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.
Folding is the least sexy topic in poker. Folding is just so…final. Your cards hit the muck, you concede the pot to your opponent, and you’re off to the next hand. But the honest truth is that poker players fall into two main categories:
Players that fold far too often
Players that fold far too rarely
There is a third type of player though. A rare breed of player that folds a correct amount of the time and keeps their continuance frequencies and ranges during a poker hand right on track.
The average poker player goes through a very similar path of progression.
They start as a fish who calls too often and folds too rarely. Then they get punished for that and eventually learn that they need to fold some of those junk hands. And then eventually they learn how to put those junk hands back into their ranges, at least sometimes, in smart spots to generate extra profit. The issue is that most TAG and Nit players are stuck in the middle – folding too often for their own good.
Preflop play should be fairly simple, but most players struggle preflop because they lack a plan. So to make your life easier, I put together my preflop checklist that you can begin using in your next session. This preflop checklist contains just 6 things that will keep you focused on the right information preflop and help you decide if you should fold, limp-behind, or attack with a big raise.
Most players build their preflop strategy solely around a hand chart they found online. Now don’t get me wrong-a poker hand range chartcan be helpful. But charts are limiting if you don’t know when (and how) to deviate from them. So instead of trying to remember 128 different ranges from each position – let’s focus on the big 6 things that impact your ranges, sizes, and edges preflop. And to make life easier, I’ve named this the PLANES Method since it’s easy to remember!
So let’s break down each letter in this checklist…
Today I want to talk to you about studying poker in 2020 and share my study routine with you. This is especially useful if you don’t already have one, but if you do have a study routine, you can take bits and pieces of this process and improve your own.
The thing that we have to keep in mind is that we’re not going to become the best poker player in the world overnight, or in a week, or even in a month. It’s going to take long periods of time. Even just becoming the best poker player you can be is going to take a long period of time, but we can break poker study into week-long sprints and we can say, “Okay, this week I’m going to try to fix this leak, the next week another, the next week another, etc.” When we do that and continue improving our game and decreasing our poker leaks, we’re going to become MUCH better players over time.
Poker contains a lot of repetitive math, especially when studying poker hands away from the table. While you can use software to do a lot of this math, sometimes a good ‘ol fashioned spreadsheet is the best way to visualize and play with the numbers. So to save you a tremendous amount of time, I put together this pack of my spreadsheets that you are free to use while exploring spots!
This is a name-your-own price download, so if money is super-tight, you can enter $0 and get it for free. But if you throw a few chips my way, not only would I massively appreciate it, but I’ll also give you a free PRO video AND over $200 in discounts. No pressure either way – I just wanted you to know your options 😃
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.
One of the most important intermediate skills a player can have is the ability use combos and blockers at the poker table. These technical skills require nothing more than a little counting (if you can handle 4+12, you’ll be fine!), but they can help you find so many extra bluffs and thinner value bets in every session you play.
Over the years I’ve transitioned a lot of my reading time from traditional books over to audiobooks. The audio format makes digesting information easier, quicker, and gives a deeper learning experience. If you are looking for more high-quality advanced poker guides but can’t stand reading – poker audiobooks are a GREAT option that I suggest you check out.
The following will be a rundown of what I think are the best, most comprehensive audiobooks for poker. I will try to show what can be expected from each book and help you decide if it’s the right book for you. An audiobook breaking down the basic rules of poker won’t be of much use to a seasoned tournament player…
Here’s my list of the 7 best poker audiobooks that I think go above and beyond to teach you different aspects of the game. Pick up the ones that are right for you and enjoy! Continue reading
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 such a simplified strategy?
Imagine playing in a brand-new game. Every player is unknown to you, you have zero information on any opponent, and it folds to you with T♣8♠ 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.
But 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 weak 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 oftentimes have to revert back to default lines.
The ABC Poker Playbook
Since ABC poker boils down to simpler play, their playbook is usually easy. They typically use a small ball poker strategy and utilize an easy bet sizing strategy that prioritizes a single size over multiple. They also avoid mixed strategies and instead use a binary approach when building their ranges.
The honest truth is that poker bluffs are simple with a small amount of math. But in saying that, I also realize that many players are scared of poker math. It can look overwhelming at first, but with some basic knowledge it becomes very easy to do. And with a just little bit of extra practice, you can memorize a few things and correctly estimate the value of certain bluff plays at the table.