The Three Ways To Lose at Poker…

...and why each of them is actually a good thing. Seriously.

In this session of Zone poker, I make a bad bet on the river when the river trips the board with three 3’s. This of course causes my jet-lagged brain to tangent off on the topic of losing in poker.

There are three basic ways to lose a hand of poker. First, you can suffer a bad beat (and I explain why this is actually a really good thing). Second, you can run into a cooler (which is a neutral just-part-of-poker thing). Finally, you can make a mistake or bad decision, and get your money in with the worst of it (negative EV). This third way of losing can actually be a good thing, as it can lead you to recognize your mistake and plugging that particular leak for future hands to be played. 

Oh, and don’t forget the Poker Math webinar we’re putting on this weekend. You can check out all the details by clicking here.


Exceptional Poker — Learn. Master. Crush.

Hot-and-Cold Equities

The 8 Categories of Hand-vs.-Hand

You’re considering calling a preflop shove by an opponent. You have pretty good read on the situation, and know what types of hands the villain is jamming with.

There are eight common all-in preflop situations you can find yourself in. Do you have these hand-vs.-hand probabilities (i.e., pot equities) memorized? If not, why not?


Exceptional Poker — Learn. Master. Crush.

The Three Primary Categories of Tilt

Putting Labels On Six Common Poker Problems

“Everyone tilts. It’s just a matter of how often, how long, and how bad.” —Tommy Angelo, Elements of Poker.

In 2011, sports psychologist Jared Tendler changed poker forever with his groundbreaking book The Mental Game of Poker. Like Doyle Brunson’s Super System, David Sklansky’s The Theory of Poker, and Mike Caro’s Caro’s Book of Tells that came before it, Tendler’s work on the psychological aspects of poker revolutionized how us mere mortals should approach emotional control and tilt during play.

Postflop Betting via the Pot vs. Fold Equity Grid

When EV is Zero or Less, Fold!

Following up on the last few Continuation Betting articles and video I did (click here and here to see them), I took a little time this week to create a spreadsheet that charts Pot Equity (PE) vs. Fold Equity (FE). This chart clearly demonstrates the negative EV check/fold zone in the lower left-hand corner of the grid:

The Expected Value (EV) of betting into an opponent = EV = (FE x Pot) + [(1-FE) x ((PE x (Pot + Bet)– ((1-PE) x Bet))], where FE = Fold Equity, Pot = Pot Size before betting, and PE = Pot Equity. This particular chart is for a pot size of $100 and a Hero bet of $75.

He Who Must Actually Be Named

Tilt mitigation begins with putting a label on your tormentor...

The first step to reducing tilt is recognizing that you are tilting. Fine, then what? What’s the next step? Answer: give your specific tilt demon a name. As it turns out, a simple—but powerful—technique to reducing tilt is to give it a label. Intrigued? Read on…

Your Ego is an Id

Getting better at poker requires ego-less introspection & recognition

A few months ago I was approached by a blog reader who wanted some coaching. This happens frequently. I don’t actively advertise or promote my coaching services, as I primarily pick up students on referral, word of mouth, or via cold calls/emails like this one. To protect the guilty, this email came from someone I’m going to simply refer to as Mister-Z.