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I was recently recounted a hand from early in a $365 buy-in WSOP circuit tournament by one of my followers on twitter (@JonathanLittle). A local grinder, who generally plays a somewhat tight, aggressive strategy but is capable of playing loose at times, raised to 300 out of his 9,000 effective stack from second position at a nine-handed table. Our Hero decided to reraise to 700 from the button with A5.


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.

I recently had the opportunity to play a $25/$50 no-limit game on Poker Night in America at Choctaw Casino in Durant Oklahoma. It was an awesome experience and a lot of fun. The table was a nice mix of amateurs and professionals and there was lots of action. About halfway through the first day of filming, I became aware that I was not playing very many pots with the amateurs, and quickly realized the obvious mistake I was making.

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.

I was recently told about a hand from a $1/$2 no-limit cash game that illustrates two errors that many amateur players make on a regular basis. A generally tight player raised to $5 out of his $200 stack from first position at a 7-handed table. Another reasonable player called from the hijack seat (two to the right of the button). Hero called with 99 from the small blind.

In today’s article, we are going to discuss three areas where I feel weak live players are easily exploited. This article will hopefully give you three areas in your game to explore for leaks, as well as exploiting leaks in your opponents.


I was recently reviewing my hands from a recent tournament series and I spotted a hand illustrates an important concept that you must master if you want to win as much money possible from poker tournaments. This hand took place on the bubble of a $1,000 buy-in 6-handed event. My table was somewhat deep stacked, but the rest of the field was quite shallow, with the average stack being about 25 big blinds.

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.

Let’s put you in a situation:

You have AJ. You’re in a $530 tournament at your local Midwest casino. You’re in the big blind. You have 70 big blinds effective.

A young grinder raises from UTG+3 to 2.5X the big blind. It’s folded around to you.

He’s in his mid-20s. He’s a nice enough guy. He seems to do well in $1/$3. He’s been playing cards more lately, but he hasn’t moved up to $2/$5.

Set Learning Goals Like A Pro

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.

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