Confession # 11 - I know less than I believe I do, and more than I think I do
One think I've discovered about myself is that I have more than enough poker knowledge to get myself in trouble, and not enough poker knowledge to play optimally. Luckily I have a good sized library of poker books, videos, training software, and access to the internet, PSO, and forums.
Step 1 - The Poker Re-Education of Punky159
- Starting with "Poker Knowledge," I finally understand it's not just enough to know poker information, I also need to be able to apply it. Relearning the basics, focusing on the skill sets needed to succeed, along with concepts and terminology is important.
- Basics - For my study materials, I've chosen a few books to start out with that I think will help;
1) No Limit Hold'Em Theory and Practice - Sklansky and Miller
2) Ken Warren Teaches Texas Hold'Em
3) Secrets the Pros Won't Tell you About Winning Hold'Em Poker - Krieger and Bykofsky
4) Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’Em - Collin Moshman
5) Winning Low Limit Hold’Em - Lee Jones
6) Any Book I can find about shorthanded play (6 or less)
7) Videos - Phil Helmuth Limit and No Limit courses; Doyle Brunson and Mike Caro Poker Academy; Poker Insight Volumes 1 through 4
- Skill set - I’m listing several parts of the skill set that I think you need to be a good/winning player, and I’m planning to do my research both on the internet and in the books I’m reading.
1) Patience - hopefully the psychology part of my studies will help me here
2) Putting players on hands - Thanks to Kenna James, I have a start on this, but I think my education in this area will come mostly from observing other players and playing a game to put them on a hand. I plan to do this just by sitting on the rail, and also when I’m playing.
3) Reading the texture of the flop, turn, river - Ken Warren has some excellent information on this and I plan to do a lot of research too.
4) Reading my opponents - I think this will also come more in the psychology part
5) Aggressiveness and table image - Either too much, or not enough.. gotta work on it and image
6) The math - good news, it's all been figured out for us already
7) Adjusting to stack size
8) Adjusting to blinds and short handed play
- Concepts - There are some poker concepts that I think I understand, but need work on. The plan is to research, read, and for the better part, if I still don’t understand, go to the forums.
1) FIT or Fold - Found a neat little acronym for FIT that just might work
- F = Fantastic Hands and/or Flops; the hands and flops you always wanna play like big hands preflop, sets or better on the flop
- I = Interesting Hands and/or Flops; good hands and flops that you want to play, but using the big hand big pot, little hand little pot concept.
- T = Titanic Hands and/or Flops; these may look pretty to you, but can sink you faster than anything if not played properly.
2) Selective Aggression -
3) ICM - Which I’ll work on when I hit the SnG steps
4) Expected Value (EV) -
5) Big hand, big pot; little hand, little pot -
6) M versus Big Blind to determine play
7) Nash Equilibrium
When it comes to these concepts, I’m sure there are even more that I haven’t thought about, but I have a ton of information to go over and it’s going to take time.
- Terminology - this is the easy part, I sometimes hear players make comments and don’t find out until later that it’s poker jargon. It will help you in the long run to know the jargon, just don’t flaunt it
- Math Knowledge - I’m math challenged so to speak, but the good news is that the math has already been done for you.
- I plan to use Texas Hold'Em Odds and Probabilties by Matthew Hilger as my primary source of learning with Practical Poker Math by Pat Dittmar as a companion and if I can ever get over the small print, I'll add The Mathematics of Poker by Chen and Ankenman someday.
- Using the books above, I am going to memorize what I feel is essential knowledge to be more effective. Odds of hitting hands, Pot Odds, Implied Odds (I kinda like Adam Levy's method), Hold'Em Match Ups, Probabilites of being dealt certain hands, Flop Probabilities, Ace probabilities, and so on.
- Poker Software - There is a lot of software out there that is designed to help you become a better player, and/or designed to use online (the legal software) and in your game. My education plan for my software is to learn how to properly use it and with the internet and forums, that shouldn’t be hard, but it may take a while.
Overall, with all the knowledge that I’m working on relearning, it’s going to take some time. But, I plan on approaching my teaching as if I’m in school and will work on balancing real life obligations and work along with reading, training, playing, and life.
That’s all for now,
Ric, AkA Punky159