Crushing 6 max home game, so how do I get better?

redeagle

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I think improving your game by trying to change that home game or friends would be not be a fast route. If I did anything with your home game it might be opening them up to other games once in a while.

It seems to me you need to play a larger variety and skill set of players. I would do some online training to strengthen up the math skills (always helps your game) and commit to one or two day trips to Vancouver each month for small tournaments or low stakes games at a casino. The tournament fixed buy in limits your losses and even though they play a bit different than cash games, you’ll get to make more advanced plays against many more unknown player types.
 

JScott

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Interesting post!

How good are you at the math side? It seems like you are pretty good at reading your players over time! But are you doing all the poker math on every hand? Are you so practiced that it feels natural?
Thank you, I thought it would be a good topic. I'm good at the math side, it's definitely not second nature to me. I find I end up abandoning that concept in the first half of a game and focus on the exploitative nature of the game. I did once try and play a local game here at an underground card room (mentioned earlier), but other than being a total donkfest of a tournament (some guys were 5 buyins deep by our first break), the atmosphere was total shit. I've only played in a casino a couple of times, each time walking away $200 up playing 1/3, but was that luck? skill?? The first time was definitely luck.

I've actually come up with a solution once my card room is ready. I'm going to host 1 game a week, each different.

1.) A micro stakes game where we play new types of poker (the guys already love when we play bomb pots, Pineapple, PLO etc, so I know they're open to it.) that focuses on teaching and bringing in new players
2.) Regular 25c/25c game with my original crew
3.) Higher stakes 50c/$1 game
4.) Tournament.

I hate tournaments and this is really only to appease a couple guys that have to "fight to the death" and can't handle cash games. They're not great players, but usually end up in the money during STT's because of pure aggression and weak players around them. I place in the money due to solid play, but it's not my type of poker.
+1 on this. You don't need to be an expert, but if you can get decent at Stud and PLO, NLHE almost becomes formulaic. The challenge is finding enough players willing to play non-Holdem games. If you figure that out, let me know :)
This is great advice, and as mentioned above my crew is open to new types of games, so this shouldn't be a problem.
I think improving your game by trying to change that home game or friends would be not be a fast route. If I did anything with your home game it might be opening them up to other games once in a while.

It seems to me you need to play a larger variety and skill set of players. I would do some online training to strengthen up the math skills (always helps your game) and commit to one or two day trips to Vancouver each month for small tournaments or low stakes games at a casino. The tournament fixed buy in limits your losses and even though they play a bit different than cash games, you’ll get to make more advanced plays against many more unknown player types.
I addressed a bit of this above, but yep, that's the direction I'm going to go. Keep my main game the same, and add a couple of others to the docket.

Probably will avoid tournaments at the casino, but I should make a trip there at least once every other month to play. The rake is brutal here though...
 

redeagle

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Probably will avoid tournaments at the casino, but I should make a trip there at least once every other month to play. The rake is brutal here though...
That’s one reason I recommended the tournaments. They’ll still give you a days worth of play against a variety of opponents.

Regardless, it sounds like you have a plan. Every hour of play outside your home group will be an hour well spent. Maybe not profitable, but if you learn from it you will be achieving your stated goal.
 

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I really like playing at casinos because if you present yourself in a respectful manner usually you can get some good advice from regulars and semi pros about certain spots. I remember a having a conversation about the hi jack position years back and my head about exploded when it worked time after time. It’s fun to find that other “gear” and play a different strategy. Short answer study for a game plan but be humble and ask better players for advice. You will find that a lot of people like talking over hands and situations
 

Outkicked

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I really like playing at casinos because if you present yourself in a respectful manner usually you can get some good advice from regulars and semi pros about certain spots. I remember a having a conversation about the hi jack position years back and my head about exploded when it worked time after time. It’s fun to find that other “gear” and play a different strategy. Short answer study for a game plan but be humble and ask better players for advice. You will find that a lot of people like talking over hands and situations
Once your beating the 1/2NL game at the casinos, you will chop your home game in half! Not that you aren’t doing that already it will just take you half the time lol
 

boltonguy

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Play 25NL zone (anonymous fast fold) on Ignition online. You can see 250 hands per hour and when you are consistently beating that game you will shred your home game. You'll also shred 1/2 and be solid at 2/5 at the casino IMHO.
 

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I'm building a pretty state of the art poker room in my house, and with that might attract higher stakes, which may lead to better players... and I like winning.

I’ve been in your spot man, I understand...
I played low stakes poker and did pretty well. Then I read all the poker books and studied like crazy. It helped a bit for when I started playing bigger stakes, but really man, you just gotta get in and play bigger stakes.

I remember my first 5-5 underground game, I had $300, the minimum buy in. I had no clue what I was up against, guys had $3000 in front of them. I played tight, tried not to lose and when it mattered my Queens held up and eventually I left with 1500. Lucky first day with the big boys. They were maniacs, pros and drunks.

There’s only so much you can study, there’s really no substitute for having some skin in the game and watching better players work a table. Probably the most important advice is to know who the better players are and avoid them for a while :)

I didn’t always win, I lost my share. I think most good players have paid for thier poker education in cold hard cash. I protected myself long enough to feel comfortable, and I learned the game. things from the books started to make physical sense, when before they were just theories. you have to test them.

Nowadays, I don’t mind throwing some chips around with my buddies... but playing poker with people who don’t know how to Play isn’t really attractive anymore, even if it’s easy money.

Stick your feelers out and you will find a game, go test your theories, take it easy and play smart and your queens might just hold up.
 
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Jimulacrum

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Nowadays, I don’t mind throwing some chips around with my buddies... but playing poker with people who don’t know how to Play isn’t really attractive anymore, even if it’s easy money.
I guess this makes sense if you don't care too much about the money, but care a whole lot about conquering challenges and testing the limits of your skill.

Personally, I'm a happy guy if I find myself at a table full of very soft opponents. It's not that the challenge isn't important to me, but IMO a big part of the game is learning to assess whether you're a favorite or an underdog in each game, and choosing accordingly. Nothing wrong with sitting in the challenging game once in a while, but sit in too many challenging games, and you'll quickly find yourself without a roll to play with.
 
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TheBigTater

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Nothing wrong with sitting in the challenging game once in a while, but sit in too many challenging games, and you'll quickly find yourself without a roll to play with.

Best statement I've seen in a long time, agree 1000%. Nothing wrong with taking advantage of soft players/game, unless you hate money. :)
 

RainmanTrail

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My advice: take a step back and don't assume you're "crushing" these players who "used to give you trouble" but who are now "turning into fish" after you seemingly unlocked your inner genius. You're probably just running good.
 

JScott

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My advice: take a step back and don't assume you're "crushing" these players who "used to give you trouble" but who are now "turning into fish" after you seemingly unlocked your inner genius. You're probably just running good.
That's been nagging at me in the past, but it has been 33 sessions since I've tracked and documented being a winning player. So that's a pretty good sample size that would take the variance out of just running good. They don't really understand the nuances of the game either, they're just really aggressive. These are guys that think anything with a face card is a good hand

Although I have found that tournament poker is where I still struggle. We've only played 3 since I started tracking and I've cashed in 2 of them, but I didn't win. And I just don't like the format.

Trust me, I haven't unlocked my inner genius. ;)
 

Johnblue

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I guess this makes sense if you don't care too much about the money, but care a whole lot about conquering challenges and testing the limits of your skill.

Personally, I'm a happy guy if I find myself at a table full of very soft opponents. It's not that the challenge isn't important to me, but IMO a big part of the game is learning to assess whether you're a favorite or an underdog in each game, and choosing accordingly. Nothing wrong with sitting in the challenging game once in a while, but sit in too many challenging games, and you'll quickly find yourself without a roll to play with.

Game selection is absolutely a big part of poker, I came up at The Bike, Commerce and Hollywood park, there was no shortage of games going, I usually spend a good 15-30 minutes walking around seeing what’s going on when I get in the casino, you get to recognize the regulars and can get a good read on the table. I am very conscious of game selection.

I didn’t mean that I always want to sit at tough tables, I meant that I almost never want to sit at horrible tables for small money.
 

Jimulacrum

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I didn’t mean that I always want to sit at tough tables, I meant that I almost never want to sit at horrible tables for small money.
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SpaceMonkey420

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Come to nor cal and play plo. That will deff learn you. Casino Chico every Friday is nice little intro PLO game. Start there.
 

dhowitzer

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There are a few PCF member run online private games if you want to test yourself and learn the old fashioned way of getting your lunch handed to you in some low stakes games.

other than that read all you can. Everything has some value. Watch as much as you can to learn more of what not to do. But playing is always going to be your best form of education.
Any hints on where to find people hosting online private games here?
 

LaBestiole

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But what is the point of getting better if you're already crushing your game and there is no other games around ? Go learn something new !?
 
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