What Are Beginners Supposed To Do?
I'm going to be honest with you. You may laugh at me, you may sneer and snigger to yourselves with sharky glee. But this is the truth of it.
I became interested in online poker earlier this year. I played with play money for quite some time never daring to deposit real money
because of a deep seated fear of being ripped off, cheated and taken for a ride.
But along the way I meet a friend who also likes poker and has begun to study it and is convinced it's ok to play for real. So, in Sept I made my first deposit at FT. I buy in for a good amount to make use of their sign up bonus but realise afterwards that it will take forever to release that bonus money.
As a total beginner I proceed to play as I did on play money (like a fish) and money starts to leech out of my account. I get enticed by larger stake MTTs which offer bigger prizes but as I'm useless the money is wasted. I never end up in the money.
Then I take stock, research the net and start to understand how to play. I tighten up, learn about pot odds
, hand values, bluffing, MTT strategy, squeeze play etc, buy the Harrington books and some others and suddenly I move up from Donk to .. well. still a beginner but one willing to learn and get better. I start placing in the money on some MTTs, I have some good days at the cash tables but overall, it always ends up with me going broke and needing to make more deposits. I'm not risking all my money on one table mind, I'm exercising BRM, trying to get a bankroll breathing.
But no matter how I try I am continually busted by magic rivers, crazy deals and agressive players. I start to wonder if all is fair and square and launch myelf down Totally Rigged Lane. And then I start to research rigging, cheating and collusion and everything changes!
Remember I'm still a beginner here, an innocent member of the public, using hard earned cash to hopefully have a little fun and maybe make some money. But I'm not having fun at all and am losing money.
The info I uncover disturbs me greatly. I find that in fact the poker sites
are full of:
- players using illegal datamining software to home in on fish, track how they bet and exploit them to the full
- players colluding together, discussing each others hole cards and creaming me out of every $
- players deploying poker bots
which are running upwards of 20 tables at a time making perfect calculations and creaming $000s per month off people like me
I even start to research poker bots specifically and learn that bots can communicate with each other and share hole cards and thus have a massive advantage over innocent players.
I find that discussing any of it on forums leads to ridicule and "WTF did you expect ?" comments. Turns out that I'm the intruder. It's like "how dare you even step into the ring with us ! we're gonna take you for every $ you have"
The sharks have no moral fibre whatsoever. They dare not play players of their own standing but would rather stick to playing complete novices. There is no honour in the game.
And here I am.
I love the game but really "What are the beginner supposed to do?"
My view right now is, stay as far away as possible. No amount of text book learning and poker tracker studying is going to make me a winner whilst so much cheating is going on unchecked.
Am I right? Is there any hope whatsoever for a struggling beginner without joining the ranks of unscrupulous cheaters?