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Help a guy out


OK so first off, Im Adam and i have been a member on this site for about a year and have been playing poker for 3 years. In that time i went from learning how to play and losing ALOT in home and online. Then to break even at home games and still losing online. Now after a solid year Reading, Watching, Studying, and playing relentlessly I can crush home games against players that frequent casinos for much higher stakes than we play at home. BUT i still am AT BEST break even and still mostly losing (Although Slower) online. I can say that I have gotten quite good at feeling people out and reading tells in live play as ive always been decent at body language even before i began to play poker.

My question is..... What is there left to do. When i play the AI on this site (Love the site btw and cant wait for the Live cash games to start as i think it will help my problem) I destroy them 90% of the time and my scores are more often than not above average (not by much usually 105ish). I have read MANY books and know my outs, probabilites, Ranges etc and although i may call the occasional turn bet on a flush draw my game seems to be quite solid. I have gone as far as to consider hiring a coach but the issue is that in order to get the best out of the coaching i feel like it would have to be a live scenario with someone sitting over my shoulder coaching and explaining as i play.

The site has made me 5x the player i was a year ago and my live earnings are in large thanks to ATP but it is absolutely soul crushing to work and study this hard and still somehow lose at .02/.04. I have built a bankroll from $50 up to $600 multiple times and have lost it (that was a BR managment problem that has since been addressed) but i cant count the number of times that i have deposited $50 just to lose it within 2 days and have to do it all over again.

just a few points before anyone asks.
- I play almost exclusively cash games unless i earn a MTT freeroll.
- For low stakes i play on global poker (Which i do terribly on) and when my bankroll gets high enough i switch to PPPoker (Which i tend to have alot more success on)
- My poker hands on this are so low due to me deleting sessions to try and narrow specific leaks. it has worked but obviously my hand count is low due to that
- I play 6+ Hours a day online and studying so... i have the time to dedicate and this is something that i need to master as it is killing me that i somehow am not progressing anymore. I literally had a "poker dream" 2 nights ago as odd as that sounds so you can tell it is always on my mind.

ANY pointers are welcome as well as constructive critics (Be nice) If any of the top players on here would like to do a "Coaching for profits" Scenario i would be willing to BR myself and give a % of any winnings to you as i progress and win although i would need to see some credentials as fara s online play and winning.

Thanks guys, I plan on being a regular in the forum and on the cash games so im sure ill see you around. Any questions or anything you need from me just ask!

  • Adam


  • 1warlock
    edited September 2018

    @hamma9056 - man, that's some good work you're putting in. I'm going to give you the quickest fix you ever had in your life, and won't charge you a cent for it. Get the hell out of the stakes you are playing and move up to 25NL. There, your game is fixed.

    You are playing vs a pool where the game is nearly random and hugely aggro because of the rake. Get away from it and play some poker. If you can crush 1/2 casino games, take a shot at this level and see how it goes. I've coached enough players who have had the same issues to make this recommendation to you without knowing a thing about how you really play. Now, if you get crushed here, there are other issues and we can revisit it. Please let me know how it goes if you decide to try it.

    Added: If you are queasy about bankroll at 25NL, go for 10NL but don't look at a game below that or you aren't playing poker anymore. Ryan Fee wanted to write an article on micro stake games and so he went to play them for a while. He was negative over his first 3500+ hands. Its a totally different game and IMO there is no point learning it if you ever plan on moving on.


  • AJHPokerA

    Now that you mention it it does make sense that I do much better on PPPoker because the lowest limit is .10/.20 and the lines they take make sense. Micro stakes are literally like playing poker in the dark as the raises make no sense and the players for the most part seem to have no range at all. I was constantly losing to hands like T2o or K3o that I would never play and are essentially impossible to read.

    Thanks for the help! Ill play some 20NL tonight and tomorrow and report back. Much appreciated.

  • AllenBlay

    BTW, I think it is almost mathematically impossible to win in the long run at the micro stakes because of the rake and the style of play required to win. To beat those crazy games, you need to tighten up considerably, play vanilla poker, and just bet your big hands like they are big hands. No need to be tricky because the players are so bad and so crazy. But that strategy plays very few hands, and therefore even though you win well on the hands you play, the rake and low playing volume kill you. So I agree with @1warlock.

  • AJHPokerA

    Ok so just as follow up. I did move up in stakes and it did remedy some of the issues i was having such as players playing at a higher level (a little) and they were more likely to fold to a well placed bluff.

    BUT it also highlighted some huge leaks in my game that i have to address such as:
    - I over value hands like AKo and QQ. I am way to likely to shove all in after i get 3 bet while holding these hands which leads to only hands like AA and KK calling me and me losing my entire stack more often than not.
    - I semi bluff with Open ended straight draws and flush draws on both the flop and turn leaving me with only 2 options, Fold and concede the pot or make a large bluff and expose myself to a larger loss (Other players often call my bluffs with nothing more than top pair with many better hands possible on the board)
    - And probably the biggest leak of all for me is good ole fashion tilt. After taking multiple bad beats and having poor players suck out with runner runner draws i tend to get quite irritated and loosen up while simultaniously calling down hands and draws that i shouldnt which leads to ALOT of my money being lost.

    So to wrap this up ill just say that I have deposited my last $300 for the year and i will be making a thread that i will use to document my daily hours, profit/loss, Problem areas, pros and cons.

    Also my name will be changing from HammA9056 to AJH5690 tomorrow so all further posts will be under that name.

    Thanks for the help and i look forward to posting my progress on my $300 Bankroll Challenge! Anyone else who would like to join the bankroll challenge is welcome. ill be starting at 20NL with a $300 Bankroll and my first goal will be turning that into $1000.

  • 1warlock

    All of the things you mentioned are readily fixable, other than tilt. That's the only thing you will have to figure out how to deal with yourself. LMK if I can help in any way with the mechanics of your game and GL.

  • krista
    edited October 2018

    good luck on the challenge! anxious to hear how you doing
    the things you mention ring true of a my game as well

    i wasn't going to post on any of these again, as I discouraged of the self proclaimed APT experts... putting me and other players down with their BS and overblown egos

    I play micro - low events, and i sick of them say those stakes are for poor players,
    again SEE they fall over themselves to demean players that participate at those levels
    however we have yet to see the results in real poker, for money, from these people... perhaps they show us some their success?

    I only been playing 4 months and devoted a lot study and a ton of money on resources, study and software

    I currently play on PokerStars, PartyPoker, 888 Poker, GG Poker, BetOnLine, ACR and track results on spreadsheet as well as PokerTracker (for those places it can)
    I play many daily $3.50 - $55 things

    since i started in May i have $1287 in various accounts, and as of today i am ahead $98.69, which i happy cause i lost a lot earlier in my short career.. thats today we see what tomorrow brings lol

    @hamma9056 i would like to, but i not sure how participate with your challenge , i no play cash games, but I so anxious to hear of your journey and results, or those of any players, that play real poker - poker for real money against humans


    ps. where you play? i maybe try cash games and we can play together?

  • krista

    yah... players at those levels "are so bad"
    ok Mr Allenbay... so tell me APT is only valid if we play for $215 + events?
    the rest of us are soooo bad and so crazy?

    shakes head... really?????

  • AllenBlay

    Krista, this is pure math and statistics, nothing to do with you personally, just averages. The rake is a higher % at lower stakes and the players are far more wild and unpredictable. None of that is at all controversial, it's just fact. I've got plenty of data to back that up - as game level goes up, skill becomes more important in winning. The lower the level, the more it is a crapshoot. As you said, you have been playing since May and as of today are ahead $98 over a 5 month period. You are most likely one of the better players at those stakes. Most are losing money because of the high rake and the fact that most bad players play micro stakes, which is also a fact. That's all any of us were saying.

  • AJHPokerA

    So for starters i appreciate everyones input and i dont see any of it as negative but constructive and differing views which is great. None of us will grow unless someone else challenges our viewpoints and forces us to re evaluate our outlook and thought process.

    As far as what allen says about low stakes being less profitable he is correct. You lose a higher % of each hand due to rake and therefor it is a lesser EV playing low stakes vs 1/2 etc.

    BUT that isnt to say that playing low stakes is wrong its all just based on personal choices.

    With that said i have actually decided to change my BR challenge from $300 playing .10/.20 to $50 starting all the way down at .02/.04. Even though allen is correct in that the play down at the low stakes is much more loose and leaves alot more room for variance i have noticed that even at .10/.20 i experience the same poor players that seem to always runner runner me and i loose a large pot or the entire stack.

    A few other reasons are:
    - One of my large leaks has always been bankroll management and i need to adhere to an actual plan this time which small stakes will allow me to do.
    - Loose Aggressive players are at every level i have found and i would prefer to hone my skills at beating them at a lower limit where i can experience tthe variance without going on tilt (another large issue of mine)
    - My goal of $1000 is still the same but i believe turning $50 into $1000 is much more of a personal accomplishment for me.
    - I can feel a hint of gambeling addiction creeping in and i would like to grab that by the throat before it has a change to take hold and playing for less money and focusing more on the game and strategy makes me less likely to experience desperation tilt (The feeling that i must get even before i can quit which ultimately means i lose my whole stack)

    All in all I would like to start with nothing and grind my way up to something.

    I do want everyone who has commented on this thread to follow me over to my BR challenge and dont hold back any comments or suggestions as i can handle them. Everyone is entitlted to thier opinion and i honestly believe that anyone on this forum is trying to help eachother.

    Thanks guys!

  • AllenBlay

    Sounds like a great plan! Good luck with your game. I hope to hear about your success.


  • AJHPokerA


    Are these comments always editable or where it says (4 hours) does that mean after 4 hours i wont be able to edit my comments anymore. My plan was to just keep one comment as my daily log and edit it daily with the new numbers so i wasnt making 1000 different comments which would make it pretty hard for someone to get a snapshot of the whole challenge as they would have to scroll and change pages constantly to see from start to finish. Where if i had one comment that i could just edit it would all be right there on that one.

    Obviously i dont know the ins and outs of quite how to organize a forum like you probably do haha

  • AJHPokerA

    @krista . You can do the challenge as a tournament player. The start with $50 and post your profit/loss and daily hours played in the format I posted. Try to keep the notes nice and short though as I want to make it easy to see the vital info (daily Numbers)

  • krista
    edited October 2018

    @AJHPoker Yes I am down for that!

    I am happy to do the challenge with $300 but $50 is fine and I will play cash games in concert to your choice

    I a bit puzzled on the rules... so we deposit $50 (extra) and play that amount until we have achieved $1000 (wow a huge challenge) or have lost it all? I will need somehow keep the $50 seperate from my other stuff, so maybe a new poker site we do this on?

    Is there a timeframe?

    what poker site do we do this on? Please say which site you do this on, and i happy play same place this challenge

    maybe at start each of us participants shows a screenshot of their account.. then again when/if it is $1000 plus?

    maybe we could have side bets, like a beer ($5 we transfer) to a participant who first reaches milestones on the road to $1000? Or a sad prize for Krista who likely go broke first? lol

    Excited - you getting me to play cash games... please let me know answers and I get started!


  • krista

    Mr. AllenBay i do not agree with your conclusions

    in my (limited) experience the key factor is the relationship of the buy-in, to the impact that amount has to a player's bankroll, and personal financial situation - not the $ amount

    if I were to play $0.50 MTT... who cares? iffy plays, flips ... why not? there is no financial pain, yet if i pay $50 to play, my approach differs greatly... perhaps to someone else $50 is a pittance and non consequential

    I play a lot at PokerStars where the competition is mostly South American and Europe-Eastern Europe, at levels of $7-$30, i find the players all generally very solid - but what do i know

    and no - i don't take it personal, but to denigrate the millions of poker players who do not play for money at levels you approve of as - bad, crazy players?

    In terms of rake. I don't play cash games nor 24/7. To me this isn't like roulette where house odds change if there are 1 or 2 zeros and over a thousands of spins the odds difference gets you ...
    to play in their poker sites, and enjoy their; security, attraction of hundreds of thousands of players (hence I can play any game, at any time i wish), brilliant software and organization costs money,
    which i think is fair to pay

    In most of the places I play i receive many additional paybacks... i get benefits of tickets to other events, entry into freeroles with large prize pools and even cash money, as well as points to use to enter things that cost money, and spins or additional gambling things to play for cash rewards

    for example in 888 i have 11 tickets yet to use, so i could play all week without pay a cent and many chances to win significant monies, and receive daily spins to get more

    all those extra benefits reduces the rake i pay, and my understanding is that at lower buy-ins the benefits returned are greater proportionally

    I just calculated the rake of a $15 NLH MTT on PokerStars i played, and the rake was about 8%
    I just calculated the rake of a $215 NLH MTT... the rake is about 7.1%
    I fail to see how that rake difference has such a great effect on the ability of players or chances for success at either level

    so maybe tell us Mr Allenbay ... what buy-ins does APT suggest for us, for MTT, SnG and cash games, so we can escape the label of "bad and crazy players"?

  • krista

    hi @AJHPoker
    are you sure 0.02/.04
    i looked at the offerings i think its 0.02/0.05? and do we play at 6 or 9 player cash games? and is our buy-in the table max or?

  • krista

    wow this goin be a longgggg journey lol

  • AJHPokerA

    Im going to do .05/.10 on global poker. .02/.04 is killing me

  • krista

    laughs ok ok
    i do same but i do on Party Poker ok? i have my original deposit there $200 (just played the tickets they gave me so far)
    so i will only use Party Poker for this challenge and know that the $200 isnt part of the challenge - just $50

    i start tomorrow no time tonight - registered for some other events

    Good Luck AJH!!!!

  • krista

    hi @AJHPoker i signed-up at Global Poker so maybe play same place - but it is play money?
    isn't a 0.05/0.10 game, 5/10 is for pretend gold coins

    if you USA i think GG or ACR be better for you?

    i going play challenge at Party Poker ok?

  • foldeliniof
    edited October 2018


    Well I don't like to say this but I disagree with most of the advice that was given here.

    I play 10-25NL and I make between 5-16BB/100 depending on the site and format. Fast Fold is obviously less than regular tables.

    I would NOT advise to skip the micros. You play range vs range no matter how high the stakes are and you need to learn how to adjust your ranges to your opponents ranges.

    If you still play with a hand range chart that you coppied from somewhere else and don't know how to come up with your own ranges, well, bad news for you: you don't have a single chance to ever establish yourself above 25NL.

    Also Micros are the easiest stakes to beat. The rake is high, but the population is so bad that you can easily go beyond 10BB/100. Again, do not skip this step. 25NL is infested with regs and end bosses who have the skills but not the money to play higher. Save yourself some money and learn the basics where they have an impact and mistakes are cheap.

    When a high stakes player goes down to micro hell and gets sacked, it is because they are not used to the unbalanced ranges and some moves like bluffing the river with an overbet is just plain stupid in microstakes poker.
    The problem is that in microstakes the skill and style dispersion is the highest. That means in 50NL+ everyone plays quite good but everyone plays roughly the same. In 5NL you could face a nitreg, a station or a donkey. Also a station in 5NL doesn't mean he calls A6s on, it means he calls literally 100%. And stuff like this fucks up the automatisms a midstakes player has built up over the years.

    So don't find an excuse to skip this step. It will be cruel but you need to go through this to fully understand the game.

    Ok, now you've hit a wall. I don't know how you are working on your game, but I doubt you are doing more than playing and reviewing trouble hands of the session.

    So here is what you do:

    • First you need a tracker, if you don't have one. HM2, PT4, hand2note (my choice) anything goes, but you NEED to track your hands, otherwise you can neither analyse your game nor come up with custom ranges.

    • Then you go to pokersnowie preflop advisor ( and look at the most important ranges. Copy them into an excel file so you see the opening range from UTG to SB as well as the calling/3betting range for the BB. You will have your range charts on the second screen each time you play. If you don't have a second screen, print them out and put them in a place you can quickly glance over to when you're in doubt.

    • Play only these hands for at least 10k hands (should be done within 1 or 2 weeks depending on the format and number of tables). This size is way too small to finetune your game, but you have to start somewhere and you'll find the most obvious leaks.

    • Now you go to your database and look which hands are profitable. How are you doing with KQo from UTG? How are you doing with KQo from CO?. Are you making money with small PP's? If not, from which positions are you losing money with them.

    So bit by bit you are defining your ranges and adjust them to your own game. Ideally, the bottom of your ranges should be even or slightly -EV. So when you see that K9o from the CO is -EV but it is even on the BTN, you don't play K9o from the CO anymore and the lowest offsuit King is goin to be KTo. On the flipside, if ATs from MP is +EV, you could experiment with opening A9s from here.

    You will see that you overestimate your ability to play wide ranges, especially in the offsuit department. This will lead to a tighter game overall in the first place, so do not forget to increase your betsize.

    Opening e.g 10% from UTG with 2.5x is definitely too small. Tighter->higher PFR, loser-> smaller PFR.

    • Next you check your BB/position. If you make more from MP than from the BTN, you have a problem. Find out why.

    Then you go to the next most common spots:

    • How are your profits in position in a single raised pot?
    • Are you making money when you call in position, like calling an MP raise from the BTN?
    • Are you making money when you call a 3bet out of position?
    • are you making money opening the pot from the SB?
    • ...and so on and so forth.

    You absolutely need to get methodical about your homework. Throw all the books into the trash can, they're worth nothing. They explain what to do, but you don't even know what YOU do. It's easy to find a solution when you know what the problem is, but so far the only thing you know about your game is that you are not winning.

    A study session is nitty gritty stuff. It's tough, but in the end you will come up with your own ranges for each spot and you will be able to stick to them and adjust them on the fly because you made them. No "ah well, I wouldn't usually play QJo here but I'll give it a toss" anymore.

    Get your hands dirty and do the work. You'll see that it helps. My biggest regret is that I've played too much on unibet in the beginning, where it's not possible to track your hands and put them into a database. I started to become better when I opened a couple of accounts were trackers are allowed and did my analysis like I described above.

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