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Old 01-30-2004, 01:06 PM
triplc triplc is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 201
Default Poker goals

In the spirit of the good Doctor's "Humble Pie" post, and upon reaching a milestone in my bankroll (from $60 to $600 in 6 months), I thought I would put the posters here to a rather amorphous question...What are your goals in the game of poker?

After playing at UB exclusively for the past 2-3 months, I deposited at Party to take advantage of a $100 bonus opportunity. At .50/1.00, the play at Party was so atrociously bad compared even to the same level at UB (which is not spectacular) that I was astonished. After reading the various "Humble Pie" posts, I began to consider what my goals for the next six months should be, and what my priorities ought to be? Stay at Party and go fishing some more? Move to Stars and and up in level to play against better competition?

I came up with the following, in order of priority...

1. To continue to improve my game. Kind of soft and fuzzy, but I think we all want to do this. But what's the best way? I'm contemplating adding Stars to my site list (which is now just UB and Party), because I think it would be a better "learning" ground. Plus, I could play in the 2+2 SnG [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]! I will continue to read and play as well. I also need to get a better grounding in the mathematics of the game. I have a basic grasp of things, but as a former math teacher, I'd love to be able to spout off the exact odds that I have to make my hand. I'm amazed by players like Bozeman in this regard.

2. Increase my bankroll. Maybe this should be 1a. To what amount, I haven't decided. I am limited in my estimations here because I cannot bank on having a certain amount of time to play. Between work, my family, and various other interests, I manage to squeeze between 5 and 10 hours of poker in per week on average. Should I do some serious bonus whoring (Of the $600, around half has been through bonuses) or get a better guage on my play by strictly increasing (or decreasing) through table winnings (or losings)?

3. Better record keeping. I suck at this. And I think this would really help my game because one of my strengths is learning from my mistakes. Thus, a particularly horrific play by me is liable to have an impact, but the small, subtle mistakes that I make regularly might be escaping my notice. I need PokerTracker!

4. Move up in level. This is sort of a foregone conclusion for me at this point. 99% of my play has been at .50/1.00 and below in rings, and $10 and below in SnGs. In my next session, I am planning to move up to $1/$2, and (once I finish my 100 $11 SnG recordkeeping exercise) I am planning to move up to $20 or $30 SnGs.

5. Work on my poker psyche. I am good about not berating other players, but I definitely go on tilt once in a while, and I tend to react to a perceived bad beat quickly without analyzing what I might have done to contribute to it. I'm thinking of picking up one of the "Zen and Poker" books or something similar. Recommendations appreciated.

6. Venture into other formats and games. I'd like to play more multis. Two-table SnGs. I'd like to try stud and Omaha. I think I may put off trying other games seriously, though, other than to change things up a bit when I get tired of Hold 'Em, because I really enjoy Hold 'Em.

Anyhow, this is getting a bit long. But I am curious as the goals that folks set for themselves. For pros, is everything else secondary to putting food on the table? For the amateurs, I imagine there are lots of other motivations besides the ones I have, having fun, for instance [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img].

Thanks as always.

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Old 01-30-2004, 03:14 PM
CrisBrown CrisBrown is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,493
Default Re: Poker goals

Hiya CCC,

Excellent post! [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Hrmmm ... my goals? Win the remaining 12 WPT events if 2004, and be the first woman to win the WSOP (in 2004), then retire to a Mediterranean island with a yacht and a lifetime supply of Necco wafers (which look an awful lot like poker chips, come to think of it)....

Seriously, my goals are relatively straightforward: by the end of 2004, I'd like to be earning a consistent $2K/month playing poker. I think that's an attainable goal for me, and it would be a nice second income to my primary income as a novelist.

(Shameless Self-Promotion: SOMETHING DEADLY, our latest suspense release, made #35 on the NYTimes Bestseller List, and spent two weeks on the USA TODAY Bestseller List. This was our first time on the NYT List. YAYYYY!!)

So ... how do I do that? (The $2K/month from poker, not the NYT list.) Well, three things:

(1) Like CCC, I want to get a better grasp of the unusual odds situations. I know the common ones, as do most of us, but I'm just now starting to memorize the common but more complex cases, e.g.: filling with a set at the flop (~1:2), or pair-plus-four vs. overpair-overkicker (~1:1). Pokernum at is wonderful for this, as I can run a bunch of comparisons and see how a suit or rank change (in either hand) affects the odds.

(2) Again, like CCC, keep better records. Right now I keep a poker journal, not with specific day-by-day results but as a way to "think out loud" about how I'm playing and why. I think PokerTracker or PokerStats may be helpful in helping me refine this, and it's also good for bookkeeping I'm told.

(3) Keep reading here, and observing better players.

And that's really about it, for me. Nothing fancy. Just win more money. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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Old 01-30-2004, 03:20 PM
DrPhysic DrPhysic is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: San Antonio, Tx
Posts: 838
Default Re: Poker goals

I will also be interested in the answers to your post.

I will comment on item 5 only: Zen and the Art of Poker is also on my list, but not nearly as high on the list as Psychology of Poker. I have heard nothing but good to rave reviews of Al Schoonmaker's book.

I hope your item 3 draws some comment as to what methods, programs, or sites people use for record keeping. Is Poker Tracker the answer?

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Old 01-30-2004, 03:45 PM
La Brujita La Brujita is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 517
Default Re: Poker goals

My Goals:

1. Be able to earn 1000 a week by the end of the year (highly questionable but possible). That would be double what I make now, but I have only been playing full time less than one year.

2. Become better at handling bad beats. My problem is not going on tilt, but rather having it affect my mood in things other than poker.

3. Become a well rounded Hold'em player. I am a good limit hold'em player and a pretty to very good nl sit and go player. I am also pretty decent at nl ring games. I am not a great shorthanded player. I am good heads up but between 3-6 players I am probably break even. I have been playing a bit each day to force myself to improve my game.

4. Become a decent/good multi table player. I honestly don't know how good I would consider myself. I don't play that much and my best finish ever is third in a hundred person tourney. I have made money playing, but the variance is so big and the time commitment as well I don't see it as worth it. I have been encouraged reading some of the posts about Stars 10+1 rebuys and I may start playing. End goal there is to play bigger tourneys (can we say WPT anyone?)

5. Become a bit of a trickier player. I am a solid player, but if I had to critique myself I would say I am a bit unimaginative. I think that is because (a) straight forward poker is usually the way to go (b) at relatively lower limits people are not good enough to try to trick (c) online you are constantly playing new players so the effectiveness is reduced.

6. Let poker be a means to let me travel. I love to travel and I want to be good enough that poker can be +ev enough to travel to cool places to play.

That is my list.

Cris, that is fantastic about your book! I will pick it up and have a read.
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Old 01-30-2004, 04:03 PM
Bozeman Bozeman is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: On the road again
Posts: 1,213
Default Re: Poker goals

1. Get 50% ROI at $100 Sng's (alternative, make $50+/sng at $200)

2. Stop making dumb mistakes

3. Develop some competence at ring games (I am right now only a modest winner at $5/10 6 handed).

4. (3a) work on personal psychology

5. Improve my reads, investigate when to trust them, when to override.

6. Try to incorporate probabily into reads: eg. 60% chance of AK, 30% chance of QQ, 10% chance of bluff.

7. Make enough money to comfortably try a big buyin tourney.

8. Read 4 good poker books.

9. Get a real job.

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Old 01-30-2004, 04:06 PM
Al_Capone_Junior Al_Capone_Junior is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 3,026
Default Re: Poker goals

Should I do some serious bonus whoring

[/ QUOTE ]

Absolutely NOT. Bonus whoring is for schmucks who want to get their poker money not by really being a good player, but by simply fleecing the bonus systems. While their ARE some bonuses you should take advantage of, not all are as good as they appear, and you might spend a lot more effort than it's worth to GET those bonuses. Prime example is UB. It takes between forever and five hundred years to clear their stupid 100% deposit bonus. However, at party, their 20% bonus and 15% re-deposit bonuses cleared quite quickly, within a day or two. I STILL have bonus money on UB that's uncleared, and I doubt I will EVER clear it, because I just don't like the site enough to play there. I may get a higher BONUS one place, but I make more MONEY other places. Keep this in mind.

99% of my play has been at .50/1.00 and below in rings, and $10 and below in SnGs.

[/ QUOTE ]

So at this time, you have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what it's like to play against better competition. Don't be in too much of a hurry to make large jumps in stakes tho, learn to beat the stupidly loose games before graduating to the tougher ones. the competition at 1-2 is no better than at 50c-1.00. When you get to 3-6 you might notice a somewhat tighter game, and 10-20 is definitely tougher than 3-6 in virtually all cardrooms, including online. The competition at SNGs doesn't really improve that much until you get to the $50 or $100 level, and even then it'll still often be magoo city.

Venture into other formats and games.

[/ QUOTE ]

I recommend H/L stud. you MUST read the book first tho! But it will increase your understanding of concepts and hand reading abilities greatly. Plus the magoo factor at H/L stud is really high, often the high-chasing magoos have little chance of winning if they play very long. Don't be one of the "limit hold'em only till the day I die cuz I'm too chicken to every play anything else" schmucks! Diversify and grow!

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Old 01-30-2004, 04:14 PM
thomastem thomastem is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Marengo IL U.S.
Posts: 1,429
Default Re: Poker goals

I'm going to keep mine to tournament goals as this is the year I'm moving from being a ring player to rounding my game to tourneys as well.

1. Play a min. of 2 NL tourneys per week and an average of
2. Win a Kotz tourney
3. Don't lose too much money in first 6 months. (Up for Jan. but I don't expect education to be that cheap in long run)
4. Break even 3rd quarter of year.
5. Profit 4th quarter
6. Build my tourney profiles book.

I'll also take suggestions!
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Old 01-30-2004, 04:31 PM
Prickly Pete Prickly Pete is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: VA
Posts: 670
Default Re: Poker goals

Hey Boze,

I recently made the splash into the $100s (and saw you once [img]/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] ) and thus far, have a return of about $15 per tourney after a small sample of 88 SNGs. I'm hoping to improve that after a rash of 4ths. I have to say I'm encouraged that 50% ROI is your goal. How close are you to that now, if so are so inclined? And how much tougher do you grade the $200s?

From my brief take, the $100s are tougher than the $50s, but probably not so much that my ROI will be cut in half. But we'll see.
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Old 01-30-2004, 04:47 PM
AleoMagus AleoMagus is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 252
Default Re: Poker goals

Zen and the art of poker is a nice fuzzy read, but probably not the best book out there with regards to handling beats, staying in control, etc... I recommend Vorhaus' book 'Killer Poker'. His online book is also good, but a bit pessimistic about online play in general.

I bought poker tracker but do not even use it anymore. It is excellent, don't get me wrong, but is most useful for ring game results. Besides, I like to sit around and do my own stats. I think it is time well spent to go over your results and do your own calculations. There is also the fact that I keep forgetting to get tournament histories sent to me.

My goals are to put in a good showing at the Canadian Championships this year and to post some good finishes in a few other live tourneys. I would also like to start playing live ring games. As far as sngs are concerned, I'd like to successfully make the jump from 10+1 to 30+3 before the end of the year. My long term goals are to get away from online poker and to play more big live tourneys. I don't think online poker can be profitable forever and it is not nearly as much fun as live play anyways.

Brad S
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Old 01-30-2004, 05:26 PM
itsmarty itsmarty is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 116
Default Re: Poker goals

I've been thinking a lot about my goals as well, mostly bankroll-related. I've taken a lot of small withdrawals that I could have skipped in order to either move up levels or make one big withdrawal (papa needs a brand new washer and dryer).

In that vein, here's how I'm hoping 2004 shapes up:

January 1 to Feb 5: Put aside enough money to fund my Vegas trip and leave a working bankroll. Progress: Hotel and live game bankroll covered. This weekend's play will determine what sort of restaurant I frequent while in town [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

February 10 to April 15: Put aside $2000 to fund IRA before deadline for 2003 tax period. This would be a high earn for me in this time frame, but I expect to have some live bankroll money left to seed the project.

April 15 to May 15: Concentrate on building bankroll for moving up levels in the fall. This period will feature heavy play in anticipation of short hours once the kids get out of school.

May 15 to August 15: Play 10 hours per week so as not to forget how to play poker. Leave any accidental earnings in the bankroll. Spend time outside with family.

August 15 to October 1: Ease back into playing 25-30 hours per week, get game back in shape from the summer, leave all earnings in the bankroll.

October 1 to December 31: Start moving up levels.

I'm contemplating adding Stars to my site list (which is now just UB and Party), because I think it would be a better "learning" ground.

[/ QUOTE ]

I should probably look for more learning opportunities myself, but I'm very fond of the winning opportunities [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] My goal for adding a site involves hoping Choice Poker takes off, because the vig on their SnGs is very low compared to Party.

2. Increase my bankroll. Should I do some serious bonus whoring?

[/ QUOTE ]

I think too much bonus whoring leads to me losing focus, and I never feel like I come out far enough ahead to make it worth the time. I intend to keep my eyes out for good ones that fit my normal play, but not get carried away.

3. Better record keeping. I need PokerTracker!

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes you do! This was a New Year's Resolution I've kept and couldn't be more happy with.

4. Move up in level. This is sort of a foregone conclusion for me at this point. 99% of my play has been at .50/1.00 and below in rings, and $10 and below in SnGs. In my next session, I am planning to move up to $1/$2, and (once I finish my 100 $11 SnG recordkeeping exercise) I am planning to move up to $20 or $30 SnGs.

[/ QUOTE ]

I can't speak to the higher SnGs, but I didn't find $1/2 any harder than .5/1, and my forays into Party $2/4 have been similar. I just don't think the money means that much to most recreational players, whereas we're thinking "holy crap, $2/4". Not because they have more money necessarily, they're just in it for the gamble. It looks silly to me, but I know from friends I've tried to introduce to the game that studying and thinking about poker all the time to grind out an extra few bucks seems very silly to them. That said, my goal of playing $5/10 by year's end scares the heck out of me at this point.

6. Venture into other formats and games.

[/ QUOTE ] I'm with you hear. I really enjoy Omaha, but have never played it outside of home games.

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