Hello from Colorado

solDragonsolDragon Red Chipper Posts: 53 ✭✭

I am a nit (but I'm trying to get better). 

I am not naturally aggressive so NLHE has been a process. I started years and years ago playing in the 2/5 spread games in Colorado and was fairly proficient at jamming it in there 7 bucks at a time. I would also play 2/4 and 3/6 in Las Vegas 2 or 3 times per year. These days, the wife and I do not spend a lot of time up the hill because she doesn't like the 1/2/100 spread game. We have a fun 1/2 home game that we play in a couple times per month and we play 1/2 and 1/3 NLHE in Vegas, New Orleans and Albuquerque when we can. New Orleans and Albuquerque are always profitable. Softest games on the planet. Las Vegas has been hit or miss the last few years. 

She and I met at a poker table, so it is a pretty special game for us.  

As a programmer, I think of this game as a solvable puzzle. I like to play in loose games and fold a ton. Can't find many of those any more. The wife was a detective for many years so she can spot tells like crazy. And to me that's how she plays: crazy. She is naturally aggressive and hones in on weakness like a shark smells blood. It is a wonder to behold. She doesn't have any patience for books or videos. She thinks of it as a game played by liars which she has been trained to spot. She rarely has a losing session. 

Watching her, I know that I am coming at the game the wrong way. Limit and No Limit require different skills and aggression seems to be a huge factor. 

I do the math and work out the ranges and combos and the SPR so I can convince myself to not limp, and to 3-bet lighter and stack off without the nuts.  And it is starting to work. 

Sometimes I spew chips all over the place but I try not to worry about it.  It is a process. 

Sometimes I get into spots at the poker table and I wonder if I am thinking like a poker player.  It is hard to know sometimes so I will post some embarrassing hands and some hands I think I played right and we will see. 

As long as I am thinking, I will probably be all right. 


  • thepokermonkthepokermonk Red Chipper Posts: 320 ✭✭✭
    Welcome to the forums! I think you'll notice a lot of improvement in your game if you utilize all the resources here on RCP. Look forward to watching you progress. Welcome!
  • solDragonsolDragon Red Chipper Posts: 53 ✭✭
    Thank you. The improvement to my game would be a nice side benefit. If I can get my wife's voice out of my head (BE MORE AGGRESSIVE!) then this experiment will be a success.

    4 or 5 years ago we were in Las Vegas playing on different tables and this dejected old man came to ask the evil old woman that kept raising raising raising and annoying everyone by "buying" every pot for another buy in.

    "What happened!"

    "That lady plays just like you. She cracked my aces."

    I looked over and saw my wife stacking chips.

    That was the day I started asking her for advice and we stopped fighting about poker. Her best so far is: if you are not rattling their cages, how do you expect to make any money?
  • ChipXtractorChipXtractor Red Chipper Posts: 1,192 ✭✭✭✭
    solDragon wrote: »
    That was the day I started asking her for advice and we stopped fighting about poker. Her best so far is: if you are not rattling their cages, how do you expect to make any money?

    It is great to have a loved one in your corner. This game can be very difficult at times and as you know having a good support system is worth its weight in gold. Good luck and welcome to the forums.


  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 4,057 -
    Welcome to the party!
    📑 Grab my custom poker spreadsheet pack right now.
    📘 Start the Preflop & Math Poker Workbook today.
  • solDragonsolDragon Red Chipper Posts: 53 ✭✭
    Hello, again.

    I've been trying to participate in the forums of late. I am interested to know if my "poker thinking" is correct or not before I run off to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks. I have lurked on the forums since they opened, so I know the people here are not shy about their opinions.

    I have never been more than a recreational player. I have no grand or secret desire to go pro. I love my job and I love the challenge of poker. It is a great hobby that generates my entire entertainment budget during the year. All the movies I see or whiskey that I buy can be traced directly to my "bankroll" of fun money. I only get to play 2 or 3 times a month in a home game and usually 2 or 3 trips to Las Vegas a year but I have always done pretty well.

    In 2015 I had to ask my bank what my ATM pin was. I hadn't visited an ATM in years. I always have some poker money laying around. The game changed on me or I went into a downswing or fill in whatever excuse makes you happy.

    I had been reading Ed Miller's books and I bought Doug Hull's Poker Plays You Can Use and got started with Red Chip by buying the Late Position book and signing up to get the monthly pro videos. I would watch from time to time but I wasn't really marking the days to the first of the month, itching for the new content. The books and videos did not seem to apply to the game I was playing. If you just sit around waiting for good starting hands, you don't get to play as much. That's no fun. Might as well go back to limit holdem. At one point I considered canceling my Red Chip subscription.

    Until my fun money evaporated. This time last year I started studying like mad trying to figure out how to get better at poker and build up my "bankroll" again. I did not want to find a new hobby. I slowed the downward spiral and started to break even by actually watching the videos and taking notes. I read the strategy articles and books and paid attention to the suggested opening ranges. I actually figured out what a range was and how to build one and how to think about ranges during live play. I got aggressive. I started spewing chips like crazy but I found pain points and I found that I could get back everything I spewed off if I kept my foot on the gas. Usually.

    I was all over the place.

    The ATM was a real problem. I had collected $5000 worth of ATM receipts, plus I had to add a budget line item for movies and nights at the bar. Plus my wife was unhappy. By February this year I was only stuck $1000. Something was working. I wasn't 100% sure what, but something was working. In February I read an article about 3 betting. Seemed like a genius play to me. I broke even that month. After March I had a "bankroll" again and I no longer needed a line item in my budget for date night. That is what having a "bankroll" is for.

    Then in April I discovered (finally noticed?) Zac Shaw's Strategy in Action series.

    Holy crap. That was exactly what I needed. He covers the basics and gives a list of items to study at the end of every article. I felt like I was building my skill set instead of flailing around trying to figure it out on my own. Thank you Zac.

    Now I ask myself why. Why I am raising? Or why I am calling? Am I floating with a plan or hoping to hit a jackpot? Why is the villain raising? What would he call with? More than just asking, though, I feel like I am able (or even qualified) to answer.

    I followed in Zac's footsteps and even introduced myself to the forum right before a trip to Las Vegas around Memorial Day. I have never felt so in control in a poker game. Vegas was mind blowing. It was as if everyone was playing their cards face up.

    I pulled Poker Plays You Can Use off the shelf and it turns out I really can use the plays. I understand them. I feel like a winning player again which gives me the confidence to try stuff. I love the missions. I get out of my comfort zone way more often. I take notes so I can track what is working and why.

    Now comes the 1/2 crash course just in time for me to fill in any gaps in my poker knowledge before may last Vegas trip of the year. Good timing Red Chip.

    With your help, I hope to never add a date night line item to my budget again.
  • bocky7bocky7 Red Chipper Posts: 369 ✭✭✭
    that's great solDragon!..welcome to RC...you might have seen me around if you ever get to Ameristar in Blackhawk...i am a reg there in the winter (sitting at 30/60 for days at a time with the rest of the grinders)... good luck in the future and let me know if you need any help with your progress .
  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 4,057 -
    That's awesome news! Glad to hear it's all coming together!
    📑 Grab my custom poker spreadsheet pack right now.
    📘 Start the Preflop & Math Poker Workbook today.

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