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Smart Poker Study Podcast

Sky discusses poker play and study strategies for a variety of No Limit Holdem (NLHE) poker games: LIVE and online cash games, MTT’s and SNG’s for all poker stakes. Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker author, coach & player Please visit and learn more at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com
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Now displaying: 2016
Jul 20, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod82

I discuss the importance of asking great questions when studying and when playing poker.  Voltaire said, “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”

Podcast Mission (3:30)

My mission for today is to teach you that the quality of your poker education is a result of the quality of the questions you ask. I’ll give you some great questions to ask yourself when hand reading your opponents, as well as spur you to start asking better questions to help you understand your opponents and their actions.

Asking the Right Questions (4:05)

Questions from 'The Hand Reading Lab'

What’s the worst _______ he’d open here?

 

How often will they fold to a 3bet?

Lots of question to ask on the flop

 

Practicing your question asking (14:10)

Quotes

“Knowledge is having the right answer.  Intelligence is asking the right question.” – unknown

“Ignorance is a temporary affliction, remedied only by asking the right questions.” – Colin Wright: Exile Lifestyle is the blog of author, entrepreneur, and full-time traveler, Colin Wright

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” – Voltaire: Voltaire (real name François-Marie Arouet) (1694 - 1778) was a French philosopher and writer of the Age of Enlightenment. His intelligence, wit and style made him one of France's greatest writers and philosophers.

“He who is afraid to ask is ashamed of learning.” – Danish Proverb

“No one is dumb who is curious. The people who don't ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives.” – Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Astrophysicist

Podcast Challenge (16:20)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Make a list of questions that you could ask yourself on the river that will help guide your river approach.  Take a situation of your choice: Maybe the flush completed, the board paired, an over card came, a seemingly unimportant card came, or whatever situation you want.  Now, make a list of at least 3 questions to help guide your actions on the river.  What knowledge will help you make the value bet, the bluff bet, the check raise, the check call or the check behind that’s correct in this instance?  There are plenty of questions you could ask yourself to guide you to the correct strategy.

Send me your river questions via email and I’ll reply with the questions I like to ask myself on the river.  Let’s learn together, you and me, taking our question asking skills to the next level!

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Jul 12, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod80

I show you how to count poker hand combos to aid your mathematical understanding of the game and the ranges of your opponents.

Podcast Mission (3:15)

My mission for today is to teach you how to count combos of hands in poker.

Take the time right now to answer these questions as a quick little test for yourself:

  1. How many hole card hands can you possibly be dealt in NLHE?
  2. How many ways can you be dealt JJ?
  3. How many ways can you be dealt TJ?
  4. The flop comes T92r, what hands have open-ended straight draws and how many combos of this draw are possible?

Total number of possible NLHE hands

Individual hands – possible combos of each

Board Interaction

 

Flush Draws

 

Card Removal or Blockers

 

How to practice combo counting

Podcast Challenge (18:30)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Count the combos your opponent might have in this scenario: You open with 88, he calls on the button.  You estimate his calling range as 30% of hands, but he would normally 3bet JJ+ and AK, so you can take those out of his range b/c he just called your open.  The flop comes down 672r.  What hands and drawing hands might he have and how many combos of each?

  • Sets
  • 2pair
  • Open-ended straight draws
  • Gut shot draws

Send me your answer via email and I’ll reply with my own assessment of his possible combos.  Let’s learn together, you and me, taking our combo counting game to the next level!

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Jul 8, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod79

In this episode I answer 3 listener Q’s about river calling when your gut says you shouldn’t, online rakeback, playing in capped games and practicing counting outs.

Question 1 from Philip (4:35) - River Calling

Question 2 from Michael (7:20) - Rakeback and Capped Games

 

Question 3 from Wendy (13:40) - Counting Outs

 

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Jul 6, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod78

I read a great article from BlackRain79 (Nathan Williams) on how to tilt your weak micro stakes opponents for maximum profit, and give additional insights into exploiting the weak.

'How to Tilt Lesser-Skilled Players at the Lower Stakes’ by Nathan "BlackRain79" Williams

My Thoughts (9:10)

Podcast Challenge (14:55)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  In the next session you play, pick a weak player and purposefully try to tilt them.  Follow what BlackRain79 says here and do the following:

  1. Play IP
  2. Raise with anything playable without agro players to your left
  3. Cbet a ton (especially in the beginning)
  4. Don’t pay off with crap hands when they start committing chips to the pot with bets and raises
  5. Go for lots of value with good hands when they appear to start tilting

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Jul 5, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod77

I show you how to figure out your opponent’s 3bet continuance ranges; the hands they call your 3bets with and what they 4bet with.  We'll cover the HUD stats most useful for this, as well as 3 questions to answer as you use Flopzilla for the heavy lifting.

Podcast Mission (3:40)

My mission for today is to teach you how to logically create your opponent’s 3bet calling and 4betting ranges.

Take the time right now to answer these questions for yourself before we get to the meat of today’s podcast

  1. Why should I consider what my opponent continues with vs my 3bet?
  2. What HUD statistics should help me determine his continuance ranges?
  3. How do I determine what my opponent’s continue with?

Why should I consider what my opponent continues with vs my 3bet? (4:35)

What HUD statistics should help me determine his continuance ranges? (7:05)

How do I determine what my opponent’s continue with vs my 3bet? (12:05)

Podcast Challenge (21:30)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: Run through this exact same process again, but this time we’ll make it a simpler scenario. You’re up against a TAG player who opens 14% from UTG. You 3bet from the BTN. His stats say he folds to 3bets 85% of the time, and 4bets 4% of the time. What does he continue with? Send me your answer via email and I’ll reply with my own assessment of his 3bet calling and 4betting ranges. Let’s learn together, you and me, taking our 3betting games to a new level!

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Jul 1, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod76

I answer 2 listener Q’s about how to start the hand reading journey and where to go for some limit holdem learning.

Question 1 from myself (1:25)

Question 2 from Gerald Pervall (2:45)

 

Question 3 from Angelo (11:30)

 

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Jun 25, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod75

I answer 3 listener Q’s about the legality of online poker in the US, plugging LIVE poker leaks and the study habits of the pros.

Question 1 from Wendy (1:20)

Hi Sky!
I wanted to support you on Patreon because I really appreciate your attitude. I want to start playing poker online but I’m really scared to start. I want to start at the smallest level possible and work my way up. I’ve been listening to your podcasts and doing extra research on things like poker software and, as I told you before, various different ways to calculate the math. The thing I most appreciate about your approach is you emphasize the value of studying and testing one thing at a time. 😉
I don’t really understand the legal stuff either since I’m in Virginia and I don’t know if I can play for money if I log in from this state?
Thanks so much, Wendy

Question 2 from Gerald (5:10)

Hi Sky,
I have a question that could, maybe, be a podcast discussion.
I hear a lot about fixing leaks but my question is, how do we find our leaks? I am, primarily, a live player so I don’t have stats, numbers, HH or spreadsheets to look at.

Any help with pin pointing leaks as a live player would be GREAT!!
Keep up the good work. Love your podcasts,
Gerald

Question 3 from Jim (8:55)

Sky,
I’ve read where Pro Poker players spend most of their time studying poker, not playing
What exactly are they studying?
Thanks, Jim

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Jun 23, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod74

Podcast Mission (2:50)

My mission for today is to teach you about having a growth mindset when it comes to hand reading.  Hand reading is a skill you can develop, not some gift given only to a select few poker geniuses.  With hand reading you’ll often be incorrect, but having that growth mindset in place will propel you to learn from your mistakes.

A growth mindset vs a fixed mindset (3:25)

Growth mindset within the rest of poker (11:55)

Podcast Challenge (17:20)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Assess whether or not you have a fixed mindset regarding any part of poker.  Do you avoid playing suited connectors or pocket pairs because of a few bad experiences?  Do you fold every BB because you don’t know how to defend and don’t want to look like a fool?  Do you never check-raise or cbet OOP or 3bet pre-flop or even bluff because you’re scared of making a mistake and losing chips?  If you answer yes to any of these, then you’ve found an area where you may have a fixed mindset which limits your growth.  Resolve to get over this, learn new skills, attempt scary or new plays and be willing to make mistakes.  Develop that growth mindset and take your game to the next level.

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Jun 17, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod73

I answer 3 listener Q’s about pre-flop calling ranges, learning from hand showdowns on Americas Cardroom and playing SNG’s at the WSOP.

Question 1 from Kris (1:20)

Sky, I enjoyed listening to your podcast and it is very helpful to think of this subject because the more I contemplate on it the more I realize I have never actually done it. How much does the tight EP opener open for?

So here’s my answer:

  1. If the EP raiser is tight passive I’m certainly going to open my calling range wider while 3 betting light a little more of the time
  2. If the EP raiser is a standard TAG this is my calling range: (I would only call a percentage of the time to mix up my game) 22-QQ, 54s-AKs, 64s-AQs, A4s-A6s

I would occasionally 3 bet light if I had a physical read on the player and if the antes have kicked in. With the above range I’m a 44% dog vs the top 15% of ranges, but if I flop well then my hand is disguised plus I can outplay the opp on the flop.

With 100bb stacks, implied odds are still there to a certain extent but I still feel there are a few more variables that play into my decision. Well I look forward to reading your response.

Thanks, Kris

Question 2 from Herodotis (8:05)

Hello Sky,

I really love the podcast and you have motivated me to take my poker study to a new level.  I am looking for a bit of help filtering hands from ACR in PT4.  Problem is that when I am away from the table ranging opponents, when I get to the showdown only some of my opponents hands show up.  I know that ACR does not show mucked hands but is there some sort of way I can filter out the hands that will not be shown at showdown.  Right now I have it set to only filter hands that went to showdown that I lost because all of those hands show up.  However, I am looking for something that will help me study my winning hands as well.  Also I am looking for something to tell me if my position versus position cold calling ranges are too tight or too loose.  I know this is a situational question but I am hoping you might cover these types of cold calling ranges versus a typical TAG.

Thanks for what you do and keep on keepin on.

Very Respectfully, HERODOTUS

Question 3 from Scott (14:45)

Binked a single table and made a deal. Have $500 lammer I don’t know how to sell.  Ideas?

– Scott

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Jun 14, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod72

Today I teach you why exploring your pre-flop calling ranges will improve your frequencies and give you better insight into your opp’s pre-flop hand ranges.

Podcast Mission (2:20)

My mission for today is to show you how important it is to explore your own pre-flop ranges, and how you can go about doing so by yourself away from the tables.  Take the time right now to answer these questions for yourself before we get to the meat of the today’s podcast:

  1. Why would exploring my own pre-flop calling ranges improve my poker skills?
  2. How can I explore my pre-flop calling ranges on my own?

Why would exploring my own pre-flop calling ranges improve my poker skills? (3:00)

How can I explore my pre-flop calling ranges on my own? (12:05)

Podcast Challenge (19:35)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Get started figuring out your own pre-flop calling ranges with this very common situation: You’ve got 100bb’s, on the BTN vs a tight EP opener.  We face this all the time, so what would you call with?  Figure this out for yourself and let me know your answer via email.  I’ll respond with my own calling range here.  Maybe we can learn a little something from each other.

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Jun 10, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod71

In today’s Q&A, instead of answering the usual 3 listener questions, I’ll hit the SPS Poker Facebook Group and checkout some questions and answers from the amazing poker people within the group.

Checking out the Poker Facebook Group Timeline (2:50)

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Jun 7, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod70

Today I discuss going to the WSOP, give you some LIVE tourney tips and discuss some of the lessons I learned from playing in this year’s Colossus II.

Heading to the WSOP (1:45)

LIVE Tourney Tips (10:40)

Lessons Learned (19:45)

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Jun 3, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod69

In today’s Q&A, I answer 3 listener Q’s about considerations for tourney sponsorships, adjusting from 6max cash to 9max cash tables and putting ‘The ONE Thing’ to use in my poker career.

Question 1 from Eva (2:30)

Good morning!
I have a strange poker question about sponsorship. I play in a free league and recently, several people have offered to sponsor me in some tournaments. The reason I haven’t accepted as of yet is because they are requesting even percentages. I don’t have a problem affording the tournaments, so I’m not sure why I would accept this. Are sponsorships usually for an even percentage? Do you have any advice in regards to this?
Thank you, Eva

Question 2 from Gary (5:25)

Sky,
Just a suggestion. I am a very new guy to Hold ’em poker and have been reading and watching videos and podcasts, etc… I seem to grasp the strategy of 6max micro cash games, I guess, but I’m having trouble when I move to 9max games. I’ve been looking for a source of information that gives a good explanation as to the adjustments I need to make when switching from one format table to the other. 6 max seems to be more natural for me to play but I would like to get enough confidence to play live 1-2 at my local casino.
Thanks, Gary

Question 3 from Ken (9:35)

Hello Sky,
Thanks for agreeing to help me I really appreciate it!
On another note, I am a big fan of self-improvement books also. I read The One Thing and always had trouble adapting it to my busy life and even understanding how to do it. If you ever have time I would love to hear about your methods and success with it.
Again, thanks for your help and for the podcast. I think you have a great format and I am really enjoying and benefiting from it.
Best Regards, Ken

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

May 31, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod68

Today I teach you about the most valuable hand analysis tool available, Flopzilla, and how it’s revolutionized my poker game and my hand reading skills.

Podcast Mission (4:25)

My mission for today is to teach you the benefits that I’ve gained from using Flopzilla as well as show you how I use it for the very specific task of hand reading an opponent.

How has Flopzilla benefited my game? (5:00)

Range Visualization

Range & Board Interaction

Future Cards & Effects on Equity

Counting Combos

Utilizing the Statistics & Filters

How can I use Flopzilla to practice hand reading an opponent? (14:50)

Podcast Challenge (24:50)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: If you’ve got Flopzilla already, do some hand reading practice with showdown hands you’ve played and that you don’t remember. See how accurate you are in your final assessment of the opponent’s range. If you don’t have Flopzilla yet, either get the ‘Hand Reading Lab’ that comes with a license to use Flopzilla with my offer code “smart” or go to www.Flopzilla.com to download it for a free 7 day trial and do some hand reading practice on the house.

Purchase the Hand Reading Lab with my affiliate offer code

I got the ‘Hand Reading Lab’ and it’s the best poker course I’ve ever experienced and I truly feel it’s worth every penny.

The course contains everything you need to master the skill and art of hand reading:

  • 27 videos
  • Powerful Guides and Exercises
  • A 2-hour Hand Reading Webinar
  • A Hand Reading LIVE Tags video from Red Chip Poker
  • A Flopzilla License
  • A set of custom Flopzilla Ranges to help you hand read opponents and use Flopzilla successfully

Click here and use my affiliate offer code “smart” at checkout to get the Hand Reading Lab course and these two additional bonuses:

  1. Splitsuit’s popular ‘Playing 3bet Pots’ video series
  2. Entry into my Hand Reading Webinar on July 9th at 10am Pacific (just send me your HRL purchase confirmation)

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

May 27, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod67

In today’s Q&A, I answer 3 listener Q’s about what beginning players should understand about poker, using a Bovada HUD and the subject matter of my future eBook and other exclusive content.

Question 1 from Dave (1:30)

Sky,
I am a donk. Where do I begin with my studies? I have many, many of the old school books (Sklansky, Caro, Brunson, Malmuth), but so much has changed. I love your podcasts but some of the concepts (esp the math) are over my head. I am going to purchase the Ed miller book ‘The Course’. You have done a great job presenting it! Please HELP.
-Dave

 

Question 2 from Big T (5:50)

Hi Sky,

Thanks again for your answer about pocket pairs a few weeks ago. I am playing them more often now, not always successfully, but it made me win a few big pots I was very happy about!

1- I’m playing online poker only on Bovada, so do I really need a HUD, and if so, why? 

2- Hand review.

There’s one EP raiser, we’ll call him player A. Another short stack player B calls. I 3bet on the button with AQo. The blinds fold and players A and B both call.  So I’m IP, 3way and the flop comes Ac8sQs.  The pot is 2700 chips, A has 2,100 behind, B has 1,000 behind and I have 1,600.  A goes all in (he covers me) and B (short stack) calls.

I KNEW that A had a flush draw. Not sure if it was a reasonable guess but it is what immediately came to my mind (easy to say it was a good guess now).  I suspect that B has a flush draw as well even though I thought he might have called with an Ace…Either way, it doesn’t matter since I think the player who’s covering me is already on a flush draw.  I call, the turn is another spade and I know that I’m out of the tournament. B ends up winning the pot with a better flush than A.

Now that I’m reviewing it, I realize now that A also had a straight draw (it goes fast during the actual game and I hadn’t noticed that).  So, this leaves me with a few questions:

1- Should I risk my tournament knowing that a spade on the turn or river means I’m out? I thought the odds were good, but I’m still not sure I should have called with 2 pair.

2- Is there any other mistake I made?

3- I would probably not call a 3bet preflop with TJs or A3s as my opponents did. Especially not if I were A and didn’t know what B would do.  Am I wrong and should I call 3bets more often when I’m in their position?

Thanks again for your podcast!

Big T =)

Question 3 from Firaga (15:00)

Sky,

I will be VERY happy to pledge my support in the near future once I can take care of some personal financial goals.  Can you give any more insight as to what the strategy videos and/or ebooks might cover? I don’t know how far in the future you plan your projects but I am interested in hearing about it.

Also, have you enjoyed using WordPress? I am considering using them for hosting a blog (part of my being accountable for my goals) but I am hesitant to commit to a site.

Also, super quick update. I decided that HUSNG are the best games for me right now. (if you don’t remember, Firaga was the one that asked about which discipline to stick with for future profitability and longevity) HUSNG’s combine my desire to learn cash game concepts (all decisions are based on cEV, not ICM) and hand reading with my knowledge of push/fold poker and turbo/hyper turbo experience.  Early results are favorable but too early to get excited. Thank you very much for your last email!

Best regards, Firaga

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Support my show on Patreon!  http://www.patreon.com/smartpokerstudy

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

May 24, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod66

I teach you hand reading using my H.A.N.D. acronym, and how understanding percentage form can lead to better hand reading by assigning more accurate pre-flop ranges.

Podcast Mission (3:30)

My mission for today is to teach you the basic steps of hand reading through my H.A.N.D. acronym.  I’ll also dive into what percentage form is and how it is a crucial part of hand reading.  Take the time right now to answer these questions for yourself before we get to the meat of the today’s podcast:

  1. What steps are involved in hand reading?
  2. How can percentage form help with hand reading?

The H.A.N.D. Reading Steps (4:05)

History

Assign

Narrow

Destroy (or Ditch)

How can percentage form help with hand reading? (13:15)

Podcast Challenge (16:45)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Practice learning percentage form.  When you know that 5% of hands is 77+ and AK, or that 20% of hands is all pp’s, all broadways and 65s+, then you’ll be a much stronger hand reader.   Start up your favorite poker calculating software like Flopzilla or Pokerstove or Equilab, and make a list of all the hands that fall under each % category: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 and 60%.  Commit to memorizing these and practice it in your hand history reviews or when you’re actually at the poker table.  If you can get these down, you’ll be far more accurate hand reader than your competition.

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

May 20, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod64

In today's Q&A, I answer 3 listener Q’s about the “tight is right” SNG philosophy, recording LIVE hands for later review, the profitability of cash vs SNG games and changing your plans mid-hand.

Question 1 from Rob (1:15)

Hi Sky. I totally get the tight is right philosophy of the early levels of a SNG. The early levels can easily amount to only 20 – 30 hands and in that small sample, we don’t always get a decent playable hand in position. On top of that, it is rare to get a playable hand in position with the action folded to you. So for most of the lower levels I’m playing fold’em hold’em and almost always get into a short stack scenario. Any suggestions for the above scenario?

Question 2 from Chris (3:35)

Hi Sky,
I have been listening to your podcasts and find them entertaining and informative. I would like more info on playing live as so far I have found that you focus a lot on online. I play exclusively live and would like better ideas on how to take better notes on hands to be able to study later.
Thanks, Chris

Question 3 from Firaga (9:30)

Good morning! I have two questions for you:
1) When you develop a plan for the flop that involves your plan for further streets, how important is it that you stick to that plan in the middle of the hand, even when presented with clear evidence that your plan may not have been a good plan? Then he goes into an example hand.
2) Prior to Black Friday, I was a winning regular in SNG tournaments, but I also played a lot of cash games. I left poker and returned recently to find SNG traffic is at a crawl compared to what it used to be, and my cash game is way behind the curve. My biggest concern is that long-term, there is more profitability in cash games than SNG's, and that playing in SNG's to build my bankroll will damage my development as a cash-game player. Do you think there is any benefit to playing both regularly (not in the same session, maybe alternating weekly) or do you think it would be better to specialize in one and mix in an occasional sprinkling of the other for variety? Am I worried for no good reason?
I would appreciate any advice you might have.
Best regards, Firaga
 

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

May 17, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod64

I teach you why paying attention to showdowns is absolutely vital in gaining reads on your opponents and improving your hand reading skills.

Podcast Mission (8:40)

My mission for today is to teach you the importance of hand reading and to discuss the what, the why and the how of hand reading.  And I’ll dive into why paying attention to showdowns is vitally important in developing your hand reading skills.  Take the time right now to answer these questions for yourself before we get to the meat of the today’s podcast:

  1. What’s so important about hand reading?
  2. How can showdowns help?

What’s so important about hand reading? (9:15)

How can showdowns help? (11:50)

Podcast Challenge (23:00)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: Pay attention to every showdown you see in your next session and for the rest of the week. Your goal is to learn at least one thing from each showdown about how your opponents play their hands, and to take a note each time. The more you practice this, the better you’ll get at remembering the street by street action and using what you learn to exploit your opponents in future hands.

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

May 10, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod62

I interview James ‘SplitSuit’ Sweeney and we discuss poker coaching, player leaks and his hand reading course called ‘The Hand Reading Lab.’    This is a listener Q&A.

Playing and Coaching History

The Hand Reading Lab

New Smart Poker Podcast Series on ‘The Hand Reading Lab’

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Get 'The Hand Reading Lab' and use offer code "smart" at http://www.splitsuit.com/hrl

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

May 6, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod61

I answer 3 listener Q’s about handling surprise tilt, facing check-raises and whether or not I head to the Colossus II this summer.   This is a listener Q&A.

Question 1 from Firaga (3:40)

Greetings Sky,
I am currently building a bankroll on ACR, starting at 2NL. I have made great improvements and have plans in place for fixing many of my leaks, but I’m struggling with a plan of attack for this one.
I find that when a villain does something completely unexpected (i.e. 3-bet shoving 200bb or showing down a hand I hadn’t thought of in their range) I think about it for the rest of the session, and even for days afterwards.
I try to take the GTD approach and mark the hand for review, but that doesn’t stop this compulsive obsessing. I plan on reading the mental game over poker next month, is there anything else you think I could do?
Thank you very much for doing what you do.
– Firaga
 

Question 2 from Sen (8:10)

Hi Sky,
Do you provide any material on playing poker live?
Also, can you provide some feedback regarding the beginning of your session? Would you recommend playing tight like 10% of starting hands or LAG like 45% or play your traditional TAG approach? I play LIVE 1-2 only and have been effected by variance and I think that I get into a lot of marginal spots at the start and lose a flip and play terribly afterwards.
I find that I’m getting check raised a lot after being the pre-flop raiser, even though I have top pair top kicker. I raised with AQo, flopped Q53 rainbow, gets checked to me, I bet and get check-raised. What do I do in these spots? Call and validate the turn or fold on the flop b/c my opponents are raising w/2p+? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
 

Question 3 from Sam (14:30)

Hi Sky,
Thanks for the podcast!
You said before you went to the WSOP. Are you going again this year? If so, what events will you play?
Keep it up!
-Sam

Challenge (16:25)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: Send your questions my way. I’m only able to do these Q&A’s if you’re sending some Q’s to me, so keep ‘em flowing.

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

May 3, 2016

I teach you about percentage form and how to color code your HUD stats for quick and easy reference and to find frequency issues in your opponent’s games.  

Podcast Mission (2:55)

My mission for today is to teach you how you should think about the stat %’s in your HUD and color code them to make it quick and easy to find your opponent’s frequency issues.

What do these numbers really mean? (4:00)

Percentage Form (4:45)

Color Coding for the Win (12:05)

Podcast Challenge (16:10)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: Create some of your own color coding ranges for the most important stats in your HUD. I recommend doing this for the stats mentioned today, as well as Attempt to Steal, Fold to Cbet, # of Hands Played and VPIP. Take the time to create these on your own, giving careful thought to what the percentages mean. Use Equilab, Flopzilla or some other software to aid you in this process. This practice of thinking about each individual stat and what the possible percentages mean will be great for your ongoing poker development.

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Apr 26, 2016

I discuss how I use popups in my PokerTracker 4 HUD to maximally exploit my opponents.

Podcast Mission (2:50)

My mission for today is to teach you how you can utilize popups most effectively with the minimum amount of information possible.  The popups that come with PT4 can be too complicated with stats just all over the place and organized in a very non-user friendly way.  I’ll teach you the most important considerations for the stats within your popups, so that you can avoid overwhelm and actually put them to use.

Stats Under Varying Conditions (3:30)

IP or OOP

Specific Position

By Street

2bet or 3bet Pots

My Popups (12:15)

RFI & Fold to 3bet Popup

3bet Popup

Steal Popup

Cbet Popup

Fold to Cbet Popup

Podcast Challenge (17:20)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Commit to utilizing one of your popups for each session this week.  If it’s the default “Tools” popup in PT4, or your own Cbet popup, or my Steal Popup if you purchase my SMART HUD, whatever, your goal this week will be to use it for every relevant decision made at the tables.  Write out on a piece of paper each element of the HUD to help train yourself in its contents and their placements.  Color code backgrounds or fonts to help you spot important stats for quick reference.  Don’t consider your task complete until you’ve mastered this one popup, even if it takes you 10 sessions to do so.  Once mastered, move on to the next.

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Apr 22, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod57

I answer 3 listener Q’s about small blind opening ranges in cash games, recording your own game tape and running virtual poker study groups.  This is a listener Q&A.

Question 1 from Amir (2:20)

Morning, Sky. I was looking at your information on 6max small blind play. It’s 14 percent. Looks very small. I never played 6max or online before and I’m looking for any help on small blind play or ranges in general. Let me know if you can help.

Question 2 from David (5:25)

Hi Sky,
I would really appreciate some advice.
I have started a study group to study the book “Poker’s 1%” over on the Red Chip Poker forums. There was some discussion about starting a study group but no-one seemed to want to commit to a time, so I took the bull by the horns and extended an invite. The response was really good, with about 8 people wanting to join.
Problem is, I have no idea about study groups. The only study groups I’ve been in were in Uni and typically degenerated rapidly into drinking sessions. I don’t think that’s an option here – this will be a “virtual” study group, with people spread across the world in many locations. Time zones will be challenging for setting up live group discussions, particularly for me because I am in Asia, and am only available for a limited time each evening. As the instigator I also think people will defer to me for leadership, which is not my preference because I’m not the most organized person.
I’d appreciate any thoughts you have on what the elements of a successful study group are. Also, is there any etiquette around using the forums for this? I plan to reach out to Splitsuit, but I wanted to engage you first.
Thanks, David

Question 3 from Rob (10:00)

I’m planning on doing your 30 day Poker Study Challenge.  Can you tell me how to record my game play to review?

Challenge (12:10)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: Increase your steal frequency from the SB. Most players don’t defend often enough to make steals unprofitable, so just start doing it more. Consider your opp’s stats before you do so, tighten up your ranges if they defend a lot, and widen them more if they defend little. This is great for any kind of poker you’re playing, whether it’s cash, SNG’s or MTT’s.

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Apr 19, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod56

I add some killer stats to your essential HUD, and teach you how to practice utilizing them through purposeful HH reviews.

Podcast Mission (2:45)

My mission for today is to build out your HUD with some key stats for exploiting opponents both pre and post-flop.  You’ll learn more about Raise First In, Fold to 3bet, Cbet and Fold to Cbet stats over multiple streets.  I’ll also teach you how you can practice using your HUD to aid in decisions thru dedicated HH reviews.

More Stats for Pre-flop and Post-flop Exploiting Opponents (3:25)

Raise First In (RFI)

Fold to 3bet

 

Combo Stat: RFI and Fold to 3bet

 

Flop & Turn Cbet

Flop & Turn Fold to Cbet

 

Combo Stat: Fold to Flop & Turn Cbet

Practicing Using the HUD in HH Reviews (14:30)

 

Podcast Challenge (16:45)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Commit to utilizing your HUD when analyzing every decision made during your HH reviews.  If you decided to fold, what stats told you he’s strong here and won’t fold to a reraise?  If you decided to call, what stats told you he might be bluffing or could be betting a weaker hand?  And if you decided to raise, what stats told you that he’ll fold to your bluff or that he’ll call your value raise with worse?

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

Apr 14, 2016

http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/pod54

I teach you how to effectively adopt a HUD into your game to exploit your opponents with 6 (or 7) essential elements that every HUD needs.

Hosted by Sky Matsuhashi, poker player, poker coach and author. 

Please visit my poker strategy website at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com and sign up for the Smart Poker Study Newsletter for weekly strategy, study and poker play tips.

Discuss poker with like-minded players at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/discuss

Check out my YouTube Poker Training Channel at http://www.smartpokerstudy.com/youtube

Contact Smart Poker Study:

Twitter @smartpokerstudy

Email to sky@smartpokerstudy.com

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