Episode 207: Nikolai Yakovenko on AI and Poker

Nikolai Yakovenko, poker player and computer scientist, returns to the podcast (he first appeared on Episode 155) to talk about recent advances in Artificial Intelligence, particularly with regard to poker. Links Tournament Poker Edge NYC Live Event with Just Hands Poker DeepStackAI Article in Science Timestamps 0:30 – hello 13:08 – strat 45:14 – nikolai Strategy Hand 1 60/120 Limit Hold ‘Em Button raises, Hero 3-bets ATo in SB, BN 4-bets, Hero calls. Flop (4.5 BBs) T42r. Check, bet, call. Turn (5.5 BBs) A. Check, bet, raise, call. River (7.5 BBs) T. Bet, fold. Hand 2 $1/$3 NLHE, $390 effective … Read more…

Episode 206: Pair Plus Draw

It’s all strategy this week, as Nate and Andrew review two hands in which the Hero flops a strong pair plus the nut flush draw. Links Tournament Poker Edge NYC Live Event with Just Hands Poker Timestamps 0:30 hello 12:36 strat Hand 1 $2/$5 NLHE, 9-handed, $500 effective stacks. UTG1 limps, Villain limps HJ, Hero raises to $25 with Ac Qs, SB and both limpers call. Flop ($105 in the pot) Qc 7c 3c. Checks to HJ, HJ bets $30, Hero calls, other two fold. Turn ($165) 8h. Villain bets $40, Hero raises to $120, Villain calls. River ($405) 8d. Villain bets $175, Hero? Hand 2 … Read more…

Episode 205: Ronnie Bardah

Ronnie Bardah has been a poker pro since before “The Boom”, and though he’s perhaps most famous for his five consecutive cashes in the WSOP Main Event, he’s a Fixed Limit Hold ‘Em player first and foremost. He shares his story growing up in and around casinos, experiencing the early days of no-limit hold ’em at Foxwoods, getting shut out of big private games in Florida, and eventually moving to Las Vegas to play Limit Hold ‘Em at Bellagio. Links Tournament Poker Edge NYC Live Event with Just Hands Poker Timestamps 0:30 – Hello & Welcome 6:50 – Strategy: Top-Top … Read more…

Evaluating Three-Bet Opportunities

My latest poker strategy article, Evaluating Three-Bet Opportunities, is now appearing in the March 2017 issue of Two Plus Two Magazine. It builds on last month’s article, What Are the Best Hands to Three-Bet?, demonstrating how to apply the theory that I laid out there to actual decisions you’ll face on the felt: “You are UTG+1 in a nine-handed $5/$10 game in which all players have $2,000 stacks. The UTG player opens to $40. Consider your action with each of the following hands: AA, AKo, AQs, KQo, JTs, 65s.” Of course, I go on to help you consider your action, … Read more…

Episode 204: Angela Bassa

Angela Bassa is the director of data science at iRobot and an occasional poker player with more than a passing interest in Libratus and its implications for artificial intelligence. In this interview, we talk about poker’s intersections with data science and artificial intelligence, as well as what’s going through a data scientist’s mind when she sits down for beer and poker with friends. Strategy this week comes to us from Nate’s recent play in a Foxwoods $1K! Links Coaching Carlos Tournament Poker Edge NYC Live Event with Just Hands Poker Timestamps 0:30 – Hello & Welcome 11:38 – Strategy From … Read more…

Suicide Shove

This is the “absurd” hand I referenced on Twitter yesterday. I want to be clear that I’m not posting this as an example of a hand that seems bad but I think is actually good. It was a badly played hand, I don’t have any delusions about that. I do think it’s probably less bad than it seems, so in addition to the prurient interest some of you may have in seeing me attempt to bluff someone with the last of my chips for less than a min-raise on the river, there is hopefully some educational value here. It’s worth … Read more…

Shove River?

I never just post hands any more! I am curious in your feedback, but I don’t have a lot more to say about the hand myself, so I’m not going to construct it as a What’s Your Play? But here’s the situation: Playing $2/$5 NL. Effective stack $600. Villain is a woman in her mid-20s, has a pro-ey vibe to her. I don’t know that we’ve played together before but I see her around Maryland Live a lot. Don’t remember ever seeing her in bigger games even when they were going at MDL. She always has full buyin+ in front … Read more…

MORE Free Poker Strategy With Matt Berkey

In December of 2016, the Thinking Poker community raised over $8000 for the Bay Area Urban Debate League, and I’m so grateful to everyone who contributed! This hour of free poker strategy, with very special guest Matt Berkey, is part of my thanks to everyone who contributed. If you didn’t donate during the campaign, please enjoy the video and then donate whatever you feel it was worth to you. Thanks! The first half of my conversation with Matt is available here.