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From Losing Player to Winning Player

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Can I be a winning player? Perhaps a more realistic goal is to become a break even player, or maybe even a losing-less player. Either way after a couple years of playing online almost daily, I am a losing player in spite of giving it my best shot.

I have been using Poker Tracker (collecting hand history, looking at charts, stats, leak tracker) to try and identify my leaks and even found a particular game that I was in fact profitable ($3 $5 DON SnG) but that game is no longer available on ACR. Becoming a better player all around has to be the key to me getting out of the loser club. I thought a little accountability might help me so I will set some goals here and contribute my experiences as I try to learn my way out of losing status.

Today ACR seems to be down and is the reason I ended up here in an effort to make good use of the playing down time. I usually play 9 max or 6 max regular SnG @ $1.50 + $.15 as well as the Big 10 MTTs @ $2, $3 $5, and other low stakes MTTs under $10 buy-in.

I have also played quite a bit of the $3, $5, $10, and $15 SnG 6max and 9 max regular and turbo but as of late I have been practicing bankroll management and staying at 1% - 3% buy-in rule which keeps me playing the $1.65 SnGs and under $5 MTTs.

After 600 or 700 tournaments over two years, I am down about 1K. I have had a ton of fun playing and learning but would like to be a winning player or at least find out if I can in fact be a winning player.

I have done most everything one can do as far as research and study of the game but where I fall short is in the following areas:

  • Sharing hands with others - my excuse is that it seems intrusive unless I have something to offer (working on this). Not sure how best to do this efficiently
  • Coaching - I have had none but would absolutely consider investing in it
  • Life balance - these past two years were some of the hardest of my life and must have an effect on my game
  • Self-review of Hand History - just started to do this through PT4
  • Using PT4 - I have been collecting the data and using the HUD but not using the tools to their fullest potential, this starts now though.
  • Math - could be better at calculating and understanding some of the on-the-fly calculations needed to be a winning player. I can calculate pot odds and outs usually

My latest changes to my game:

  • Increased Positional awareness
  • Increased Bet size/stack size/pot size awareness
  • Folding more to 3bets, Cbets, turn bets, river bets
  • Reducing my VPIP
  • Reducing my overall Aggression Factor

Also looking for new books and online materials, reviewing old materials, try to participate more on forums and find some real-world poker-friendly people and places. Scheduling a monthly trip to casino to play the MTT and $1/$2 cash table.

Your feedback and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.

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After a closer look, my losses are half as bad as my OP claimed. Updated stats are as follows:

 

-$481.28 after 1,495 tournaments (53,900 hands)

ROI = -17.48

 

Can someone tell me how a winning/losing player is usually determined, i.e., winrate, or ROI, currency won etc

 

Played in two 6max SNGs today and won them both. I think starting the blog here helped my frame of mind as I seemed to have no issue concentrating on the game today which is usually an issue for me.

 

I would say most of my losses come from lack of concentration and distractions. I think most of the distractions could be avoided by planning better as far as when is the best time to play.

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Moneymakerspy, you are stuck with our US unregulated options, with a fairly small player pool that plays on those sites. Hopefully with your poker tracker you have been able to review your hands and see spots where you can improve your play. Depending on your goals you will probably have better returns if you are able to parlay what you have learned to the lowest live game. If your casino has a freeroll tourney or extremely low buyin, start w/ those. Now I am only saying that because it seems like you spent a lot of time and energy on tournament style poker.

 

If you have the patience and discipline the true consistent money is in cash games... not at our us sites but the live cash games at your casino. So overall, I am saying you may want to reframe your thinking about poker. Use online as your learning tool and live as the "real deal". GL

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I would definitely invest in a Poker Coach, and my coach Drewpeacoq8 is very affordable and an excellent coach. Sounds like you are trying to make strides in your game and it may just need some fine-tuning in some areas. John (Drewpeacoq8) is great at spotting leaks using PT4 and HEM2 for analysis.

 

Best of luck to you OP and I will follow your journey to success in the Poker arena :)

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Use twitch.tv as a learning tool. Watch the pros play (Randy Lew, Jason Somerville, Jaime Staples to name a few) it's 100% free and a useful way to plug leaks in your game

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Moneymakerspy, you are stuck with our US unregulated options, with a fairly small player pool that plays on those sites. Hopefully with your poker tracker you have been able to review your hands and see spots where you can improve your play. Depending on your goals you will probably have better returns if you are able to parlay what you have learned to the lowest live game. If your casino has a freeroll tourney or extremely low buyin, start w/ those. Now I am only saying that because it seems like you spent a lot of time and energy on tournament style poker.

 

If you have the patience and discipline the true consistent money is in cash games... not at our us sites but the live cash games at your casino. So overall, I am saying you may want to reframe your thinking about poker. Use online as your learning tool and live as the "real deal". GL

 

DaddyDuck - Your reply is appreciated and you made me think about who and how I am playing. i have in fact been reviewing my hand histories as well as stats of my own and of other players/opponents. What I have discovered is that lose a lot of money/chips in very few hands. For instance, at one point I had a month-long run of winning 54% of all the hands I played, and at the sametime it was the least profitable time period for me. This really intrigued me to find out more about my game and that I did. More on this in my Blog update later today. Regarding live play I believe you are seriously on to something and my be indicative to your insight on me as a player. I have only walked into a live poker room very few times in comparison to my online play but each time I did, I did very well. Not so much at the $1/$2 cash table but in the daily $60 MTTs which I final tabled every time I have tried. I will plan a trip to Cherokee and give the daily MTT a try as well as throw $100 down at the lowest cah table - stay tuned for my results. Thank You!

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avoid any rake > 10%... that's a big key in grinding the micros

Thanks AJ, keeping a closer eye on this and although my choices are limited the rake does vary more than one might notice from game to game. I can get another micro-sized edge here regarding my goal to be a winner. Much Appreciated.

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I would definitely invest in a Poker Coach, and my coach Drewpeacoq8 is very affordable and an excellent coach. Sounds like you are trying to make strides in your game and it may just need some fine-tuning in some areas. John (Drewpeacoq8) is great at spotting leaks using PT4 and HEM2 for analysis.

 

Best of luck to you OP and I will follow your journey to success in the Poker arena :)

 

Thank you FM and I believe every word you say regarding Drewpeacoq8 being a great (and affordable) coach to help me find leaks in my game. He has offered me help here on P5 forums when I have had questions or appear confused which is most of the time. Hence I have followed him for the past year or so and see his success as a backup of what you are saying. Your game is also looking up as well I see and I get a sense you are offering Drew, being your coach, a lot of the credit for your own success. I appreciate you sharing that and you are confirming something I have been kicking around in my head for a while regarding reaching out to a few people about getting help/coaching - I dont think it takes hundreds of paid hours having a coach pound theories into your head, but more like you said - fine tuning of very small things. This may be the best money spent on my game as opposed to more tools, trackers, snow machines etc. Also, thank you for +Railbird (my second!) Good luck to you and thanks

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Use twitch.tv as a learning tool. Watch the pros play (Randy Lew' date=' Jason Somerville, Jaime Staples to name a few) it's 100% free and a useful way to plug leaks in your game[/quote']

Thanks Brian and could not agree with you more. Watching live streams on Twitch allows us to see winning players hand after hand and some of these guys like Jason Somerville offer a single-table with commentary format which is key for me being able to comprehend what is going on. You also mention Jamie Staples and Randy Lew's stream who I have not seen but will check out for sure. I would warn new players who have not used streaming as a learning tool to not waste their time with streamers who multi-table (more than a few tables) as they rarely offer move-by-move commentary, it is very hard to see the betting amounts and other details to do with each specific hands/decisions, and your time is better spent watching those who focus on communicating the small details. Jason Somerville's "think-out-loud" style allows for a high value stream for learning and still manages to carry a large level of entertainment to keep you awake. Thanks again Brian and good luck!

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Sample too small

Thanks Teamfckyrlyfe, and I mean that with no sarcasm what so ever. I have been told this so many times it has become a real motivation for me to someday have a sample size so large that it makes even guys like you say "Damn, now that's a hell of a hand sample". Now that could mean playing for years and years but variance aside there is value in the smaller samples I assure you. In fact huge leaks and big needs for adjustment are easily determined in smaller samples, no? Anyway just busting your balls a bit and usually what I take from the "Sample size too small" reply is that my level of play is not significant enough for you to care enough and to spend any of your time on, but you make the "Sample size too small" comment to let us all know that you will be there for us when and if we do reach that level of significant play. Again, this in itself is motivating to guys on my level and I have no issue in aspiring to impress the most discerning of sample size critics.

 

For the record - what is an ample sample of hand history in terms of numbers, and how long should it take to reach this number on avg?

 

Thank man, and good luck to you.

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My game got better in the past two weeks, especially in the past 5 days.

 

Here is how I know this and what helped me the most.

 

I know my game got better because my bank roll got bigger - what a tremendous feeling.

 

I started the month with $50 in my bank roll and after 5 days of pretty heavy poker (cash games and tournaments) my bank roll stands at $91.

 

This is a big deal to me as I have only been able to stay about even throughout the month at my best. So, is this an upswing in the variance, probably, but I know I am playing better because I can feel it. I am not as uncertain all the time, and I am not finding myself in uncomfortable situations.

 

Playing an entire tournament (win or lose) and feeling as if you played most every hand as best you could is an entirely new head-space for me. So what helped me break through a little bit here?

 

A collection of things really so here they are one by one:

 

1. Visiting Pocketfives and participating - this has sparked others to make comments about my game. Each time another P5er left a comment, I took it to heart and made it a part of my game. Some things that were suggested to me by the following P5ers (which I thank for their time and helpful words) FocusedMotion, Brian Lerner, DaddyDuck, AJyowler, Teamfckyrlyfe helped me add real value to my "poker learning time".

 

2. Downloading the Trial Version of Poker Snowie - OMFG! if you are an alternative or visual thinker like me and you only hear "blah blah blah" when poker people talk about strategy, get this program and spend two hours using the Challenges Feature. In two hours I had a completely different concept of what proper poker looked like. In no time a at all I was playing at an Extra Terrestrial Level with only a couple errors per 1000 hands and zero Blunders. It also showed me how playing perfect poker is far from perfectly profitable. Using the real-time analysis tool I quickly was able to adjust my opening range and have a clear visual understanding of obscure hand combinations that I could play in certain positions. It also showed me how I lost most of my money in just a few situations and where as the other 98% of the time I was playing correctly. My game improved the first day of using Snowie and when I got off my game a bit I would fire it up and play a couple hundred hands with real-time analyzer turned on which put me right back on top of my game. Today my trial ended and I can see purchasing this in the future if I forget what I learned.

 

3. Researching my opponents and other winning players on SharkScope - WOW! this helped me get a visual on who I am playing and how they play - which in turn helped me make better decisions more quickly during real play. It also taught me how I compare and what differences there are between myself and someone on the top 100 list. The differences are small and it is inspiring to a major level.

 

4. Planning my time with no distractions and sticking to my plan including the stakes I play (bankroll management).

 

5. I stopped trying to turn things around when playing really bad and I just quit playing - sometimes we are not in the right state of mind to play period.

 

6. Being in control and avoiding uncomfortable situations adds huge amounts of enjoyment to my game and allows me to get in the zone so much easier.

 

7. Bankroll Management helps you to stay away from tilt and helps you to bet properly because you are never in over your head. Losing does not hurt nearly as bad when you can afford it. Stay away from games with buy-ins more than 1 -2% more than your bankroll is the general rule and for me that means playing no more than $10 or $11 buy-in MTTs/SnGs and no more than $.5/$.10 cash tables

 

More later.......Thanks Everyone!

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All the things you mentioned here defiantly gonna help many poker players like who like to play poker at online casino to have fun with some earnings. I always in search of finding something new about the poker regardless it is tips or tricks or any new online casino.

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