Poker dilemma: Should I quit playing now?

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5

5miles

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1st post here.

I've been playing no limit hold'em on two poker sites since late last year. During that time I have matured a lot and consider myself a relatively good poker player. I'm always playing super tight, prefer to play with a large stack and my style is about applying pressure on other players. I'm a dangerous guy at a no limit table and I frequently have a good control of the tables I'm playing at.

First I started at $0.05/$0.10 cash tables on Full Tilt just to get a grip of the game. I lost about $60 in less than a month, but I felt like I was getting better, so I deposited more money. After a couple months I moved up to $0.10/$0.25 tables and developed my style. I was sometimes winning, sometimes losing a bit, but in a couple months, my bankroll went up for about $80. I sometimes robbed $50 from a single table. Finally I had €250 on my account, up from $130.

Right now I've been playing some low stake sit'n'gos on a different site where they play in euros. For many weeks I've increased my bankroll for about €5 a day. That's good, because I started with €50 there.

But just recently I've experienced some heavy losses for some unknown reason. I don't reach price money anymore even in 10-player €3 SnG's and I've lost big in €0.10/€0.20 cash tables. I've quit cash games because of that. I don't have enough money for €0.10/€0.20 tables. I'm on a 100€ minus just last month, and I think that's a lot of money. Right now my last €30 I have on that site is reaching for a zero.

That means I'm losing hundreds of euros in poker (everything I won last year and more), but still I feel like I'm on the top of my game right now. I bet aggressively, make great laydowns, make great reads, still manage to play super tight and am able to adapt to different situations. I'm never on tilt, I'm a very calm player, and when I lose more than I should, I quit and come back some other day. I never chase my losses. I'm still having fun.

But it appears that with this losing streak, I can't go on playing poker anymore. I just can't. If I keep losing this much, I'm not going to deposit any more money. I'm not going to put all my money in this game.

Something is wrong with my game, I just don't know what.

I'm a grown-up guy, have a job and have lots of money to fund poker. I'm playing for fun. I'm playing to win, even a little. Poker is the best game I've ever played and I don't want to give it up. I'm even ready to move up in stakes if I get the confidence and if I get my game running again.

Any suggestions?
 
Chiefer

Chiefer

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sounds like what you are experiencing is natural variance. variance is that big ugly monster in your closet that refuses to go away until it's ready. try taking a break, or moving down in limits to help keep the loses to a minimum.
 
NineLions

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Well, don't move up in stakes. Read some of the things Tenbob has said, I think in jaketrevor's thread about moving up in stakes, about grinding tens of thousands of hands at levels before moving up.

If you think there's something wrong with your game, post some hand histories for analysis, or ask someone to send 100/200 hand histories to for analysis. Otherwise you could just end up contiuing to bleed.
 
5

5miles

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I've seen lots of variance during my 6 months. :) I was once down to $80 on Full Tilt, went back to $0.05/$0.10 and slowly gained it back to $130.

The problem is I'm at the lowest limits right now. There's only €15 left of my €150, It'll take a lifetime to win back that much money.

When it comes to taking a break, I just had a 60-day hiatus from Full Tilt. I didn't have any money on my account there and played very little or none during that time. I'm now back at the game, and have been playing for about month now.

If I go on, I have to deposit.
 
5

5miles

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If you think there's something wrong with your game, post some hand histories for analysis...
I've thought of that, and I think it's a great chance to develop yourself, but that doesn't solve all the problems.

I mostly play SnG's now, so winning is a lot more than looking at single hands. When you play, let's say, a €3 turbo SnG, there's not much you can do with a single hand if you're unlucky. If you hold AQs on the button, raise 3BB, don't hit the flop and face an all-in from a short-stacker, you've lost 3BB in that hand anyway and it has cost you a lot of chips eventhough you played well. That's why I don't want to post individual hands, but rather would like to analyze whole sessions, what was good and what went wrong.
 
pkrplr4116

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Your command of English for a Finnish guy is wonderful! You might start reading some English language poker strategy books. Those might help you find the holes in your game withut you having to post hundreds of hand hsitories. Just a thought
 
jaketrevvor

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If you have a solid base that's great - even better if you are truly immune to tilt and for this I'm very envious :). Variance is an inevibility of poker and the way that all sensible poker players avoid it having a catastrophic effect on their bankroll is by employing Bankroll Management. As a general rule you should not be buying in for cash games where the maximum buy-in at the table is more than 5% of your total bankroll, meaning that you have 20 buyins which can numb the pain of a bad streak. The fact that not many sites have tables lower than 5c/10c might be an issue here though. The is a well of information on cardschat regarding proper bankroll management techniques and reading up about this is bound to help your game in the long run.

Stick around, read and learn :).


edit: some of the strategy articles here like this one are very helpful indeed.
 
Jagsti

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1st of all I suspect your bankroll management needs a little work. There are lots of threads about BRM, please read them and get a good feel for how many buy ins you need for each level. Then have a strategy in place for moving down levels if you go on a downswing.

Next off you need to decide which type of poker you like and are good at, stick with it and try to specialise with that particular game, ie Sng's, cash or Mtt's.

Constantly read strategy threads, articles, and read some poker books. You also need to post hand histories. You may think your a good player, but there are a lot on people on here who will be able to tell you if you are playing poorly or are running bad. GL.
 
Jagsti

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LOL Jake, you must of posted your reply when I was typing my post. Pretty similar don't you think!
 
jaketrevvor

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yeah you and me are obv operating on the same level - and that is a very sexy level fwiw :)
 
5

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If you have a solid base that's great - even better if you are truly immune to tilt and for this I'm very envious :)
Well, not immune, but that's only because I play so little money compared to what I could. But if I do lose a lot, I get depressed and quit for that day. :)

Bankroll management is a very good idea indeed. But my problem is that I'm not very good when sitting at a table against nine beginners who think pocket 3's is an all-in hand. I actually win a lot more when I play higher stakes. The players are more careful there, and that's where my aggressive style really works.

A major part of my style has been applying pressure. You can't really do that in a $0.05/$0.10 table where the other guy thinks his gutshot straight draw is good and when there's ”only” 50 cents to call.

So I'm actually losing at the microtables. :)
 
NineLions

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I've thought of that, and I think it's a great chance to develop yourself, but that doesn't solve all the problems.

I mostly play SnG's now, so winning is a lot more than looking at single hands. When you play, let's say, a €3 turbo SnG, there's not much you can do with a single hand if you're unlucky. If you hold AQs on the button, raise 3BB, don't hit the flop and face an all-in from a short-stacker, you've lost 3BB in that hand anyway and it has cost you a lot of chips eventhough you played well. That's why I don't want to post individual hands, but rather would like to analyze whole sessions, what was good and what went wrong.

There are a lot of people here quite willing to review an entire SnG, including myself, Chuck, and a number of others. There have also been, as I mentioned, swaps of 100 hands of cash games between members for analysis. Just ask.


And, welcome to the forum, btw. :)
 
5

5miles

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In conclusion, right now I do feel like quitting. Maybe for good, maybe for some time. It'll probably be tough to get rid of the addiction first, since holdem poker has been my hobby and a subject of study for so many months now. But I'll try to move away from it.

There's also the time factor. When I started last year, I was hoping to win some $50 a month or so just to build my bankroll. I wanted to see how poker would work for me. I pretty much succeeded in that, but it was hard to bare the random ups and downs, and it still is tough to cope with the slight depression after losing more than you wanted to lose in a single night. At the same time, I felt like I needed a lot more time to get better in the game, more time to study, more hands to play, try tournaments, sit'n'go's etc.

I'm not broke, I haven't played all my money. I can continue the game anytime I like.

I can't put more time into something that makes me lose money and gives nothing (well, except the fun). It's just so frustrating to start playing each night, hoping to win something, when you know you're still a losing player just hoping to improve ...some day.
 
NineLions

NineLions

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It really sounds like you need a break.

Or some more experience with variance and bankroll management.

Or all of the above.
 
The PoolBoy

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Yeah a short hiatus is in orger my friend. Take the BR management thought with ya. I feel it is mostrelevent. As well as, How's your starting hand range? I think also that varience is playing big factor inyour swings. Be aware of this and track it. Two words Poker Trackor...Good luck when ya come back
 
smd173

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I can't put more time into something that makes me lose money and gives nothing (well, except the fun). It's just so frustrating to start playing each night, hoping to win something, when you know you're still a losing player just hoping to improve ...some day.

Hey 5, welcome to the site. Perhaps I can lend you some of my personal experiences playing, because they sound similar to yours.

I really enjoy playing poker, and consider myself a good player. I even competed in the 2006 wsop Stud H/L event. I am in good shape financially, and when I play online I tend to only deposit $100.

In March 2007, I deposited $100 on Stars and $100 on FT. Over the next few months I ran my FT total up to $169 playing micro limit cash games, and to $165 on Stars playing micro limit cash games and SNGs. After 2 months on FT, I ran into a bad string of luck. Then I began chasing (unlike you), then I just went on colossal tilt and when everything was finished I had $0.80 left in my account. I felt terrible, I felt like I wanted to quit poker. But I shook things off, still had some money on PS and decided to play there. Then the same thing happened. I had a bad run of luck, I started chasing levels, I went on tilt and I went bust. I then took a few months off from online poker.

I put another $100 back on Stars in September 2007 for the sole purpose of properly building a bankroll using proper BRM. Things went great for awhile. I built it up to $160+ again, playing within the proper limits of my bankroll. Then I hit a bad streak. Got really pissed one night, went on tilt and blew most of my roll. When I snapped out of it, I decided I needed to withdrawl money before I was anymore destructive than I had been, and I withdrew $40. I then blew the other $13 I had left in there, just goofing around.

Again, I've taken a break from online poker. I still love poker, but I've been mulling around what I'm going to do in the future. Obviously I have tilt issues that have reared their ugly head 3 times.

I think it's the frustration of grinding out dollars at a day at .01/.02 and then seeing goofs wander in and make $5 like it was nothing with crap hands and wonder "why can't I do that?". But regardless of those reasons, I'm realizing more and more that at lower limits, I just don't have to patience to properly grind it out. And if I played higher limits and lost, I'd feel even worse.

So I've come to the conclusion that even though I love the game of poker and will play it for life, it is not likely that I will ever become an internet pro or even a regular pro. It's very hard to continuously excel at a game where your edge is so small. To repeatedly get it in as a 75-25 favorite and lose just crushes your spirit over time. And even though you are playing great, that slowly shrinking bankroll doesn't make you feel like you are.

Yes, variance is a very real thing in poker, but I believe that it's more than that for some people. Some people really are just luckier than others.

The best advice I can probably give you is the same that others have shared. As much as you love poker, you are going to have to take some time away from it. Or at least for real money. Go play freerolls or even play money games if you need a fix. It's still poker (crappy yes), but you'll be surprised how it still is fun. Plus there is a sense of accomplishment in beating 90 other goofs in a play money tourney, even if you aren't rewarded with anything real out of it.

I hope some of what I shared can be helpful for you. Either way, enjoy this site and it's full of knowledge and knowledgable, friendly people.
 
5

5miles

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I'm taking a break from depositing more money to any poker account, so I'm now playing $2 SnG's on full tilt poker. I just couldn't help it, it's so much fun. :)

It looks like my game is getting back to normal. My best area appears to be the SnG's, since I lost $7 in micro cash tables ($0.05/$0.10) in a few minutes, but am now +$13 from a few $2 SnG's in two days. I reach price money everytime I play one. I play super tight, very aggressively, apply pressure with a big stack and always let others make the mistakes for me. The style I play grants me the chip lead everytime from the start — with a hint of luck too. If that doesn't happen, I take them out when the blinds go up and the excitement increases.

I had $75 on that account when I started this thread. Now it's $83. It appears I'll continue playing for fun — not so much for a hope of profit — but I won't deposit more money to play the $0.10/$0.25 cash games or higher SnG's.

If you ever happen to meet at the SnG's, I'll be fmiles. Thanks for the advice.
 
dacallstation12

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i dont know what all this talk about losing 100 bucks is about....thats a normal daily occurance for me
 
gondorf

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Don't be a drone! Go and play some live (real) poker.
 
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feitr

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Stick with it if you like it imo. Find a game type at which you are good...for me, while i quite like SnGs on occasion, i cannot remember the last time that i even placed in one (although when i started, i would finish top2 almost every time). So, after busting out of 3 5$ SnGs in a row without even getting to bubble, I just decided that i will NEVER play a SnG again. For you, it sounds like cash games don't work out so well...so just don't play them. SnGs/cash/MTTs can all make you money, you just have to stick to what works for you.

Change your playstyle to fit the table at which you are playing. For instance, playing very aggressive (as in semibluffing and bluffing) simply fails at micro stakes. Nobody cares if they have to call 40c to hit a 5 outer on the river. So change up your playstyle. Vs calling stations or maniacs (seem to be the two main types of players at micro stakes) play very tight aggressive. Don't try to bluff, but punish them when you do get a good hand. Make sure you are playing the right strategy for your buy in. eg. if you buy in for minimum, you are better off sitting out until you hit a premium hand then getting all your money in preflop or after the flop. If you are deepstacked, you can play ALOT looser, because your implied odds are much larger.

I would try to get up to at least .1/.2 cash tables, if you actually want to play cash games, because it just isn't worth your time often at the very low levels.

A major part of my style has been applying pressure. You can't really do that in a $0.05/$0.10 table where the other guy thinks his gutshot straight draw is good and when there's ”only” 50 cents to call.

Ya but this is exactly what you want. If he is going to call 50c to hit a 9:1 draw, you WILL make money in the long run. The one thing you DO NOT want to do in micro stakes, is feel "shit why can't i buy him off this pot when i know he has nothing" even tho his nothing will still beat your nothing. Change up your playstyle. Play tighter preflop, then make them pay you off when you hit TPTK etc. If you miss a hand, don't try to get cute and bluff them out, coz that isn't going to work in micro stakes, but swallow your pride and fold the hand. You should also adapt your play to different tables at the same stakes...playing very aggressive post flop (when you don't have the goods to back it up) can be a disaster on some tables, but work very well on others etc.

You REALLY should post a bad cash game session or something tho. I cannot understand how you can lose like 7$ at micro stakes in a few minutes, without doing something seriously seriously wrong. Somebody would take a look at the HHs for a small session im sure.
 
5

5miles

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You REALLY should post a bad cash game session or something tho. I cannot understand how you can lose like 7$ at micro stakes in a few minutes, without doing something seriously seriously wrong. Somebody would take a look at the HHs for a small session im sure.
Well, it wasn't ”a few minutes” to be exact, but maybe about an hour or so. But it felt like a really short time. I was just running bad, didn't catch the flop or didn't complete my draws. I was tight as usually, raising 3BB with hands like AQ, 4–5BB with hands like KK, never limping in except with pocket pairs like 66. There were a couple super-aggressive players at the table over whom I seemed to have a complete control over (they lost a lot of money to other idiots). I managed to catch a few bluffs (one was me holding pocket tens with an ace and a king on the board), didn't even once go all-in, didn't bluff, didn't call preflop raises with nothing but very strong hands.

Where I lost that $7, or was it $5 or something I'm not sure, was in those preflop raises, betting the flop with top pair top kicker just to face an all-in from an aggressive bluffer and so forth. I didn't really lose any hands on showdown, just lost it gradually by aggressive betting when I had a hand, but didn't call an out-of-proportion reraise when I wasn't *that* strong. There was an instance where I had two pairs (with a lower pair on the board), bet, faced an all-in, and when I folded, the ultra-aggressive bluffer showed a full house. That taught me the lesson.

That's the curse of the microtables. You're up against a sick player with a 50xBB stack who bets 20xBB with a middle pair, so you never know what they really hold.

Playing those microtables is all about getting the best possible hand then letting others do the work in front of you. But we all know that doesn't happen often.
 
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markkaz

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There are a lot of people here quite willing to review an entire SnG, including myself, Chuck, and a number of others. There have also been, as I mentioned, swaps of 100 hands of cash games between members for analysis. Just ask.

Is there a way to retrieve previous game histories once you have closed all of the windows? I'm playing pokerstars.
 
F

foxo

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i know what u mean,
i also stoped playing cash tables, on line.
just tournaments and s&g...better for me.
 
F

feitr

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Well, it wasn't ”a few minutes” to be exact, but maybe about an hour or so. But it felt like a really short time. I was just running bad, didn't catch the flop or didn't complete my draws. I was tight as usually, raising 3BB with hands like AQ, 4–5BB with hands like KK, never limping in except with pocket pairs like 66. There were a couple super-aggressive players at the table over whom I seemed to have a complete control over (they lost a lot of money to other idiots). I managed to catch a few bluffs (one was me holding pocket tens with an ace and a king on the board), didn't even once go all-in, didn't bluff, didn't call preflop raises with nothing but very strong hands.

Where I lost that $7, or was it $5 or something I'm not sure, was in those preflop raises, betting the flop with top pair top kicker just to face an all-in from an aggressive bluffer and so forth. I didn't really lose any hands on showdown, just lost it gradually by aggressive betting when I had a hand, but didn't call an out-of-proportion reraise when I wasn't *that* strong. There was an instance where I had two pairs (with a lower pair on the board), bet, faced an all-in, and when I folded, the ultra-aggressive bluffer showed a full house. That taught me the lesson.

That's the curse of the microtables. You're up against a sick player with a 50xBB stack who bets 20xBB with a middle pair, so you never know what they really hold.

Playing those microtables is all about getting the best possible hand then letting others do the work in front of you. But we all know that doesn't happen often.

If you think that is your problem, then buy in for cash games at the minimum (or very close to the minimum). Play VERY tight range AJs + KQ and TT+, then play VERY aggressively with those hands. Raise it up, and push all in after the flop when you hit TPTK. If you have an overpair to the flop, push all in. You don't even have to worry about reads. You are simply working on the premise that 1. you are going in with the better hand in most cases and 2. that in the majority of cases TPTK etc is going to hold up. And since you are only risking like 2$ max at your stakes, it really doesn't matter if you bust out on occassion. The big stacks at micro stakes will just be thinking "oh look he is trying to buy the pot and it hardly costs me anything so ill call with middle pair" etc
 
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