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Old 11-24-2007, 03:18 PM
hatchadour hatchadour is offline
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Default A Poker Player in Therapy

I was hoping to use the collected wisdom of 2+2 forums to improve my current slump. When I first started playing poker 10 years ago, 2+2 books and forum were instrumental in my poker education. Given the growth of the 2+2 forums, I was hoping to ask for some advice.

First a bit about me. I started playing live full-limit HE in 1997. I moved up from the smallest game ($2-4) to the biggest game at the local casino ($20-40). I was a graduate student at the time and played a few times a months. I was a winning player with an hourly rate of $55 and SD around $300 (on Stat King).

Since the advent of internet poker I have moved to playing online. I also started working full time so I had very little time to go to the casino. I started playing on PartyPoker. Moved up from $3-6 HE short handed (fixed limit) to $10-20 HE short handed. I did well again winning over $25,000. I did not keep stats but this was won over 2 years playing 3-4 hours a week.

Then PartyPoker closed down for US player. I deposited $5000 on PokerStars and have been having troubles every since. I started playing 10-20 short-handed hold'em. Over a few months I lost $2000 so I switched down to $5-10 short-handed. That did not help either and in another few months I lost another $2000. A move to $3-6 led to further bleeding of chips. I simply could not win. I then deposited $1000 and started playing $2-4 short handed. I was hoping to build my bankroll up but I simply cannot succeed: I am staying even. Unfortunately I do not keep any online stats but have accumulated 75,000 FPP (as an idea of how many hands are involved).

I simply cannot understand why I am doing so poorly on PokerStars. I have analyzed my play many times and cannot find any obvious faults. For a while I thought I was playing too loose but then when "Winning in Tough Hold'em Games" came out I realized I played too tight. Any ideas, thoughts, suggestions would be most welcomed. I do not use any poker tracking software and perhaps that is part of my problem (I have really no table selection skills in that regards).

Thanks in advance.
Hatchadour
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2007, 03:36 PM
Bobo Fett Bobo Fett is offline
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Default Re: A Poker Player in Therapy

Get Poker Tracker. Start reading and posting hands in the Small Stakes Shorthanded forum. Get on the monthly hand swap list there.
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2007, 03:48 PM
Eder Eder is offline
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Default Re: A Poker Player in Therapy

"Winning in Tough Hold'em Games"

Think thats wrong book for 2-4 limit on Stars. Try the short handed forum...maybe check out the starting hand charts and rebuild your short game from there.
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  #4  
Old 11-24-2007, 03:57 PM
questions questions is offline
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Default Re: A Poker Player in Therapy

Pokerstars is one of the toughest sites there is, nothing like the old Party Poker. On PS, you are playing against professional gamblers who have been playing poker for literally DECADES, math geniuses, etc. Not trying to make you feel bad, but if you want juicy games, find a different site.
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2007, 04:06 PM
Abbaddabba Abbaddabba is offline
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Default Re: A Poker Player in Therapy

you pay 2BB/100 in rake, and you arent substantially better than average. winning isnt the norm... you need to have the ingenuity to figure out what people are doing wrong, and how to exploit it if you want to succeed in modern day online limit hold em. the fact that you dont practice any game selection means you really dont "get it". the easiest fix is to stop playing on stars and figuring out which sites offer the best benefits for the level you play (or if you can obtain a prop account on a site that has a decent amount of action).

if there was a foolproof way of getting 'good' at poker so that one could make a living, there wouldnt be as many abysmal failures out there (and on this site, for that matter).
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2007, 07:54 AM
xxSTWxx xxSTWxx is offline
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Default Re: A Poker Player in Therapy

switch to nl, for a US player to win at 5/10 limit these days you've got be really really good
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2007, 09:59 AM
Jeff Oneye Jeff Oneye is offline
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Default Re: A Poker Player in Therapy

I think you've pretty much identified your problem. You're not practicing table selection and expecting a mechanical, straightforward system to win because it used to be successful. I've played all these short-handed limits (and unfortunately lost money) at Pokerstars and was draining chips until I shed my self-defeating habits.

I'm not from the school that says you absolutely, positively MUST use Poker Tracker. I doubt it could hurt, however. If you frequent Pokerstar's short-handed limit games you will invariably end up playing many of the same competitors day after day. Also, a trained eye can spot the tough competition without exceptional effort or time. While I could use a HUD, I find it advantageous (and simple)to make liberal use of the notes feature. Writing down little idiosyncracies and patterns can be worth quite a bit. Of course, you probably can find added benefit by supplementing your notes with Pokertracker stats. I don't find this to be a necessary condition of winning, unlike other folks I've associated with.

Pokertracker's usefulness is severely undermined if you're unwilling to commit to a rigorous and honest self-evaluation, which includes finding costly defects in your strategy. Knowing what is and isn't a problem is an art in and of itself. You have to be cognizant of the fact that different games will require substantial deviations from your normal game. At the 5/10 level, proper position charts won't help much without understanding their substantial limitations.

How well do you multitable? I find that I can succesfully hold my attention to about three tables simultaneously. Maybe you can start really low and work your way up from there. This way you can better gauge your competence at varying levels. You could concurrently start building your notes/database as many 6-max limit players will move up and down limits.

Your past performance is really irrelevant. It's about the here and now. If you let your ego direct your limits/game conditions, especially at a tricky site like Pstars, you will continue to bleed chips. A new environment obviously demands a new ideology. A rational approach to today's game will demand an ever-increasing appreciation of flexible, creative, intuitive and played-based strategies-instead of the rigid, mechanical, and robotic methods of yesteryear.

Jeffrey "People and things cannot disturb us; we upset ourselves by believing they can disturb us."
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  #8  
Old 11-25-2007, 03:11 PM
hatchadour hatchadour is offline
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Default Re: A Poker Player in Therapy

Thank you all for the advice (espicially Jeff Oneye). I appreciate your input and will certainly use it. Now I am confused: I thought PokerStars was the best site in the US (in terms of soft games). I heard FTP and UB were worse. What other softer sites are people referring to?
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  #9  
Old 11-26-2007, 12:43 AM
FaDi FaDi is offline
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Default Re: A Poker Player in Therapy

Cake poker i've heard is pretty soft
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  #10  
Old 11-26-2007, 03:21 AM
GrindingIt GrindingIt is offline
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Default Re: A Poker Player in Therapy

If you don't even keep stats you're obviously not a very serious player and though you could play like that and win a couple years ago you simply are getting outplayed now. Either play just for fun, quit playing or take it more serious.
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