Category Archives: Live Poker

How To Use Blockers When Counting Combos

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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

How To Play 2 Pair In A Multi-Way Pot

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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.

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Basic ABC Pokers

ABC Poker: The Simple Strategy

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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.

ABC Poker Folding

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

What To Do On The Worst River Card?

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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

How To Beat Super-Tight Poker Players

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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

mathematical approach to poker

Why A Math-Driven Approach To Poker Is Powerful

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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. 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. Continue reading

Punishing Limpers With Large Preflop Raises

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When should you limp behind preflop? When should you isolate? If you do decide to raise and isolate the limper(s), how large should you go? Let’s dissect this question and answer once and for all how to think ahead, create a +EV plan, and maximize our profits when there are a number of limpers in front of us.

I recently got this question from Jim who asks “You’re on the button from the cut-off with a playable hand. Something like Jack-Ten suited,Ten-Nine suited, Ace-Six suited, Deuces to Sixes really a hand you’re not going to fold. There are multiple limper’s in front of you. Can you describe what table and player dynamic’s you would consider under the following conditions.

A. Limp behind

B. Raise to $15, in a $1-$2 game(where expect it might take it down 0-2 callers, no guarantees)

C.Raise to $20 (where you expect no caller’s or maybe just one)”

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hand ranges in pie charts

How To Think About Ranges (Now With Pie!)

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Truth be told, I’m a very visual person. I’m also a very mathematically-oriented person. So being able to visualize math-based things is crucial for me when trying to learn and use something.

So when I began studying hand ranges and learning how to exploit various ranges, I created a simple model to help me visualize this stuff easier. And while many things in poker can be complex, I knew my model needed to be simple enough to use in real-time. Which is why I began visualizing poker ranges in pie charts.

Pie Charts In Poker

A pie chart is a simple circle that contains multiple pieces (and each piece looks like a piece of pie!), and when you add up all the pieces they equal 100% of the circle. So my idea was to look at the entire pie as the complete range my opponent has, and then to chunk that pie into pieces representing different kinds of hand strengths.

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Semi-Bluff Shove Poker Math

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There are very few things in poker that are more fun than shoving. And if you are considering doing more 5bet bluff shoving preflop or semi-bluff jamming postflop, then understanding the math behind it is crucial. In this video I explain when and how to expand the math to make sure you are solving the spot correctly. If you’d rather read the script of this video, read on below. Otherwise, turn the video to 720p and enjoy easy-to-digest complicated poker math!

(Save time and download my free EV spreadsheet to make these calculations MUCH quicker!)

Hello, and welcome to today’s Quick Plays video on advanced EV in poker. We’ve done another video on basic EV, but there are many situations in poker when a basic EV formula just doesn’t quite cut it. So in this video ill show you a more complex EV formula and how to use it with an example.

The basic EV formula we worked with in the past was EV = (%W*$W)-(%L*$L). So essentially what we stand the win multiplied by how often we’ll win…minus what we stand to lose multiplied by how often we’ll lose. If this seems confusing at all, please first watch the basic EV poker video and then come back to this one. Continue reading