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Do I Have Talent Or Did I Just Have Cards?


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#1 Brian Boyko

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 12:11 PM

Hi. I've been playing poker for real money - both online and in home games - for about a week now. In my very first home game, which was $10 buy-in (w/rebuys) $.05/.10 NLHE, w/5 players, I had $40 in chips in front of me at one point. At which point, I said I was cashing out -- (The other players convinced me to stay in, as the money wasn't really the point. I'm not just trying to get good at poker, I'm also trying to work on issues related to avoidant personality disorder... but I knew I'd lose the money on a bad beat - and I did. Hero AK vs Villian 22, board AA2xx I only ended the night down a single $10, so no big. - another guy went quickly through $40 bucks.) I hadn't heard of small-ball at the time, but here's what I did.If I was going to play a hand, I was going to raise with it, whether it was AA or 45s (that one I played mostly because I got needled.) Everything got raised to $.50. I know, you're supposed to only raise to $.25 in this situation for small-ball - but I didn't know that at the time. I just thought: Make the raise small enough to easily get away from, and large enough to keep people from flopping weird two-pairs like J2o+J2x. It also kinda forced the other players to play better cards, so I reduced their range. I then followed up every flop with a 1/2 pot bet on the flop, then I played my flop. Folded to a raise if I had nothing, called up to the pot if I had TP+AKJQTkicker or better, called raises if I had 2pair or better, checked the flop and the turn and went with my gut, letting others raise into me. I don't know if I had any other tells, but I tried to keep my bets from varying. Now, I know I still lose, on average, in cash games online. (I play $2 a day, and quit when I bust or I have >$4.00 in front of me on the table.) Mostly because I tend to think everyone's bluffing all the time and tend to overplay TPTK. Still, I win sometimes, and since I've only been playing a week... (I "win" about 2/5ths of the time) So, think there might be talent here, or is this just "beginner's luck?"

#2 RakeMyBlind

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 12:31 PM

View PostBrian Boyko, on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011, 3:11 PM, said:

Hi. I've been playing poker for real money - both online and in home games - for about a week now.
Hi. You might want to give it some more time. Play alot, get tracking software and don't just play till your up a certain amount. Play as many hands as you can as long as you feel you are playing your best. Read lots of books, look around online and as with anything else in life practice, practice and more practice will improve your play. Play for a few months with tracking software and if you are putting in the right volume while making money and don't want to punch kittens then poker may be your gig. Good Luck!

#3 Brian Boyko

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 03:30 PM

View PostRakeMyBlind, on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011, 2:31 PM, said:

Hi. You might want to give it some more time. Play alot, get tracking software and don't just play till your up a certain amount. Play as many hands as you can as long as you feel you are playing your best. Read lots of books, look around online and as with anything else in life practice, practice and more practice will improve your play. Play for a few months with tracking software and if you are putting in the right volume while making money and don't want to punch kittens then poker may be your gig. Good Luck!
Oh, it's never gonna be "my gig." I've got a day-job. :club: But like anything, getting good at something is fun. I doubt I'll ever get to the point where I'd make more money doing poker than I make doing my day job; I suppose if I get unemployed in 3-4 years (if my company folds) it might be something to fall back on if I get to that point. It's just a fun game to me, and I treat it seriously to learn how to play it, but I'm clear "sandlot" baseball level, here.

#4 Brian Boyko

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 04:18 PM

Oh, and can you recommend any books?

#5 dead money

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 04:49 PM

View PostBrian Boyko, on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011, 5:18 PM, said:

Oh, and can you recommend any books?
Just avoid books. LOL get it? AVOID!!!! Sorry I couldnt help myself.
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#6 pokerinc

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:21 PM

Quick comment:As far as your home game goes, .50 may be the appropriate raise. Live game raises are normally bigger, and this seems like a cash game not a tourney where your M is naturally dwindling.Also, don't hit and run your friends.
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#7 Brian Boyko

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 06:48 AM

View Postpokerinc, on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011, 11:21 PM, said:

Quick comment:As far as your home game goes, .50 may be the appropriate raise. Live game raises are normally bigger, and this seems like a cash game not a tourney where your M is naturally dwindling.Also, don't hit and run your friends.
Yeah, it was actually weird. I'd always raise to $0.50 no matter what I was playing. This didn't steal many blinds, of course, but it did usually knock out 1 or 2 players on a five-man board, increasing my odds of taking the pot. They also couldn't put me on a range... in fact, I got such a maniac reputation that they started needling me about playing every hand. (In reality, I was playing about 1 in every 2 and a half,). I was going to fold a BB with 45o, but then the guy to my right needled me about "And here comes $0.50 with nothing." So I played it. Raised $0.50 with nothing. Flop comes down J45, he raises into me, and I call. Next two cards are blanks, but it eliminates the possibility of flushes, straights, or fhs - he was playing AJs, and never improved his hand, but still had TPTK. I coulda been beaten by JJ or another 2P but my hand was too good to throw away at that point and only had one player to deal with. I think I picked up a $7 pot on that one, in a $10 cash game... That's why I think I'm suited to the small-ball style. I love seeing flops, they give me WAY more information than betting big preflop.

#8 Sick Boy

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 03:04 PM

For tournament poker read Harrington on Hold Em Vol.2 by Dan Harrington.For cash games i'd read the NLHE secti0n of Super System by Doyle Brunson. If u wana get good i reccomend u go 4 gold and just play as much poker as u can. The m0re situati0ns u see the better you'll get. The books arent realy THAT much help but they will help u think about the game on a different level.

#9 Jordan

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 10:18 AM

sizing is more important when u take into account stack sizes and table position.it's typical to see a player raise larger in early position and smaller in later position since he doesn't have as many opponents to get thru and can thus 'steal' for a smaller bet from later position. In early position you should both be playing tighter in most scenarios, and you want to thin the field and try to play the pot HU, ideally with one of the blind positions so you have positional advantage.Since most cash games play deepish, often 50bb-100bb+ you really don't need to worry about making your sizing too big, but it still is valid to adjust your sizing when you have the button, or in the cut-off (one right of the button), or in the hi-jack (two right of the button). As you get to know your opponents tendencies you can also adjust your sizing based on that + stack sizes...if u know a guy is going to just call a 5x raise with nearly any 2, on any stack size, and then play straight forward post flop, go ahead and make a non standard play, while you have positional advantage and a perceived stronger hand since youre the PFR.If you really wanna get better your best bet is to get online poker videos and watch a handful of those, then find other good players and talk strategy with them.GL

#10 Jordan

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 10:22 AM

lol just realized this thread is from feb 2011. How still on first page of this forum? FCP must be dead. ADIOS

#11 wsox8

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 04:52 AM

View PostJordan, on 13 August 2012 - 10:22 AM, said:

lol just realized this thread is from feb 2011. How still on first page of this forum? FCP must be dead. ADIOS
you're dead




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