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A week in the life of Poker Pro, Snowbank

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MJ DeMarco

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I'm changing the thread title for more viewage and of course, SEO ... Bill, if there is issue, let me know.
 
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hakrjak

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This is a very interesting thread. A few years ago one of my best friends was in a bad car accident, injuring his arm. Long story short, he ended up living at my place for about six months. As a form of rehab for his arm and hand, we ended up playing about 3 or 4 hours of hold 'em a night, and got to be pretty decent. We started winning the occasional $10 game against other friends. I guess that's when the bug got me. Also, I immediately saw similarities between poker and my stock trading, as far as risk control and position (bet) sizing. Has anyone else thought about this?

I've read a few poker books, and I've been playing on Facebook for the past couple months. I turned my fake $500 into about fake $60,000. Thanks for the great post Snowbank! Maybe sometime in the future I'll have to make the jump and try playing online with a small amount of real money.

I definitely draw a lot of parrallels between poker and business, and just real life. When it comes to something that mirrors my stock investments the most, I'd have to say the game of Baccarat, because it involves in depth trend analysis -- and past history not guarenteeing future results, but they often do ;)

- Hakrjak
 

Jeffs07

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Feb 24, 2008
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I've been trying to become a break even player for 2 years. My analytical skills I feel are up to par my big problem comes in the form of discipline and tilt control. Poker is an emotional game and sometimes its extremely difficult to keep composure. Learning the game is actually pretty straight forward. Play the correct starting hands, use positional advantage, always use pot odds, press it when you have the best and protect it when you don't. Yet knowing and applying these fundamentals is only half the battle. It takes days to learn but a lifetime to master. Snowbanks bankroll growth from my perspective as a fellow player is amazing.
 

snowbank

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PokerRich

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Jan 15, 2008
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I can help out with full ring questions. A little background:

I am a professional full ring player similar to snowbank in that I play lower stakes (.5-1 and 1-2) at high volume. Poker is my full source of income. I play 24 tables at a time and average 1300 hands an hour and about 6,500 hands a day. I know snowbank from the poker forums although I doubt he knows me (the army of homeless poker players).

15% is a little bit of a high percentage to be playing at full ring. The majority of winning players I have in my database play 8%-13% of their hands. Keep in mind with 8 other players being dealt a hand there is a good chance somebody has a strong hand so when you are playing hands like J9 you will be put in a lot of marginal situations. The better player you are the more marginal situations you can play profitably. Full ring poker is not exciting poker. If you want exciting poker with more decisions then you should play 6 max like Snowbank.

HUD- As snowbank said, he is probably one of the only grinders who doesn't use a HUD. I would be completely lost without mine. The analytical side of me loves the numbers game and HUDs helps me a ton.

Bots- there are players who play like computers (I don't know if they are or not). They are extremely easy to play against although they do fill the seat of a possible bad player who would lose more money. These players are usually breakeven at best and live off rakeback.

Collusion- As Snowbank said, if players have to resort to cheating to try to win they are probably still not capable of winning together. However, there is some concern in the nosebleed stakes but I don't think any of us have to worry about that for a while.
 

snowbank

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15% is a little bit of a high percentage to be playing at full ring. The majority of winning players I have in my database play 8%-13% of their hands. Keep in mind with 8 other players being dealt a hand there is a good chance somebody has a strong hand so when you are playing hands like J9 you will be put in a lot of marginal situations. The better player you are the more marginal situations you can play profitably. Full ring poker is not exciting poker. If you want exciting poker with more decisions then you should play 6 max like Snowbank.

Ya, you're numbers sound about right. I figured 15% would probably be the high range. That'd probably be the number I'd shoot for if I was playing full ring to try and push a few more edges, etc... but at the same time if I was playing 15-16%ish I wouldn't be able to 24 table, so it's kind of an interesting topic(and a topic we could break down like crazy as far as finding what's best/most comfortable for the player, and what would produce the most money, since a lot of people assume it's the stakes people play which I believe is untrue) The reason I do what I do(try and crush small/mid stakes games instead of playing high stakes poker for a living) is because it's a stress free way to make a lot of money. If I moved up to high stakes, it'd be higher stress, and not a lot higher income.(unless you get to nosebleeds) So with you playing 24 tables with a super low vpip(which for everyone else here means volume put in the pot/aka how many hands you're playing), and someone else is playing higher vpip, but can only maybe 18 table fr, then it really works out the same, it all depends on what you like best/what works for you. I think that's really interesting for people here to see, that there are a lot of ways to make money at the game(and I'm going to go into a lot of depth at this when I make my thread), but what PokerRich is doing, is essentially playing ONLY his good hands, and playing a pretty straightforward game, trying to eliminate any mistakes he might make, and he makes his money because the other players are making mistakes. To push his edges, he plays a TON of tables. To push my edges, I play in more aggressive games, where instead of waiting for people to make mistakes, I create mistakes for them, and am able to maximize my returns per hand and it becomes a game where there is more thought process involved in all the decisions, but there's no way possible playing 6max games that someone could 24 table well because the decisions are more in depth. So we each push our edges in different ways. So if someone who plays the same stakes as him plays 6 max and has higher winrates because they play 6max, he can counter that, and make the same money(or more) by his ability to play a massive number of tables.

It's kind of late and I'm about to go to bed, so maybe this isn't as interesting as I thought, and hopefully I made sense/wrote my thoughts clearly and didn't ramble too much, but I thought it might be of interest to some.

PokerRich, did you ever try switching to 6max? I remember trying full ring a few times just to remember the old days before 6max, and I found myself too bored, and had to go back to 6max. You must have good patience/focus to be able to grind consistently without getting into crazy hands/decisions(that's what keeps me into it and able to grind)

p.s. 6 max players get the girls
 
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cmartin371

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Snowbank, your posts are much more interesting than you might realize.
If I ever get really poor I'll know where to start :)


I agree....Keep posting. As a relatively new part time forex trader, I see a lot of similarities between the two. You actually inspired me to pick up a book on the basics of poker. My forex mentor is a decent poker player too and has asked me if I play.

Chris
 

snowbank

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Aug 10, 2007
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This is a very interesting thread. A few years ago one of my best friends was in a bad car accident, injuring his arm. Long story short, he ended up living at my place for about six months. As a form of rehab for his arm and hand, we ended up playing about 3 or 4 hours of hold 'em a night, and got to be pretty decent. We started winning the occasional $10 game against other friends. I guess that's when the bug got me. Also, I immediately saw similarities between poker and my stock trading, as far as risk control and position (bet) sizing. Has anyone else thought about this?

I've read a few poker books, and I've been playing on Facebook for the past couple months. I turned my fake $500 into about fake $60,000. Thanks for the great post Snowbank! Maybe sometime in the future I'll have to make the jump and try playing online with a small amount of real money.

Glad you enjoyed the thread. Ya, there's definitely a lot of similarities between trading and poker. I actually considered trying to learn futures trading once I found out how similar, since a lot of the reason I guess people have trouble with that stuff are the swings, and the patience to wait for the right trades. Those wouldn't have effected me since I already have experience in poker with them. I decided it didn't make sense to learn an entire new "game", since I was already doing pretty well in poker, so decided against it after looking into it and starting to learn it a decent amount. I could definitely see a switch from one to the other being easier than going into either without having done the other before.

Ya, definitely give it a shot sometime. The post I'll be making will be on exactly that, how you can get started with not a lot of money, and turn it into a nice side income, or even a full time income if you wanted. I only started with $50, and never deposited again. Most of the other pros I'm friends with started with similar amounts. The post should be perfect for helping you make the jump over to real money.
 
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cmartin371

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Glad you enjoyed the thread. Ya, there's definitely a lot of similarities between trading and poker. I actually considered trying to learn futures trading once I found out how similar, since a lot of the reason I guess people have trouble with that stuff are the swings, and the patience to wait for the right trades. Those wouldn't have effected me since I already have experience in poker with them. I decided it didn't make sense to learn an entire new "game", since I was already doing pretty well in poker, so decided against it after looking into it and starting to learn it a decent amount. I could definitely see a switch from one to the other being easier than going into either without having done the other before.

Ya, definitely give it a shot sometime. The post I'll be making will be on exactly that, how you can get started with not a lot of money, and turn it into a nice side income, or even a full time income if you wanted. I only started with $50, and never deposited again. Most of the other pros I'm friends with started with similar amounts. The post should be perfect for helping you make the jump over to real money.

Looking forward to it!
 

PokerRich

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Jan 15, 2008
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12
Minnesota
Haha. You have no idea how many pms I've gotten about that post.

It was an interesting post, I have no doubt your inbox was filled with lots of opinions.

***PokerRich, did you ever try switching to 6max?***

I actually grinded 6-max 200NL during 2006 and played all the way up to 1,000NL before the swings became too much. After a while, I felt my edge was disappearing and I found split pot Omaha which I grinded for most of 2007. After I took a break I decided to play some low limit full ring NL to get back in the swing of things. I realized I could crush the tables at high volume for a similar $$/hr as middle/high stakes O8 without the stress and variance.

I do play some 6-max occasionally and when and if I burn out of FR I will probably switch back. Assuming things keep going well it may be a while though.

I think it would be really tough for you to switch from 6-max to FR. There is a lot less action and it mostly just pounding away weak-tight regulars.
 

Yankees338

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Jul 24, 2007
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What's the legal age for online gambling? I know it's 21 for the casinos in the States, and 19 in Canada (or at least in some parts...).

P.S. Great thread, Snowbank. Thanks a lot.
 
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Peter2

Fastane Legend. RIP.
Aug 2, 2007
408
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What's the legal age for online gambling? I know it's 21 for the casinos in the States

The legal age for online gambling is 18 years old, since all online casinos are located outside the US.
 

eTyler19

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Feb 19, 2008
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anyone here who plays poker for a living right now... What book would you recommend to the absolute beginner to learn the basic math and probabilities of NL hold em.

Thanks!
 
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snowbank

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anyone here who plays poker for a living right now... What book would you recommend to the absolute beginner to learn the basic math and probabilities of NL hold em.

Thanks!

I often recommend "The Little Green Book" by Phil Gordon to people. It has some things in there that I disagree with, but if trying to play online poker, it's probably one of the only books for no-limit worth reading.(you could probly read the NL section in Supersystem by Doyle but I think it's pretty dated) Most of the books written on no-limit hold em would teach advice that would hinder your progress if trying to beat online games, since they teach you to play too weak. Most of the authors make their money by writing, not playing. Some online guys I know are working on some books. If someone makes a good beginner NL book I'll post it on here, but as of now there's not much.
 

sharpshooter

PARKED
Mar 18, 2008
4
0
California
This thread has really gotten me motivated to play again! The posts have help me find the short comings in my old philosophy. I've deposited $100 dollars and started playing .05/.10 NL games (lowest I could find on FullTilt ) and made $5 after my first day ( trying both 6max and full ring games ). If you wouldn't mind, I have a few questions to help plan a strategy for myself.

- At what point do you think a move up is worth it?
- Should I try and establish a bigger bankroll first?
- Do you always put in the maximum amount of money when buying into a table?
- It seems that multiple tables is vital to both snowbank and PokerRich success, what amount of tables is a good starting point.
 

snowbank

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Aug 10, 2007
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This thread has really gotten me motivated to play again! The posts have help me find the short comings in my old philosophy. I've deposited $100 dollars and started playing .05/.10 NL games (lowest I could find on FullTilt ) and made $5 after my first day ( trying both 6max and full ring games ). If you wouldn't mind, I have a few questions to help plan a strategy for myself.

- At what point do you think a move up is worth it?
- Should I try and establish a bigger bankroll first?
- Do you always put in the maximum amount of money when buying into a table?
- It seems that multiple tables is vital to both snowbank and PokerRich success, what amount of tables is a good starting point.

Yes, I always buy in for the maximum. Reason being, if you have an edge, you want to maximize the money you can make in each pot. If someone buys in for $10, and you buy in for $3, and you get all in vs them with the best hand you can only win $3, instead of the $10 you would have won buying in full. As far as when to move up, personally I wouldn't consider moving up until you are beating up on games at whatever current level you're playing. Also, I'd try to have a 25-30 buy in minimum bankroll to be able to withstand the swings. As far as starting table point: 1 table. Once you get a good grasp of abc strategy and start feeling comfortable you can add some tables. High volume multi-tablers can do what we do because we spent a lot of time learning and getting better at the game, allowing us to realize situations easily and having to spend less time focusing on individual tables, since a majority of plays become pretty cut and dry in a lot of spots for us. If you don't spend the time to learn how to play the right way from the start, trying to add a bunch of tables will just have someone playing incorrectly on more tables than one, expanding their mistakes, instead of their profits. I guess you could compare poker to business in the multi-tabling aspect as well. MJ talks a bit about the duplication of businesses being fastlane. Once you know how to play correctly on one table, it's easily to duplicate what you're doing on other tables, much like in business; if you start a successful business, and can duplicate it, it becomes a lot more fastlane since you're essentially doing the same thing, and not spending 10 times as much time doing it, but making 10 times the money as if you had one table(in poker)/or one business.
 

LightHouse

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Wow never saw this thread before, Thnks for sharing your knowledge with everyone Bill Rep+
 

ZDS

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I am not sure if this has been mentioned, but if you are serious about picking up Poker, POST at TwoPlusTwo. People post hands: review them and post your answers with out looking then compare! This helps a ton. Also, there is a compilation in the microlimit no limit forums that is amazing for starting out. It's pretty easy to find, check out the FAQ. It's amazing for starting poker and getting a firm grasp on concepts.

Also, I remember reading that snowbank doesn't find books helpful. I agree that they should not be exactly replicated, but I feel books like

The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky can help provide a good base line of how to think about Poker from a different angle. Sort of like changing your business style thinking from Slowlane -> Fastlane.

Anyways, these are just a couple of comments I felt needed to be added! Back to studying!
 

TK1

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Mar 31, 2011
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I often recommend "The Little Green Book" by Phil Gordon to people. It has some things in there that I disagree with, but if trying to play online poker, it's probably one of the only books for no-limit worth reading.(you could probly read the NL section in Supersystem by Doyle but I think it's pretty dated) Most of the books written on no-limit hold em would teach advice that would hinder your progress if trying to beat online games, since they teach you to play too weak. Most of the authors make their money by writing, not playing. Some online guys I know are working on some books. If someone makes a good beginner NL book I'll post it on here, but as of now there's not much.

Nice thread :)

2 questions:

a.) Can you maybe share your favorite poker ressources (books, videos, websites)?

b.) What do you think of using starting hand charts like those:

handchart1.jpg

Starting-hand-chart.jpg
 

The-J

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Epic thread. No saying whether I'll get into it or not, but it looks pretty fun. Speed+

I have a little bit of a not-so-poker-related question. How has poker playing and getting to the point of making solid money from it affected your emotions and your dealings when in the Fastlane business world? I'm pretty curious.
 
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theag

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I played some online poker now and then in the last weeks and I think it became really tough compared to when I played more active in 2007-2008. So it's not really for me anymore. But I will definitely hit the casinos here for some 5/5 no-limit cashgame when I have some more money lying around. Gotta love the casino fish.
 

OzGrinder

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I played some online poker now and then in the last weeks and I think it became really tough compared to when I played more active in 2007-2008.

I agree. It seems alot tougher now than when I used to grind tables in the early 2000's, it might just be because I haven't played in so long though. I used to grind against snowbank at the NL cash game tables on stars if memory serves. Back then I was doing it to pay for uni, it was good because I stepped out of university with my degree and almost no debt, the little debt I did have I paid off in a year.

Snow was very good, I probably still have some old hand logs somewhere of me getting stacked by him :smilielol:

For me though, it wasn't worth pursuing full time. I used to do epic marathon 48hour+ sessions of multitabling with no sleep, grinding away. Grinding crazy hours at my skill level I could have grinded out about 100k a year if I was doing it full time, but for me, that sort of work was extremely draining.

It was better to just work 9-5 for the same 100k, but if you're one of the best and extremely dedicated you can certainly grind out alot of cash (which in Australia is tax free! So move here if you want to grind online tables for a living), and it's ideal for startup entrepeneurs as you can grind your own hours. Unlike the 9-5 daily grind ;)
 

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