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How to improve my level?!! I’m lost!!

Hi fellow members.
I’ve been playing nlh poker for abt 5yrs.
Played 299 cash games and won in 157 of them. Current bankroll $9.5k. All $1/$1 home games among a group of 25-30 friends and acquaintances. I’m regarded as an average player in my poker group. There are a few players in the group who are better players playing $5/$10 games in casinos and they are quite idiotic as they ridicule the rest of the players often. I decided to get serious about poker and want to crush them. I tried reading a couple of poker books which I find didn’t really help me improve my game. I signed up for CLP abt 2mths back and finished the poker curriculums. I’ve picked up a few tips but I feel I’m pretty much the same Low level player. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not expecting to be a shark suddenly after watching a few videos. But it’s like, I am clueless about what I need to improve my game. Thus I hope to get guidance from fellow members here on what’s next after the curriculums. Thank you all in advance.


  • McLovinMcLovin Posts: 50Subscriber
    edited October 2019
    This is an interesting one. I am a CLP subscriber for almost 9 months now. Considering the amount of content posted on CLP it is so easy to be overwhelmed. I really wish there was a magic path through which we can gradually improve and move our game.

    First start with fast track poker curriculum and crushing no limit holdem poker. This are the main foundations. Although i think that Fast track poker will be at some higher level considering the prominent use of GTO concepts.

    For the podcasts i will go over and over again on Strategy soundbites. They are like 1-2 minutes short clips and super useful in common live spots.

    Then you can jump on to crush live poker podcasts and go through all podcasts of Bart's recent 5-5 challenge. Also go though other ones that you find interesting.

    CLP videos are really good. I really hope someone has figured out a learning process to gradually go through these videos.

    I also love the grind poker podcasts of Rob which will improve your mental game.

    Start jumping on the crush live call ins show on you-tube at 4:45 PT on Monday if it fits your schedule.

    Also i cannot stress this enough but just listen Jared Tendler's podcast with Bart about the mental game of poker. I will highly recommend the book but the book is sort of a learning process so you will not able to go through it in a short time.

    In the end when you start playing live please do not expect that you will be able to apply every single concepts that you have learned. This is more of a learning curve and with experience you will be gradually able to put this concepts in action.

    Good luck for your poker journey and keep grinding!!
  • ds2uaredds2uared Posts: 464Subscriber
    Preflop, preflop, preflop. 90% of mistakes are preflop mistakes, some of which are huge.

    -What hands do you open from what position?
    -If 3 people limp and you're in the CO, what are you limping behind with? What are you raising with?
    -What sizing do you use to open? To 3bet?
    -What hands and situations do you 3bet in?
    -How do you respond to 3bets?
    -How do their stack sizes and tendencies influence those decisions?

    Ki's Fast Track is pretty great for that. I'm a better than average poker player, but before I started studying in earnest, I was raising KJo utg+1, calling a utg raise from the CO with QJo, completing with T7o in the sb in a limped pot. If you play home games, I can almost guarantee if you can improve your win rate by shoring up your preflop play.

    It's not everything, but it's a good place to start.
    Thanked by 3Steveo76 CycleV dpbuck
  • fi$hfi$h Posts: 35Subscriber
    Find like minded players and preferably someone better than you bounce ideas off of. I have a text group of a few close poker friends with who we all share hands or ideas with. It helps us all to become better. The secret is to becoming better is.... that there is no secret. It takes constant study and review. It's not as easy as watching some videos and trying to implement them right off the bat. While say we can watch fast track videos and understand and follow along with all the concepts shows. We are not able to fully implement the complete strategy on the first session out. It takes time to get to where you really apply all the concepts.

    Keep studying and learning, you will get better.
  • CycleVCycleV Posts: 1,196Subscriber
    edited October 2019
    All good stuff. I came here to also say preflop preflop preflop, D beat me to it! I've been playing a while, moved up a fair bit, and I still need to review Ki's preflop charts from time to time. They are gold. And I will bet dollars to donuts you call too much and don't raise or 3-bet enough. The charts will help you know when to get busy.

    I'd also read in and participate in the hand history (HH) discussions. Spending time breaking down a hand trains your brain to think. It's active, as opposed to watching a video or listening to a pod, which is a mostly passive way of obtaining information.
    Thanked by 1Steveo76
  • SuperflySuperfly Posts: 591Subscriber
    One of my main study methods is to stop the video in spots before they provide analysis and recommendations and do the work myself. I then listen to see what I missed. I retain a lot more this way.

    I also use the HHs in this forum the same way, thinking it through myself and sometimes posting before reading others’ comments. I can sometimes spend upwards of 30 minutes trying to identify the key factors, principles and tactics that apply to a single hand. I am sure that will be surprising to some who read the results of my efforts! But it’s definitely helping. ;-)

    I also like Ki Lee’s and Rob Farha’s videos because 1) they focus more on 5-10 games and using mixed balanced/exploitative strategies vs better regs, 2) they often focus on one theme and selectively pick hands to illustrate key concepts. I find it easier to learn and retain info in that way, vs the shotgun type approach where commentator just goes through a bunch of random hands talking about whatever points come to mind. Im sure the latter appeals more to some, but I’m more of a structured learner.
    Thanked by 1Baggio95
  • workinghardworkinghard Posts: 1,573Subscriber
    always have an internal dialog about what range you think your opponent has, what range your opponent thinks you have, and what your plan is based on that.
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Posts: 134Subscriber
    Agree with the preflop advice. Bart’s cbet bluffing matrix (CLP pod #319) is a must listen as well. Another point is to always think about why you are betting. Can you get called by worse? Can you get better to fold? These are not the only reasons to bet, but they are by far the biggest two. Asking myself these two questions before I bet has helped me tremendously.
  • ResolResol Posts: 4Subscriber
    Thank you all for your inputs. Yes I really liked Ki’s videos. They are great! I was able to apply some of his teachings immediately and benefited. But beyond that, I don’t know what’s next. CLP has lots of materials and I gathered that the best way is to zoom in on topics that you need. But the problem is, I’m not good enough to assess myself and know which areas of my game I should focus on first.
  • pokertimepokertime Posts: 2,194Subscriber
    My advice is don’t try to get really good really fast because it’s unlikely to work. If you watch 5 videos in one day your not going to remember all that. Listen to a podcast and video a day and take notes in your phone on the things you don’t know or need to improve. Then before next session review notes (maybe while your waiting on a table or before the drive to the game) and try to work on those things that session. Slowly you add to your game until your doing complex math and plays out of habit. GL!
    Thanked by 1LatvianMissile
  • dpbuckdpbuck Posts: 2,060Subscriber
    @pokertime nailed it. Becoming a better player is akin to using a crockpot, not a microwave. It takes time.

    Watch some videos. Play. Post in forums. Talk strat. Play some more. Review your sessions. Play more. Watch more videos. Talk more strat. Play more. Just trying to improve will make you a better player over time, but it won't happen overnight. Don't force it.

    Good luck!
  • ds2uaredds2uared Posts: 464Subscriber
    edited October 2019

    V(LAG)Utg1R20 C. C. H3!100BtnAsKh. VC. F. C. AAKssx. X. X. H80. C. F. Qs. X H280. C. Jd. X Hai450. C. VshowsAT.

    Shit like this litters my notepad in my phone. It's my shorthand for poker hands. There are thousands of them. As you're playing, keep notes every time there's even a slight question about what to do for a hand. Then, start posting here and working through them. Writing in these forums can be beneficial for streamlining your thinking.

    "He probably thinks I am weak and so he raised or might raise" is not logical or helpful. But I definitely used to have thoughts like that.

    Keep working. Being here is a good start.
    Thanked by 1Steveo76
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 2,577Subscriber
    All I can tell you is how I became where I am at...

    #1 read books. read all the books. Even older books have something to teach you. Even if 1 $30 book teaches you 1 thing you will make that money back over and over. I have read over 100+ books on poker.

    Example... The Theory of Poker is a very old book. It's content still applies.

    #2 do your homework, critically think about situations and scenarios. Work out combos, mathematics of EV, how much to bet in X spot to bluff or for value. If you do homework the material will stick in your head. We all have different levels of learning and each one we use cements information in our head.

    Knowledge - reading it
    Comprehension - understanding it
    Application - applying it
    Analysis - deconstructing it
    Synthesis - creating something new from the parts
    Evaluation - making and defending judgements


    #3 Use software like Flopzilla, PIO solver (although not necessarily needed for live lower stakes games), Equilab whatever

    #4 Come up with your own new plays and test them. Just last month I came up with a new concept and tested it out. Then I found out the same concept was talked about in a rare video with Negranegu some 3 years ago. He called it something different and didn't detail it in a way many players would use it correctly. Since I worked out the math of the situation I knew what I saw.

    #5 Get some psychology books on behavior to understand the underlying reasons on tells if you play live. Tells are 10% of the game usually in a 50/50 situation. But preflop it has a lot of value vs fish. I see a guy raise MT and see that the CO and BUT are signalling folding... now I now I effectively have the button. It changes my play for example.

    #6 Don't think statically. Analyze the entirety of a hand when playing it. Go through all the information. Replay the hand in your head. Take your time. I find if I take the time I come to a better decision.

    If you don't read the books and do the homework then you will pretty much always be an intuition player guessing at what other people do. This creates stress and anxiety overloading your brain with the wrong chemicals causing more dysfunction at the table. If you have an underlying foundation for evaluating a situation things are much easier.

    I worked out what I need to bet when with what hands vs how many players. I did all 6 of Bloom's Taxonomy for playing a hand and absorbing everything.

    Am I a super pro? Of course not. I don't play enough. I also have another job. Which is the last thing. I do Bloom's Taxonomy above then advance myself. Each time it's a new step toward getting better. I am constantly improving my game with the methodology above.
    Thanked by 2Steveo76 ds2uared
  • Steveo76Steveo76 Posts: 161Subscriber
    Great post @Fuzzypup!

    The single most important thing I have implemented over the last year is to take a little longer over my decisions at the table. Most live players at the lower levels are not doing this and I feel I have increased my edge just by doing this. Thinking through the hand logically, replaying action on previous streets and finally, not touching my chips until I know my action.

    I must say that having this forum in my corner is really quite something. Being able to tap into the poker minds of experienced players as we can do here, is helping me grow.

    Lastly, just PLAY and appreciate what the game gives you.

    All the best at the tables!
  • ResolResol Posts: 4Subscriber
    I read all the replies a few times. Thank u all for your advice. Started out with revisiting the preflop play and implemented it during my weekly game yesterday. I was 3 betting a lot more than usual as a result and it clearly threw the rest off.
    Thanked by 2Steveo76 CycleV
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