January 03, 2013
“Before anything flows, there must be a difference. Between different elevations, water flows. Between different pressures, air flows. Between different poker players, money flows."
-Tommy Angelo in Elements of Poker
Any difference between you and your opponents that affects your bottom line.
Get better at poker by making better decisions. Make money in poker by making better decisions than your opponents.
Optimal or not?
in this case will mean the highest expected maximally exploitive
strategy. In this case Optimal does not mean playing GTO.
perfectly balanced strategy is not possible, the game is too complex,
we can approach a close to balanced strategy though.
The idea of having a 'balanced game' is stressed far too heavily for the vast majority of poker players. In fact many players today are wasting their own time trying to work out a perfectly balanced game. This is not to say that GTO is unimportant, but when you are playing against tens of thousands of terrible players, you can simply play a maximally exploitative game, with no fear whatsoever of counter exploitation.
If you find yourself in the situation where you are worried about being counter exploited so much, you have to worry about being perfectly balanced, then there is a much simpler solution; get up and find a different table. When the player pool is large, table selection will beat balanced poker every day of the week.
As you reach higher limits, where the player pool is small, and your opponents are very tough, working on GTO can become much more important.
Spend time thinking about all the variables about steal and showdown equity, and which situations they apply.
How Much is Enough?
How much do I have to play a stake before I can move up?
When you can exploit the player pool at your stake, you are able to beat the stake, so you should play it. You can move up to the next level if you are bankrolled and can also exploit the player pool. In short: Play any stake where you are sufficiently bankrolled and can exploit the majority of players you play against.
How much money is enough for a bankroll?
Are you withdrawing
money? How severe are the consequences of losing? Are you opposed to
The less you are withdrawing money, the smaller your consequences of losing are and the less you care about moving down - then the smaller your bankroll needs to be and the more aggressive you can be with your bankroll. The opposite applies the more you need to withdraw, the bigger the consequences of failure are and the more unwilling you are to move down. So answer these questions honestly and then choose an amount in which you feel comfortable for your bankroll.
For me personally right now, I don't have to withdraw money, I have a job, and I don't care about moving down so 50 buyins for sngs and 25 buyins for cash games seems like a fair number to me.
How much study time is
If you are starting out study more! The better you get, the more you should play. Even if you are crushing, still spend some time studying every week to keep sharp. So, the less you are winning, the more you should study, and the more you are winning the more you should play.
A coordinated suited board is typically considered to be a wet board.
Note that a board texture only means something when we think about our opponents range and how he thinks about our range.
So, instead of thinking about 'wet boards' think 'does this board help or hurt villains range?'
They add up! Think about how to add a few bb's to your valuebets and a subtract a few bbs from your bluffs, over time this will add a lot to your bottom line.