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Old May 29, 2007, 10:14am   #1
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I've started writing a few articles aimed for the most beginnerish of beginner poker players. I've only written 7 and these are 2 of them on starting poker. What do you guys think and is there anything i've missed.......



LEARNING FOR CHEAP -

This article is aimed at players that only want to learn for the financial benefits. If poker's just a passing phase like puberty, or the aesthetics does it for you then stop reading because there's no miracle that'll make you learn quick and i can't teach you how to look good on a table either.

When you start playing poker you suck, and i mean you really suck and it's important that you know it. In fact you spend your first year sucking more than Mr Sucky from Suckytown Sucks. The most painful thing about learning to play poker is that it costs you money to learn, and unless you have a plan of action you'll bleed money slowly into other players pockets. This is where i come in, and this article. To begin with.......

1 - Play online free-rolls. Online freeroll tournaments are arranged by poker sites where they offer money for nothing. The reason for this is that you'll take the $2-10 you win and blow it straight away on the real money tables, get a rush for the gamble and make a deposit. But these are excellent teething grounds for learning players. Every single site offers these free rolls but from what i've seen PacificPoker offers some of the best.

2 - While you play in the freerolls start to build up your play money. Play money is nothing like playing for real money but once again it's good teething grounds while you learn the absolute basics. On the Pokerstars site, if you collect 1 million play money chips, they'll give you $11. Don't quote me on that but i know for a fact that play money chips can be sold for real money.

3 - Buy "Harrington on Hold'em" volumes 1 and 2. If you want to get number 3 then go for it but make fucking sure you get the first 2. They'll cost you £25ish in total but will save you £100's while you learn and make you £100's when you start winning.

4 - DO NOT MAKE ANY SORT OF DEPOSIT ON ANY POKER SITE. Until you've read the Harrington bibles. Once you've cashed in a free-roll or made a million play money chips then you're ready to learn how to play poker for real cash.

5 - The best place to start is tournament play. Of all the sites, Pokerstars have the best tournament structure. 15 minute blinds, with 1000+ fields and tournament buy-ins from $1-215. Playing a few of the $1-3 tournaments a day will improve your game and get you accustom to aggressive players. When you start YOU ARE NOT BETTER THAN THE PLAYER THAT JUST TOOK YOU OUT. Learn from these tournaments, don't moan and cry like a little baby when you get knocked out.

6 - If you get bored of playing these tournaments then start on the 0.01/0.02 cash games. You can sit with $1-5 and play hand after hand where the blinds don't rise and you can sit and leave whenever you want. The strategy's of poker when playing cash games is different to tournament play. I'll save explaining the differences for another article. Don't start with cash games or you can say goodbye to whatever money you have on the site. The players at 0.01/0.02 will be better than you to start off with, don't get tricked into thinking they don't know anything just because they're playing for pennies.

As i've said this is how to learn for as cheaply as possible. If you have lots of money and you like to gamble as well as learn then by all means start off with cash game tables or whatever makes you happy. But remember the fact that you're losing that money because you're being continually out-played by better players, IT'S NOT LUCK!!



BANKROLL MANAGEMENT -

So you've been playing for 4-5 months and you're ready to take cash games seriously (assuming you want to learn cash games instead of tournaments). You need the appropriate bankroll management to deal with the downswings from luck or bad play. The term for the swings in luck you experience is "variance".

It's quite simple really, you need at least 10-15 buy-ins for the level you're playing although you can stick to 10 when you're at 10 & 25NL. It's a good idea to get to 25NL as quickly as possible as playing 10NL or less will get you into bad habits.

Deposit $50.

0.01/0.02 & 0.02/0.05 - Play these levels with your $50 roll until you've built it to $100

0.05/0.10 - Play 10NL once you've hit $100, if the roll goes down to $80 then move back down again. It's not just the quality of the players that affect your results when you move up, it's the psychological affects of playing for more money. This often affects the bet-sizing skills you learn't at the lower limits. It's normal to move down limits a couple of times as you adjust so don't worry

0.12/0.25 - Play 25NL once you've hit $250, if the roll goes down to $200 then move back down to 10NL. The quicker you get to this level the better. Play starts to resemble real poker by this point and you can begin to learn about pre-flop raises and when to c-bet.

If you get to this point by the end of the first year then you've done well so pat yourself on the back. Don't deposit $250 thinking you can beat 25NL because you will get destroyed. After 25NL you will need 15 buy-ins for your level. So don't move to 50NL until your roll hits $750.
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Old May 29, 2007, 12:18pm   #2
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Nice article. I'd just query a couple of points and it is just querying you know better than me but, first i think you need to learn about pre flop raises before you get to NL 25 otherwise you're going to be losing a hell of a lot of pots with your premium hands. Also do you think its best for them to start at tournies? I think they could end up just losing their money very quickly there but other than that great article
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Old May 29, 2007, 12:57pm   #3
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I'm only a $50/100NL player so i don't neccessarily know better than you, i wrote this for a couple of friends that have just started out as sort of a favour.

You make a good point about the Pf raises. I'll go back and change it. Learning the absolute basics is for the 0.01/0.02 and 0.02/0.05 level so i'll say Pf raises and c-bets are for 10NL up. Thanks for pointing that out!

As for the tournament play. The article was to find the cheapest way to learn and for $1.10 you can get 1-3 hours worth of poker at pokerstars in the 1000+ tourneys. Also it shouldn't take too long before the player in question is confident and capable enough to be playing some 0.01/0.02. I wasn't referring to SnG's.

Thanks again for the feedback, it's for my mates so i don't want to fuck it up.
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Old May 29, 2007, 1:28pm   #4
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Nah no probs man anyway it's a good article i don't wanna sound like a nit for picking out tiny things in it lol
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Old May 29, 2007, 1:48pm   #5
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I think it is good! Of course one has to consider the monetary infractions you brought up in the second paragraph. I, myself, me, can only assume that most players believe in a less standardized approach.

I'd recommend opening up the doors of perception and focusing a little bit more on the exterior forces that usually are prevalent in a different atmosphere than the one you suggested.

Furthermore, only through time, patience, understanding, and compassion can a player really find the key to his success. The only thing more important than your last point is finding your "higher power" so to speak. Now, I don't mean to sound all religous, but when we see the exterior forces (like I mentioned before) the answers are not quite as difficult to find.

Of course, this doesn't have to be taken religiously. It's really about people trying to have control, when sometimes the answers are right in front of us. It's important to not be stubborn and just put the car on cruise control.

I hope the other readers here consider these points. I think your article is great, but without these points a reader is likely to be lost, in more ways than one.
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Old May 29, 2007, 2:15pm   #6
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Glad you liked it hurtchow. But you lost me about halfway through your first paragraph. But still, at least you liked it.....
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Old May 29, 2007, 2:47pm   #7
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i'd start a noob at 1c/2c nl playing premium hands only (after a week of play money to get accustomed to the rules and the software). i'd tell him to set mine 1c/2c for a while and keep his eyes open and try to see how the other winners are playing.

i'd say that your br requirements are low in the second article.

if you want them to start on donkaments your approach looks good.

i'd recommend they dont read hoh for the first month of play. its important to see how much poker you can learn on your own, and to have some hands to look back at from your own history when reading hoh.
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Old May 29, 2007, 8:34pm   #8
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Old May 30, 2007, 9:17am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doza View Post
i'd start a noob at 1c/2c nl playing premium hands only (after a week of play money to get accustomed to the rules and the software). i'd tell him to set mine 1c/2c for a while and keep his eyes open and try to see how the other winners are playing. <----I could go along with this but have had a few friends deposit $50+ and lose it by playing recklessly. I think a couple of weeks or tournament play should hinder the initial recklessness.

i'd say that your br requirements are low in the second article. <----They're fine, learning to walk away from the tables after losing 2 buy-ins is good practice at these levels. You shouldn't lose more than 2 buyins and if you are you're playing badly. Obviously the individual can chose how many buy-ins they would like, in fact i'll write a little bit in white at the end of this post about using your BR to learn.

if you want them to start on donkaments your approach looks good.

i'd recommend they dont read hoh for the first month of play. its important to see how much poker you can learn on your own, and to have some hands to look back at from your own history when reading hoh. I have to strongly disagree with this dude. Take 100 people that have never played a hand of poker and enter them into an 1000 man tournament. Now give 50 of the HoH vol1 and let them read it over the 48 hours. Now enter the same 100 people into the same 1000 man tournament with the same other 900 players and i'd stake a hell of a lot of money the HoH 50 will have better results on average than the guys that are just winging it.
I'm living by the rule that you should use every dollar of your bankroll to learn. That means the moment you have the minimum number of buyins for the next level you'll move up. If i lose a couple of buy-ins i'll move back down again, once the losses are re-couped i go straight back up. The other day i had $1500 in the roll and took a shot at 100NL. Playing like a complete and utter maniac (i play too aggressively when moving up) i lost $140. In the week since then i've built the roll back up to $1550 and am about to take another shot. I'll do this over and over again until the appropriate adjustments have been made and i'm comfortable playing the new level (usually this is by playing 2 different limits, for example 50NL 75% of the time and 100NL 25% of the time until it's 50/50, 25/75 then 100NL only). There's no point in playing a level until you have 234028974 buy-ins and making tentative steps up. It's imperative that you see the money in your bankroll as a tool to learn with rather than actual money that you're saving for a holiday. If you look at it as money then psychologically you become overly attatched to it which in turn will affect your play.
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