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The Long Grind

I'm a novice poker player on the grinding road to pro.
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A downwards learning curve

By: #1(tRKe)1# @ 07:55 (EST) / 71 / Comment ( 0 )

I have played about 500 hands over the past 2 days. I am currently down $10. As I played the cash tables I soon realized how differently the game is compared to Sit N Go and Multi Table Tournaments. I have struggled to avoid tilting and I made to many calls or shoves on a whim or just to see my opponents hand.

Today after playing 100 hands and falling deeper behind on my bankroll I took a break and returned to my learning. I jumped on the Pokerstars Poker School and read through the Cash Game Courses (again for the 4th time). In one sitting I read through all the material and played the mini tutorial games. Because I have been playing more cash tables the material started to make more scenes and I could see the mistakes I have been making.

At the end of the course I realized I had not completed the quiz (which I must have failed the other 3 times) I passed with 92% (18 out of 20) I felt good about this. I jumped onto .01/.02 tables just to get my hands dirty again. I increased my bank roll to $1, it not much of course but I felt good about and kept the tilting at bay.

Below is some of the material I copied and past during my cash game learning from Pokerstars Poker School I am putting it up on my blog for my learning and to refer back to it:

The Cash Game

you can tend to play more speculative hands

The larger stack sizes also free you up to play slightly unorthodox poker at times. You might want to call with a very strong hand instead of re-raising.  Or you might want to call a re-raise with a weaker speculative hand.

But always keep in mind that stack size is not the only factor in the decision whether you want to play a hand or not – always consider position, opponents and your table image.

Pot Odds - PO
Odds of Winning - OOW


It is a mistake in cash game poker to base your decisions only on the results of one particular hand - or even one particular session. Sometimes you might make a good call and lose; sometimes you will make a bad call and win. But don't allow the specific result alter your decision making. You should base it in mathematics.

A good poker player will try to make sure that they are in control of the hand, managing the size of the pot. You want to make sure you win the big pots and get out cheaply if you are losing, and the best way to do this is for your own play to be the determining factor in how big a pot gets.

With some hands you need to keep the pot small, and top-pair with an average kicker is one of those times. You still have a good enough hand to win a lot of showdowns, but you don't want to be pouring money in the pot.

Avoiding Mistakes

you should rarely play big pots with one pair hands. Remember: big pots are for big hands only, and you need to be disciplined enough to fold hands that are simply not strong enough to withstand a lot of aggression from opponents.

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