Free Poker Strategy Articles

A collection of poker posts written by poker players for poker players

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Optimizing Your Bubble Decisions In Poker Tournaments

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The bubble stage of a tournament presents the greatest opportunity for chip accumulation. However, it also often leads to the most costly blunders in a tournament.

Walking the bubble tight-rope can be tricky so let’s go through important points that will help you navigate through your next tournament bubble as profitably as possible. Giving yourself the best chance of cashing, and getting set-up for victory.

The bubble effect arises because of the non-linearity of chips value in tournaments due to the varying payouts. If you’re in a tournament where 36 get paid, with 37 players remaining, and with a relatively short stack, calling a preflop all-in without a very high likelihood of winning against an opponent is a disaster. Continue reading

Hero-Folding AK In A 3Bet Pot

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Ace King creates more issues for players than seemingly any other hand. Today, we’ll explore the question “can we fold top pair/top kicker with AK postflop?” And to spice it up, we’ll explore it through the lens of a 3bet pot. A special thank you to ‘M’ for sending in this 50NL hand history, and without further ado, let’s see if hero-folding AK makes sense here… Continue reading

Should I Check Or Bet Second Pair?

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Second pair is always tough. It’s pretty strong, it’s ahead quite often, but is it worth a bet? Should second pair always go into your check-behind and try to get to showdown range?

In this hand we’ll explore these questions through the lens of a single hand: King Queen on AQ3. Our hero, Alexander, ends up calling a 3bet and villain checks to him on this board. Much of the discussion is about the flop decision, since that sets the entire hand in motion. So let’s get into it and see what goes into making a strong decision with second pair…

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What Is Your Poker Time Worth?

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Everything has a cost – even things that are free.

I want to talk about my favorite tool in the world. No, you didn’t accidentally stumble on my ‘SplitSuit Goes Camping’ blog where I discuss some awesome 94-in-1 flashlight. My favorite tool in the world is money.

If you already view money as a tool, high-five! Be patient with me while I convince everyone else that it is.

If you do NOT view money as a tool, I HIGHLY urge you to start thinking about it as such right this moment. Not tomorrow, not next week – but right now.

Money is a tool. You trade money for things you either want or need. You save money so that you can trade it for things you want on rainy days. You store some extra money away for emergencies. It’s an entity that should not be worshipped, rather appreciated for what it is: a tool that you trade. Continue reading

How Would I Learn Poker From Scratch In 2018?

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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 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 2018?’ I find myself torn.

In 2004 you had to do a LOT more digging, more manual math, and more group-work to get beyond the basic level of poker discourse being discussed.

In 2018 you have a software available for nearly every conceivable poker spot and such a vast amount of high-quality free poker content to digest. But the sheer amount of content also means there is a large amount of no-value filler that won’t help you grow, and could even stunt your growth at the end of the day.

So I wanted to challenge myself to write this article and answer the question ‘where would I start if I had to learn poker from scratch today?’

Which resources would I start with? What study methods would I use? And what would be my plan of attack for going from 0-100 ASAP?

Well…here goes nothing…

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Playing Nut Flush Draws With Deep Stacks

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Nut flush draws are super powerful, but they can be confusing. Do you pile a bunch of money in early? Do you slow-play your draw and wait until it improves? Was your preflop line best?

Today we’ll explore this question through the lens of a $2/$5 hand. Our hero, Andrew, ends up in a multi-way pot with Ace Ten suited and has to make interested decisions at multiple points int he hand. In Andrew’s write-up about this hand, Andrew says this

“The solid reg has been isolating limpers pretty often from late position, so I’m flatting in the big blind with a pretty playable hand. MP has been limp/calling a lot too. I feel the call preflop is pretty standard.”

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What Are The Most Common Poker Leaks?

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Every poker player has leaks. Some are more obvious than others – but we all have them. Yes, even Phil Ivey has leaks in his game. He just leaks in more refined ways than the fishy calling station at your local card room.

A leak is an area in a poker players game that consistently leaves money on the table. Leaks can be aggressive or passive, but ultimately they are -EV plays that negatively impact a player’s winrate.

Today I want to discuss three of the most common leaks that I see today. These are issues that you can see at just about every table you sit down at. It doesn’t matter if you play cash games or tournaments, live or online.

If you pay attention, you’ll spot these leaks.

But the honest truth is that 98% of players who read this will have some-all of these leaks in their game. Maybe slightly, but they are there.

While reading this, think about the last time you made one of the mistakes. Think about the pots you’ve been giving up on due to these mistakes. And focus on ‘The Fix’ at the end of each leak for a clear way to patch that leak using my new course The One Percent.

Let’s get patching… Continue reading

Poker Strategy With Frequencies

New Poker Course – The One Percent Video List

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After months of hard work, my new course The One Percent is finally available! This course has one goal in mind – to arm you with a complete strategy that you can use in any game.

The One Percent takes a frequency-first approach to the game, which may sound scary at first glance, but it’s how the best players visualize and attack poker. This complete series is a companion to the popular book “Poker’s 1%” by Ed Miller, who gave me permission to turn his work into a video series that doesn’t just rehash the content, rather it expands and explains all the subtleties that get lost in the original work.

By the end of this course, you will have a crystal-clear idea of things like:

  • How often you should barrel (even when you totally miss the flop)
  • How the best players in the game THINK about poker (hint: flopping 2pair+ is NOT the goal)
  • What percentage of your turn ranges should be bluffs
  • How to protect your ranges and avoid getting run over by tough players
  • How to internalize these concepts so you can actually USE them at the tables

The goal is not just to flood your brain with the right poker theory. The goal is to help you understand the theory, build a model, AND practice it so you can apply it properly in real-time.

Wondering what is covered? Here is the entire video list for The One PercentContinue reading

Folding In Poker (& How 89% Of Players Get It Wrong)

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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:

1. Players that fold far too often

2. 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 frequency right on track.

That’s the kind of player I want you to become. Continue reading

AI Can Now Beat Pro Poker Players: But Why Does It Matter?

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To some it’s fascinating, to others it’s unnerving, but in a reality where artificial intelligence can defeat professional poker players at their own game – why does it actually matter? It’s not like robots can cash chips.

Wait, bots are out-bluffing humans? Yes, and they’re only going to get better.

In 2015 Limit Hold’em was solved by Cepheus from the University of Alberta, Canada. That same year DeepStack bested 33 pros from the International Federation of Poker, with a 492 mbb/g margin over 44,852 hands!

Libratus from the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center took $1.76 million in chips from poker stars Jason Les, Jimmy Chou, Daniel McAuley, and Dong Kim, earlier this year.

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