Poker is a game of math. The math can range from simple things like figuring out the size of the pot to very complex things like calculating the EV of multi-street plays. But poker is also a social/psychological game where tells, psychology, and dynamics come into play (especially in live & casino poker). Players that approach the game solely through the social lens are just as much missing a crucial element as players that solely approach the game mathematically. Like most things, balance is required to be a well-rounded player who can thrive at any table.
While most math-based players understand the value in the social side of the game (albeit, usually not giving it the credence it deserves – myself included years ago), social-focused players tend to ignore much of math side of the game. This is normally due to the fear that the math will be too complex, too cumbersome, and maybe even too nerdy.
The most important poker HUD stat is VPIP, hands down. VPIP, short for voluntarily put money in pot, is a preflop stat that tells us how often a player is putting in money given the opportunity. Limps, calls, raises, and 3bets all count as VPIP, but what is a high vs. low range? Watch this video to get an idea on how to calculate and visualize this stat. Or if you are the reading type, the script for this video can be found below. Enjoy!
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 2021?’ I find myself torn.
Pot control is the act of keeping the size of the pot smaller and more manageable. Typically, players exercise pot control by checking behind on flops and turns with semi-strong hands to avoid making the pot too large. And while this makes sense on the surface, it can actually create a whole host of problems in your strategy.
How often do certain flop types occur? What if you hold two cards that block that kind of flop texture? Thanks to Flopzilla Pro’s new flop breakdown tool, you can answer questions like this with ease. To learn how to use this tool, push play and I’ll walk you through it.
In my prior article called, Poker Players Can Learn A Lot From Fish, I shared the 5 most common mistakes that fish make in an effort to teach you what NOT to do on-the-felt. Avoiding these mistakes strengthens your game and helps you avoid money-losing situations.
Let’s flip the script on our thinking today, and instead of concentrating on what NOT to do, let’s focus on exploiting these same fishy mistakes. We’re working to maximize our profits against Fish, who are the weakest players at the table.
No matter if you are playing tournaments or cash games, it comes in handy to know the math behind preflop ranges and how much equity you need in order to make the call with a specific range of hands. Being able to estimate and correctly estimate poker hand ranges both play a major role in this thought process and if you are playing online, some optional tools such as Equilab help to quickly plug in the numbers while you are playing and determine whether or not a call becomes profitable in the long run.
Let me ask you a question: in which of these situations are you more likely to earn profits?
In your first 2 orbits at the table, you count 9 limps made from various players, most pots are multi-way in a single raised pot and people get to showdown with one pair while holding hands like J♦7♦ and 9♠8♥.
You sit down and you don’t spot a single fish around you. Everybody is open-raising and 3betting and nobody’s limping. As soon as somebody checks postflop, the in-position (IP) player puts out a bet. The worst hand you see at showdown after somebody calls is TPTK.
The game of poker is constantly evolving and there is always something new to learn about player type exploits if you want to stay ahead of the pack and maximize your profit. One thing that is often overlooked is how to exploit specific poker players & strategic pitfalls, board textures or tendencies of your opponents and make them a source of your strategy to become a more profitable player. Let’s review four of the top player categories that can help us understand how to be more profitable at the poker tables when we log in a session.
The first time I heard about “running it twice” was watching an episode of High Stakes Poker. Two players agreed to run multiple river cards and suddenly there were two rivers instead of one, pots getting chopped, and a bunch of excitement around the table.
I didn’t understand it at the time, but the option to run it multiple times is an excellent addition to poker. To begin, let’s answer the burning question: