreds and thousands of hands

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Old 03-16-2013, 07:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by juggle5344 View Post
I have read books, I have even independently scrutinized the math and I actually understand it
Actually you probably dont.... Or at the very least you are likely tilted cos you just lost today and don't understand HOW to apply what you think you understand from the books you read.

It's okay to not quite get it - everyone was a beginner once - but do understand that your post is all over the place and contains flawed logic and the sooner you acknowledge that you have a lot to learn the sooner you can get better at poker quicker. Seriously
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:19 PM   #13
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

^+1
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:25 PM   #14
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

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Originally Posted by misterfrench View Post
move up a level where they respect your raises
Actually, I've read 4 poker books and watched over 200hrs of training videos and I'm not entirely sure that they DO respect your raises. I'll have to watch another 400hrs of vids at least to decide for sure though.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:53 PM   #15
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

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Actually, I've read 4 poker books and watched over 200hrs of training videos and I'm not entirely sure that they DO respect your raises. I'll have to watch another 400hrs of vids at least to decide for sure though.
Next you'll be telling us that people say 'move up to where they respect your raises' as some kind of joke !




.

Last edited by AlienSpaceBat; 03-16-2013 at 09:54 PM. Reason: say it ain't so
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:40 AM   #16
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

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Originally Posted by AlienSpaceBat View Post
Next you'll be telling us that people say 'move up to where they respect your raises' as some kind of joke !




.
Yeah, but he needs to watch vids for the next 17 days straight first. Games will still be good for the next 2.5 weeks before his new knowledge kills poker, better move up while the gettin's good!
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:06 AM   #17
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

OP

Good post I think, and deserves better that one or two of the replies it got.

Quote:
......and it really all comes down to beating up on fish. Is this really what it's all about?
For a beginner that wants to see a positive win rate...yes. 100%. Sorry not the answer you were looking for, but the truth nevertheless.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:20 AM   #18
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

As said above, poker is ALL about beating on the fish. As you get better, what defines a 'fish' changes but absolutely no-one (and most especially professional poker players) makes their money from equally good or better players.

100s of hands is the tiniest of tiny sample sizes. Being up, down or even over suh a small amount of games is largely meaningless in terns of indicating your 'true' win rate.

Theory does not go out the window, however it's much harder to do something than just read about it.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:41 AM   #19
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

of course playing poker is about beating up on fish. The great thing about it is the better you get the more fish there is. There's always tough games if you want to be challenged or work on your game, but playing against inferior opposition is what makes poker profitable.

Why else would you play poker?
I enjoy the game but can think of a lot more fulfilling things to do with my time if I wasn't a winner.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:39 AM   #20
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

ICM never goes out the window. Saying something like that shows you really don't understand the game as well as you think you do.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:22 AM   #21
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

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Originally Posted by AwesomeClown View Post
You're saying that if villain is playing bad its bad for you too?
Go play against Phil Ivey, I'm sure he'll play optimal so you can beat him.
In sng's there are spots where if villain make a bad call it is bad for villain and bad for you and benefits the rest of the table.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:45 AM   #22
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

Quote:
Originally Posted by juggle5344 View Post
So, how do people actually win online?

I have read books, I have even independently scrutinized the math and I actually understand it, I have played hundreds and hundreds of hands. I have improved a lot, but I am still about dead even with rake. It seems like theory goes out the window when you are playing actual games and it really all comes down to beating up on fish. Is this really what it's all about? If that is so, I'm not sure I even want to continue playing the game.
You have do to exploit your opponents tendencies as much as you can, it's the game. It certainly does require you to spot the different player types and weak players do end up as the targets of the better ones.

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Originally Posted by juggle5344 View Post
For instance, ICM goes out the window if the other players aren't actually acting in their best interest. It works in 2-player but not always in multi-player. Particularly in double-up, the chip bully can just call with anything if he feels like being an a-hole, and his bad move is actually bad for both of you in some such situations.
Many player at the low stakes won't be too strong on icm and this has to be a good thing. Even if a chip bully often calls it will be happening to others as much as you and so sometimes you will be one of the ones gaining.
Icm is one of the areas that is worth a good amount of study to improve your game. Even if you know that the bully should fold to your raise it is important to adjust to the types of players that often won't, you still should use the icm model you just have to adjust the calling range you are using for the opponent.
Quote:
Originally Posted by juggle5344 View Post
So, what games should I play if I actually want to WIN without having to resort to too many slimy tactics. I just want to play straight poker. But it seems like even the mini-stakes (4.60 and lower) games are filled with people who know what they are doing. Any advice appreciated.
Most players will be losing or breaking even, you have to be far enough ahead of the others to overcome the rake and this is a big chunk..
I am not sure if the "(4.60 and lower) games are filled with people who know what they are doing." was a typo for you or not, I actually agree with it in that many people playing micros now know a fair bit about the game and at every level it seem to be getting harder to overcome the rake.
Exploiting opponents ranges is not a slimy tactic it's a part of playing good poker. The micro stakes are getting pretty good these days and you can get quite decent tricky games at them. The lower stakes will still have the easiest opponents to beat but it still takes some hard work to beat them and it's best working out how to do this before trying any higher stakes.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:04 PM   #23
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

You have no idea how hard it is for me not to troll your post. I think I pulled a muscle. In any event, since you are in the beginner question forum I'll give you a pass and attempt to answer your post in a helpful manner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juggle5344 View Post
So, how do people actually win online? .
By being better than their opponents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juggle5344 View Post
So, how do people actually win online?

I have read books, I have even independently scrutinized the math and I actually understand it, I have played hundreds and hundreds of hands.
I want to stop right here and comment on this. Hundreds of hands "online" means almost nothing. To put this into perspective. When I played online, I grinded 10 tables at a time (and that is considered a bit weak, serious volume grinders do 12 - 24 tables and the truly sickos do up to 32 tables).

So, 10 tables at about 60 hands/hr means that I'm playing roughly 600 hands per hour. So, you being upset that over "hundreds and hundreds" of hands you can't beat the rake is equivalent to someone who is learning chess and has made "dozens and dozens" of moves is made because they can't beat the computer on the lowest setting...

Basically, you are not even wet behind the ears yet!!! You are still in the womb. That is how noob you are.

It takes about 25,000 hands to have any real degree of confidence on your abilities/winrate. And your winrate will be constantly changing as you continue to learn and probably won't stabilize until you have a couple of MILLION hands under your belt.


Quote:
Originally Posted by juggle5344 View Post
... but I am still about dead even with rake. It seems like theory goes out the window when you are playing actual games and it really all comes down to beating up on fish. Is this really what it's all about? If that is so, I'm not sure I even want to continue playing the game.
Lets come back to chess. Is becoming a winning chess player all about "beating up on the fish/clueless chess players?"

No.

Its about being better than your villain. The problem I sense you are having is a problem all noobs have, that is, you don't truly understand how complex poker is.

I don't want to start a chess vs poker debate (I was a serious chess player once upon a time). But I think chess is a great model to use to try to explain how complex/hard poker is.

How much time have you spent studying and playing poker? If you spent that same amount of time studying and playing chess, would you be a high rated chess player?

It not only takes serious study to become a great chess player, it requires aptitude, talent, hard work, discipline, patience, mental fortitude, and a boat load of hours spent playing, analyzing your play, studying different moves, etc etc.

Same thing with poker.

What makes poker so complex is that human memory, ego, perception, etc can work together to give the noob a false understanding of poker. The noob thinks he has the game all figured out simply because he read a book, a few articles, and crushed the game for 500bb three times last week... But then, the next week, he loses his ass and concludes that the game is just nothing but luck...


Quote:
Originally Posted by juggle5344 View Post
......For instance, ICM goes out the window if the other players aren't actually acting in their best interest. It works in 2-player but not always in multi-player. Particularly in double-up, the chip bully can just call with anything if he feels like being an a-hole, and his bad move is actually bad for both of you in some such situations.
This belays a staggering amount of ignorance and wrongness on your part. The above is so laughable incorrect it hurts my brain just reading it. I could literally write a book about the above paragraph pointing out all the instances where it is beyond wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juggle5344 View Post
......So, what games should I play if I actually want to WIN without having to resort to too many slimy tactics. I just want to play straight poker. But it seems like even the mini-stakes (4.60 and lower) games are filled with people who know what they are doing. Any advice appreciated.
There is a famous saying that applies to you, "If you have been playing at the table for 30 minutes and can't spot the sucker... then its you..."

When you become a winning player then any and all games will look juicy to you. When you are the biggest shark at the table then all your opponents look like fish.

I know you think you are smart and awesome and can walk on water, eat fire and crap ice cream... but the reality is you just aren't near as good and competent as you think you are.

You don't respect nor understand just how complex poker is. I mean, if you could master the game after reading a couple of books and learning how to do basic pot odds calculations then everyone would be a winning player right?
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:22 PM   #24
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

Quote:
Originally Posted by juggle5344 View Post
So, how do people actually win online?

I have read books, I have even independently scrutinized the math and I actually understand it.
I wanted to touch on this in more depth to better illustrate both the complexity of poker and the work required to master the game. Poker math is more than just pot odds and the rule of 4 and 2 or figuring out that AA beats KK 80% of the time...

There have been millions of man-hours devoted to breaking down poker mathematically and the game is still unsolvable...

Below is some Poker Math Models I built to answer a question about profitability of set mining in a particular situation. CLICK HERE for the original thread

I've modeled dozens of different situations to figure out the "correct" play and there are literally an infinite number of possible situations I could model. I could spend the rest of my life generating poker math models... So I seriously doubt you've put the time and effort into "scrutinizing the math" such that you should be crushing the game based on "hundreds and hundreds" of hands.

So below should give you a better "feel" for just how complex poker is and the work that is required to crush the game. Good news for you is that on 2+2 lots of 2+2ers have done the heavy lifting for you and you will see lots of math on here that applies to most of the situations you will encounter. "Rules of thumb" are generated by the math and all you have to know is the rules of thumb (i.e. making sure you are getting 15:1 odds (implied and direct) to profitably set mine)

************************************************** ****

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgiharris View Post
EDIT: I made a slight mistake in my earlier posting and will ask a mod to delete it. When I was adding multiple villains, I forgot to include their preflop calls to the raise. The below models incorporate the change and are correct.

So, I updated the model, made it more equity based and used poker stove to determine equity.

The generic situation that is modeled is that "when" we hit our set, we have 66 on a T 6 3 rainbow flop.

V1 has a range of AA, KK, QQ, AKs
Additional Villains have a range:
-- Range #1 22 - JJ, 54s+
-- Range #2 22 - JJ, Axs, Kxs, 54s+

Villains will continue and call the c-bet 35% of the time and out of that 35% they will stack off 25% of the time. If they decide to stack off, equity determined by pokerstove applies.

I did two initial scenarios vs one villain to show impact of dead money. DEAD MONEY just applies to preflop money in the pot (i.e. limpers). I also increased the villain raise from 3bb to 7bb. In the live 1/2nl games, opening raises to 7bb (i.e. $14) are incredibly common. C-bet is 10bb. Hero only continues with the hand if hero flops a set, otherwise, Hero folds. Hero will also occasionally lose with a set and get stacked, that is covered by pokerstove equity that is integrated into the model.

As you can see below, setmining at 50bb isn't really profitable vs 2 villains are less under these conditions, ie big opening raises. I know, shocking right?












EDIT: The last model says V2/V3 it should say V2/V3/V4

So, the basic take away is the setmining vs 2 villains or less under these conditions is -EV and not profitable. Setmining with 3 or 4 villains is profitable with 4 villains being almost three times more profitable than 3 villains.

EDIT: Sorry, at the bottom of each model it says "...profit calling the 3bb raise" when it should say "... profit calling the 7bb raise"
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:29 PM   #25
juggle5344
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Re: theory vs. reality and winning money

I should have said understand some of it. Jesus christ, it was a mistake.

Anyway, thank you to the helpful responses, and the honest ones, and for anyone who wasn't a complete jerk.

I think some people misunderstand some of the points I was making. No, I'm not an idiot. I know I don't understand the game. Jeez, I'm not an imbecile. Cut me a little slack.

But yeah thank you for the helpful responses. I probably won't be playing much anymore but if I change my mind, I will take a closer look at some of them.
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