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First Hand

/Jan/2012

Starting out

By: strangerloop @ 13:16 (EST) / 1 / Comment ( 0 )

It's been said that the best way to learn is to teach. In that spirit here are some things I've picked up so far.

Like a good beginner I've tried to adopt a tight-aggressive style. However, learning a new skill is always strange. There's always a voice in the back of my head whispering that it'll never work in the real world. So I had a niggling suspicion that when I actually sat down at a table nothing would work like it's supposed to, and I would get completely massacred.

Well, that didn't happen and after an hour or so of playing at the 1c/2c NL tables I'm the princely sum of 53 pence richer. The Coure Course advice has been sound, and if you stick to playing strong hands and play them aggressively, you will win pots. When I first dabbled at poker some years ago, I was paying to see way too many flops, and I must have made some people very happy.

If you're serious about improving I would stay well clear of the play money tables. They're fun (and if you're a total beginner, good for learning the hands), but no good at all for getting a real feel for the game.

I've not tried the SNG course yet, but based on previous experience I would say the same thing about SNGs for a beginner. I've played a few SNGs before and my view is they're not  great for getting good habits (thinking about odds etc) ingrained. I think that comes from the format - you pay your entry fee, and then it really bears no relation to the chips in front of you. There's something about playing for real money, even just a couple of cents at a time, that really makes you think about what you're doing in a hand. And if you're not thinking, you're liable to lose.

So, my tips for fellow absolute beginners:

1. Play TAG - it really does work.
2. Play for real money, even if it's for very small amounts.

Next time I'll probably write something about odds & outs, if I ever manage to get my head around them.

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