Live tells are an interesting topic that is often ignored or misapplied when playing live poker. Some put way too much emphasis into them, while others don’t pay enough attention and miss out on valuable information. For me, live tells are a way to help in a close spot where two different options are both acceptable. I always lean on my fundamentals in poker to make my decisions, but I do allow live tells to help me in close spots in choosing between two options.
Let’s talk about the decision-making process in poker. In every sport, the athlete has their technical fundamentals that they rely on during high pressure moments. In golf, it is the player’s swing. In basketball, a player’s jump shot. In swimming, it is their stroke. These technical aspects of a player’s game are constantly worked on and ingrained in their body, so they can perform under pressure. As a prime example, a golfer knows their swing so well, that they don’t even have to think about it. Their body automatically performs the swing, due to the repetition that has occurred.
If you are flying from Los Angeles to New York and your plane is 1% off course, where will your plane end up? 150 miles outside of New York. You’ll be in Delaware. Let’s say you and a friend of yours are in the exact same shape physically. You have the exact same diet. You have identical weight. Identical height. Identical frames. Identical metabolism. Let’s say you start walking to work. It’s only ten or so blocks. You also just stop using certain condiments. You don’t put a spoon of sugar in your coffee. It adds up to 125 calories saved per day. Your friend, however, has a beautiful wife who takes up baking. It turns out she’s amazing at the craft. She starts feeding him some of her delicious cookies each day. He just has one cookie a day, however. He has it with his coffee each afternoon. Can you blame the guy? He starts eating 125 calories extra each day. If you and your friend both keep up your habits, in two years you will have lost 30 pounds. Your friend will have gained 30 pounds. “Life’s this game of inches, when you add up all those inches, that’s gonna make the f*****g difference between winning and losing, between living and dying” – Al Pacino, Any Given Sunday.
Athletes in all sports spend anywhere from 30-60 minutes (or more) warming up their body for competition. They do this for many reasons, but two of the most important are preventing injury and starting the competition at 100% of their ability. Now injury prevention is not a big concern in the poker world, but I am a strong believer that the second reason applies directly to poker and is often ignored. The one key difference is that poker players don’t need to warm up their body, they need to warm up their BRAIN.
Have you ever wondered if there is a best way to study all of the poker books and courses you’ve purchased in a manner that will ensure that you maximize what you learn? It turns out that there is and it hinges on your ability to set and achieve learning goals. In fact, there are numerous ways that setting proper learning goals can contribute to your success. In this article, I’m going to break them down for you and share a recipe for setting and achieving learning goals that virtually guarantees results.
In part 1 of this series, I did a crash course in bluffing theory, as it relates to how often we should bluff. In this article, I’ll be talking about hand selection.
Now that I’ve finished my six part series on playing draws (whew!), I want to do a series on bluffing and semi-bluffing. This three-part series will only scratch the surface of this complicated topic, but I plan to address some of the most common mistakes I see made in this area.
In this first part, I’m going to give a high-level overview of the math behind bluffing. In part 2, I’ll talk about what hands you should bluff with. Finally, in part 3 we’ll look at some practical tips and examples. Ready?
Which would you rather have: $1 million USD right now or a single penny that doubles every day for the next 30 days?
You’ve probably heard this question before because the answer is one of the clearest examples of the power of compound interest.
I suspect that if one hasn’t given it too much thought, one would go for the cool $1 million. After all that’s a lot of money. Besides that, a paltry penny really isn’t worth much is it? Intuitively, it just makes sense to get the $1 million in hand. Compound interest doesn’t care about intuition, though…
Learning when to turn a made hand into a bluff is one of the most beneficial lessons for mid-stakes players. It takes study, practice and experience, but with a few key tricks you will be able to better navigate river decisions and understand when to turn your hand into a bluff.
As a coach, teacher, and podcast creator, I am in an interesting position. I get to work with and answer questions from some of the most talented and motivated established and up and coming poker players from around the globe, and yet, I also get to see how many struggle with developing their poker expertise, reducing bad habits and consistently playing in the zone. After some amount of thought about why it is so difficult to succeed at poker, I have come up with some possible hypotheses that I think can help you guide you towards improvement.
Page 1 of 2