How’s it going? I’m doing really well. I love Florida and all of the awesome things I can do here. My results at the table have been poor this month, but I feel like my decision-making has been excellent. So that’s what I thought I’d talk about…


  • Florida State Poker Championship
    • I cashed in one event.
  • WSOPc at Palm Beach Kennel Club
    • I bricked everything.
  • Hard Rock Poker Open
    • I bricked the first event.
  • Cash games
    • I’m stuck a little bit.

But I am undeterred. Whenever I go on a downswing, I do the exact opposite of what most people do. I play less and study more  I’ve taken time this month to study the following:

I need a system of checks and balances to make sure that individual facets of my game don’t deteriorate. That’s why I continue to study. Sometimes new books cause me to notice issues in my game that I’ve been neglecting. It’s important to continually evaluate your play. Are you opening with the right ranges? Are you flatting with the right ranges? Are you 3-betting with the right ranges? Are you c-betting with the right ranges? Be honest with yourself.

Go back to the drawing board. Reevaluate what you’re doing. Then change ONE thing each session. Don’t go changing multiple facets of your game at the same time. Change one thing at a time. Add one thing at a time. Subtract one thing at a time. Don’t throw so many new variables into your strategy that you lose track of what you’re trying to accomplish. When I’m on a downswing I do the following:

  1. I evaluate my decision-making process.
  2. I evaluate my lifestyle (hence the last two reading suggestions).
  3. I ask myself if I’m on tilt.
  4. If so, why?
  5. How can I resolve that?
  6. I study more.

This always helps me to improve so that I can make good decisions on and off the table while appreciating the freedom that poker has provided me. For instance, I’ve noticed that I can make improvements in the following areas:

1.  I’m going to continue to evaluate my ranges in the format the Ed Miller specifies in Poker’s 1%. It’s not because I want to play perfectly optimal poker. It’s actually far from that. I want a better understanding of what optimal looks like, so I can do a better job of noticing flaws in my opponents’ ranges and in turn, do a better job of exploiting them.

2.  I’m going to quit looking at my cards before the action is on me. I used to look at them as soon as they were dealt to me in order to speed up the game. But I’m afraid that I might be unconsciously giving away information about my hand by how I hold my cards, how I shuffle my chips, and by neglecting to manage where I’m looking.

3.  This will help me to look left and gather more information than I already do, since it will disrupt the flow of the game every so slightly. I used to glance left. Now I actually want to LOOK left.

4.  I’m done with hoodies, headphones, and chip tricks. Most 21-year-olds that play 5/10NL+ are pretty good at poker. I’d like to make it just a little bit harder to identify me as a solid player. I’ve been trying to make the transition into only wearing dress clothes at the table.

5.  I’m going to continue to study how to better invest future winnings. If I bink a huge tournament I’m not going to be the guy that fires off his winnings on stupid, superficial purchases. I’m going to invest it so that I can produce more passive income and create extra time to do things that I enjoy.

This is just how I do things. I like learning and solving problems systematically. I identify the problem, find a solution, and execute. I don’t ever want to be the player that blindly accepts variance without delving deeper to see if there’s an underlying issue. Poker evolves, and I’m going to evolve with it. I want my ranges and bet-sizing to stay ahead of the curve so I won’t get left behind.  It’s my job to predict how poker strategy is going to adapt, and spending more time studying is the only way to do that. I hope that players on this site will do the same. Read the first three book suggestions at minimum. Read the articles on this site. Watch our monthly videos. Study by yourself. Use Flopzilla and Equilab to experiment on your own. Most importantly, don’t stop learning!

  • david

    I like to hoard chips.