Scientific Poker Strategy creator Greg Porter, who has been grinding hard throughout the Covid lockdown, returns to the Zoo today. It’s a packed episode as we not only go over playing on Ignition, Bros, and the OOP training game, I get back to some strategy with two hand reviews. Porter reports on successfully getting a small band of colluders removed from the Bros union he plays in. Porter gives me some advice on changing my training game teaching strategy, which has gotten a little stale. We also touch on several current affairs in poker, including a consistent public misunderstanding of how app games work, Real Time Assistance fears, the various websites versus pros controversies, and a new trend in poker learning.
If you want to play in the OOP training game and earn yourself a banana from Porter, contact him at email@example.com.
First hand discussed:
Ignition – $5 NL (6 max) – Holdem – 6 players
SB: $414.43 (82.9 bb)
Hero (BB): $569.50 (113.9 bb)
UTG: $512.73 (102.5 bb)
MP: $559.87 (112 bb)
CO: $308.00 (61.6 bb)
BTN: $492.50 (98.5 bb)
SB posts $2.50, Hero posts BB $5.00
Pre Flop: (pot: $7.50) Hero has 6s 7s
UTG raises to $11.50, 4 folds, Hero calls $6.50
Flop: ($25.50, 2 players) 4s 5d 5c
Hero checks, UTG bets $12.00, Hero raises to $41.00, UTG calls $29.0
Turn: ($107.50, 2 players) Qd
Hero bets $119.50, UTG calls $119.50
River: ($346.50, 2 players) Ac
Hero bets $397.50 and is all-in
Why do you play poker? Who are you and what do you want? Why are you here, reading this blog? If you play for fun, this isn’t about you. Do your thing, have a blast. But if your answer is something along the lines of, “Well someday I want to be…,” or “I’m actually pretty good, other than some mental game leaks,” then I’m talking to you. If you don’t even have an answer for “why” then I’m absolutely talking to you.
If you want to master poker, then learn the fundamentals, understand the theory of the game, find the deviations, and finally build your own strategy. A strategy is more than tactics, more than a list of heuristics. Building your own strategy requires knowing your strengths and weaknesses and having your own ideas about the game. The confusion borne of having a jumble of ideas floating around your head, each from a different poker thinker, never ends until you take responsibility and develop your own ideas.
“Poker reveals to the frank observer something else of import – it will teach him about his own nature. Many bad players do not improve because they cannot bear self-knowledge. The bad player will not deign to determine what he thinks by watching what he does,” as David Mamet wrote. Step 1- be a frank observer. Step 2- bear the self-knowledge. Step 3- ?
— from Porter’s Poker and the Culture of Narcissism