Category Archives: Poker Thoughts


Preflop Decisions: Minraising Preflop

If you’ve been around poker for a while, you know strategies come and go. Somehow, an idea gets started, people promote it, unthinking players latch onto it as dogma, it becomes standard. Then, someone who doesn’t do what’s standard is leaking money; they’re unskilled. Minraising preflop is the new fad. Many books and videos have discussed and debated preflop raise-sizing. Vary the size, keep the size uniform. Raise larger out of position, raise larger in position. Etc. A little while back, I wrote a blog about the murkiness of preflop decisions. While we may have difficulty quantifying preflop decisions that … Continue reading Preflop Decisions: Minraising Preflop


The State of Online Poker

I have a friend who’s been ranting a bit lately about how online poker sucks these days. He’s especially sour about the Beast on Americas Cardroom. “Games are littered with you regs. No fish!” I’ve been hearing this type of talk since I started poker in 2004. Players saying how much better poker was in the past. Seems it’s a recurring theme. Perhaps the state of online poker does get worse every year, idk. However, I was convinced there were plenty of good games on Americas Cardroom to keep most players busy. Not many players are going to have more … Continue reading The State of Online Poker


No Limit Hold’em Theory and Practice

I just finished No Limit Hold’em Theory and Practice…for the fourth time. The last time I read it was about five years ago. Five years ago, I knew little poker theory. So, this is the first time I’ve read NLTAP (we’ll use this acronym for No Limit Hold’em Theory and Practice) with something of a critical eye. And, I do have criticism for this book. First, my view of the authors. I’ve never been a fan of Sklansky’s writing. Just me or whatever…I just don’t appreciate his style or the way he teaches. Miller, on the other hand, I’ve always … Continue reading No Limit Hold’em Theory and Practice


Poker Mistakes

In 2005, I read an article by David Sklansky called The Eight Mistakes in Poker. He listed the eight possible mistakes for a limit holdem player. 1. Checking when you should bet. 2. Betting when you should check. 3. Calling when you should fold. 4. Calling when you should raise. 5. Folding when you should call. 6. Folding when you should raise. 7. Raising when you should call. 8. Raising when you should fold. In the article, he discussed each mistake. However, what struck me was the simplicity made apparent by the short list. No Limit Hold’em is more complex … Continue reading Poker Mistakes


The Two Keys to Good Poker

The Two Keys to Good Poker: The video below sums it up. Poker is a seemingly simply game on the surface. But, as many people coming to learn the game have discovered, it’s actually quite complex. However, every complex decision in poker can really be boiled down to two things, the two keys to good poker. So, without further ado, here are the two keys to good poker. 1. Accurate assumptions 2. Making the best decision It’s so simple, but it really defines the decision process for players. This concept is the foundation of anything I do with poker and … Continue reading The Two Keys to Good Poker


I Love Cards

Hard to imagine 52 pieces of 2.5 x 3.5 inch paper have played such a big role in my life. The deck of cards has been the source of my family’s income for the last 10 years. On top of that, I’ve spent countless hours screwing around with cards for magic tricks and playing games with friends. I’ve got a bit of a collection of playing cards. Certainly not vast relative to other collectors, but I have more cards than the average household The video below gives a review of my collection. My top-five favorite decks are: • Medallions • … Continue reading I Love Cards


Poker Illogic: I’d Rather Have

Coaching a few years ago, I told a student, “I think a 3bet here is a good idea.” We held something like T4o. “Oh, I’d rather have a hand like Ax to do that so I get the removal effects” he replied. So, he folded. I’d rather have… Not long after that, I was watching a poker training video and heard a coach discussing the merits of a check-raise. “But…I’d rather check-raise with a hand that has more showdown value.” So, he didn’t check-raise. I’d rather have… Recently, in a poker forum, I read “but, I’d rather have a polarized … Continue reading Poker Illogic: I’d Rather Have


Tipton’s Expert Heads Up No Limit Holdem

The past summer, I decided to spend time thinking about GTO play. The poker book market saw a string of books released on the topic, and I like to learn. I’ve read Mathematic of Poker a couple times, but the book confuses me more than illuminates—makes a frustrating experience for me. So, in July, I grabbed three new books: 1. Janda’s Applications of No Limit Holdem 2. Tipton’s Expert No Limit Holdem 3. Newall’s The Intelligent Poker Player I read Newall’s first, then started both Tipton’s and Janda’s. I didn’t finish either of those. Then I spent many hours over … Continue reading Tipton’s Expert Heads Up No Limit Holdem


Preflop Decisions Part 1

A few weeks ago, a friend made a comment in a blog I made about preflop play. I responded with the idea of thinking about preflop play in more of an art than an empirical science. Certainly, numbers can be assigned to preflop decisions, but with so many possible branches, the task is often overwhelming. So, I’d like to put out some preflop decisions and discuss them. A few hours ago, I played a hand I thought would make a perfect start. I was in the big blind in a 50nl full ring game. Pots aren’t often limped around online … Continue reading Preflop Decisions Part 1


If to the River You Go

Tonight I was grinding away on 46 tables. This hand popped up. Hero J♦J♥ Flop: J♠3♥5♠. Action: Bet/Raise/Reraise/Ship/Call Villain Shows: A♠K♠ Now…I’m playing 46 tables here. Hands are flying by. To keep this table handy and see what happens is a bit taxing to my processes. And, honestly, what does it matter from here. I know his hand, we’re all in, etc. To my surprise, I said in my best yoda voice (and it’s not very good), “If to the river you go…”. Never said that before, no idea how it came out of my mouth (How does that happen?). … Continue reading If to the River You Go