Moved from high level tournament chess to poker.... need some help

Hi All,

Moved from competitive chess to poker in early May. Feel like im hitting a wall now. Any help/suggestions/training would be appreciated!

God know how but I’m in the finals after winning 2 satellites for a final live in vegas. Wont probably go because of my autism but I would like too.


Looking at your profile, it says you are in the UK. That would mean a substantial commute to Las Vegas. If there are other considerations as well, you’d likely be better off to sell your seat to someone in a better position to use it. No doubt some punter’s shop would be happy to help you do that.
There are three British authors with books about poker and/or the WSOP you ought to read: Al Alvarez, “The Biggest Game in Town,” Anthony “Tony” Holden,“The Big Deal,” and David Spanier, “Thursday Night Poker” and “Total Poker” (these last two may have had different titles in the UK). These are for basic understanding of the game and its older variants. Then switch to Doyle Brunson’s “Super System” and “Online Poker” (all the sites mentioned in the latter book are out of business, but the advice is still valid).
I hope this helps. Congrats on winning a seat and good luck in the future.
Ron Pittenger (Alan25main)


Well done @Benko987. If you aren’t going, I’d take @Alan25main’s advice and sell your entries. Take the money and invest in a good training site. My recommendation is Poker Snowie. I think this is by far the best GTO-based training site out there and is not very expensive for what you are getting. If your autism makes you uncomfortable playing live events, you will likely be playing online. The future of online poker (cash and tournament) is GTO-based. With your chess background, I think you will see the beauty in this approach.

After spending some time with Snowie, I’d also suggest making the minor investments in Flopzilla and for tournament play, any ICM software will do nicely. If you want more interactive training (but not necessarily live coaching), I’d look at Upswing Poker. Also GTO-based and has a plethora of resources and instructional videos. The combination of Poker Snowie and Upswing Poker will take you a very long way in becoming an excellent poker player.

Lastly, if you haven’t done so already, get yourself a good HUD so you can download your hand histories and analyze the data. This type of training will be data-driven and you will want to be able to examine your play. Depending on which site(s) you will be playing on, there are at least 3 great HUD’s to choose from.

I wish you luck in your pursuits.

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If you’re looking for something down and dirty so you can get into the action, let me make a suggestion.

Google starting hands for hold’em. You’ll find sites that explains the basic strategy for each group of hands. With experience, which is your best teacher, you’ll go beyond those basics and will play your personal style.

Understand you are on a chip site, which means you’ll find a lot of crazies playing here and the bad beat is as common as grass on a pitch. Accept it as this site is for enjoyment.

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hi benko,

i would want to give you some strategial advises, but usually i’ll start with some basic stuff. but according to your story you have already won 2 real money satellites and even one of them granting you a place in vegas. and you already have a chess history. in other words you are probably already a good player.

so i wanna ask if you can be a little more specific about what your “wall” is about? are you struck at a specific stake? do you need more basic strategies? do you need to know how to apply a certain strategy or don’t you know at all where you fail? in case of the last option, i would advise you to post a bunch of hands in here so i have a better picture of your leaks.

i have autism as well so i understand.

first of all, is the problem about the pressure of the tournament, or about going there?
don’t know if it helps, but maybe i have some idea’s:

  • if it’s about the tournament pressure, you could try a smaller stake live event first to get used to playing live, if you play smaller (a few times) first, it’s probably easier when you play your big tourney
  • if the trouble is about going there, you could try asking someone you trust to go with you, maybe (s)he can help you with the stuff that’s troubling you.

besides all this, just curious: why did you actually decide to play a sattelite you weren’t planning to play if you won?

hope this helps, if there is anything more, feel free to ask.
gl, yiazmat.


simply said you have a horse of a different kind…if your serious…pray ok…forgive and into heart…to get directions how to do what you are suppose to do…it’s called amazing grace…check it out and if u wish msg me i can teach you all u need to know…i almost beat bobby fisher …when i played him it was a mess…i was up a bishop knight and 1 pawn…

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Replay poker is NOT real poker, it is free poker (thank you). The point is that unless you come to Replay with a good poker skill set you will never develop one from playing exclusively on Replay. There is too much action that you would NEVER see on a cash site. Go ahead and play, but remember where you are playing. I’d love to sit down in a cash game or tournament with all the high ranked Bingo players on Replay.


Just want to say everyone has relevant points and i really appreciate the advice and support. Already noticed a substantial improvement in my overall game play. Like learning hard chess for the first time again.

Alan25main ---- Already tracked down a couple of books at the library because of you. I know that if you have pockets pairs the chances of hitting a set on the flop is roughly 10-12% and what implied odds are. Thank you

1Warlock - Thanks for the warm welcome! Pokersnowie already looks essential having a few tech issues but have now contacted the IT support. Some reason it wont accept the login info but they’re fixing it and were real nice about it.

GTO-Based is coming whether you or anyone like it or not. It will be a necessity. The hard part will be finding how ‘Nash’s Equilibrium’ works in reality to maintain the balance so one doesn’t destroy the other. I could give you a very strong argument for why we need both.

There isn’t any feeling for me better than walking into a room with 600 people. Everyone sits down quietly and all the chess clocks go at once. Can’t wait to do the same with poker, just struggle with nerves they do go but i should be OK. For some reason i feel it makes me play better. That a GTO solution wont have.

You can’t come close to beating the best AI chess systems in the world. They are losing right now i think last week and sometimes badly. Its unbeatable. I like a challenge but these guys are the best Grandmasters in the world met a few. I cant beat them if they are sat at a competition chess board. Plough them with drinks first, then its a draw hahaha :slight_smile:

CairnDestop ---- Thank you i’m looking into that. To be fair i like to learn from lots of different places at the same time. And thumbs up about Replaypoker love it, play on Pokerstars done well it does seem a lot intense when money’s on the line. And with money comes the crazies :wink: hehe

Yiazmat ---- No Vegas now, Gonna try the local live money tournaments first and work my up. I think once I’d read all the comments here i smashed through several walls straight away. Didn’t know you could get software, didn’t know Brunson did a book, weirdly my best friend is called Anthony “Tony” Holden and he also thinks he is a big deal so that made me laugh.

What i’m doing is got the jivaro HUD that Warlock suggested and put it Pokerstars and hit record as of yesterday.

Autism side, I can be can be funny, happy, then suddenly blunt and its upsets people. People either love or hate me. Its a problem and yeah social anxiety caused by these events cause i feel bad. Which triggers panic attacks. And also thanks :slight_smile:

Prince4jesus ---- I’m not religious but faith fascinates me. I love the fact that if you wish to believe in something enough its real. I’m not saying that it’s not but its kinda a gift to be able to believe in what you want!!! And thank you for your prayers honey and lets get you a rematch with Fisher :wink: xxx

zmansuncle ----- my man! Thanks i see now its apples and oranges. They wanted me to send them a photo of me holding my passport in front of my face before i could use my credit card. I did go away thinking ‘what the ■■■■’ lol but it also reassured me that my money is safe. Although its a hell of lot more difficult to get your money out lol. Their clientele is competitive to what i can professional players. That’s my wheel house hehe!

Watched best poker brawls on Youtube lol. Believe it or not seen a few proper punch up’s over the chessboard!


Do not bring your Queen out early in the game…

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I love that like my sense of humour you doughnut :wink:

careful…that kinda language can get you muted…:slight_smile:

Love this reply, I get crap all the time from the replay “experts” that go all in pre-flop
10 times a tourny, as zman said come on over to my house and well play for real money, you wont learn real poker strategy at a monopoly money site, you`ll learn over time at a real money poker room, gl and congrats on winning the satellites

I freerolled the main event in 06. The next week, I was in position to win another seat, which I was gonna sell. I called tech support during a break and they told me the seats aren’t transferable. I don’t know the policies where you won your seat, but you might want to check.

I ended up dumping a boat load of chips and winning a $2000 “preliminary package” instead of the 2nd main event seat.