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  • atlantis
    Post count: 132

    Hello everybody, please let me introduce myself.

    My name is Marius, I am 22 years old and live in Saxony, Germany. At the moment I am student of computer science. Workwise I play lowstakes MMT’s and have a part-time job in a security company. In my free time I am into natural bodybuilding/fitness and playing online games with friends. Beside poker and bodybuilding I am a huge fan of movies, netflix etc. I also waste a lot of time on YouTube.


    I would like to start this blog with one of my all time favorite quote, maybe it is even the initial impulse to start all this and make this life changing decision.

    „ …we hardly ever all of us, me too make this priorities, this real priorities. But no one of us knows how long we gonna be here, if it is an accident, a heart attack or something like that. So take a moment, make a pause and think about your daily life and what you do with your time and not only concentrate to make the best out of your life but to also make your life meaningful, in the most important ways.“ cf. ~ James Brian Hellwig


    Currently we have a semester break at the universty and I lately figured out to study computer science, graduate and work from 8am to 5pm is not what I want from life. I made a different priority, a real priority and came to the following conclusion:

    I am in the perfect scenario to make a break from university and risk something. I have everything I need. I am healty, young, have plenty of time and I am full of energy and willpower. I have this vision in my mind and I want it to become true.

    With my part-time job and other income I am financially secured. I am living a budget-friendly life in my little apartment. As a well trained computer scientist I always have a plan B, even though I won’t need it. So I think I am in a great initial situation to start something big, something new.


    My poker background: Since I was a teenager I was fascinated about poker. I got my first poker set at the age of 13 and played like 4 weeks everyday with my friends, until I lost the interest (I guess that’s just the way children are). But poker would not let me go, one year later my passion to poker got revived while playing for ISK (play money from the MMORPG EVE-Online).

    At the age of 18 I got back into poker once more, by watching „Let’s play Poker“ a show on youtube where famous german youtuber play against each other for a good cause. The show was sponsored by pokerstars.de which is the german play money website from pokerstars. I got very used to the lovely voice of Martin Pott, the commentator of the show. As well he is one of the commentators from the german EPT livestreams. I also felt in love with the second EPT commentator, Jens Knossalla. I was addicted to watch every single EPT stream and soon I dreamed about being a profesional poker player myself. The stream also introduced me to bencb and raiseyouredge.com


    A dream was born, a story begins…

    In my past I tried to go on this journey once before but never comitted myself to it 100% and failed miserable (a story for another day). This time I will go all the way and give it all I got.

    Balls to the wall, this is a do-or-die approach now! 


    My poker experience so far is about 40k hands in 1.5 years. I never played a live tournament, just online. I learned a few things about poker but I never was a winning player, I just had a bit of luck here and there. The most fun I experienced while playing MTT’s, like the guys in the livestreams I mentioned earlier.


    As part of my preparation I read the book „Golden Rules“ by Martin Krengel which is about motivation, time management, organisation and so on. One recommendation from the book is to plan every week in a schedule.

    So my very first step for this journey was to write a schedule for this week and hang it on the wall. For me it is important to have a schedule, without one I find it difficult to get up in the morning and do something different on the computer expect gaming. I feel like there are just two types of personality when it comes on how to use the 24 hours of my day. I can be the soldier who gets up on command and goes to bed on command or the total scum who does not get anything done. Another huge part of the book is work-life-balance so I tried to include this concept the best way I could.

    The bottom line of the schedule is: Apart from my part-time job I am planning to work as much as possible on poker, atleast 4 days a week for a minimum of 5 hours a day. Of course you cannot plan how long one session is going to last, especially in MTT’s. So I made up this rule to just register to normal (speed) tournaments in the first 4 hours of the session, unless I have a few deep runs going on and expect the session to last longer anyway. Maybe I even register some turbo tournaments in the fifth hour, it will also dependent on my energy level.


    I also want to study on all 4 days for 2 hours. In my blog posts I will give an overview on what I learned on the exact day and what is next. I know that poker books are often outdated but I think you can still collect some knowledge and ideas from it. In the moment I am reading „Harrington on modern Tournament Poker“, the 2014 edition. Also I am using all the free content provided by pokerstrategy.com and the whole web. I even feel like you can learn a lot by just watching replays on twitch/youtube, I am a personal fan from Jaime Staples and Fedor Holz.


    Some more details, my current bankroll is about 360$, I am playing on Stars and 888.

    I have programmed myself a „Bankroll-Manager“ which controlls every penny of my life. Starting with food, tax, rent, savings till every single buy-in. The program is divided into this three classes: „Living(-Money)“, „Online(-Bankroll)“ and „Live(-Bankroll)“. It has a smart „bankroll-managment-engine“, a goal tracking and reveals current trends. It will keep me from burning Money.

    In the beginning I am following a conservative tight bankroll approach, playing buy-ins from 0,44$ up to 1,3$. I feel like I can handel up to 4 tables at the same time using HM2 as support.

    Anyway I dont think I am ready to mix in 6-max games, bubble rush, think fast games etc. . Also I feel like it is not profitable to play more than necessary turbo(-hyper) tournaments. While playing a max. of 4 tables at the same time, there are enough normal speed tournaments to play. As my hourly rate is not my number one concern, I think my little edge would not benefit from playing less hands. So I stick with normal MTT’s.


    Beside poker I have a second and third priority. Back in 2015 I was in good shape, it is not like I quite the sport but in the last two years I visited the gym unsteady. I lost some of my hard earned gainzzz and I would like to get them back  My plan is to visit the gym more frequently and eat more healty to achieve this goal.

    And my final priority is to get out of the apartment more frequently, meet more people in real life not just online, visit family and friends. Just make some more activities outside the house, maybe outside the city and if the wallet allows it even outside the country.

    I made up a few goals and milestones for my life and poker. Like many others I dont find it useful to set profit goals, but personaly I think it is helping to visualize and terminate some goals. In case of profit I like to use milestones instead of goals.

    So this are my poker goals so far:

    1. Learn a little each day
    2. Climp the buy-in ladder
    3. Play my first live tournament until the end of August

    My current life goals:

    1. Get in the Gym 4 times a week
    2. Eat more healty

    And the first milestones I’d like to reach:

    1. Get the bankroll +100$
    2. Get 4xITM in one session

    Summary: I will play lowstake MTT’s atleast 20 hours a week and study 8 hours. I want to write down in this blog, what I learned new about poker strategy and how the last session was. I want to report every session and try to post as much as possible in this blog. The main focus of this blog will be poker and a little bit about my daily life.

    I really hope you enjoy this blog, from total beginner to stunning winner.

    It would be awesome if you provide me with any input on the long road from open-raise to reverse implied odds. Also I want to encourage everybody to ask me any question you like, maybe I can provide you some advice beside poker, feel free to ask.

    I begun this post with a quote and that is also how I will end it:

    „At the end of my life I don’t want to ask myself „What if…“, do you?“ ~ unknown



    (Disclaimer: The last time I wrote more than two sentence in english was about 3 year ago, I try my best, feel free to correct my terrible grammar. )

    Post count: 1331

    So much <3 for your approach towards life. You are on a good path and I like your attitude about everything that is important to poker (brm, time management, work ethics, dedication).

    Not many have a mindset as you have. Be happy, really. I rarely read such a dedicated and ambitious text about someones life and plans.

    Also see it as a responsibility.

    It reminds me of the quote I have recently posted in my blog:

    “„But my time playing poker had a suprisingly profound influence on the way I see life. The beauty of poker is that luck is always involved, luck doesnt dictate the longterm result of the game. A person can dealt terrible cards and beat someone who is dealt great cards. Sure, the person who gets dealt great cards has a higher likelihood of winning the hand, but ultimately the winner is determined by..the choices each player makes throughout play. I see life of the same terms. We all get dealt cards, some of us get better cards than others. And well its easy to get hung up on our cards and feel we got screwed over. The real game lies in the choices we make with those cards, the risks we decide to take and the consequences we choose to live with. People who consistently make the best choices in the situations they are given are the ones who are eventually come out  ahead in poker, just as in life. “”

    Dude, and you got dealt the best cards possible. You have the perfect enviroment to achieve something big in poker. You got time, mindset, money, freedom etc etc…
    Use this opportunity. We will make sure that you will receive the best support possible.

    GL !!!!

    Post count: 132

    First of all, let me say how thankful I am to be able to post my blog here at RYE. I feel honored to do this and think it will have a huge impact on the journey I started 5 days ago.

    Your words mean so much to me and I take this responsibility so serious. I can see it all it is clear in my eyes. I will grow on this journey so much and no matter how long it takes success will come!


    Day 1

    The very first day into this journey it felt like I really did the right decision. I know full well that every one is excited about something new but I really think I will accomplish something here. Long story short, I had one deep run in the 1,1$ KO and managed to get ITM in another tournament.

    The less knowledge you have the less leaks you will find. At my first day I played tight and tried to be aggressive. Didn’t make any big mistakes or wasn’t able to detect them, I was happy about how I played.


    Day 2

    On my second day into poker I managed to reach my first milestone. I had another deep run going on and also got ITM in three more tournaments. This is a total of 4x ITM so I need a new milestone which I’d like to reach next. This time I need an even more difficult milestone, so we put „get at one FT“ on the list.

    I lost half of my stack today because I miss read the board, thought board was a straight and did a huge call for a chop pot…there was no straight.

    How to improve:
    – better look the board twice, don’t rush such decisions


    Day 3
    First day without a plus on the bankroll, but I never thought I would run so good in the first three days anyway. Still made one deep run and got ITM one more time. Overall I think I did a good job on that day.

    Lost a lot of BB’s while hero-calling the donky enemy, twice.

    How to improve:

    – Don’t loose credit to the enemy, no matter how low the BI is or how donky his last hand was. Just play the strength of the own hand like it really is. Don’t make reads on just one hand, look up the hud stats.

    – hero-fold > hero-calling


    Day 4
    By far the longest day of the week, I never had such a long poker session at all. I think I played „okay“ got 3x ITM. Was proud to stay focused even though I had to play just one table for about 2.5 hours. I really feel like it is way easier to stay focused when playing 4 tables rather than just one.


    Week 1

    The stats:

    – played 41 MTT’s + 3 Rebuy
    – had 3 deep runs
    – made profit 11 times
    – earned a total of 2,19$
    – played around 26 hours, can’t provide the exact number because HM2 does not have an overall stat for played hours, if you play multiple tables. Next week I will count it myself.
    – regarding to HM2 my ITM% is 41 but it counts every knochout bounty as ITM even though I made no profit in the tournament. If the definition for ITM is how often you make profit in tournaments it would be exactly 25%

    Overall I think I had a good start, didn’t make to many decision I had to regret. I learned a lot about poker strategy and every time I learned something new and got into one topic I wanted to know even more about it. I have so many questions about everything but I will go through all this step by step.

    About life and my weekly schedule I have to adjust so much. I underestimate the time I would need for learning poker and I feel like I have to give this part even more time than just 8 hours.
    It benefits my performance so much everytime I learn something new, so I think it would be the best move to give learning as much time as possible. I also need a lot of time writing this blog and as I am writing this blog down, with all my leaks and how to improve on them, I am thinking that the difference between learning and creating this blog is not so big.

    In my last week I gave the blog creating and learning about 10 hours, which is roughly 1.5 hours a day. For the next week I am planing on 15 hours combined. Especially in the beginning learning is sooo important, I guess later it switches more to analyze the own game.

    In the next week I just have to work for one day at my part-time job, so I can give poker one more day. In this week I started my poker sessions at 3 pm ET, for the next week I will start one hour later to catch a little bit more of the primetime. Not sure if I have to change my whole sleep-schedule at some point.

    Beside poker also everything is going well. Went to the gym in the morning and ate a little more healthy than last week. For my social life I will go to breakfast at a local restaurant with a friend of mine. Combining things like meeting friends, go outside and even eating something is a good way to save time.

    Post count: 132

    I have some problems with posting here, cannot make any line breaks and always get asked to login to the admin area. Already wrote an email to the support. Will update the blog when the problem is fixed, still writing offline though. Anyone with similar problems?

    I guess someone solved my problem…thank you.



    What I learned so far:

    Like I wrote in my introduction text I did not approach poker without some knowledge. There are many topics in poker strategy which I know something about, some basic knowledge. Other basics I needed to get back in my mind complety.

    I am not sure yet on how to approach the learning progress in some points. Do you think for someone like me, playing lowstake MTT’s, should I focus more on mastering single topics like open-raise or learn a solid basis about it and move on to the next topic and get in more details at a later point?


    The basic game plan, the tight-aggressive approach

    I feel like the tight-aggressive approach is still the way to go in lowstake MTT’s so I tried to play it this way. In my first 4 days into poker I followed some basic rules I’d like to reveal here.

    – Call-20%-Rule (pocket pairs)
    I read in several sources the same thing, at some point it gets profitable to call any pocket pair and hope for a set on the flop. The odds of flopping a set are around 11.8%.

    But it is not as simple as that, you cannot call every pocket 22 when the pot is laying you odds around 7 to 1. It is important to think about the two further streets, the playabilty, you need to get action/money and as always you can still loose any hand.

    The bottom line is, if we keep implied odds, enemy raises, the stack size of ourself and enemy in mind, all this factors add up and it can get very complicated to make a profitable decision.

    I guess that’s the reason why people came up with the 20% rule, so if your stack allows you to make a call 20 times and you expect no more action preflop you should call any pocket pair.

    – Never limp
    It is as simple as it sounds like, you never limp a hand. Even speculative hands like suited connectors, for example, 98s. It is almost always the better choice to raise hands like this because you can win the hand pre-flop and you have the upper hand postflop.

    – Continuation-Bet
    If you were the pre-flop aggressor and you got called by 1-2 players, there was not action on the flop, you should always make a continuation bet. The reason for that is to put pressure on the enemy. It is just a part of the aggressive play style we are using.

    – Push-or-Fold
    I feel like this is such an important topic and just following a chart I found on pokerstrategy helped me to improve my game so much.

    The reasons and the basics behind push-or-fold is to use a small stack the best way possible. If your stack is shrinking below 15bb how should you approach a decent hand like Ajs?

    Would you raise it just normaly and fold to any raise, how would you act on a 6JQ rainbow board?

    You raised pre-flop and got like 10bb left, your opponent is a calling station, let us say we have 8bb in the pot you are OOP and the chances are pretty good that the opponent is holding a queen, you bet half pot size and the turn is a king. Of course you are pot committed with your 6bb left. You go AI and loose against KQo, what did we do wrong here?
    Pretty much everything, the bet on the turn puts no pressure at all on the enemy so there is almost none fold equity, if we got AI on the flop it would not be much better as we expect the big stack calling station to call us anyway.

    So the best approach would be to get AI preflop. Why? There would be the highest possible fold equity, a maximum preasure. We have a decent chance to double up if someone calls us and we don’t have to handle tough decisions on the flop.

    The push-or-fold play starts at >15BB and the less BB you have and the better the position is that you are sitting at the weaker hands you push.

    – HUD
    I am just using VPIP,PFR,AG,BB and total hands on my poker HUD, in the moment. I could use so much more stats but I feel like the HUD just benefits my play if I can really use the provided information and don’t miss read tells etc. If I have a hard time making a decision I still have the popup. As soon as I will learn more about some topic like stealing, I will add the relevant stats.



    General information:
    Before I get to the next topic (preflop ranges) I need everyone to know a few things on how I want to use information someone already put out there.

    As I try to pick up all the knowledge you guys write down in your own blogs, I came along KingRogers Blog and saw he made up some ranges for MTT’s. Of course his ranges are looser than the one I made up and I guess overall better.
    Which brings me back to my initial question: „How deep should I study a specific poker strategy topic at this point?“. Does it make sense to use a similar range that is used on higher stakes and is used with more knowlege about how to play certain hands?

    In my opinion it is somewhere between beneficial and harmful. Even though some of you guys already did the work and came up with better solution on spots and other strategy topics than me.

    I still want to write down on how I did approach things, what questions and answers I found myself. Everybody could try to copy and paste the pro player or higher stake players, but why aren’t we all poker professionals already, if it would be so easy? I think it is because the people take the easy way and miss the most background knowledge. They don’t want to put in the hard work, which is necessary to become better every single day.

    So I will rather try to get into the topics myself and reveal how I think about them, make mistakes and learn step by step. After I did this I will try to pick up your brain and look up what and how you did it.



    – preflop ranges

    So the topic everybody should invest a lot of time and effort in, is the foundation of any good game plan. You really need to have solid preflop ranges for all possible situations.

    So what are the questions I asked myself when creating my own preflop ranges, what we have to do to get the best possbile result…

    1. You need to have different ranges for all positions (I play tables with max. 9 seats.)

    2. For each position you need a range for the different action
    2.1 Open raise
    2.2 Against open raise
    2.3 Against villian 3-Bet

    3. For each villian action in each position you can act different
    3.3 Against an open raise
    3.3.1. Call
    3.3.2. 3-Bet 3-Bet → Fold on villian 4-Bet 3-Bet → Call on villian 4-Bet 3-Bet → 5-Bet after villian 4-Bet
    3.4 Against 3-Bet
    3.4.1. Call
    3.4.2. 4-Bet 4-Bet → Fold on villian 5-Bet 4-Bet → Call on villian 5-Bet

    This is all you need when building ranges against your average opponent. To go even further you would have to adjust your ranges and consider all the following influences:

    1. You have to look at your own stack size and the opponents stack size
    2. You need to know your own image at the table and the opponents image
    3. You need the knowledge on how to play your hand on flop, turn and river
    4. Is the bubble or FT near, do we have any ICM preasure?

    As you can see we could go pretty crazy here, but I am still playing lowstake MTT’s ;)
    So building my first ever hand range I kept it rather simple, just thought about an average enemy and a decent stack size (30-80BB), I even cut it down to just 5 positions.

    1. UTG, UTG+1
    open raise [66+,AKo-AJo,AKs-AJs, KQs, Kqo]
    3-Bet [AA,KK,QQ]
    2. MP, MP+1
    open raise [22+,A2s+,ATo+,KJo+, KTs+, QTs+, JTs, T9s, 98s, 87s]
    3-Bet [AA,KK,QQ, AKs, AKo]
    3. HJ, CO
    open raise [22+,A2s+,ATo+,KJo+, KTs+, QTs+, JTs, T9s, 98s, 87s]
    3-Bet [AA,KK,QQ, AKs, AKo, AQs, AQo]
    4. BTN, SB
    open raise
    [22+,A2s +,K2s+,Q4s+,J5s+,T6s+,96s+,86s+,76s, 65s, A2o+,K6o+,Q7o+,J7o+,T7o+]
    3-Bet [AA,KK,QQ, AKs, AKo, AQs, AQo]
    5. BB
    open raise
    [22+,A2s +,K2s+,Q4s+,J5s+,T6s+,96s+,86s+,76s, 65s, A2o+,K6o+,Q7o+,J7o+,T7o+]
    3-Bet [AA,KK,QQ, AKs, AKo, AQs, AQo]


    As you can see this is very tight and very basic. I did not even mention stealing, bluffing or protecting also no 4-Bet or 5-Bet.

    I am not sure what you guys will suggest me on the question earlier, that is the reason why I not worked any further at my preflop ranges. Some of you might pass out reading this but I promise to make adjustments soon.


    Progress and Conclusion :
    Of course there will be a particular situations to break up with every rule, but in most cases these rules do their job. And there is so much more about every single move I told you about, but as I was asking earlier I am not sure on how to approach this, how deep you should I learn about all this topics.


    The next week:
    For the next week I want to focus on bet sizing and probably rework my preflop ranges depending on feedback.

    Post count: 34

    On your mission to create ranges you should find a starting point somewhere. In january and febuary Asaban made a beginners coaching for MTT in German for PS.com. It was just chartplay, but the charts are designed to be working up to the 11$ MTT. Also the videos of that coaching are still avaylable. Maybe these charts can give you a solid basis for your work or they can fill the gaps on spots for which you didn’t create an own gameplan so far. I think that this course seems to be a better starting point than the old ranges on the strategy section there.

    Post count: 132

    Hey matchball,

    thank you for your advice about that beginners strategy guide. I watched the first two videos of the series, I think it is a good way to get some basics back in mind, even though I feel like the postflop sizing is kept too simple. Not sure about the preflop ranges though. The once I created are almost the same used by Asaban and mine are even more specific, using 5 different categories not just 3.

    Don’t know if I should create an even better one, so my last questions remains open, would like to here more feedback.

    Anyway, I will try to get the best out of the beginners strategy guide, therefore let me say thank you again.

    Post count: 132

    Day 5

    Falling a little bit short writing my updates after each session, feel like I cannot give it enough attantion after a long session, maybe switching to update the morning afterwards. Made some mistakes but recognized them as such, which is a good thing.


    • going way to aggressive in multiway pots, trying to semi-bluff hands like ace-queen-high
    • having problems with donky player calling every single hand preflop, often loosing with the best hand preflop

    How to improve:

    • be aware of the increased chance that some one hit his hand in a  multiway pot, don’t fall for their slowplays, almost never bluff or semi-bluff a multiway hand.
    • open raise around 4bb in the very-early game and exert the pressure needed


    Day 6

    Moneywise the worst day so far, but I did’nt play bad, still a happy poker player ;)

    Really have to adjust my sleep shedule, feeling very tired in the evening, would probably fall asleep on a FT. Still want to sleep 8 solid hours, but I will get up 1 hour later. Can’t imagine many poker players to get up early in the morning anyway.


    • Went a bit too crazy with a big stack ITM and tried to semi bluff in a way to risky hand

    How to improve:

    • this is a topic I often loose money, shouldn’t bluff and/or semi bluff that much at my level, will give this an extra part in the next learning session
    Post count: 132

    Day 7

    Did fall a little bit short on my shedule, had to start the session half an hour late. Did late register two tournaments and busted out soon. Not sure about all the late registration thing, maybe loosing some nice hands but winning time. When my normal session begins there are not enough tournaments to start with 4 tables at once, so I late register two (like 30 min in). As the variance is huge in MTT’s I think it is worth it to late register a few tournaments from time to time, any opinions?

    Overall, the session didn’t start very well ,made some old mistakes like calling preflop to much. But I got back into a better focus and managed to get back up the stacks.

    Wanted to talk about two hands, but it looks like the hand converter doesn’t work with knockout tournaments, is there an alternative way to post a hand?



    Day 8

    What a beautiful sunday grind, not! By far the worst day in my little poker career. Today I lost the same money I lost in all other 7 days combined. Did I play good, nh, but that’s not the only reason for this results. It was also the day of countless suckouts and blessed fishes. To get it in a more realistic view, this was the day with the biggest BIs until now.

    Had a hard time not getting emotional, I would say it worked okay. Anyway, won’t call this day a bad day, rather call it a character building day.



    Week 2

    The stats:

    • played 56 MTT’s
    • made profit 8 times
    • lost a total of 28,8$
    • played 26h, 3min

    Lost the extra day I wanted to play poker on creating this blog and learning. Could I made it to the tables anyway? I think the answer is yes, but I am living this „poker life“ less then two weeks and still getting used to it. Got back on track the next day.

    Last week I ran better and played better, I feel like the main reasons for that are less hero folding, going to aggressive multiway and going to aggressive in early game. I would consider my early game weeker then my mid game, although it should be the other way around. Really need to get the basics in my head…still looking at charts.



    Next week

    I have three very long days at my part-time job, not sure how exhausted this will get me. Still trying to work the other four days on the tables and of course study strategy. Still working through the recommented video series on pokerstrategy, will take me almost the entire week to finish them, but I think it is worth it. Want to get the basics nailed into my brain. Next update coming wednesday or thursday.

    Good luck to everyone on the grind!

    Post count: 1331

    I have some problems with posting here, cannot make any line breaks and always get asked to login to the admin area. Already wrote an email to the support. Will update the blog when the problem is fixed, still writing offline though. Anyone with similar problems?

    I guess someone solved my problem…thank you.

    We always try to fix problems as fast as possible =)

    Do you think for someone like me, playing lowstake MTT’s, should I focus more on mastering single topics like open-raise or learn a solid basis about it and move on to the next topic

    Try always to focus on the basics. Focus on openraising and once you realized you manage it (not necessarily perfectly) go to the next topic, but never disregard “old topics”. Its about priorities. So when you start with openraising, it should have the highest priority. But remember, when you play, you play! You use the knowledge you have gathered so far. And when you study, you study. So dont try to overanalyze and overcomplicate things. Keep it simple. Sounds “guru”, but its the fuckin’ truth.

    I feel like the tight-aggressive approach is still the way to go in lowstake MTT’s so I tried to play it this way.

    Yes. 100%. And once you realize you master this approach, you can start loosening up and exploit other tight regs.


    – Continuation-Bet
    If you were the pre-flop aggressor and you got called by 1-2 players, there was not action on the flop, you should always make a continuation bet.

    In Position -> Yes

    Out of Position -> No

    Be carefully out of position. Your opponents ranges are stronger when you are oop, hence you have to cbet less and check/fold more frequently.

    The reasons and the basics behind push-or-fold is to use a small stack the best way possible. If your stack is shrinking below 15bb how should you approach a decent hand like Ajs?

    Would you raise it just normaly and fold to any raise, how would you act on a 6JQ rainbow board?

    Sometimes in poker, you can go either ways. It is a very profitable openjam as well as openraise. If you are more experienced and feel comofrtable playing postflop -> openraise.

    On QJ6 we just checkback, always call a turnbet and reevaluate on the river depending on the river card.

    You raised pre-flop and got like 10bb left, your opponent is a calling station, let us say we have 8bb in the pot you are OOP and the chances are pretty good that the opponent is holding a queen, you bet half pot size and the turn is a king. Of course you are pot committed with your 6bb left. You go AI and loose against KQo, what did we do wrong here?

    Very common beginner mistake. DON DO THIS. Dont think result orientated. Always think about all the hands your opponent possibly can have. Than make an implication.
    Secondly, playing postflop so short, we usually bet around 30-40% potsize since the stack to pot ratio is so short.
    And again, one very easy rule where you will avoid these nasty turnspots, ALWAYS check/call 2nd pairs on the flop. If it goes check/check, perfect, we bet turn and river for value.
    But when you bet the flop, its gonna be so nasty on most turns.

    Regarding preflop MTT Ranges. I will soon put free MTT preflop ranges on RYE. Maybe next week =)


    Post count: 132

    Thank you for the detailed reply. I will follow your suggestion and work on the basics, to better my a-game, will keep it simple. Already integrating your tips about the conti-bets and nasty turnspots.

    Looking forward to the MTT preflop ranges



    Day 9 – being the bubble boy

    Todays number one question will be about the bubble. This is a real story, I managed to be the bubble boy and wanted to know what you think about the hand. As I mentioned earlier in this blog, I still have problems with the recommended hand converter, it’s impossible for me to use it with ps-knockout hands and 888 hands in general. Is there any alternative?



    (1$ BI, first payout 3,29$)

    There are three reasons why I played the hand like I did. I thought AKo is to good to fold, the enemy could have a loose hand because of the bubble preasure and my priority is to win tournaments not just getting ITM. In the moment of raising AI I was confident I made the right decision, do you think so too?


    At the end of todays session I got into a vortex, a vortex of bad decisions. I didn’t rethink spots and rushed decisions, again.

    How to improve(?):

    I am not sure how to improve on this. It is not like I am getting tilt, it’s more like I am lacking in concentration. Often it’s not just one hand, it’s more like a wave of beeing unfocused. As soon as I realize, that I am in this state of mind, I can regain focus and attention.

    Post count: 132

    Day 10

    I have a good day of poker behind me, a very good feeling after the last few sessions, that were not so great. Got back some confidents, that I maybe lost the last few days. Wanted to focus on stealing and restealing,

    but somehow there were almost none spots.


    • in general I still have problems against fishy players and don’t believe them when they hit the board
    • in particular cases I have problems with folding overcards
    • leveling myself into spots were I have overcards and get myself pot comitted with nothing than just highcards

    How to improve:

    • make decisions on pot odds and not on feelings
    • wait for good hands against fishy players
    • thing about the further streets and calculate if I am pot committing myself and if so ask if it’s worth it
    Post count: 1331

    Pokerstars shouldn’t be an issue.

    888 does not work.


    At the end of todays session I got into a vortex, a vortex of bad decisions. I didn’t rethink spots and rushed decisions, again.

    How to improve(?):

    I am not sure how to improve on this. It is not like I am getting tilt, it’s more like I am lacking in concentration. Often it’s not just one hand, it’s more like a wave of beeing unfocused. As soon as I realize, that I am in this state of mind, I can regain focus and attention.

    Its a matter of getting unconscious and loosing awareness. You get into the famous state of playing like a robot.

    How to avoid it?

    Set a 10-15 minute alarm clock. Some kind of a self awareness reminder. Write 1-2 sessions goals before this session. When the alarm clocks goes on, you take a look on your session goals for 5-6 sec and your attention and self awareness will be fully back.

    AK: yeah, pretty standard. But it obviously sucks that he calls it off with 98s. Donkeys gonna donk :D


    Post count: 132

    Hey Ben, lately I had no problems with the self awareness but I like the idea of session goals. I already did concentrate on specific things for each session, but didn’t wrote it down, will definetly do it for the next sessions.

    About the arlam clock, if your idea is to make it ring every 10-15 minutes, I have to decline the idea, pretty sure this would drive me crazy . However, I am grateful for the suggestion.


    Day 11

    Another great day at the tables, had one deep run and a few other decent runs. Was happy about my play and played very focused, no problems with the „vortex of bad decisions“, today. Just had this one hand I really regret, called in the deep run a spot I shouldn’t have called, the old topic about not giving credit to some strange player and/or plays.



    Day 12

    Todays sunnday grind was the opposite of last weeks grind. I played well, okay amount of suckouts and the fishes were not specially blessed. I had three really good runs and overall it was a nice and profitable day. There is just this one thing that bothers me…

    I busted out in 10th place in a 1,1$ KO tournament and missed my milestone, but that’s not the think that bothers me, it’s how I busted out. The big stack (85bb) CO opened 2bb and I go AI (15bb) with AJo in the SB, he calls with 94s. I have no idea if someone of you guys would say this is standard, but from my point of view it’s nuts and too loose. Anyway life goes on and I will finish the race next time, still a nice session though.



    It was a tough work week, had very long shifts at my part-time job. Was pretty happy I already made it to the tables 3 times this week and also didn’t want to miss the sunday hype. So I decided to give myself a rest and skipped the gym and one learning session on this saturday morning. I slept till noon, such a great feeling after 3 weeks day in and day out waking up by the alarm clock.



    Week 3

    The stats:

    • played 48 MTT’s
    • had 3 deep runs and one 10th place
    • lost a total of 1,36$
    • played 28h, 3m

    Improving a little each day, especially the last three sessions were great. I feel like I played my a-game nice and smooth. Feels like the basics are back in my mind. I am confident at the tables and my mindset is in the right state. Want to keep this flow running, really looking forward to the next week, I can already smell a FT.



    Next week

    In the next week I have the chance to play 5 days of poker, just two short shifts at the part-time job. I will start of the week with a lot of learning and analyzing, marked a few hands over the last couple days and never really reviewed them, just focused on learning the basics. So it’s time to do this, probably will post one or two hands here, to get some feedback. In a different blog I read that Ben suggested to someone to have a look on quality and quantity of the learning progress. I feel like I should keep an eye on that, too.

    Beside poker I want to go atleast 4 times in the gym, maybe can make it 5 times. Have to catch up with the 4x a week of visiting the gym, as it’s not my number one priority I sometimes lose a day when I need the time to study or do other poker related stuff. Will try to combine two gym visits with meeting a friend of mine, if this won’t work I need to carve out the time for social activities somewhere else.

    Post count: 132

    What I learned so far:

    A little update on my current strategy for lowstakes MTT’s. The knowledge for this update is from the video series by Asaban on pokerstrategy.com and the notes I made while reading the first 250 pages of the book „Harrington on modern Tournament Poker“.


    – preflop sizing

    I distinguish my sizing only on the phase of the tournament. I am using 4 different phases:

    1. very early-game (20-30m in) – I open raise for 4,01bb do deal with the countless 3+ way pots, pretty sure this is a lowstakes problem
    2. early-game (60-90m or average stack shrinks between 30 and 35bb) – 3,01bb for any open raise
    3. mid-game (until we reach the bubble) – switching to 2,54bb, to make more steals profitable and this is also an adjustment to the genral shrinking stacks
    4. late-game (till I win) – the increasing preflop AIs and the general smaller stacks forcing/allowing me to go down to 2,01bb for my open raises

    I maybe switch between the 2,54 and 2,01bb open raise in mid-game, depending on my own stack. My 3-bet sizing is around the 2,5x amount of the original open raise, I don’t have a 4-bet range yet so I jam or fold depending on opponent and hand. If I am in the mid game with a stack between 15-25bb I always jam instead of 3-betting.


    – postflop sizing

    I distinguish my sizing into four groups depending on the hand I have and the enemys range.

    1. 35% Pot Size Bet – using this size for value when I have the nuts and expect the enemy to fold on a bigger size or I use it as small bluff conti bet and also using it when I am sitting on a draw and want to keep the pot small
    2. 48% Pot Size Bet – this is my typical conti/value bet size, I am using it when I think I am ahead or expect the enemy to miss the flop.
    3. 61% Pot Size Bet – using this size when the enemy is a calling station as value bet or against week players as bluff bet and also in multiway pots were I am ahead and the board is dry
    4. 82% Pot Size Bet – using this size in multiway pots when I am ahead and the board is dangerous or I have the nuts on the river and expect the enemy to call anyway

    My postflop raise size is the same as preflop 2,5x, I am using it in case I face a small donk bet, I expect a total bluff or a weak semi-bluff from a player with weak nerves.


    – stealing/restealing

    I did add two stats about stealing to my HUD, the total steal and total fold to steal. In general this gives me the information I need to implement the following.

    • tot steal >50% defend way more in the BB or 3-bet more in SB
    • tot steal <20% strong range, less defending, more check/fold on flop, small suited connectors gain strength
    • tot fold to steal >80% steal any two from BTN

    In mid-game (15-25bb) I always go AI with the provided ranges by Asaban when the following condition are fulfilled:

    • enemy has atleast 15bb
    • enemy open raised from CO, BTN or SB
    • there was no other raise

    And he also made charts for resteals with the following coditions:

    • we opened from CO, BTN or SB
    • enemy has between 15-25bb and pushed AI
    • there was no other call of the AI

    It is pretty much the same just the other way around. In general I want to follow his ranges for a while. I am working/training with equilab to adjust my steal/resteal ranges and calling ranges for Ais in mid- to late-game from any position.

    Post count: 124

    Hey atlantis,
    nice work ethic so far gratz! I got a question about your preflop sizing. Do you also open 4x on the bu + sb in the early stage?
    I dislike your postflop strategy. I think you should not play so exploitivly. Just ask yourself how much % of your range (from the prev street) r u betting and how does Villains Range look like. I think thats way easier and more profitable.
    Greetz FaLLi :)

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