I guess any poker player has ever heard the phrase that ‘poker is a game of skill’ as well as the opposite opinion that ‘poker is a game of luck, or a chance’. I do not share both views and prefer to say that poker is a game of work. Constant training, learning, practicing, developing thinking, creativity, logics, patience and discipline is a complex of works any poker player has to accomplish every day not to miss his/her chance for good luck.
Reading books and forums, listening to podcasts, learning techniques. studying videos is as essential part of a poker player life. These activities do not fit with a word ‘game’ that is often associated with entertainment and fun, and to be honest, may be very tiresome. Needless to say, playing poker is rather stressful. This post is here to remind poker players that our minds require relaxing to function well and effectively. Make sure that you devote some time to clear your mind in between working hard to be the all-time poker winner. Continue reading
Top two pair is normally a monster – but how strong is it after facing a check-raise on a flushed board? In this hand we dissect an uncomfortable hand where Hero has to make some big decisions with Ace Queen on AQ65.
In this hand, we’re in middle position with AQ and we open. Saulius in the write-up said that his standard open raise is a min-raise from any position. I’m not going to get into it in this video, but I don’t typically agree with that as a general overall strategy. I think it does a lot of things, leaves a lot of money on the table, and minimizes some leverage points that you’re looking for. But we’re just going to say that this is what Saulius is using overall, so this is nothing atypical for him. End up getting called by the small blind and go heads-up to it.
In this hand, we’re in the big blind with T6s. There’s a limp, another limp, another limp. And hero decides to check his option. In the write-up, Jay says this: “People here know I play really tight. If I make a decent size raise, most fold. So I wanted to mix it up.” So keep that in mind as we’re going through the rest of the hand.
We started the hand with only 30 big blinds, definitely not something that I would suggest doing, unless you have a really super, super strong strategy at 30 big blinds and you think it’s more profitable for you to play 30 big blinds than it is for you to play a hundred or two hundred big blinds.
Your poker HUD is an amazing tool – but with so many stats to choose from (and even more available in the popup) they can become quite confusing. In my 6max workbook you will find lots of stats – so many that I needed to create an entire glossary dedicated to them. So this is directly from the back of the book and it:
Shares the shorthand for the stat
A quick definition for that stat
And related stats when applicable
If you are brand-new to HUDs and don’t fully understand even the basic stats – please read my Getting Started With HUD Stats article first and it will clear things up nicely. And with that said, enjoy!
3BET: How often a player 3bets preflop. See the glossary for more information on 3bets.
4BET+: How often a player 4bets, 5bets, 6bets, etc. when given the opportunity preflop. Continue reading
In this hand we flop top pair and end up improving to trips on the river. Knowing when to fold deceptively strong hands is an important skill that all players need – but is this the RIGHT time to fold? Let’s find out…
This is a hand from 200NL where Benjamin has KJo and has to make an interesting decision on the river. Here, we have KJ on the button. There’s a raise. Hero decides to call. And Benjamin describes Villain as “pretty loose.” And to be honest, I’m going to be calling this as well, using my position, going forward from there, and we end up going heads-up to it.
The concept of ABC poker is often times misunderstood. Many players think ABC poker is playing some super exploitable and dumified strategy that makes about 0bb/100. However, ABC poker is really just a term to describe a simple strategy that focuses on good fundamental play and veers away from FPS (fancy play syndrome). In full disclosure I use an ABC strategy quite often, especially in live games and micro stakes online games. But if I’m fully capable of using a LAG strategy, why would I use a simplified strategy?
Imagine playing in a brand new game. Every player is unknown to you, you have zero information on any villain, and it folds to your T8o in middle position. An ABC player would just fold here. T8o isn’t a default open-raise from middle position and thus it’s an easy fold. Now if I had information, such as everyone behind me is tight, then I’m going to break away from ABC and raise to try and steal the blinds from a non-steal spot. This is how I would play as a default too. With information I’m going to raise and try to pick up the pot preflop…but without information I would resort to a default strategy of just folding my weakish hand because I don’t have information on the other players. This, in essence, is ABC poker.
This same concept can be applied to postflop poker. With information you may continuation bet more, size your value bets more perfectly, and even run double barrels and overbets more often. But without information, or even with super minimal information like a sample size of 14, you will often times have to revert back to default lines. So what are some ABC lines that players use? Continue reading
In this $1/$2 hand hero gets a free-play from the blinds and has to figure out what the best play is on one of the worst river cards. Getting counterfeited on the turn/river always sucks – but we still need to make a decision and this video will help you choose the best line in these spots.
Our Hero, Fundiver , has 43. There are a bunch of limpers to us and we decided knock our option. Totally standard so far. This is very, very common of course when you’re playing live poker that you’re going to get a bunch of limpers like this. This is a very, very common situation.
And Fundiver said in his write-up that he didn’t exactly remember stack sizes, so he just gave everyone on average 100 big blinds just to make it easier to illustrate the point.
There’s a check. We decide to bet. And in this kind of situation, there’s so many different options that you have. One of course is to just fire it out, go forward from there. Number two is to look for a check-raise opportunity. And, oftentimes, in live games, I’m looking for a check-raise opportunity because it’s one of those where I think if there’s a bet, there’s going to be a cascade of callers. And I can check-raise nice and large, get a nice, big pot brewing and really punish someone who’s going to get sticky with AX or 45 or any of those kind of hands. Continue reading
Nits can be found in every single poker game you might play. And it’s important that we at least have some semblance of an idea on how to beat these people more easily and more regularly, and what exactly we should be looking for when it comes to crafting our lines against these players.
First and foremost, what are nits? Well, nits are super-tight players and they’re even tighter than TAGs, which are tight, aggressive individuals. Nits have the discipline to play tight, but they take it way too far, like, egregiously tight when they’re playing. And the honest truth is you can find everywhere and at any single limit. Live and online, they’re there. 6-max versus full ring, they’re there.
You can also find them at any game. You can find them at Omaha and stud. It doesn’t matter, nits can be found everywhere. And it’s important because they’re all over the place that you know how to beat them and you have some easy plays you can slip right into your play book. Continue reading
Today we’re going to review a hand sent in by Matthew. This is a hand from 100NL 6max online where Matthew has AQ and finds himself in a pretty interesting spot because he picks a pretty a-typical line. This hand is from Bovada Zone Poker, so there are no HUDs. And he said players are a bit fishy when calling you on these tables. And he just wants us all to know that he does not normally play like this, but he just wants a quick line check on an odd line that he took.
He opens AQs, gets called, gets called, goes three-way to it, goes here, check, and hero decides to check instead of taking a normal see bet line. Matthew says, “I absolutely smashed the flop. Unfortunately, my range is way, way ahead of my opponents. And the hands I would really only get value from are things like weaker Aces, maybe asdf few small flush draws.” Continue reading