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Bet Sizing - Part 1

Proper bet sizing is one of the trickiest aspects of No-Limit hold’em. It’s what makes no-limit poker so much more complicated than fixed-limit. As a poker coach, the question I get asked about most often is about bet sizing. “I know I should bet here, I just don’t know how much to bet.”

While a complete discussion of bet sizing is beyond the scope of this article, there are a few general tips I can give. The most important part of good bet sizing is being goal oriented. We have to first think about what we’re trying to accomplish, who our opponents are, and then arriving at the proper bet size is simple.



The Wrong Way to Play Trips

I was recently told about a hand from a $50 buy-in online tournament that illustrates a common mistake many recreational players make on a regular basis. With blinds at 30/60 with a 5 ante, everyone folded to our Hero in the cutoff who raised to 150 out of his 1,600 effective stack with A8. Unknown players on the button and big blind called.

The flop came 988 , giving Hero trips. The pot was 510 with 1,450 remaining in the stacks. The big blind checked and Hero checked as well.



Mastering Mixed Games

One of our major books for summer publication will be Mastering Mixed Games by David Macklin. Mixed games comprise all the weird and wonderful poker variants such as Omaha 8, Stud, Triple Draw, 2-7 lowball etc. Analysing and playing these fascinating games can make a refreshing change from endless NL hold’em.

Since they are nevertheless poker games many of the concepts already familiar from hold’em apply to these variants but the unusual structure of the games means that these concepts must be adjusted. Here is how David Macklin introduces the theme of hand selection in Omaha 8 and also warns against the typical recreational player sin of playing too loose.


If you enjoy the full article and think this book is for you then pre-order now and the book or ebook will be sent to you as soon as it publishes: Mastering Mixed Games



Hand Analysis From WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open

You’re sitting in the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open. Many players are raise/calling goofy hands out of position. 5 4, K T. You haven’t had many hands go your way.

You get dealt Jacks UTG+2. The blinds are 250/500. You open to 1700.

It gets folded around to a Latino gentleman in the big blind. He has played 30% of the hands during the day, but he limps generally. He likes to call preflop when someone else raises, and then calls when someone squeezes.

He looks at your raise and asks the dealer quietly, “how much is it?”

He then stamps out 5800 and stares you down.

You have 22K in your stack.

What do you do?

(Actually come up with an answer before you scroll down. It makes the learning process more fun and memorable).


If you enjoy the full article you may be interested in Alexander Fitzgerald’s new book which is currently available for pre-order (paperback or ebook). It will be sent to you as soon as it publishes: Excelling at Live Poker



The Pursuit of Poker Success – Dealing with Variance and Tilt

We are very excited about our forthcoming book, The Pursuit of Poker Success by Lance Bradley. Lance is a leading poker journalist who has just won the Best Poker Journalist award for 2017 at the American Poker Awards.

In this book Lance interviews 50 leading players to understand what really drives them to achieve their success. It is fascinating to see their different views on subjects that are often problematic for amateur or semi-serious players.

There cannot be a single player on the planet who has played poker for any reasonable period of time and not experienced the emotional difficulties that accompany variance and tilt. In fact, some players even attribute a major component of their success as being able to deal with tilt more successfully than their peers. For example, Mike Sexton once asked Chip Reese, “The guys you play against are tough. What separates you from them?” He said, “You’re right, Mike. They are tough. In fact, when they play their A game, I’m really no better than they are. The difference is that they also have a C and D game, whereas I don’t. They become weak players when they steam and just about all of them do. My edge is that I don’t steam.” Life’s a Gamble

So what do leading modern poker players do to cope with the emotions of playing, especially concerning tilt? Here is what Liv Boeree, Jason Mercier, Greg Merson and Brian Rast have to say.

If you enjoy the full article and think this book is for you then pre-order now and the book or ebook will be sent to you as soon as it publishes: The Pursuit of Poker Success



Overplaying a marginal pair

I was recently told about a hand that illustrates a few costly mistakes that many amateur poker players make on a regular basis. In a $1/$2 no-limit cash game, all seven players limped around to our Hero in the small blind who raised to $8 out of his $150 effective stack with 9-9.



The Pursuit of Poker Success – Moving up in Stakes

We are very excited about our forthcoming book, The Pursuit of Poker Success by Lance Bradley. Lance is a leading poker journalist who has just won the Best Poker Journalist award for 2017 at the American Poker Awards.

In this book Lance interviews 50 leading players to understand what really drives them to achieve their success. It is fascinating to see their different views on subjects that are often problematic for amateur or semi-serious players. For example, moving up in stakes. Should you exercise cautious bankroll management or is it better to take shots now and again? Here are how three players, Phil Galfond, Doug Polk and Vanessa Selbst approach this issue.


If you enjoy the full article and think this book is for you then pre-order now and the book or ebook will be sent to you as soon as it publishes: The Pursuit of Poker Success



An Unspoken Truth

For years, the top poker players have had access to private analytical software that helped them further increase their edge, but now, the poker landscape is evolving. Poker software is becoming more sophisticated, yet easier to use, and is publicly available so anyone can get access to modern equity calculators, push/fold apps, range analysis software, EV decision trees, and GTO solvers.

When I first started playing online and learned about all these tools, I assumed the top players were the ones who had mastered them and knew the math dictating proper play in every single spot, but I could not have been more wrong…


If you enjoy this article and think this book is for you then you can pre-order the book or ebook now and you will receive it immediately upon publication: Modern Poker Theory



Modern Poker Theory: Hand Playability

A key component of advanced poker thinking is the concept of hand playability. It is often not good enough to say that your hand has a certain amount of equity against a particular range if it is unlikely that you will be able to realise that equity. Understanding how you reassess your holdings in terms of how much equity they generate in practical play is a key skill and one that will be discussed at length by Michael Acevedo in his forthcoming book Modern poker Theory

In this extract Michael gives a basic introduction to the theory of hand playability.


If you enjoy this article and think this book is for you then you can pre-order the book or ebook now and you will receive it immediately upon publication: Modern Poker Theory


Strategy
D&B MAGAZINE

Poker Tells 101

When trying to spot poker tells, it is important to figure out each player’s baseline behavior. You need to know how your opponents appear in “normal” situations and then look for deviations.

Perhaps the most obvious tell that amateurs display is becoming obviously attentive when they have a strong hand and obviously inattentive when they have a weak hand. When someone likes their hand, they tend to focus, paying attention to each player’s action, and generally sit up a bit more. When they don’t like their hand, they become unfocused, slouch in their chair, watch TV, or talk to someone else at the table.


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