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How to 4-Bet Bluff Successfully – by Doug Polk

January 17th, 2017

  Today’s subject is a challenging one:4-bet bluffing. A lot of players don’t give their 4-bet range enough forethought, instead choosing to 4-bet seemingly random hands on the spot. But 4-bet bluffing with the wrong type of hand can lead to a few problems: Awkward post-flop situations Embarrassing hand histories Marginal hands in big pots (rarely a fun thing to deal with) And of course, all of that means less money and an uglier graph for you. We’ll go over exactly which hands you should 4-bet bluff with shortly, but first, you need to know the frequency at which you will 4-betbluff. How Often Should You 4-Bet Bluff? Your 4-bet bluffing frequency in a given situation depends on your 4-bet value range in that situation. Generally speaking, the wider your 4bet value range is in a spot, the more often you should be 4-betting as a bluff. In some deep stack full-ring situations, you may only want to be 4-bet/getting all-in with AA and KK. In those situations, you shouldn’t try to4-bet bluff very often because you don’t get dealt AA or KK often enough to give those bluffs some credibility. However, if you’re in a spot where you will […]

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Best, Most Secure Bitcoin Wallets for Poker Players

January 9th, 2017

Using Bitcoins for poker and gambling is useful because you can save up to 5% to 7% when you make transactions using Bitcoin instead of credit cards and other mainstream payment services. US regulations are making it difficult to pay and receive money to and from off-shore gambling websites. So Bitcoin is a great option. But not all Bitcoin wallets are open gambling transactions.  Everyone would recommend famous bitcoin wallets like Coinbase and Circle because of the fact that they are easy to use and are based in the US. But centralization results in tougher regulations. Your account would have high chances of getting closed if the authorities find out that you funneled your bitcoins to gambling websites. That’s why in this article we will talk about those bitcoin wallets, which are best for gambling and poker.  Bitcoins are prone to hacking attacks. In the past, there have been numerous hack attacks made thousands of people lose money overnight. Most of the targets of hacking attacks are desktop Bitcoin wallets. Poker players should prefer hardware bitcoin wallets and mobile wallets, as breaching a hardware bitcoin facility is almost impossible and mobile devices do not easily give away keys and hashes. […]

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Best Poker and Gambling Accounts on Instagram You Should Follow

January 4th, 2017

Instagram has over 400 million monthly active users, more than Twitter and Snapchat. Instagram is insanely popular in teens and millennials due to its photos and videos. There is a lot of interesting stuff on Instagram for Poker and gambling enthusiasts. Here are some of the best poker and gambling accounts on Instagram you should follow. Daniel Negreanu Daniel Negreanu is a Canadian Poker player who started playing poker after dropping out of high school. Negreanu has won 6 World Series of Poker bracelets and two World Poker Tour (WPT) championship titles. Negreanu is also a fitness freak and his Instagram is loaded with photos of him working out in the gym or healthy food full of greens and healthy proteins. Negreanu’s Instagram account has over 104,000 followers. Floyd Mayweather The famous boxer is not a professional poker player, but he makes a fortune by betting. He won $750,000 by betting on himself when he fought Manny Pacquiao, and bagged $827,000 by betting on NBA games and middleweight boxing and other important matches.  Mayweather recently won £1 million by his bet on Arizona Cardinals VS Oakland Raiders match. Mayweather has over 14 million Instagram followers. You will find a lot […]

Randy Lew

Top 8 Poker Streaming Channels to Follow on Twitch

January 1st, 2017

Twitch is the best streaming platform where millions of people watch live streams of eSports competitions, poker matches and gaming. Following the best poker streams on Twitch will let you learn and feel the real dynamics of Poker. You can watch the electrifying poker matches and updates on Twitch by following to the best Poker channels described in this article. Parker “TonkaaaaP” Talbot This Twitch channel on Poker belongs to Parker Talbot, a Canadian Poker player who came to the limelight after winning over $100,000 in a poker match. Talbot streams amazing Poker content. It has around 44,000 followers. This channel is one of the most consistent and popular MTT streamers on Twitch. Jason Somerville Jason Somerville needs no introduction in the world of Poker. His total winnings as of 1st January, 2017 stand at over $2.57 million. Somerville’s Twitch stream has 193,000 followers. The channel easily logs over 10 million views during live streams of high-stake games. Somerville is regarded as one of the pioneers of Poker twitch streaming ecosystem. He has live-streamed many popular Poker events, including PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Aussie Millions, and his own Run It Up series in Reno. Jamie Staples This Poker channel on Twitch […]

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The Best and Most Powerful Photos of 2016

December 26th, 2016

This photo was taken when the law enforcement men were detaining Ieshia Evans during her protest against the death of Alton Sterling near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana. Indian model Reshma Quereshi, who suffered an acid attack, getting a make up before going to a New Year Fashion week event. This is one of the most popular photos of 2016, showing Usain Bolt’s trivializing smile when he was about to cross the winning line at  2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The United States and Cuba broke their decades-long diplomatic standoff and President Obama paid a visit to the South American country. This photo shows Air Force One minutes before landing in Cuba. People watching fireworks on Copacabana beach during New Year celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A refugee kid being saved somewhere in the Mediterranean. A Buddhist monk was captured on camera while lighting candles at a spiritual ceremony in Thailand. This perfect image created an illusion of the monk having feathers.   This photo looks like a bizarre sneak peek into our future, a world full of virtual reality, having a vibe of a noxious artificiality. That Zuckerburg smile makes this photo even more […]

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8 Most Viral Videos of 2016

December 23rd, 2016

Videos are always fun to watch. Videos go viral insanely quickly if their content is funny and interesting. There were some spectacular videos on social media in 2016 which made us shocked, laugh, cry and dance.  In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most viral videos of 2016. Adele in The Late Late Show This is the most viral video of 2016, according to YouTube’s official statistics. In this video, James Corden in his “The Late Late Show” invites Adele. The show starts in an interesting way as James go to pick Adele in his car. And things go pretty interesting and funny, making the video full of laughs and WTF moments. The Weirdest Video You’ll Ever See Internet is insane. Sometimes the most nonsensical content goes viral here. This video is the second most viral video of 2016, and it is perhaps the most unfathomable video, in which a man is singing the imaginary transformations between a Pen, a Pineapple and an Apple. Taking a Look Inside a Rattle Snake What’s Inside is a famous YouTube channel in which a father and son tear apart things and see what is inside them. Well, for this […]

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6 No-BS Ways to Get Your Shit Together in 2017

December 22nd, 2016

Making New Year Resolutions has become a boring platitude. We all decide to get better at the start of every year, and f*ck it up after a month or so. But improvement lies in never giving up. The more you fail, and come back, the more drastically your chances of coming close to your goals increase. You can Get Fit and Lean Without Gym You know what? You don’t need to resolve to start going to the gym in 2017. Gym is always a failed project. There is nothing in the gym you can’t do in your room. This 7-minute fat loss workout will finish you quick, and you won’t need to even leave your room. Do it daily. If you aren’t regular, there is no need to even start as it will cause regret and tiredness. Do it for 7 days and I guarantee that you will feel improvement. Or, start doing puhsups daily in your room. Check out this amazing story where a guy just started doing pushups daily and transformed his body in 3 months. Get a Therapy There is always something that lies beneath our stress, anxiety, depression and neuroticism. You’ll be amazed to see the benefits […]

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6 Cool Budget Gadgets Every Man Should Buy

December 19th, 2016

Gadgets and accessories not only make lives easier, they also add fun and style in our daily routines. Owning cool gadgets can bring innate satisfaction as well as impress people (read: women) around you. Here are some cool gadgets every man should have. RIF6 Cube This amazing device lets you project the screen of your smartphone on a projection screen or any wall. You can just connect your smartphone with this device and watch movies, play games, see pictures on a big screen or wall. RIF 6 is a portable device. You can also use it for giving impressive presentations at your college or office. Bag An all-purpose bag is a must for every man. We all need a bag to manage and take our stuff with us when we travel. Market is teeming with bags for men. You should prefer something tough, stylish and hardy. I’d suggest bags and gear made by GoRuck. They have enormous amounts of space with looks of tough and go-getter style. You can take a look at some other options in this interesting video. Headphones Whether you are at the gym or working on your laptop, you’d need a headphone. So buy a good […]

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7 Best Christmas Gifts For Poker Players and Gamblers

December 15th, 2016

Choosing Christmas gifts for your friends is no easy task, and when you have poker players and gamblers in your friends list, gift search becomes even more daunting. To help you in hunting the best gifts for your poker junkie friends, here are some ideas. Poker Training Course by Phil Ivey This is a unique Christmas present for any beginner or intermediate poker player. This paid poker training course is prepared and taught by one of the best Poker players in town, Phil Ivey. The course was launched in 2014. It has videos and tutorials by famous poker experts, including Jennifer Harman, Cole South and Patrik Antonius. Ivy League Poker website offers three levels of membership of which two (Bachelors and Masters) are paid. They cost $9 and $75 respectively.  Poker Hats and Caps Dressing and style is a huge importance in the Poker world. Poker players try to get any bit of “tells” they can get by judging the body language, especially eyes of their opponents. That’s why you see most of the poker players wearing stylish hats and glasses. These things communicate professionalism and protects any unwarranted tells during the game. You can gift your poker friend a […]

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8 Style and Fashion Hacks Every Guy Must Know

December 14th, 2016

It doesn’t take a fortune to get sexy and stylish. To step up your game and get in style, all you need is the right sense of dressing, hairstyle and some general style hacks. We are going to mention some style and fashion hacks which every man should know. Get a Hair Gel or Wax A good hair wax or gel is a must to style your hair, no matter what length or look you want to give them. A hair gel keeps the hair style in structure and defined, which is absolutely necessary to get stylish looks these days. Fit Shirt Hack The importance of this cannot be emphasized more. If your clothes do not fit you, you will never stand out and look stylish. For shirts, the size and comfort can only be evaluated when you wear it and sit down on a chair. Wash Jeans with Vinegar Always prefer the original Denim jeans. But never wash it as washing the original wear diminishes the color and texture. The best jeans hack is to wash it with some Vinegar. This will increase the lifespan of the jeans without fading the color. Skinny Ties Fat, corporate-looking ties are outdated. […]

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10 Amazing Poker, Gambling, Casino Movies to Watch Before You Die (With Trailers)

December 9th, 2016

There is something special about gambling and poker movies. The class, the ambiance and vibe a good gambling and Poker movie packs is peerless. Here are some of the best poker, gambling and casino movies you should watch before you die. Casino 1995 Casino features top actors like Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci.  The movie revolves around gambling mafia, murder, trophy wives and power. 21 “21” is based on a true story. 6 brilliant MIT students who learn tricks of Poker and card counting decide to actually apply themselves in Las Vegas. Rounders Rounders is an all-time favorite Poker and gambling movie in which a young, gifted Poker player and law student (Matt Damon) decides to help his friend (Edward Norton) pay a huge debt through gambling. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story This amazing movie is based on the life of renowned American professional poker player Stu Ungar. The movie shows Stu’s rise and fall, his emotional issues, marriage and death. The climax of the movie comes when the poker legend seizes his third victory at the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels This one is my personal […]

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Guys Who Dumped Ordinary Lives and Became Millionaires Playing Poker Online

December 7th, 2016

While you were searching ways to start a business or how to get productive at work so you could get a petty raise, some guys were making real money through Poker. Poker is getting insanely popular among the youth around the world. If you are smart, and ready to make an effort to learn the real dynamics of Poker, you can rake in truckloads of money. Here are a few success stories which will motivate you to give Poker a try. Mike McDonald Mike McDonald is the youngest Poker player to win European Poker Tour and Epic Poker League. Mike was just 18 when he won EPT German Open in Germany, taking home a whopping $1.37 million. From that day, Mike never stopped winning and has piled up endless titles and millions of dollars. As of the start of 2015, Mike’s total worth stands at $11 million. Phillip Dennis Ivey Phillip Dennis Ivey Jr. or the “Tiger Woods of Poker” is hands down one of the best Poker players in the world. Having won ten World Series of Poker bracelets and one World Poker Tour title, Ivey’s net worth exceeds $100 million by most of the estimates. Ivey used to work […]

DriveHUD adding 888 poker and Americas Card Room Support

December 1st, 2016

I’m biased, because I love DriveHUD, but we’ve added some popular poker room support in the latest update – 888 poker and America’s Card Room (ACR) support. I’m biased, but regardless, it’s the best HUD available and continuing to get better. It’s fun being able to play on a site and analyze my hands and data after in a format that is easy to use and a pleasure to explore. It’s something the online poker community should have always had, but I’m glad we’ve been able to bring it. DriveHUD is the NexGEN poker HUD and database for the online poker community. It will overlay a HUD on your online poker tables, and display vital stats about each of the opponents on your table. It will track and record all of the hands you play online, allow to you to review, re-play, filter, graph and analyze all of the hands you’ve played so you can improve your poker game. You can check out the fully functional 30-day free trial here

Video Hand History Review – Folding TPTK

November 17th, 2016

Quick little video on when it’s appropriate to fold Top pair + Top kicker: ================================================================== How I became pretty good at poker and won a lot of money: I learned REALLY REALLY good pre-flop play. It all starts here. If you eliminate these mistakes (and people make a lot of them), you’ll save yourself a lot of grief and a lot of money. So I put together a program to teach solid pre-flop play with ace poker drills pre-flop trainer. It’s a poker quiz style format that will help you understand how to not get yourself in trouble, and play smart hands in the correct spots. You can check it out here. It also comes with a free poker equity calculator. I looked at what the very best online poker players were doing, and analyzed their games thoroughly. It took me 2 years to create, but I made Leak Buster. Poker stat and post flop analysis software that finds all of your biggest poker leaks in minutes. Now tens of thousands of online pro’s have used and benefited from this software. You can too – check it out here.

Tips for Tournaments

November 16th, 2016

In the early stage stay TIGHT. Far too many poker players play too many hands at the start of a tournament. In a MTT you start with so many chips it feels like you can see so man flops with you suited connectors and small pairs to try and hit big. Starting with this many chips does not mean that you have to spew some off just because you have a lot in front of you. Calling with a weak hand pre-flop is bad in the long run, if you are not yet that much of an experienced player you might also make mistakes post flop which could cause serious damage. We’ve all played those hands where we catch a card that keeps us in till the river, the river bricks and we realise we have lost 60% of our stack chasing. The best hands to play at this time are monsters. Hands such as AK, AQ, AJ, are fine for this time, if you hit, you have a big pair with a big kicker, if you miss you can easily bin the hand. Big pairs AA, KK, QQ, JJ, these hands you will often have an over pair to […]

2016 Partypoker WPT UK Main Event Champion crowned!!

November 15th, 2016

Luis Rodriguez Cruz has had a fantastic year for results in poker. Enjoying his biggest win yet at this years PARTY POKER WPT UK MAIN EVENT at Dusk Till Dawn for a massive £200,000. On Sunday November 6th he began the six-handed final table and emerged victorious less than 5 and a half hours later! The final table chip counts. 1 Luis Rodriguez Cruz 1,640,000 2 Alex Lindop 755,000 3 Seamus Cahill 1,930,000 4 Nabil Cardoso 4,965,000 5 Maxime Swennen 2,345,000 6 Christopher Yong 3,875,000 Chris Yong returned into day 4 2nd in chips and hoped to bag himself his largest cash yet. This will be his 12th major cash! Maxime Swennan, Luis Rodriguez Cruz, Alex Lindop and Seamus Cahill are the other players at the final table. Lindop is known to be a very good player. He recently won a bracelet at this summer’s World Series of Poker. Lindop returned to the final with only 755,000 chips, the short stack. Only a 15 big blind stack, but the players at the table knew if he got that double up he would be a DANGEROUS player. Ireland’s Cahill was another player feared at the table. He started the tournament with more than $850,000 in live tournament winnings, Cahill […]

Full Ring vs 6-Max

November 8th, 2016

The main difference between full ring and six max is the number of players around the table. A full ring came will usually consist of 9 or 10 players. A six-max game will consist of 6 players or less.   6 max games are faster paced and include a lot more action. Moves like steal and re-steal are used frequently, these show players that you are not afraid to play and you are not going to be bullied at the table. You should play position but you also need to install fear into your opponents. The game gradually gets more personal as you come up against the same players multiple times. It is easier to watch and establish patterns from certain players, and it is easier to pick on the weaker players at your table. Full ring games are often a tighter played game, the player having more time and playing less chips per level, and being able to play like a ‘rock’. In a full ring game, it is easy to play ABC poker and follow the ‘normal’ rules of poker. You are likely to be 3-bet less often and you should be made to make hard decisions less […]

Push/Fold Tournament Charts

November 7th, 2016

Push folding in a tournament often troubles players. Theres a difference in opinions on when is the correct time to get all your chips in whilst playing a MTT. There are charts such as the one below that explains the hands and at which point the chips should go in. 10 Big Blinds Left Players With Antes Without Antes 8 33+ A8s+ A5s AJo+ K9s+ KQo QTs+ JTs T9s 99+ ATs+ A5s AJo+ KTs+ QTs+ 7 22+ A8s+ A5s ATo+ K9s+ KQo Q9s+ J9s+ T9s 88+ A9s+ A5s AJo+ KTs+ KQo QTs+ JTs 6 22+ A8s+ A5s-A4s ATo+ K9s+ KJo+ Q9s+ QJo J9s+ T9s 44+ A9s+ A5s AJo+ K9s+ KQo QTs+ JTs 5 22+ A2s+ A9o+ K8s+ KJo+ Q9s+ QJo J8s+ JTo T8s+ 98s 22+ A8s+ A5s ATo+ K9s+ KQo Q9s+ J9s+ T9s 4 22+ A2s+ A5o+ K7s+ KTo+ Q8s+ QTo+ J8s+ JTo T8s+ 98s 87s 22+ A7s+ A5s-A3s ATo+ K8s+ KJo+ Q8s+ QJo J8s+ T8s+ 98s 3 22+ Ax+ K6s+ KTo+ Q8s+ QTo+ J8s+ JTo T7s+ 97s+ 87s 76s 22+ A2s+ A7o+ A5o K7s+ KTo+ Q8s+ QTo+ J8s+ JTo T8s+ 98s 87s 2 22+ Ax+ K2s+ K8o+ Q6s+ Q9o+ J7s+ J9o+ T7s+ T9o 96s+ 86s+ 75s+ 65s 22+ Ax+ […]

WCOOP: Simply the Best of the Best

October 4th, 2016

The most popular and respected onilne tournament series is by far WCOOP, World Championship of Online Poker hosted by Pokerstars. Huge prizepools and the best online poker grinders get together to play for days in a poker series that can truly change an online poker player’s life. 2016 brings more than $50 million in guaranteed prizes making September a mad month for online poker. WCOOP Summary The first WCOOP championship took place in 2002.  Pokerstars was attempting to create an equivalent of the WSOP for the online poker community and they achieved it quite well. The events in 2002 altogether didn’t reach $1 million in guaranteed prizes.  The 2005 WCOOP became the first series to guarantee over $10 million dollars and was the year that consolidated the event as the best and most respected online poker tournament series around the globe until today. All major poker games have events in the WCOOP including, Limit , Pot Limit and No Limit Texas Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo,Razz, Pot Limit Omaha, Limit Omaha Hi-Lo, HORSE, 5 card draw, 2-7 Triple Draw, Mixed Limit games and Badugui The biggest prizepool at a WCOOP event, prior 2016, took place at the […]

Phil Galfond close to launching new poker site

September 27th, 2016

  Phil Galfond is a well-known poker professional. Most of his poker career has taken place in the online felt where he is known as OMGClaiken and most recently as MrSweets28 in Pokerstars. The rumor is that Galfond is planning to open a brand new online poker site and apparently its true. Who is Phil Galfond? Born on January 16th, 1985 in Maryland, Phil Galfond is one of the most successful online nosebleed stakes poker players. Galfond’s success in online poker has not been achieved in major tournaments. He enjoys playing online ring games at the biggest high stakes. In the old Full Tilt Poker, Galfond was frequent at the $200/$400 Pot Limit Omaha Games and seen from time to time playing $500/$1000 mixed games. According to highstakesdb.com, a website dedicated to track high stake online poker games, Galfond has profited over $7 million in online cash poker games. In the live poker scene, MrSweets28 has won over $2 million in live poker tournaments. Galfond owns two WSOP Bracelets, the first one won in 2008 at a $5000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament.  He was able to defeat and impressive final table with strong poker players such as David Benyamine, Johnny Chan who belongs […]

Ignition Casino Acquires Bovada Poker

September 16th, 2016

As of September 30th, 2016 Bovada Poker becomes Ignition Casino. One of the most popular and largest poker sites available for US players closes its doors. Ignition will take over the operation and it seems there aren’t many differences between Bovada and Ignition… Bovada Poker, Bodog and now Ignition Bodog, one of the biggest names in the online gaming industry has been in business since 1994. Considered by many a true marketing giant, a decade ago Bodog was followed closely by its competitors due to their genius and aggressive marketing campaigns. It was not unusual to see their promotions, designs and slogans copied by others in the industry. In the early 2000’s Bodog was for sure in the list of the top 5 biggest online sportbooks and casinos in the world. It was the right move for them to enter the poker business and they did it quite successfully. The brand was quite strong and used to offer a $100,000 guaranteed tournament weekly, which was a bold move since their player database was not that large as Pokerstars or Full Tilt at the time. In addition, poker pros such as David Williams and Evelyn NG were part of team Bodog. […]

WSOP Highlights and Final Table Preview

September 13th, 2016

In approximately 6 weeks the winner of the Main Event will be determined.  2016 was an amazing year for the WSOP featuring mind blowing assistance and several records broken.  Definitely the highlight of the Main Events final table is the current chipleader Cliff Jospehy aka Johnny Bax. 2016 WSOP Overview The 2016 WSOP started, as usual, on May 31st with the $565 Casino Employees event. The event offered 69 bracelet events, the most until today and one of the major changes that took place on 2016 was the starting stack for $10,000 buy-in tournaments which is now 5 times the buy-in of the event. The Colossus came back in 2016 with an impressive field of 21,613 players registered.  With a $565 buy-in it didn´t surpass 2015 registrations of 22,374. The 2016 Colossus became the tournament with highest prize for first place ever on tournaments with a buy in of $1000 or less.  After 6 days of pure poker action, Ben Keeline took down the event and the $1,000,000 guaranteed prize for first place. One brand new tournament launched in 2016 was the $1,000 Top Up Turbo No Limit Hold’em.  The tournament featured an unusual structure in which players were able […]

Reading hand ranges and profitable bluffs

August 31st, 2016

  I played a hand while testing drivehud, and shared it with two poker friends asking them what they thought this persons range was and why they though it was that. Both over looked an important point about the flop and turn that I thought was pretty standard for understanding an opponents hand range and when you should be bluffing. There’s levels to this of course also. When your opponent understands this concept, then you need to switch it to another gear, but I think most 100nl and under players don’t fully understand this (I’m sure some of the regs do of course). This hand was reviewed in DriveHUD – Poker HUD and database. Check out the free 30-day trial here. ================================================================== How I became pretty good at poker and won a lot of money: I learned REALLY REALLY good pre-flop play. It all starts here. If you eliminate these mistakes (and people make a lot of them), you’ll save yourself a lot of grief and a lot of money. So I put together a program to teach solid pre-flop play with ace poker drills pre-flop trainer. It’s a poker quiz style format that will help you understand how to […]

When NIT’s have Fits

August 26th, 2016

I see a lot of hand histories posted on poker forums sometimes where certain hands and ranges aren’t even considered. “There’s no way someone can have X or Y in this spot”, is what’s usually said in one form or another. That’s a HUGE HUGE mistake to get in the habit of thinking. Your goal in understanding the opponents you’re playing against, and their hand ranges is to be able to start weighting ranges in a way that makes sense, and accounts for the occasional “spaz” also, because they happen. Even tight and seeminlgy passive players “spaz” out. Take case in point this hand the other day. I played this while testing out DriveHUD – poker hud. I had about 70 hands on my opponent at this point and they were running (26/2/32% AGG). So for full ring, this is someone who is playing too many hands, and playing them passively pre-flop AND post flop. It’s a small sample, but more or less the deviation is on such a polarized side of these ranges, it’s a pretty safe conclusion to reach. Let’s take a look at the hand: Hand History driven straight to this forum with DriveHUD Poker HUD & […]

Bovada poker moving to Ignition Casino

August 11th, 2016

Bovada is moving to Ignition You probably already got an e-mail this morning informing you that Bovada is ceasing poker operations and moving it’s poker business to Ignition Casino on September 30th of this year. We already have an update out for the Bovada card Catcher to work with Ignition. If you have any semi-recent version (within the last 6 months), it will come up as an auto update for you when you launch the catcher. If you don’t, or it doesn’t come up as an auto update, you can download it here from our software forums: Download Ignition Update A couple of positive notes you should realize about this switch over: You’ll get a free $10 if you transfer your account before September 30th 2016. You’ll also get $100 Poker Drip Bonus on first deposit. Several free rolls are offered for early transfers. And a couple of important notes you should understand about future withdrawals and deposits: You are entitled to one free withdrawal per month, starting on June 1 and ending on September 30 (a total of 4 free payouts). As of October 1, 2016, you will be eligible for one free withdrawal every four months. The following […]

DriveHUD Release – Poker database for bovada and betonline

August 8th, 2016

  WHAT CAN DRIVEHUD DO FOR YOU?   Track all poker hands you play online. Run a HUD overlay on all of your opponents as you play. Re-play every session, and every hand you ever played. Graph and analyze how unlucky or lucky you’ve been running. Filter for any situation you can think of and analyze it. Player profile your opponents with ease so you know who the fish or sharks are. Provide and easy and intuitive poker database experience.     EASY TO USE BEAUTIFUL INTERFACES!     CREATING NEW HUD’S HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER!     EASY TO BUILD INTUITIVE FILTERING!     EXPLORE MANY POST FLOP LINES EASILY     RUN COMMON IMPORTANT FILTERS WITH ONE CLICK     KNOW IF YOUR OPPONENTS ARE LIKELY TILTING     ONE CLICK HAND ANALYSIS     WIN SOME TOURNAMENTS     AFFORDABLE AND SCALABLE PRICING     About DriveHUD DriveHUD is a poker database and HUD (heads-up display) for your online poker play. It will overlay a HUD on your online poker tables, and display vital stats about each of the opponents on your table. It will track and record all of the hands you play online, allow to […]

Ace Poker Solutions Equity Calculator

July 20th, 2016

A professional high stakes player recently said that you will never be a successful player if you aren’t “spending time in the lab.” Well, our Equity Calculator is just that. It is where you will spend time calculating your equity in various hands and understanding whether or not you should have made that call in a hand you were unsure about, or whether you had the odds to bet for value with that draw you were so excited about. Study Away From The TableIf you have been playing poker for any length of time, there is a good chance that you understand, at a basic level, when you hand is theoretically strong or weak based on your opening range and the board. What takes your play to the next level is understanding how other players’ cards affect that strength. You may know that you have a 12% chance of making your hand, but could the board also mean that your opponent is making a strong hand? Studying away from the table is where you begin to understand this. When you think about a session, there will no doubt be hands that you didn’t like. Maybe you feel like you should […]

France Could Soon Share Liquidity With EU

July 18th, 2016

Online poker is rarely more popular than in Europe. The largest player pool exists for Europeans playing on PokerStars, but not all countries have that luxury. Much like PS New Jersey’s player pool that only consists of people within the state, PokerStars France is restricted to people in the country. With recent proposals in the French Senate, however, that could change and France could soon open up to an international player pool. ARJEL, the gaming regulatory body in France, has now been given the authority to construct agreements with other European nations to share liquidity. According to a translation of the amendment, poker revenue in France has been steadily declining due to the ring fenced nature. Since 2010, the economy as a whole has shrunk and only $70 million was collected in 2015. That number is disappointing given the amount of revenue other nations in Europe are collecting, since more and more players are currently turning to illegal sites where there are larger player pools. There are, of course, some French sites that are larger than many ring fenced poker rooms, but in order to keep up in the competitive European market, a decent sized player pool isn’t enough. Players […]

My WSOP Event #25. $2500 No-limit Holdem

June 30th, 2016

I don’t play big live tournaments often. It’s just not my thing. I don’t enjoy sitting hours on end, and playing for days straight in uncomfortable chairs. I give mad props to live tournament players. It’s a grind. To each their own. This would only be my 7th WSOP event now in the last several years. I’ve cashed in two, literally bubbled one, and came in 2 before the money in another. I went late into the 3rd day in one main event, just to bust on a coin flip when I still had a decent amount of chips. A lot of things need to go right in the critical spots in tournaments for you to run deep. On one level, I’d love to play more big live tournaments. I think there’s a lot of money to be made in these games, if you can stand the scheduled grind. That’s not how I’ve planned my life though, but I enjoy getting into the mix from time to time, and I know I should force myself to just do it more. I’m glad I get at least one event in last year since I haven’t been able to play for various […]

BetOnline Poker Site Review

June 29th, 2016

There have not been very many US facing poker rooms online since Black Friday. Of the rooms that do offer games to the United States, it is hard to know which ones should be trusted and which ones you should be wary of. Fortunately, there are sites like BetOnline that have been offering great games for years and have a track record that lets you know they can be trusted. What Is Betonline? BetOnline is a sportsbook and poker room that has been operating since 2004, although the company goes back to as early as 1991! They started offering poker in 2011 and have quickly grown to one of the best choices for players in the United States. Customers from all fifty states are accepted, making it the most inclusive site as well. The Games BetOnline features a large number of cash games and tournaments, with a large part of the player pool coming from the sportsbook. This means that there are lots of recreational players on the site, making it a great choice for beginners who do not want to be up against professional players who will wipe out their deposit. Cash games run from 2nl on up to […]

Daniel Negreanu’s KidPoker Doc – A Review

June 27th, 2016

Over the past two decades, Daniel Negreanu has been many things to the poker world, but he has always been controversial. He has never been afraid to speak his mind, even when faced with consequences. To most players and fans, Negreanu is an ambassador. The Canadian is the face of poker to the outside world, showing them what poker is really about and bringing new people in to the game. With KidPoker, a documentary based on his life, PokerStars is hoping to further that image. The early portion of the film focuses on Kid Poker’s family growing up. His parents moved to Canada from Romania with nothing and proceeded to live the Canadian dream. Daniel and his brother were raised in what appears to be a great household and he was just a teenager when he discovered the game of poker. It is a fantastic look at where the legend came from in terms of poker ability. The stories of buying cars and having stacks of cash in his parent’s house is the dream of many a young poker player. If nothing else, the way KidPoker depicts his early life is enough to make anyone envious. Where the film truly […]

Online Poker Bill Passes Committee In Michigan

June 23rd, 2016

The legislature in Michigan will be shutting the current session down in just a couple of weeks, but online poker has gained momentum and may end up seeing a final vote before July. Recently The Regulatory Reform Committee passed a bill by a vote of eight to one and will now be sending it to the State Senate floor for a final vote. What does this really mean for online poker? Statewide, Michigan has around two dozen gaming facilities run by tribes and three casinos operating in Detroit. The casinos in Detroit alone bring in $1.37 billion in revenue each year and this could drastically increase that amount. According to the bill, these casinos would be the persons responsible for operating online poker rooms. The bill, sponsored by Sen Mike Kowall, the Senate Majority Floor Leader, states that applicants must pay $100,000 to apply and $5 million for an internet gaming license. The license fee would essentially be an advance payment on the taxes the operators will pay on their online gaming revenue. This preliminary passage, by a margin of 8-1, comes after three years of online casino progress. In 2014, the state passed an online lottery and PokerStars has […]

Is Caesars Selling The WSOP?

June 8th, 2016

The World Series of Poker is by far the most prestigious brand in the poker world. Players travel from across the globe to play the tournament series each Summer, social media addicts play the Facebook and App versions across the world, and players in Nevada play on WSOP.com throughout the year for real money. New reports suggest that there could be a massive change coming, in that several bids have been received to purchase Caesars Interactive Entertainment from the larger Caesars Entertainment Corp, the current owners of the WSOP brand. In the past, there were a lot of rumors about selling the overall WSOP brand. PokerStars went so far as to say that they were offered a purchase of the WSOP and even the Rio as a whole. According to a spokesperson for PokerStars, they were told that it would be mutually beneficial, as it would help improve the gaming company’s relationship with Caesars and further their chances of moving back in to the US by opening up opportunities for a Nevada based site. This new information comes to us from BloombergTechnologies, who spoke to an insider in the industry that did not want to be identified by name. This […]

Surviving Your First WSOP

June 6th, 2016

The World Series of Poker is ramping up and thousands of people will be flocking to the Rio for the first time. If this is your first time, there are a few things that you can keep in mind so you stay sane and survive your first WSOP. Don’t Stress About Famous Players For most people traveling to the World Series for the first time, the idea of playing at the same table as Daniel Negreanu or Phil Ivey can cause a panic. You might feel like this famous pro at your table is going to completely blow your chances of building a stack, but the truth is that one or two pros at your table won’t affect your play that much. Every single pot won’t be with them heads up, so as long as you are careful in hands you do play with them, you can make decisions just as you would playing in a friendly home game. Always Register Early The Rio is famous for having registration lines that resemble zoos more than lines for poker tournaments. The registration desk is open throughout the night and you can register before the day of the tournament, making the process […]

Making Profitable Hero Calls: Beyond the Basics

June 2nd, 2016

It’s always exciting when you put together your reads to snap off your opponents full buy-in bluffs. There’s several things poker experts and coaches talk about that allow you to snap those kinds of bluffs off profitably. I’ll name a couple below, but highlight some other points that aren’t often mentioned, and I think the key parts that allow you to distinguish with more confidence that your opponent is bluffing most of his range. But here are some of the basic points most poker experts commonly talk about: The more aggressive your opponents is, the more likely they are to be bluffing. Yeah… no explanation needed here. You should trust your reads in big bluffing spots. Your reads are there for a reason. There’s something you’ve observed either consciously or unconsciously that is setting alarm bells off for you. How you process and sort through that read to apply it correctly is of course the most difficult and highest level part of understanding your own mind. It’s what separates the men from the boys at the table (more on this later). Does the math make sense versus their range? Again, common sense. If you’re being offered a good price versus […]

Bovada Poker Site Review

May 31st, 2016

BOVADA POKER SITE REVIEW According to PokerScout, Bovada averages around 1,900 players. At peak hours, there are as many as 3,800, making it by far the busiest US facing poker room. There are several options available to American players, but none have the kinds of games and action that Bovada does, with years of trust built between themselves and the players who visit. We’ll cover different aspects of the site here and show just why it is the perfect option for someone in the United States who is looking for a place to play.     Software The Bovada software is fairly bare bones, but runs well. It may not have the fancy avatars and user names that most sites have, but the action is quick and easy with anonymous tables that keep the action running. The software is not compatible with Poker Tracker or Holdem Manager out of the box however. Fortunately, Ace Poker Solutions offers HUDs and hand history converters that make it possible to review sessions after playing on Bovada. Cash Games Cash Games on Bovada begin at $0.02/$0.05 and goes up to $10/$20, with lots of action at every stake. The Micro Stakes are especially busy […]

Is This The Single Biggest Mistake In Small Stakes Games?

May 24th, 2016

With all of the information available online now, there are plenty of players who believe they understand high level thinking and have what it takes to crush the competition. The biggest problem in smaller games, though, is what Mike Caro famously called “Fancy Play Syndrome.” When playing against basic opponents, the biggest mistake you can make is playing too “fancy” and trying to get out of line against opponents who are unlikely to fall for your tricks. When you play low stakes live, or micro stakes online, the people you are playing against will be thinking at what is known as “Level 1.” Essentially, this means that their entire game is based around what cards they hold and what cards are on the board. Regulars in these games might be at a Level 2, considering your cards as well, but if they were capable of high level plays they likely would have moved up in stakes. Always take note of the individual skill levels, but in general it is best to keep it simple. Keep It Simple With that in mind, you should never try out new moves in a small stakes game. In most cases, the simplest move is […]

Absorbing Variance in Poker – Part 2

May 19th, 2016

I decided to add another post about this subject because I’ve come to realize it’s a bigger topic than I think most people understand. You’ll often here people complaining about their bad luck in poker on poker forums, or your poker buddy bitching to you about how the poker Gods have recently cursed him. And while we’re all going to go on bad runs from time to time, I think we all know we’re just fooling ourselves. The reality is we just aren’t playing well enough.   Most decent poker players have pretty big egos, and the ego of course doesn’t like to be wrong. It doesn’t like not succeeding, and it will be damned if it has to admit it’s screwing up. No… it has to be that bad luck!   And yes, bad luck will influence short term results. However, there’s just a lot of profitable spots we’re missing. I do some free group coaching with some members of Cardschat about once a week. I know a lot of them will tell you this if you asked. I’m often going, “uhhh, uhh.. wait..” and there’s a fold before I can even get the words out. I used to […]

Absorbing Variance in Poker

May 17th, 2016

Everyone is going to go through a bad run at poker. It’s just an inevitable truth. How you curb and shorten those bad runs depends on how good you are at picking up those small pots. You know, those orphan ones that most people don’t fight for, and those smallish pots that are easy to steal, if you look for them. I bring this up because I watch student after student miss so many of this opportunities, and then when they start running really bad, blame it purely on the cards. Yes, your opponents are hitting some 1 and 2 outers, and that sucks. That’s just part of poker. But most people have a bigger role in shortening that variance with what I like to call “in between play”, if they stay aware and capitalize on the right spots.  I’ll bet you’re missing you’re fair share, and I want to demonstrate a couple of common spots from a session I just played last night at 200NL mostly 6-max cash games. Below is from my actual session. In my session I ended up losing $110 in a 1.5 hour session. All of that loss was from hands where I got it […]

Top 10 Most Entertaining Poker Players

May 13th, 2016

Poker is dramatic and exhilarating.  But it can also be tedious during long hours at the table.  And it takes a lot of concentration for the players. Not everyone wants to chatter and patter and entertain their table mates and any televised audience that may apply.  So here are some of those with more than enough personality who provide some comic relief or other kinds of entertainment. Jean-Robert Bellande He’s kind of like a Charles Barkley of the felt, a guy with thick skin who can play the role of the goofball, letting others poke fun at him. J. J. Liu Joanne J.J. Liu has a lot of large hats and some cool outfits to provide some class at the table—if you’re completely surrounded by sweat pants, depression will set in. Gus Hansen This Dane is often melancholy at the table.  He makes great pained faces, talks to himself, and sometimes talks into a tape recorder. He’s also fun to watch because of his loose play and his risk-taking.  Creative players are often the most entertaining. Luke Schwartz Entertaining means a lot of different things.  It comes in varied shapes and sizes.  It doesn’t have to mean charming or funny.  […]

Adjusting From Full Ring To 6 Max Like The Pros

May 11th, 2016

For most people, starting out in poker cash games involves playing Full Ring, 9 player tables. These slow, tight tables are great for getting yourself acquainted with the game. When you want to take your skills up a notch, however, it’s time to start playing like the pros. If you watch professionals play, they are most commonly found at 6 max tables, where the action is good and the play is loose. Adjusting to shorthanded play isn’t always difficult, but they are certainly a change in pace if you are someone that plays a very tight and passive game. You can’t count on hanging around for the best hand. That’s for sure. Getting Started We’ll talk about the differences and how to adjust, but it’s worth pointing out that you may need to move down in stakes until you are used to them. Don’t worry, though, while you’ll temporarily move down in blind levels you will likely improve your win rate once you have made the changes necessary to play these smaller tables. Opening Ranges The most obvious difference is that there are fewer people at the table. That means you’ll be in the blinds more often and you’ll have […]

Multiple States Planning Online Poker Bills

May 9th, 2016

Since Black Friday, gaming choices in the United States have been scarce, to say the least. New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware already have regulated online poker, but several more states are now preparing to launch their own poker rooms if bills pass in the legislature. Some are closer than others, but these are the states that are currently working on bringing online poker back to the US. Pennsylvania Recently regulated New Jersey’s neighbor, Pennsylvania, is perhaps close than anyone to legalizing and regulating online poker in the state. State Rep John Payne has been an advocate for regulating online poker for years now, but last year his latest bill was passed by the House Gaming Oversight Committee. With the exception of Sheldon Adelson’s Sands Casino, the land-based operators are all on board with the regulation efforts. It is expected to pass some time in the middle of 2016. California PokerStars and local tribes have put a lot of muscle behind passing online poker regulation in California. This week, it was passed by the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee unanimously. There is still a debate over whether PokerStars will be excluded as a “bad actor,” but regulators have not made a final […]

Studying Your Game With Ace Poker Drills

May 6th, 2016

Work away from the table is one of the most important aspects of being a successful poker player. Playing a lot of hands is vital, but if you are not putting time in to understand the fundamental math of the game, you will suffer in the end. That is where Ace Poker Drills comes in. By learning how to play pre-flop, understand your equity versus an opponent’s range, and mastering the odds of making a hand, you will drastically improve your play and take it to the next level. Dominate Pre-Flop Play If there is one problem that most new players have, it is playing the wrong hands pre-flop. Some get bored and want to just play a hand, while some severely overestimate the strength of their hand given their position. Ace Poker Drills makes it easy to nail pre-flop play, however, by quizzing you on whether you should fold, check, call, or raise with hand after hand in position after position. In many low stakes games, this alone can take your game to the next level. Understand Your Opponent’s Range Understanding ranges of hands your opponent could have is perhaps the single largest step in your progression as a […]

“Bad Actor” Clause Added To California’s Online Poker Bill

April 29th, 2016

Prior to Black Friday, online poker rooms like PokerStars and Full Tilt offered unregulated games to the United States that could be coming back to haunt them. The online poker bill in California, which recently had a hearing, now includes a so called “bad actor clause,” stating that some companies will not be allowed back in to the US market. What does this mean for the future of the largest poker room and legalized poker in California? We’ll take a look. There has been a lot of debate over the bad actor clauses in recent poker bills. These clauses do not, however, specifically say that companies that violated the UIGEA and offered American games. Gaming regulators, still, could conclude that companies like PokerStars are “bad actors” and should not be granted licenses for newly regulated gaming since they are instructed to bar those with “involvement in Internet betting prior to the state’s authorization of Internet poker.” The success in New Jersey was believed to indicate that these clauses were not longer a part of new legislation, although it remains to be seen whether or not that is true. This addition could mean that the fight is not quite over, although […]

Gus Hansen Quits Poker?

April 27th, 2016

At the outset of the World Poker Tour, and the heydays of the high stakes action on Full Tilt, Gus Hansen was one of the biggest names in the game. His wins were legendary and many considered him to be one of the top players in the game. Many players watched in awe as he played the highest stakes possible online for hours on end, devastating opponents with apparent ease. Years later, the man who once one the fifth largest pot on the High Stakes Poker television show ($575,700) is now showing signs of giving up poker for good. Last week, Hansen appeared on the television show Good Morning Denmark to, according to a translation from PokerLobby.Gr, take part in a campaign for the Red Cross, in which he gave the clothes off his back to help the charity. Interestingly, this included a Full Tilt Poker shirt, fueling the speculation that he is leaving the poker world behind. According to the tagline of the show, “poker star Gus Hansen home to quiet Denmark to raise a family.” It is being seen as a move away from poker completely, given his apparent lack of interest in the game in recent years. […]

WSOP Main Event To Feature More Satellites Than Ever

April 25th, 2016

In 2003, an accountant from Nashville, Tennessee played a satellite tournament on PokerStars with an $86 buy in. What came next was the “Moneymaker Effect,” which catapulted poker in to the spotlight after he went on to win the World Series of Poker Main Event for $2.5 million. All across America, players knew that they could be the next champion without having to put up the $10k buy in. For 2016, the WSOP is offering more chances than ever to join the list of champions at a fraction of the cost. Online Satellites Online satellites are by far the most famous way to get in to the Main Event. Chris Moneymaker did it for cheap and so can you! Several poker rooms are offering these, but we’ll take a look at some of the best. Americas Cardroom/Black Chip Poker: This site has a unique take on the WSOP Satellite. The $3 Jackpot tournaments have been transformed into the World Series of Jackpots in celebration of the 2016 Main Event. The top prize is no longer only 10,000 times the buy in. The highest multiplier will now automatically award all three players a seat in the 2016 World Series of Poker […]

Changes Coming For The 2016 World Series of Poker

April 21st, 2016

Caesars Entertainment had teased a lot of new changes for 2016, but now we have solid information on exactly what we can expect from the 47th annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Nevada. Players have responded to the changes in a number of ways, but we will cover them and allow you to make up your own mind. For players who are not professionals, especially, this could just be your best WSOP yet. The Changes Players In The Money: For 2016, the WSOP is going to be awarding prizes 50% more players in almost every tournament. Starting this year, 15% of players will be in the money, compared to 10% in previous years. Start Times: Events are being moved up one hour, so that they begin at 11am and 3pm. This caused quite a stir on Twitter from last year’s Main event Champion, Joe McKeehen, but Tournament Director Jack Effel says it is a move to help recreational players make the most of their time at the series. Chips: Many events will now feature more starting chips, such as the Main Event which will now have 50,000 at the start. This is 66% more than last year. Guarantees: […]

Online Poker To Get Hearing In California Next Week

April 18th, 2016

In America, the online poker world and the Federal Government have had a strained relationship, to say the least. With the resurgence in interest in the game, however, has come renewed efforts by PokerStars to bring their games back to the United States. After successfully entering the New Jersey market for the first time since Black Friday, they may now be set to have another win as, sources say, the California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee has scheduled an informational hearing for April 20 on the most recent bill that would legalize and regulate online poker in the state. The bill in question is AB 2863, sponsored by Assemblymen Adam Gray and Reggie Jones-Sawyer. It has been championed by the PokerStars coalition and the United Auburn Indian Community. Support from the tribal communities overall has been tenuous at times, but it appears that the coalition’s size might be growing. The bill covers a lot of ground without going into the nuts and bolts of how the regulation would work. It does lay a foundation for what would be expected, however: The operators of sites will be federally recognized California Indian tribes that have authorized cardrooms and/or NIGC facility licenses. Companies acting […]

NJ Online Gaming Revenue Hits High Point After PokerStars Launch

April 16th, 2016

PokerStars launched in New Jersey March 21 and, despite only being available for the last ten days of the month, helped shoot the total gaming revenue in New Jersey to a record high. On April 6 the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported that the state earned $15.5 million in the month of March. Much of that boost came from PokerStars. For online poker specifically, the total revenue was $2.46 million. Of that total, an incredible $598k was from PokerStars alone. Their earnings pushed the total revenue up 10.5% from March of 2015 and up 25% from February of this year, setting a new record for the state. The potential state revenue has been a large selling point for those arguing in favor of online gaming. It is good news for for PokerStars when this turns out to be true, since they are looking to expand even further in more states. Total revenue for all of the other online poker rooms, when PokerStars’ revenue is taken out of the picture, would have been down 6% from February and down 16% from this time last year. They may not have taken over the market in the two weeks they were […]

Top 10 Tournament Poker Players

March 30th, 2016

  People love—and hate–the sudden-death quality of tournaments.  To get great results, you have to seize the moment rather than building up winnings gradually as in the cash game.  Unfair, perhaps, but that’s part of what tantalizes us about gambling and gaming, right? Here, then, is a list of the 10 best current poker players, an intrepid near-dozen who are skilled, gutsy, and successful over the long haul. Johnny Chan The Orient Express would’ve been near the top of the list in 1990 or so; he’s the guy to go to for advice on how to win bracelets, with ten overall. Vanessa Selbst Selbst’s winnings during a mid-length career are pretty impressive.  She plays an aggressive style, often weeding out players before showdown.  We fully expect her to add to her winnings, final tables, and championships over the next year and beyond. Mike McDonald Here’s another player who has packed a lot of money into a short period of time.  Timex starting cashing in ’06 and now has 132 career cashes and 10 wins.  He took home one-point-seven in the 250K buy-in event at the Aussie Millions, 2014. McDonald started as an online kid but became a hybrid, growing adept […]

Top 10 Most Educated Poker Players

March 24th, 2016

It may be easy to forget in the world of modern poker, one that revolves around math concepts, but people used to doubt the intellectuality of poker players.  Pros were thought of, in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, as hucksters, sweaty dudes in velour who just know how to play cards.  But all along there have been some educated poker pros, and here are the ten who have the most formal education.  We’re not talking “smartest” here, but those with some serious theory between their ears. Annie Duke Not everyone realizes that Duke went pretty darn far in school.  After a double major in English and Psych at the prestigious Columbia, she went on to study Cognitive Psych on the grad level, beginning her Master’s Degree before getting married and moving to Montana…where she started playing poker. Vanessa Selbst Vanessa’s education is often mentioned on TV, as well it should be.  After undergrad at Yale, she got her law degree at that Ivy League school.  Lawyers are supposed to make a lot of money, and Selbst is listed as having $10.7 M in lifetime tournament winnings. Barry Greenstein The Robin Hood of Poker kind of looks like a high school […]

Making Tough, But Good Folds

March 15th, 2016

  Someone on CardsChat posted this hand up the other day and I thought it was a good hand that demonstrates how to use hand reading and poker combinations to make tough, but good folds. It’s never fun to put a lot of money in with Top two pair, and then have to abandon ship. But good folds are essential to make, and when you can turn these kinds of hands from coolers, into tough, but good folds, you’ll be well on your way. Only read is that Opponent (BTN) is fairly passive post flop. My comments in BLUE as the hand plays out. iPoker – €0.20 NL (6 max) – Holdem – 5 players UTG: 153.55 BB (VPIP: 33.93, PFR: 23.64, 3Bet Preflop: 15.38, Hands: 59) Hero (CO): 157.7 BB BTN: 156.9 BB (VPIP: 23.70, PFR: 15.61, 3Bet Preflop: 4.98, Hands: 8,873) SB: 100 BB (VPIP: 29.81, PFR: 24.53, 3Bet Preflop: 3.13, Hands: 275) BB: 121.8 BB (VPIP: 20.26, PFR: 15.53, 3Bet Preflop: 2.76, Hands: 393) SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has A♦ K♥ fold, Hero raises to 2.5 BB, BTN raises to 8 BB, fold, fold, Hero […]

5 Things Every Poker Player Should Work On

March 8th, 2016

  There’s one thing I think every poker player would agree with – the longer you play poker, the more complex it becomes. Like with everything in life, once you finally realize something, it becomes so obvious, like, “duhhh… how the FK did I not see that?”. There’s countless things that you can work on and improve in the game of poker. Even if you think you have an amazing and almost infallible grasp of hand ranges and equity in any given spot in poker, there’s tons of things you can work on to improve your gamesmanship (if you play live a lot), your temperament and psychology, your reads, and on and on.   I was recently e-mailed by a poker friend who said he was on a bit of a poker plateau if you will, what I think he should work on. I thought I’d share my response to him here because although there’s a lot of things we could all work on, these struck me as the most important for players who already have a good amount of experience at the game:   Entitlement Tilt.  Jared Tendler speaks about this in his poker books on the Mental Game […]

Top 10 Poker Strategy Books

March 1st, 2016

Top 10 Poker Strategy Books   There are so many great poker books on the market today, much more so than there was 15 or even 10 years ago. We wanted to create an optimal all around top 10 list of essential reads to create a great overall balance to anyone’s poker games. Here are our top 10 best poker strategy books: Verbal Poker Tells Zachary Elwood Via Regia. 2014 This follow-up to Reading Poker Tells covers ground not often explored, in strat books or anywhere else. Tells aren’t always faked hard swallows or furrowed brows. Knowing when your opponent has said too much can fatten your stack. These days, there’s a lot of focus on theory and PhD-level stuff, but not let’s forget the sleuthing that made up so much of the old-school game. GET IT NOW Phil Gordon’s Little Gold Book: Advanced Lessons For Mastering Poker 2.0 Phil Gordon Gallery Books. 2011 Plenty of great poker books had been written by about 2009, including a few color-coded ones by Phil Gordon himself. But by that time, it was clear that a lot of players were a lot more aggressive and were using math principles to make their decisions. […]

Fantasy Sports Isn’t Gambling

February 10th, 2016

  Yeah, that’s right, it’s not gambling. I’ve never played fantasy sports, and likely never will. It is a concern to me that this is such a controversy, because of it’s close relationship to something else I enjoy that’s not gambling, which is poker. I assume because the average person doesn’t understand what gambling means, they lump anything that involves an exchange of money and risk as gambling. If that’s the case, we’re really all gambling in pretty much every thing we do in life. Right down to driving our cars down the street. You exchange money for gas, that goes into someone else’s pocket, in hopes that the gas the fuels your car will get you safely down the street. But that’s not always the case. What’s frustrating to me personally is this isn’t very hard to understand. We have definitions for these terms, and we have mathematical models to prove something is a game of chance or not. In the realm of the game of chance we have things that are more risky than others. Playing roulette is less risk statically than playing slot machines, and much much less risky than purchasing a lottery ticket. But none of […]

You’re playing no-limit not limit Holdem

January 21st, 2016

  So this is the standard polarity swings of the memes in poker. Early on people folded way too much in their blinds. They feared, and rightly so, that playing out of position was a big enough disadvantage to not warrant calling, even if you were getting decent odds to do so. Then in the last couple of years it’s swung all the way to the other side where people are calling with way too much of their range. And, like nearly all topics, the truth tends to lay somewhere in between.   It’s true that people for far too long under defended their blinds. But the justification for calling in the big blind for example has swung too far. Just because you’re getting 3.5:1 or greater on a hand, doesn’t mean you should be calling. You’re not all-in, and you shouldn’t be thinking about your hand in terms of equity versus your opponents hand. You should be thinking about the potential EV of the spot, and what you can expect to win long term.   I’m going to use the below example from a post from someone on cardschat playing 200nl Full ring online. Here, hero is getting 3.5:1 […]

Bet or check the turn w/ 2nd pair?

January 5th, 2016

Here’s a hand I played the other day that I posted in my coaching thread. A pretty common spot, and it highlighted a point I wanted to make in the previous day about indecision on the turn. So a player that you have no hands on open limps in the cut-off. You ISO raise on the button w/ QhJd. Ace high flop that you whiff and c-bet and get called. Now what’s the long term best play here?   iPoker – $2 NL (6 max) – Holdem – 6 players Hand converted by PokerTracker 4 Hero (BTN): 98.5 BB SB: 100 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 2) BB: 98 BB (VPIP: 50.00, PFR: 50.00, 3Bet Preflop: -, Hands: 2) UTG: 143.22 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 2) MP: 104.5 BB (VPIP: 50.00, PFR: 50.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 2) CO: 117.82 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 2) SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has J♦ Q♥ fold, fold, CO calls 1 BB, Hero raises to 4.5 BB, fold, fold, CO calls 3.5 BB Flop: (10.5 BB, 2 players) […]

When to trust your poker reads?

December 14th, 2015

  At some point in every poker players career, there will be a point where you need to throw common sense out the window and really trust your gut. That’s especially hard in today’s online poker games, where ranges and game theory math have really driven the direction of poker. Online poker players don’t have the advantage of being able to look your opponent in the eye and “soul read” what their hand is. We have to construct hand ranges, and weight the strength of our hand and perceived hand, versus our opponents hand range. And when it makes mathematical sense to do so based on that range, we’re getting the money in. Sometimes our opponent will be at the top of their range, and we’ll be behind, sometimes they’ll be at the bottom, and we’ll be far ahead. Over time, if we’re assigning ranges correctly, and understanding our equity in these spots, we’ll come out ahead. Well, there’s some times you’re going to have to throw that shit out the window and really listen to your gut. I played such a hand just a couple of days ago, and it brought up a lot of important points I think […]

Checking Range OOP on paired dry boards

December 2nd, 2015

I don’t normally play FR. But I like checking paired dry boards OOP into people and seeing what they do on the flop, because I can generally get a pretty good idea of what kind of hands they have, and people like to bluff on paired boards a lot. iPoker – $1 NL – Holdem – 9 players Hand converted by PokerTracker 4 UTG: 81.3 BB (VPIP: 40.00, PFR: 20.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 5) UTG+1: 52.35 BB (VPIP: 60.00, PFR: 8.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 25) MP: 113.5 BB (VPIP: 40.00, PFR: 8.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 25) MP+1: 316.94 BB (VPIP: 40.00, PFR: 20.00, 3Bet Preflop: 9.09, Hands: 25) Hero (MP+2): 105.5 BB CO: 54.8 BB (VPIP: 11.76, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 17) BTN: 51.45 BB (VPIP: 14.00, PFR: 8.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 25) SB: 92 BB (VPIP: 20.00, PFR: 20.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 25) BB: 65.67 BB (VPIP: 24.00, PFR: 12.00, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 25) SB posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has T♣ T♦ fold, fold, fold, fold, Hero raises to 3.5 BB, fold, BTN calls 3.5 BB, fold, fold When I […]

Why poker stats matter – PT. 3

November 6th, 2015

  So continuing on with my mini-series on poker stats, I want to talk briefly about pre-flop 3-betting. Really I think this should be a pretty easy area for people to master if they aren’t doing it very well right now, by just doing the following:   Keep your 3-betting range mostly polarized (3-betting your value range and bluff range). 3-bet your bluff range almost exclusively in position. 3-bet bluff regs who are over ISOing bad players. Don’t 3-bet weak hands vs. steals very often.   A good 3-betting range for cash games should be (roughly based on Leak Buster stat ranges): 6.5 – 9.5 6-max cash 5.4 – 8.8 Full ring cash   So the reason stats matter here is because if we’re not in this range above, then we’re missing profitable opportunities. They are just clues that are telling us, “hey, numnutz… you like money right? Well, you need to be 3-betting more.” Through the use of stat analysis, we’re able to determine there’s a deficiency in our game. And yes of course, we could just 3-bet a ton more, or a ton less, and then try and use that poker image to get our opponents to make […]

Value your opponents bad range

October 23rd, 2015

  So here’s a common spot that happened in a hand while a student of mine was observing and sweating me. We were playing 6-max against a fish that was 56/6 and had limp/called into the pot (see hand below). I asked him what I should be doing on the turn before I acted, and he said, “probably check at least 80% of the time. Bet 20%.” And I of course responded, “Fuck no! Bet 100% of the time.” Well, maybe I didn’t say Fuck, I never cuss of course. lol But I did want to emphasize how important it is to NEVER balance your range here versus a fish, and how far ahead of you are in equity versus his range on the turn. PokerStars Game #3151648541: Hold’em No Limit ($0.50/$1) – 2015/10/22 12:44:08 Table ‘Beliveau’ 6-max Seat #2 is the button Seat 1: P1_163834TU ($77.73 in chips) Seat 2: P2_173613PT ($124.05 in chips) Seat 3: Hero ($110.85 in chips) Seat 5: P5_238474MM ($69.01 in chips) Seat 6: P6_949168RR ($101.75 in chips) Hero: posts small blind $0.50 P5_238474MM: posts big blind $1 HOLE CARDS Dealt to Hero [Th Td] P6_949168RR: folds P1_163834TU: calls $1 P2_173613PT: folds Hero: raises $3 […]

Why poker stats matter – PT2

October 15th, 2015

Like I said in my previous blog post, stats matter. They really do. I talked about VPIP/PFR in my last blog and want to highlight some key players that will have these stats and some of the Do’s and don’t went playing against them. This is what I’d call the 4 basic poker personality types. There are of course several iterations of these kinds of players in between, but people fall into one of these 4 categories, and then into a few sub-categories.   Four Basic Personality Types in Poker (Recognized by VPIP/PFR stats) VPIP = 45+ / PFR 9 or less. Do’s: Value bet excessively. If you have someone limping and cold calling a lot of pots, especially the higher that VPIP gets, then they’ll have second best hands much more than I see a lot of students realize. This means, second and third pair are good a lot, so don’t slow down, especially on the turn and in position. Dont’s: Mmmm… don’t bluff!!! The only kind of bluff that should happen here is if you say c-bet, try and bet a scare card when you pick up equity on the turn, and lots of draws miss by the […]

Why Stats Matter: Part 1 – VPIP/PFR

October 6th, 2015

  Quite frequently I’ve read a comment in a popular poker forum, like 2+2, that just makes me shake my head and laugh. If you’ve read enough poker strategy forums, I’m sure you’ve come across it before too. It sounds something like this: “Yeah… poker stats don’t really matter. What matters is that you’re thinking about what play is the best play on every street.” Well… it’s true you always want to be thinking what the best play is, but that’s the whole point of why someone is posting to begin with. They don’t know what the best play is, and they are asking for advice. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read something just like over the years. Most of the time it’s when people are talking about Leak Buster stat ranges, so of course you’re going to get people chiming in who know nothing about Leak Buster, what it does, or why stats actually do matter. Knowing what a particular stat range should be for any given poker stat won’t make you a better poker player. However, they will make a more thoughtful and reflective player about your own game if you know how to […]

Bully the Bully

September 24th, 2015

I’m writing this because I hear this question asked so often, “What should I ideally do against really loose aggressive opponents?“. It’s a good question of course, and I often see lots of regulars at tables not responding well to loose aggressive play. When facing an overly aggressive opponent, I tend to see most people do one of the following things (read mistakes) – 1) Most people tend to tighten up, thinking they can just sit back and wait for the overly aggressive opponent to make some big mistake. 2) They just keep playing their same game. With mass multi-tablers, you can’t always find and adjust to your opponents, but if you’re playing too many tables to not be able to notice the golden goose in front of you, then it’s time to cut back on the tables. You could make way more money just paying attention and adjusting properly. So I say to you, this is what you do to adjust properly against bad loose aggressive opponents: 1) Most loose aggressive opponents are not very good. So what do you want to do against bad opponents? You want to get into heads up pots against them. So if you […]

Allow your opponents to make the biggest mistake

August 21st, 2015

We’ve probably all heard it before, but it’s a great reminder. Don’t ever put your opponents in a position when they can get away from a second best hand. Especially in today’s games, when big pots are more rare, and every little edge matters. If you have someone willing to make an over aggressive mistake, allow them. I was reminded of this when playing a short session of .5/1 and 1/2 NL 6-max today. Here’s an example of a hand where I just allowed my opponent to get it in nearly drawing dead on the flop. PokerStars Game #3119007816: Hold’em No Limit ($0.50/$1) – 2015/08/21 14:27:32 Table ‘Boro’ 6-max Seat #1 is the button Seat 1: P1_414370GJ ($41.86 in chips) Seat 2: P2_595204WA ($291.10 in chips) Seat 3: P3_498039TY ($45.87 in chips) Seat 4: P4_588783VW ($56.20 in chips) Seat 5: Hero ($101.20 in chips) Seat 6: P6_786760QG ($105.40 in chips) P2_595204WA: posts small blind $0.50 P3_498039TY: posts big blind $1 *** HOLE CARDS *** Dealt to Hero [Kh Ks] P4_588783VW: raises $2 to $3 Hero: raises $6 to $9 P6_786760QG: folds P1_414370GJ: folds P2_595204WA: folds P3_498039TY: folds P4_588783VW: raises $9 to $21 Hero: calls $12 *** FLOP *** [8s 8c […]

Bet Sizing vs. Fish

July 27th, 2015

I could go on any poker forum hand discussion thread right now and find hundreds of hand reviews with really poor bet sizing versus weak opponents. Poor bet sizing versus opponents who will play their hands face up, and call too often with weaker hands will dramatically impact your winrate. Just missing 3-4 extra big blinds in a hand, over many hands has a serious impact on your bb/100. Just think about it for a second. If you miss just 4 big blinds you could have had in a hand versus a fish, and let’s say you get 4 of those hands per 1k hands you play, that’s 1.6 BBs/100 off your winrate. And really, the damage is typically much worse than that for most hands I see because it will go something like this for example with roughly 85 BB effective stacks:   Fish limps into pot, Hero raises 4 BB’s with AsKs in position. Everyone else folds, the fish calls and the flop comes: 2c 6s Ac (pot: 9.5): Fish checks, hero bets 6 BBs, fish calls. Turn: 9d (pot: 21.5): Fish checks, hero bets 13 BBs, and fish calls.   I literally see this in countless hands. […]

The Simple Truth About Diet

June 8th, 2015

I wrote a bit about the importance of diet in polished poker Vol. I, especially when playing long sessions or tournaments live. I could have written a ton more because it’s such an important topic, but… it was a poker book and not a nutrition book.   In the age of quick information, we are undoing a lot of myths about our food. When I was a teenager growing up, if you wanted to know something, you had to actually go to a library and look up information on something called microfiche. Good times. Better yet you had to scan through massive encyclopedias and read through countless amount of pointless information to reach one little paragraph about what you were looking up. It’s pretty easy to see why people could be kept in the dark about a lot of important information. People are still misinformed about a ton of things, even though information is a click away. If you had to make them walk or drive to a library and spend hours reading through periodicals and encyclopedias, they’d have every excuse to stay in the dark and misinformed. Thank you Internet. For all the good and bad about it, we […]

New Poker Forum

May 27th, 2015

It will take a little while to build, but we’re launching a new forum. We’re going to be inviting some good players over to provide feedback and info on hands, and we’ll be posting updates about our software in this forum as well. So check it out… sign-up because it will become a great resource: Poker Forum  

Slow = slow

April 29th, 2015

I’m taking this hand from my Cardschat thread where we’ve been studying no-limit holdem with many players. I post responses to a lot of these kinds of hands, and they’re often teachable moments I should document more. So…. I’m posting this one and my response since there’s some good info here. Party, $4.55 Buy-in (5/10 blinds, 30 ante) No Limit Hold’em Tournament, 8 Players SB: 3,720 (372 bb) BB: 3,000 (300 bb) UTG+2: 3,285 (328.5 bb) MP1: 2,580 (258 bb) Hero (MP2): 3,645 (364.5 bb) MP3: 2,120 (212 bb) CO: 6,127 (612.7 bb) BTN: 2,610 (261 bb) Preflop: Hero is MP2 with A A UTG+2 calls 10, MP1 folds, Hero raises to 30, 4 folds, BB raises to 200, UTG+2 calls 190, Hero raises to 760, BB calls 560, UTG+2 calls 560 Flop: (2,525) Q K 3 (3 players) BB bets 2,210 and is all-in, UTG+2 calls 2,210, Hero tank folds not even waiting to see what i do….one of them has it more often than not right…. set of QQ or KK Turn: (6,945) 2 (2 players, 1 is all-in) River: (6,945) 7 (2 players, 1 is all-in) Results: 6,945 pot Final Board: Q K 3 2 7 BB […]

Lock Your Money Away

April 20th, 2015

As highly suspected, Lock Poker closed it’s doors April 17th, took new deposits right up until they time they shut down, and then have most likely run off with the money. There’s been no active cash outs reported by Lock poker in the poker community for over a year now. Their rumors of insolvency have been going on for quite some time. So it should be no shock that this happened, but this playbook by unregulated poker sites is becoming redundant. It also brings about an important point I hope everyone considers when you decide to purchase or give your money to any company. Make sure that company is actually run by good solid people. I’m not saying that Lock Poker doesn’t have some good solid people running it. I honestly don’t know any of the upper management or ownership. But clearly they new this day was coming and tried to make away with as much as they could. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, and if you have money on there I feel for you. I lost a lot of money on Absolute when it stole money from it’s users. I also wouldn’t hold […]

New Leak Buster Feature

April 7th, 2015

I’m pretty excited about the new Leak Buster feature. It’s something I’ve wanted to have added for quite some time. It’s taken a bit of time to get it all together, but I’ve made a quick video explaining how to use it here:     In the spirit of making hand discussion easier and more meaningful, we added a cool new feature in Leak Buster NL v 4.0.2.5. Here’s an over view of how to use it. I’ll make a quick youtube tutorial and post it on Holdem managers site as well. 1) From Step 1 in Leak Buster, click on the HANDS tab from any leak you want to explore more. 2) You can right click on any hand you want to discuss further on a forum and click export to forum format. You can then paste the hand to most forums. 3) At the bottom of the hand, there will be a link that anyone can click on to send the hand to our equity calculator server. The hand will have the complete history in it, and you can select from which street you want to run a calculation on. 4) It will then auto generate hand ranges […]

GTO and Y O U

March 25th, 2015

I’ve seen a lot of bad information out there about what GTO strategy is for poker, so I decided to do a short 15 min video that would explain what it really was, and how to apply it to your game. I think this video should clear up any confusion about the topic, and give you a better understanding of what GTO really is.

Poker Strategy Library

March 20th, 2015

So I want to put together an in depth free library on poker strategy. My goal is to have the largest that exists anywhere on the internet. I put together some content to start, and I’m going to be regularly adding to it almost every day. I’m going to petition some of my poker friends to contribute and add to it as we go, and I want to organize it as content is placed up so topics are easy to find. So here my start, and you can let me know what you think, or if there’s a particular topic you want an article or video about, let me know!   POKERSTRATEGY Library

GTO GTO GTO…. on Bovada!

March 17th, 2015

GTO Part 1 I think there’s a lot of growing to be done by learning GTO play. However, in terms of balancing your range in regards to it, you really shouldn’t be doing it if you’re playing 200NL or below. Even most 400NL players have much more exploitable areas you should be focusing on, rather than trying to balance consistently against them, and I’ll tell you why. But first, let me illustrate how poker concepts get perpetuated into the poker community, without really much thought to the application. Since I’ve been playing online for about 11 years now, I’ve watched this happen over and over again with countless concepts. I was playing 100NL 6-max on Bovada, when one regular (I use my bovada HUD card catcher) opened to 3x UTG, and the action folded to another regular who flatted on the button. Everyone folded and the flop came heads up. The flop was: Jh Th Xx (not heart). The UTG player bet about 4.5 BBs I believe, and the button called. The turn was the: 6x (not heart). The UTG player bet again, I think about 2/3ds of the pot, and the button called again. The river was a brick. […]

Out of position on the river – Microstakes lessons

March 13th, 2015

I’ve seen these kinds of hands posted a lot, so I’m jacking one from cardschat to use as a quick lesson. This is from a 10NL full ring table:   Villian Stats (VPIP/PFR/AF): 14/12/62 Poker Stars, $0.05/$0.10 No Limit Hold’em Cash, 9 Players BTN: $10 (100 bb) SB: $10.45 (104.5 bb) Hero (BB): $10 (100 bb) UTG+1: $104.29 (1,042.9 bb) UTG+2: $18.23 (182.3 bb) MP1: $7.60 (76 bb) MP2: $10.38 (103.8 bb) MP3: $26.83 (268.3 bb) CO: $19.75 (197.5 bb) Preflop: Hero is BB with Q♥A♠ 5 folds, CO raises to $0.30, 2 folds, Hero calls $0.20 Flop: ($0.65) A♥ 7♣ T♦(2 players) Hero checks, CO bets $0.40, Hero calls $0.40 Turn: ($1.45) 4♥ (2 players) Hero checks, CO bets $0.75, Hero calls $0.75 River: ($2.95) 2♣ (2 players) Hero checks, CO bets $1.90, Hero calls $1.90 So ignoring the hand up until the river because it was played really passively and there’s some value lost potentially. Aside from that, if you’re in a similar spot like this on the river, and you’re planning on c/cing the river when there’s no real busted bluffs, or you’re not trying to induce a bluff from some reason, then you should always be […]

Improve Your Poker Database Review – Part 5 of 5

March 4th, 2015

Step 8 of Leak Buster 4 examines a lot of important post flop situations. It also has some pre-flop spots it looks at, but the bulk of the value in this step is the post flop analysis. Keying in on exploitative play, it looks at areas where a lot of people tend to struggle the most. Any of the leaks it finds in this step should be closely examined. On the flop, there’s a lot of check/call analysis that you should pay attention to. You’re going to lose some money in these spots, especially when you weren’t the pre-flop raiser. However, if you’re seeing a trend of several check/call leaks, then go through your hands here. It’s going to pay off in the long run. Especially look for hands where you’ve check / called and there’s a lot of scare cards. If you’re not planning on using these yourself, then it can become quite costly to try and call a street. It’s usually better to just fold on the flop. On the turn, look for any leaks where you’re playing draws poorly. Also any leaks related to calling multiple streets with weak hands out of position. This is particularly a […]

Improve Your Poker Database Review – Part 4 of 5

February 25th, 2015

Playing 3-bet and 4-bet pots well is critical. Obviously as the size of the pot increases, the decisions you make become more critical. It can also be a lot of data to sort through and try and locate important pots easily. However, in step 6 of Leak Buster 4, you can get an easy to view graphical grid of common 3-bet and 4-bet pots. This makes it easy to see where you need to turn your attention. For example, click on one of the quick filters on the side like call 3-bet with less than AQ+ or TT+. All of your losing hands you’ll see in red in front of you. You can quickly see how you’re doing with hands like AJ, or KQ, or suited connectors. It’s a great way to skim through your trouble spots in re-raised pots and review your hands. Then skip down to the quick filters at the bottom. These will do a quick comparison between two common strategies with hands pre-flop. Are you doing better when you 3-bet 22-55 from the blinds, or cold call with it? If you’re seeing any black, then you’re not doing good with either strategy. If you’re seeing red, […]

The anatomy of a bad bluff

February 22nd, 2015

I was playing 100nl on Bovada today and saw a bad bluff by a regular. I’m pretty sure in his mind he probably thought it was a decent to good bluff, but I wanted to break down the mistakes he made and what they were since I’ve seen them happen a lot. So the action folds to me on the button with Jc 8d and I open to 3x. I used to open to 2.5x sometimes, but I open 3 – 4x now on the button because, well. more people are calling in the blinds then they used to and I like more money. The SB folds and the BB calls. The flop comes – 4c Js 8h I bet 3/4 pot and my opponent calls. The turn comes – As. My opponent checks, and I bet 3/4 again. I’m still getting a ton of calls from Jx, maybe even 8x and straight draws like 9T as well as hands that decided to c/c like AT. So my opponent takes a little while and then check raises. I’m never loving a check raise, but I’m clearly calling. AJ doesn’t make a ton of sense for him to have, but he […]

Improve Your Poker Database Review – Part 3 of 5

February 17th, 2015

Staying on top of your game, and reviewing your leaks takes work. Step 7 in Leak Buster 4 has a lot of great filters that you should go over and review periodically. There’s especially several that most people tend to struggle with, and you should put those at the top of your review list. These filters are: Filter 7 (Multiway flops with no pre-flop raise) – You want to make sure you’re fighting for your share of limped pots when you’re in the blinds or decided to limp behind. If you’re struggling with this, there’s an additional video you should check out: Scooping small pots Filter 11 (Unsuited Connectors Cold Called) – A very common spew area for a lot of people. Make sure when you are calling that you’re calling in position and you have some good reads on your opponents. If you’re bleeding a lot of money here, then just cut way down on these hands. They can become trap hands if you’re not bluffing enough to make up for the times you don’t connect. Filter 17 (Calling Flop Cbet Raise) – If you get raised on the flop there should be pause for thought. Most people are […]

Improve Your Database Review – Part 2 of 5

February 11th, 2015

As we discussed in the previous article, hand review is critical for correcting your leaks and improving your game. Well of course it is. We both know that’s true, but what can we do to make this review process more efficient and interesting? That’s the question I found asking myself when we went over interface designs for Leak Buster 4. One of my favorite new features in Leak Buster 4 is the pop-out equity calculator. It puts everything I tend to use the most all in one convenient place, and includes some cool features. When you’re in step 1 of Leak Buster, any leak you have that has a hands tab you can launch an equity calculation from. Just right click on a hand and click “Run Equity Calculation”. Leak Buster will then ask you where you want to run the calculation from. It’s asking you this because based on how the hand was played, it will auto generate an opponent(s) hand range for you. Nice! Now, instead of looking at a hand in Holdem Manager, and then opening up Poker Stove or a similar equity calculator, punching in all of the hand and flop data, and ranges, it’s all […]

Improve your poker database review – Part 1 of 5

February 6th, 2015

One of the most time consuming things in reviewing your online play is quickly locating hands that need your attention. Fortunately Leak Buster 4 makes this extremely easy to do. Even if you do not own Leak Buster there is a non-expiring, limited free trial included so you can get an idea of how it works. Since Leak Buster is already looking at over 480 different areas of your games for leaks, it quickly divides up which leaks are costing you the most impact on your bankroll by hierarchically ranking them for you in the step 1 screen. From there, you can look at your top leaks and click on the “Hands” tab that relates to the leak. Double click on any of the hands that are listed to replay and review them. You can also right click and run the hand through the equity calculator, or export it to a forum format to post on your favorite poker forum for discussion. As a former online professional player myself, one of the ways I improved the most was reviewing my top leaks by posting and asking questions about them. How was my bet sizing? Was this a good river bluff […]

How to train your game in poker

January 30th, 2015

A little more than 11 years ago now, I decided I wanted to learn to play poker. I could see it was starting to just get popular, and that within a few years it would be booming. This was basically right after the Money Maker effect (Chris Moneymaker – first amateur to win the WSOP main event in 2003), even though at the time of my decision, I had no idea who Moneymaker was. I started off on a quest to learn how to win money at this game, and like everything I do, when I commit, I fully commit to something until I feel I’ve mastered it at some high level. I’ve won a lot of money at online poker. How much you might ask? I’m not telling. But let’s just say it’s well into six figure numbers. I don’t play nearly as much as I used to simply because the access isn’t the same anymore post black Friday for U.S. based players. I’m also not comfortable keeping a lot of money online since I still haven’t gotten most of my pre-black Friday bank roll back. I also thought I lost a second bankroll playing post black Friday when […]

8 question with Krantz – Jason Rosenkrantz

January 25th, 2015

I got the opportunity to ask Jason Rosenkrantz (known as Krantz online), some questions about poker and life. If you aren’t familiar with Jason, he’s one of the founders of Deuces Cracked, the popular online poker training site, and also the creator of the online poker documentary, BET, RAISE, FOLD, along with several other on screen projects. He’s a very easy going guy, and a great poker player as well. Here’s what we got to ask him:   Q: As a Boston University graduate, with a degree in screenwriting, at what point in your life did you know you wanted to be a screenwriter, and why? Jason: The itch probably started after seeing Star Wars on VHS for the first time, then became a full blown obsession around the time of Rounders (which neatly coincided with the first appearance of my poker itch!) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Movies and television were an escape to new worlds of thinking. They inspired me and formed a lot of my ideas about what was possible for myself. Curiosity for how these experiences were created kept pushing me forward.   Q: You’ve been involved in several on and off screen projects, like G4’s […]

And Into 2015 We Go

January 6th, 2015

As we welcome in the New Year, and all our promises to better ourselves and/or our situation, let’s lay a realistic groundwork for improving our poker games. I don’t want to hear any, “oh I’ll study more”, or “I’ll get some coaching”, or “I’ll win a WSOP bracelet”, etc… I mean real goals to improve that are realistic and achievable. When I first started playing poker on a serious level, I honestly thought I may have a shot at being one of the best players in the world. I was winning tons of money, the game came easily, and I had a top winrate in high stakes online cash games. I was successfully flying under the poker radar with lots of success. Then came a lot of major life events. My girlfriend got pregnant. My goals and focus changed pretty quickly from that point, and I shifted into finding a more stable income that I could be successful at. So out popped Ace Poker Solutions. A great way to stabilize my income without having to depend on grinding into the late night hours. I could spend more time with my new family, which was my top priority. Now, two kids […]

7 Questions with Jared Tendler – Poker Psychology Coach

December 18th, 2014

I got to touch base with a great guy and poker psychology coach, Jared Tendler. For those who don’t know Jared, he’s one of the leading minds on the mental game of poker, and has written two books on that subject entitled the Mental Game of Poker 1 and 2. He’s worked with hundreds of top poker pros deal with stress, tilt, and mental blocks that are holding their personal games back. I got to ask him some questions about his craft, and what he thinks holds most poker players back from reaching the success they truly desire.   Me: How long have you been coaching poker players now, and can you fill us in on some of your background leading up to taking on poker clients to coach? Jared: Amazing to say, but I’ve now been coaching players for over 7 years—nearly 400 players from 40 countries. Prior to that I was working with golfers and never imagined coaching poker players. That was until I met Dusty “Leatherass” Schmidt on the golf course. He was a former pro golfer who knew the importance of sports psychology, so when he ran into some big tilt issues going for SNE in […]

Bovada Poker Strategem

December 2nd, 2014

Since being forced into playing on Bovada Poker, since the list of U.S. poker sites sucks, the anonymity of the tables on Bovada is a bit troublesome. Forget the fact that it’s not real poker and takes away some of the great elements that make poker poker, such as observing your opponents and making reads and plays based on the kind of player they are. You can’t really do that to any amazing degree in one short session at a table full of players you’ve never played again. The fact that you can’t make any great reads is being exploited more and more on Bovada and it’s growing tiresome. You’ll get some nutball that wants to make some great bluffs, and then as soon as they’ve done a few, vanish. Then another pops up on your table, makes a quick hit, and vanishes into thin air once again. Now on normal online sites, or in the strange thing call real life, no one could do this. Eventually you’d have data on that player or notes about what kinds of plays they’ve made. Not on Bovada though. And the best part of all that is, they can even join back on […]

Mini Mart Madness

November 20th, 2014

There’s been an increased propensity for cash game players to use the minimum raise as their opening raise size. I’ve coached and seen players doing this A TON more in micro and small stakes games, when it was pretty much non-existent not that long ago. It’s especially prominent in speed poker games, where it makes a little more sense to do, since a lot of players will have already checked out of that table and won’t even be present. However, in non-speed poker games, using the min-raise in micro and small stakes game is bad strategy imho. About 7 years ago or so, there was a high stakes online player I used to play with regularly who started opening all his hands as a min-raise in order to combat the 3-bet and 4-bet increases that were taking over the games. Most mid and small stakes games weren’t feeling this effect yet. But in our regular 5/10 and 10/20 NL games, 3-bet and 4-bet madness was slowly taking over. The player who started doing this you’d probably know, but the name is irrelevant. His strategy was evident, and he was a winning player, but I disagreed with it then, and I […]

Polished Poker Workbook

October 23rd, 2014

The time is finally coming when a workbook companion will be available for Polished Poker. No, say it isn’t so! Yes… and my hope is that this will crystallize all of the content that was in volume I, and bring it all home for you. I’m putting up a couple of example questions from the workbook (without images). You can test your skills a bit and see how you do. Just don’t peek at the answers until you’ve given them a try first.   QUESTION 2 (Effective stacks of 100 BBs) 6-max Cash Game   You open in the CO with 9s9d. A loose aggressive regular (VPIP 30 / PFR 25 / overall 3-bet 10%) in your game 3-bets you to 10 BBs from the button. What’s your best course of action?   o Call     o Fold     o 4-bet to 23 BBs     o 4-bet to 28 BBs     QUESTION 3 (Effective stacks of 120 BBs) 6-max Cash Game   You open in MP to 3 BBs with AhQs. The action folds to the button who is an aggressive regular (VPIP 28 / PFR 25 / 3-bet 12.5% from button), and he 3-bets to 10 BB. The action folds back […]

Poker Tracker vs. Holdem Manager

October 15th, 2014

I know there are a lot of people out there that want a good explanation about the differences between the two most popular poker database applications. I’d have to assert myself as one of the most qualified people, if not the most, to talk about the differences and where each of these products excels. I’ve worked with both of them and their teams for many years now. Ace Poker Solutions has developed many 3rd party applications that have either integrated or work with both products. So if you’re curious, I wrote up a detailed explanation here for your to check out. Poker Tracker vs Holdem Manager

Manly greed

October 7th, 2014

I read an interesting article the other day about a study on greed. Essentially some behavioral researchers in Switzerland looked to study any links between high testosterone levels and greed. They created a game they dubbed “the dictator game”, where they randomly assigned people to either be leaders or followers. Leaders were given a the choice of how to distribute a share of a total sum of money. When leaders had more followers or more ways to distribute the money ratio between themselves and others, they behaved more greedily. Even more interestingly, before they conducted the second part of this study, they asked participants what was a fair distribution of funds of they were a leader or follower. Most of them agreed that a 100/70 split was fair if you were a leader. However, when they were actually put in that position, the people with higher testosterone levels tended to break this accepted norm and create a more unequal distribution split. Now, how does this relate to poker? I’m not going to tell you.   You care read the article here: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/does-testosterone-make-people-greedy/381024/

Microstakes and mistakes

September 30th, 2014

The trickiest things for experienced players to determine when analyzing a hand situation at micro stakes is, is this player over valuing his hand, or making a really dumb bluff? And because these situations happen quite often at micro stakes, it can sometimes be a difficult process to sort through. The bottom line in big pot situations that don’t make sense though is that you should fold if you’re unsure. It takes awhile to get a read on someone in an online situation, and if you don’t think you have that read, it’s always best to error on the side of caution and fold. It’s going to be the higher EV play long term simply because your opponents just won’t bluff enough in big pots for it to make sense. There are always those spots that make you scratch your head of course. Take the below example from a students hand. My advice was to fold, which is what this student did. Since it was on the bovada poker site, we have the advantage of being able to see their hole cards and we can scratch our heads together. Do you think this player thought they were valuing raising or […]

The Great Divide: Weighting Hand Ranges in Poker

September 22nd, 2014

Someone who follows the Polished Poker (free poker books) thread on cardschat posted up a hand that I think illustrates the primary opinion gap divide among good poker players. That is, how often will someone do X? Online, all you have to go off of is some stats, and maybe some patterns on how someone plays certain situations more consistently (if you’re lucky and they have an exploitative pattern). Most of the time you’re operating on very limited information that you’ll need to translate quickly in order to make +EV (expected value) decisions. The EV of a call, fold or raise of a situation typically comes down to two things. What kinds of hands does this opponent have in his range considering how he played it and the board. And how often does he do Y play with each of these hand groupings. Now, usually most good players don’t have much of a difference about what an opponents hand range will be. Most of the time they’ll both be dead on here. The great divide occurs on how often are they doing X in Y situation, or in poker terms, how do we wight their hand range? Here’s a great […]

Polished Poker Videos

September 17th, 2014

I’m putting together a short video series to accompany some of the concepts I’m talking about in the Polished Poker book series (free poker books). Below if the first video that focuses on positional pressure and spotting high equity bluffing spots. I compare it against some other common spots and talking about equity differences in wet and dry flops. I’m also including the equity exercise I discussed in the video below. Let me know what you think.   Range training exercises: 1) In your poker database, create a date range filter that does NOT include the last 3 months of hands and add a filter to only show hands that go to showdown. 2) In the poker hand grid of your poker database (the section that shows all of the hands played), sort by your biggest hands (wins or losses don’t matter). 3) Open a hand in your replayer. Make sure to turn off – show known hole cards. 4) Replay the hand and estimate your opponents equity on every street. Write down what you think these numbers are for each street (Flop, turn and river), on a piece of paper. Write down on the turn, what you think the […]

Endless Summer

September 2nd, 2014

No, say it isn’t so! Summer is over, or is it? I guess it just depends on where you live. I had a pretty busy summer, but now back to the salt mine and blogging. I went to Jamaica, Las Vegas, San Francisco, went skydiving, and completed a successful move from San Diego, back to Huntington Beach, CA. Jamaica was great. It was my first time out the island, so wasn’t sure what to expect. I mostly heard horror stories about how poor and dangerous it was, but I didn’t find that to be the case. I’m sure if you were in Kingston or certain parts of Jamaica it’s pretty bad. However, in Ocho Rios and the neighboring towns we explored, it was fine. I’ve been in much worse parts of the world with more poverty and danger, that’s for sure. Here’s some quick pictures of where my wife and I were.   A lot of nice beaches in Jamaica. We stayed at an all inclusive of course, but like I said, we ventured into town a couple of times on our own. All in all it was a fun trip.   I hope everyone had a great summer. It’s […]

Vaccination Idiocy

June 5th, 2014

I’ll occasionally catch The Daily Show on comedy central for a few good laughs. I watched this past monday show and they had a segment on vaccines and science denial. They were of course, in classic comedy prose, setting up the skit to make it look like right wing nutjobs are the science deniers like they tend to be on high propaganda issues like global warming. However, they were trying to say that left leaning, white, educated suburbanites are the primary science deniers in the case of vaccine effectiveness. For a show that does such a smart job of portraying the absurdity in a lot of subjects, this was a horrible false equivalency for many reasons.   Most, and in my experience, pretty much all of the left leaning anti-vaccine parents don’t deny the science behind vaccines. What they rail against is the safety of the toxins that exist in vaccines today. There’s still much debate about how these toxins such as aluminum and thermisol metabolize in the body. But even major government and private bodies can’t deny that they have some adverse effects. The American Pediatrics association has admitted this and has stated that it can interfere with a […]

Anniversary

June 2nd, 2014

My 1st year wedding anniversary was yesterday, which was a little surreal in some ways. I waited some time before making a commitment to marriage as I was 39 when we got married, and for good reason. I wasn’t really sure I knew what love was or why you’d commit your life to being with just one person. My parents divorced when I was only 2 1/2 years old, and my mom was the text book definition of an absentee mother. My father was busy starting a new family, and while he put his time in, it was minimal since he was focused on pleasing a new young wife and having new children of his own. My life path up until a few years ago left my very confused an unsure about love, and lead me into a lot of bad relationships. It was through all of that though that I learned some important lessons about love and life. I don’t profess to know a lot about love, but I did finally figure out a few things that help guide me to my amazing wife.   Make sure your woman feels secure. Even if you’re ever in a precarious situations […]

Patience My Friend

May 28th, 2014

Pre-black Friday, poker income just flowed in like milking a fat dairy cow and drinking in it’s goodness. Times have changed, there’s less fish, and much less accessibility to good games if you’re in the U.S. like myself. I’m calling this part of my poker life, my second poker career. I’m playing lower stakes than I’ve played in forever, and the money trickles in instead of pouring in over my head. During this time I’ve had to really work on an important word…. PATIENCE.   I think I’m a pretty patient poker player, but without question, post black friday, I tried far too often to make things happen simply because winning large pots was so much more rare, and the quality of the regulars in any game has gone up quite a lot. Since I’ve noticed myself forcing the game a little more than I probably should, I’ve re-focused my game on being a lot more patient, but pushing really small edges when I’m in pots. This has been paying off over the last several months, where my winrate over my last 30k hands is over 15bb/100. Small sample size of course, and I ran pretty good the last 5k […]

Sliding into Rage

May 21st, 2014

I used to think I had a pretty good handle on my tilt in poker. It was a very rare session where I’d make a bad play because I was steaming about something. Now a days though, with how much tougher the games have gotten, I’ve found myself making ridiculous plays I don’t think I ever would have in the past. All simply because I was running bad, or was getting raised off some marginal hands, and was chasing my session trying to make something happen, and instead just made it worse. Tilt is the game inside the game of poker. Everyone in poker tilts to one degree or another. Even if it’s subtle tilt, even the most stoic players are susceptible. It’s something we can all improve at. With this in mind I asked someone who is quickly becoming an expert in this field to make a video about how to handle tilt. So I asked Jared Tendler, author of the Mental Game Of Poker Vol. I & II if he’d do a video for our poker software Leak Buster and he agreed. I think this information is so important and vital to growing as a person and a […]

Wildfire

May 19th, 2014

It’s snowing in southern California! Never mind that it’s ash from all the burnt landscape and trees, the result of another kickoff for an intense fire season ahead. Although there’s really no fire season left in California, because it’s nearly 365 days a year now. Over 125,000 people were evacuated these past few days in San Diego, California, including my wife’s parents. I understand the sensationalism of the news. People don’t want to really talk about why this is happening with increased regularity. They just want to know how many people died, how many homes were lost, and how did it start. Those are the cool news segments to cover. However, for me personally, we need to start acknowledging and talking about what’s really going on with our climate, and what’s causing it to change so dramatically. Other countries have little to no problem doing this. In the United States though, it’s like picking opposing rival football teams to side and fight for or against. We are so propagandized by an industry that wants to maintain the status quoa, that we can’t even get enough of our citizens to hear the correct facts on the science. Much like the tobacco […]

Down At The Gas And Sip

May 13th, 2014

Online poker has definitely evolved over the years. When I first started playing, players played super tight, and 3-betting was pretty much exclusively for value. A common stat range for a full ring player 9+ years ago would be something like 12/6. Pretty big VPIP/PFR gap, and super tight. 6-max wasn’t even very popular yet. Part of being good at poker is staying ahead of the evolution curve. I’ve tried to pride myself on staying ahead of that curve, and seeing how to exploit what other players were over looking. A lot of these approaches I’ve taught, and others have caught on to eventually over the years. However, one thing that I’ve done and taught for quite some time still isn’t being commonly used. It’s not something that’s too hard to understand or implement, so not sure why people still haven’t caught on. That one thing is what I like to call the “gas and sip” and stop and go. Some people might be familiar with the phrase “stop and go”, from tournament poker. That’s where you call a bet pre-flop and then shove the flop. It’s usually of course when you’re short stacked, and you can do it with […]

The Penguin That Learned To Fly

May 10th, 2014

I’m not typically someone who’s into heart warming stories, but my wife told me one last night that I thought I’d share. If anyone every asks you, I laughed and didn’t get misty eye when she re-told me this story. Recently hitting 40, I’m having to make a lot of life adjustments in how I eat and work out. I’ve always been very athletic, good at sports, and I’ve never had to even think about my weight until now. My wife is in the same boat. She’s always been very thin and in great health. So as a way to stay connected and work out, we do some long walks just about every night. We went out for teppanyaki last night with some friends and when we got back from a huge meal, went on a late walk. My wife is a 3rd grade teacher. At her school they have three 3rd grade teachers, all of which she is good friends with. Her school had something called field day yesterday and all of the teachers were setting up to do this event when a young man approached my wife’s friend (and colleague who is a 3rd grade teacher), Amy. The […]

Poker and Life

May 9th, 2014

So I decided to start a blog because, 1) I like to write, 2) I have tons to say, 3) I want to get better about sharing my experience. I’ve always been a pretty private person, so my hope is that this will push me to open that part of myself up, grow, and add some entertaining reading to those who stop by and check it out. For those that don’t know me, my name is John Anhalt. I’ve been a professional poker player for over 10 years now. I started the company Ace Poker Solutions 6 years ago in hopes of evolving my own game, having a stable income source for my family, and teaching others a trade that they can use throughout their life. It’s been a fun ride this past decade. Lots of ups and downs, that’s for sure. Black Friday being a really big down for poker players, and in my case it was a bit of a double whammy since my bankroll was lost and my business eventually cut in half. I’m now 40 years old, and just got married a little less than a year ago. My one year anniversary is coming up in […]