Studying Poker

LTrain

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I have not played poker in a long while and am looking to get back in to it. You all have helped nail down what I want for chips now on to actual game play.

I want to play in a low stakes NL home game once a month and a $10 low stakes side game(with my soon to come chips).
I was looking at paying in Blackhawk CO. when Covid lets up $60 daily NL tournament 2 times a month
and paying in a Littleton CO local freeroll bar poker as many times a possible.

I have a goal of being a recreational player that could breakeven, but totally fine losing my budgeted poker stakes while I learn.

This play schedule will not start until Covid settles down given this down time. What is the best use of my time in studying the game, given very little poker knowledge and my goals, should I be reading books, watching games on youtube, poker training site, playing freeroll online (illegal in my area).
 

Nanook

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I have not played poker in a long while and am looking to get back in to it. You all have helped nail down what I want for chips now on to actual game play.

I want to play in a low stakes NL home game once a month and a $10 low stakes side game(with my soon to come chips).
I was looking at paying in Blackhawk CO. when Covid lets up $60 daily NL tournament 2 times a month
and paying in a Littleton CO local freeroll bar poker as many times a possible.

I have a goal of being a recreational player that could breakeven, but totally fine losing my budgeted poker stakes while I learn.

This play schedule will not start until Covid settles down given this down time. What is the best use of my time in studying the game, given very little poker knowledge and my goals, should I be reading books, watching games on youtube, poker training site, playing freeroll online (illegal in my area).
This is an interesting question and goal.....
Honestly it has been a long time (20+yrs) since I was at your level so your question is not all that easy for me to answer. Things that I study or spend time on would not be helpful to you. Poker has evolved A LOT in the past 20 yrs, but live small games have not changed all that much. Your goal of being able to break even in a small nl game is not all that difficult of a thing to do and it certainly can be accomplished.

I think I would suggest skipping any sort of training sites as they cost money and if you are only willing to risk say $150/month then spending $50/month on a training site seems like a lot. YouTube and watching games or hands with commentary is probably more harmful than beneficial at this point. I think if I was starting over, I would tell myself to sign up for 2+2 and buy 1 or 2 of the books they suggest for an absolute beginner for today. Most of the books I have either are a) outdated or b) way to complex for where you are with your game so I just can't give any good recommendations or I would.

What you need to beat games like you are talking about is some really basic stuff like what hands should I be playing in various situations etc. What to do with those hands when you play them. Other basic concepts like pot odds and such. Lots of Poker gurus/teachers in todays game of poker get all hung up on a lot of stuff that really doesn't matter in the games you are talking about trying to beat.

Keep it simple to start with and have fun with it while you learn.
 

Kain8

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From a cash perspective:

Starting out, learn to fold. Throw that low suited connector away. Throw that King-Ten offsuit away when there's an early raiser and 2 callers already. Just fold, fold, fold.

Building from that, make some range charts. Only from the perspective of you being the first player entering the pot with a raise. As you get more familiar with how you want to play, you can add or remove hands from your charts as you see fit. Don't fret about memorizing them, it's just important to put the effort in constructing a chart in the first place.

Don't be limping as the first voluntary action from the table. If the hand isn't good enough for a 2 - 3 bb raise, throw it away.

When you're engaged in a hand, you need to be aware of the effective stack in play in ratio to the pot itself. The closer the effective stack is to the pot, the willingness to go all-in increases. This tracking of stacks to pot will improve as you play more hands, but again, don't get bogged down in minutiae of calculating.

Hope this helps!
 

Colquhoun

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You could play online at Global Poker, they use a sweepstakes model that skirts the US gambling laws. You can play their free coin tournaments or real money (sweeps coins) tournaments.
 

tabletalker7

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I have not played poker in a long while and am looking to get back in to it. You all have helped nail down what I want for chips now on to actual game play.

I want to play in a low stakes NL home game once a month and a $10 low stakes side game(with my soon to come chips).
I was looking at paying in Blackhawk CO. when Covid lets up $60 daily NL tournament 2 times a month
and paying in a Littleton CO local freeroll bar poker as many times a possible.

I have a goal of being a recreational player that could breakeven, but totally fine losing my budgeted poker stakes while I learn.

This play schedule will not start until Covid settles down given this down time. What is the best use of my time in studying the game, given very little poker knowledge and my goals, should I be reading books, watching games on youtube, poker training site, playing freeroll online (illegal in my area).
At the stakes you are talking about playing in, breaking even is probably easier than you think. Just be disciplined in your play. Preflop, if it isn't worth raising then fold. Post flop, don't reach. Let it come to you. Poker is a marathon not a sprint. At those stakes there should be PLENTY of dead money available if you remain disciplined.
 

ruskba

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Looking back at your own live play is also a good thing as study. During sessions, remember or make notes of notable hands: big wins, big losses, or just big decisions. How did you get to that point? Can you think of anything you could have done differently to extract more value/reduce your losses/not be put into a tough spot? It will most likely lead you to first evaluating your hand selection from different positions, then most likely to bet sizings and frequency (aka managing the size of the pot). That can lead you to more targeted study from other sources as well.
 

stellrnebula

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This is an interesting question and goal.....
Honestly it has been a long time (20+yrs) since I was at your level so your question is not all that easy for me to answer. Things that I study or spend time on would not be helpful to you. Poker has evolved A LOT in the past 20 yrs, but live small games have not changed all that much. Your goal of being able to break even in a small nl game is not all that difficult of a thing to do and it certainly can be accomplished.

I think I would suggest skipping any sort of training sites as they cost money and if you are only willing to risk say $150/month then spending $50/month on a training site seems like a lot. YouTube and watching games or hands with commentary is probably more harmful than beneficial at this point. I think if I was starting over, I would tell myself to sign up for 2+2 and buy 1 or 2 of the books they suggest for an absolute beginner for today. Most of the books I have either are a) outdated or b) way to complex for where you are with your game so I just can't give any good recommendations or I would.

What you need to beat games like you are talking about is some really basic stuff like what hands should I be playing in various situations etc. What to do with those hands when you play them. Other basic concepts like pot odds and such. Lots of Poker gurus/teachers in todays game of poker get all hung up on a lot of stuff that really doesn't matter in the games you are talking about trying to beat.

Keep it simple to start with and have fun with it while you learn.
+1 on starting by spending time reading and posting on 2+2. IMO that is where your time would be best spent given your goals and the stakes you're playing.
 
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