My Wanderings as an Amateur Poker Player

MathijsVS

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Inspired by @Anthony Martino's extremely interesting thread (read it HERE, you want to, trust me!), I decided to start logging my own progress in the world of poker.

I'm not planning or aspiring a full-time poker career, hence "Amateur" in the title, and I'm not someone who will spend 5 hours+ a day researching, training and practicing my craft, which is why I replaced "Journey" with "Wanderings". I don't want to mock Anthony's efforts by claiming my path is equal to his after all :)

So, what's the starting point?

Finally confirmed my ID with PokerStars today, and dropped a measly €10 into my bankroll. The first step is to get into a bit of a rhythm of playing, maybe reading up on some online cash game strategy and making sure that my biggest leaks are plugged.

How is this thread going to work?

I'll be updating my total bankroll in this first post, and I'll be posting interesting hands, new developments and questions below that.
Feel free to mock my bad beats, celebrate my wins, give honest feedback and/or post tips, tricks or anything else related to my wanderings :)

Which games will I be playing?

Most of the games will be micro-stakes NLHE and PLO. For now, mostly on PokerStars, maybe some Unibet in there as well.
PLO is fairly new to me, so that's especially one to keep an eye on.
Live play is out of the question, because apparently there's a pandemic raging right now.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I hope I will!

- MathijsVS

---

Current Bankroll Total: € 15.98
(any discrepancies between this nr. and the below screenshots are because of exchange rates, and I simply can't be arsed to grab a calculator after every session :D)

Last update: November 10, 2020
Comments: All in the green so far, but that doesn't say much: only 3 cash games so far with just under 2h of total playtime overall. We'll see how this evolves :)

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Play A Hand With Me:
  1. Playing from Villain's Perspective
 
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MathijsVS

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Post nr 10 in this thread, and we have reached full topic disconnect :p

Glad you guys are having fun in here, I'll get some more relevant content uploaded sooner or later!
 

MathijsVS

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Ok, first situation I've run into a couple times. Let me illustrate with a hand I had earlier today:

8 players, I'm on the Button with :ac::ks:

2 players limp from middle position, player on my right raises to 2BB.
I 3bet to 5BB and in order the action goes Fold - Call - Call.

Flop: :kh::kd::8c:

What's my move?
I usually bet half the pot, but this inevitably seems to chase off all interested parties.
In similar situations with 1 opponent, I switch up my bet between 1/3 and 1/2 pot: same result.

One solution I thought of was check and wait for the turn, but either it's a brick and people are still scared shitless of the KK on the board, or it's an Ace or something equally scary and I never seem to be able to get more money in there from the others?
 

JMC9389

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Ok, first situation I've run into a couple times. Let me illustrate with a hand I had earlier today:

8 players, I'm on the Button with :ac::ks:

2 players limp from middle position, player on my right raises to 2BB.
I 3bet to 5BB and in order the action goes Fold - Call - Call.

Flop: :kh::kd::8c:

What's my move?
I usually bet half the pot, but this inevitably seems to chase off all interested parties.
In similar situations with 1 opponent, I switch up my bet between 1/3 and 1/2 pot: same result.

One solution I thought of was check and wait for the turn, but either it's a brick and people are still scared shitless of the KK on the board, or it's an Ace or something equally scary and I never seem to be able to get more money in there from the others?
It's a pretty dry board where your trips are going to be good against any hand in villain's range. I'd check this flop and bet the turn. There are very few cards that would scare me that would come up.
 

MathijsVS

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It's a pretty dry board where your trips are going to be good against any hand in villain's range. I'd check this flop and bet the turn. There are very few cards that would scare me that would come up.

True, it should be an extremely comfortable situation, and it's not dangerous at all, but I'm having trouble getting paid.

Expanding the above example to the turn, it usually goes something like this:

8 players, I'm on the Button with :ac: :ks:

2 players limp from middle position, player on my right raises to 2BB.
I 3bet to 5BB and in order the action goes Fold - Call - Call.

Flop: :kh: :kd: :8c:

It checks around.

River: :js:

I bet anything at all: everybody folds and I'm sitting with a very strong hand and a very meagre yield.

My only hope is that someone tries to bluff me off the hand and pulls the trigger before me, or am I missing something?
 

JMC9389

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True, it should be an extremely comfortable situation, and it's not dangerous at all, but I'm having trouble getting paid.

Expanding the above example to the turn, it usually goes something like this:

8 players, I'm on the Button with :ac: :ks:

2 players limp from middle position, player on my right raises to 2BB.
I 3bet to 5BB and in order the action goes Fold - Call - Call.

Flop: :kh: :kd: :8c:

It checks around.

River: :js:

I bet anything at all: everybody folds and I'm sitting with a very strong hand and a very meagre yield.

My only hope is that someone tries to bluff me off the hand and pulls the trigger before me, or am I missing something?
A lot of draws in villain's range may call a modest bet here. 9 10, Q9 suited, Q10 suited, A 10 all may call here chasing the draw. Any hand with a Jack, AJ, QJ, J10 all may be calling here too.

If villain has another king you have the kicker advantage and at worst you're chopping.

I'd bet 1/3 to 1/2 pot on this turn. You may get the draws and the hands with Jacks to call. You're only losing to KJ here which is certainly in range of the villain, but if villain indeed does have it, you're not losing much if you don't bet heavy.

If they fold, be happy you won the hand and take the blinds and villain's 5BB's. This isn't a terrible outcome at all.
 

MathijsVS

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what software are you using to track your play

At this point I'm just using a free app to keep me honest and keep an eye on my bankroll, called Poker Bankroll Tracker.
I'm using the screenshots in the OP to keep track of my totals :)

It's free and uses manual input, but I'm not at a point where I'd invest in specialized software.
 

MathijsVS

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Been playing NLHE for just over 90 minutes now.

Started off hot, in for 1.60 and ran up to 4.50-ish. Got a bad beat and after that have been virtually card dead, so I'm down to 1.05 now.

No tilting, stable play, but I've been paying blinds and missing flops for about 40 minutes now. The guy two seats to my left seems to make a sport out of taking my money and then giving it away to the rest of the table as well, so he's clearly not here to improve my mood :meh:
 

MathijsVS

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I checked out of the above disaster with half my starting stack left and logged out... only to tilt, log back in and punt another €2 in PLO in a fairly short timespan.

Not smart, and definitely a warning for the future: when tilting, walk away for a bit.

Currently diving into 0.01/0.02 PLO, the focus will be to relax, enjoy the game and aim for some fundamentals:
- position play
- starting hands
- consistent play

Any and all tips are welcome, as I'm very new to PLO :)
 

Anthony Martino

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I checked out of the above disaster with half my starting stack left and logged out... only to tilt, log back in and punt another €2 in PLO in a fairly short timespan.

Not smart, and definitely a warning for the future: when tilting, walk away for a bit.

Currently diving into 0.01/0.02 PLO, the focus will be to relax, enjoy the game and aim for some fundamentals:
- position play
- starting hands
- consistent play

Any and all tips are welcome, as I'm very new to PLO :)

My approach is to try and keep pots small until we see the flop, since it changes equities drastically

Ideally you'll be at tables with lots of limpers and stations. Play solid 4-way hands that work together, try to avoid danglers (i.e. KQJ4)

Don't get married to 2nd nut hands, PLO is generally a game of the nuts and you'll have a much better time starting out if you focus on that
 

MathijsVS

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My approach is to try and keep pots small until we see the flop, since it changes equities drastically

Ideally you'll be at tables with lots of limpers and stations. Play solid 4-way hands that work together, try to avoid danglers (i.e. KQJ4)

Don't get married to 2nd nut hands, PLO is generally a game of the nuts and you'll have a much better time starting out if you focus on that

Putting 3BB in preflop is a habit I've had for quite a while, thanks to NLHE. I'm getting the feeling it's a bit agressive for microstakes PLO. Is it, or am I just reading too much into a very small data set? :)
 

Anthony Martino

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Putting 3BB in preflop is a habit I've had for quite a while, thanks to NLHE. I'm getting the feeling it's a bit agressive for microstakes PLO. Is it, or am I just reading too much into a very small data set? :)

It depends on the game. There are pros in my live games who are all about raising and narrowing the field, their approach is different than my own. I prefer to keep fields multiway, to reduce the ability of aggressive players to run bluffs on me and increase the chances that someone in the field will make 2nd best and pay off when I have a nutted holding.
 

Eriks

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Ok, first situation I've run into a couple times. Let me illustrate with a hand I had earlier today:

8 players, I'm on the Button with :ac::ks:

2 players limp from middle position, player on my right raises to 2BB.
I 3bet to 5BB and in order the action goes Fold - Call - Call.

Flop: :kh::kd::8c:

What's my move?
I usually bet half the pot, but this inevitably seems to chase off all interested parties.
In similar situations with 1 opponent, I switch up my bet between 1/3 and 1/2 pot: same result.

One solution I thought of was check and wait for the turn, but either it's a brick and people are still scared shitless of the KK on the board, or it's an Ace or something equally scary and I never seem to be able to get more money in there from the others?
Definitely use a larger 3-bet size. With two limpers and one minraise I’d make it more like 8-10bbs.
 

MathijsVS

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My bad, didn’t see that. Still, a pot sized raise should be to 8bbs in that example

Isn't that just going to alienate more potential calls? I'm having a hard time as it is getting people to call when I'm holding a premium.
 

ekricket

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True, it should be an extremely comfortable situation, and it's not dangerous at all, but I'm having trouble getting paid.

Expanding the above example to the turn, it usually goes something like this:

8 players, I'm on the Button with :ac: :ks:

2 players limp from middle position, player on my right raises to 2BB.
I 3bet to 5BB and in order the action goes Fold - Call - Call.

Flop: :kh: :kd: :8c:

It checks around.

River: :js:

I bet anything at all: everybody folds and I'm sitting with a very strong hand and a very meagre yield.

My only hope is that someone tries to bluff me off the hand and pulls the trigger before me, or am I missing something?

well, you three bet. Nobodys putting you on 34 offsuit here, everybody’s thinking aces kings, AK, etc.....
Then the board dumps two kings, what do you think people think you have?
I think you lost your value - or got all you were going to get - when you 3bet. Plus now you’ve set up a scenario where you donk off a lot of chips on a nice drawing hand if you did miss the flop.
People were already raising for you, you just killed the golden goose is all.
 

Eriks

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Isn't that just going to alienate more potential calls? I'm having a hard time as it is getting people to call when I'm holding a premium.
Forgot to count the blinds, a raise to 9,5bbs would be pot.

You don’t wanna lay too good odds to call. In position, like this I would consider going a bit smaller like 8 but oop I’d be mashing the pot button. If the opponants over fold I would adjust by raising a wider range rather than giving too good odds.
 
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