Today I want to talk to you about studying poker, and more specifically, sharing my study routine with you. This is especially useful if you don’t already have one, but if you do have a study routine, maybe you can take bits and pieces of this and make improvements on yours.
The thing that we have to keep in mind is that we’re not going to become the best poker player in the world overnight, or in a week, or even in a month. It’s going to take long periods of time. Even just becoming the best poker player you can be is going to take a long period of time, but if we can break this up into week-long sprints and we can say, “Okay, this week I’m going to try this leak, the next week another, the next week another,” if we can do that and keep improving our game and decreasing our poker leaks, we’re going to become better players over time.
The way that I set this up is through a week-long time box. With that said, let’s talk about the way that that week should be breaking down.
So where should you begin?
Well, at the very beginning of the week, you want to start by choosing your topic. So choose your major focus topic for the week. That’s not to say that you’re not going to work on other things simultaneously. Say you wanted to work on squeezing this week, you’re going to also be working on things like sizing that squeeze and hand-reading preflop and setting up for preflop, all those things. Choose one major topic and understand that you will touch on other things simultaneously.
Hand reading is the lifeblood of poker. Good players are always working to assign correct ranges throughout a hand, and the best players can narrow their opponent’s range with great precision. If you are not already working to hand read better in your 6max games – you are leaving heaps of money on the table.
To help you improve your hand reading skillset faster (or refine it if you are already pretty solid at it), I put together this range building video series for you. In it, we go street-by-street through a hand at 50NL 6max dissecting ranges and breaking down the logic and framework every step of the way. And don’t get blinded by the fact that we have KK – because hand reading becomes even MORE important when that damn Ace falls on the river! Continue reading
Playing against fish can seem tricky at first. They never fold, they keep calling you down with bottom pair, and they never seem to miss a draw. But fish are a super profitable resource and it’s vital that you know not only how to play against them postflop – but also preflop.
The average poker player goes through a very similar path of progression.
They start as a fish who calls too often and folds too rarely. Then they get punished for that and eventually learn that they need to fold some of those junk hands. And then eventually they learn how to put those junk hands back into their ranges, at least sometimes, in smart spots to generate extra profit. The issue is that most TAG and Nit players are stuck in the middle – folding too often for their own good.
To help you improve your range building process I created this mini-series where we dissect a hand together – going street-by-street and action-by-action to assign precise ranges. This is the actual process I use when studying poker off-table and exactly how my brain processes information in real-time…and you will get stronger with it the more you practice assigning ranges.
You’re in the big blind facing a raise and a couple calls – do you call and close the action with a weak hand? Of course you should give action with a lot of hands here given the pot odds, that you are closing action, and that you should be able to handle being OOP well – but just how wide should you call? Let’s explore that answer through the lens of this hand…
There are times to make big folds, but is this the right spot to fold a flush? Hero ends up flopping a HUGE hand not only spiking the nuts – but also having a straight-flush draw to go with it. But when the flush draw fills on the river and villain gets aggressive hero decides to find the fold button. Let’s see if his hero fold is good, or really bad…
Hand reading is the cornerstone of solid poker. When you know what your opponent has, it’s far easier to apply pressure, hero call correctly, and take more profitable lines. Combos and blockers are huge assets when it comes hand reading, and when you have this skill hammered down you can dissect their range with absolute precision.
Let’s start by talking about blockers. A blocker is something that is very, very useful to understand when you’re counting combos, but if you don’t either of these two terms are let’s start with quick definitions: Continue reading
There are times when you know you are behind – but you still have a hand that sucks to fold. In this hand we’ll explore that exact kind of situation. Hero ends up flopping top pair + a nut flush draw – but when facing escalating action in a multi-way pot it becomes very clear that our top pair is almost certainly NOT the best hand. What should we do? Keep reading (or watch the video) to find out…
This hand is from 100NL where hero has pocket Queens against a tilting player. Knowing when to hold-on for dear life with a big pocket pair is crucial when playing vs these players – and in this case we need to make a +EV decision on a nasty river card. In this spot we are 4-handed, villain just lost 3 hands in a row and visibly tilty, and we are facing a raise from the big blind…