The Best $1/$2 Poker VLOG

While poker vlogging has blown up over the years, the vloggers with the highest viewerships tend to play higher stakes ($5/$10 and above) with some bigger buy-in tournaments thrown in.

But what about vlogs for the $1/$2 and $1/$3 players?

Look no further!

While I personally play higher ($2/$5 and some $5/$10), I decided to do some $1/$2 poker vlogs since these are the stakes most players play. And instead of making vlogs that focus on comedy and storytelling, I’m sticking to the strategy and hand analysis.

If that sounds like something you’re into, push play, and don’t forget to subscribe.

My First $1/$2 Poker VLOG Session

Once I found a room that allowed for recording (always be sure to ask BEFORE you pull out the camera and hit record), I sat in at $1/$2 and got to work. This game plays more shallow with a $200 max buy-in, and the rake is 10% capped at $6+$2 (which is a really rough rake structure fwiw).

Here are the major hands of note:

  • 88 on 755
  • 97 on T87
  • QQ on T86
  • QQ on Q52
  • AQ on K72
  • QQ on 874
  • KK on KJ4

And yes, I did oddly enough end up getting dealt the EXACT same combo of pocket Queens three times in the same session. I don’t think I’ve ever had something that statistically improbable happen in a single session before.

$1/$2 Live Cash Game Session Results

  • Location: Orange City Poker Room, FL
  • Session length: 5hrs (8pm-1am)
  • Session profit: +$21
  • Hourly: $4.20/hr
  • BB/100 (estimated at 25h/hr): 8.4BB/100

Building Some Big Pots At $1/$2

My next session was about a week later, again at Orange City in Florida. There were some big pots in this session, including a sizable $168 pot on the FLOP with no straddle on and a 3-way preflop all-in as well.

In this video, I end up using some tools to look at the EV of a couple of hands. You can grab these spreadsheets here, or even use my free poker calculators if you don’t want any extra downloads on your device.

There is also a tiny rant about players hating on vloggers. I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but keep in mind that recording is 100% acceptable in this poker room and also that the player in question came to the original table after me.

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Session #2 Results

  • Location: Orange City Poker Room, FL
  • Session length: 4hrs (9pm-1am)
  • Session profit: +$13
  • Hourly: $3.25/hr
  • BB/100 (estimated at 25h/hr): 6.5BB/100

Flopping Sets At $1/$2

This session kicks off with three sets in a row, though the third set concludes with the worst possible river card in the deck. Would you play all of these hands the same way?

In this video, we review everything from leading with sets in multi-way pots to facing small check-raises with TPTK to getting the last bit of a player’s stack even on an ugly river card. There are also some clear bet sizing mistakes in this session (including an absolutely unforgivable turn size with JJ) which we analyze to minimize these sorts of mistakes in the future.

Pay special attention to the interlude conversation about when to lock up a quick win and when to continue playing with the risk of losing it all back. Overall, we ended up with a small win, but oh what it could have been!

Session #3 Results

  • Location: Orange City Poker Room, FL
  • Session length: 4.5hrs (8:30pm-1am)
  • Session profit: +$131
  • Hourly: $29/hr
  • BB/100 (estimated at 25h/hr): 58BB/100

My First $500 High Hand Bonus

This $1/$2 session includes a variety of hands including barrels, hero calling my stack with third pair, and winning a high hand bonus with the worst qualifier. Push play and let’s get into it.

I think it’s worth noting that you do not need to see a showdown with a high hand qualifier in this room, so the river overbet in the A2s hand does not risk me missing out on the $500 bonus.

Session #4 Results

  • Location: Orange City Poker Room, FL
  • Session length: 3.5hrs (7pm-10:30pm)
  • Session profit: +$945
  • Hourly: $270/hr
  • BB/100 (estimated at 25h/hr): 540BB/100

Crushing Small-Medium Sized Pots

This is a classic $1/$2 session with very few “homerun” pots, and just a smattering of small and medium sized pots. These pots are super important to study since they are the biggest factors in your winrate.

I’ve gotten some feedback on this episode that people dislike some of the hands I’m slotting into my preflop range (especially the J9 isolation vs. 2 limpers and the 64o hand at the end). There can be some truth to this, however, I don’t think enough consideration is given the context that these hands are being played – just “these hands are weak preflop and thus just fold.”

When it comes to playing looser preflop, my preflop checklist will help a lot. Especially thinking about the impact of raise sizing and how that can create (or minimize) fold equity preflop. Too many players experience a lack of folding from their opponents BUT they also never try larger sizing. Not to be too cliche here, but size does matter.

Session #5 Results

  • Location: Orange City Poker Room, FL
  • Session length: 2hrs (8:30pm-10:30pm)
  • Session profit: +$361
  • Hourly: $181/hr
  • BB/100 (estimated at 25h/hr): 361BB/100

A -5BI Session Playing $1/$2!?

This session began so promisingly, shipping a $400 bonus for a high-hand with quads (literally my first hand of the session!) But it quickly went south on me…

Essentially, this episode is full of hands where I flopped solid hands and really never ended up actualizing my equity. There are two hands where I flopped straights, but the board ended up pairing and I couldn’t fade bad runouts. And a top set on a monotone flop that couldn’t end up getting a board pair.

Oh, and two draws that totally bricked their equity, and a random 3 outer for no reason. But this VLOG isn’t meant to complain, rather to see where any improvements could have been made (such as sticking with my bet/fold plan in the J9 hand).

Session #6 Results

  • Location: Orange City Poker Room, FL
  • Session length: 5.5hrs (2:30pm-8pm)
  • Session profit: -$647
  • Hourly: -$118/hr
  • BB/100 (estimated at 25h/hr): -235BB/100

Pocket Aces At $1/$2

Is there anything better than looking down at AA early in a session? This short $1/$2 session begins with good ‘ol pocket Aces, and then gets into a bunch of spots where chopping pots seems to be the name of the game.

One special thing to note is that I got AQ all-in preflop not just once, but TWICE, during this session. I don’t typically like having to get Ace Queen AIPF, but in more shallow games, this is something that happens a bit more often.

The tricky part with playing in shallow games is that you end up in a minefield of stack sizes. Against some players you are 30bb effective and against others in the same hand, you are playing 200bb effective. This makes navigating certain preflop spots more challenging, but take note on how I approach inviting (or NOT inviting) those other stacks in the pot.

Session #7 Results

  • Location: Orange City Poker Room, FL
  • Session length: 4hrs (5pm-9pm)
  • Session profit: +$243
  • Hourly: +$61/hr
  • BB/100 (estimated at 25h/hr): +122BB/100

Running Into AA Twice

Things don’t go well in this session as I run into pocket Aces twice (yes, once while holding KK and getting it all-in preflop), and running pretty cold against another player’s a-typical raise against my bluff catcher. Let’s break down each hand from this $1/$2 session and see if any of this loss could have been recouped.

There are two Ace King hands worth paying special attention to. The first is early in the session where I miss in a multiway pot and then turn top pair (even after the QJ draw completes). The second is a spot where I flat a preflop raise with AKs instead of taking my normal 3bet approach. I discussed this in-depth in my book Optimizing Ace King if you’re curious about both the preflop AND postflop approach in this particular hand.

Ace King Book

Other hands in this session include a silly 3bet with 86, a few top pair hands (including a thin value bet that I end up getting owned with), and a “standard” AIPF with KK that runs into AA.

Session #8 Results

  • Location: Orange City Poker Room, FL
  • Session length: 5hrs (6pm-11pm)
  • Session profit: -$370
  • Hourly: -$74/hr
  • BB/100 (estimated at 25h/hr): -148BB/100

Warring With A Single Player

This session was fun as I had direct position on an aggressive fish. Every hand in this VLOG episode is played against this player (sometimes heads up, sometimes multiway), and some of my lines are a bit a-typical due to this player’s tendencies.

There are a couple of big takeaways from this session. The first takeaway is the conversation about the preflop decision with KK facing an over-sized squeeze. While most players would 4-bet for varying reasons, there is a massive amount of benefit to just calling since the a.) the SPR will be super simple whether it goes HU or MW and b.) giving this player maximum room to be aggressive seemed more valuable than just 4-betting preflop.

The second takeaway is around the A♦7♦ hand where I opted to flat the flop (and turn) instead of raising. Knowing when to semi-bluff and when to just call with a draw is a huge skill that can massively impact your postflop winrate. If you like to play suited connectors preflop, be sure to pay special attention to the postflop strategy in that hand.

Session #9 Results

  • Location: Orange City Poker Room, FL
  • Session length: 5hrs (6pm-11pm)
  • Session profit: +$345
  • Hourly: +$69/hr
  • BB/100 (estimated at 25h/hr): +138BB/100

Almost +5BI In A $1/$2 Session

The season finale of my $1/$2 sessions played at Orange City Poker Room in Florida. This session was a rollercoaster with a bunch of unfortunate outcomes (like a case turn card in a multiway pot, a 4-straight on the river to chop against a fish, and a 6-outer after getting it all-in on the turn), but with some patience and a well-timed bonus, we book a nice profit.

Hands from this six-hour session include a few Ace King spots, a couple of big spikes with 33, and a couple of odd Ace Ten hands. If you’re interested in seeing any in-depth poker math breakdowns, especially on the AKs hand in the straddle pot or the AT hand at the end, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do to make that happen.

Free Poker Course

Session #10 Results

  • Location: Orange City Poker Room, FL
  • Session length: 6hrs (5pm-11pm)
  • Session profit: +$942 (including $500 bonus)
  • Hourly: +$157/hr
  • BB/100 (estimated at 25h/hr): +314BB/100

How I Record My Poker VLOG

I am using a very simple recording setup to ensure that I don’t become an inconvenience at the table. Here’s what I use:

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: This is what I use to record the footage
  • iPhone 12 Pro: My backup phone for photography, taking notes, etc.
  • Rubber Gear Tie: This holds my recording phone and is flexible so I can find the right angle regardless of the exact seat I’m in

Right now I’m running the video recording the entire session and do my best to take a picture of the board before the dealer wipes it (so I have a timestamp for an interesting hand AND so I have exact card suits). I keep notes on the hands using the HH Keyboard for iOS and track my results using the Poker Stack app.

When it comes to recording my analysis, I use StreamLabs OBS and my Stream Deck to handle on-the-fly scene switching (this helps minimize edit time).

How I Edit My VLOG Episodes

Editing is a multi-stage process right now. This includes combing through the session for interesting hands (I typically write down more hands than those covered in a single video), converting interesting hands to PT4 format and ensuring the HH is perfect, recording, building all images, and then doing the full edit. For software, I use the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, specifically:

  • Photoshop: For the on-screen hand/card images
  • Premiere Pro: For the actual video edit
  • Audition: For audio edits (which are plentiful given my current recording setup)

I could save a ton of time in editing by using a different methodology for displaying hand information, but I think the time spent makes for a more enjoyable and educational video. Let me know if you feel differently!

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