Winning Poker is Hard Work


Being idle and lethargic is the enemy of winning poker. Simply playing on autopilot will not cut it in today’s modern games where your opponents are simply not giving money away easily. You will need to become a very good hand reader and be adept at spotting opportunities to profit. If you are multi-tabling in autopilot then these opportunities are lost. You need to be very careful these days how many tables you play and how high. As an example then I used to play 12-14 tables a couple of years ago although I averaged around 10.

Now this is easier when you play full ring games simply because you are doing so much folding. However what then becomes very difficult is to read the situations very well. Back in the good old days then your opponents could be guaranteed to drop their entire buy in frequently enough to give you a significant edge. However this doesn’t happen now which means that you cannot sit back and have your opponents drop their stack to you. Online poker at any decent level simply doesn’t work like that now.

You need to be chasing a lot of small to medium small pots when your opponents don’t have anything. However the really big profits come from when you win big chunks of money post flop by folding your opponent out of situations when you have good fold equity. This takes very good hand reading but let us look at an example to show you what I mean from NL100. It is folded around to you on the button and you make it 3bb to go with the Kh-3h.

Both blinds call you making the pot 9bb and both blinds are solid regulars at this level. The flop comes 7c-7d-4s and the small blind leads out for 5bb but the big blind raises to 15bb. You call and the small blind folds and the pot is 39bb. The turn card is the 10h and the big blind checks……you bet 25bb and your opponent folds. You don’t need pot equity if your fold equity is massive. Here if the small blind has a seven or 4-4 or even 7-4s then why are they donking out into two opponents one of which will certainly bet if checked to?

It doesn’t make sense because checking allows weak hands to bet. The same goes with the raise from the big blind. The small blinds range is weak and so if they held a big hand then why the raise when calling makes perfect sense. So when we call we are actually representing a seven more than if we actually raised. When the other player folds then we make 26bb in profit in this hand (less the rake)! That is over a quarter of a buy-in.

These days it is becoming more and more difficult to achieve a high earn rate without being a very good hand reader. It is difficult to do that when you play too many tables. If you are playing too many tables that your hand reading ability drops off then your earn rate can drop like a stone. This is why adding tables’ needs to be done with care because playing ten tables and only making 2bb/100 is only going to make you c15bb/hour.

This is not a lot of money for so much action. Rakeback and reward points may kick that up to 20bb/hour but it still isn’t that impressive. Meanwhile a super hand reader could be making 15bb/100 but only playing four tables. However at 75 hands per table per hour then they are seeing 300 hands per hour and so 45bb/hour which could be around 50bb/hour with rakeback. You need to improve your hand reading ability these days to get any real edge.


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