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Grim Grinding - Back into 9max

Discussion in 'Blogs and projects' started by hemme, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. hemme

    hemme New Member

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    Hey guys

    First of all, thank you for a great forum and great videos.

    I have been lurking around for a while and watched some of the videos. Mainly 9max. Great stuff I think.

    Years back when I started playing poker I got into SNG's. I played with good results in the 5$ games, with a fairly basic strategy. Then my wife and I had some lovely kids, and I stopped playing.

    Now work and family seems to leave some space to get back into poker. I can play when it fits my schedule. I am comfortable with sets of 8-10 tables at the moment.

    I have been playing some sng's 9max the last couple of months. I start at the bottom at the 1$'s.

    I deploy a basic strategy. Very tight early on, patiently in the middle game, trying to find stealing spots. At the bubble, I push with approximately 30-33% of hands. Call All-in range is quite tight. This is due to the fact that many of the players at the micros seem to lack a fold button:) So I try to adapt to this.

    I was slowly growing my bankroll when I started using this tighter endgame strategy. Then I tried a session with opening new tables continuously when busting. That went south because of missing focus when dealing with opening new tables and killing popups.

    Since then I have been struggling a bit. Maybe it's downswing, mindset, general variance, or bad play. Some sets are good but too many not quite.

    I finish in the money around 39%. It is a minuscule sample size, I know. About 500 games

    My focus is now:
    -getting back on track and grow sample size to 1000.
    -getting a hud
    -develop microstakes strategy, mainly about stealing and bubble play

    I would love to hear your thoughts and maybe some (general) advice, though the sample size is low and no hand histories etc.

    Cheers to all!
     
  2. Kyyberi

    Kyyberi Well-Known Member
    Staff Member Poker Coach Moderator

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    Welcome to the forum!
     
  3. xxIxx

    xxIxx Moderator
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    GL on your journey. Following!
     
  4. Ghaleon

    Ghaleon Well-Known Member
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    Welcome to forum as well.

    SNG bubble situations are very dependent of stack distribution so having really defined shoving range is not good idea. Of course in micro games going for really wide shoves based on ICM side can backfire as in certain spots villain might call way too wide. As general rule though if calling range should be really tight villains are calling somewhat wider and if they should call really wide (e.g. 7 handed 6bb SB shove) they are likely calling too tight, Also on average calling shoves bit tighter is going to be better for you as people are probably not as aggro as they should be.

    Early play is really dependent of your postflop edge so if you dont feel confident on that area then tight is good starting point. It will result in easier postflop decisions. But usually people are going to be pretty bad on postflop and they can roughly overplay hands preflop so tight style will be profitable but not optimal. One of main points is to be aware of positions, e.g. from late position you can play lot wider than from early or mid positions. That is sort of obvious but there can be good amount of players who e.g. limp JTo, A5o UTG to see flop and so on. So having understanding of solid preflop ranges depending of situation will make life easier.

    Usually there is setting in poker clients to disable those popups. But not probably in every site. Also one thing to note is that if you play 10 tables as set you dont really need to keep that same amount if registering continuously to play more tables in same time. E.g. you keep 8 tables on continuously and you will probably end up playing 50% more games (that was just out of hat estimation). So you have bit more time to focus on registering into new games. Anyway my recommendation especially in micro stakes is to focus heavily on quality of decision making. Dont try to force table amount as learning the game is lot more important than maximizing possible hourly rate by multitabling. Problem is also that multitabling relays on past experience so that most of basic situations have pretty clear default lines in your strategy. If that is not case and you need to put extra thought on basic decisions then time will run out much more often than it should. Resulting in misclicks, sitouts, frustration and possible tilt. Which make poker more stressful and will burn those euros in your bankoll.

    If you dont have tracker yet I would personally recommend PT4. It can feel bit weird to use at first but its great tool once you study it little bit. ITM stat is not that important. For result measurement I would look for EV ROI as that will be closer of truth than actual ROI in smaller sample.

    Basic foundation of SNG play is going to be late stage bubble and ITM play. Biggest decisions money wise will be there and they are decisions that occur all the time. So focus on improving there. It would be good idea to get tool like HRC if possible to study those or if you have e.g. ICMizer that is good as well. Learning nash ranges is ok start and then you need to adjust based on opponent or population tendencies.

    But anyway good luck on tables and feel free to ask anything :)
     
  5. hemme

    hemme New Member

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    Thank you for your replies, and thanks Ghaleon for your in-depth answers.

    For my next poker sessions, I will focus on studying. Mainly bubble and ITM play. I have looked into some videos about 9max. If you can recommend videos about bubble and itm play and analysis it would be appreciated.

    I will have focus on getting mindset and focus back as my drop in bankroll after initial growth caused me to play result oriented and less optimal sessions.

    This has also led me to some almost philosophical deliberations about poker.
    For me, I think poker lets me use some mathematical and strategic skills that I don't use much in other parts of my life.
    It is also very good training of 'ninja' skills, like making optimal decisions regardless of circumstance and outcome. And keeping mental and emotional balance when variance hits you.
    Poker allows me to develop these areas, and I want to keep learning.

    Another thing poker can represent for me is autonomy and spending some of my time on a thing I like and complements other parts of my life. When time allows I can play more, and when I am doing big projects poker can be a totally different activity from my creative work.
    I would like to give poker and sng's a serious effort when time allows. Getting better is important, as it is not only recreation for me. It should count.
    Maybe it is a bit silly to have these considerations but knowing something about why I want to get back into playing is important.

    I am fairly experienced postflop from other poker formats, so I will try to widen my early game strategy when spots occur.

    8 game with continuous reg seems to be a good plan moving forward. I will look into PT4.

    Again, thanks for the welcoming.

    Hemme
     
  6. hemme

    hemme New Member

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    Reality Check

    Well this is it:

    sng470.jpg
    I am almost back to my starting point. A bit worried about bankroll and stuff but I am set to turn it back around, or use this as a learning experience.
    small sample, I know.

    I have started to use HUD with simple stats.

    My question is now: What is the best way to look for leaks?
    I cannot seem to grasp what is going wrong at the moment, other than a few semi-tilted sessions. It seems to me that my very basic and not so dynamic style was working ok until a point. It's been downhill for the last 200 sngs basically.

    So some advice on where to go from here would be appreciated.

    Best

    Hemme
     
  7. Ghaleon

    Ghaleon Well-Known Member
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    Well graph itself won't tell much. Some data on your playing style can be easily got from positional report. It shows how you play from different positions. So adding stuff like raise first in, blind defence, vpip pfr, 3bet, etc can give some insight.

    Good habit in general is to mark hands during session. So if you were unsure about the line you took you can easily find it after session to study it. If you are still unsure post it on hand analyze area and give your thinking process and any information you had on opponents.

    Downswings like that can be lot about variance. If you get streak of games where constantly running into setup situations there might not be much wrong in way you played. But one have to have critical thinking about this and review some of the situations. Really evaluate if decisions make sense in your session analyze as well.
     
  8. hemme

    hemme New Member

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    Ok. Thanks Ghaleon.

    I am getting my feet wet with Poker Tracker with a few basic stats. Great tool long term I think.

    I have started to mark some hands during play to review. Will post some here as I go forward.

    I must say that your video coachings are great. I have watched some 9max stuff, even a couple of them twice. It gives good insights when you're starting from base one. Thanks for that.

    I still struggle with adapting to micro general tendencies, but PT might help with spotting different player types.

    Next step is to learn how to use reports in PT.

    Best
    Hemme
     
  9. foxcatcher

    foxcatcher Active Member

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    Hi hemme,

    If youre playing on PokerStars, the rake on those 1$ STT KOs is 15% and on 1.5s its 14%, thats just insane. I mean there are like 1-2 "regs" on the table who have a decent winrate on that limit, but its just making a beginners life miserable grinding games with such a high rake.

    MTTSnGs (0.25c 45 & 90men games e.g.) have 10% max rake and you get in many spots playing deepstack poker aswell. If you wanna play STTs 1$ games I can only recommend Winamax and PokerStars.ES, both offer 1€ FR STT games with 10% rake, which is great for beginners, with total fish at the table and not half of em Russians. Even on the micros I noticed a difference about that. Those eastern eurpean micro grinders are obviously not good, thats why they dont move up, but youre also not getting much money from them, since they play stupid abc tight poker.

    Money comes from the fish. And the fish is found on other sites :)

    Recording a couple of minutes of you playing and posting it here can also help, maybe someone has a minute to take a look at certain spots. Also posting hand histories always helps. If you have a question about a spot, just post it here and ppl will give a quick answer to it (PokerStars boom links make it even easier)

    GL! PT4 is a great investment

    PS: On 888, rake is 15% aswell btw, on 3$ stakes its 10%, I played those games myself and crushed em :) lots of fish, but I skipped 1$ stakes
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  10. hemme

    hemme New Member

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    Hi Foxcatcher

    Thanks for your input. Good points about the rake in smallest games, even though I am not on pokerstars. I hope I Can move up to 3$ soon.

    I dont have much experience with 45 or 90 man sng, so will stick with 9max for now. Even though the fishy suckouts hit at a hefty rate.

    I will post some hands in the next days, to clarify that I am on the right track. Maybe some vids in the future.
    Again thanks for your help.
    Hemme
     
  11. hemme

    hemme New Member

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    March update:)

    Ok, I have played some sessions here and there.
    Things are moving forward or back up.

    Some things I have done since starting the grim grinding:

    Cut table amount back to four.
    This really helped with descision making. Way easier to recognize standard situations. Added one more table at a time, and now on seven.

    Started using HUD
    Simple stats vpip/pfr and some steals. Getting more used to it, and it certainly helps adjusting plays according to player types. The micros are always kind of crazy, though. Focusing more on ranges.

    Marking hands for review

    This is good for my own reviews and even better when getting feedback from this forum. (Thanks Ghaleon)

    Mental focus is a lot better, with the mindset of learning as we go along.

    Future focus points:

    Getting some sessions under the belt when I have time. Volume.

    More hand analyzes.

    Using Poker Tracker as a review and learning tool. Position reports and stuff. Hopefully I can find help in pokerimanias videos. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Good luck and power to y'all in this forum.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. hemme

    hemme New Member

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    Where do I go from here?

    I have not played much lately(been busy). So lack of volume and really crazy opponent tendencies at the 1$ stt is demotivating.

    Basically, my journey back into 9max has been:

    Playing couple of hundred games oldschool style with no hud:
    this was with ROI of 15% app

    Then with HUD and hand reviews, improving some, but also adding new concepts and confusion.

    Then downswing, and climbing a bit back up, but still feels kinda stuck. I am still in the money app 30-35% of time. With smaller bankroll now.
    Rake in micros maybe is to tough?

    So I need to find out:

    Do I want to play? Yes if I make progress, I would like to play some sessions. Maybe like 150-250 games during the week.

    Should I play higher stakes? I start to think that the Pokerimania approach fits better for 'normal' small stakes. Maybe 3$ games in a site with 10%rake?

    or just grind up from 1$?

    Should I invest in coaching?
    how many games is a good sample to get coaching from?

    Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated by this confused guy.


    Best regards
     
  13. Ghaleon

    Ghaleon Well-Known Member
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    What buyin to play depends on your bankroll size and how you personally feel. But assuming that you would have higher roi in higher stake is pretty questionable. Plausible if there is rake difference between games. But I don't think there is much of player pool difference in 1.5 or 3.5 games.

    Poker is about adjusting to your opponents. In micro stakes it's probably (have not played much below 10€ in long time) about player pool limping a lot and usually overplaying hands preflop and postflop. E.g. aiming to stack off with top pair weak kicker with deep stacks. So usually you don't want to bluff as much as in higher stakes and keep it more value heavy. That doesn't necessarily mean being really tight but going for thinner value bets.

    It's possible to get decent picture about your game from sample of few hundred games and thus locating biggest leaks.
     
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