Need a bit of guidance please

Bill SBill S Red Chipper Posts: 26 ✭✭
Hi All,
Been playing about 400 hours of live 1/2 NL at local casinos per year for the last 5 years. I was a small winner the first 2 years. Breakeven or slight loser the next two years and big loser over the last year. I even took about 4 months off but when I came back to the felt this fall, the downswing continued. It seems like the more I study, the worse i get. I started with NLHE for small stakes, then The Course, Then spent a solid year working through core. At the end of all that I never found a win streak again. I believe I am misapplying concepts or lacking a solid strategy, instead adopting a mashed up approach from all the different models. I am halfway through my bankroll and started to think about the losses which is only making things harder. I really enjoy the game and would like to continue learning and working towards better play. This is entirely a hobby for me and don't need the income, but I don't have the ability to easily replenish my bankroll so my risk of ruin is weighing on me.

My request is for some external feedback about the best way to find the fundamentals and make some headway. I respect the RCP community and am hopeful some feedback can help.

Thanks
Bill

Comments

  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 4,216 ✭✭✭✭✭
    So many ways to get better if your current study isn't enough.

    Are you an independent learner? Buy a solver and get some ideas.

    Social? Find a chat group with other poker players.

    Like videos? It's the golden age of free poker content on Youtube.

    Own a keyboard? Type questions here.

    Need private attention? Find a coach.

    Learn empirically? That i have a good one for: Talk to @porter about getting into our microstakes club game where we practice twice a week together and share feedback.

    Follow your nose.
  • RussRuss Red Chipper Posts: 112 ✭✭
    edited January 14
    Bill, your story described me perfectly three years ago. Maybe since I have a lot of formal schooling, or maybe because I was stuck in late 90's/early 2000 poker, or maybe I just didn't "get it," I couldn't translate my independent studying to the table.

    My advice: get a coach. Understand his or her concepts, use the rest of your training, play online with a stat tracker as if you are playing 1/3 (not trying to win, trying to improve).

    Above all, don't try to play like your coach does, or exactly how CORE teaches you or what the GTO says; instead, let your coaching sessions develop a solid strategy that works for your game.

    I was a 1/2 even-to-slightly losing player three years ago. Today I play 2/5 and sometimes 5/10 when the game is good and I've been a winning player since, and it's all because I finally invested the money and got a coach to help me put it all together. Those six sessions changed my game.
  • Bill SBill S Red Chipper Posts: 26 ✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    So many ways to get better if your current study isn't enough.

    Are you an independent learner? Buy a solver and get some ideas.

    Social? Find a chat group with other poker players.

    Like videos? It's the golden age of free poker content on Youtube.

    Own a keyboard? Type questions here.

    Need private attention? Find a coach.

    Learn empirically? That i have a good one for: Talk to @porter about getting into our microstakes club game where we practice twice a week together and share feedback.

    Follow your nose.

    Thanks for the response Pursuadeo. I dont learn easily through reading and learn much quicker in videos or discussions. I am Interested in the the club. I assume that is a twitter name, which I dont currently have...guess its time to get one. If you have any suggestions for a coach that is focused on low stakes, feel free to pass it along.
  • Bill SBill S Red Chipper Posts: 26 ✭✭
    Russ wrote: »
    Bill, your story described me perfectly three years ago. Maybe since I have a lot of formal schooling, or maybe because I was stuck in late 90's/early 2000 poker, or maybe I just didn't "get it," I couldn't translate my independent studying to the table.

    My advice: get a coach. Understand his or her concepts, use the rest of your training, play online with a stat tracker as if you are playing 1/3 (not trying to win, trying to improve).

    Above all, don't try to play like your coach does, or exactly how CORE teaches you or what the GTO says; instead, let your coaching sessions develop a solid strategy that works for your game.

    I was a 1/2 even-to-slightly losing player three years ago. Today I play 2/5 and sometimes 5/10 when the game is good and I've been a winning player since, and it's all because I finally invested the money and got a coach to help me put it all together. Those six sessions changed my game.

    Thanks Russ. I do wonder whether my years in limit or on-line play in the 2000's are an issue holding me back (seemed so much easier back then...because it was no doubt). If you have coach suggestions, let me know, Also if you wouldnt mind sharing the online site or stat tracker you use (I am in a not-allowed state so think I am looking at bovada as my best option.

    Thanks
    Again
    Bill
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 4,216 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Bill S wrote: »
    persuadeo wrote: »
    So many ways to get better if your current study isn't enough.

    Are you an independent learner? Buy a solver and get some ideas.

    Social? Find a chat group with other poker players.

    Like videos? It's the golden age of free poker content on Youtube.

    Own a keyboard? Type questions here.

    Need private attention? Find a coach.

    Learn empirically? That i have a good one for: Talk to @porter about getting into our microstakes club game where we practice twice a week together and share feedback.

    Follow your nose.

    Thanks for the response Pursuadeo. I dont learn easily through reading and learn much quicker in videos or discussions. I am Interested in the the club. I assume that is a twitter name, which I dont currently have...guess its time to get one. If you have any suggestions for a coach that is focused on low stakes, feel free to pass it along.

    No it's a RCP screen name. You can use the RCP messaging service to contact him.
  • Bill SBill S Red Chipper Posts: 26 ✭✭
    lol. ok. will do. thanks
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,187 ✭✭✭✭
    Bill S wrote: »
    Thanks for the response Pursuadeo. I dont learn easily through reading and learn much quicker in videos or discussions. I am Interested in the the club. I assume that is a twitter name, which I dont currently have...guess its time to get one. If you have any suggestions for a coach that is focused on low stakes, feel free to pass it along.

    For all you've presented, you never talked about hand review. This is but where you will learn the most.
    Take a hand, break it down street by street. Look if your play was good (+EV), and if it was the best (maxEV). Evaluate alternatives (what if 3bet? What if 4bet? Float or raise flop? If OOP on flop: check/float v. donkbet v. c-r ? What if board texture is different ? What if turn / river cards were different ? What if eff. stack were 50bb or 300bb instead of 100bb? What if you're playing OOP instead of IP ? etc.).
    Breaking a hand down is - depending on HH, your skills, depth of analysis, tools used - between 1 and 5 hours of study. FOR EACH HAND.

    So sure, you will improve somehow by talking to others (esp. if they are skilled) and watching videos, as well as joining Porter's club.
    But, IMHO, it won't be enough. The best way to truly grasp (new) concepts, is beaking hand down. You can then focus on targeted concepts and strategies, ex ante or ex post, and improve your skill set.
  • Bill SBill S Red Chipper Posts: 26 ✭✭
    Red wrote: »
    Bill S wrote: »
    Thanks for the response Pursuadeo. I dont learn easily through reading and learn much quicker in videos or discussions. I am Interested in the the club. I assume that is a twitter name, which I dont currently have...guess its time to get one. If you have any suggestions for a coach that is focused on low stakes, feel free to pass it along.

    For all you've presented, you never talked about hand review. This is but where you will learn the most.
    Take a hand, break it down street by street. Look if your play was good (+EV), and if it was the best (maxEV). Evaluate alternatives (what if 3bet? What if 4bet? Float or raise flop? If OOP on flop: check/float v. donkbet v. c-r ? What if board texture is different ? What if turn / river cards were different ? What if eff. stack were 50bb or 300bb instead of 100bb? What if you're playing OOP instead of IP ? etc.).
    Breaking a hand down is - depending on HH, your skills, depth of analysis, tools used - between 1 and 5 hours of study. FOR EACH HAND.

    So sure, you will improve somehow by talking to others (esp. if they are skilled) and watching videos, as well as joining Porter's club.
    But, IMHO, it won't be enough. The best way to truly grasp (new) concepts, is beaking hand down. You can then focus on targeted concepts and strategies, ex ante or ex post, and improve your skill set.

    Thanks Red...I actually do attempt a decent amount of hand review through equilab, Flopzilla, and previously splitsuits handreading workbook and I do record all my hands and spend about an hour on the keys ones trying to figure out my play and what was optimum or alternative BUT and this is a BIG BUT....i get lost in the process because I am in a vacuum and dont have a single poker buddy, poker group, or people to bounce ideas on. or see alternative lines. As I type this i am realizing that I havent used this resource nearly enough and perhaps my lack of connection is one of my biggest limitations. Anyhow, great feedback. Thanks
    Bill
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,840 -
    Bill S wrote: »
    Red wrote: »
    Bill S wrote: »
    Thanks for the response Pursuadeo. I dont learn easily through reading and learn much quicker in videos or discussions. I am Interested in the the club. I assume that is a twitter name, which I dont currently have...guess its time to get one. If you have any suggestions for a coach that is focused on low stakes, feel free to pass it along.

    For all you've presented, you never talked about hand review. This is but where you will learn the most.
    Take a hand, break it down street by street. Look if your play was good (+EV), and if it was the best (maxEV). Evaluate alternatives (what if 3bet? What if 4bet? Float or raise flop? If OOP on flop: check/float v. donkbet v. c-r ? What if board texture is different ? What if turn / river cards were different ? What if eff. stack were 50bb or 300bb instead of 100bb? What if you're playing OOP instead of IP ? etc.).
    Breaking a hand down is - depending on HH, your skills, depth of analysis, tools used - between 1 and 5 hours of study. FOR EACH HAND.

    So sure, you will improve somehow by talking to others (esp. if they are skilled) and watching videos, as well as joining Porter's club.
    But, IMHO, it won't be enough. The best way to truly grasp (new) concepts, is beaking hand down. You can then focus on targeted concepts and strategies, ex ante or ex post, and improve your skill set.

    Thanks Red...I actually do attempt a decent amount of hand review through equilab, Flopzilla, and previously splitsuits handreading workbook and I do record all my hands and spend about an hour on the keys ones trying to figure out my play and what was optimum or alternative BUT and this is a BIG BUT....i get lost in the process because I am in a vacuum and dont have a single poker buddy, poker group, or people to bounce ideas on. or see alternative lines. As I type this i am realizing that I havent used this resource nearly enough and perhaps my lack of connection is one of my biggest limitations. Anyhow, great feedback. Thanks
    Bill

    *cough*

    What is this forum? Chopped liver?
    Moderation In Moderation
  • Bill SBill S Red Chipper Posts: 26 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Bill S wrote: »
    Red wrote: »
    Bill S wrote: »
    Thanks for the response Pursuadeo. I dont learn easily through reading and learn much quicker in videos or discussions. I am Interested in the the club. I assume that is a twitter name, which I dont currently have...guess its time to get one. If you have any suggestions for a coach that is focused on low stakes, feel free to pass it along.

    For all you've presented, you never talked about hand review. This is but where you will learn the most.
    Take a hand, break it down street by street. Look if your play was good (+EV), and if it was the best (maxEV). Evaluate alternatives (what if 3bet? What if 4bet? Float or raise flop? If OOP on flop: check/float v. donkbet v. c-r ? What if board texture is different ? What if turn / river cards were different ? What if eff. stack were 50bb or 300bb instead of 100bb? What if you're playing OOP instead of IP ? etc.).
    Breaking a hand down is - depending on HH, your skills, depth of analysis, tools used - between 1 and 5 hours of study. FOR EACH HAND.

    So sure, you will improve somehow by talking to others (esp. if they are skilled) and watching videos, as well as joining Porter's club.
    But, IMHO, it won't be enough. The best way to truly grasp (new) concepts, is beaking hand down. You can then focus on targeted concepts and strategies, ex ante or ex post, and improve your skill set.

    Thanks Red...I actually do attempt a decent amount of hand review through equilab, Flopzilla, and previously splitsuits handreading workbook and I do record all my hands and spend about an hour on the keys ones trying to figure out my play and what was optimum or alternative BUT and this is a BIG BUT....i get lost in the process because I am in a vacuum and dont have a single poker buddy, poker group, or people to bounce ideas on. or see alternative lines. As I type this i am realizing that I havent used this resource nearly enough and perhaps my lack of connection is one of my biggest limitations. Anyhow, great feedback. Thanks
    Bill

    *cough*

    What is this forum? Chopped liver?

    I want credit that I figured that out about 4 seconds before you responded...I'm not completely useless.....lol
  • RussRuss Red Chipper Posts: 112 ✭✭
    Bill S wrote: »
    Thanks Russ. I do wonder whether my years in limit or on-line play in the 2000's are an issue holding me back (seemed so much easier back then...because it was no doubt). If you have coach suggestions, let me know, Also if you wouldnt mind sharing the online site or stat tracker you use (I am in a not-allowed state so think I am looking at bovada as my best option.

    Thanks
    Again
    Bill

    I sent you a direct message, Bill.

    I can say for sure that my poker playing from the ‘old days’ definitely got in my way. Being a bit of a computer nerd, I’ve always used Poker Tracker to keep track of my online play, and I’ve still got my hand histories from the early 2000’s, and I just cringe when I look at my play then. But it worked, I deposited once on Pokerstars and twice on Full Tilt and cashed out dozens of times. Today that strategy would get my ass handed to me.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,888 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sometimes at this stage you need to get back to basics and reboot to poker 101, while continuing to learn in the background.

    It's very possible you're overthinking it against many lower level opponents. And at any given 1/2 table, there are usually many lower level opponents. Beating them often requires simply playing tight and playing better cards than them on average, folding when they show aggression and you don't have the basic pot odds to call, and betting for value when you're at the high end of the hand strength spectrum (big hand big pot, small hand small pot). Your cards are stronger than theirs, you play fewer hands in early position than they do, the hands that you're willing to put money in with are stronger than theirs, and you notice their "tell" of betting or raising when they have a strong hand. Sometimes poker is literally as simple as that.

    Learn all you can, but be judicious in applying more advanced concepts and have a very specific, well articulated, and well understood reason for doing anything more fancy in any given hand. Stay in your lane and make sure the coast is clear before passing, turning left, doing a U turn, or otherwise getting out of line. Poker fundamentals never change, so you can be patient as you add more to your repertoire.

    When I sit down at a new table with players I haven't seen before, I assume they have the cards they're supposed to have, and bets and raises mean strength. I assume talk is just a distraction and betting action tells the real story. I don't worry about "losing EV" and missing exploits until I get some good, reliable information and I'm confident I know how to act on it. This might take 30 minutes with some players, it might take several hours or weeks with others.
  • ulysses27ulysses27 Red Chipper Posts: 41 ✭✭
    I just started getting some coaching and it really helped a lot. I was able to get a better sense of my leaks and how to put all this info together. Concepts are great but implmetation is where it counts. And it's helpful when trying to develop your own approach to the game. If you've got the cash it's worth the investment.
  • Bill SBill S Red Chipper Posts: 26 ✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    Sometimes at this stage you need to get back to basics and reboot to poker 101, while continuing to learn in the background.

    It's very possible you're overthinking it against many lower level opponents. And at any given 1/2 table, there are usually many lower level opponents. Beating them often requires simply playing tight and playing better cards than them on average, folding when they show aggression and you don't have the basic pot odds to call, and betting for value when you're at the high end of the hand strength spectrum (big hand big pot, small hand small pot). Your cards are stronger than theirs, you play fewer hands in early position than they do, the hands that you're willing to put money in with are stronger than theirs, and you notice their "tell" of betting or raising when they have a strong hand. Sometimes poker is literally as simple as that.

    Learn all you can, but be judicious in applying more advanced concepts and have a very specific, well articulated, and well understood reason for doing anything more fancy in any given hand. Stay in your lane and make sure the coast is clear before passing, turning left, doing a U turn, or otherwise getting out of line. Poker fundamentals never change, so you can be patient as you add more to your repertoire.

    When I sit down at a new table with players I haven't seen before, I assume they have the cards they're supposed to have, and bets and raises mean strength. I assume talk is just a distraction and betting action tells the real story. I don't worry about "losing EV" and missing exploits until I get some good, reliable information and I'm confident I know how to act on it. This might take 30 minutes with some players, it might take several hours or weeks with others.

    sounds words.

    thanks
  • Bill SBill S Red Chipper Posts: 26 ✭✭
    ulysses27 wrote: »
    I just started getting some coaching and it really helped a lot. I was able to get a better sense of my leaks and how to put all this info together. Concepts are great but implmetation is where it counts. And it's helpful when trying to develop your own approach to the game. If you've got the cash it's worth the investment.

    you are one of many that is suggesting coaching and it is now on my list to consider.

    Thanks
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,187 ✭✭✭✭
    edited 10:33AM
    TL;DR: https://redchippoker.com/need-poker-coach-podcast/

    --
    The only thing with coaching, is that as live player you already should know or have a glimpse of your leaks.

    Online players can just deliver their PT4/HM2 stats and HH. The coach can, thanks to filters, easily target issues and possible leak (like loosing often / too much at show down. And because there are hundreds thousands of hands, these stats are usually meaningful (representative).

    But for live players (like me), this is not possible.
    First you don't have hand history - or maybe a few of big hands you won/lost. So it can't show any relevant tendency. Even if you record all your hands during several sessions - that what I did during my first 10 sessions ! - , you won't have more than few hundred of hands (I usually play 50-80 hands / session, during 5-7 hour session - and I'm on the aggro side). Such hand history can help to see a pattern / leak (I could see I was playing too many med/low AX, esp. AXo), yet some important situation won't be represented or with only few hands (like how often did you face a 3-barrel bluff or a 4bet playing 1/2?).

    Playing live and online is different. VERY different. Even if they seem comparable games because same cards, same rules; the strategy, the meta and the way of learning are different (I'd say "deeply different", but that's my humble opinion).
    Matt Berkey pointed this out during the analysis of a hand he played against Jungleman (from 10:59) :


    My point is: As live player, you need to observe, take as much info as you can (and write them down for later analysis). Observation is the most crucial skill to get and strengthen.
    You also need to be self-aware and critical against yourself. This is where deep hand analysis is crucial for live players - where online is quantitative, live is qualitative. By spending a lot of time breaking your hand down and looking for all possible alternatives, you will at best get better, at worst know your weaknesses/leaks.
    And with these info, you can then talk to a coach to improve: to be able to pointed out your problems, which you can then discuss, deepen and correct with a coach.

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