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Seeking Advice

Discussion in 'The Poker Room' started by Sin City Sinner, Sep 4, 2013.

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  1. Sin City Sinner

    Sin City Sinner Low-Roller

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    I have very little experience playing poker, however what I have played I've had fun with.

    I've also always enjoyed the idea of making some side cash playing poker. Now please don't get that wrong, I am not dumb enough to think that all I need to do is learn a little more about the game and all of a sudden I'll be making lots (or even a little) money. I know it will take time, and cost me money in losses, to get good at the game. Being as inexperienced as I am I don't have any illusions of being a professional poker player, but when I move this year I'll be moving to a place with a lot of casinos (Washington State) and will eventually be making more trips to Las Vegas.

    I'd like to get as good as possible at my new hobby, and would love to eventually make some money on the side, eventually.

    Any advice that you might be able to give me on these two topics would be greatly appreciated:

    1. What's the best way to go to learn how to play before gambling a lot of money away? Any recommended books or videos I should check out? Websites? As I said, I've played before but I'm a total novice and don't know a lot of the lingo (although the poker for dummies thread on this site has been helpful).

    2. Any advice on how to manage my bankroll? I always hear people talking about their bankroll and adding to it. I've always assumed that at some point I'd invest a couple hundred dollars in and play, being careful to not gamble away all of it, yet still being able to bet enough to eventually save up some money.

    For any advice given, thanks in advance :nworthy:
     
  2. undathesea

    undathesea Grandissimo

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    Read Super System and Super System 2. They may seem outdated (and have some games that you might not be interested in) but they have a wealth of invaluable information.

    Pick up anything from from the publisher 2+2. All of their books are great.

    Pick up Mike Caro's Poker Tells. It's still the best resource for brick and mortar play.

    I haven't read a poker book in years (about 3-4 years), so there may be some new stuff out there that's good. But they all generally say the same thing... a variation of basic poker theory.

    Once you understand theory and tells, the only way to truly get to know the game is to sit down and play for hours. When you screw up, there's always a table captain that will call you out.

    And, watch Rounders a few times to get you pumped up!
     
  3. hillwood24

    hillwood24 High-Roller

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    As mentioned above, definitely read Super System. Doyle Brunson is pretty much the king of all things poker.

    Also, Harrington's books are a great read as well. He has two cash game books and three tournament books. I like these books so much that I bought a second copy of each just to have on the shelf in pristine condition (I'm weird.)

    I suggest playing low limits until you really build your bankroll up. Everyone has a different opinion on this, but I'm of the "1 percent" school of thought. Basically, never have more than 1 percent of your total bankroll on the table at any given time. If you do this, you'll basically ensure that you'll never go broke. I only play poker for fun like once a month, but I'll often play 2/5 NL and its not uncommon to lose two or three buyins during a session.

    Just start slow, and read everything you can. The best way to attack the books is to read like one chapter at a time and then try to incorporate whatever concept they teach you into your poker game. Once you master that, then move on to the next one. If you read these books like a novel, you won't really improve all that much because you'll be trying to do too many things at one time. Good luck and I hope it works out for you! It's been a life long goal of mine to play poker for a living, but that's just the dream of all of us degenerate gamblers.
     
  4. 25suited

    25suited Tourist

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    I play mostly online poker (cash games on a recreationnal level), but I hope some of my ideas will be useful. :)

    Little Green Book by Phil Gordon is a really good book for a start. It is not too long and it teaches pretty all the basic concepts needed (mainly, tight-agressive poker). Most of the examples are from deep-stacked no-limit hold'em tournaments, but I think his book can be applied to cash games too.

    I did not read Super System and Harrington's books yet (I have them, but I cannot find the time to read them lol), so I cannot comment.

    As for bankroll, I heard some people saying that low buy-ins tournaments is a good way to get a feel at poker without putting a lot of money at risk (many casinos are offering 50-75$ tournaments). However, the blinds structure is really fast and the variance is high, meaning that you will need a few good hands at the first 3-4 levels of blinds if you wish to survive somehow. But still it is a good way to get some pratice (at hiding your body language for example) before being ready to put down 200-300$ for a cash game.

    Low stakes home games with friends are also great to play with a low bankroll while trying to applied the concepts you are learning.

    Hope this will help. I might have other ideas later, but now it is getting late lol. Good luck. :)
     
  5. Sin City Sinner

    Sin City Sinner Low-Roller

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    Great. Thank you for the advice. I have placed an order for a couple of books.

    Any other advice at any time would be very welcome.

    Thanks again :beer:
     
  6. sloandog

    sloandog Newbie

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    Try some free online poker. Aceplay poker is a great free play site and you can win prizes for the strat.
     
  7. landsburger

    landsburger Low-Roller

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    I'm going to give you some very generalized shorthand feedback. I doubt you'll believe it because I'm not sure I would have 15 years ago.

    Forget the idea of making money on the side, thinking you'll read a little and play a little and you'll soon regularly be making some nice side money. Most people I see play poker lose money in the long run. It can be a very fun social game. Unless you have a special knack for it, the learning curve is much longer than you think. That doesn't need to prevent you from having fun, but view it as social and not a quest for easy money once you finally learn what hands to play and how (that sentence has more meaning than you'll understand right now).

    Long road requiring EXPERIENCE more than anything. And better chances than not that you not only won't win money but lose. If you do want to win good money, you need to be prepared for big swings. How does ending a few weeks of playing on and off down $500 or 1k or 2k or 3k sound?

    Books are overrated for the most part as far as advanced theory. Find a good basic theory book to start, and play low/med limit while you do.

    Super System is mostly outdated because of the way people play today. Still some good stuff in it, but worth a read once you get a decent amount of experience.

    The 2+2 site/forum has some great stuff - check it out! Make sure to read all the "bad-beat" or "giving up poker" threads. :)

    A bankroll discussion is somewhat irrelevant unless you're really about to try to play a lot or for a living. Given the fact that you mentioned a couple hundred dollars you're far from that...

    Someday you'll know how silly this statement is:

    being careful to not gamble away all of it, yet still being able to bet enough to eventually save up some money.​


    That's not possible in poker for many reasons, many of which you'll learn quickly.

    $200 is enough for ONLY two buy-ins for a 1-2 / $50-100 NLH game, which is a low limit game filled with people who will gamble and chase.

    The next step up in money and quality of player is a $100-300 buy-in game. Your bank roll will allow you to play once. :)

    If you're thinking about limit games and winning money in the long term, don't. Luck is much more of a factor in limit.


    That's the advice I'd give a friend who asked. Good luck, play and have fun. A decent amount of experience and associate knowledge will allow to get the edge on the casual player, and maybe beyond that if you're built for it.

    BTW - I'd normally ignore posts like this, but since I have 15 poker books on the shelf and have gone through it all, I thought I'd share.

    Good luck.
     
  8. kps

    kps High-Roller

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    Right off the bat, make sure you set limits on yourself, don't bring the debit or credit cards with you to reload. Stick to a plan. Plain and simple. You have to be ready to lose whatever you are bringing in and that it doesn't affect the personal obligations.

    First poker book I read was Poker Wizards which gives you the mindset and ideas of many different pro players. Written as a simple read for the entry level poker player to grasp and understand.

    I have played a ton on the free game on Pokerstars.com. and Zynga Poker on Facebook. For me it allows me to really apply what I feel is the right play (fold, raise, call, etc.) and allow me to watch how others played and trying to figure out what they had when the hands were completed. If you know how to fold, raise, call, etc. with free chips you will be able to do the same better when cash is on the line.

    Cash brought in for me is $300 playing 2/5 no limit. With a $100 buy in I go $150 buy in 2 rounds max 5 hours of total play. If I have doubled or more my money in 3 hours I walk. I have walked sooner losing because I "feel" it's not happening but hey, it's my money to spend how I want to. $1/2 no limit becomes a chase game and tons of player turnover so I don't bother.

    I know I will never be a poker pro, it is a recreational game for me and I only play once a week at the local poker room. With that mindset I play more conservative but the wins and losses are minimal and when I walk I don't feel guilty taking their money or pissed losing mine because I decided to sit down and gave them the opportunity to win my money like they did for me to take theirs.

    Good luck in your quest.
     
  9. vegas!!!!!

    vegas!!!!! Tourist

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    Experience is the most important thing. The books give some good advice, but if you are playing 1-2 or 1-3 no limit holdem, people play so differently and you need to play differently based on the situations. I used to always wonder how the same few people always had more chips or why i would win some and then lose it back, but after playing more often and being alot more PATIENT, i realized many of my mistakes.

    Start off with some books, but then just try to get in as many live hours and hands as you can. Start off real slow and play very few and only premium hands at first if you are not comfortable with other strategys and just watch the others and consistent winners and see what they do and what they think in each situation.
     
  10. 25suited

    25suited Tourist

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    Someone mentionned 2+2 forums. I cannot explained why I forgot poker forums in my first answer lol.

    It sure helped me a lot in the beginning and I met some nice people there (both as poker buddies and good friends). But when I think back of my first times on a poker forum (some years ago), I remember I had difficulties understanding the lingo and I had to learn to get over the trolling and the useless/agressive answers (sometimes, when I posted a question, I might had 1 useful answers for 10 useless ones). But that is the Internet and YMMV. :)

    2 other books I like the a lot, both by Owen Gaines (online player, but his advices are also useful in live game imho):
    - Poker Math that Matters : Understanding the math behind some moves is really essential and the author explains it in a easy way (and I am not a math person).
    - Hole Card Confessions : The author explains what types of players you can find on table and how to adjust your plays against each one.

    Good luck and take care.
     
  11. booker

    booker High-Roller

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    Good suggestions here!

    I'm currently reading Reading Poker Tells by Zachary Elwood. I think it will pay for itself on my next trip by correcting some of my tells.
     
  12. metalpest

    metalpest Low-Roller

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    Learn odds, math, and starting hand selection and low limit poker will be easy. Contrary to what others have said, money can be made from the chasers and swings will be lower. Advanced betting strategies and tells won't be as critical as in no limit.
     
  13. cartoonp

    cartoonp Low-Roller

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    Start at the low limit before you sit down at a table watch for a few days get the feel of where you thinking of playing to start you lose more then you win just take it in your stride. Learn the odds watch a few you tube videos but over all have fun and one more thing don't lose more then you can afford to lose.
     
  14. uli_1515

    uli_1515 Low-Roller

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    Spent 5 years of my life reading and playing either online or at a local casino. It got to the point where I didn't enjoy it anymore. I started young playing and by the time I could go to casinos I had a good grasp of the flow and what not. I still play some cash games but large tournaments makes me cringe of just sitting there for up to fill in the blank hours to only bubble out. Do as everyone says here.. Make it a hobby like golf. Get good enough to beat the average joe but understand everyone isn't Tiger or Doyle. Just have entertainment.
     
  15. macwjp

    macwjp Low-Roller

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    Take what you see on the Poker TV shows as they are not representative of how good players play over the long run. The shows on TV cherry pick spectacular hands and while you may learn how to play 9/6 offsuit out of position to a raise your outcome may be quite different to what you observe on TV.
     
  16. macwjp

    macwjp Low-Roller

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    My previous post should have read:
    Take what you see on the Poker TV shows "with a grain of salt"....

    Sorry could not figure out how to edit post
     
  17. The Equalizer

    The Equalizer Low-Roller

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    I would say most people don't improve because they don't really think about the game after they finish a session. People tend to be result oriented in the short term and even if they played absolutely perfect and lost money in a session they will tend to go away from what they did. But the real killer is people play horrible in a session and get extremely lucky and have a big win and bad habits are born and hard to break.

    Be honest with yourself did you win or lose due to good or bad play or did you get lucky or unlucky. Think about how you played key hands and if you could have played them better. analyzing your game after is a key to real improvement and very few people actually do even if they say they do.
     
  18. Netta

    Netta Tourist

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    I agree with the Equalizer.

    We live in a fast food society and to be good at poker you need patience and honest feedback even if it is from yourself.

    I have played poker at a high level for years including tournament poker and you need patience, patience, patience and oh yeah luck. Skill is a given if you dont have it you wont succeed, but in a tourny or low limit games (where I assume you will start) luck does matter. You will have to deal with allot of bad play by people that will test your patience more than your skill.

    My advice keep a journal on your play. Track per session win/loss, bad beats, bad bets, average and good wins, and concentrate on what you could do differently and better. Also as mentioned in previous posts Cairos Book of Poker Tells is the best book bar none on learning poker tells and giving you insight into your opponents. You will more than make your money back after reading and understanding this information. Also Super Systems is a great book as well, but it wont do you allot of good in low limit strategy where most players will see every flop and get lucky. If you really want to succeed understand your opponents as well as yourself.

    Good Luck!!
     
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