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General Poker Discussion >> Beginners Questions

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Reged: 04/12/07
Posts: 642
Reaching the end of my rope
      #10255801 - 05/05/07 09:15 PM

Ive made some posts here before, and ive met several of the members over aim conversations and the like. However, i am starting to feel like I am stuck in a hopeless situation. Every time i begin to do well, i have a huge roller coaster ride and end up broke again, ending up having to reload. Again I am down to my last 30$, and I just dont even know what to say. Its not like im out of money, but if i cant get my bankroll going, and i continue to be a marginal losing player, whats the point? (Here is something we can all agree on.)

I have Pokertracker and Gametime set up, however it really didnt end up helping me nearly as much as I anticipated. Also, and i know this is going to sound really, really, noob, (But frankly, at this point, I dont really care anymore) I cant even fathom how certain games can be "beaten". I know, im going to get laughed at, but it seems like all of the options i get every hand always result in me doing poorly. Ive played roughly 15K hands and i just dont know what to do.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing for me is, the people on this site make everything seem so incredibly easy. I dont know what to say. I struggle at micro limits and small time Sit and Go's and MTT's, and when i win its for too small an amount to offset my losses. Then i go onto this site to read and try to learn, and I just feel like im not going anywhere , like im stuck and my game isnt improving.

However, i really love the game of poker; a lot. If i didnt, I wouldnt be here today, and i wouldnt of tried to play, and lost money along the way. Maybe thats the biggest key, admitting that I am a losing player and need some help. I dont think i am a very bad player, just very marginally losing. Ive had a few just wicked beats along the way (As everyone else has as well), and compounded with what i believe is poor play, the results are amplified.

Perhaps what im asking for here, is if there is anyone here, who out of the kindness of their heart would make an attempt to help me understand bankroll issues, the way to move up, and ultimately, a fresh perception on the game. I really am willing to learn, and im certainly not a begginner in the world of poker. I just need to get my game sorted out, or Im afraid that i just need to quit this, because i cant keep losing money at this game.

Thank you guys for your time.
If you want to talk to him, hit me up on Aim @MrPresidentPolk or @ Email @ Guitar4life100@gmail.com . Really, any advice would be appreciated.

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Reged: 06/13/05
Posts: 104
Loc: Utah
Re: Reaching the end of my rope [Re: WCGRider]
      #10255916 - 05/05/07 09:30 PM

WCGRider - I don't have a lot of advice, except I have been downthe road you are on. My problem is how sincerely do I want to stake poker. It has taken me a couple of years but I realize what my weaknesses are as far as game selection and whether to paly online or not, etc. I have worked on these holes, but in all sicerity some oif my mixes can't be fixed. Wehere I can go play in a live tourney in a B&M for 110.00 and place in the cash, usually top 5, I cannot for the life of me duplicate these results online. Same thing for cash game. The problem is, poker live for me is at least 110 miles away, that makes most of the games ubbeatable (factor in the bad beat, the rake, the commute and the LOW limit 2/5 NL).
I guess what I am saying is that Itruly feel your pain, but I have been on these boards for a bit and yes, there are a lot of flamers, but there are also a lot of good people to give advice. I wish you well, let me know what you hear.

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Reged: 04/12/07
Posts: 642
Re: Reaching the end of my rope [Re: mikehildebrand]
      #10255967 - 05/05/07 09:37 PM

thanks mike, really good post. Ironically, the only time i played in a casino i actually won a bunch : D. But i know what your saying and ill keep in touch.

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Carpal \'Tunnel

Reged: 03/23/04
Posts: 4515
Re: Reaching the end of my rope [Re: WCGRider]
      #10256695 - 05/05/07 11:28 PM


i continue to be a marginal losing player...Maybe thats the biggest key, admitting that I am a losing player and need some help.

Yes, that's a good step. While luck is a factor, you haven't acquired the skills you need to win yet.


However, i really love the game of poker; a lot.

Good. If you don't enjoy it, and you aren't winning a lot, you should quit. By the way, many people enjoy playing poker, and never learn to win. For most poker players, poker is an entertainment expense.


attempt to help me understand bankroll issues, the way to move up, and ultimately, a fresh perception on the game.

Bankrolls are for winning players. A bankroll will not give you the skills to win. Don't worry about a bankroll until you have established yourself as a solid winner. A losing player will burn through any amount.

Rather than moving up, move down until you hit a level you can beat. Understand why you are winning, what mistakes your opponents are making that you don't make. Then move up slowly, maintaining the feeling of winning as you learn to beat tougher opponents.


Perhaps the most frustrating thing for me is, the people on this site make everything seem so incredibly easy.

Some do. Some overstate poker's difficulty. The reality is between the extremes. Poker is a game against other people. It's not rocket science. You need to beat other people to win. Most of your opponents are not studying the game, so that can be your advantage.

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Reged: 03/25/07
Posts: 205
Loc: The OC, CA
Re: Reaching the end of my rope [Re: WCGRider]
      #10257044 - 05/06/07 12:11 AM

Hello friend,

I completely understand your frustrations. I bought in on Stars back in February to clear a bonus. I started at .25c/.50c and won $4 the first night and assumed I would average $4 a night. Pretty cool, huh?

Less than 24 hours later I lost $7 in the same game but cleared a few more points for my bonus. So I moved up to the bigger game to chase my losses and clear more of my bonus. I got eaten ALIVE at 1/2 and 2/4. Lost $100 in a night and had to rebuy. What a donkish EV- play, huh?

After that I wised up. No more crying about bad beats (bad play?), no more chasing losses and MOST importantly I found a game I can beat. May not be much but I am beating the 5c/10c for over 2BB/100. I have $330 in my Stars account and plan on playing 100k hands in the micros. What's the rush to move up, anyway? You're not playing for a living so take it slow and LEARN the game.

Let your EGO go! I was not half as good as I thought and neither are you! I don't mean to sound mean but the harsh reality of it is that there are so many skills to master to become a winning poker player. It just does not happen so easy, as you refer to it, nor after reading a few books.

I have played almost 14k hands and am still negative in terms of dollars but up in terms of BB/100 albeit marginally.

Here's my solution to you: with a $30 BR start at the 5c/10c, play 100 hands and STOP. I don't care if you're up, down or even. Analyze every pot you entered and ask yourself "why did I enter the pot". What were my odds on that street? Who was I up against? (Poker Ace HUD is useful in this situation as well as any reads you had on them). Use Poker Stove to find out your equity when you enter a hand and for instance flop TPTK (Top Pair Top Kicker aka AK then find out what your best play is. Read Small Stakes Hold Em again and again. I cannot express how much of a disservice your are doing to yourself by not reading this book AGAIN and AGAIN. I have read it 3 times and need to read it 3 more times.

And lastly, if you go on "TILT" every times you get a bad beat and start overcalling raises with Ace little or KJ or chasing in tiny pots you will never beat this game consistantly. This was a problem of mine a couple years ago when I would take $50 down to the local B&M lose it in a 3/6 cash game and rebuy only to lose that too.
You MUST have DISCIPLINE and PATIENCE to beat this game at the micros.
If you don't you'll find yourself on the rail.


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Bottom Feeder

Reged: 11/21/05
Posts: 2016
Loc: Pre-Flop Razor
Re: Reaching the end of my rope [Re: googleit123]
      #10258530 - 05/06/07 03:42 AM

One thing I think should be stressed is to pick one game.

If you like SnGs, play SnGs. If you like NL 6-max, play NL6-max. If you like limit, play limit. MTTs, fine, play those. But just pick one, and then don't play anything else until you are regularly crushing that game at a stake you are comfortably rolled for.

Different games have different "styles" of play. I find NL more fun that limit because in limit one mistake costs me one bet. In NL, one mistake and my whole stack is gone. I like that because it puts my destiny more firmly in my own hands, and each decision on every street in every hand becomes that much more important. (And if you haven't learned how your decisions before the flop HUGELY impact your decisions on the river, then you need to stop playing NL.)

I don't play MTTs because I like to sit down when I want, play for as long as I want, then get up and cash out whenever I want. I don't like SnGs because the quickly rising blinds turn the game into a pre-flop shove fest, and in my head that just isn't poker. Poker is about playing deep stacks after the flop. And I feel that in 6-Max the table dictates to my how I should play, where as in full ring games feel I can dictate my terms to the table.

Now, I didn't say all that to tell you to not play any of those other games. MTTs will always be where the GIANT paydays are at. Highly skilled players like aba & green plastic LOVE 6-max because it provides the greatest opportunity for them to put their superior skills to use. And if you are reasonably skilled at adapting to the constantly changing environment, then SnGs provide a great place to grind a nice, consistent income.

The point I was trying to make was I found a game that fits my personality and "style" of play. Decide what game fits you best, and then study just that poker variant.

Study it, play it, stay within your roll, and before long you'll be crushing the tables.

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Reged: 04/12/07
Posts: 642
Re: Reaching the end of my rope [Re: phydaux]
      #10258995 - 05/06/07 05:30 AM

Thank you guys so much, ive decided to play one table at a time, with what im comfortable with, and really focus on the opposition and the situation. As things go along ill make another post. Thank you again for everything.

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Reged: 02/09/06
Posts: 1504
Loc: Playing with chips'n stuff
Re: Reaching the end of my rope [Re: WCGRider]
      #10259732 - 05/06/07 09:12 AM

Late response. You didn't refer to any particular knowledge base except your own playing experience so I will tell you how I have improved and continue to inprove my game. You can decide if it's worth a try.

Buy and read "Small Stakes Hold'em" by Sklansky and Miller. Most of the winning posters on this site are using knowledge and thought processes from that book. Itis not an easy read nor is it a magic bullet. You will need to read and reread sections of it while you continue to play and think. You will improve incrementally as the lights go on one at a time.

Also important: Respond to posted hands ( grunch style) and post hands you personally have a question about. Disregard the flames and denigration you may get from a few posters (rare though) in favor of getting a lot of helpful information. I mostly post hands in the Micro Limit forum since that is the stakes I play. Other forums do it similarly. Lurking and reading posts is fine but the needed info seems to "stick" better if you are invested/involved in the process.

Join in session reviews. A must. You can get a lot from reviewing someone elses sessions and from having yours reviewed in detail. (I'll do one with you if you wish and if you PM me about it) Again not a magic bullet but very likely helpful.

Somewhere along the line also read "Understanding the Poker Mind" and "The Psychology of Poker" I have several other books I recommend highly as well. Including "Hold'em For Advanced Players"

Yes. You probably can eventually figure it all out on your own (after all some one did originally!!!) But it is much easier to stand on the shoulders of those who have both learned it and organized their thoughts in writing.

Finally, as you journey along the above described route you will encounter other sources of very good knowledge and or tools. If you do these things I predict you will be a solid winning player in a very few short months. Maybe weeks if you run good! Just as importantly: You will know and have confidence that you are a winning player (even during the inevitable downswings ) and you will know why you are a winner.

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Poker Plan
old hand

Reged: 07/18/06
Posts: 786
Loc: Shropshire, UK
Re: Reaching the end of my rope [Re: Bona]
      #10259960 - 05/06/07 10:15 AM

You've got to go right back to the basics. You've got to focus you're mind on how profit is generated in poker. Read some of the key books which explain "Expected Value" (Small Stakes Holdem / Weighing the Odds)

Discpline is paramount. It's the cornerstone of everything in poker.

Play at the very lowest limits until you can beat them over (say) 50K hands.

Emotions & Ego are your enemy in poker. Work on those aspects away from the game. Practise being more "objective" in everday situations. Monitor how your body reacts to situations, to comments made by others, the actions of others, etc.

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old hand

Reged: 04/19/07
Posts: 905
Loc: microaments .blogspot .com
Re: Reaching the end of my rope [Re: Poker Plan]
      #10261709 - 05/06/07 02:26 PM

Some excellent advice so far, and my situaion was very similiar to yours WCGrider until only a few weeks ago.

I was a losing player, i blamed it on bad beats and luck, but it was down to the fact i was a terrible poker player. I read forums etc but i never actually put work into learning the game.

Things like pot odds, calculating outs were like Japanesse to me. I knew they existed but i just didnt think they were that important.

I put $10 in various poker sites and re-loaded when i lost it. About 2 weeks ago i was down too $0.22 cents and i didnt want to reload again and it was all starting too add up.

Thats when i decided to put some effort into learning the basics of poker. I spend times calculating pot odds, going reading hands post on this forum and working it out like that. I did the same with outs, i still havent learned it wll enough that it comes instanlty but i am getting there. I downloaded a holdem calculator and learnd what my % is of beating some with AK vs AQ and all other hands which i learned from this forum.

But probaly the most important thing was buying Small stakes Holdem, Bona is spot on. It is essential. I plan on getting alot more books and reading, but for the moment i plan on sticking with SSH as it takes awhile for it all to sink in and understand.

Pokertrackr is also a must. however alot of people just download it, stick in hand histories and think job done, now i will become a winning player. Study every hand that you lost alot of money with, study what position you are losing at most on the table and see what hands you are losing with.

The worst mistake i made was the number of times i saw the flop, i was constantly seeing flops with anything and everything, its the worst mistake you can make in poker. Even now i do it, but not as often.

I play 10 seater games and up until a few weeks ago i saw the flop 437 times out of 660. Thats criminal really. Now its 326 out of 771, still quite big but a huge improvement.

Another mistake people make is playing to their bankroll and not there abilitly. Every player should start at the bottom and work up. Alot of players deposit$100 or so and think they should play .25/.50 or whatever becuase they have $100 bankroll.

I play 0.01/0.2 and i plan on sticking at this level until i reach $100(currently $13.58), then i will move up.

Best of luck

Edited by Teddie (05/06/07 02:44 PM)

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