I had pot odds, is also often heard at the poker table when a donk makes a bad call. Most of them wouldn’t know pot odds from a tuna fish sandwich.” —Dave “Memphis Mojo” Smith
You’re in a multi-table tournament. Blinds are 100/200. A novice calling station raises UTG to T500. An unknown player flat-calls in MP. Everyone, including you, has about T20K in chips. You are in the cut-off seat with Ah-Ad. What should you do?
- Raise to T1000
- Raise to T1600
- Raise to T800
- Raise to T2300
Jim Rohn once famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Think about this for a minute. It applies to so many different aspects of life and work, often for the worst. I know family members and friends that struggle in life, almost entirely because of the people they hang around, people who drag them down and/or don’t offer any positivity or examples of goodness, people who promote bad behavior and/or want company on their race to the bottom.
I’ve also seen the opposite, where people become better and/or more successful because they’ve actively changed their environment and have found better role models to have around with. Want to be a winner? Hang around with winners and try to emulate what they do.
In poker there are good bets and bad bets – the game is simply a way of determining who can tell the difference.” –Tom “TIME” Leonard
At its fundamental core, poker is a game of decision making. He who makes the best decisions makes the most money. And there is nothing more important than the decision whether to play your hand or not. Preflop decision making is the foundation upon which postflop profits are built. And integral to good preflop decisions are the holy trinity of Position, Aggression, and Caution, or PAC for short. Let me explain:
The wider the gap between VPIP & PFR, the more crap he fits into his poker calling ranges.” –Sky Matsuhashi, SmartPokerStudy.com
I’ve been asked by some readers recently to play some $100NL poker, so I was happy to oblige. Would love to hear your comments and feedback on the moderately profitable session:
Exceptional Poker — Learn. Master. Crush.
My old poker coach, the Guru, used to impose a $5 fine on any of his students who told a bad beat story in his presence.
Student: “Listen to this terrible bad beat I just experienced–“
Coach: “Did you lose with a royal flush?”
Coach: “Then I’ve heard it before.”
The Guru charged this fee primarily because listening to students whine about poker annoyed him, but he also would point out that thinking and dwelling on the negative in poker often leads to future negative actions. Bad thoughts lead to bad behavior.
The fact is bad beats should never be whined about. Yes, they can sting at the time, but you have to remember this: bad beats are good things. Suckouts keep the poor players coming back. Bad players occasionally get lucky with poorly played hands, which in turn reinforces their belief that poker is all about luck, not skill. They come back—often after reloading multiple times—and continue to make bad decisions. Over time, they donate a lot of dead money to the poker pool—and sharks like us feed on that money. For this reason alone, bad beats should be celebrated, not denigrated. But there is an even more important point that you need to keep in mind the next time a villain sucks out on you:
…tight-aggressive (or TAG) players. People have written entire books attempting to explain how to play this way. I’ll explain it in twelve words. Stick to good hands preflop. Bet when checked to. If raised, fold.” – Ed Miller, Poker’s 1%: The One Big Secret That Keeps Elite Players On Top
Question: You’re in a $5/$10 NL Hold’em 10-handed FR cash game. Everyone has about $1000 stacks. The table is a mix of aggressive and passive players. Your image is tight-aggressive. You are UTG with Js-Th. What should you do?
- Mostly limp but sometimes raise
- Mostly limp but sometimes fold
- Mostly limp but sometimes raise or fold