Originally Posted by Erdnase
Hey all, first post although I have been lurking in the forum the last few days. This looks like an ideal place to ask my question. I am a poker novice and am in the process of reading a few books and learning stratergy. I have started off for play money which have help me slightly. I took my BR up by about $6000 playing 5/10 limit. However I was at the point where i was pondering when i should invest my cash for low limit (while still playing). Ever since then I seem to be losing. I have had a few bad beats, but mainly have had unplayable hands preflop and majoirty of the tim ei was dealt good pocket cards I was out of position. I think i mis called some hands (which is a for another post!). Am I just having a bad run of cards or is my playing off (after continuing study I have not changed my stratergy). Please help I have nowhere else to turn for advice.
Thank you and have a good game.
If you are reading some poker books
, you're off to a good start, but the play that you encounter at the play money tables isn't the type of poker environment or situations that you will be able to try out much that you learn from the books. When people aren't actually risking any money with their play, they will bet and/or stay in with cards that most poker players in a real money
game wouldn't think a second about before throwing them away. You need to be very
clear on that when you are playing at the play money tables and realize that as you start to play for real money and at higher and higher stakes, the more people are likely to actually be playing poker with some skill, knowledge of the game, and using tactics like bluffing, check-raising, value-betting, etc. that are pretty much non-existent in a play money game (although there will be at least some idiots at every level of play!).
Freerolls are pretty much the same way, with a few differences that might help you to learn and also help you build a little bankroll that you can use to try your skills in some cash games or real-money tourneys. People will tell you that freerolls are useless for learning, but I disagree--freerolls can be useful tools in learning depending on how YOU play them and not necessarily how the donks play in them. Here's why I think so:
1) Freerolls can help teach you patience and knowing when to fold pre-flop.
The beginnings of freerolls are often all-in shovefests, and the best thing that you can do if you are trying to learn the game is to sit back and let the donkeys battle it out with garbage hands until the smoke clears and players actually start to play with a little skill and strategy. For the first 20 to 30 minutes of a freeroll, you should fold anything but super-premium
hole cards pre-flop while the donks are shoving, and if you don't know what super-premium cards are this is when you need to learn that. The #1
problem that new players have is playing too many hands
and not folding the crap ones, so these are crucial skills to learn as a poker noob!
2) The play in freerolls gets better if you can survive the initial all-out shove-fest.
As freerolls progress and the all-in shovers are either eliminated or build chip stacks that they decide to actually try to play, they tend to play more like a low-level multi-table tournament, and the players will actually play poker (imagine that!) instead of just recklessly going all-in with any two cards, so you can actually get the feel of playing in a real-money game. (Not that the donks are totally
gone, b/c they NEVER
are, but the play will better and you can learn something.)
If I were in your situation, I would enter some freerolls, only play super-premium starting hands for the first 30-45 minutes of the tourney, and then once the game has settled down then you can try to actually put some of the things that you are reading about in your books into practice. Or you can go ahead, make a deposit, and get in at some low-level games and do the same thing, but IMO why waste your money in low-level games that aren't much better than a post-first break freeroll until you have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the game under your belt? Try to learn for free, win a little money, and then see how you do with other people's money first before you risk your own!
Good luck to you, and you've made a good decision in coming to CC to help you along as you learn. You will get a lot of different opinions from different types of players, and you can try them all out and see what works best for you. GL!