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Thread: Poker Tips and Tricks: Plugging the Leaks in Your Game

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    Poker Tips and Tricks: Plugging the Leaks in Your Game

    There's no poker thread around here as far as I've seen, so here goes.

    I took up poker not long ago and was fascinated by how complex a simple game can get once you delve into it: player types, pre- and post-flop strategies, positioning, pot odds, betting odds, implied odds, short stack strategies, deep stack strategies, and so on... I figure it's a facile game for INTPs to pick up, and since many people are absolute maniacs with no strategy whatsoever, it can also provide you with some pretty easy money on the side.

    I'd be curious to hear what experiences you've made with the game and which strategies (apart from the obvious tight-aggressive playing) you favour. I'll be glad to throw in my unqualified two cents in the process.

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    Aporia Dysphoria Dirac's Avatar
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    I wanted to start playing online poker and read a book a few years back. I tried playing some free games online but it was stupid, nobody played properly because of the free-ness. I don't think I really have the bankroll to take it up, but I might give it a go when I have a bit more money to play with.

    I thought about trying to write a bot too, but I wouldn't really know where to begin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sappho View Post
    I'd be curious to hear what experiences you've made with the game and which strategies (apart from the obvious tight-aggressive playing) you favour. I'll be glad to throw in my unqualified two cents in the process.
    I like to pretend to myself I'm a tight aggressive player, but I'm really not. LAG poker all the way for me, in tournaments I'll begin tight aggro, then after I gain enough reads on the other players I'll open up my range to literally any 2 cards. This doesn't mean after a while suddenly playing hand after hand, I mean to still keep the tight appearance and pick my spots well.

    That being said, I also play locally with a group of friends every week, where I will play almost any 2 with no check on how often I'm playing. Poker is an ever changing game and will change according to the variance of players and environments. This friendly game is pretty informal where the socializing aspect is almost important as the playing, so will never be the same as playing people you don't know (IRL).

    What I want to work on is my live experience with people I don't know, as you lose all the unwanted distractions and have much more room to focus on the game and players around you.

    I also need to work on my pot control.

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    I like the deduction that goes on in card games, trying to infer what cards the other person might have, and what ones they don't. I'd like to have more opportunities to play. I'd like to get to the point where I have the "rules for drawing stud poker" card memorized. I'm not big on playing things for money, though.

    I don't think I'd be any good at bluffing, though.

    Last edited by msg_v2; 06-01-2014 at 03:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Helvete View Post
    I like to pretend to myself I'm a tight aggressive player, but I'm really not. LAG poker all the way for me, in tournaments I'll begin tight aggro, then after I gain enough reads on the other players I'll open up my range to literally any 2 cards.
    What, like this guy?

    Seriously, that's a nightmare opponent.

    What I want to work on is my live experience with people I don't know, as you lose all the unwanted distractions and have much more room to focus on the game and players around you.
    I like that in casinos, you get to watch the people play a few rounds before entering the game. If you're a good tell reader, you'll have a ball with most of the casual patrons.

    ...I find it quite hard to win at online poker, though, since I rely heavily on body language and other physical feedback on what cards my opponent is holding. In online poker, I attempt to focus on the math, but find that I usually run out of chips in a bad beat before I can statistically make up for the losses with the same play in a similar situation. In conclusion,

    I also need to work on my pot control.

  6. #6
    Your Huckleberry lethe's Avatar
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    I don't have any good advice.

    I used to play online real money, I was consistent and did well. I've also played in casinos.

    Online is better for me: Totals were easy to read, I could see my different stats and if I started losing it was easier to pinpoint exactly why. In my experience looking for tells, expressions, talking, even players just having faces is more distracting than helpful. I do my best when I just look at their betting behaviors and patterns within that specific game. You can guess their favorite hands, what they like to chase, preferred positions, bets they can't resist, when they feel pressured to act, etc. without ever looking at them. I don't trust the rest of the show.

    Because of this, I have a tendency to pay early game to find out what a person was playing with.

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    I'll form something better to say later on, as I'm playing atm. But I just did something really dumb and entered a tournament without realising that the top prize is a token for another tournament next week, which I cannot play in as I'm busy. *facepalm*

    Anyway, here's an instructive video on how to play pocket jacks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP9CBtSW0kA

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    Quote Originally Posted by lethe View Post
    I don't have any good advice.

    I used to play online real money, I was consistent and did well. I've also played in casinos.

    Online is better for me: Totals were easy to read, I could see my different stats and if I started losing it was easier to pinpoint exactly why. In my experience looking for tells, expressions, talking, even players just having faces is more distracting than helpful. I do my best when I just look at their betting behaviors and patterns within that specific game. You can guess their favorite hands, what they like to chase, preferred positions, bets they can't resist, when they feel pressured to act, etc. without ever looking at them. (...)
    Were you using some kind of odds calculating program?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helvete View Post
    I'll form something better to say later on, as I'm playing atm. But I just did something really dumb and entered a tournament without realising that the top prize is a token for another tournament next week, which I cannot play in as I'm busy. *facepalm*

    Anyway, here's an instructive video on how to play pocket jacks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP9CBtSW0kA
    Great vid! Those scenarios really hurt, I was nearly crying with laughter. I mean, just how unlucky can you get? Love how he starts out in the penny stakes in the third example, after he's probably lost most of his bankroll ...also, what kind of douche shoves with pocket queens pre-flop. Poker would be a lot easier to play if people actually were rational.

  9. #9
    Your Huckleberry lethe's Avatar
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    No, nothing like that. It was simple stuff they had on the site. It showed for both overall and that particular tournament. Things like percentage of hands played, how many won, lost, folded, how many hands in each position, when folded. It was easy to tell when I got a little eager or sloppy, or I was having a bad habit like insisting on playing in a particular position more than usual, or folding earlier, etc.

    It made it easy to see when I was playing different than normal and in what way. Checking it when I was frustrated and when I felt like I was on a streak really helped with learning and developing a style that worked.

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    Global Moderator Polemarch's Avatar
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    I play my best poker when I'm somewhere between drunk and trashed. It's unfortunate, because keeping that balance is difficult.

    In short, I tend to freeze up mentally in tense poker situations, and I have trouble thinking. I usually make strong reads when I'm not in a hand, but when I have cards, I tend to overthink myself into analysis paralysis, or worse, I just stop making reads altogether. Being drunk seems to solve that for me.

    A few months ago I was in Vegas for a weekend, and decided to play on a small budget, intentionally, because I didn't want this to be a big gambling trip. So I exclusively stuck to 1-2 / 1-3 NL in major rooms (Bellagio, Venetian, Wynn, Mirage, Caesars). My strategy was simple:

    • Buy in short: $100-$150 (50 BB)
    • Follow one basic principle: Try to get my full stack involved in a spot where I believe I have a mathematical advantage against my opponent. In other words, extreme TAG, in position, premium hands.
    • If I get bled down too much, or get stacked, walk away. Or, hopefully, double up.
    • Avoid deepstacked play. Once I've doubled my buy-in, only stay for one more round, looking only for top premium hands, otherwise cash out.

    This simple strategy worked very well. In most cases, I got my stack in with a meaningful mathematical advantage. By buying in short, I never risked very much. Usually when I doubled, there was enough extra juice in the pot to make it worthwhile.

    My best session was my last night in town. I had bought in short (i.e. $120 or so), and was sitting on around $400. The player on my right, an obvious reg, was sympathetic to my "tourist trying to get trashed at the poker table" image, and actively helped me by pretending to be drinking the same thing I was (Blue Moon if I recall), so I could get two beers at a time. I aggressively drank them. That's part of why I was sitting at the table long enough to have quadrupled up - I broke my basic rule of not staying too long or playing deepstacked, and it was working anyway. I was even bluffing successfully - I had that table confused by my play. I seemed drunk but still thought clearly enough to make calculated plays.

    That is, until I got to beer 20 or so. I was trashed at that point, not drunk. And so in some random hand I got distracted, acted out of turn, committed my stack idiotically, and was beaten in two spots.

    The moral to my story is: I play very well drunk, but when trashed, I'm as much of a donk as anyone. So in order to avoid defining that line, I'm best suited to just following a system.
    We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us.

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