Mailbag: Making 3- and 4-Bet Decisions

This question first appeared on the Tournament Poker Edge forums, under the title “Looking for some insight in to effective stack sizes and 3-bet/4-bet decisions.” Q: I’ve often wondered how best to consider stack size when confronted by 3 or 4 bets. I have a vague sense it is about trying to get value out of my strong hands, narrow ranges and lower my SPR, but I’d be lying if I knew enough to not feel a little lost here. For example, … – I have AKs and open 2.2BB – V 3-bets to 7BB – I ?…with 20BB effective vs … Read more…

Episode 173: Getting Better at Poker

Isn’t that what all of our shows about? Kind of, but this time around we’re more explicit than usual. It’s just Nate and Andrew, talking about some specific, concrete, active (not just reading books or watching videos) ways to study poker. Plus we review bluffing and bluff-catching strategy in an illustrative example of one of the toughest spots in poker, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of slowplaying against a maniac. Timestamps 0:30 hello and welcome 11:30 strategy Strategy Hand 1 2/5 game at the Aria. I have a stack of about 1400. Villain covers. Villain raises from UTG+1 to … Read more…

Episode 172: Elena Stover

Elena Stover has a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience, and her studies focused on risk and decision-making, so when she decided not to pursue a career in academia, poker was a natural fit for her. We talk to Elena about her research, how it informs her thinking about on and off the felt, the short-comings of academia, her gradual transition into poker, her post-Black Friday life as a poker nomad, and more! Plus, in our strategy segment, we discuss playing Kings when that dreaded Ace turns. Elena plays on PokerStars as “thegroupie”, which is also her Twitter handle. Her blog contains a … Read more…

Episode 87 with Mike “GoLeafsGoEh” Leah Back From the Dead

Thanks to Lee, who first brought this problem to my attention, and to John Williams and Russ Fox, both of whom sent me the MP3 file they had downloaded, the missing Episode 87 of the Thinking Poker Podcast is back! Many of you probably never heard it, because it was from the time that we were on the PokerNews feed (this has renewed my interest in getting all of those episodes onto our feed), which is a shame because Mike Leah is a great guy and, obviously, a great player! Be sure to check it out at http://www.thinkingpoker.net/2014/07/episode-87-mike-goleafsgoeh-leah/.

The Thinking Poker Diaries, Volume 8 Now Available!

The eighth installment in my Thinking Poker Diaries series, which tells the story of my summers at the World Series of Poker, is now available. Unlike past volumes, this one covers many preliminary events as well as the 2013 Main Event. In particular, includes a report from the $1500 PLO8 event, in which I made the final two tables, as well as a primer on PLO8 strategy. 2013 is also notable as the year that I played with Doyle Brunson for all of Day 1 of the Main Event, which of course was quite an experience. Contrary to the fancy … Read more…

Episode 171: Andrew Moreno

Andrew Moreno is a professional poker player who is also married to a professional poker player. His wife, Kristy Arnett, has mentioned him enough times on the show (including Episode 170!) that we figured it was about time he came on to speak for himself! Andrew discusses the pluses and minuses of sharing this unconventional career with his spouse, as well as setting ambitious goals, taking risks, Choice Center, and more. Timestamps 0:30 – hello & welcome 10:59 – strat 32:05 – andrew moreno Strategy MP limps, the button makes it $5, and I raise to $16.5. MP calls and the … Read more…

Episode 171 Coming Tomorrow

Sean, our editor, has been out of town, so there’s a slight delay with the latest episode, but it should be up tomorrow (Tuesday), thanks for your patience!   Edit: Whoops, I actually had this file all along, Sean sent it to me before he left (though next week’s episode will go up Tuesday morning for the reason I gave here). Sorry Sean!

Putting Your Opponents to a Decision

My latest poker strategy article, Putting Your Opponents to a Decision, is now appearing in the May issue of 2+2 Magazine. It addresses some misunderstandings related to the intrinsic value of aggressive actions: [T]here are other decisions in poker besides call-or-fold. When you check, you put your opponent to a bet-or-check decision. In other words, after you check, your opponent does not (or should not given you are doing your job well) know whether or not you plan to fold to a bet. Thus, when he holds a weak hand, he has a decision: should he attempt to bluff, or … Read more…