So, I've had some rants floating around in my head lately. What better place to get views than my very own Leggopoker blog??
Short into for those who don't know me - I'm a 22 year-old from Maryland. Last year I decided to take time off from the University of Maryland to play poker even though I only have 45 credits left to complete. I like just about all sports and strategy games, poker and basketball being the top 2. I'm also somewhat into traveling and cooking, and i listen to a lot of emo, metal, and hip hop/pop. Pretty wide range
. These days I play 5/10-25/50NLHE on Stars. I also dabble on FTP but I'm down 40k lifetime on that site and really despise everything about it. I rarely play tournaments online, but enjoy live ones and regularly use my FPPs for live tourney packages. I built my bankroll playing SNGs and consider myself a formidable tourney player.
I'll have some HH analysis and graphs and stuff in here, but the main purpose of this will be to get my thoughts out. Not sure how often I'll be posting...we'll see.
Thinking vs. Memorizing and Mimicking
I'm not in school right now. I have a competitive Magic the Gathering background. I live in a house full of poker players and very close to several others. It's safe to say I know a bit about card games and the people who play them.
I'm good friends with a lot of players as well, and they range anywhere from the casual SNG/MTT player, to the small stakes cash game grinder, to the high stakes cash and/or MTT legends. What I want to write about now is one of the major differences I've found between players of various levels.
This only really applies to people who have put some effort in to get better at poker. The casual player...who knows what their potential is like, they haven't even tried. But it seems like everyone has the friend who tries and tries but isn't really getting better at poker. For some people, it's not a matter of not trying hard enough, it's just a consequence of how their brains work.
I know two people who are perfect examples for this. The first one is 24 year-old graduate student majoring in math at Dartmouth. Obviously he is a bright fellow. It takes a lot of brains to do high level math. But ever since I've known him, he's been really bad at solving problems he's not familiar with on the fly. Since new spots come up all the time in a game like poker, he never really excelled at it. The other guy I'm thinking of just graduated from accounting undergrad at a decent school and now has a nice accounting job. He crushed school and crushed his accounting exam. But he'll sit there and 16-table breaking even at .25/.50 and never absorb any of the strategy he's told.
Now both of these guys are very bright and successful, but neither has shown any aptitude for poker at all. I think it's because of the way they think about things. These guys memorize and mimic. It's only natural; that's what you've learned to do in school your whole life, right? Memorize material, or a way to solve a specific problem, and then prove that you know it by taking a test when it's fresh in your head from class.
I believe that almost anyone can beat microstakes and maybe even small stakes by just putting lots of effort into learning how to play solidly. But to really excel you need to be constantly thinking about how to counter the other players' strategies and maximize your earn. There aren't any two players who play exactly alike and so you need to constantly recognize patterns and use your logic and math and reasoning to make good plays.
The bad news is that some people will probably never be really good at thinking like a poker player. The good news is that you can definitely get better at it, mostly through discussing hands with people who are better than you, asking why, etc. Every time you don't know what to do, copy the HH and put it into notepad and come back to it when you're done playing. Even if it's something as simple as getting 2barreled when you have 2nd pair. With unlimited time, you should be able to solve pretty much every hand. Just put people on ranges, do some math, think about how they'll react if you do x play, what's going to happen on the next street with what likelihood, etc. You can solve every hand like this. Of course, with experience you get better at putting people on accurate ranges and you get better at acting accordingly.
Since I got home from Vegas over a month ago, I've been in the gym every single day switching off between lifting and cardio. Also been eating a lot better - low calorie low carb on cardio days, normal calories and normal-high carb on workout days. I think I've only lost 3 or 4 pounds, but I'm in much better shape and feel awesome. I started at 5'11" 180lbs. or so, so I wasn't that huge to begin with, but it was a really fat and out of shape 180. If anyone's interested in some tips/tricks to stay motivated let me know.
Well, here's my August graph so far:
Yeah, must is. I think I'm playing really well along with running awesome. It's been more hours, less tables, and higher stakes this month and it's working pretty well. It's like 50% 5/10, 30% 10/20, 20% 25/50. Every time I move up, it takes a little bit, but I eventually realize the regs at this level also suck and the fish are just as bad. It's good feeling.
Somehow this is already my biggest cash game month ever, but I'm still aiming for the 6fig month. That would be fun. Anyways this post got really long, gonna sign out now.