What to do on a boring day?
by jnells | Published May 04, 2012
Over the last couple of weeks and, to a lesser extent the entire last semester, I have had a lot of free time. Pre black friday, where the majority of my free time was spent would not have been up for debate, I'd be on my grind. With the inability to grind on Pokerstars and problems getting money on/ worries about how safe money is on Lock, I have been looking for ways to improve my poker game away from the table. I think this is very beneficial to a poker players overall profitability, especially for players like myself who have aspirations to move up to higher stakes in the future.
Here are the methods I have been using:
Watching training videos on LeggoPoker.com.
As I wrote in some of my first blog entries I found Pokersavvy/plus when I was attending Mass Bay Community college for one semester before transferring to Northeastern University. I initially signed up for their free trial because they had Mike "the mouth" Matusow as an instructor, I barely watched any Matusow videos, because I didn't care about Omaha High Low, but began to realize how crazy talented their video producers are. Guys like WPThero, Bond18, Charder30 really made me realize how bad I was at poker. Pokersavvy does not release new videos however I have found that my second favorite site was LeggoPoker despite the fact that their specialty is cash games and my main game is tournaments. I find that these videos allow me to see into the inner workings of the mind of high stakes online cash pro's, thinking about poker on a high level makes me a better player even if most of what I learn can not be directly applied to the games I play at Seabrook. I give most of the credit of my multi-tournament game to training sites for getting me to think about the right things.
Reviewing Hand Histories I have played online.
Even though my game has changed a lot since I stopped playing a high volume of poker tournaments on Pokerstars that does not mean that there is nothing to be learned by reviewing spots that I have messed up in the past. Even just boring shoving ranges and calling ranges with pokerstove can really surprise you some times. For instance there was a spot that I saw where a player called a 5 BB shove with 72s for a significant % of his stack and with pokerstove I was able to see that it was a pretty clear math call even if the short stack was only shoving top 40% of hands.
Rereading old poker books.
A lot of people might be surprised by this because online players traditionally don't like poker books especially ones by live pros but I tend to disagree. Don't get me wrong I have read Helmuth's book Play Poker Like the Pros and it is atrocious. The advice he gives to new players is to play the top 10 hands, yea that is not a typo (which admittedly I do have plenty of) he wants new players to be GIANT nits and never really said anything to the extent of make sure you adjust when you get low stacked, or how to combat players taking advantage of your Nit-tasktic strategy. The reason I like to read and reread poker books whose advice I will not be taking is simple, I like to think about why I will not be taking the advice. I think about what is recommended, decide if I agree or disagree with the logic (unless it is Helmuth's book which is pretty devoid of logic) and why. I am a pretty big advocate of thinking about poker, the more you think the better chance you have of thinking the correct way.
I really do enjoy getting better, but also I think that there is the potential for the return of the "GLORY DAYS". For those who don't watch poker training videos, coaches are always taking about right after the poker Boom when everyone and their mother was playing on Party Poker. Where anyone who knew what they were doing could easily make huge amounts of money, hell even a nit like Finch could probably make 250K a year if he wanted to. I don't think it'll be that easy, because there is more information out there now, but when I see the learning curve of really smart people like Finch's brother and especially his dad, who has been playing a lot longer, in a simple format like short stacked SnGs I realize that people do not intuitively get poker concepts that are really simple once you get that "Ah-Ha" moment. I want to be at the top of my game whenever the US decided to let the country play poker online so I can get as much equity as possible before people have that moment.