Steve at the WSOP Final Table. Image © PokerNews
This is a “Retro Blog” from 11/8/2010 discussing the time I spent coaching 2009 WSOP Main Event final table member, Steven Begleiter.
Back when I initially made this post, I was a terrible writer. I decided to clean up the grammar and fix the typos. Believe it or not, but I used to be (and still am to some extent) a sloppy writer.
I have endless problems proofreading my own writing. I constantly struggle to not overlook countless minor, but obvious, mistakes in all forms of writing including books, blogs, twitter posts, emails, and text messages. Perhaps my brain is broken. Please know I try my best!
Getting the Job
Ylon Schwartz and I have never revealed that we spent three months coaching Steven Begleiter through his preparation for the final table of the 2009 WSOP Main Event.
I was initially introduced to Steve through a 2+2 forum member, Ben Lambert, who knew me from back in my sit n’ go days, where I had a considerable amount of success. Of course, my live success also got me on the radar. Given all final tables are essentially sit n’ go tournaments with funny payouts and stack sizes, he thought I would be an excellent candidate to transform Steve into a player with a better than average shot at taking home the bracelet.
It is worth noting that Steve won his way into the 2009 Main Event through a fairly high stakes local league. Ben also participates in this league, which is how he knows Steve.
Ylon Schwartz. Image © PokerNews
I should mention now that Steve is an extremely intelligent guy. I now look up to him as a mentor. He possesses an important life ability that many lack. He is aware that there are many things he doesn’t know and he isn’t afraid to seek help when he thinks he can improve.
Steve knew he wanted to hire a coach so he interviewed lots poker professionals to find the best fit. He narrowed his search down to me and Ylon Schwartz, a chess master who final tabled the WSOP Main Event in 2008. I had no experience with Ylon but shortly after meeting him, it became clear he had a solid grasp of poker.
I was fairly sure Steve was going to pick Ylon, mainly because both he and Ylon live in New York. At the time, I lived across the country in Vegas. I did some negotiating and succeeded in getting the job split between the two of us, which worked out quite well.
I ended up flying to New York three times, once for our initial interview and two other times to spend long weekends coaching Steve. During these weekends, we discussed and played poker constantly. Steve is a super busy guy with a hectic job and a full family life. Despite that, he always spent our time together working hard and quickly absorbed everything I taught him.
Most people, especially when it comes to poker, are stuck in their ways. They refuse to believe they might actually be bad at poker. Steve was the opposite, realizing that Ylon and I were on a different level than he was. He learned a lot from us because he had an open mind and wanted to learn.
Our First Trip
After our initial interview, we decided it would be a good idea for Steve to fly to Vegas and drive with me to Los Angeles to play the WPT event at the Bicycle Casino. We discussed poker during the entire car ride. I think we both learned a ton. I ended up cashing in the event but Steve ended up taking 9th place, which was really impressive considering the field was tough and we had just started working on his game.
Steve with fellow WSOP final tablist Kevin Schaffel at the Legends of Poker WPT event. Image © PokerListings
He claimed the advice I gave him allowed him to avoid going broke twice in the tournament whereas before our lessons, he would have busted early on the first day. That is a good thing! A lot of what I taught him was to control the size of the pot with his good, but not amazing hands, such as top pair with a marginal kicker. You will find it is quite difficult for your bets to get called on three streets by hands worse than top pair with a bad kicker. This means you need to check them at some point. You will find that checking often induces your opponent to either over value his worse made hand or try to bluff you off your “obvious” weak holding. By checking, you extract additional value you would normally miss by betting.
I learned from Steve that most amateur players simply do not pay attention to stack sizes. The concept that each stack size requires a vastly different strategy isn’t something they are aware of. Poker requires a very different strategy when you have 20 big blinds than when you have 100 big blinds. We worked hard on these two concepts and I think he became a much better poker player almost overnight. Steve was sad to take 9th place, but at the same time, he realized it was a great accomplishment.
Working Hard at Home
Back in New York, we ran numerous simulations where we would set up stacks according to the final table stack sizes and try to match up each stack with a player whose playing styles were similar to those of the actual final table players. Steve did reasonably well in most of these sessions, so that was encouraging.
After our first full NYC weekend, Steve decided to play the WSOP Europe. He was one of the chip leaders early in the first day but ran into a few unavoidable situations and was eliminated. While going broke is rarely a good thing, the fact that he is clearly capable of gathering chips means he always has a chance to win. You would much rather have large swings than break even in a poker tournament because in order to win, you have to get all of the chips. Hanging out, waiting for premium hands, is usually not a good idea, especially if your opponents play well.
Before meeting Steve, I assumed I would have to work hard on getting him in good physical shape, as most poker players are not in shape at all. Luckily, Steve was already in excellent shape. There is nothing worse than being technically sound at poker but crashing late in a session due to poor fitness. Once he made the final table, he was frequently in the gym and worked out much harder than I expected. I was, and still am, incredibly proud of his preparation, both on and off the felt.
I also made a point to ensure he was on the proper sleep schedule. If you get tired at midnight but you happen to be required to play until 4am, the wheels could easily fall off. I believe getting Steve on the proper sleep schedule also helped set him up for success.
That’s enough talk about the preparation. On to the final table!
Tackling the WSOP Main Event Final Table
Steve had one of the worst seats at the table, having Eric Buchman, the only other “known” world class player with a ton of chips, on his left. Also to Steve’s left was Joe Cada, who we assumed would play his short stack well, given that he had a ton of online experience. We assumed Antonie Saout, Jeff Schulman, Kevin Schaffel, and Darvin Moon would play fairly tight. We thought James Akenhead, Phil Ivey, and Joe Cada would look to mix it up a bit and try to double their short stacks. We assumed Buchman would try to go after Steve, due to his position, with numerous light calls and reraises.
You may be surprised that we did not assess Ivey as much of a threat, at least as the chips currently sat. Steve had position on Ivey, which automatically gave Steve a huge edge. Also, Ivey didn’t have many chips, meaning he would have to double up a few times before he got in contention. It is fairly difficult, even for Phil Ivey, to double up a few times. In all of the simulations we ran, I (playing in Phil Ivey’s seat) never really got too far off the ground. Starting with a small stack is a huge disadvantage.
It turned out we were generally correct in all of our assumptions except that Saout wasn’t too tight and Ivey was super tight. Early in the day, it looked like Schaffel was going to double through Buchman, which would have made the table much better for Steve because chips flow to the left and Steve had position on Schaffel, but his A-A couldn’t beat K-K.
This was the first crushing blow to our day that few people seemed to notice. It is really bad when a loose, aggressive player on your left gets lots of chips because he will use them to constantly apply pressure on you. That would have been fine if Steve could have made a strong trapping hand, but, if you have ever played poker, you will find you cannot rely on making strong hands.
A Few Minor Missteps
As for Steve’s play at the final table, I was completely satisfied with all of his decisions except two that came up near the end of the day.
In the first one, he raised with 8c-7c and Saout, who was certainly playing the best out of anyone else at the table, reraised from the big blind. Saout had been going after Steve a little, although not too much. I don’t recall the exact stack sizes but I think Steve had 44,000,000 and Saout had 23,000,000. The blinds were 250,000/500,000. Steve raised to 1,500,000 and Saout reraised to 4,500,000. Steve elected to call, which is fairly loose and likely bad given Saout’s relatively short effective stack size. Saout checked on the 9h-8h-3c flop and Steve bet 5,250,000. I really dislike this bet because if Saout decided to go all-in, Steve would be getting decent odds to call with a fairly marginal hand. In general, you do not want to bet an amount that makes your decision difficult. You want to set yourself up to have easy decisions. A smaller bet or a check from Steve would have been much better. Anyway, Saout did push all-in and Steve made what was likely a “correct” call. Saout turned over a flush draw and won when a heart came on the turn.
It worked out pretty well for Joe Cada. Image © PokerNews
If you watched the coverage of this event prior to the final table, you likely know that Steve loves calling reraises with suited connectors. We worked hard to cut that out of his game, especially against good players who will not blindly stack off to you or when you are not getting large implied odds, but he still decided to take a flop in this situation. Despite that “error”, he got his money in with about 50% equity, so I suppose it wasn’t too bad. It is rarely a bad thing to be in a flipping spot where if you lose, you will still have a decent stack and if you win, you will have a gigantic chip lead. Losing this hand was the second major thing that went wrong for Steve.
The next hand Steve lost may appear to be fairly minor, but it had huge consequences, as it helped determine the champion. Joe Cada raised to 2.5 big blinds out of his 20 big blind stack from first position and Steve called from the small blind with As-3s. The flop came Ah-Jc-2s. Steve elected to be bet into Joe, a move which I despise. Cada decided to call the lead. They checked down the turn and the river, giving Steve a tiny pot. I would have much preferred to see him check-call with the intention of inducing Cada to bluff off his stack. Instead of having a realistic chance of inducing Cada to bluff by showing weakness, Steve won almost nothing.
The final bad thing that happened to Steve was actually a standard bad beat. Steve raised to 2.5 big blinds out of his 35 big blind stack from middle position with Q-Q and Darvin Moon pushed all-in from one of the blinds with A-Q. Steve, of course, called instantly. The flop came X-X-X-X-A and Steve was out. He busted in 6th place, collecting $1,587,160.
Life Goes On
Steve giving an exit interview. Image © PokerNews
Steve took his loss exceptionally well and gave a few excellent exit interviews. I do not know if I would have maintained my composure after running fairly bad during the entire final table. He is a strong man.
Steve was an absolute joy to work with. I don’t think anyone else at the final table would have been a better student. Even though he made a few mistakes, none of which turned out to be too costly in terms of equity, I firmly believe he made significantly fewer mistakes than he would have without coaching. If Steve had a desire to make it on the professional poker circuit, I am confident he could. That being said, he has an awesome job and life, which he has no desire to leave, so he will remain a world class weekend warrior.
When I first got the job to coach Steve, I was happy simply to get the job but I am now honored to have a friend for life. Hopefully someone decides to take the plunge with me again next year. I loved the experience. Better yet, I will try to make the final table myself.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends. Thank you for reading.
That is a lot of people!© PokerNews
The 2014 WSOP introduced the concept of the “Monster Stack” tournament, which provides each player with a much larger starting stack than normal.
While it is a well-known fact among professionals that they have a larger edge with a larger stack compared to a smaller stack, the Monster Stack event was one of the largest of the series, attracting a whopping 7,862 players.
When I posted about my confusion on twitter, I was instantly faced with lots of people spewing blatant ignorance. Somehow over the last few years, amateurs got the idea stuck in their head that deep stacks are good for them!
In this blog post, I will explain why the Monster Stack event is bad for amateurs and what they can do to find events that give them the best chance for success.
Before I proceed, please know I am only trying to spread the truth. While it has become clear to me that countless people blindly believe incorrect concepts, if you are an amateur player who cares about money and you seek out deep stacked events consisting of a few professionals, you will quickly find your bankroll is gone.
Playing for Fun
The main reason most amateur players seem to favor deep stacked events is because they allow for “more play.” To them, this means they get to sit at the table for a longer period of time before going broke. This is, of course, correct, because they can lose more hands before becoming handcuffed by a short stack. Compared to normal $1,500 WSOP events, where you are often crippled after losing one marginally significant pot, having a larger stack in terms of big blinds will allow for longer periods of play at the table.
That isn’t a lot of chips!
I want to make it clear that sitting at the table for a long period of time should not be your goal when you enter a poker tournament, assuming you care about money. If you are only playing for entertainment, to complete a “bucket list” item, or for a story to tell your friends, this article is not for you. Those people value experience over money. There is nothing wrong with that at all. However, I try to help people who want to improve at poker, not those who blatantly do not care about knowledge and self-improvement.
In all aspects of life, you can usually find a way to trade money for experience. Most of the time for lunch, I have blended up spinach, kale, parsley, and other vegetables. Yum! However, on some days, I will go out to an overly expensive restaurant and eat fairly unhealthy (compared to raw veggies) food. When I go to a restaurant, I am voluntarily trading money, time, and health for a nice experience and pleasant tastes in my mouth. While I don’t do this too often, perhaps once per week, I enjoy it and will continue to do it.
This guy is clearly having fun. © PokerListings
I think most amateur poker players who are playing poker for the experience view the Monster Stack event similarly to how I view going out to a fancy restaurant for lunch. There is nothing at all wrong with that. Trying to teach me about nutrition and getting a good value when it comes to dining out at lunch is futile because both of those things are not my goals in the least bit, just like some amateurs’ goals are not to win money in the long run.
I am not on the same page as those players looking for an experience at the poker table because we have vastly different goals. If I want to save money, time, and health, I eat spinach. If I want to spend money, relax, and eat cake, I go to lunch. If you want to maximize your equity, especially if it is certain to be negative (the goal, perhaps, should be to lose less), you should play shallow stacked events. If you want to play poker with the pros, sit at a poker table for a long time, and not instantly go broke, you should play deep stacked events. However, you must realize that you are sacrificing monetary equity for experience equity.
Of course, it is possible to have the best of both worlds, playing deep stacked with an edge, which is what the pros do, but you must accept that you will have to spend tons of time away from the table studying and at the table practicing to develop your skills. Most amateurs refuse to study away from the table and do not have adequate time to spend at the table. If you care about money, you must be realistic with yourself about your goals and your commitment to the game.
My problem occurs when someone tells me “I am playing the monster stack because the deep stack gives me an edge” and also “I play one poker tournament per year.” It is almost impossible for that player to be good at the game. I am simply being honest and fighting ignorance. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Playing for Money
If you are playing with the intention of trying to not lose your buy-in, you must be perfectly fine with busting out at any point in a tournament. Some of my best days of the summer are when I bust out of within an hour because I get to take the rest of the day off. I would much rather bust one hour into a tournament than eight hours into it, assuming I am not in the money.
It is easy to make bad decisions with a huge stack. © PokerListings
Most amateur players use the extra time afforded to them by having numerous big blinds by waiting around for premium hands. The problem with this is that they often cultivate an overly tight image and fail to get action with their strong holdings. Waiting around for a nut hand is useless if you only win small pots. In order to succeed in deep stacked poker, you have to get at least a touch out of line and let your opponents know you aren’t playing with only the nuts. If they think you are capable of bluffing, you will get paid off much more often.
As an example, in the Monster Stack event, which I made a point to play due to my gigantic perceived edge, someone raised to 3 big blinds and a guy who had yet to reraise over the course of eight hours all of a sudden reraised to 12 big blinds from the button out of his 75 big blind stack. I looked down and found Q-Q. I folded it with little thought. If my opponent was even the least bit active, I would have happily doubled him up. Instead, I lost nothing. I was not surprised at all to see him turn up A-A. For the record, in tournaments with strong players who play at least marginally aggressively, I don’t think I have ever open folded Q-Q in my life. My opponent’s play cost him around $1,000 in equity and he didn’t even realize it. He was simply happy to win the pot.
Lots of other amateurs claimed they don’t like playing short stacked because they are forced to “flip”. While getting it all-in with around 50% equity is never ideal, you will find that if you can get all-in with around 55% equity or more you will crush the competition in the long run. Believe it or not, it is difficult to do once stacks get shallow.
I will demonstrate this concept using oversimplified, but hopefully enlightening, math. In these simulations, you are forced to go all-in every hand in a heads up match. Notice in an actual poker tournament, when you get all-in, it will frequently be against one player, which is a similar situation. You must recognize that if you are overly focused on getting your money in good, you will often be blinding off, making the math much worse for you because when you win, you will not bust your opponents. This gives them the opportunity to run their stack back up, occasionally busting you despite you initially winning almost all of their chips.
Hopefully you know that if everyone has a 50% chance of winning each all-in, in an eight-person heads-up tournament, everyone will win 12.5% of the time. However, if one guy has a 55% chance of winning his flips, meaning each of his opponents has 45% chance against him and 50% against everyone else, the player with 55% will win the tournament a 16.6% of the time, which provides a hefty 32% return on investment. This is because each of his opponents will only win 11.9% of the time.
If instead of only eight people, there were 64, the player with 55% will win 2.77% of the time, which might sound minuscule, but is huge compared to everyone else, who will only win 1.54% of the time. In that event, the player with 55% will have a 77% return on investment, which is more than most top tournament players expect to have in a tournament with many more people. Hopefully you immediately recognize that if you can consistently get your money in good, you will have a larger return on investment as the field size increases.
It is important to realize that when playing deep stacked, good players do not get all-in against an amateur without a hand that can reasonably beat good, but not amazing, postflop hands, such as A-A on 9-7-4-2. It might be hard to believe, but against someone who is a good poker player, you do not want to get all-in with most one pair hands in most situations when you have more than 150 big blinds.
To make matters worse for the amateurs, pros slowly grind up their stacks with minimal risk by stealing lots of pots that do not belong to them. This allows the pros to get all-in as a significant favorite with more chips than their opponents, killing the amateur’s chances in the long run. Notice in a 64 person flipping tournament, if a really good pro has 60% equity and everyone else is neutral, he will win 4.67% of the time with a gigantic 199% return on investment. If instead, all of the stacks are super short, perhaps the best a pro can hope for is to have around 53% equity on average, cutting his return on investment to 41%, giving the amateurs a realistic shot to win in the short run.
This is why deep stacks are devastating for amateurs, assuming they care about money. This is also why you see the same pros making deep runs in major deep stacked events on a consistent basis while they put up less than stellar results in short stacked events. The math is inexorable.
How Did the Amateurs Do in the Monster Stack Event?
If you look up all of the Monster Stack final table players on the Hendon Mob database, you will see that six of the nine players are what I would consider to be mediocre pros or complete pros in the $1,500 and smaller events. Two of the players, including the eventual winner, had almost no live results, but if you take a look at the events they were playing prior to this event, you will notice they were playing mostly high stakes European tournaments. This tells me they are almost certainly strong online players. If you are an online player who plays mostly on the internet and in Europe but you can find a way to come out to beautiful Las Vegas for the WSOP, you are probably excellent at poker. Only one of the players had relatively weak results and even then, he had some.
How did You Do in the Monster Stack Event?
I got lots of “hate tweets” when I lost, saying that if pros have such a large edge, why didn’t I win? There is a relatively large amount of variance in any poker tournament. How any individual pro fared in the event is entirely irrelevant. You must look at how we did as a whole. Considering that most likely eight out of the nine final table players were at least mediocre pros, we likely did better than average.
That being said, I doubled my 15,000 starting stack to 30,000 without going to a showdown within the first two hours. From there, I got all-in for a giant pot with A-K as an 85% favorite in a spot where I was fairly confident my opponent had A-K, A-Q, or A-J on an A-T-8 board. He had A-Q and got a Q on the river, putting me back to 15,000. I again ground up my stack with no showdown to get to 30,000, and then I lost with A-K versus A-J all-in before the flop to bust. Within a few short hours, I got my money in as an 85% favorite for a two starting stack pot, as a 73% favorite in a four starting stack pot, and I ground up two starting stacks.
I am entirely happy with my performance. The actual outcome (I lost) is irrelevant. Remember, if you are playing poker for a living, you only care about winning equity. Money will come in the long run.
Which Events Should Amateurs Play?
So, which WSOP events should amateurs play, if they are looking for good value for their tournament dollar? They should play events that have the highest variance because those lead to the most flips. This means the typical $1,000 and $1,500 events that have shallow stacks. The Millionaire Maker event is an excellent option for such amateurs looking to play a WSOP event because the stacks are short and the prize pool is huge. If you are looking to gamble hard with at least some equity, that is the event for you. Before buying in, realize you have around a .014% chance of winning, assuming you are a break-even player.
If they play a conservative strategy, they should play events that do not punish being tight with a deep stack. Since pot limit events do not have antes, those are the ideal events for amateurs. Despite this fact, pot limit events attract some of the smallest fields of the series. This is another example of blatant ignorance at work.
My books are a good place to start!
Notice that the WSOP Main Event, which is a giant $10,000 buy-in event, attracts loads of players, and proudly boasts the deepest structure of all events played around the world. This is the one event amateurs should not even consider playing. Instead, they show up in droves.
Of course, the amateurs could spend their time learning the game well before tackling fairly large buy-in events, whatever stack size they provide. That would certainly be a much wiser use of their time and money. Luckily for me, most people find studying to be boring. Poker is alive and well.
Once professionals stop being short-sighted and accept that whatever is good for the amateurs, whether they know it or not, is good for the game, they will fight hard to spread the truth. Sometimes you have to ruffle a few feathers and viciously attack ignorance along the way. I am willing to fight the fight.
Thank you for reading. If you have any comments at all, feel free to share them.
I constantly hear immature poker players talk about how they hate poker and how they think it is intrinsically a bad game. In reality, poker is an outstanding game for numerous reasons.
I read very few weekly columns, but one I never miss is Mark Rosewater’s “Making Magic”. Although his articles are about Magic: the Gathering, a card game that is somewhat a mix between poker and chess, if you have any interest in game design, I strongly suggest you check it out as he is the premier game designer in the world.
One of his articles, “Ten Things Every Game Needs”, discussing the 10 aspects of a successful game, really hit home because, while there are aspects of poker I do not particularly enjoy, such as getting unlucky for huge amounts of money, I realize they are necessary for the game to thrive and survive in the long run.
In this blog post, I am going to go through his list and outline why I think poker is a superb game. My hope is that you see the game in a new light and appreciate it for the various nuances that make it amazing.
Before I get started, it is worth noting that Rosewater initially had 10 aspects of a successful game in his article. I will only be discussing nine of them because one of his aspects deals with selling a game to consumers. Seeing how poker is not sold in the traditional sense, I do not think it is worth discussion. Also, Rosewater mentions that in order to be successful, a game can be missing one of the 10 aspects. Interestingly enough, poker, in my mind, seems to be blatantly missing one of them although I bet quite a few people, particularly amateurs, would disagree.
I am going to briefly discuss a tic-tac-toe at the end of each section to contrast how poker, a good game, and tic-tac-toe, a bad game, differ. It is important to be able to look at all games and see why they work or why they do not. While those points will have nothing to do with poker, I think they are worth considering.
All good games must have a goal. If the players have nothing to work towards, they will lose interest and stop playing. The goal of poker is to win money. Tournaments are a particularly engaging form of poker because you often have multiple goals, such as getting your first double up, getting in the money, making the final table, getting heads up and winning the whole thing. Poker also allows for other non-game related goals, such as socializing with your friends or getting a gambling high. Poker definitely succeeds in this category.
The goal of tic-tac-toe is to get three of your symbol in a row. This is clearly defined and concise.
A Clear Set of Rules
The basic rules to poker are easy to learn and understand. Pretty much everyone who plays even small stakes poker understands 95% of the rules. The learning of the basic, and even advanced, rules is not a terribly difficult task. If the rules to a game are too difficult, people will not want to learn to play. I believe one of the reasons Texas Hold’em is the most popular variant of poker is due to its simple rules. If you compare Hold’em to other poker variants, you will see the rules of the other games are much more complicated. While I do not think the rules of any poker game are enough to stop a hardcore gamer from playing, I can see how a novice would not want to learn Pot Limit Omaha 8 or Baducey.
Quite a few players do not know around 5% of the rules of poker, such as the “oversize chip rule” and the somewhat new “first card off the deck” rule. There are various rules in place to deal with a player who acts out of turn or slow the game down. The Tournament Directors Association has done an excellent job in outlining these rules and implementing a progressive series of penalties for breaking the rules. They actually have a rules booklet that is 15 pages long. You can download it here.
When something happens at the table that is not covered in the rule book, which is extraordinarily infrequent, the floor man, who oversees each game, is given permission to use his judgment and make a rational ruling. While some less experienced floor men get some of these tricky decisions wrong, the best floor men in the world are almost always 100% correct and fair with their decisions. I think poker succeeds wonderfully in the “Rules” section.
The rules of tic-tac-toe take around 30 seconds to learn, allowing anyone to play with no prior experience. While having simple rules can be a good thing, the rules are so simple that the game quickly becomes stale.
For contrast, Chess and Magic: the Gathering both have fairly difficult rules to understand and master. Despite this, both games have a huge following because the price you pay by spending time learning the rules is more than paid back in the form of a lifetime of enjoyment. For example, the Magic rule book is currently a whopping 207 pages long. You can download it here.
That being said, almost no one actually “knows” all of the rules of Magic. The game is designed in a way such at most of the tricky rules are explained as the game progresses, allowing for clean, progressive accumulation of knowledge.
Poker is filled with interaction. Since both players have the same goal in poker, winning each other’s money, both players must fight hard to make sure they have a reasonable chance to win. You must adjust your strategy to beat whatever strategy your opponent is currently or expected to be implementing. When you have the nuts, you have to figure out how to make your opponent put in his money with a lesser holding. When you have nothing, you have to either fold or figure out how to make your opponent fold a superior hand. This can be done in numerous ways, such as talking to your opponent, throwing your chips into the pot in a particular way, or simply remaining stoic, using your overall game plan and bet sizing to force your opponent to make an error. Poker clearly succeeds in this category.
There is very little interaction in tic-tac-toe. There is nothing you can say or do to influence your opponent’s decision to play fundamentally sound. You simply make your move and hope your opponent makes an error. That being said, you usually converse with your opponent, mostly due to the game being so boring, which I suppose is a minor redeeming factor.
A Catch-Up Feature
Anyone who has been brutally bad beat can attest to the fact that poker has an excellent catch-up feature build into it. A game will quickly become unplayable when weak players think they have no chance to win. The saying “a chip and a chair” has become famous because you always have some equity as long as you have some money in front of you at the poker table. I have personally watched a guy go from one ante chip with 18 players left in a WPT event to taking home the title. I have gone from having half of the chips at a final table to out in 7th place. Anything can happen in poker, which is one of the reasons people keep coming back to play.
Tic-tac-toe has no catch up feature. If you somehow find yourself behind, you will quickly lose unless your opponent makes an error.
Inertia refers to something that drives a game towards completion. In tournaments, the constantly rising blinds ensure the game will end at a scheduled time. While everyone may start deep stacked and be able to play lots of hands after the flop, as the blinds increase, the game eventually evolves into a short stacked game dominated by preflop poker. Interestingly enough, deep stacked poker and short stacked poker require vastly different strategies.
Cash games are a bit different because they never end, assuming you are not playing fairly high stakes or at a casino that closes each night. High stakes games often break when the weak players quit. This unique dynamic often induces the good players to play way too many hands, hoping to win the weak player’s money before he quits for the day. Some players sit at the cash game tables until they are too tired to stay awake.
The best players are able to find a balance between always playing with weak players and playing while alert and focused. Sometimes the game is simply too good to pass up, forcing good players to play when they are overly tired and not playing their “A” game. This is a sacrifice they are willing to make. I think the total lack of completion is something that drives hardcore gamers to cash games because they can play as long as they want.
I think tournaments do an excellent job of bringing the game to a halt whereas cash games do a fairly poor job of it. For this reason, some poker players play exclusively cash games or exclusively tournaments. I believe this is a smart decision for the vast majority of amateurs as the games are totally different and appeal to different player types. There is no point in playing one variant of poker you don’t like as much as another, especially if you think you will have the same win (or loss) rate in both games.
Tic-tac-toe ends when someone gets three symbols in a row or there is a tie. This usually takes around one minute per game. Tic-tac-toe does a good job of ending the game quickly, although it likely ends the game too quickly.
Believe it or not, people enjoy not knowing what is going to happen next. Why do you think poker television shows spend time displaying how the flop, turn and river run out after two players get all-in? Most people want to see who wins. You will find very few professionals actually care who wins once the money gets all-in. They simply care about who has the most equity and if both players played their hands in a fundamentally sound manner.
Poker offers a huge level of surprise to someone who thinks they lost a huge pot only to find out they won. On numerous occasions, I have witnessed someone get up from a table, thinking they lost a huge pot, cursing and screaming, only to be told they actually won the hand. Poker makes some people lose their minds.
I personally enjoy the surprise of playing a hand and getting an unexpected turn or river card when playing deep stacked. It is extremely exciting to me to have a well thought out plan for a hand that is forced to change because I did not factor something into my thought process. This forces me to rethink my plan and reminds me to think of all possible outcomes on future betting rounds, which is quite difficult to do all of the time. Poker excels in the surprise category.
The only surprising thing that can occur in tic-tac-toe is when your opponent makes a huge blunder.
While there seems to always be a “luck vs. skill” debate raging in the government, I think everyone who has ever played poker for more than an hour realizes there is a huge amount of strategy involved. There must be a built in feature of a game that allows players to define and redefine their strategy as they become more experienced at the game. You must be able to use your experience from the past to learn to play better in the future. Poker allows for this perfectly.
When someone first starts playing poker, they typically learn some basic strategy, such as “only put money in the pot when you have a strong hand.” Clearly, this does not require much actual strategy or thought. Later, those same players have their eyes opened to the fact that they can bluff, which leads them to think about what cards their opponent is holding. From there, they start thinking about how their hand appears to their opponent. This proceeds until the player learns a somewhat game theory optimal strategy. From there, they learn to think one level ahead of their opponents, adjusting their strategy as they see fit. The layers of strategy built into the game are limitless.
There are mounds of tools available on the internet that you can use to improve your game. There are lots of articles and books available on all subjects pertaining to poker that can help you improve. Some of the best players in the world produce training videos, exposing the plays they make that weaker players do not. If you cannot find excellent poker training material, you are not trying hard enough.
Poker is an engaging game because, at the table, you have to figure out your opponent’s strategy then adjust your strategy to beat their strategy. This means you cannot have a default strategy that will win a huge amount all of the time. The best you can do is develop some sort of game theory optimal strategy, but this will always win significantly less than if you varied your play based on your specific opponent’s tendencies. While you can spend as much time as you want to study the game away from the table, you must be able to think soundly and implement your flexible strategy at the table if you want to make money in the long run. Poker is dense. Dense games require a huge amount of strategy.
Tic-tac-toe has an easily discoverable basic strategy that requires only a few brain cells to figure out. Once you master this strategy, you will be unbeatable.
“Fun” is a difficult thing to define because different people enjoy different things. While some people enjoy wild fluctuations of the money in front of them, others have no desire to have any swings at all. Some people despise losing money. Some people love even the opportunity to win money. According to Rosewater, the real way to figure out if a game is fun is to ask the players at the end of a game if they would play again. I have seen numerous players play marathon sessions of poker because they thoroughly enjoy it. I have seen players show up to their local casino at the same time every day to play a small, almost inconsequential, tournament. People love the act of playing poker.
Poker offers numerous avenues of enjoyment besides the act of playing poker. Some players enjoy conversing with other players at the table. Others like to get away from their “real” life and use poker to relax. Some people love to gamble and use poker as their game of choice. Others like to develop strategies and plays that allow them to push the boundaries of what is thought to be possible in the game, figuring out ways to run insane bluffs and make huge folds. While people use poker in different ways to have fun, they all keep coming back, at least until they are broke.
When you play tic-tac-toe, you frequently play for around five minutes then stop. This is because it is not a fun game.
Flavor refers to the theme or story of a game. Candy Land, for example, is a race between players to find King Kandy. In reality, players are rolling random dice and moving through a grid of squares with no skill involved whatsoever, but kids love the game. The flavor of Candy Land is sweet!
In my opinion, poker completely lacks flavor although I think most amateurs would disagree. I do not think many people think in terms of the pocket cowboys drowning the two red Aces when their brother rides into town to save them at the river. However, in the past, poker was played in the backs of bars and pool halls. Poker games would frequently get robbed or raided by the police. Fights would break out over bad beats.
While this is not the case in today’s casinos, some players think they are doing something risky by playing poker. Other players associate poker with the Wild West, thinking they are like the old cowboys who could win or lose the farm, given the right amount of luck. I think these people associate poker with being macho. Lots of kids watch their dads go off to play poker and think that if you play poker, you must be a real man.
For those who did not know, the best poker players are overly intelligent people who spend countless hours studying the intricacies of the game, not the guys who show up in muscle shirts and try to beat people up. In my eyes, poker is a math game where you have to make adjustments based on the mistakes you think your opponents are likely to make. I do not think of back rooms, cowboys, or proving my masculinity while playing. I simply show up and do my best to make the best decisions possible. However, I realize I see the game much differently than most people because I have played it for so long. Overall, I think poker fails in this category once players become the least bit seasoned but initially, the game has gushes with flavor.
To continue hating on tic-tac-toe, it has no flavor at all.
As you can see, I think poker passes these nine criteria with flying colors. While cash games may have a bit of problem with inertia and I believe the game lacks flavor, the other aspects of the game more than make up for these minuscule flaws. Seeing how poker continues to grow at a staggering rate, especially in locations where the game has recently been officially and legally introduced, you can bet on it being around for a very long time.
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ในโพสต์นี้ฉันไม่เพียง แต่จะบอกคุณว่าฉันเพิ่มน้ำหนักได้อย่างไร แต่ยังอธิบายว่าฉันไปถึงรูปแบบที่ดีที่สุดในชีวิตได้อย่างไร ในโพสต์นี้ฉันจะอธิบายถึงการเปลี่ยนแปลงที่คุณสามารถทำได้กับพฤติกรรมการกินของคุณเพื่อให้มีรูปร่างที่ดีโดยใช้ความพยายามเพียงเล็กน้อย ภูมิหลังของฉันเมื่อเป็นเด็กชายอายุ 12 ปีอาหารของฉันประกอบด้วยแพนเค้กไก่ไมโครเวฟผักกระป๋องและโคคา – โคลา บางครั้งเราโชคดีได้กินพิซซ่าหรืออาหารจีน เนื่องจากฉันค่อนข้างกระตือรือร้นฉันจึงไม่ได้มีน้ำหนักเกินตอนเด็ก เมื่อฉันอายุมากขึ้นอาหารขยะก็เริ่มส่งผลเสีย ฉันกินอาหารวิเศษแบบเดียวกันซึ่งเป็นเรื่องปกติสำหรับคนอเมริกันส่วนใหญ่จนกระทั่งฉันอายุ 19 ปี เมื่อฉันเริ่มเล่นโป๊กเกอร์อย่างมืออาชีพเมื่ออายุ 19 ปีฉันมีน้ำหนักประมาณ 150 ปอนด์และไม่ได้อยู่ในสภาพที่ดี แนวคิดเรื่องสมรรถภาพทางกายเป็นสิ่งแปลกใหม่สำหรับฉัน ตอนที่ฉันอายุ 22 ฉันหนัก 185 ปอนด์และอ้วนมาก เห็นได้ชัดว่าการนั่งและเล่นโป๊กเกอร์ตลอดเวลาไม่ใช่วิธีที่ดีที่จะทำให้ร่างกายแข็งแรง อาหารที่ “มีประโยชน์” ของฉันตื่นขึ้นมาวันหนึ่งฉันตื่นขึ้นมามองในกระจกและเห็นชายหนุ่มที่อ้วนและไม่แข็งแรงจ้องมองมาที่ฉัน ต้องมีการเปลี่ยนแปลงบางอย่าง ฉันคิดว่าการกินเพื่อสุขภาพเป็นความคิดที่ดีโดยเฉพาะไก่ย่างกับซอสบาร์บีคิวและดื่มน้ำแครนเบอร์รี่ ฉันคิดว่าไก่ต้องมีสุขภาพดีเพราะแทบจะไม่มีไขมันและน้ำผลไม้ก็ต้องดีต่อสุขภาพเพราะทำจากผลไม้ สำหรับคนที่ไม่รู้ทั้งซอสบาร์บีคิวและน้ำแครนเบอร์รี่เต็มไปด้วยน้ำตาลซึ่งทำให้คุณแย่มาก อย่างไรก็ตามการเปลี่ยนแปลงอย่างอ่อนโยนนี้ทำให้ฉันก้าวไปสู่การรู้แจ้งทางโภชนาการ หลังจากที่ฉันแทบไม่เห็นผลลัพธ์ใด ๆ เนื่องจากการเปลี่ยนอาหารของฉันฉันเลือกที่จะเป็นเทรนเนอร์และไปที่โรงยิมเป็นประจำซึ่งจะจบลงประมาณสองครั้งต่อสัปดาห์ ผู้ฝึกสอนทำให้ฉันรู้ว่าการรับประทานอาหารที่ “ดีต่อสุขภาพ” ของฉันในปัจจุบันนั้นไม่ดีต่อสุขภาพ เขาแนะนำให้ฉันเริ่มกินแซนด์วิชเนื้อเนยถั่วและเยลลี่เยอะ ๆ ปรากฎว่าเขาเข้าใจคำว่า “อาหารเพื่อสุขภาพ” ผิดมากเกินไป มีข้อมูลที่ผิด ๆ มากมายเกี่ยวกับสิ่งที่ดีต่อสุขภาพจริงๆ คำแนะนำในการทำงานหนังสือเล่มนี้เปลี่ยนชีวิตของฉัน หลังจากฝึกฝนอย่างหนักและกินสิ่งที่ฉันคิดว่าเกือบจะดีที่สุดเป็นเวลาหลายปีโดยแทบไม่ได้ผลอะไรเลยฉันบังเอิญค้นพบหนังสือ The 4-Hour Work Week ของ Tim Ferriss โดยบังเอิญ แม้ว่าหนังสือเล่มนี้จะไม่เกี่ยวข้องกับการออกกำลังกาย แต่ก็สอนฉันมากมายเกี่ยวกับชีวิตที่เติมเต็ม ฉันกินหนังสือและต้องการมากขึ้น ครู่ต่อมาทิมเปิดตัวหนังสือเล่มที่สอง The 4-Hour Body ซึ่งเปลี่ยนชีวิตของฉันอย่างสิ้นเชิง ในหนังสือเล่มนี้เขาสรุปอาหารที่เขาเรียกว่า Slow-Carb Diet ซึ่งฉันปฏิบัติตามอย่างเคร่งครัดเป็นเวลาประมาณหนึ่งปี ฉันเฝ้าดูน้ำหนัก 40 ปอนด์ที่หายไปทำให้ฉันมีรูปร่างที่ดีที่สุดในชีวิต ตามอาหารที่ฉันควรกิน: เนื้อสัตว์ – เนื้อสัตว์ไม่ติดมันเหมาะอย่างยิ่งเว้นแต่จะเลี้ยงด้วยหญ้า ปลา – ปลาป่าดีที่สุด ผักไข่ – ผักใบเขียวดีที่สุดแม้ว่าอย่างอื่นก็ใช้ได้เช่นกัน ถั่ว – จำไว้ว่าถั่วอาจเป็นเรื่องยากที่จะย่อยสำหรับบางคน ถั่ว – โดยทั่วไปหลีกเลี่ยงถั่วลิสง ตระหนักดีว่าถั่วส่วนใหญ่มีไขมันที่ดีต่อสุขภาพสูงมากดังนั้นควรรับประทานในปริมาณที่พอเหมาะ น้ำมันเพื่อสุขภาพ – ตัวอย่างเช่นน้ำมันมะพร้าวเนยและน้ำมันปลา ชา – ฉันชอบชาเขียวขาวอูหลงและผู่เอ๋อร์ กาแฟ – ไม่เกินวันละสองถ้วย น้ำ – ดื่มน้ำมาก ๆ ไวน์แดง – แค่นิดเดียว! ฉันไม่ควรกินน้ำตาล – ตัวอย่างเช่นโซดาขนมหวานไอศกรีมเค้กช็อคโกแลตคาราเมลซอสบาร์บีคิว ฯลฯ ผลไม้ – ผลไม้เต็มไปด้วยน้ำตาล ธัญพืช – แม้ว่าธัญพืชจะไม่มีรสชาติเหมือนน้ำตาล แต่ร่างกายของคุณจะเปลี่ยนเป็นน้ำตาลที่เผาผลาญได้ยากและเปลี่ยนเป็นไขมันในที่สุด นอกจากนี้ธัญพืชยังย่อยยากมาก มันฝรั่ง – เต็มไปด้วยคาร์โบไฮเดรต ไขมันทรานส์ – เป็นไขมันที่ไม่ดีต่อสุขภาพที่พบในอาหารแปรรูปส่วนใหญ่ อาหารแปรรูปสูง – หากขายในทางเดินกลางของร้านขายของชำอาหารเหล่านี้อาจเป็นอันตรายต่อคุณ น้ำมันพืช – ตัวอย่างเช่นน้ำมันเรพซีดน้ำมัน “พืช” น้ำมันดอกทานตะวันชอร์ตเทนนิ่งมาการีน ฯลฯ ส่วนที่เด็ดที่สุดของ “อาหาร” นี้คือวันละหนึ่งวันคุณสามารถกินอะไรก็ได้ที่คุณต้องการในช่วงที่เหมาะสม ฉันเคยกินพาสต้าในวันที่หลอกลวง ฉันชอบพาสต้า! อาหารเริ่มต้นของฉันเมื่อฉันปฏิบัติตามอย่างเคร่งครัดคือ: ไข่สองฟองสำหรับอาหารเช้ารวมทั้งสลัดหรืออะโวคาโด ชิโปเล่! สำหรับมื้อกลางวันและมื้อเย็นชามเบอร์ริโตจาก Chipotle คำสั่งที่แน่นอนของฉันคือผักกาดหอมถั่วดำไก่ปิโกเดอกัลโลและซัลซ่าเผ็ด ฉันกินอาหารนี้ประมาณสิบครั้งต่อสัปดาห์ เป็นที่น่าสังเกตว่าการกินถั่วจำนวนมากจนทำให้ปวดท้องในที่สุดฉันจึงตัดถั่วออก บางครั้งฉันก็กินเนื้อย่างกับผักในมื้อกลางวันและมื้อเย็น นั่นมัน! ฉันไม่ได้กินผลไม้น้ำผลไม้ขนมปังขนมหวานอาหารบรรจุกล่องโคล่า ฯลฯ หลังจากเดือนที่ยากลำบากฉันก็หยุดกินอาหารที่ไม่ดีต่อสุขภาพเหล่านี้ ตอนนี้ฉันไม่ชอบโค้กซึ่งเป็นเครื่องดื่มเดียวที่ฉันเคยมี! ควรสังเกตว่า “การรับประทานอาหาร” นี้เป็นการเปลี่ยนแปลงวิถีชีวิตจริงๆ เป้าหมายของฉันไม่ใช่การลดน้ำหนักแล้วกลับไปใช้นิสัยที่น่าขยะแขยงแบบเดิมที่ทำให้เขาลดน้ำหนัก เป้าหมายของฉันคือการมีรูปร่างที่ดีและอยู่ทรง ไม่เคยกลับไปที่มันฝรั่งและโคล่า ฉันรู้ตัวว่าฉันไม่ได้กินอีกต่อไปเพราะฉันอยากได้อะไรที่อร่อยเข้าปาก ฉันกินเพราะอยากฟิตร่างกาย หากคุณต้องการให้อาหารทุกอย่างที่คุณกินมีรสชาติที่น่าอัศจรรย์คุณต้องตระหนักว่าคุณมีแนวโน้มที่จะสูญเสียรูปร่าง บางคนชอบกินของที่มีรสชาติดีและบางคนชอบที่จะมีรูปร่าง ในขณะที่อาหารเพื่อสุขภาพบางอย่างมีรสชาติดี แต่อาหารที่ไม่ดีต่อสุขภาพมักจะมีรสชาติดีกว่า เพื่อความสมดุลฉันพยายามกินอาหารเช้าและกลางวันให้เกือบสมบูรณ์แบบ สำหรับมื้อเย็นถ้าฉันเห็นอะไรฉันจะกินมัน ตามที่กล่าวไว้ฉันมักไม่ต้องการสิ่งที่ฉันรู้ว่าไม่ดีต่อสุขภาพอย่างสิ้นเชิงเพราะฉันพบว่ารสชาติที่ถูกใจในปากของฉันไม่คุ้มกับความเสียหายที่พวกเขาทำกับร่างกายของฉัน เมื่อคุณรู้ว่าการกินอึจะทำให้ร่างกายของคุณกลายเป็นอึคุณจะไม่อยากกินอึอีกต่อไป หากคุณทำตามเคล็ดลับเหล่านี้เป็นเวลานานกว่าหนึ่งเดือนคุณจะมีน้ำหนักลดลงอย่างแน่นอน ที่สำคัญคือคุณต้องมีวินัย หากคุณเบี่ยงเบนจากการรับประทานอาหารอยู่ตลอดเวลาอย่างที่คนส่วนใหญ่มักทำคุณจะไม่ได้รับผลลัพธ์ที่ต้องการ เราจบการแข่งขัน New York Leveling Up Marathon หลังจากลดน้ำหนักได้ 40 ปอนด์ฉันตัดสินใจเร่งการฝึกซ้อมและเสริมสร้างกล้ามเนื้อ ฉันต้องยอมรับแม้วันนี้ฉันจะฝึกหนักกว่าที่ฉันทำ เมื่อฉันเริ่มออกกำลังกายฉันจำได้ว่าพูดติดตลกกับเทรนเนอร์ว่าฉันอยากจะวิ่งมาราธอนสักวัน Amie คู่หมั้นของฉันชอบวิ่งแข่งระยะสั้นวันหนึ่งฉันจึงตัดสินใจเข้าร่วมกับเธอ เป็นเวลาสามปีแล้วที่เราทำงานอย่างหนักในการวิ่งเป็นระยะทางไกลขึ้น ในที่สุดเราก็เสร็จสิ้นการแข่งขัน New York Marathon โดยวิ่ง 26.2 ไมล์ในเวลาเพียงสี่ชั่วโมง หลังจากเสร็จสิ้นการวิ่งมาราธอนฉันตัดสินใจว่าฉันอยากจะเร็ว ฉันอยากมีร่างกายของสปรินเตอร์มากกว่านักวิ่งระยะไกล โตขึ้นฉันไม่เคยอดอาหาร เมื่อตอนเป็นเด็กการวิ่ง 9 นาทีเป็นเรื่องยาก โดยธรรมชาติแล้วฉันคิดว่าการวิ่ง 5 นาทีจะเป็นเรื่องสนุก ฉันทำงานอย่างหนักโดยส่วนใหญ่เป็นการฝึกแบบช่วงความเข้มข้นสูงซึ่งคุณจะวิ่งอย่างหนักในช่วงเวลาสั้น ๆ แล้วฟื้นตัว ฉันมาถึงจุดที่ฉันสามารถวิ่ง 6 นาทีได้อย่างสบาย ๆ ปัญหานี่คือสิ่งที่ฉันรอคอย! จากนั้นร่างกายของฉันก็เริ่มล้มเหลว ทั้งแม่และพ่อของฉันมีปัญหาเกี่ยวกับขา / เท้า / ข้อเท้า ฉันเกิดมาพร้อมกับปัญหาเดียวกัน หมอบอกว่าฉันเป็นโรคข้ออักเสบระยะแรกที่เท้าขวา ตอนนี้เจ็บจนต้องขยายขาขวาไปจนสุด ฉันยังเจ็บส้นเท้าซ้ายอยู่พอสมควร หมอบอกว่าการวิ่งไม่ฉลาดสำหรับฉันอีกต่อไป จังหวะไม่ดี! ฉันไม่ท้อถอยตอนนี้ฉันใช้เวลาส่วนใหญ่ไปกับการฝึกฝนเรียนรู้วิธียกน้ำหนักตัวด้วยวิธีต่างๆ ความคิดในการใช้น้ำหนักในการออกกำลังกายทำให้ฉันสนใจมาตลอด ในช่วงสองปีที่ผ่านมาฉันได้เรียนรู้แฮนด์สแตนด์การดัดหลังการยกคางและอื่น ๆ การรู้วิธีออกกำลังกายให้ดีจากห้องพักในโรงแรมเป็นประโยชน์ต่อผู้เล่นโป๊กเกอร์ที่เดินทาง เหนือสิ่งอื่นใดตอนนี้ฉันแข็งแกร่งขึ้นกว่าเดิมมาก จากการวิจัยฉันได้เรียนรู้ว่าการมีมวลกล้ามเนื้อจำนวนมากจะเผาผลาญแคลอรี่ได้มากเมื่อคุณนั่งและไม่ทำอะไรเลยซึ่งหมายความว่าฉันไม่ต้องฝึกหัวใจและหลอดเลือดเกือบเท่าเพื่อรักษาน้ำหนักของฉัน วันนี้ต้องยอมรับว่าช่วงสองสามปีที่ผ่านมารู้สึกผ่อนคลายลงเล็กน้อย แม้ว่าฉันจะกินคลีนมากกว่าคนเกือบทุกคนที่ฉันรู้จัก แต่ฉันก็ทำได้ดีกว่านี้ ตัวอย่างเช่นฉันอาจดื่มไวน์มากเกินไป เป็นเรื่องยากสำหรับฉันเพราะฉันมีแก้วเดียวหรือมากกว่าหนึ่งแก้ว ฉันเดาว่าฉันไม่มีวินัยที่จะมีแก้วสองใบ ฉันพยายามอย่างเต็มที่ที่จะไม่ให้มีไวน์แม้แต่แก้วเดียว ฉันเองก็ต้องดิ้นรนเหมือนกัน! ตอนนี้ฉันทำได้ดีกว่าในอดีตมาก การปรับปรุงอย่างค่อยเป็นค่อยไปทำให้เกิดการเปลี่ยนแปลงครั้งใหญ่ในระยะยาว เมื่อฉันอยู่บ้านอาหารเช้าและอาหารกลางวันประกอบด้วยผักใบเขียวจำนวนมากและอะโวคาโดประมาณครึ่งลูก บางครั้งฉันก็อวดในมื้อค่ำซึ่งฉันเดาว่ามันไม่ได้แย่ขนาดนั้น เวลาไปเที่ยวฉันกินสลัดและ Living Fuel Super Greens เป็นหลัก เมื่อฉันกินสมูทตี้สีเขียวจำนวนมากฉันรู้สึกมหัศจรรย์มาก ฉันมีพลังงานมากขึ้นและฉันก็คิดชัดเจนขึ้น สมูทตี้สีเขียวของฉันมักประกอบด้วยน้ำผักโขมคะน้าถั่วงอกอัลฟัลฟ่าผักกาดหอมและผักใบเขียวอื่น ๆ ฉันยังใส่แครอทพริกบลูเบอร์รี่โกกิเมล็ดเจียและเมล็ดแฟลกซ์ในปริมาณเล็กน้อย ข้อดีที่ซ่อนอยู่ของสมูทตี้สีเขียวคือสามารถดื่มได้เร็วมาก คนส่วนใหญ่ใช้เวลาอย่างน้อย 30 นาทีในการเตรียมและรับประทานอาหารแต่ละมื้อ ใช้เวลาประมาณ 3 นาทีในการเตรียมสมูทตี้สีเขียวและดื่ม 1 นาที การมีชั่วโมงพิเศษในแต่ละวันเพื่อทำสิ่งที่คุณต้องการเป็นประโยชน์มากทีเดียว ฉันยังคงพยายามหลีกเลี่ยงธัญพืชทุกรูปแบบอย่างสมบูรณ์และสม่ำเสมอ ฉันพบว่าการกินอาหารเม็ดชนิดใดก็ได้ที่ทำให้ฉันปวดท้อง ไม่อยากท้องเน่า! ฉันกินพาสต้าหนึ่งชามเดือนละครั้ง บางครั้งฉันก็กินซูชิที่ดูเหมือนจะเข้ากับท้อง ข้าวเป็นธัญพืชชนิดเดียวที่ไม่ก่อให้เกิดปัญหามากมาย ตามที่กล่าวไว้ฉันอาจจะกินถั่วประมาณ 5 มื้อต่อเดือน น้ำหนักของฉันอยู่ในช่วง 140 ถึง 145 ปอนด์ ฉันไม่เคยสนใจสถิติการออกกำลังกายดังนั้นฉันจึงไม่สามารถให้เปอร์เซ็นต์ไขมันในร่างกายหรือตัวเลขอื่น ๆ ได้ ฉันคิดว่าสถิติจำนวนมากที่ผู้คนใช้จ่ายเงินเป็นจำนวนมากนั้นไม่เกี่ยวข้องอย่างน้อยก็เพื่อเป้าหมายของฉันที่จะมีรูปร่างที่ดีพอสมควรโดยไม่ต้องหมกมุ่นอยู่กับมัน เป้าหมายของฉันคือการเพิ่มพลังให้ตัวเองต่อไปโดยไม่ต้องใส่พลังจิตเข้าไปในนั้นมากเกินไป ฉันรู้ว่าฉันจะไม่มีวันเป็นนักกีฬาชั้นยอดและฉันไม่คิดว่าจะต้องออกกำลังกายและมุ่งเน้นไปที่โภชนาการเหมือนอย่างเดียว อย่างไรก็ตามฉันต้องการมีชีวิตที่ยืนยาวมีความสุขและมีสุขภาพดี แม้ว่าฉันจะไม่ใช่ผู้เชี่ยวชาญด้านโภชนาการหรือการออกกำลังกาย แต่หากคุณมีคำถามใด ๆ ฉันจะพยายามตอบคำถามเหล่านี้ ขอแนะนำให้คุณอ่าน The 4-Hour Body การใช้ข้อมูลในหนังสือเล่มนี้เปลี่ยนชีวิตของฉัน หวังว่ามันจะเปลี่ยนคุณด้วย หากคุณชอบโพสต์นี้โปรดแบ่งปันกับเพื่อนของคุณ! ขอบคุณสำหรับการอ่าน. .
คาสิโน ทรูวอลเล็ต …
In this blog post, I will list and explain 10 things you can start doing today that will improve your poker game. Even if you only apply one of the tips listed below, you will increase your win rate. There is never a better time to start improving than today.
1. Start reraising with a polarized range.
Before the flop, the vast majority of amateur poker players reraise with one of two ranges.
Most amateurs simply reraise with their premium hands. This is an awful strategy because it turns all of their premium hands face up, allowing their opponents to call when getting the proper implied odds or fold when they are not getting the proper implied odds. If you turn your hand face up, you allow your opponents to make perfect decisions, costing you a ton of money.
Once someone becomes aware that reraising with only premium hands is a losing strategy, they usually shift to reraising with a linear range, meaning they reraise with both their premium hands and hands they perceive as strong, such as A-J and 7-7. While this can be a great strategy against players who call reraises with hands that are easily dominated, such as A-9 or K-T, it is not a good strategy against players who only call reraises with premium hands and hands that do well against a linear range, such as 2-2 or 6s-5s. You will find very few thinking players opt to call reraises before the flop with hands that do poorly against a linear range because they recognize how detrimental it is to be dominated on a regular basis.
Most of the time, the ideal reraising range will be polarized. This means the range consists of the best hands, such as A-A, K-K, Q-Q, J-J, and A-K, as well as hands that are not quite good enough to call a raise with, such as Ac-9d, Kd-5d, and 9s-6s. Notice that by calling instead of reraising with most of your good, but not amazing, hands, such as A-J, K-Q, and Ts-9s, you get to see if you flop well before investing a significant amount of money.
Reraising before the flop with a polarized range also allows you to play a wider range in an aggressive manner, drastically increasing the profitability of your premium hands. If your opponents are unsure if you have the nuts or nothing, they will have a terribly difficult time playing against you, forcing them to make costly mistakes.
2. Start continuation betting more in heads up pots.
While most amateur players know to continuation bet on the flop when their hand improves, they often fail to continuation bet when they totally miss the flop. When against only one opponent, especially on flops that should be good for your range and bad for your opponent’s range, you should continuation bet almost every time.
For example, if you make a preflop raise from early position and only the big blind calls, if the flop comes A-7-3, K-Q-2, or 8-4-2, you should continuation bet every time. Flops you should consider checking behind on include 8d-7d-2s and 6c-5c-4c because, on average, those should be much better for your opponent’s range than for yours. That being said, if you raise from all positions with a decently wide range, as I suggest in my books, you can get away with continuation betting on almost all boards a high percentage of the time because any flop could conceivably connect with your hand. Notice if you only raise with a tight range from a specific position, you should continuation bet less often on certain flops because it will occasionally be clear that the flop is terrible for your range.
3. Start two barreling more.
While many players have become somewhat comfortable with continuation betting on most flops, they have yet to realize that they should often be firing again on the turn, even when they have nothing. As the continuation bet has become more main stream, observant players have started calling or raising them with a wider range. To combat your opponents calling your continuation bets with a wide range, you should continue betting the turn with a wide range, at least until they make additional adjustments.
Also, make a point to almost always bet again on the turn when the board drastically changes, such as when an obvious draw completes, or when you pick up additional equity, such as when you turn a flush draw, assuming you do not expect to get check-raised. You will be surprised at how often a turn bet will steal the pot.
4. Start getting comfortable postflop.
As you move up to higher stakes, you will find that most of the large pots occur due to betting after the flop. The problem with this, at least for most amateurs, is that they only have experience playing before the flop. This is because most local casinos have a goal of getting tournaments over quickly so the players can hop into cash games.
If you want to move up in the tournament poker world, you must get comfortable with not getting all of your money in before the flop. While this creates more situations where you are uncertain about the relative strength of your hand, you will find that, with practice, the turn and river become where you want to invest most of your money.
5. Start putting your opponents on a range of hands.
If you are not putting your opponents on a range of hands during every hand of poker you witness, you are not playing correctly. If you only pay attention when you are involved in a pot, you will fail to develop vital reads on your opponents, costing you a ton of equity whenever you enter a pot. By failing to pay attention, you also miss out on time spent learning how to put players on ranges. If you make a point to mindfully practice whenever you are at the poker table, your skills will improve. If you don’t pay attention, expect to lose in the long run.
6. Start practicing other forms of poker.
Especially if you want to play poker tournaments, I strongly suggest you learn to play both short handed and heads up. The vast majority of amateur poker players are deathly afraid of playing against only a few opponents because they are forced to play hands they view as weak. In reality, they don’t understand how hand values change. This causes them to either over adjust or under adjust, leading to huge errors.
While this lack of understanding is not much of a problem if you constantly play at a full table, in tournaments you are forced to play short handed when most of the money is on the line. If you don’t know how to play short handed, you will be at a huge disadvantage.
Cash game players are not exempt from this concept. The most profitable opportunities in cash games often arise when you can start a game with only a few other players or late at night when the table is about to break. This allows you to play many more hands than normal against the weakest players at the table, allowing you to have a huge win rate. If you refuse to play short handed, you will miss out on these prime earning opportunities.
I also suggest you learn to play other games besides no-limit hold’em. Learning other games will force you to break free from any sort of default thinking you may have about standard poker strategy. That being said, don’t spend too much time on the other games because most of your time should be focused on the game you expect to be the most profitable in the long run.
This is not me, but it is close enough.
7. Start getting in shape.
Most amateur poker players think poker is only played on the felt. Most players at the very top of the game perform the technical aspects of poker amazingly well. What separates them is their mental and physical conditioning. If one player can play well for 8 hours and another can play well for 12 hours, the player who can play well for 12 hours will almost certainly win more money in the long run. Being in excellent physical shape will allow you to play longer hours without losing mental focus or emotional control.
The most obvious way to get in better shape is to exercise regularly. If you are just starting to work out, don’t push yourself too hard. There is nothing wrong with starting slowly and gradually progressing to a more strenuous routine. If you are clueless about where to start, hire a trainer or study the subject online. I suggest you work out moderately before each of your poker sessions. This will help you get in the zone, allowing you to think more clearly.
While working out is obvious to most people, eating right is often ignored. You must become aware that what you put into your mouth will directly alter your physical condition and mindset. If you constantly eat pasta and ice cream, you should expect to have cloudy judgment and be overweight. If you eat lean meat and vegetables, you will think clearly and be in shape. Going from eating total crap to eating a healthy diet has changed my life. I strongly suggest you look into it.
8. Start sleeping right.
I know that if I do not sleep for at least 7 hours per night, I will not play my best poker the next day. It is as simple as that. I make getting at least 7 hours of sleep my highest priority when I know I will play poker the next day. If my friends want to hang out late at night or there is a business issue that demands my attention, I ignore them and go to sleep. I much prefer thinking with a clear mind. If I am tired at the poker table, it means I made a severe error the previous night.
9. Start writing down and reviewing your hands.
If you do not review your play at the end of most of your sessions, you are missing out on lots of valuable educational time. I suggest you carry a notebook with you and write down every significant hand of poker you play for the rest of your life. You will be shocked how your memory will fail you if you try to remember all of your hands. I have created a free video explaining exactly how I have recorded all of my hands at the poker table for the last few years.
Once you have your hands recorded, you can then discuss them with your friends and poker coach. You can also review them at the end of the day to see if you made any clear errors. On most days, I am usually unhappy with a few hands I played. I make a point to figure out where I went wrong and adjust accordingly. Over time, you should hopefully see your errors decrease and your win rate increase.
10. Start studying poker.
If you spend most of your time dedicated to poker actually sitting at the poker table, you are not studying enough. Before I ever played a hand of poker for real money, I diligently read over 10 poker books. By studying before I played, I had a huge advantage over my competition who learned primarily through experience. Once I started playing, I became excellent at the game by spending around half of my time studying and the other half playing.
Today, you can easily learn by watching training videos and reading books from the best players in the world. I have published a number of books as well as a training site, FloatTheTurn.com where I post poker training videos on a regular basis. Of course, I suggest you study from other world class players as well. I am a member of several training sites and I study poker training videos on a regular basis.
Check out my training videos
I have discovered that live webinars are a much better learning tool than either books or standard training videos because they allow for a high amount of interaction between the audience and the instructor. Interaction is the key. I host a monthly Q&A webinar for all FloatTheTurn.com members and I also produce a webinar about once per month where I discuss a specific subject in great detail. Going into a high amount of detail on a specific subject is an excellent way to learn, especially for advanced players who have already mastered the basic fundamentals of the game. For information on my past webinars, check out my product page. For information about my future live webinars, sign up for my email list.
If you have the resources, I strongly suggest you hire a poker coach. You will find that the most cost-effective way to do this is usually to hire someone who plays slightly higher stakes than you play. If you normally play $2/$5 at your local casino, hire someone who beats the $5/$10 games. If you play $1,000 tournaments, hire someone who does well in the $3,500 tournaments on a regular basis. If you find you do not work well with a particular coach, find someone else. As the customer, you should make a point to get everything you desire from a poker training experience.
I hope you have enjoyed these 10 tips to help you improve your poker game.
If you have any suggestions or comments, please let me know. Thank you for reading!
In this blog post I am going to reveal to you a flaw I currently have in my game. I am also going to explain the actions I am taking to fix it. I hope you enjoy this candid look into my mind.
I recently had the pleasure of playing the $3,500 Borgata Poker Open World Poker Tour event. I must admit, Borgata has done an excellent job of cultivating their poker community and constantly growing their games. They were one of the first casinos to lower the buy-in of their main events to $3,500, which made it much easier weak players satellite into the main event, making the event quite profitable for professional poker players, despite the decreased buy-in.
(As a brief aside for those who do not know, Expected Profit = ((Return on Investment x Buy-in) – Rake))
On both Day 1a and 1b, I got lots of money in good and only a bit in bad, so I am happy with that. Believe it or not, I somehow got all-in with a set on BOTH days and lost to a draw. Fun times!
I think this event was one of my best tournament showings to date. I focused well and generally made accurate reads. However, there is one hand I butchered, which I will discuss later in this posts.
I have been focusing hard on trusting my reads. In a recent webinar I hosted with perhaps the best people-reader in poker, Phil Hellmuth, he discussed how he trusts his reads entirely. In the past, I have been a bit afraid to blindly trust my reads, especially when they didn’t make logical sense. Below are two hands where I had overly strong reads. On the first, I trusted them and on the second, I let my analytical brain control my actions, leading to devastating results.
A Big Call
I raised to 525 at 100/200 from 2nd position with As-Kc out of my 61,000 chip stack. A 40 year old guy who was perhaps on tilt reraised to 1,500 out of his 21,000 chip stack from the lojack seat. I reraised to 3,500 and he instantly called.
The flop came 7c-5c-4s. I bet 4,000 and he instantly went all-in for 13,500 more. I didn’t think too long before calling. I had his Ad-Td in bad shape. He failed to improve and I scooped a nice pot.
Math is fun!
Everyone at the table told me what an amazing call it was, but in my mind, it was fairly easy. I needed to win around 32% of the time to break even based on the pot odds. If my opponent had a strong hand, such as Q-Q or 6-6, I have somewhere between 23% and 30% equity, making my call a small loser. If he had a set, I am drawing nearly dead, which would be a disaster. However, I thought he would tend to slow play a set most of the time. If he had any unpaired draw, I have between 45% and 60%, meaning I should call. If he was losing his mind with a random unpaired hand, I have between 75% and 85% equity.
Of course, you cannot simply average these numbers and see where you stand. You have to figure out how much of his range is made up of each type of hand. For example, if he only has overpairs in his range, I have an easy fold. If he has overpairs and draws, I have to reluctantly call. If he is running a lot of bluffs, I have an easy call. That being said, it is difficult to know if your opponent is capable of running an insane bluff for all of his chips for no good reason.
Luckily for me, I had developed fairly strong reads on my opponent. First off, he was clearly tilty. He seemed like someone who was capable of thinking, meaning I thought he at least somewhat knew what he looked like to me. After I continuation bet the flop, he instantly went all-in. This made me think he either had a premium hand, a draw, or nothing. Since I am in fine shape against both nothing and a draw and it is very difficult for him to actually have a premium hand on this board, his quick all-in made me think my hand was in at least marginal shape.
I am sure I also picked up on some subconscious tells I am not even aware of. You will find that after you play poker every day for around five years, you simply “know”. This is one of those spots where I was about as confident as I could be that he was bluffing.
(Almost) A Big Fold
This next hand was my bust-out hand from the tournament.
Despite a nice start to the day, getting to 100,000 chips, I found myself back with a short stack after making trips and losing to a full house then losing with 5-5 versus A-K.
In this hand, I raised to 2,200 out of my 23,000 stack at 500/1,000+100 with Kh-9c from the hijack seat. A super splashy LAG 40 year old called from the small blind and a kid who was clearly an amateur who played a relatively tight, passive style called from the big blind.
The flop came Ks-Qd-4c. The Small Blind checked. The Big Blind thought for a few seconds before checking. I got the drift that he wanted to bet but elected to check instead. I decided to bet 2,600 to hopefully induce the Small Blind to lose his mind and raise me with air, which he was certainly capable of. The Small Blind quickly folded and the Big Blind thought for around a minute before saying “Raise” and putting in a 5,000 chip. He was told he had to put in 5,200, which he did. I elected to call.
The turn was the (Ks-Qd-4c)-8c. My opponent thought for a while before asking me how much I had left in my stack. After that, he went all-in. I called and lost to his Kd-Qc.
Where Did I Go Wrong?
While checking back the flop would have saved the most money, I think betting the flop for value, protection, and perhaps to get the Small Blind to spaz out is mandatory. However, once the tight passive amateur in the big blind check-raised, I think I should have found an easy fold.
His weird flop check plus his misclick min-raise should have made it blatantly clear to me that he was not messing around. If you are unaware, when someone tries to raise and is so excited that he cannot figure out 2,600 x 2 in his head, he usually has a premium hand.
I somehow convinced myself that he might take this line with A-Q, Q-J, J-T, or perhaps and K. Obviously my thought process was awful. This specific opponent was simply NEVER messing around in this spot.
Given my flop call, I do think calling off on the river is somewhat mandatory. I don’t like it, but I think it is the only play that makes sense as I expected him to go all-in with his entire flop check-raising range, which I thought contained some worse made hands that I beat. It is worth mentioning that when someone asks you how much you have left before going all-in, he usually has a premium hand. K-9 loses to all premium hands. Maybe I could have saved my last 13 big blinds.
Before I conclude this post, I want to mention that it takes an incredibly high amount of skill at any game to accurately figure out the difference between bad luck and bad play. While my bust-out hand could be simply viewed as a cooler where most players go broke every time, I do not see it that way. I view my bust-out hand as a purely avoidable situation. Although folding the flop would have only saved me a paltry 18 big blind stack, I should have folded and tried to run up my stub.
I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not looking back at this hand and thinking “I clearly played it wrong because I lost.” I do not care in the least bit whether or not I lose a poker hand, regardless of the stakes. All I care about is making good decisions that win equity in the long run. While I feel like I do a good job of that most of the time, the K-9 hand was a clear mistake. I have to make a point to not commit the same error twice.
What can I learn from this?
Throughout this tournament I made numerous good calls and what I believe to be a few good folds. However, it is obvious to me that, especially when stacks start to shrink, I become much more inclined to make decisions based purely on the math I learned many years ago as an online player. When you have almost no reads on your opponent, all you have to rely on is math. That is not the case with live poker.
When you have a 23 big blind stack, you should rarely be looking to fold top pair. Since I knew my opponent was not messing around, I should have made the disciplined fold. Online, except in the rarest circumstances, knowing my opponent was not messing around would be impossible. Live, it should have been crystal clear.
Given I have worked hard to develop fairly strong reading abilities which seem to be accurate way more often than they are not, I should rely more heavily on them.
In the future, I will work harder on making big folds. The problem with being good at folding is that you usually need your folds to be right a huge percentage of the time whereas your calls rarely need to be correct in order for them to be profit, due to pod odds. This problem leads me to often call off a bit too wide, especially against reasonably active players.
There you have it! I need to put more trust in my reads, especially when it comes to folding.
Now that I have put this out there for everyone to read, expect me to never fold again!
If you enjoyed this type of hand analysis and want more, I strongly suggest you check out my book The Main Event with Jonathan Little.
Thank you for reading. Good luck in your games.
In this blog post I will detail one of the most costly leaks that aspiring poker pros fail to comprehend or even acknowledge. I will also outline ways for you to plug this leak so it doesn’t destroy your bankroll. It should be noted that this post is for people who care about money. If you are super rich or simply do not care about money, ignore this post
I frequently get emails from my students detailing their poker trips. One of the most common mistakes they make pertains to how much time and money they spend to actually play a tournament series. It is not uncommon for someone to go on a poker trip for a weekend to play a $240, $340, and $550 tournament. The rake in these events is $40, $40, and $50, meaning they think they are paying $130 in rake. This could not be further from the truth.
While you must pay the casino $130 when you buy into the tournaments, you must realize that you have to spend WAY more money than that to actually play the events, especially if you have to travel to play it. Travel rake, which I define as how much you have to spend to play a tournament, comes in many forms, including travel costs, hotel bills, food, and parking. You must account for ALL of your expenses beyond what you would normally incur while sitting at home when figuring out if a poker trip will be profitable.
For example, it is not uncommon for hotels to give a discounted poker rate of $100 per night, which feels like a decent deal. However, if you were initially looking at spending $1,130 for a poker trip in order to have $1,000 in action ($240 + $340 + $550, from above), you now have to spend an additional $200 for a room. You also have to pay for food that is slightly more expensive than normal, perhaps to the tune of $5 per meal. If you will have 9 meals, that is an extra $45. You also have to pay for either gas plus wear and tear on your vehicle or an airplane flight to get to the casino. While this cost varies significantly, let’s assume it is $100, which is on the low side. This means you now have to spend $1,475 to get $1,000 in action.
Realistically, if you are a WORLD-CLASS player, you should expect to win at roughly 100% ROI, meaning for every $1 you invest, you should win $1. So, if you are investing $1,000, you should win $1,000 profit in the long run. It is worth noting that the long run takes a long time to even out. Expect huge swings in your bankroll along the way. You will certainly not win anywhere near a set amount on each and every trip. You will usually lose most of your tournaments and occasionally win one. Do not fool yourself into thinking you will win on all, or even most, of your poker trips.
Notice that you do not win on your entire $1,475. The extra $475 simply vanishes. So on average, you should expect to go for this poker trip and win $525 over the course of three days. While this is reasonably acceptable to most people, effectively giving away 48 hours (3 days – 8 hours of sleep per day) at the rate of $10.90 per hour, it is certainly not a great deal.
You should notice that in the above example, I made a few assumptions that make this situation favorable for the player. In reality, most players are not world-class. Most “good” players win at roughly 25% ROI, meaning they will win $250 on the trip, resulting in a $225 loss for the trip. Most of the time travel costs are WAY more than $100. A high percentage of poker players gamble at casino games while traveling, also costing them some amount of equity. Others go out and party or drink at night, reducing their expectation at the poker table. It is quite easy to butcher your profits while traveling.
Some players realize that short poker trips are a bad idea and make a point to take longer ones. Assume that instead of a weekend trip, they go on 14 day trips. They fly to a tournament series and play an event somewhere between $500 and $1,500 each day. Let’s average it out to $1,000 per day. So, as a realistic example, they get to invest $14,000, which comes out to $1,000 per day plus $100 rake. They also have to pay $500 for a flight plus $100 per night for their hotel room and perhaps $100 extra for food. Their total “bill” comes out to $14,000 + $1,400 + $500 + $1,400 + $100 = $17,400. This means they must win at a win rate of at least 17,400/14,000 = 124%, or 24% ROI to break even. Obviously the goal is to win, not break even. If the player is really good, winning at 50% ROI, he will win $3,600, which sounds pretty decent. However, once you realize the player had to devote two weeks of his life to win that amount while experiencing huge swings to his bankroll, it doesn’t sound like such a good deal.
In the high stakes poker world, the travel rake, which is often more costly in terms of dollars, is less significant compared to the total amount of money invested. For example, I recently went to Barcelona where I could invest roughly $50,000 in 10 days. I estimate the total travel rake was roughly $8,000. This means I had to win at 16% ROI (58,000/50,000) to break even, which I certainly think is possible for me.
More recently, I made the MISTAKE of going to the WSOP APAC in Melbourne, Australia. While I love the city and the venue, it is simply not worth it in terms of time and travel rake. I was going to play around $25,000 worth of events and had to spend $10,000 in travel rake. The math of 35/25 simply doesn’t work out because I have to win at 40% ROI to break even, which is tough in high stakes tournaments. I also had to invest 60 hours on an airplane. No thanks!
It is important to note that as your ROI diminishes, the amount of variance you will experience will go through the roof. If you consistently play with a 65% ROI, you will usually be on a fairly consistent upswing, but if you are playing with a 15% ROI, you will have gigantic swings, especially in the downward direction. Maximizing your ROI will help keep you sane because you will rarely go on devastatingly long downswings. I actually make a point to skip tournaments where I don’t expect to have a large ROI. I don’t play poker to gamble.
It is important to realize that travel rake occurs EVERY time you play poker. Even if you roll out of bed and play online, where the travel rake is minimal, you must realize that you are spending some amount of time to play. Those hours could easily be spent doing other things that make you money immediately, improve your future earning potential, or improve your happiness. If you fail to value your time, you are making a serious mistake because time is the only resource you cannot get more of.
It is worth noting that most people enjoy traveling to play poker. They derive happiness from it. If you told most amateur poker players that they could play poker for two weeks with relatively little risk and no potential of winning money in the long run, they would be thrilled. Most players love traveling to exotic locations and experiencing new cultures. There is certainly value to all of these things.
When you travel, I strongly suggest you spend time away from the casino. While this means you will play slightly less poker, you will learn about the world and hopefully enjoy your time a bit more compared to sitting at a poker table. I made the mistake of not experiencing the world, despite traveling all over it, during my first few years as a poker player. All I did was play poker. I now realize how stupid I was. I wasted time I can never get back.
I got to travel around Australia!
You can realistically add some amount of equity onto your ROI to account for the happiness and increased knowledge of the world you get from traveling. On the other hand, you can also subtract some equity from your ROI when traveling to places you don’t like. There are a few poker venues I will almost certainly never visit again because traveling to them is difficult and the venues are not nice. Even if they ran a super-soft high stakes tournament, I would likely not attend. I value my happiness quite highly.
As for my Australia trip where I did not expect to gain much poker equity, I actually made a vacation out of it, greatly improving the perceived ROI of the trip. I realized that going to Australia (at least for an American) is not something I will get to do too often. I spent two weeks after the tournament traveling around the country with my fiancée and one of her friends. It was an amazing time that I am glad I got to experience. That being said, I do not expect to go back to Australia anytime soon. It is simply too “expensive” in terms of travel rake.
Keeping Travel Rake Low
When possible, simply do not travel to play poker. If you have your choice between a $340 local tournament or a $1,100 tournament you have to travel to, play the $300 local event. For some simple math, if you win at 50% in both events but the $1,100 event requires $100 in travel, $115 for hotel/food, plus six extra hours of your life, you will win $150 from the $340 tournament (minus some minimal amount for travel) and you will win $285 from the $1,100 event. Notice that six hours of your life is likely not worth $135, which is the difference in the profitability of the two trips.
You should make a point to share hotel rooms with your trustworthy friends. I spend around 90% of my poker travel time rooming with at least one other person. Not only does this drastically reduce your hotel bill, but it also gives you someone to talk to about poker. If you constantly discuss poker and question your strategies, you will improve, increasing your win rate. You may also be able to share a car ride with your friend, saving gas money.
Different than a hotel
I have recently started staying in private apartments instead of hotels, especially when traveling to expensive venues. For example, in Barcelona, I booked a place for the 10 days through airbnb.com at the cost of $100 per day. This was a huge discount compared to the hotel rooms at the tournament venue, which were $300 per night. It is also nice to get away from the poker area and enjoy the city on a daily basis. Just be sure to be safe!
This should be obvious, but you should not stay in gigantic suites or fly in first class. I have known many poker players who have gone stone broke because they thought they had to indulge in these luxuries. While splurging on these experiences is nice from time to time, if they become the norm for you, expect to watch your bankroll slowly diminish.
Make a point to sign up for frequent flier programs and hotel rewards programs. While these things will not bring in huge amounts of money, every little bit helps.
I have started traveling with some food, mainly because I am working hard to be healthy, but also to keep my expenses down. I usually have some form of a green smoothie for breakfast and lunch each day. Given the smoothie only costs around $5, I save at least $5 every time I have it instead of buying breakfast or lunch somewhere.
My water stash
When possible, get comps from the tournament director or casino host. Lots of casinos offer various discounts for poker players, such as cheaper hotel rooms and food vouchers. In Australia, I realized that the bottled water in the hotel room cost $5 each. I found a refrigerator in the tournament area that had free water. I stocked up each day and ended up with lots of water to drink in my hotel room. You will find that most hotel spas stock free fruit and nuts you can have as well. In Barcelona, the EPT registration booth had coupons to get a gigantic spread of food at nice local restaurants for $13. It was an absolute steal.
I strongly suggest that you avoid all vices while on your poker trips. If you are out clubbing all night, you will be hung over and tired the next morning. If you spend your time, energy, and money gambling in the pit, you will certainly be a loser in the long run. If instead, you spend your time sleeping well, meditating, eating right, and working out, things are much more likely to go your way.
Assuming you are good at other forms of poker, such as satellites and cash games, you can spend your free time playing those. Even if you win only $100 per day, that will become significant in the long run. I typically play a decent amount of cash games (as long as the rake is low!) and also a few satellites. For example, during my trip to Australia, I spent around 15 hours playing satellites and cash games, winning $7,000. In Barcelona (where I won $6,000 on the side), I only played satellites because the cash game rake was gigantic.
If You Must Travel
I recognize that lots of people simply must travel in order to play poker because there is no casino in their town. Assuming you must play poker (no one ever said you MUST play), plan your trips intelligently and do the math ahead of time to see if you can realistically turn a winner. If it is simply not possible, there is nothing wrong with traveling to play with the understanding that you are going to lose in order to learn and to have a good time. You can also play online for tiny amounts of money to get experience. If you know that you are not going to win money from a poker trip, ask yourself why you want to go play it in the first place. The way you answer that question will determine your course of action.
While traveling the world (or region) playing poker can be fun, exciting, and rewarding, it can also be the unseen leak that slowly depletes your bankroll. Once you become mindful of your spending, you will discover numerous ways you can save money, allowing you to continuously grow your bankroll.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on twitter and facebook. Are there any steps you take to keep your travel rake low that I didn’t mention? If so, please share them in the comments section. Thank you for reading.
I have been asked numerous times “What podcasts do you listen to?” For those who do not know, I spend a TON of time listening to podcasts. While most people spend their time listening to music, I try to learn things to better my life. I usually listen to podcasts while traveling, working out, and occasionally at the poker table, although that is not recommended because it makes concentrating on the game nearly impossible.
For those who don’t know, a podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player (such as a smart phone). Podcasts are typically available as a series. New installments can usually be received by subscribers automatically to their devices.
For example, you can listen to (and watch) my podcast, Weekly Poker Hand, on this website but you can also download it automatically through iTunes directly to your phone. Podcasts cover in a wide variety of topics. There is at least one podcast for pretty much any subject you can imagine.
Personally, I listen to podcasts through my iPhone’s Podcast app. I simply subscribe to the podcasts I want to listen to in the iTunes store and they download automatically to my phone whenever I am connected to wifi. When I finish listening to a podcast episode, I delete it from my phone. It is that easy!
I always listen to podcasts at either 1.5x or 2x the normal speed, which is a setting you can enable on most podcast programs. This will allow you to quickly devour the content. Remember, time is the only resource you cannot get more of! I keep my notepad open on my phone where I write down anything I hear that I may want to implement into my life. When I have free time, I go through my ever-growing list and start adding the concepts to my life. Some of them stick and some of them don’t, but either way, I am constantly growing and learning.
You will notice that I listen to podcasts on various subjects. Some of these may be interesting to you and others may be irrelevant. I hope you find this list to be helpful. If you find any of these to be useful to you, let me know!
You may be surprised to discover that I don’t listen to many poker podcasts. Honestly, I think most of them are bad. I have tried listening to almost all of them with no luck. Most of them either cover poker news/gossip, which I don’t particularly care about, or have people discussing poker strategy who aren’t actually good at poker. That being said, there are a few amazing podcasts I listen to on a regular basis.
The Mindset Advantage Podcast
My Positive Poker co-author, Dr. Tricia Cardner and my mindset coach Elliot Roe teamed up to bring you this amazing weekly podcast. They interview world-class poker players and athletes, allowing you to see how they remain at the top of their games. This is by far my favorite poker podcast. I was honored to be one of their first guests. For more from Tricia and Elliot, be sure to check out their sections in my book, Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em.
The Mental Game of Poker Radio Show
Jared Tendler, author of The Mental Game of Poker, interviews people in the poker world and discusses topics not relating to the actual playing of poker. I love this type of content because it shows you who these poker players actually are. When you only encounter someone at the poker table, unless they are overly loud, you often don’t know much about them. It is easy to think someone who is quiet at the table is either a machine or a jerk. After an interview with Jared, you realize they are almost all kind, loving humans. For more from Jared, be sure to check out their sections in my book, Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em.
Weekly Poker Hand with Jonathan Little
Yes, I listen to my own podcast. I have to be sure I don’t say anything silly! In this weekly podcast, I review a hand I recently played. I try my best to pick fun but educational hands. Do not expect any bad beat stories. If you like my podcast or if you have other format ideas you would like me to try out, please let me know. I am willing to give anything a try! If you haven’t checked out Weekly Poker Hand, please do so and give me your honest feedback. You can watch the video version each week on this site, JonathanLittlePoker.com.
I am having a difficult time actually classifying the following podcasts because, in my mind, they are only somewhat related to business. To me, they are related to life. I have learned a TON of what I know from these podcasts. I am always excited when a new episode is released.
The Tim Ferriss Show
I discovered Tim a few years ago through his book, The 4-Hour Work Week. He put out the 4-Hour Body, which I diligently followed and lost over 40 pounds. He then put out The 4-Hour Chef, which taught me to cook better than I ever thought possible. He recently started putting out a podcast where he interviews influential people from all walks of life. Tim asks perhaps the most perfect questions to get actionable information from the brightest people in the world. It is amazing.
The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
This is another interview-based podcast. I learned about this podcast because he had Daniel Negreanu on it and I decided to give it a listen. Ever since then, I have been hooked. He has interviewed lots of people who are at the top of their chosen craft. If you like inspirational stories from successful people who worked hard to get to the top, this is the podcast for you.
The Smart Passive Income Podcast
Pat Flynn, who I learned about from Tim Ferriss’ podcast, is an online marketer who has made lots of money through affiliate links. He gives away a TON of content for free. In each episode, he either discusses a specific topic, such as How to Start a Podcast, or interviews someone who has been successful at an internet business, usually using somewhat unconventional strategies. I actually designed this website, JonathanLittlePoker.com, shortly after discovering Pat’s podcast. He also inspired me to start writing this blog.. If I didn’t stumble on this podcast, this site would not be here. “No one ever got poor by giving.”
The James Altucher Show
I discovered this podcast when he interviewed professional poker player Ylon Schwartz on. I coached WSOP November 9’er Steve Begleiter with Ylon. This podcast is a series of interviews where James Altucher, who has had too many successes and failures to count, interviews fun people from all walks of life. This is quite similar to the Tim Ferriss podcast in terms of content. I learn a ton from this podcast, not only about things I should be doing, but also about things I should be avoiding.
While these podcasts are all educational, you are probably not going to learn a ton of actionable information. However, I find all of these to be thoroughly entertaining and highly insightful.
This is a podcast by the guys who wrote Freakonomics, which was one of the first books that got me thinking about using math/economics in everyday life. They always have fun stories discussing various aspects of life that often leave me wanting more, which is a good thing. I actually emailed one of the authors of the books looking for life advice and he told me his wife was currently reading my poker book. How cool is that?!?
NPR: Planet Money Podcast
This podcast is quite similar to Freakonomics but is put out on a more consistent basis. The episodes are roughly 15 minutes long, compared to Freakonomics’ 30 minutes. They cover lots of stories on various topics, usually involving the economy, but not in a mainstream, fear-driven way.
Magic: The Gathering podcasts
I play a marginal amount of Magic: The Gathering online as my primary hobby. As with everything I do in life, I make a point to study it at least somewhat diligently. If you don’t know how to play Magic, these podcasts will be relatively useless for you. That being said, if you currently play or played Magic in the past, these are great.
Magic: The Gathering Drive to Work Podcast
Mark Rosewater, the head designer for Magic: The Gathering discusses numerous aspects of game design and being the head game designer of the best game in the world. Quite a few of the concepts discussed in my blog, including 10 Aspects of a Successful Game and Understand the Three Player Types came from knowledge I gained through his podcast.
In this podcast, Marshall Sutcliffe, who is a poker player and commentator for the Magic Pro Tour, discusses the only format of Magic I play, Limited. With a cohost, he discusses each new set of cards and various strategies used to improve your Limited skills. Even though these podcasts tend to be quite long, there is never a dull moment.
That is all of them!
If you found this list to be useful, please let me know. If you fall in love with someone’s content, let them know I sent you. If you listen to any podcasts that you think I would enjoy, please share them with me. Thanks for reading!
My view in Melbourne
As most of you know, I spent all of October, 2014 in Australia. I decided to make the trip to play the WSOP APAC events even though EPT London, which turned out to be a much larger tournament, was going on at roughly the same time. I decided to travel much farther to Australia because Amie, my fiancée, wanted to take a vacation to Australia and I figured this would be our only opportunity to make the trip any time soon. Our plan was for me to arrive on 10/1 and for Amie to come after the poker tournament was finished, along with one of her friends.
Before you proceed, please know there will be very little poker information and a lot of talk about my travels in this post. If you want poker advice, please check out my other blogs.
Flying to Australia from NYC is rough. My total travel time was 31 hours. Even though most people complain about flights, I don’t mind them. I spent almost all 31 hours listening to podcasts, reading books, and hibernating. The flight went as smoothly as possible. Uneventful flights are nice.
I had the opportunity to spend six hours in the Hong Kong airport on the way to Melbourne. For some reason, seeing lots of things I view as strictly American in Chinese is funny to me. I somehow had dim sum at a relatively nice place and I also spent $50 on tea, mostly because I was too tired to figure out how to convert USD to HKD. I am a money conversion fish when I am tired!
It’s poker time!
I stayed at the Crown Casino, which is where the WSOP APAC was held. The venue is amazingly nice. That being said, I think it is about 50% overpriced. For example, in their food court, a salad is roughly $15. I ate a lot of salad because that was the healthiest thing I could find that was available whenever I wanted it. Also, the hotel rooms, at a discounted rate, are $400 per night. Maybe they give huge discounts if you play casino games? I decided to simply pay the $8,000 hotel bill. Ouch!
The other main issue I had was that the internet in the hotel did not work well at all. I planned to put in a decent amount of online volume, especially in the time between the end of the WSOP APAC and when Amie was set to arrive, but due to the awful internet service, I was afraid to play. I have no desire to play high stakes when I could get disconnected at any moment, costing me lots of equity. I tried a few times with no luck. That was disappointing.
Poker went fairly poorly for me. I won a $10,000 main event seat in a $1,000 multi-table satellite early in the series but besides that, I lost everything else. I played a bit of $5/$10/$20 no-limit cash games and won a little. Poker-wise, the trip was not too good for me, but that is fine. You get used to bad trips when you play a lot of tournaments. When I hear tournament players discussing whether or not they won or lost during any individual poker trip, it makes me laugh because you probably should lose around 4 times out of 5 simply due to the payout structures of tournaments. If you care about your short term results, you will go crazy. I learned a long time ago to not let short term tournament results drive me crazy.
Image © PokerNews
I roomed with Scott Clements during the 15-day poker part of my trip. Scott is an excellent roommate. He never woke me up when he came home after I was already asleep and he didn’t wake me up when he left before I woke up. He was also not loud and didn’t mind discussing poker. When we went to the gym at the same time, he constantly inspired me to work harder. I would give him an A+ as a roommate.
I was drinking a bit too much during the series, mostly to help me fall asleep at night. I am fairly bad at getting on the right sleep schedule, especially when traveling to the opposite side of the world. Anyone who knows anything about drinking knows that while it will put you to sleep, it will often not keep you asleep throughout the night and when it does, you will have a hangover the next morning. Drinking is obviously not a +EV play for a poker player.
On October 10, I decided that I was going to stop drinking. After listening to a ton of inspirational podcasts, I came to the realization that I was not devoting myself 100% to poker. While I almost certainly do more than most poker players, I had glaring holes in my game, mainly off the felt. Drinking was the main problem and I am proud to say I haven’t had a sip of alcohol during the last month. I plan to never again get caught in the viscous cycle where I am drinking on a regular basis. When I have the urge, I simply say “I stopped drinking” and forget about it. I also realize that most poisons look and taste good to the animal being poisoned. In my mind, alcohol and sugar both fall in this category. I am also making a point to get off sugar unless I am feeling especially naughty. So far, this change in mindset has worked amazingly well. I am excited to see what the future holds.
Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one’s desires, but by the removal of desire. – Epictetus
I also wrote down my goals in life and poker as well as how I am going to achieve them. So far, things are progressing nicely. In one of my upcoming webinars, I am going to discuss all of my goals, including numerous things I am working on to get better at poker. I am also going to discuss some of the holes I have in my game and what I am doing to fix them. I will use numerous hand examples to show you spots where I made mistakes in the past and how I have improved. If you aren’t constantly improving, you are falling behind. Be sure to sign up for my email list on the side of this page to get updates about the date of the webinar (and to claim your free poker training video).
After all of that soul searching, Amie and her friend Courtney arrived.
It’s vacation time!!!
The ladies arrived in the middle of the day, so we didn’t have much time left before the sun went down. Amie and I tend to not party (we went to a total of 0 bars/clubs during our Australia trip) so we are usually not out too late. We spent most of our time walking around downtown Melbourne. We went to a Peking duck restaurant in Chinatown. They brought out a nice plump duck and promptly sliced all of its meat off for us to devour. It was delicious. Poor ducky!
Shrine of Remembrance
We had breakfast in the city at a nice little café (I almost always ordered the “Big Brekky”, which includes eggs, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, and beans), then went to the Shrine of Remembrance, which is an awe-inspiring building near the Royal Botanic Gardens. I thoroughly enjoy simply walking around and observing the sights. I find it to be calming. After that, we went to an amazing Malaysian restaurant, Mamak, which is a local chain. It was really good. They should try to bring it to NYC for sure . Before coming to Australia I was actually told by a few Australians that their food is crappy. I don’t think I had a bad meal the entire time.
We rented a car and drove along the Great Ocean Road. I was not a huge fan of this experience, mostly because it consisted mainly of us driving around in a car for 10 hours. I don’t enjoy sitting and doing relatively nothing for most of the day. Of course, we did see some amazing sights but I don’t think spending the entire day in the car was worth it. However, I did get to experience driving on the “wrong” side of the road for the first time. It took a while to get used to but I eventually figured it out. Now I am afraid to drive in America. I guess I forgot how.
We traveled to the Moonlit Sanctuary, which is basically a zoo where some of the animals roam free. We had the experience of petting a koala bear. That was fun. I felt bad for him because we clearly woke him up from his nap. Ohhh well.
We also got to hang out with some kangaroos. I didn’t realize this, but lots of people in Australia consider kangaroos to be pests, just as some people from the northeast United States consider deer to be pests, even though they are so cute. I always viewed kangaroos as cool animals. After searching the sanctuary for kangaroos and only finding one little wallaby, we found a section with about 15 kangaroos hanging out and relaxing. We decided to gamble a bit and hang out with them. We ended up petting and feeding them for almost an hour. They became our friends. They loved all of us, probably because we were feeding them. They would be relaxing and when you approached, they would walk over and see what you were doing. This was one of the best experiences of the trip for me.
After we left our new friends, we went to Phillip Island to watch the famous Penguin Parade. Every night, thousands of little penguins swim in from the ocean then walk inland to their homes in the sand. They were so cute! There is a giant boardwalk built so spectators can watch the penguins hang out before going to bed in their little holes in the ground. It was awesome watching them behave as if they were in their own little world.
We flew to Cairns, which is near the top of the east coast of Australia. We traveled to our hotel in Port Douglas and bummed around town during the first day and relaxed. Amie and I got the bright idea to go buy groceries. She put me in charge of navigating. Our 30 minute round trip turned into a 90 minute round trip because I can’t read a map. Sorry Amie!
We took a long boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkeling along the reef was amazing. We saw tons of coral, fish, and even a shark. The water was fairly cold and they made us wear a body suit. I made the mistake of getting flippers that were a size too big and I ended up grinding blisters into my feet. When we saw the shark, I was worried about my feet bleeding into the water. Luckily the shark didn’t want to eat me.
After the Reef, we went to a local bar to watch cane toad racing. Cane toads are pests in Australia. The announcer claimed that the bloody Americans brought over 102 toads to Australia some number of years ago to take care of pests that were messing with the local sugar cane. The toads made boatloads of babies and now they are everywhere. In the race, people from the audience got on stage and blew party whistles at their selected toad to try to get them to jump off the table first. It was an enjoyable experience to witness.
Went to the Daintree Rainforest. I wasn’t even aware that Australia had a rainforest. The American school system failed me again! We were told by our guide, Dave, that the Daintree is the oldest rainforest in the world. There are lots of animals living there that are somewhat unevolved compared to other parts of the world. For example, there is a giant bird called a Cassowary that looks rather like an ostrich but is apparently quite vicious. We got lucky enough to see one of them! There are also little birds that bury their eggs in a giant communal nest on the ground, similar to how some reptilian dinosaurs were thought to lay their eggs.
We also saw tons of cool trees. Ever since relocating to NYC, I have fallen in love with trees. I constantly admire their beauty when I stroll through the parks. There is something about them that is awe-inspiring to me. They seem so peaceful. We got to see a wide array of trees. I loved it.
Dave enlightened us about many aspects of the rainforest. We learned that some of the land is saturated in salt water, which results in only specific types of trees growing in that area. We also got to lick the butt of an ant, which tasted like lemon juice. It was an interesting experience.
There is also a famous ice cream shop in the middle of the rainforest. They have a farm where they grow all of the foods they use to flavor their ice cream. Even though I am making a point to be a good boy when it comes to my diet, I had four small scoops. It was naughtily delicious.
We woke up at 3am to catch a shuttle to the airport, then flew to Hervey Bay, which is a little below Cairns, and rented a Land Rover plus camping equipment. We stopped at the grocery store to get our food rations for the next six meals. I came up with the genius idea of buying 12 side salads for Amie and me to split. She decided to be smart and buy some calories in the form of things to make s’mores. Interestingly enough, they don’t have graham crackers in Australia. We bought similar-looking cookies instead. I was super hungry while camping. Being hungry is good sometimes.
We then took a ferry to the largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island. I had no clue what to expect going into this part of the trip except that I knew we would be camping. It turns out that the roads on Fraser Island are not really roads. You can go about 15 miles per hour on most of them. They were by far the most rugged “roads” I have ever driven on. They reminded me of riding in Hoyt Corkins’ jeep through the Red Rock Mountains in Nevada. We spent about 90 minutes driving across the island to where we planned to camp. Seeing how I am a southern boy and I was traveling with two ladies from NYC, I was in charge of setting up camp and making sure no one died.
We arrived at our camp site right as the sun was going down. I proudly got our two tents and chairs set up right as the sun dipped below the horizon. To be fair, it wasn’t all my doing. The ladies worked hard to make sure we got our camp set up. As I pulled out the propane grill (no wood fires are allowed on the island) to make our s’mores, two rangers drove up and told us that we had to relocate because a pack of dingoes attacked some people near our location a few days earlier. Bad beat!
We quickly packed up our camp and we drove a little ways down the beach. We set up our camp again. It is much harder to set up camp when there is no light. We eventually got it taken care of. We slept soundly.
I convinced the ladies that we should ditch the idea of having any sort of planned agenda while camping. My idea of camping is relaxing and doing whatever we have time for. We drove our Land Rover up the east coast of the island. The west coast of the island is not safe to drive on due to the overly wet sand. If you try to drive there, your vehicle will surely get stuck. Along the way, we saw a few landmarks but we ended up spending most of our time at a waist-deep creek filled with crystal clear water. The creek was SUPER cold. I drank lots of the water. I liked it! We met a few locals there and talked with them for hours. After that, we drove back to our camp. We saw a few dingoes walk by but they left us alone. We devoured our salad and s’mores, and then slept.
At around midnight, Courtney started yelling and woke us up. The flap on her tent that was supposed to keep out the rain blew off due to extremely strong winds. Since it was the middle of the night, I told her to get in our tent and we would figure everything out in the morning.
I woke up the next morning and looked outside to see Courtney’s tent already packed up. I was happy that she was being proactive and packing up the camp. In reality, the wind blew it away. Both of the girls were convinced it was gone. Amie started looking around and found it in a tree. I made the short trek to retrieve it. Before 5am, we had finished our salads, packed up our camp, and embarked on another long bumpy ride across the island.
Our primary destination was Lake McKenzie, which is an amazingly clear lake that is filled with rainwater. We arrived super early. There were only a few other people way down the beach, meaning we pretty much had it all to ourselves. I spent the next few hours swimming. I eventually got tired and took a nap. One of my feet was stuck out from under my multiple layers of protection and it got super burnt. It was toasty for the rest of the trip.
This is me taking a nap on the beach.
We took the ferry back to the mainland and returned our Land Rover and camping gear. We checked into a hotel in Hervey Bay, which was both seedy and homey at the same time. Since I was overly hungry, we decided to go to an Indian restaurant. The food was amazing.
I was so hungry. I ordered tandoori chicken, aloo gobi, then when it was time to consider dessert, I ordered another order of tandoori chicken. It was so delicious. We got caught in a rainstorm and sat in the restaurant for around two hours. I really could have used a drink then but I abstained. The rain eventually stopped and we walked back to the hotel for the night.
We slept in a bit, had breakfast at a trendy-looking local café with fun food then flew to Sydney for the last leg of our journey. Every time I mentioned Sydney to a local Australian, they said, “You mean Shitney?” Apparently they think Sydney is shit. I was expecting the city to be an absolute dump. The airport seemed nice, but I was still skeptical.
It turns out that Sydney is awesome. At least in my mind, it is comparable to a clean NYC. There is great architecture, large parks, and great food. We spent our first day walking around the town. The ladies shopped a bit. While they were shopping, I read various books on my iPhone. I used to never read books. Now I am constantly reading. I have found that reading is much more beneficial than playing mindless games on my phone. I am a true genius, I know.
We took two ferry rides to various ports around the city. I wasn’t expecting much from a ferry ride, but in reality, these were fairly high speed boats that only carried humans. They seemed to be a surprising part of the local public transportation system. It was fun and relaxing. Seeing the Sydney Opera House was a great experience. I never thought I would be moved by a building, but I was. There is something special about it.
We woke up and had breakfast at a great place called Bobby’s that was a block away from our hotel. We ate breakfast there two more times while in Sydney. Obviously I had the Big Brekky every time. We walked around the city and the ladies shopped some more. I read some more. We did the touristy thing and climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was actually much less intimidating than I expected. My only other experience climbing something I perceived as “scary” was climbing to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park in Utah. That actually was scary. The bridge climb was super safe. Everyone was strapped in. You would have to try really hard to fall off. The views from the top were great.
After that, we went to a local chain called Pancakes on the Rocks. I would have loved a gluttonous pancake topped with ice cream, chocolate, and Nutella but instead, I had a crepe that looked more like a salad. It was surprisingly good.
Impromptu work out
We spent our last day walking from Bondi beach to Coogee beach. The walk, which was supposed to take about 45 minutes, ended up taking about two hours because there was an amazing sculpture exhibit going on. We saw lots of interesting sculptures from various artists. In the evening, we walked around a part of Sydney that is comparable to Brooklyn. The area was a bit grungier than the main downtown area in a charming way. Amie loved the beautiful trees with purple leaves/flowers. She snapped a picture of me impromptu working out on a pole below one of them.
We had dinner at a fun place called El Loco. It was overly crowded when we arrived so we had to fight to get a table. Of course, there was no sort of waiting list. We eventually found a seat and had delicious food. I had fish, steak, and a “special” taco that was essentially a pile of goodness. It was great.
We woke up early and headed to the airport. We flew to Hong Kong, where we had a 40 minute layover. That was a bad beat because I wanted to play some more in the Hong Kong airport. An agent greeted us as we disembarked our flight and rushed us through all of the security lines to our final flight to NYC. Again, I listened to podcasts, read books, and hibernated the whole way.
All in all, I had a great time in Australia. I got to swim along the Great Barrier Reef, play with kangaroos, hang out in a rainforest, go camping, and spend time with Amie and Courtney. I would strongly suggest visiting the country if you have the opportunity. Perhaps most importantly, I learned a lot about myself and have developed a solid strategy for self-improvement. I am excited about the future! As much as I enjoyed the trip, I am happy to get back home and get to work. I have lots of new ideas to share with you.
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Thanks for reading!
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!