Discouraged

roundcat

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As a poker newbie (two months in), I've never expected great things right out of the gate. I've started playing both live and online, reading poker books, and learning about pot odds, tells, etc. I've thought I've been doing alright, but have had a terrible run the past week, which is extremely discouraging. This makes me wonder whether I just need to be patient and continue to play/learn, or whether I'm simply playing badly and need to make a fundamental change.

I'm not terribly aggressive (perhaps need to be more so), don't play stupidly and have performed well in several tourneys, but never in the money for any significant amount. I'm down about $300 total, which seems like a lot. The breakdown is about $190 for live tourneys, $60 for online tourneys, and $50 for online ring games. I had just about broken even in the ring games until a few days ago when my bad streak started.

Is this normal? I know it can take awhile to become a winning player, but I'd hate to lose much more money at this. Can't imagine giving it up, though, as I really love to play and think I have good potential at the game. How can I tell whether to just hang in there and keep plugging away, or whether I truly suck? I don't *feel* like I suck, but I'm sure most players think they're just fabulous, regardless of actual skill level.
 
t1riel

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It's possible you need to work more on your gameplay. Chances are, you are on a cold streak. It happens every now and then. You might have seen other threads explain other players who have been on a cold streak. It happens to the best of us. It never hurts to keep practicng your game. :boxing:
 
Four Dogs

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2 months really isn't that much time in the game. Chances are you've got some leaks that only experience can plug. Ditch the tournaments. Drop down to the low limit ring tables. Tighten up your starting hand requirements and don't bet out of position. You won't win much but at least you'll be treading water and you'll get to see alot of hands.
 
Poker Jill

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I would take it as a cold streak, but maybe try playing lower limit games for now. Right now I am in a cold streak and have lost 5 sitngo's in a row, but just three days ago I won 3 out of 4. Usually when I lose a sitngo, the next one I join is a lower limit one, then when I get in the money at that one I'll go up a level and so on. It seems to be working pretty well, but I'm not a heavy gambler.
 
JAMILE1

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Hey Chinchilla,

I call it the runs you have good ones and bad ones just a part of the game that keeps us coming back, I have had these runs before and just looked at it as that a bad run, hang in there and keep learning reading and playing and I have lost alot of money in my first couple months playing but as you learn read and play it kinda evens itself out and yes this is normal as many have went thru these runs before, and no you don't suck at poker just something that happens to many players. Keep learning reading and playing and it will turn around, and keep rockin :thrasher: :thrasher: on.
 
IrishDave

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I had a terrible weekend at hold'em, nothing but bad beats and getting rivered - it happens. I personally switched to stud/8 and won most of my money back. Things certainly go in cycles and you can change your limits, or games and limits to ride them out...
 
roundcat

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Thanks for the advice and encouragement! I'll continue to improve my game play at lower levels. Can't give up the tourneys, though, or I wouldn't be playing live games at all since I'm spooked by the idea of 3/6 ring games and that's what's available here. And I'll try to reign in those recurring visions of grandeur at wsop final tables. ;)
 
G

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I agree with droping down some level(s). My experience was similar when I started out. When I first started playing online I began with $200. I started playing .25/.50 HE and $5 SNGs. It did'nt take long to go through that $200. My fault, really did'nt know what I was doing. I started doing some reading and also found this forum.

Then, I deposited $50 at pokerstars. Just playing ABC poker at .01/.02 ring games. Playing at that level allowed me to work on learning the game without fear of loosing more than I can afford. It has made a huge difference. I'm actually winning for a change.

I'm not suggesting that you move down to penny tables. Maybe just move down far enough so that you are not playing with the fear of loosing more than you can afford while you improve your game.
 
Dorkus Malorkus

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Figure out why you are losing money, and fix it.

For example, in tournaments, are you not cashing because you are continually losing coinflips, getting sucked out on, or having KK run into AA? If so, that's fine, it happens sometimes and you're just running badly. Or are you often losing because in the middle stages your stack is so small you have no room for maneuver? If so, try and identify why this is - for example you might be bleeding off chips early on by playing too many marginal hands, or you may not be maximising your gain when you have a pot won. Identify your leaks, and fix them.

The above is just an example, you may have other/different leaks in your game. Identify any repeated problem you're having, the cause of the problem, and the solution(s) to it. Pokertracker is a great help in doing this once you have a decent sample size of hands - you can check to see your biggest losing hands, for example, and see if you're over/underplaying certain hands.
 
X

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Well the last reply is the best you have gotten and simply put the one thing that you MUST do when you lose is LEARN and adjust! 2 months is not enough experience to be a winning player unless you are a certified genius! Get your butt down to a limit or SNG buyin level that you can afford to LOSE at for awhile. Sure the basics of poker can be learned in a very short period of time and reading good books is invaluable but there are certain things that ONLY experience can teach and it is all about how much you want to pay to learn!

Yes we all have cold streaks and up swings but you can't start calling them cold streaks until you are a consistent winner!
 
roundcat

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OK, will identify/plug leaks... will back down a level on limit play... and will constrain myself to two $30 buy-in and one $45 buy-in live tourneys per month (hell, my husband spends more than than on beer) since I don't feel like I can truly learn all I need to know about the game without playing it in person.

Thank you, excellent people! :icon_thum
 
Crippler450

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If you're playing live, you MUST learn tells. Your opponents are using them against you, and if you don't know them as well, it can really hurt your chances of winning. Read Mike Caro's book of Tells, and learn to reduce your own as much as possible. Other than that, just keep watching your opponents and try to guess what they will do before they do it based on how they act in different situations.
 
-2222-

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chinchilla said:
OK, will identify/plug leaks... will back down a level on limit play... and will constrain myself to two $30 buy-in and one $45 buy-in live tourneys per month (hell, my husband spends more than than on beer) since I don't feel like I can truly learn all I need to know about the game without playing it in person.

Thank you, excellent people! :icon_thum
Hey Chinchilla, nice post.

My advice is for you to define your goals. If your goal is to win $ or not lose $ while you are learning, do 3 things.
1. Stop playing live games....they tend to cost more and you win less. As well, you get anywhere between 13-30 hands an hour. Online, you can get 95+ per hour so at a minimum, you will probably get 3x the experience online = learn faster.
2. Buy Harrington on Holdem 1. It is brilliant and will help you to make $ and plug holes.(BTW, is is a tourney book but has a lot of application in live games as well).
3. Stop playing big buy-in tourneys...stick to the freerolls and $1-$5 Freezeouts whilst gaining experience.

When you gain experience, you can move up, play live games and big buy-in tournies....then it is on to the WSOP!

Good luck.

If you can replenish your bankroll and do not mind losing, keep doing what you are doing but you have already said that losing as you have is too painful
 
Crippler450

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-2222- said:
3. Stop playing big buy-in tourneys...stick to the freerolls and $1-$5 Freezeouts whilst gaining experience.
I wouldnt suggest playing more freerolls because they generally teach bad habits, not good ones.

I would play in $5 buy ins, which is a cheap way to learn real poker (Or at least real enough to start out), and have a decent chance at winning some of your money back while you learn.
 
tenbob

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-2222- said:
1. Stop playing live games....they tend to cost more and you win less. As well, you get anywhere between 13-30 hands an hour. Online, you can get 95+ per hour so at a minimum, you will probably get 3x the experience online = learn faster.
Well there is that arguement i suppose, however i find that live games are where i make the vast majority of my bankroll. I have no problem paying €75-€100 for a buy-in live, but its something i would never do online. If you play live try to get yourseld into a basic routine, something you do for EVERY hand.

Personally what i do is not to pick up my cards until its my turn to act, i watch players ahead of me (and if i can behind me) and their reaction to raises/ calls / folds etc. Before i pick up my cards i usually have a good idea of how good my hand needs to be. I then look at my cards, place them on the table, (the same way if it AA or 72) and act.

The key is not to get over excited when you do pick up that monster, picking up AA early and youve spotted the table maniac counting out a raise out of turn can be a great way to pot commit him. Thats just one example.

Keep reading and grinding away, im by no means a great poker player but i try to learn something every week and im gradually becoming much more successful as a result.
 
roundcat

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I'm nearly halfway through Harrington on Hold Em 1 right now and can't imagine a better book out there (except perhaps part 2).

As for not playing live for awhile, I'll have to give that some thought since it's been my biggest source of loss so far, but it's also what I enjoy most and I think the experience is valuable. My friends who got me started with poker didn't start winning until six months in, and they only play live as far as I know. When I played a live tourney earlier this week, I discovered that I play more conservatively live than I do online, which is something I need to corrrect.

I've never done big buy-in tourneys online -- typically no more than $5 or $6 at a time, though I once made the mistake of unknowingly getting involved in a $10 R&A tourney and losing more than planned (which ended up accounting for about half my online tourney losses in itself).

My immediate goal is to break even without incurring too much more $ loss, then to become a winning player, and eventually to increase my skill level so I can win consistently. Sometimes it seems silly to pursue as a potentially money-making hobby since there are so many other things I can do that pay better and much more easily, but I really do enjoy it, which I figure must be worthwhile in itself.

Thank you again for the outstanding advice. :)
 
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