Do Not Pay Off Tight Poker Players

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Time and time again, I see people play overly tight, hoping to get paid off whenever they pick up a strong hand. While everyone probably knows to simply fold whenever a tight player enters the pot, it seems like the tight player often finds a way to get all-in before the flop with A-A. The easiest way to avoid set-up situations against the tight players is to simply never give them action.
Suppose a player who looks, acts and plays tight opens to 500 out of his 10,000 stack from second position in the second level of a large buy-in event. So far, he has only played one hand, which happened to be K-K. Everyone folds to you on the button. With almost your entire playable range besides A-A and K-K, you should call, not because you’re scared of your opponent or his hand, but because you want to play a pot in position against someone who will virtually turn his hand face-up on most flops.
The flop comes Ks-7d-4c. Your opponent bets 600 and you elect to call. If your opponent bets again on the turn, unless you have A-K or better, you should fold. If your opponent checks the turn, unless you know he’s capable of check-calling with a hand such as A-A or A-K, you should bet the turn and the river to try to get him off marginal hands such as Q-Q and 9-9. This should be your default line against weak, tight, straightforward opponents. If you think your opponent would bet most turns and some rivers with Q-Q, or if you think he would never fold Q-Q on a K-x-x board, you should probably try to flop a strong hand while simply getting out of the way if you miss.
While this seems easy enough, I constantly see players call the tight player’s raise with a hand such as Kd-Qd, flop top pair, then call down when the tight player fires three sizable bets. Suppose the same action as before happened and you have Kd-Qd.  If your opponent fires on any turn besides a K or a Q, you have a fairly easy fold. Even though you have top pair, second kicker, you have to realize most tight players will have a range of squarely A-A, A-K, and possibly sets when they fire twice, making K-Q an easy fold.
As stacks get shallow, look to fold to the tight players’ initial raises. Suppose you have As-9s on the button with 18 big blinds. If a player who hasn’t played a pot in an hour opens to 2.2 big blinds from early or middle position, you have an easy fold even though As-9s is normally an easy push against most active opponents. It’s important to always think about your opponent’s range and how your hand does when called. If your opponent’s opening range is the same as the range he plans on calling your all-in with, you need a strong hand to push.
Another situation that often occurs is when you raise to 2 big blinds out of your 18 big blind stack and a tight player goes all-in for around 18 big blinds. Say you’re playing 500/1,000-100, you have 20,000 and raise to 2,000 from middle position with As-Jd. A super tight player in the big blind goes all-in for 19,000. Some players would assume this is an easy call, but against someone who is only going all-in with a range of big pairs, A-K and A-Q, you have an easy fold because you only have 32% equity against this range.
What this all means is that you should rarely give a tight player action when you have low implied odds. If you can accurately pinpoint your opponent’s range and realize it has your normally strong hand crushed, you have to fold. It’s important to always compare your hand to your opponent’s range, not the range you, or anyone else, would play in a similar situation. As long as you know how your opponent will play in most situations, you will be able to make excellent folds, saving countless chips in the long run. Just make sure you don’t mistake a loose player for a tight player.
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Leveling Up

“Leveling up” refers to when you make a breakthrough in your thought process about poker that allows you to take your game to the next level.
Poker is awesome because every player has the capability to get better, assuming he is willing to put in the requisite time and energy, studying the game diligently both at and away from the table.
In this article, I am going to list a few of the concepts I have learned during different stages of my career that propelled me from being a weak tight nit who was scared to put money into the pot to a top professional.
When I first started playing poker, I thought I was supposed to look at my cards and put money in the pot when I had a strong hand, as all of the 20 year old books suggest. I was sadly mistaken.
You must be able to pay attention and figure out why your opponents are making specific actions. There are many spots where you have to fold top pair because it is clearly beat. There are also times when you have a marginal hand, such as A high or bottom pair, and should not fold. The only way you will ever learn to recognize these situations is to stop worrying about exactly your own two cards and start thinking about the numerous other aspects of the game, such as hand ranges, your opponents’ tendencies and stack sizes. While poker is a very dense game, if you refuse to get the least bit out of your standard poker routine, you are almost guaranteed to be a consistent loser.
After a while, I became a small winning player. Eventually, I made it to the top of the online sit n’ go world by playing a robust strategy based purely on game theory, which works decently well as long as you are playing with short stacks. As I ventured into deep stacked tournaments and cash games, I quickly realized playing a predetermined strategy will leave you broke.
One of the biggest realizations I made was that my opponents do not have the same thought processes that I have. I frequently hear mediocre players discuss hands as if their opponents have the exact same strategy as they do. In order to win at poker, you have to figure out what your opponents are doing incorrectly. While they have some of the same flaws as you, they likely make mistakes you could never dream of. You have to pinpoint exactly what they do incorrectly then adjust your strategy drastically to take full advantage of their errors.
Once I become a professional, supporting myself financially entirely from my poker winnings, I quickly realized I had to work on my life away from the poker table. In order to succeed at poker in the long run, you must be well rested, clear-minded and ready to play your best poker whenever you step up to the table. This means not partying too hard, getting adequate sleep and maintaining a balanced life. If you spend all your time playing poker, you will quickly burn out. If you spend all your time spending your winnings, you will find you have no winnings left.
Perhaps the most difficult thing to do is maintain the hunger for poker. It is easy to stay motivated when you are constantly learning new skills and playing only a few hours per week, but all of that will change when your learning plateaus and you start putting in 60 hours per week at the table.
I have found that playing poker “full time” around three weeks per month and taking the other week off works best for me. Other professionals tend to put in 30 hour weeks all of the time with no problem. I have found very few professional poker players who play at a high level and play more than 40 hours per week, every week. In order to figure out what works best for you, you must experiment with various routines and see which works best.
In order to continue improving both as a person and as a poker player, you must keep your eyes and ears open, especially when spending time with enlightened people. I am constantly on the lookout for new ideas to better my poker and my life. If you never think outside of the box and only learn what is spoon-fed to you, you will constantly remain behind the curve. In order to be an innovator, you must work hard to see things other people do not see. Once you learn to truly observe the world around you, you will be better able to figure out ways to improve, allowing you to continue to learn and progress.
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Understanding the Three Player Types

In poker, and most other games, there tend to be three types of players. In this article, I am going to tell you how to give each of them what they want so they will eventually give you what you want.
One type plays mostly because they enjoy the social interactions. The second type likes to test the boundaries of the game. In poker, these players enjoy running insane bluffs or making huge folds that most players would never consider. The third player type loves to win. While you are almost certainly a blend of the three player types, it is important to realize who you are playing against in order to extract the maximum amount of profit in the long run.
The first type of player, who plays the game mostly for the social interactions, makes up the majority of the player pool, especially at the small and middle stake games. While these players say they care about winning, they actually do not care if they win or lose, as long as they don’t lose too much. They tend to develop a simple strategy and follow it religiously. While most of these players lose relatively small amounts, they provide much of the money that eventually trickles up to the high stake games.
(As a side note, it is important to understand that players who beat the small stakes occasionally move up, only to get crushed at the middle stakes before returning back to the small stake games. That process repeats itself at all levels until most of the money ends up either in the hands of the casinos, which they take in the form of rake, or in the hands of the best players in the world.)
When you encounter the players who crave entertainment, make a point to show them a good time at the table. Feel free to chat with them and be sure to congratulate them on their winning hands. It is mandatory that you do not sit like a statue and ignore them. Ideally, you want to make these players as happy as possible while they play in a game they can’t beat.
The second type of player gets a thrill out of pushing the boundaries of the game. While these players can be either loose or tight, they are usually polarized to one extreme or the other. Some of these players take great pride in folding powerful hands when they suspect they are beat. On the other end of the spectrum, some of these players frequently run insane bluffs whenever they think their opponent does not have the nuts. While most of these players study the game and try their best to win, they get so far out of line that they become greatly unprofitable.
These players are fairly easy to play against once you figure out their tendencies. If they fold when you apply a lot of pressure, apply pressure. If they bluff off their stack any time they sense weakness, try to look as weak as possible when you have a strong hand and don’t fold. All you have to do is set a trap and let them fall in. When one of these players shows their “amazing” play, make sure you congratulate them and reconfirm that they should be looking to make these ridiculous plays as often as possible. These players tend to make up the majority of the middle stake players because they are thinking enough to beat a player using a simple system but are not capable of playing a fundamentally sound game that is required to crush the high stakes.
The third type of player plays purely to win. They are not looking for social interactions and tend to not get excited over the outcome of any individual hand. They make a point to play their best every day. They go home happy whenever they play well, regardless of the outcome. These players make up the vast majority of the high stake players, even though they make up only a tiny percentage of the entire player pool. You will find most of these players are thinking at a high level and generally don’t make too many mistakes. Obviously these are the players you want to avoid whenever possible.

I am  the third type of player. I am not looking to hang out and have a good time at the poker table and I certainly do not get a thrill out of bluffing someone out of their seat. Unfortunately, there have been times where I was overly quiet at the table, providing little to no interaction. This flaw is something I have to work on. It is important to recognize what you do incorrectly so you can work to improve it.
In general, you will find most excellent players are primarily the third player type with a little bit of the second player type mixed in. Very rarely will you find someone who is playing purely for social reasons in the high stake games and for that reason, I have relatively little experience playing against that type of player. Most of the negative expectation players at the high stake games are the second player type.
In order to keep your game profitable, you must be nice and make the experience of playing poker enjoyable for the other players at the table. While you may not want to talk at the table or be congratulated when you run a wild bluff, you must recognize that your opponents crave those things.  If you give your opponents what they want, they will continue to play the game and eventually give you what you want.
So, what type of player are you? Did this article help you understand the motivations of some of your opponents? Let me know in the comments section.
Thank you for reading!

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Evaulating Top Pair

Since top pair is the most common “value” hand you will make after the flop, it is important to fully understand how to play it. Despite the frequency with which you make top pair, most amateur players misplay this holding on a regular basis. It is important to realize that all top pairs are not created equal.

For example, Kh-Qh on a Ks-8c-3h board is much stronger than 9d-6d on a 6h-5h-4c board. If, in your mind, you think both of these hands are equally strong, you will make gigantic errors that cost you a lot of money in the long run.
Suppose someone with a 100 big blind stack raises to 3 big blinds from middle position, someone calls from the button, and you call with Qh-Th from the big blind. The flop comes Td-7c-5s.
You must first decide if you should check or bet.  While you may think that you should either always check or always bet in this situation, your play should depend entirely on how you expect your opponents to react. If you think they will play in a straightforward manner, raising with better hands and calling or folding with worse hands, leading is an excellent option. If you think your opponents will make your future decisions tricky by not playing in a straightforward manner, you should probably check.
If you check, the initial raiser bets, and the Button folds, you should either call or check-raise, depending on how you expect your opponent to react. If you think he will fold most worse hands to a check-raise, which will usually be the case against most competent opponents, calling is vastly superior to check-raising because check-raising will result in your opponent playing well. You never want your opponent to fold when he is drawing thin. By calling, you give him the opportunity to make additional mistakes on future betting rounds. If you think your opponent will assume you must be semi-bluffing when you check-raise, perhaps because he thinks you like to call with your marginal and strong made hands, check-raising becomes an excellent option because it will extract a huge amount of value from your opponent’s marginal made hands. Of course, you need to think about how you will proceed if your opponent re-raises your check-raise.
If you check, the initial raiser bets and the other player calls, you have to figure out if you should call, fold, or check-raise. You should usually call unless you have specific reads about your opponents’ tendencies. If you are confident that at least one of your two opponents has a strong hand, you should fold. For example, if one or both of your opponents happen to be overly tight, you should certainly fold because you are probably already crushed and if you aren’t, both of your opponents likely have a large number of outs. If both of your opponents are overly active, meaning they could have anything, it is probably smart to check-raise to an amount that worse made hands can realistically call. Notice that check-raising to a huge amount is not a good idea because it allows your opponents to easily play perfectly; continuing when they have you beat and folding when you have them beat. If you are unsure where you stand, calling is probably best.
Notice how all of this thought goes into playing what most players view as a mundane top pair situation. Imagine if instead of Td-7c-5s, the board was Td-7c-5d. The presence of the flush draw will make your opponents assume that you have a decent amount of draws in your range if you decide to take an aggressive line, completely changing the situation.
While you should probably play the hand with the Td-7c-5d flop as outlined above, you now have to consider the fact that everyone has some amount of flush draws in their ranges.  This greatly complicates things because your opponents may now assume your aggressive lines could also be semi-bluffs instead of mostly value bets.
As you can see, this is a tough situation. I strongly suggest you spend a significant amount of time away from the table formulating how you should go about playing this, and all situations, based on your image and overall game plan. If you are not constantly thinking about all of the intricacies that go into a hand, you will make costly errors in the long run, costing you a lot of money.
If you want to more information about how to master playing top pair, I strongly suggest you check out my advanced webinar, The True Value of Top Pair. I discuss numerous situations that will make it clear when to go for maximum value and when to pot control. If you learn to play this common situation correctly, you will see an immediate increase to your win rate. Check it out and let me know what you think on twitter @JonathanLittle. Be sure to check back next week for another educational blog post. Thanks for reading!

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อย่ากลัวที่จะไปออลอิน

บางครั้งคู่ต่อสู้ของคุณยอมให้คุณชนะเงินกองกลางโดยทำผิดพลาดอย่างชัดเจน ฉันเพิ่งเล่นมือนี้ในเหตุการณ์เบื้องต้นของ WSOP $ 1,500 ผู้เล่นที่ค่อนข้างก้าวร้าวจากตำแหน่งแบ็คถึง 1,600 จาก 35,000 กองเป็น 300 / 600-100 จากจุดตัดและผู้เล่นที่หลวม ๆ เฉยๆและอ่อนแอด้วยชิป 40,000 ชิป ฉันแน่ใจว่าทั้งสองอย่างมีความหลากหลายพอสมควรเพราะทั้งคู่ผ่อนคลายและกระตือรือร้น ฉันคาดว่าลิฟท์เดิมจะมีการผสมผสานระหว่างแฮนด์ระดับพรีเมี่ยมและความแข็งแรงปานกลางที่เหมาะสมในขณะที่ลิฟท์ที่ดีควรมีมือที่มีความแข็งแรงปานกลางเป็นส่วนใหญ่โดยดูว่าเขาไม่ได้ปรับใหม่อย่างไร ฉันเลือกที่จะสร้าง 6,600 จาก 50,000 สแต็คจากบิ๊กบลายด์ด้วย Qs-Tc ผู้เล่นทั้งสองฝ่ายเรียกว่า ด้วยมืออย่าง QT ที่ไม่อยู่ในตำแหน่งการปรับตำแหน่งใหม่เกือบจะเป็นเกมที่ดีกว่าการโทรเพราะเมื่อคุณโทรคุณต้องเชื่อมต่อกับฟล็อปให้ดีเพื่อที่จะชนะเว้นแต่คุณจะตั้งใจที่จะทำโพสต์ฟล็อปบลัฟ เมื่อทำการประเมินใหม่คุณเปิดโอกาสให้ตัวเองได้รับรางวัล preflop และ postflop ไม่ว่าคุณจะเชื่อมต่อกับแดชบอร์ดหรือไม่ก็ตาม ฉันค่อนข้างประหลาดใจที่เห็นฝ่ายตรงข้ามทั้งสองเรียกแม้ว่าเมื่อมีการเรียกใช้ raiser ดั้งเดิมแล้วปุ่ม passive แบบหลวม ๆ อาจจะดำเนินต่อไปเกือบทุกมือที่เรียกว่าการเพิ่มครั้งแรกด้วย ใบปัดมา Kd-Qh-3c ฉันเดิมพัน 7,000, raiser เดิมเรียกและปุ่มพับ แผนของฉันคือทำมีดราคาถูกในหม้อและพับถ้าผู้เล่นขึ้นไป ถ้าผู้เล่นคนใดคนหนึ่งเรียกมาแผนของฉันคือปิดแถวเว้นแต่มือของฉันจะดีขึ้น เรเซอร์คนเดิมทำให้ฉันประหลาดใจอีกครั้งโดยเพียงแค่โทรออกเนื่องจากผู้เล่นส่วนใหญ่อาจจะยอมแพ้หรือพับบนฟลอป โดยทั่วไปฉันคาดว่าลิฟท์เดิมจะปรากฏพร้อมกับ K, JT หรืออาจจะเป็นมือที่ด้อยกว่าเช่น QJ ฉันอยู่ในสถานการณ์ที่เลวร้ายสำหรับซีรีส์ส่วนใหญ่ซึ่งหมายความว่าฉันต้องหยุดที่หม้อ ถ้าระยะของคู่ต่อสู้ของฉันมีมากพอหรือมือที่อ่อนแอเช่น 6-6 ฉันสามารถบลัฟได้ แต่เพราะฉันคิดว่าเขาจะเพิ่มเป็นสองเท่าของคู่เล็กและไม่สามารถเสมอมากเกินไปเกมเดียวคือยอมแพ้แม้ว่าฉัน มีคู่กลาง ซีรีย์นี้สวยงาม (Kd-Qh-3c) -T เมื่อเห็นว่า raiser ดั้งเดิมมีชิปเพียง 20,000 ชิปและมีเงินกองกลางอยู่แล้ว 35,000 ฉันจึงตัดสินใจที่จะใช้งานทั้งหมด ฉันไม่เห็นจริงๆว่าเขาสามารถพับมือที่เขาเรียกว่าฟลอปได้อย่างไรแม้ JT จะสร้างคู่และตอนนี้ก็มีอัตราต่อรองที่เหมาะสม เขาโทรหา AQ ทันทีและฉันก็ได้รับเงินกองกลางที่ดี คุณควรสังเกตว่าถ้าฝ่ายตรงข้ามของฉันไปที่พรีฟล็อปหรือฟลอปแบบ all-in เขาจะบังคับฉันออกจากมือของฉันและเอาหม้อดีๆ แต่เขาปล่อยให้ Button เห็นฟลอปราคาถูกซึ่งทำให้เราทั้งคู่มีโอกาสเอาชนะมันได้ ในขณะที่ฉันพร้อมที่จะปล่อยให้คู่ต่อสู้ของคุณอยู่ต่อเมื่อพวกเขาเข้าใกล้สามช่องเมื่อเงินกองกลางมีขนาดใหญ่และคุณมีมือที่แข็งแกร่งพอสมควรคุณควรพยายามรวบรวมเงินที่เสียไปเกือบตลอดเวลา นอกจากนี้โปรดทราบว่าหากฟล็อปเป็น K-9-3 แทนที่จะเป็น KQ-3 ฉันจะเดิมพันต่อเนื่องเหมือนเดิมและอาจบังคับให้คู่ต่อสู้พับ AQ ของเขา คู่ต่อสู้ของฉันเปลี่ยนสถานการณ์พรีฟล็อปแบบ all-in ที่ร่ำรวยเป็นพิเศษซึ่งจะทำให้เขาชนะ 7,500 ชิปโดยมีความเสี่ยงเล็กน้อยกลายเป็นหายนะที่เขาพัง ในทัวร์นาเมนต์การวางตัวเองในสถานที่เรียบง่ายเป็นวิธีหนึ่งในการหลีกเลี่ยงความเสียหายร้ายแรง ในกรณีนี้คู่ต่อสู้ของฉันทำตรงกันข้าม เมื่อคุณมีมือที่แข็งแกร่งและมีเงินในเงินกองกลางจำนวนมากก่อนที่จะล้มเหลวอย่ากลัวที่จะเสี่ยงเล็กน้อยและเล่นแบบออลอิน .

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Maximizing marginal top pairs

In December of 2014, I had the pleasure of traveling to Prague for both the World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour events. Compared to the players in the United States, European players are generally much more aggressive. The following hand, from a €1,000 buy-in event, beautifully illustrates how to take advantage of these aggressive players without opening yourself up to losing a bunch of chips when they happen to have a premium hand.
The blinds were 75/150. A relatively tight, aggressive kid who seemed to play a straightforward strategy raised to 400 from first position out of his 20,000 effective chip stack. The player in 3rd position, a splashy, somewhat wild French guy, called. I decided to call with Ah-Qh in the cutoff seat. While most players would reraise before the flop, I called because I would be quite unhappy if the initial raiser continued in the pot because I expected him to only raise with premium hands from first position. Calling also has the added benefit of ensuring I get to see a flop in position with a disguised hand against the wild player.
The flop came As-6d-2h. The initial raiser checked, which probably means he missed the flop or has an underpair, such as K-K or 9-9. The French guy bet 1,000 into the 1,425 pot. I decided to call. Calling allows me to easily fold if the initial raiser decides to check-raise while also forcing the French guy to continue to the turn with a likely wide range. While raising both for value and to protect my hand from various draws may seem like the most obvious play, it allows the French guy to fold his marginal hands I have crushed, such as A-4 or 6-5. The last thing I want to do is allow the French guy to get off the hook with hands that are drawing thin. As expected, the initial raiser folded.
The turn was the (As-6d-2h)-3c. The French guy bet again, this time 1,800 into the 3,425 pot. I decided to call because, as on the flop, I feared that if I raised, he would be able to easily fold most worse hands. That being said, raising may have a bit of merit because my opponent may view a marginal hand, such as A-9, as the nuts and pile his stack into the pot. However, since I would have no clue how to proceed if he reraised or even called, I think calling is by far the best play.
The river was the (As-6d-2h-3c)-6h. My opponent quickly bet 3,200 into the 7,025 pot. Even though I could easily be crushed, I also beat a lot of hands, primarily worse top pairs. I made the easy call. I was surprised to see my opponent turn up 10-8 offsuit for absolutely nothing.
If I raised at any point throughout this hand, either my opponent would have folded his hand that was drawing dead or applied a huge amount of pressure, perhaps resulting in me making a snug fold with my strong, but not premium hand. By calling, I forced him to stay in the pot out of position with a hand that was drawing dead, which is always an excellent result. I also gave him the opportunity to bluff off a lot of chips, which fortunately for me, he did. The next time you find yourself in a pot with a strong, but not premium, made hand, consider calling instead raising, especially against players who are capable of attempting a bluff.
It is important that you get well out of line in order to take advantage of the mistakes that you think your opponent is likely to make. If you fail to see what is likely to happen ahead of time, you will not be able to properly adjust. If you try to play a solid default strategy against everyone, you are certainly leaving a ton of money on the table. For a more thorough analysis of how to get well out of line in order to exploit your opponent’s tendencies, such as bluffing too often or playing too passively, be sure to check out my best-selling book, Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Poker Tournaments.
Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

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Are You Getting in the Way of Your Poker Success?

By Dr. Tricia Cardner
Are you your own worst enemy at the poker table? Have you ever made a final table with a large stack only to make a series of silly mistakes to blow the chip lead and end up with a disappointing finish? Or perhaps you have a goal to create a stringent study plan, but it never gets under way. These are a couple of common examples of how we can undermine our own best interests in mundane and often unconscious ways. Of course, some players engage in dramatic self-sabotage. Consider the case of Stu Ungar.
Stu was arguably one of the best gamesmen who ever lived and if you don’t know his story, I’d encourage you to read One of A Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey, “The Kid” Ungar. He engaged in self-sabotage at an extreme level (including plenty of drugs and reckless gambling), and while most of us won’t fall to those depths, most poker players do engage in small acts of self-sabotage.Consider this common sense definition of self-sabotage offered by Alyce Cornyn-Selby, “Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.”
Even those who play the highest stakes often exhibit minor emotional difficulties that decrease their profitability. These difficulties include emotions like fear or guilt that are by and large irrational and outside of conscious awareness. Irrational thinking plays a role in supporting our self-sabotage, too. The problem is that players seldom mean to sabotage themselves. We don’t generally make a conscious decision to spoil things – and that’s a problem. We can be left with the feeling: “Why did I do that?”
Let’s take a look at irrational self-talk – the basis of most self-sabotage. If you’ve ever thought things like “there’s no way I’ll win this tournament” or “poker math is too hard for someone like me to learn”, then you’ve engaged in negative self-talk. What we subconsciously tell ourselves is a strong determinant of how far we will go in this game. What we say to ourselves leads directly to our feelings about our chances for success. People often erroneously believe that feelings lead to thoughts, but it’s actually the other way around. Keep an eye on any irrational self-talk and do what you can to reduce it.
Fear is a predominant emotion that surrounds less than stellar results. The two main categories of fear are: fear or success and fear of failure. Most people deny fearing success; after all, who doesn’t want to be successful? But with a little digging, you might find it.
Generally speaking, fear of success is the result of messages we picked up as a child. If you heard adults denigrate the rich as “crooks” or if you were told to not get “too big for your britches”, then you might have unconscious fears of success. There is a strong tendency to internalize the attitudes that were directed towards us by our parents or other important caregivers.
You might even fear increased levels of responsibility that come with higher earnings like being responsible for taxes or supporting family members. These can be tremendous emotional weights and it is human nature to do what we have to in order to alleviate real or imagined pressure. Keep an eye out for fear of success. Observing yourself and becoming aware of such tendencies is the first step in containing the fear.
Fear of failure is like the opposite side of the coin. If we have a deep down fear that we can’t be successful, we’ll often set up conditions so that we won’t be successful. We may say to ourselves (and others), “I could be the greatest poker player of all time if I had the time to devote to the game.” Procrastination on studying then becomes our built in “excuse” for why we aren’t more successful. If you think that you’re too old, too young, too (fill in the blank) to be good at poker, then you are likely to have an irrational fear of failure and it is likely holding you back. Again, the key is to become aware of these tendencies in yourself so that you can take active steps to putting a stop to them.
As author Elizabeth Gilbert put it, “You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to observe yourself to see if you are engaging in irrational thinking that is the causing you to shoot yourself in the foot. With some careful attention, it is possible to stop engaging in these behaviors.
Dr. Tricia Cardner is the author of Positive Poker with Jonathan Little, available in paperback, audio, and e-book formats. (You can get the audio version for free!) She also co-hosts The Mindset Advantage Podcast with Elliot Roe, available for free on iTunes, and you can follow her on Twitter @DrTriciaCardner.

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Fun hand from the 2014 Main Event

The WSOP is right around the corner! You can expect lots of educational content from me to help you prepare for the WSOP (or any major tournament series) over the next month or so. For those who do not know, I managed to cash in the 2014 WSOP $10,000 buy-in Main Event for $22,678. I somehow had the chip lead early in day one but couldn’t hold onto it for seven more days. Bad beat! I transformed my experiences at the table into a hand history book, which ended up being a best-seller on Amazon, detailing every significant hand I played throughout the tournament. The following hand example one of the key pots I won that allowed me to cash. If you would like to get the book, you can get it here: The Main Event with Jonathan Little. The book is set up in a quiz format so you can test your skills as you follow along. If you are playing the WSOP Main Event or any other deep-stacked tournament, I suggest you check it out.
Hand  A♣-A♦     Stack  100,000     Blinds  2,000/4,000/500     Position  Button
Everyone folds to me.
What did I decide to do?

Call 4,000
Raise to 8,000
Raise to 9,500
Raise to 12,000

I raise to 8,000. The big blind South American maniac reraises to 19,000.
Pot = 33,500
What did I decide to do?

Call 11,000 more
Reraise to 40,000
Reraise to 54,000
Go all-in for 81,000 more

I call.
I decided to call preflop because I thought the BB, the same LAG guy from the previous few hands (he was bluffing a lot), could easily be bluffing with a wide range. The last thing I wanted to do was four-bet and let him off the hook. Remember, when your stack is somewhat short, you do not have to take aggressive lines that turn your hand face up as “strong” because you will easily be able to get your stack in by the river with a passive, weak-looking line.
9♣-8♠-5♦
BB checks.
Pot = 44,500
What did I decide to do?

Check
Bet 16,000
Bet 20,000
Bet 42,000

I bet 16,000. BB calls.
When my LAG opponent checks, I decided to make a small bet, hoping to look weak and induce him to do something silly. Also, if he happened to have a made hand, I thought he could be looking to check-raise all-in, which would be fantastic for me. I did not think he was looking to check-fold.
(9♣-8♠-5♦)-5♥
BB checks.
Pot = 76,500
What did I decide to do?

Check
Bet 21,000
Bet 32,000
Bet 42,000

I bet 21,000. BB instantly goes all-in for 41,000 more.
Pot = 159,500
What did I decide to do?

Fold
Call 41,000 more

I call and beat T♠-3♦.
I decided to make another small bet on the turn to hopefully induce him to make a mistake. Luckily, this time he did.
Against this specific player, there is absolutely no merit at all in folding to his turn check-raise. If he was weak, tight, and passive, I could see finding a super tight fold, but even then, I would probably call off reluctantly.
If you want to get access to the 53 other key hands I played during the 2014 WSOP Main Event, be sure to grab the book. You will even get to see a mild meltdown where I made a few speculative (bad) plays in a row. While I certainly did not play perfectly, I think I played reasonably well. I would love to hear what you think about my play.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends. Good luck in your tournaments!
 

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การค้นหาแง่มุมใน WSOP

ผู้ที่รู้จักเกมของฉันดีจะรู้ดีว่าฉันไม่ชอบพับมือที่แข็งแรงเป็นพิเศษ แม้ว่ามันจะเป็นงานที่น่าเบื่อ แต่ก็ใช้ได้ดีกับผู้เล่นที่เก่งและดุดันส่วนใหญ่ที่มักจะมีอย่างน้อยสองสามครั้งในเป้าหมายของพวกเขากับคู่ต่อสู้ที่อ่อนแอกว่าซึ่งเล่นตรงอย่างโจ่งแจ้งและหายากเรียกด้วยความดี แต่ไม่น่าแปลกใจที่มือสามารถเข้ามาได้ สร้างปัญหามากมาย WSOP นี้ได้ให้ตัวอย่างแก่ฉันมากมายที่ฉันควรจะยื่นมือให้กับผู้เล่นที่อ่อนแอและอยู่เฉยๆซึ่งอาจถูกอาชญากรที่จะพับกับคนที่มีระยะสมดุล ตัวอย่างแรกจัดขึ้นที่งาน WSOP มูลค่า 1,500 เหรียญ ม่านบังตาอยู่ที่ 25/25 และทั้งหมดมีชิปประมาณ 4,500 ชิ้น ฉันขึ้น Kc-Qd ไปที่ 75 จากตำแหน่งกลางและการโทรและคนตาบอดตัวเล็กและคนตาบอดตัวใหญ่ คู่ต่อสู้ของฉันทั้งคู่มีอายุประมาณ 55 ปีและไม่ต้องติดตามแนวการพนันที่น่ารังเกียจใด ๆ ความล้มเหลวมา Ks-Ts-6d ฝ่ายตรงข้ามของฉันตรวจสอบและฉันเดิมพัน 150 มีเพียงบิ๊กบลายด์เท่านั้นที่เรียก ซีรีส์คือ (Ks-Ts-6d) -2c คนตาบอดตัวเล็กตรวจสอบและฉันตัดสินใจเดิมพัน 300 เพื่อความคุ้มค่า ทำให้ฉันประหลาดใจเขาทำ 1,000 ด้วยความคิดเล็กน้อย ฉันกอดอกอย่างไม่เต็มใจและ Kh-Th ก็แสดงให้ฉันเห็นอย่างภาคภูมิใจ ในขณะที่ผู้เล่นที่ดีส่วนใหญ่ทำได้และอาจทำได้ แต่มีการจับฉลากและมือข้างน้อย แต่พวกเขาก็ตัดสินใจที่จะเปลี่ยนเป็นบลัฟในพื้นที่ของพวกเขาผู้เล่นที่อยู่เฉยๆแทบจะไม่เคยบลัฟเลย เมื่อรู้สิ่งนี้แล้วมือใดที่เขาจะควบคุมได้อย่างสมจริงเพื่อเพิ่มมูลค่าและในความคิดของเขาการปกป้อง? ฉันคิดว่ามือที่แย่ที่สุดที่สามารถคิดว่าเป็นมือ “พรีเมี่ยม” บนกระดานนี้คือ KJ หากนี่เป็นมือที่แย่ที่สุดเท่าที่จะเป็นไปได้ KQ ก็อยู่ในสภาพแย่มาก เป็นที่น่าสังเกตว่าคุณจะพับมือที่ดีที่สุดเป็นครั้งคราว แต่เมื่อเทียบกับช่วงราคาที่แคบ KQ จะถูกบดขยี้ แม้ว่าจะมีการดึงระดับพรีเมี่ยมในช่วงของมัน แต่ KQ ก็ต้องพับ เมื่อระยะของคู่ต่อสู้เป็นงานแฮนด์เมดเกือบทั้งหมดหากคุณมีแฮนด์เมดที่ดี แต่ไม่ใช่ระดับพรีเมี่ยมคุณมักจะต้องพับ อีกมือหนึ่งมาช้ากว่าในทัวร์นาเมนต์เดียวกัน คราวนี้มู่ลี่เป็น 150 / 300-25 พร้อมสแต็คที่มีประสิทธิภาพ 15,000 ชิ้น ผู้เล่นที่แน่นและไม่อยู่นิ่งปีนขึ้นไป 750 จากคนตาบอดตัวเล็กและฉันเลือกที่จะโทรหาบิ๊กบลายด์กับ Js-Tc ความล้มเหลวมา Jh-Jd-9h คู่ต่อสู้ของฉันเดิมพัน 900 และฉันโทรไป คำสั่งซื้อคือ (Jh-Jd-9h) -6c เขาตรวจสอบและบินอย่างรวดเร็วถึง 1,500 หวังว่าดูเหมือนว่าฉันจะพยายามขโมยหม้อ เมื่อเช็คถึง 4,000 ด้วยความมั่นใจฉันเดาว่าวิธีที่ฉันใส่ชิปของฉันลงในหม้อกระตุ้นให้เขาเรียกใช้การมองโลกในแง่ดี ฉันเลือกที่จะโทรหวังว่ามันจะผลักดันแม่น้ำ แม่น้ำคือ (Jh-Jd-9h-6c) -8s คู่ต่อสู้ของฉันไปทั้งหมด 9,000 และฉันเรียกเพียงเล็กน้อยแพ้ใน 6d-6s ของเขา แล้วฉันผิดพลาดตรงไหน? บางคนอาจคิดว่าฉันควรจะทำการปัดเพื่อ “ป้องกัน” แต่ถ้าฝ่ายตรงข้ามมีเพียงเล็กน้อยคุณก็ไม่ควรกังวลเกี่ยวกับการออกจากตำแหน่งโดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่งหากคุณสงสัยว่าคุณอาจสามารถสกัดถนนที่มีมูลค่าพิเศษได้ในภายหลัง หรือแม่น้ำ ฉันยังกังวลว่าเขาจะพับมือของเขาเกือบทั้งหมดแย่กว่า 9 ถ้าฉันลุกขึ้นซึ่งจะเป็นหายนะเพราะฉันต้องการให้เขาอยู่ในหม้อด้วยมือสูงต่างๆ A และ K ในที่สุดฉันก็ไม่ได้ทั้งหมด แน่ใจว่าฉันสามารถชนะใน 50 บิ๊กบลายด์กับผู้เล่นคนนี้หากเขาเลือกที่จะปัดซ้ำ ฉันตีเทิร์นไม่ดี ฉันคิดว่าเขาจะมองว่าการเดิมพันของฉันเป็นแค่การหลอกลวงในความเป็นจริงเขาอาจไม่ได้สนใจว่าฉันจะใส่ชิปของฉันลงในพอตให้น้อยที่สุดได้อย่างไร ถ้าเขาไม่มีอะไรเขาจะพับและถ้าเขามีมือดีเขาจะโทร. มันง่ายมาก จากนั้นฉันก็ทำให้ความผิดพลาดของฉันแย่ลงโดยคิดว่าคู่ต่อสู้ของฉันจะเสียสติและโจมตีการเดิมพันอันน่าสะพรึงของฉันโดยที่เขาอาจไม่รู้ด้วยซ้ำสิ่งนี้ทำให้ฉันเชื่อว่าระยะของคู่ต่อสู้ของฉันประกอบด้วยมือที่บดเกือบทั้งหมด ในความเป็นจริงมันก็มีหนึ่ง J หรือดีกว่าในแต่ละครั้ง เมื่อเขาผลักแม่น้ำที่น่าเกลียดของยุค 8 ทันทีซึ่งปรับปรุง QT และ J-8 ให้อยู่ในมือที่ดีขึ้นฉันต้องหาแง่มุมเพราะฉันสูญเสียในทุกมือยกเว้นบางทีอาจจะมากเกินไป ฉันใส่ตัวเองให้หนักที่สุด ฉันรู้ว่าผู้เล่นส่วนใหญ่รู้ว่าจะไม่ผ่านอย่างแน่นหนากับผู้เล่นแบบพาสซีฟ แต่ในบางครั้งฉันก็ดูเหมือนจะลืมไป เมื่อมีคนที่ไม่ได้วางชิปลงในหม้ออย่างแข็งกร้าวอยากจะติดทั้งกองคุณต้องมีมือระดับพรีเมี่ยมมากเกินไปเพื่อที่จะก้าวต่อไป อย่าลืมมัน. หากคุณกำลังจะไป WSOP ฉันขอแนะนำให้คุณใช้เวลาในการเตรียมตัว หากคุณเพิ่งแสดงตัวและรอที่จะประสบความสำเร็จคุณเกือบจะล้มเหลว ฉันบันทึกซีรีส์การฝึกอบรมหกชั่วโมงสำหรับคุณซึ่งอธิบายถึงการเตรียมการทั้งหมดที่ฉันทำเพื่อให้แน่ใจว่าฉันมีโอกาสที่ดีที่สุดที่จะทำได้ดี ฉันยังพูดถึงวิธีการเล่นกับกองที่แตกต่างกันอย่างมากที่คุณจะถูกบังคับให้เล่นใน WSOP ดูได้ที่นี่: Jonathan Little WSOP Training Series ขอบคุณสำหรับการอ่านและขอให้โชคดีกับเกมของคุณ! บทความนี้ตีพิมพ์ครั้งแรกในนิตยสาร CardPlayer .

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What a shock! The moronic maskless gather in large numbers to celebrate a championship in a pandemic…again


Streets of Tampa were flooded by Bucs fans sans mask in what looks like a Super super spreader event.Image: Getty ImagesThis is becoming as common as another Tom Brady Super Bowl win.Last night, after the Buccaneers won their first Super Bowl since 2003, fans took to the streets to celebrate the championship. This is the part where I remind you that the COVID-19 pandemic is still around and a public health threat to everyone — including those who celebrated last night.Tampa Bay could be the first city to host a Super Bowl and a superspreader event on the same day.Here are some scenes of Florida people last night. G/O Media may get a commissionI can find Waldo before I spot a mask.This isn’t the first time a team championship has led to thousands of maskless people in the streets. A few months ago, Los Angeles health officials correlated alarming rates of COVID spread to Lakers and Dodgers celebrations. And in January, Bama fans packed the streets of Tuscaloosa after the Tide rolled over THE Ohio State University in the CFP championship game.Last week, Dr. Fauci went on NBC’s Today to warn Americans about Super Bowl gatherings and celebrations. “Every time we do have something like this, there always is a spike, be it a holiday, Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving,” he told Savannah Guthrie. “Enjoy the game. Watch it on television, but do it with the immediate members of your family, the people in your household. As much fun as it is to get together in a big Super Bowl party, now is not the time to do that.”Clearly, the recommendation by the nation’s top infectious-disease doctor made too much sense for some.After the celebrations subsided, Tampa Bay Mayor Jane Castor expressed disappointment in her constituents who blatantly disregarded the city’s COVID protocols.“It’s a little frustrating because we’ve worked so hard in cooperation with the NFL and the county…putting the executive order in place that masks had to be worn in specific areas that we knew groups would be congregating,” she said. “Yes, we did see some videos, did see some individuals that weren’t wearing a mask. At this point in dealing with COVID-19, there is a level of frustration when you see that.”While there is a mask mandate in effect for the city of Tampa Bay, the state of Florida has not issued a statewide mask requirement. Apparently, wearing a piece of cloth over one’s mouth and nose, to keep others safe, restricts too much freedom. We won’t know for a few days, maybe weeks, whether the Super Bowl caused a super spread. I hope Tampa doesn’t have an outbreak. But when a team wins and thousands flock to the streets without any protection, what else do we think will happen?At some point, when we get to the other side of this, we will all look back at the role sports played in prolonging this pandemic. It won’t be anything to celebrate. .

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