The hottest recipe to cook money at poker

Here is an excerpt from a question that I received:

So game dynamics are pretty aggro and there’s a lot of 3-4-5 betting going on.. Stacksizes are around 200bb effective.. At a certain point Coach xy 4bets A6s and gets min5bet (clicked it back) by villain.

So Coach xy stated that it’s imperative that you call, screaming pot odds, but i got a few questions on that…

- how does the perceived bluff/value ratio of your 4betting range influences the call of the 5bet
- does it matter here that we in fact have a blocker w the A6s and what about having A6o here ? K6s? Q7s ?
- w such a small psr, how do you proceed postflop? (this is a very general question but ill try to give an example)


My short answer would be:  This question is wayyyy too “smart”. It’s an interesting mind game. Everybody who asks questions like this should play at least midstakes or is infected by the fancy-think-syndrome. I know this better than anyone else out there, since I´ve been incubated for a life time.

———–> This is definitely NOT the way how to make money at poker. Improving at those spots and articulating yourself well might win you the paper medal at forum discussions, but won´t provide for your filet mignon at Nobu

WHERE DO YOU MAKE MONEY AT POKER?

If you want to make money, you have to beat other players. You have to beat not only them, but also the rake. This means you have to be better at something! Try to consciously think about 10 things that you do BETTER than your average competition. If you can´t think of any, that’s a good point to start at!  Make a list of skills you want to develop and start working on them. Conversely, your opponents are often better at things you do. Make a list of what you think your opponents do better. Personally, I had a hard time doing this. It took me some time to see greatness in other players. Partly cuz of my ego, partly because of not going too much into detail.

—–> What do you do better?

—–> What do your opponents do better ?

WHERE DOES YOUR EDGE COME FROM?

This is sooo crucial. Look again at the question asked by the member. He plays Nl50-NL200 ish. Does any reader honestly think that hands/questions like the ones asked gain the member an edge at his level? Don´t misunderstand me. Questions are good and thinking about tough/weird spots is awesome. But there are way more easy to fix leaks than playing vs 5bets OOP with Ax. I would even go further and state that it is a leak per se to think about this. To even think it has ANY relevancy. To assume we would ever want to be or could get into this spot. Those spots start to matter at high stakes, where 0,0004% edges can mean a couple thousand. But even at high stakes, it might be portrayed that everybody is thinking on some super high above level.
I can name at least 5 high stakes winning players, who have the cognitive intelligence of 3 pounds of grass. This used to frustrate me a bit, thinking I was smarter than them. This is first of all my own ego problem. Today  still think they probably can´t even walk to their local bakery without tripping 5 times over their own feet, BUT I realized and acknowledged that they possess a certain skill(s).
A lack of “higher intelligence” can be helpful. If you don´t think you´re smarter than everybody else, you have way less problems to deal with. Practically, those guys would fold A6s EVERYTIME to the BB 3bet, maybe call at times. And guess what, this is a VERY marginal spot, so no matter what you do, it’s going to be marginal. There is NO big money to be made in spots like those long term. And whether those “not so smart people” realize this or not, they often make the best decision by avoiding those zero EV or minus EV spots.

——->Realize, it’s not a spot where you´re going to print money.

——-> So for now, why not just fold and focus on the spots where you make the big bucks ?

——->You can always get back later once you´ve mastered the more urgent issues.

RECIPROCALITY

Reciprocal thinking is how you make money at poker!

One of my goals in this blog is to add value and not reproduce. This article from Tommy Angelo pretty much sums up what I want to say. In better words than I could ever write.

The concept of Reciprocality . Read it, eat it, breathe it, understand it. Up to this day, I think it’s one of the most important concepts to understand. Once you read this, you´ll realize how much nonsense 95% of posts in forums are. Next time you are about to think of folding/calling a set when you have a bluffcatcher, think about Reciprocality. Yes, don´t just call because your opponent would call, too. That’s stupid. But realize that the decision to be made is not as “sick” as you thought in the first place. Next time, when you think about folding QQ preflop, realize it’s NOT a big decision. You´re not going to loose any money by stacking off with QQ long term.

—–> Go through some of the biggest pots you’ve played. How much did you win/lose . How much did you REALLY win/lose (exchange cards, would the same thing happen?)

More from Tommy Angelo in his book “Elements of Poker” I can highly recommend this book. There is only a handful among the million written ones that I believe are actually helpful. Reading articles from Tommy definitely improved my perception of the game.

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