400th Post: A Losing Players Testimony
[old links removed~tb]
So I started playing poker last June for fun online, wanting to build a BR from nothing. I learned to play poker at home games with family when I was young from my Grandfather, and basic strategy, like don't chase inside str8 draws and whatnot. Nothing too advanced because we weren't even teenagers yet.
So I started playing the 360 person Face the Ace SnG freerolls
, and eventually won enough FTP's to join the daily dollar. I did not cash and shortly thereafter I ended up depositing since I had some extra cash, and had a taste of real money
poker,so I thought.
When it came to real money poker,at first, I was doing ok but I didn't really know what I was doing so much. I looked on the internet for poker strategies and found some basic hand charts and stuff and a few forums. I tried out a few forums that were pretty worthless, until I happened upon CC.
-CC is by far my favorite, and the only forum I post on nowadays. When I do post, though, it is usually pretty worthless and random, and I tend to start too many threads of worthless info. Also, later I realize a lot of my posts could have just been 1 ongoing thread, as a lot of them are bad beat posts.
-I have not used CC to my full advantage, which is very stoopid on my part. I barely ever read through the strategy, or the Golden Archive, or post in the HA section for feedback and whatnot. Like I said when I post, mostly I am venting, on tilt from a bad beat and posting it, or replying to someone else's thread in the Poker Rooms section.
Back to the story tho.. Before I knew about all of CC's features and forums tho, I decided to go to the local library to see if they had any poker books
. They had a few and I rented; 1 on stud which I never read, Phil Helmuth's Play Poker Like the Pros
, and another on Limit which I also never read, and one other called Championship Poker
or tournament poker
or something like that and it had a little strategy on ALL the diff variants of poker.
I did not read the stud or limit he books because I wanted to play NLHe, and heard to find 1 game to learn at a time. I read the NLHe section in Phil Helmuth's book and in the other book, and also scanned over some of the other sections, like it had 08b strategy in the one which was pretty short.
Well Phil Helmuth's book was not very good imo, as it mostly talked about how great he was, and very basic strategy which did not help me. I actually think that after I read that book was when I noticed I was starting to lose. But, I had not been playing real money for very long, and wasnt like I started losing after winning continuously for any amount of time.
The other book by a different author wasn't very good either, it was very basic and vague IMO, and did learn a little from it but not much. This one was also pretty old, like I wanna say 1976 it was made, but maybe it was the 80's. I thought maybe it was a little outdated, and maybe needed something newer...NO it was not super system if anyone is thinking that.
So I eventually decided I wanted to learn Cash game play. This was after the library, but right around the time I found CC. I had been playing mostly FTP freerolls, and had not cashed in any for any money. I did cash in the Check-Raising the Devil
freeroll for the autobiography though. Also as I mentioned I did win some of the Face the Ace freroll SnG's, 1 time I got 1st in the .net one, than after I realized there was a .com one that paid top 2 and only 180 players, instead of 360 players and only 1 paid spot on .net, I started playing those. I won a few and would unregister and use the ftp points to try and win T$ or play in the DD for ftp's. I never made any money that way.
I had always heard that a lot of pros made money in side games and whatnot, and just played in the Mtt's for publicity and sometimes only playing in the big Mtt's like the WSOP
. This intrigued me, as well as the time factor in Cash games, being that you can get up whenever you want and not be committed to playing for hours, if something comes up.
So I went out and bought Harrington on Hold'em : Cash Games vol.1
, as it was a decent amount of money, planning on buying vol.2
as soon as I finished reading through vol.1
Well that was back in like August or September of 2009, and I still have not read all of HOH:CG vol1.
... pretty stoopid I know. I started reading it, and I read the first chapter, which was very informative. It was a lot of info to take in, and when I read about poker strategy
it seems to take a toll on my brain. I can only read so much before I start to not really take in what I am reading, and end up just kinda reading without paying attention. Which is OK, because I would read a little before work, or after work/ before bed and whatnot.
I was working a lot at the time, so did not have much free time. I had time to either play poker, or read the book, but not both all of the time. I would always chose to play poker instead of reading, I guess maybe I am a little impatient. When I did read about poker I would always do well for a short amount of time afterwords. The book got me thinking about what my opponents cards are and about pot odds
, and eventually expressed odds. Just the first chapter alone answered a lot of questions I had. I would sometimes reread sections briefly before I would play, which also would get me kinda thinking in the right direction
So I would do well sometimes ,and then other times I would not do so well. I had deposited by now, and was definitely losing. I quit my job in like Nov., not because poker, but because my job was screwing me over on my pay, and this gave me lots of free time. I pretty much didn't have anything to do, BUT, play poker. I was still losing tho. I usually would do ok for a while, but then I guess lose interest or get distracted by my Girl Friend , or suffer a beat and tilt me. I would multi-table without a HUD and that would usually not end up well. Sometimes I could do alright, but the winning sessions were few and far in between. A lot of times I would start the day multi-tabling and would mostly lose if i jumped right into it. If I would play 1 game at a time and then add other tables after I was doing alright, than I could handle it and show profit.
I had not read from my HOH:CGv1
in a while, and decided it was time to finish it. So I reread ALL of chapter one, and understood everything much better the second time around, and was able to read the whole chapter without losing focus or attention to the book. Then I started chapter 2 and finished it, having reread a couple sections if they were detailed info, or things I thought I should re-read for a better understanding.
After chapter 2 though, I did not read chapter 3 right away. I would always have a winning session after I read it seemed , and then forget about the book. Or I would think to myself, "I'm just playing micro stakes, I wont need that info until I move up to higher limits."
Whenever I would win, or go on a good run, I would think I am the best player ever. I would also think that I didn't need to read poker books anymore, I could be one of the greats without it.
Well that thinking will get you nowhere, I can tell you that. I can prove it too, just look at my stats...
Like in chapter 2 on HOH:CGv1.
it's all about preflop play, and tells
you to make a starting hand chart for yourself and whatnot. With the chart you are supposed to put the % of times you are going to play a hand, and used an unbiased opinion(your second hand on watch) as the deciding factor. Well at first I didn't do this, but eventually did. I had another OK run, but lost the sheets of paper with it all written down shortly after, and stopped using it, and started losing again.
So I got mad about losing again, and had been playing sessions for way too long, which always hurts me. This time around I have been playing mostly Rush poker too. One day I have 8$ in my account, the next day $308, then I lose it ALLL AGAIN. I start to lose, or suffer a bad beat, and say to myself; "OK, I should probably step away for a minute and regroup," but never step away and just continue to play and lose, or "OK bad beats happen, just shrug it off and forget about it, and focus on the next hand, after all that's what the pro's do right." I continue to play, and continue to lose..
I started from $30 and turned it into over $200 a few times, even before Rush a couple times, but would never cash out, and eventually lose it. Since Rush has been out, I have turned $30 or $40 into over $200 a couple of times, and even up to over $375 one time, to lose it all the next day or two. If I had only withdrawn those few times, and left myself $30. Instead I would lose it all, an deposit another $30. Pretty dumb huh?
So now I have decided, I like Rush, but I think I need to just stick to Ring or SnG or Mtt, as Rush is so new, and I still need to learn the game better.
It is hard to play without any reads, but I used to multi-table while watching a movie or TV with my GF sometimes, and used to not pay attention and do OK. I guess I did OK occasionally, and was probably losing more than winning. I would also only play very strong hands; because it seems when I only play 1 table I get bored sometimes, but when I played multiple I would have more chances to see some action. When I played only 1 table I would get bored and play too weak of starting hands, or WAYY to many speculative hands, from being impatient.
So I started reading chapter 3 or 4, cant remember now(flop play vs 1 opponent), and have gotten almost through it, but then started to play more poker. So the viscous cycle continues.
I am almost done now with HOH:CGv1.
, and I guess I should buy vol.2
Another thing I don't have is a HUD or analyzing software. After a session I usually don't go back through the HH and analyze my play. I NEED to start doing this if I want to get better. How am I supposed to become a winning player if I don't fix the things that are making me lose? I guess you can't.
You know I see a lot of posts about people who say they are losing, and don't know whats wrong. Usually it is they are playing too many tables, or they have no idea of any strategy from which to build off of.
I kinda know what is wrong with my play, yet I do not try very hard to fix it. I become impatient at poker, yet I can sit in the woods on a ~1.5 foot by ~1.5 foot seat 20-30 feet up in the air with a loaded gun on my lap without moving anything but my eyes to the left and right for hours on end and as long as 8 hours sometimes and know that I might not see a single deer, yet I never become impatient. I can sit there and fish for hours upon end and not catch a single thing, yet never become impatient at that also.
Why am I so impatient when it comes to poker? I know that you are supposed to be patient and wait for good spots, and let others make the mistakes.
Why do I not follow Bank Roll Management? I think that comes back to patience also. I stop following BRM when I lose money. That's probably when I should be following it the most and moving down in limits. Why do I move up to higher limits even though I have read over and over again that it is a big no no? Well because I am hoping to get lucky and make up my losses quickly, instead of being patient, and moving down and making up my losses safely at a limit I can afford.
I have even told myself that I won't lose when I tilt if I just stop playing when I tilt. Well that didn't work either. I wouldn't follow BRM anyway, and when I tilt when I am not following a good BRM strategy I lose everything pretty quickly. When you tilt you make decisions you wouldn't normally make, like to keep playing when you should take a break. So that didn't work.
I would not evaluate my HHs after a session. Why? I guess that comes back to impatience also. I guess I just wanted to play another session or do something else, always finding the time to do what I wanted to do, but not what I needed to do: like review my sessions.
I also start forgetting about odds, and throwing them out the window numerous times. I start chasing inside str8s, and backdoor draws and stoopid things. I see some donk get lucky and crack my Aces with J6o utg calling my shove on the flop with him having top pair and he hits 6 on the turn and 6 on the river, and I guess it tilts me and I say if he can do it I can do it. So I become the chasing donk at the table I guess, and mostly because I want to win or get "lucky" for the win, because become impatient.
I play for too many hours at a time. I need to realize that I am not going to play the same after 4 or 5 hours of playing, as when I first started the session for the day. I will start playing for the day and leave a few tables after doubling my buy-in. I don't ALWAYS win when I first start playing, but I definitely play an OK game with a clear head, and have patience to wait for a hand, instead of trying to make lemonade out of potatoes, and I take all things into consideration, odds, ranges, etc.
I will start the day winning, than will start losing after a while, and have played poker all day online. Sometimes more than 8 hours. I will then wake up the next day and do it all over again. If I am on tilt or playing bad the day before and play all day the next day and all day the next day and then the next, etc., than I never do well. I think I need to be patient, wait a day or 2, or even a week maybe to step away from the game. Regroup and come back.
You know I tell myself these things, but the I never listen to myself. I start out great, following BRM, playing good hands, and not chasing bad odds. But in a day or two I start econd guessing myself, and end up right back to my old ways and back to no bankroll. Do other people do this, I don't think I am alone?
I am ill informed on a subject that takes time to master, but very achievable if you take the time and the resources out there to try and master it. The resources are there for one to learn the subject, but one needs to use those resources.
People always say that at the micro stakes that you just need to play good starting hands, and don't bluff, or over-think your opponents. Well I try to bluff too much and over-think everything way too much. Like I said I don't analyze my play, I get tilted way too easily and don't stop playing when I should, and I also become impatient and start focusing on immediate results instead of long run results. If you want to become a winning player, I can tell you all the things not to do, as I know from experience how to be a losing player.
So take my testimony, and please learn from it. If you do not take the time to learn the game, or take the time to analyze your play to realize your weaknesses, or do not use the resources such as CC or poker books to improve your knowledge, than you will go nowhere but down. Yes you might get lucky and win a session or two, or even go on a great run and win some money, but in the long run you will lose it all if you do the things I do.
If there is one thing that I have learned from this expensive lesson, it is that poker really is about the long run. Yes you can win 100$ by getting lucky in a day of poker, but that's all it is is luck. The skilled players are the ones who have patience, and can show profits continuously. They know what to expect because they have studied and spent hours analyzing and refining there skills, as does any master of his trade.