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Thursday, January 18, 2007

One Year On

Enough of all my random posts about winning monies. I randomly checked that today is pretty much exactly 1 year on from when i started my blog. Back then I think my BR was around $1.2k, give or take a couple of hundred.

At that stage I was just a typical micro stakes player, who was winning because of bonuses and rakeback, but not THAT much clue as to why. I was probably playing breakeven poker at NL25 without much of a clue about poker. I realised this, as you could see that I was also selling stuff on ebay, and I was also selling cigerettes to people in my halls. Now I don't bother with any of that, simply because it's not worht my time. I had no idea I'd be as good as I am now, or how good I could eventually be. In fact, I have to admit that I don't really think I'm that good really now. Just know how to play basic ABCish poker and try not to make too many errors.

Something that most micro stakes players don't know, is what it means to play ABC poker. What they think is ABC, is generally EXTREMELY weak-tight. It's also usually a little bit too loose.
Some of the most important things to learn (there's more, but this is what comes to mind) :

1) value betting
2) position
3) relative hand strengths
4) implied odds
5) image

1) learn to value bet. It's simple. If you have a strong hand, please bet it. If you have a decent draw, and it just got there, bet. If you have a set, and someone bets into you or raises, reraise. Also make it big amounts, like pot sized. not minraised. not to $20 after dude bets $8 into a $16 pot. make that shit $33 to go!

2) this is totally misunderstood by many low stakes players. They undestand position is important, but they don't really know why. It's mainly because it's a lot harder to play marginal holdings optimally, and harder to extract value.

3)This is mainly kicker problems. For example in a standard raised pot, going broke with KJ on a KK6 board looks VERY bad because there's virtually no hand you beat. Assuming it's unlikely villain just decides to straight up bluff you out of nowhere (although this does happen) you pretty much don't beat ANY legit hands. You are smoked.

4)This is people overestimating implied odds. For example the odds of floping a set are 7.5-1. However dbitel calculated that actually you need closer to 18-1 odds to call preflop with a small pp. This is because you are not guaranteed to stack someone everytime you hit, and also you can get hit by set over set or some otehr random FD/OESD. I think the calculation was that if you have 33 on 3xx without knowing what xx is, the set will stand up by the river only 68% of the time vs a reasonable range (KQ+, 44+ etc etc). This shows that flopping a set is not the be all and end all (although saying that, you should almost NEVER fold a set on the flop)

5) This is so important. Both the villain's image, and how he perceives you are so key in so many hands that I think many hands are almost impossible to give good analysis on without a full breakdown of the images and history.

The above isn't really an in depth analysis, just a general obsevation of what I've seen. (for real analysis pay me $50/hr for coaching... j/k, well sorta, i do coach for $50/hr). Obviously I could try and give a breakdown of exactly how to play certain situations, but that would take ages and a lot of effort. What I'm saying is these are the things that took me a long time of thinking before I started making any money.

I've come a long way since when I first started, and so can you. The are key things though in doing so.
First off I'm pretty dope at math. Ok I'm not eactly lighting the world on fire at uni, and there are many people that are WAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaYYYY better than me at math. However I have a good grasp of numbers, did GCSE early, pwned A-level, doing a heavyish math based uni degree, etc etc. This is kinda essential because although the general math of poker is not that hard, and you should learn it quickly, it is something that you should pretty much 'get' straight away. A by product of this is that the kids that were good at math in school are good at logical thinking, which is key in poker.
You really have to want to win, and not just at poker, everything. When I play games, I hate to lose. It got to the stage that at 14yrs old I sat myself down and had to teach myself not to 'want' to win everything. It still pisses me off when I don't win these days, but I've learnt to not be so pissed about the small stuff. You know, football, basketball, games of pool, etc etc. However I always wanna win at poker cos its money YO!

One of the biggest factors separating MSNL, the better SSNLers and everyone else below is the number of hands played. This comes from the above point about math/logic skills. Also a lot of us grew up playing computer games, so are used to very hectic screens. The point is, we (yeah i'm gonna go with 'we') play a LOT more hands than most SSNLers and uNLers. We play 6-12 tables and put in 3-6hrs a day. Most micro players i see don't. Many only play 1-2 tables. Now I understand that it's tough initially to play more, and also understand that many people just play recreationally so don't want to have to 'grind'. This point is for those who really want to move up fast, and make mad monies. You HAVE to play more tables. 4 is like the minimum unless you plan to play 10hrs a day.
My only thoughts are that a lot of micro players want to take things seriously, but when they play 4hr sessions and churn out like 250 hand sessions I wanna cry. That's about a 30min session for me at 6-tables.
The bankroll is important, and its good to be properly rolled. However don't equate skill level to bankroll. I wouldn't suggest playing outside of your roll unless you had a huge sample size that you beat a level, and were only underrolled because of non-poker related stuff. My point is that -5 buyin sessions happen almost every week. Well, almost, maybe 3 weeks out of 4. Maybe more depending on how much you play. The point is, 20 buyins really doesnt cut it and you are gonna want in the region of 40.

Oh I also read a lot of the strategy posts on, and chat to a lot of the regulars. In fact I almost never post HH's anymore, just ask other people. I'm also considering a coach, probabaly in the $150/hr region.

Right now I have a $19k+ BR after numerous cashouts. In fact from Jan last year, I still didnt really make money until Aug.
Before then, I bonus whored. Pretty much the best, easiest and fastest way to build a bankroll. Check out pokersourceonline, I have a link on the left under 'poker links' on the left. But at the same time save some sites like FTP for rakeback. You'll want to save either interpoker or sunpoker for rakeback too on crypto, in case you ever want to play there.

This is kinda a general review for the kinda stuff that you'll need to do to beat up to NL100. NL200 imo is slightly different, but pretty much the same thing. NL400? I dunno, I don't have any sample size, although I am up lifetime at it.


Blogger amatay said...

Hey, just came across your blog. Nice blog btw but i dont really understand what you were saying about implied odds? 18-1 and all that. Can you enlighten me pls. Cheers

12:19 AM  
Blogger MrBigHit said...

nice concise summary of the points that you need in online play. you should continutally play 400nl as those stakes aren't that much more skilled than 1/2 players - obviously depends on the sites you play tho.

12:27 AM  
Blogger andy said...


basically people think that 7.5-1 odds is all u need with small pockets. however it's a lot more since u flop set over set a lot or flop sets when someone else flops straights. Also, when you flop a set vs TPTK you don't always stack people.


yeah i've datamined quite a bit at 2/4 and thihnk i should be able to beat it already. I've put in around 80k hands at 1/2 so far and am looking to move permanently soon.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Edward said...

Hey man just to say Ive starting reading your blog and its pretty decent. Im in around about the same position as you (well I play 200nl and will probably stay there a while actually).


4:03 PM  
Blogger Cadmunkey said...

Best post you've made so far on your blog Andy. Keep up the good work bud ;-)

10:32 AM  

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