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They Want to Feel Good

If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” – Henry Ford

Most poker players do not want to make money at the poker table. They want to feel better about themselves. They might think they want to make money, but the way they play doesn’t reflect that. There is no data to support that. Poker, by its very nature, is a game that rewards contrarians.

Remembering versus Knowing

“But this teacher says I should do this play in that situation.” “Why did he say that?” I ask. (Sound of crickets)

The above exchange is worrying to me. When I am talking to aspiring poker players, I am struck with an impression:

They want firm answers. They want a poker trainer who they can trust 100%. They want to take his words as gospel. Then, if his strategies do not work, they want to assail him for their lack of success.

Blaming any poker coach for your own failings is misguided, unless you can prove the error of his ways. Remember, no poker coach can control conception to execution. You’re the one who has to go onto the field and play ball. You cannot execute correctly if you’re relying on simple maxims. There are no panaceas in poker.

My 2017 Fallsview experience was more rewarding than I could possibly have dreamed - and in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I came ahead with a win, but it didn’t come in a way I thought it would.

Rewind to 2016…

I first met Tim Deering in February of 2016 on the final three tables of the Fallsview Poker Classic. He was exceptionally friendly, and seemed to have a good heart, so we struck up a conversation. I always make an effort to get to know my opponents if they’re open to conversation for two reasons:

Lower Buy-In Tournament Strategies - an extract from Excelling at No-Limit Hold'em

Strategies for Daily Tournaments

Given both the fast structure and typical skill level of opponents in daily tournaments, there is usually little need to engage in a lot of intense player analysis. While there often isn’t enough time to construct reliable reads on players, the fact is that most players in these tournaments are going to exhibit a lot of the same tendencies which makes targeting individual players less of a priority. Most will be recreational players and most will fall into very predictable patterns.

My Body is Destroyed from Online Poker

I spent years of my life traveling for the game. During that time, I played online poker from any surface I could place a laptop. Airport interiors, coffee shops, hostels, cabins in the middle of nowhere…it was all fair game. In many of these spots, a wicker chair was a luxury. I didn’t have much of a choice abroad. Wherever I found a reliable internet connection, I set up shop.

Okay, I’ll admit it: I don’t know if poker is a sport.

If you can do it with a beer in your hand, I don’t know if it qualifies as a sport.

That said, I always think of tournament poker as an endurance sport.

I was moderately successful in cash games. I massively multitabled 100 NL and 200 NL online and loved it. The downswings in low-stakes cash games are much less stressful than the ones in tournaments. However, I always drifted back to tournaments because it played to my strengths. Tournament poker isn’t about who can play the best poker. It’s about who can play the best poker the longest.

Picking your ideal time to get down to the felt is another aspect of proper game selection. It will help you find the profitable spots and games that will give you the highest expectation, and this will help you make more money.

So, where do we find the soft spots to make the easy money? Whether you’re playing online or live, there are a few sure-fire bets.

Where’s the easy money?

The Myth of Poker Talent - an extract

Capped Boards

We have discussed capped boards previously, but here we are going to add some details as we analyze them more extensively. If you a recall, a “capped” board is a flop where typically the caller’s range is limited to one pair or worse. This provides ample opportunities to bluff on complicating turns.

Tournaments are more dynamic than cash games. They force you into a lot of situations you’d never encounter otherwise, so to play them successfully, you need to be flexible. There’s no denying that luck plays a huge role in poker tournaments, but if you can grasp a few key concepts, you won’t be as reliant on the fickle affections of chance.

The 3 Key Ingredients to Winning NLH Poker Tournaments

The greatest thing I ever saw in my life was a boxing match. I was in San Diego, California. I was 12. This was the year 2000. My father had me down there to work on a commercial fishing vessel of his. It was getting redone at the time. It wouldn’t be back on the water for months. I spent the days cleaning up debris from construction, as my father taught me about hard work. To reward me, he’d take me to see different sights at night. My favorite memory from that time was a boxing match my father took me to.

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