My Wanderings as an Amateur Poker Player

MathijsVS

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Update: I lied. Trash TV bored me after 15 minutes, so I jumped into a NLHE game for about an hour.

In for $2, out for just over $6. Felt good to play controlled, decent poker.

Peculiar: got dealt AKo 4 times, wasn’t able to cash in a single one, but set mining my low pairs proved to be a little goldmine tonight :)

Edit: posted my first PAHWM, a hand from this session here, feel free to play along so I can see what could/should have happened!
 
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MathijsVS

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Played an hour of NLHE yesterday morning.

Turned a small profit :)

Didn’t play the MTT last night, partially because I needed to put in € 25 to just be able to participate in them, and partially because I just wasn’t in the mood.
Felt wrong to “force” myself to play poker, so no go. Anyone else ever felt this?
 

boltonguy

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Not 3-betting would be a mistake. You have a premium hand and want to start bulding a pot. Don’t worry about not getting paid. If they all fold it’s because they’re too tight or because you’re too tight and they’ve noticed. Answer to both is 3-bet more.

On the flop I would just bet. Sure, sometimes they all fold but I wanna build a pot for when I have a great hand like this and I wanna be able to credibly c-bet my missed hands as well. I would go small here, something like 1/3 pot.

Limpcaller can have all sorts of 8s: 87s/98s/86s/A8s or small to medium pocket pairs all of which would likely call a small bet.

minraiser can certainly have 99-JJ maybe even QQ and depending on how loose s/he is, some or all of the limpcaller’s range as well.
This. Definitely 3! pre and hit the pot button for right sizing. 1/4 to 1/3 multi-way on flop is small enough to get a call from anyone who has something. They called the 3b right? If they don’t call a small flop bet then you weren’t getting their stack no matter how you played.
 

boltonguy

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I don’t get it, suggesting 3-betting with AK is controversial, but flatting a minraise with it and looking to play a family pot isn’t?

I don’t see how the latter is even worth considering.
Flatting a min raise to play multi way is a disaster. Build the pot and get heads up. Or take it down pre. AK is not super strong if an A or K doesn’t come. Don’t let 33 or 78s play this hand cheap as they will often win when you miss.
 

MathijsVS

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Flatting a min raise to play multi way is a disaster. Build the pot and get heads up. Or take it down pre. AK is not super strong if an A or K doesn’t come. Don’t let 33 or 78s play this hand cheap as they will often win when you miss.

I've noticed that I get shy on the trigger in situations like this, so definitely appreciate you guys pointing it out :)

Decided to start training one element of my game at a time, my current focus is my Pre-flop game.

Scouring the forums for resources, but any and all tips/tricks are welcome :)
 

nightbird

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I've noticed that I get shy on the trigger in situations like this, so definitely appreciate you guys pointing it out :)

Decided to start training one element of my game at a time, my current focus is my Pre-flop game.

Scouring the forums for resources, but any and all tips/tricks are welcome :)
Playing a good preflop strategy will show a positive impact on your results immediately. Getting to know which ranges you should play from which position and how to size your bets preflop is one of the most essential things in poker and it’s one of the easiest things to master in the game IMO
 

MathijsVS

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Playing a good preflop strategy will show a positive impact on your results immediately. Getting to know which ranges you should play from which position and how to size your bets preflop is one of the most essential things in poker and it’s one of the easiest things to master in the game IMO

Yup, I'm currently scrolling through the Upswing Poker preflop ranges while playing a single table cash game right now, and it's showing results immediately.

It cuts away a lot of the "awkward" situations where I was kind of lost before and raising/betting more aggro keeps the weird hands away from my carefully built pots :)
 

MathijsVS

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Just under 2 hours in, I saw the flop about 21% of the times, which is a steep dive from earlier sessions.

The charts are clearly proving their value, very rarely did I not know whether or not I was in good shape.

3 hands were absolute eye-sores. Bad play on my end: freewheeling, no analysis, just gambling. Disgusted myself a bit when each hand wounded down and my chips disappeared.

This is something I definitely should keep an eye on. Keep it tight, keep control, don't overestimate my hand after the flop.
 

MathijsVS

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In for $ 2, out for $4.43

Got lucky on my last hand:

Smallstack at the table had been going all in and picking up the blinds 4-5 times in a row now, stack still only amounted to about 70c.

Pulls this trick again, and I'm on the button with :6h::6s:

I call, he shows :as::ks:

Board goes :5c::9d::4s: :kh: :6d:
 
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ekricket

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In for $ 2, out for $4.43

Got lucky on my last hand:

Smallstack at the table had been going all in and picking up the blinds 4-5 times in a row now, stack still only amounted to about 70c.

Pulls this trick again, and I'm on the button with :6h::6s:

I call, he shows :as::ks:

Board goes :5c::9d::4s: :kh: :6d:
He sure played that AK perfect. Worked great for him.
 

MathijsVS

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He sure played that AK perfect. Worked great for him.

Honestly, that guy personified the cash machine/ATM cliché of a poker player. Pushed all in more in 2 hours than I've done over the past week, and since he always rebought for the min buy-in, he never covered anyone, even after he occasionally won 1, which means that 5min after a win, he was back on rebuy nr. 7.

I was surprised to see he actually had a hand this time, happy I got away from it with some extra pennies :D
 

MathijsVS

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Here we go again: in for $ 2 on a very active full ring NLHE cash game on Pokerstars.

I've got the Upswing charts next to me again, to keep me honest, but I find that 7/10 hands are already memorised. Mostly just double checking at this point and making sure the other 30% is played well and I keep learning.

Things aren't looking great right now, as the very active nature of the table is making it hard for me to find a decent line. If this one doesn't get better soon, I'll be switching to short handed and finding more detailed charts.

PS: ordered Jonathan Little's Microstakes book as some homework :)
 

TikiKingKing

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Nice thread! Jonathans books are awesome. I would also strongly recommend buying Andrew Brokos Play Optimal Poker 1&2. I have a shelf full of Poker books, bought these recently and imo they are the GOAT books.
 

MathijsVS

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Well, a made straight got busted by a runner-runner boat on table nr. 1.

Went to a smaller size table and focused on openers, but my AK-double pair was rivered by trips queens.

Logging of for tonight, losing 2 buy-ins was plenty to get me not fully tilted, but at least slightly off balance, so I know it's not the best time for me to play.

I'll go for a day without poker tomorrow, just reading up a bit on strategy and cooling down :)
 

MathijsVS

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Nice thread! Jonathans books are awesome. I would also strongly recommend buying Andrew Brokos Play Optimal Poker 1&2. I have a shelf full of Poker books, bought these recently and imo they are the GOAT books.

I have several poker books already, but since English is my 2nd/3rd language, and it's not always easy to keep focus on the more abstract or mathematical aspects, so I hope Little's book will be a bit of an eye-opener.

Never really committed to learning poker, so that might be a very big factor in all this as well! :)
 

MathijsVS

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0B18603E-3283-4BAC-A96B-EC3145B73928.jpeg


First piece of homework has arrived. My PAHWM-thread (see above or OP) showed me I’m actually far from ready to engage in any ambitious poker game, so this seems like a good start for a remedy.
 

Eriks

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View attachment 577730

First piece of homework has arrived. My PAHWM-thread (see above or OP) showed me I’m actually far from ready to engage in any ambitious poker game, so this seems like a good start for a remedy.
Haven’t read but I’ve seen and enjoyed his youtube videos. I’m sure there are a lot of good things in the book as well
 

MathijsVS

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Little update: no poker this week, but working on understanding and memorizing ranges.

Currently building an excel file to help me while playing.

Gonna adhere to this 100% while playing over the next couple weeks. I know that switching it up is recommended, but the goal here is to thoroughly understand and learn the ranges (as well as to combat my fancy play syndrome :) ).

So a bit of radio silence, but more actual poker coming soon!
 

Mojo1312

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Little update: no poker this week, but working on understanding and memorizing ranges.

Currently building an excel file to help me while playing.

Gonna adhere to this 100% while playing over the next couple weeks. I know that switching it up is recommended, but the goal here is to thoroughly understand and learn the ranges (as well as to combat my fancy play syndrome :) ).

So a bit of radio silence, but more actual poker coming soon!

Fancy play syndrome makes the game memorable and fun.
 

MathijsVS

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Sneak peak of my UTG chart:

1606986689515.png


Yes, I know playing very structured makes me predictable etc., but keep in mind that:
  1. my skill level is very low at this point, so this is just a training tool for me to get used to "regular" strategic play
  2. I'm playing micro-stakes (buy ins are below $5), so the chances of me running into someone who can recognize these patterns etc. are smal enough to ignore for now
All feedback and comments welcome :)
 

MathijsVS

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Well, I've finished my pre-flop training excel file. I tried attaching it to this post, but PCF doesn't seem to like excel worksheets, so shoot me a pm if you want to take a closer look at it :)

I'll start using this tonight on some micro-stakes games, first to clean up my own ranges of opening hands, and after that to see if I can deduce the other player's ranges (if they seem to know what they're doing, that is).

Wish me luck :D

Update: about an hour of play so far. In for 2, out for 1.50ish, so reported a small loss but that's mostly due to post-flop play. Having the file at hand really helps, as I always knew where I stood pre-flop. No more vague guesses, no more lines that led to that awkward "wtf am I supposed to do here" place :p

Got a straight knocked over by a slightly bigger straight (rude!) and ran into a full house with my eyes wide open later on, like an idiot, but other than that, I think this was semi-succesful :p
 
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