Blew out my $50 account

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light65536

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I'm not too happy now. I blew out my $50 account on poker stars. It lasted about 6 months and 5281 games. I spent $25 in rake and lost $25 to other players. I played only micro-limits .01/.02 and .02/.05.

I did very well at breaking even until my account dropped below around $35 and then I started playing worse. I was still able to win money heads up fairly easily. But, as I dropped to around $10 I decided to try a new strategy which was just to play the best hands and bring in $1 and multi-table before I only played single tables. This strategy seemed to work at the start and my theory was just bet all in on my best hands.

The results:

AK suited lost to pocket 5's. Pocket 5's are actually a favorite
QQ lost to K-10
JJ lost to Q7
JJ lost to pocket 3's
etc

I'm not happy at all that I blew out my account because I was sure I was a good poker player. But, now I am looking at my account 97 cents when I start with $50. I used to play over stacked which allowed me to intimidate other players but playing short stacked with the odds when they should have been in my favor just made me loose faster then ever.

The strategies that DID work better was to pick up pots nobody cared about, play loose aggressive against tight players, and to give impression that I played very tight aggressive. Also playing for straights worked well. I also had good results at .02/.05. It sucks. If anyone wants to grow a bankroll then my experience is that its way harder in practice then in theory. The bad thing is I won almost all the time I played heads up but can't win on a 9 player table for anything
 
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feitr

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Well short stacked strats have ALOT of variance, and so you need alot of buy ins. 10 buy ins and all you need is a bad run and you will lose your bankroll.

My advice would be to play microlimit SnGs. If you are good at HU games, then play like 2$ HU SnGs or something. Personally, i don't see the point in playing cash games until you have somewhat of a bankroll behind you (~$200 or so). If you like NL2, then go for it, but imo it is easier to start a BR from SnGs. You certainly can start a BR from $50 tho. It just takes alot of patience at the start.
 
Dwilius

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I know you want to win but $50 for six months learning/entertainment is pretty good. When you got to $35 and started playing worse, sounds like you lost some confidence went on extended tilt? I lost $50 right away when I started. I regrouped, tried different Holdem games and built it back up. You need to play to your strengths and work on weaknesses. First off, you're better HU than fulltable (over aggr?) so I think you should be playing 6max or hu sng. You thought you were a good player, but obv aren't there yet if you're not beating .01/.02. Have to adjust to the play of diff games and its very beatable. Are you going to redeposit, or go back to freerolls for awhile?

Don't blame the bots.
 
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light65536

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Well, I was doing really well when I used specific raise amounts. I found that at .01/.02 a raise of about 17 cents was good to know if someone had anything. My primary strategy was to isolate another player because premium hands go way up in value when an opponent is isolated. My game play started going bad when I tried to make more money by "sweetening" the pot. The strategy was to raise enough pre-flop that I could build it up and then bet on the flop a large amount but this only made people want to draw to a big win and put my entire stack at risk. The standard strategy of raising large and taking down smaller pots without confrontation gave highest success rates, playing pots nobody wanted, and also getting big possibility pots for cheap worked well.

My short stack strategy was essentially to over-raise and then go all in on the flop. The theory being that if someone were drawing then it wouldn't matter because I'm risking the $1 anyway. I guess the problem was I only had about $6 when I tried it and it worked for a while but most of the people who called me were playing better then average hands and I was already too pot committed to give it up.

My plan is to take a break from playing for a while. I won my first 7 sit-and-gos heads up in a row but at $2 I figure I'd need at least $50 or $100 to play at $2 per game. Some of that was luck too.

I lost an average of 9 cents per hand. 4 cents went to rake and 4 went to other players.
 
Dwilius

Dwilius

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I found that at .01/.02 a raise of about 17 cents was good to know if someone had anything.

The strategy was to raise enough pre-flop that I could build it up and then bet on the flop a large amount but this only...put my entire stack at risk.

My short stack strategy was essentially to over-raise and then go all in on the flop...but most of the people who called me were playing better then average hands

I played a guy like this yesterday. Others at the table were calling big raises and folding when they missed the flop. I simply waited for a hand I knew was ahead and went over the top, doubled through him, then took him out. These strategies will only work on poorest players. Disastrous strategy. .01/.02 is deepstacked, you want to see flops, make hands, get paid off big or get money in preflop ahead.
 
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feitr

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Well, I was doing really well when I used specific raise amounts. I found that at .01/.02 a raise of about 17 cents was good to know if someone had anything. My primary strategy was to isolate another player because premium hands go way up in value when an opponent is isolated. My game play started going bad when I tried to make more money by "sweetening" the pot. The strategy was to raise enough pre-flop that I could build it up and then bet on the flop a large amount but this only made people want to draw to a big win and put my entire stack at risk. The standard strategy of raising large and taking down smaller pots without confrontation gave highest success rates, playing pots nobody wanted, and also getting big possibility pots for cheap worked well.

My short stack strategy was essentially to over-raise and then go all in on the flop. The theory being that if someone were drawing then it wouldn't matter because I'm risking the $1 anyway. I guess the problem was I only had about $6 when I tried it and it worked for a while but most of the people who called me were playing better then average hands and I was already too pot committed to give it up.

My plan is to take a break from playing for a while. I won my first 7 sit-and-gos heads up in a row but at $2 I figure I'd need at least $50 or $100 to play at $2 per game. Some of that was luck too.

I lost an average of 9 cents per hand. 4 cents went to rake and 4 went to other players.

50$ is plenty for 2$ HU SnGs. If you are a decent player, then you can play underolled for low stakes because the quality of play is very bad. At $5+ SnGs i would start using proper BR management however (anywhere from 20-50 buy ins), even tho the play at the 5$ SnGs is horrid as well.

Unless money is tight, i'd give it another go with a 50$ deposit. There is actually nothing wrong with playing NL2 or 1.20 SnGs, just for me i would tear my hair out with the incredibly low return. But if you are happy to grind it out for a few months then by all means go ahead.

If you try cash games tho, don't play short stacked unless you have alot of buy ins. As you said, the idea is to get all in preflop or on the flop so if you are constantly not connecting with cards, losing the races, or getting outdrawn then pretty wicked downswings are possible. And if you are blindly shoving the flop with a hand like AK even if you missed, this isn't going to be good against the calling stations in micro stakes who will probably call you down with bottom pair. Your stack is alot safer when you are playing deepstacked.

As for 2NL play, although i don't think i ever played NL2/5 (i still think building a BR w/ SnGs then going into NL10/25 after you have a roll is better) you shouldn't worry about table image or trying to mix up your play. Play very tight, c-bet vs non-calling stations, and just value bet everybody else with made hands. NL2/5 isn't rocket science, just play very tight aggressive and let all the donks make mistakes. Nobody is going to pick up on or adapt to your play at those stakes.
 
Paw_kit Aces

Paw_kit Aces

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Well short stacked strats have ALOT of variance, and so you need alot of buy ins. 10 buy ins and all you need is a bad run and you will lose your bankroll.

My advice would be to play microlimit SnGs. If you are good at HU games, then play like 2$ HU SnGs or something. Personally, i don't see the point in playing cash games until you have somewhat of a bankroll behind you (~$200 or so). If you like NL2, then go for it, but imo it is easier to start a BR from SnGs. You certainly can start a BR from $50 tho. It just takes alot of patience at the start.

I agree. Reload your account and play $1.00 single table SnGs. If you play a few hours at least 5 days a week (you don't need to multitable yet) you can add another $100 in a month or so. I know that sound like a long time, but you only win $4.50 if you place 1st, so it takes awhile. The important thing is you are building your bank roll with little risk and learning how to play against calling stations, because there are alot of very weak sng players.
 
wayschaff

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this is really good advice that i will have to follow when i make my first deposit. i was wondering if i should start out with sngs or ring but i have made the decision to go with sngs til i build up my account then maybe make the switch if i am ready. what would be a good bankroll to start at nl$5?
 
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1122phoenix

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Something similar happened to me. When I played based on my bankroll (just freeroll winnings) I lost. But when I adjusted to the other players at the table, I won. I guess the lesson learned is play against the players and not go in playing based on your bankroll.
 
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coljung

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I would recommend against $1sng, they are donk fests and u'll get very frustrated by the level of play and calls that you'll get.

I'd go with $2 6-handed sngs, almost same thing though but not as bad.
 
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light65536

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Okay, I reloaded $50. I will use this thread to keep track of my new account and see if I can build it up to something respectable. I'll try the heads up games and try to learn a bit more about the game too. I hope this doesn't turn out to be a mistake!
 
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DuaneK

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Play SnSG's $2.00 is not bad. Lot of crazy's Tag seems to work. Like some have noted play the players. Multi table is not good until you are a winner and are use to playing. Myself I don't enjoy MT. Poker is an enjoyable passtime. But I'am also retired and it's fun and still make a few bucks.

Play smart
DuaneK
 
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light65536

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Basic results so far

Won 5 out of 6 heads up ($2 sit-n-gos)
Lost 2 $3.25 single table sit-n-gos

Unfortunately I'm down -$2

I guess I should stick to heads up where the play is really bad but I get bored with heads up.
 
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light65536

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You can check my stats at

Top Shark

This a great free site to check stats on players. I've noticed that 99% of the players I play against are losing money at my level.

The latest update so far:

166 Heads up Games
10/10 Wins to Losses

Bankroll: -50% ($24 out of $50 starting)

The good thing is that I'm about to clear my bonus which is worth $25 which will put me back to break even. My highest rate ever wins to losses was about 14 to 8 and at that level I was only breaking even. I think I can do it again because I'm very good heads up but the rake is a killer at this level.

I don't know much about heads up game play. I've my fair share of bad beats. I have multiple strategies but my primary strategy is to bulldoze my competition and get a chip lead early and THEN I'm happy to take a coin flip. Against less aggressive opponents I will value bet and chop them down on the flop but this doesn't work against a lot of super aggressive players at this level. Traps work but are difficult to set. I meet a lot of big bluffers who bet big when they are weak and small when they are strong which makes value betting impossible thus I will resort to bulldozing them.
 
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light65536

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I built my account back to $37 (from a start of $50) by playing cash games from a low of around $20. I've taken a break from heads up SNG because those games are really challenging. I've decided to focus on my strengths which I feel are 6 player or less cash games with turbo. I'm thinking of trying SNG tournaments again too because I did very well on them in play money games.

My account hit a low of $20 on the new reload due to the 20 cent rake on the Heads up SNG. My wins/losses are roughly equal now.

I feel playing so many heads up matches has really made me a much stronger player at reading people.

Some strategies I've tired that have not worked for me: multi-tabling and playing short stacked with premium hands super aggressive,

I also look for short stacks because in my experience short stacks are the worst players.

I've also found that by playing single table I can often get a great read a player and make very profitable plays that would just not even be possible if I were multi-tabling.

I tried 2 games to the 100k satellite and lost both. I just don't feel confident enough to play large field tournaments for money.
 
Monoxide

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Damn you got alot of play out of $50, I think my first deposit of $50 lasted 1 day. :D :D :D
 
MrMuckets

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Don't know if you asked for advice or not, but here's mine anyway.
Learn more about post flop play. HU is an aggressors game. Single or multi table SnG's require more finesse.:):)
 
N.D.

N.D.

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Ah if you're better at short handed u can look for 6 player SnG's. Just another option. Also it would give you a chance at winning a lot more for a single tournament than just HU. HU SnG's cost an awful lot in fees to justify just doubling up. You less than double up because of the fees, and that's if you win.
 
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light65536

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Here is the latest update. I've been doing well at 6 player games and built back to right at $40 and then I started playing terribly. Now I'm back to $31. The lesson I learned is when I start playing bad then I should take a good break.
 
N.D.

N.D.

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I just remembered why I like cash games so much. If you can sit at just the right table...

Money, money, money...

If you're in the zone and detect the dynamic straight away and how to play around the others...

Money, money, money...

Oh man, just triple or quadruple up and move on to the next table. Then repeat the process...

Ah but the Gods have to smile on you from time to time. Still, it's an option, especially when you feel burned out on SnG's.
 
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light65536

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My account is still around $36. It went down to a low of about $27 today. I came into a game and first thing I know there is a maniac playing raising every hand. Generally this is good because it means I can get more money in on my better hands but he was able to avoid most my better hands while still winning some good sized pots.

This put me at about $27. I was able through very good play to double up like 4x back to $37.

The lesson learned is that if there is a maniac playing then I will not play at that table because easier tables exist. Playing a maniac requires me to take a lot more risk for more potential gain but its nothing something my bankroll needs.

I've also learned that if I bust someone and they start playing crazy its better just to leave because that type of play creates more volatility in my bankroll.

I'm also going to quit reloading when I start losing bad. Most of my biggest losses have came from instant reloading. I try to keep my stack full because I feel I'm a better player then most at this level and want to get as much money as possible. But that also means I've moved from $3 to $5 per game.

I'm not clearing my bonus nearly as much as I did when I played the SIT-N-GO tournaments so plan to return to them in a few days.
 
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light65536

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I'm running almost up to $40 -- been playing good. The quickest way to become a better poker player is to fold the second best hand. Looking back at some of my losses earlier, again it was mostly caused by maniacs but in some cases I payed too much to chase. I'm pretty confident that chasing pays off in the long run but sometimes if the cost is too much then it may not be worth it. I don't think about this purely in pot odds but also in percent of stack terms too.

My stats show me that I've won the most money from flushes, straights, and full house in ring games. Likewise I've lost the money with high cards and single pairs.
 
kadafi

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Congrats on making 50 last 6 months. I know i couldnt. I can never follow safe br management and usually end up broke or sometimes even after about 2 weeks.

On rare occasions though i will be up money. I have a very decent Br on pacific poker and party aswell.
 
N.D.

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The lesson learned is that if there is a maniac playing then I will not play at that table because easier tables exist. Playing a maniac requires me to take a lot more risk for more potential gain but its nothing something my bankroll needs.

It's your choice, but maniacs are everywhere, including tournaments. The real lesson, and it's one I have to remind myself of, is to observe. Observe and play around them.

During an upswing I ran into a maniac who was quite profitable. $8 in less than 1/2 an hour off of one guy at a penny table isn't so bad. Once I realized his game I just tightened up and let him play it. He wants to be aggressive? He wants to play loose? Then I wanna be tight, and a tiny bit passive. Let him think I'm the one playing a bad hand, then give him a chance to bluff. Maniacs just love bluffing. At the lowest stakes they think all-in's the only good bluff and sometimes it's the only bet they won't call.

It's funny, it can be tough to slow play a tight-aggressive player, but easy to slow play a maniac.

Really, if you're patient, you'll spot ways around all kinds of players. It doesn't mean you won't have downswings, but still I do think it's good to diversify your skills.

Oh and here's something I do kind of backwards. I've seen where articles say to look for the table with the biggest average pot size. But in my mind that means the table's aggressive overall. The thing is, I wanna be the aggressor. So I look for the smallest pot size.

But what do I know? I'm just barely climbing out of my own downswing.

GL and hang in there. Be patient. If you wanna top off your account every so often, like you know, add another deposit, I don't see how that's wrong. Still I've listened to the Chris Ferguson podcast a ton of times and read the article over and over again. Chris says 5% is actually a lot to take to the table at any one time. He says a lot of pros wouldn't dream of taking that much.

:angel: Guess I'll be a good little grinder and listen to Jesus. The rest of you can do whatever you want. It's your loot.
 
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