Category Archives: Beginner Poker Strategy

brand new to poker

How Would I Learn Poker From Scratch In 2019?

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When I first entered poker back in 2004, the landscape was quite different than it is today. Back during the ‘Moneymaker Boom’ there were a couple of poker forums worth visiting, a few pieces of poker software, and a limited number of books that deserved a read.

Now, the poker learning landscape is 100% different.

There are a nearly infinite number of poker forums to join (heck, there are Discord channels and FB groups to talk poker in now). There are hundreds of poker programs you can use to train, learn, and tweak various parts of your game. There are hundreds of poker books available, and seemingly a never-ending list of random authors writing new ones every day.

When I ask myself the question ‘would I rather enter poker in 2004 or in 2019?’ I find myself torn.

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Playing Sets Against Draws

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Sets are usually pretty easy to play. Bet them, raise them, and build the pot quickly. But what about the times when the draws complete? What about spots where the board gets ugly?

These “bad” spots can create a “tight is right” mentality – and we want to disprove that mindset ASAP. Let’s explore a single hand, one with bottom set, and see how you SHOULD be playing sets against drawing hands: Continue reading

A Passive Mistake With Top Pair

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Usually, with these posts, we review a single poker hand and try to learn some big-picture lessons. We’re going to do something similar today but through a slightly different lens. This came about when I sent out a hand history a few months ago asking people how they’d play it. I was surprised by the variation in the responses. There is a lot of value in exploring spots where players disagree on a common inflection point, hence this post. Continue reading

Playing AK Against A Strong Range

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Two thirds of the time with AK we flop Ace-high and little more, but a fairly common draw with this hand is the broadway gutshot. The following hand was sent in by MiamiConfusion and illustrates some common themes when playing Ace King against a strong range.

MiamiConfusion gives us this information to set up the hand:

It’s early in the morning in NL5 Zoom, your average player is a nit, players don’t like getting to showdown with second best, only some regs bluff often enough for you to call light. Continue reading

When Folding Is A Costly Poker Leak

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This live $2/$3 hand sent in by Arash provides an example of how nitty play can seriously cut into our poker profit. Facing an open from a player in middle position, Arash decides to defend the big blind with T♠8♠. This is kind of a gross spot due to Villain’s starting stack of 50bb. We’re getting 1.67:1 on our call which in percentage terms is about 37%. So the critical question is “Are you going to win this pot at least 37% of the time?” If yes, then go ahead and get involved; if no, just fold.

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Folding Top Pair With AK?

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It really seems that Ace King creates more nightmares for players than any other hand. Today, we’ll explore a hand where AK flops top pair/top kicker that needs to decide whether or not to put it all-in. This spot was played in a live $1/$2 cash game and exemplifies how a results-oriented thought process can really lead players to second-guess SUPER +EV plays. Let’s check out the hand…

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Equilab Quick Start Guide [Poker Software]

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PokerStove used to be my go-to poker equity calculator, but overtime I’ve upgraded to Equilab.  Equilab, a free piece of software from PokerStrategy.com, is like PokerStove on steroids with some elements of Flopzilla thrown in for good measure.  So I fully suggest that you stop using PokerStove and start using Equilab.  If you’ve never used Equilab before this video & article combo will show you the basics and give you some helpful tips for using this software more efficiently.   Continue reading

AK Sucks

How To Play Ace King When It Misses?

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It’s little wonder that the biggest question players have regarding flop play with AK is “what to do when we miss?” As you already know, AK will have Ace-high a huge 67% of the time after the flop.

Many of the difficulties with AK occur in 3-bet pots for the following 2 simple reasons:

1. AK is often strong enough to 3-bet
2. AK is strong enough to call a 3-bet (assuming it doesn’t 4-bet)

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