Figuring Out Where You Stand On The Flop in Holdem

Limit Texas Holdem, No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
October 29, 2007

One mistake I see a lot of holdem players making is that they incorrectly estimate the strength of their hand on the flop. This can lead to some ugly mistakes in play. While most players eventually learn by experience what hand/board combinations are strong and which are vulnerable or near-certainly beat, this process can be expensive and is mostly unnecessary. Here’s a quick and dirty method for figuring out where you stand on the flop that you may find helpful.

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Review: Professional No-Limit Hold ‘Em

2 Star, Book Reviews
October 27, 2007

Authors: Matt Flynn, Sunny Mehta, Ed Miller

Publisher: 2+2

Professional No-Limit Hold ‘Em was a widely anticipated book. The literature on NL holdem is very sparse, which is somewhat odd given that it is currently the most widely played form of casino poker. Over the last couple of years, 2+2 publishing has put a number of books and series in the pipeline to try to fill that gap. The first was Sklansky’s No Limit Holdem: Theory and Practice which I found interesting but problematic in many areas. Next up is the Flynn/Mehta “Professional” series starting with this book, and announced but as of yet unavailable are a series of Dan Harrington cash game books.

Sadly, this book really disappointed me on a number of levels. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trip Report: Vegas, Oct. 21-25 2007

October 27, 2007

I got back from Las Vegas a couple of days ago. This trip was very similar to the last one – I stayed at the MGM and played primarily mid-stakes games. I really have very little to report because all the observations from last trip stayed unchanged. The 20-40 stud at the Bellagio is still the softest midstakes games in town but is fragile – it doesn’t seem to run through the whole day. It really surprises me that most of the time when it was running I didn’t see any competent players or indeed any regulars whatsoever. That’s pretty extraordinary for a game with stakes you could live on. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Play Poker Like A Pigeon (And Take The Money Home)

1 Star, Book Reviews
October 18, 2007

Author: Anonymous

Publisher: Lyle Stuart/Kensington

Given the hordes of formulaic books published on poker in the last decade, it’s nice to see the occasional book that breaks out of the mold and goes a different directions. Such books have a tendency to be either very insightful or steaming piles of crap. This one happens to be both at once. Read the rest of this entry »

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Making Poker Math Easier

Mathematics, Strategy
October 15, 2007

A while back we did a big example of odds math and discounting outs.  These examples were somewhat complicated because I wanted to give a comprehensive picture of what can be involved in an odds problem.  Indeed, these problems were so complicated that the math really pushed the edge of what a player could be expected to do at the table.  In other words, those articles fell slightly short of my own standards of what constitutes good poker math.  I want to rectify that here and also present the process I use to do so as a template for simplifying other poker math problems. Read the rest of this entry »

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Starting Hands For No Limit Holdem (Part Two)

No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
October 12, 2007

In the last NL holdem I wrote about basic starting hand selection for deepstack play. The key concept was to play hands that are likely to make the nuts, in position, for a raise. Now I’m going to discuss some associated topics and some exceptions to the rule. Read the rest of this entry »


Hot & Cold Hand Odds In Holdem And Domination

Limit Texas Holdem, No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
October 10, 2007

A key concept in holdem, especially in NL, it “hot and cold” comparison of starting hands – namely the the odds of each pair of hole cards winning in a two hand matchup that always goes to the river. While it’s not important to memorize these odds exactly (and I’m not even going to bother calculating them exactly here – that’s what poker stove is for), it is important to know them in an approximate sense because a lot of correct preflop strategy in holdem is a direct result of this concept. Read the rest of this entry »

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Starting Hands For No Limit Holdem (Part One)

No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
October 9, 2007

As I stated previously, starting hand selection is not as critical to success in deepstack no limit holdem as it is in other forms of poker. Various players have adopted radically different strategies and yet still achieved good results. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the subject altogether. What it does mean is that rather than present an ironclad system I’m going to give some suggestions that most players, especially those new to the game, should have reasonable success with. Read the rest of this entry »

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More About Big Preflop Folds In Tournaments

Strategy, Tournaments
October 8, 2007

As a result of Saturday’s column, I’ve had an interesting email conversation with Mike Caro about the subject of big folds in tournaments. I suppose it’s always a little bit dicey criticizing someone’s work, because you never know how they’re going to respond, but I’m glad to report that Mike and I had an interesting discussion and reached common ground on the subject. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mike Caro Inserts Foot In Keyboard

Nonsense Debunked, Tournaments
October 6, 2007

I want to like Mike Caro. I really do. Every discipline needs it’s mad genius, and the man certainly has the hair for the job. But I can’t deny his Poker Player column is making a encore appearance on “Nonsense Debunked”. That’s not a good thing. This week’s nonsense is about tournament bubble play. Here’s the setup in Caro’s own words from the Oct. 1 2007 ‘Poker Player’: Read the rest of this entry »

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Infinite Stacks – A Thought Experiment

No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
October 4, 2007

Many of yesterday’s Things You Should Know about NL Holdem focused on the effects of deep stacks and implied odds on the game. I think one of the easiest ways to get your head around the effects of deep stacks is to consider what would happen if the stacks were infinitely deep. As you might expect, stacks that are merely very deep have the same properties, but sometimes not to quite the same degree. If the idea of “infinitely deep” stacks bothers you, just think about a stack that’s 1 million big blinds deep – ie. a 2 million dollar stack at 1/2 NL. Here are some effects of those huge stacks: Read the rest of this entry »

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Things to Know About Cash Game No Limit (NL) Holdem

No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
October 2, 2007

A rather unusual situation has developed in US poker at the moment. Cash game no limit holdem has become by far the most popular form of casino poker in the country, but there is almost no good information on how to play it published in book form or on the web. In an effort to plug that gap, I’m going to publish a series of articles on the game that should contain sufficient information to take a player to at least the intermediate level.

To get started, I want to present some central concepts for NL holdem. The idea is to get you in the right frame of mind for thinking about NL play. These are in no particular order. Read the rest of this entry »

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