I love answering questions from my Poker Forge students!
You’ll find Q&A podcast episodes along with videos, pics, downloads, Poker Forge study recommendations and more below.
6-Question Poker Forge Q&A from November 2022
Watch the video for this Q&A #418:
I’ve taken your notes for you! Download the Word document used in the video above.
Download this podcast episode #418 and follow along below as you listen.
#1: A Crazy Red Line
My RED line is going off the chart but my GREEN and BLUE are going down. Any advice? -Mike C.
Wow, that’s opposite of most results graphs:
Poker Forge member’s lovely graph:
Probably 1 or both of these issues going on:
You bluff way too much post-flop. Win lots of pots, but get called and lose at SD.
You bluff a lot, but you also call too much. Win lots of pots by bluffing a lot, so you think everyone’s bluffing. So, you call too much and give too much value.
1. Before bluffing post-flop, name hands in their range that can fold.
2. Have a great reason to call. Make sure you have at least one of these 3 reasons to call:
Value Call – You have a value hand ahead of their betting range, and you don’t want to raise.
Bluff Later Call – You see a great way to bluff them later.
Drawing Call – You have a great price on a draw.
Poker Forge video recommendations:
Profitable Cbets Course: Bread & Butter Cbetting and OOP Cbet Bluffing
Finding the Fold Course: You Have Options
And do all the action steps from these videos.
#2: Can’t Make LAG Style Profitable
There are sooo many things I need to learn; hand ranges, GTO, reading your opponent’s range, calling & folding in certain situations, etc. I’m having a hard time dealing with these scenarios and I’m a bad LAG player. – Joe
Here are my 4 recommendations for Joe and any other “bad LAG player”.
Big Recommendation #1: Use the KISS Cash Game Ranges for the next 5K hands (get your copy below).
Poker Forge Videos: Quick Wins Gameplans Module 1 (7 videos, lots of action steps)
#2: Don’t play Zoom (fast fold).
#3: Play 5nl or 10nl until you become profitable.
#4: Follow advice for Mike above about aggression (question #1 above).
#3: Filtering for Bluffing Hands
Hey Sky I need help with two things; filtering the XR Bluff and Triple Barrel Bluff in the PT4. I can’t figure it out. – Wilfredo
XR Filter – Do one each for flop, turn and river. Check-raise flop filter:
Triple Barrel Filter #1 – Cbet River (this means you cbet each street).
Triple Barrel Filter #2 – “Any Bet” on flop, turn and river. This is triple barreling for any type of bets (cbets, donk bets, just bet, etc.).
Then, look at the hand strength on each board and review the obvious bluffs. My own results:
#4: Limited Time for Studies
My purposeful study plan needs direction to focus down resources as opposed to subjects. Let’s say I want to study hand reading. Do I watch you tube, listen to a podcast, or go back to Poker Forge and study that again? Do I read a book or just open PT4 and Flopzilla Pro and study. With limited time I tend to go with easy options on the fly. Just using hand reading as example but I think you can get my point for across-the-board decisions. Thanks – Dean H.
Simple 4 Steps for Studying with Little Time:
FIRST: know your preferred resource for learning: videos, courses, memberships, articles, books, podcasts.
SECOND: When you decide on the ONE strategy you want to learn next (hand reading, cbet bluffing, calling rivers, etc.), find ONE piece of content from your preferred resource.
THIRD: Study that item and take notes. Review related hands. Whip out software (Flopzilla Pro, GTO+, HRC) as necessary.
FOURTH: Play a ton using the strategies you learned.
NOTE: Don’t study anything else until you’ve done loads of practice and HH reviews
Example schedule with 20 minutes of daily study:
Monday: study ONE item, take notes
Tuesday: review related hands in your database
Wednesday: whip out Flopzilla Pro
Thursday: re-study the item and revise notes
Friday: free day to study anything or just play
Everyday: play, play, play with focus on using the strategy as often as possible (even when not involved in a hand).
Poker Forge video recommendations: Check out the study/time management videos in the Extra Items > Smart Learning tab
#5: How to Use Bitcoin
Sky, I think I remember you being an affiliate with a Bitcoin. Can you tell me which bitcoin you use and maybe give me some directions on how to use your Bitcoin? I would like to know how to make withdrawals and how to keep money in there. Thank you – Chris
I use Coinbase to buy and sell bitcoin:
It’s held in my account (like any bank account).
No routing or account number; instead you have a wallet address. You send and receive bitcoin through that address.
Buy and sell it through Coinbase (with lots of other crypto available).
If you click here (my Coinbase affiliate link) and buy $100 worth of bitcoin from Coinbase, we’ll both get a $10 bitcoin bonus.
#6: Fixing Turn Honesty
Hello sky quick question it seems I am turn honest so I was wondering how do I go about fixing that? So far I have tried checking more flops then betting the turn but that don’t help. So far only the better players have picked up on that which has forced me check my better hands only to check raise them when they try to exploit that but I am not always going to be in a position to do that so I would like to plug that leak. – Larry
Checking but betting turn doesn’t affect turn cbet %, it just decreases flop cbet %.
Decrease flop cbets. Work to bring Flop Cbet % and Turn closer together. If you’re flop cbet is > 75%, look for spots to check/call with a value hand or check with absolute garbage when you think he won’t fold.
Are they turn honest? If so, plan for 2 barrels before the first. If their Fold to Flop Cbet is <40% but their Fold to Turn cbet is >50%, you know they don’t like folding flops but can fold turn. If you won’t want to bluff turn (ugly board, their range, your position, their stack, etc.), don’t bluff flop.
Don’t slowplay great hands when he can call with lots on the turn. “Get value while the getting’s good!” Don’t pot control if they can give you value. Charge their draws enough.
Do a hand reading exercise daily with a turn cbetting opportunity that you weren’t sure of. Cbet turn opportunity, saw showdown.
Poker Forge Video recommendations:
From the Leak Plugging Course:
Leak Plug #5: Turn Cbet Honesty
Demo: Review Turn Cbet Opportunities
Leak Exploit #5: Turn Honest Cbettors
From the Profitable Cbets Course:
Strategy: Bread & Butter Cbetting
Strategy: Double-barrel Cbets
5-Question Poker Forge Q&A from Labor Day 2021
In this Labor Day Q&A, I answer 5 questions from Poker Forge Members and give recommendations for videos within the Forge that address each question.
Listen to the Q&A Episode #357 as you follow along below:
#1: Filtering for Hands Played Outside of Your Ranges
Question from Ian: I would like to filter my database to show all hands where I diverted from the default range for each position to ensure that my diverting isn’t unprofitable.
Answer: Here’s what you do in 3 steps (the video below demonstrates these 3 steps):
Create and save the hand range in PokerTracker 4 as a quick filter (for example, the BTN raising first in range of 31%). Filtering for this will show you the results of being dealt one of the 31% hands.
Pull up that quick filter and add to it Raised First In. This will show you all the hands in the range that you played accordingly.
Edit the filter by highlighting the hand range and selecting NOT. This will show you all the hands you raised first in that were NOT in the 31% range (so, the 69% of hands NOT in the range).
Forge Video Recommendation: Quick Wins Gameplans Module 1 – Using Preflop Ranges
Strategy: Use the KISS Cash Game Ranges
Take Action #1: Open-raising Ranges
#2: What’s the Ultimate Study Time?
Question from Glen: What do you feel is the ultimate study time?
Answer: I think the ultimate study time is a two-day, 4 actions repeatable cycle:
First Day #1: Study Session
Watch/read/listen to some strategy content around a leak you want to plug or skills you want to build.
Review your database for related hands to learn from how you play this spot already. Take notes on mistakes made and what you should do differently based on what you learned from the strategy content you studied.
Do 1 or 2 full hand reading exercises (more if you want) on hands related hands that went to showdown.
First Day #2: Play Session
Play with focus around the strategies you studied in #1.
Find every opportunity to use the strategies you studied.
When not involved in a hand, imagine you’re one of the players still involved and still focus on imaginary execution of the strategy.
Tag important hands.
Second Day #3: Study Session
Second Day #4: Play Session
Play again with focus just like #2 above.
Forge Video Recommendations: Smart Learning Area
I Am Your Poker Coach
Do As You Consume
Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed
Maximum Efficiency Note Taking
The only way to learn from these video recommendations is to join the Poker Forge today!
#3: Calling a 3bet Squeeze with AQs
Question from Rick: I was playing 2-3-5 NL, I opened under the gun with a raise to $20 with A-Q Clubs, got one call and the button (solid player) made it $75, I thought a long time and mucked, the other player called. Flop came with 3 clubs. The first player checked, the preflop 3bettor said “Let’s play for it all” and the other player mucked. The 3bettor showed K clubs, which means I would basically would have had him drawing dead. Should I have called him pre-flop?
This was a great 3bet squeezing opportunity for the solid player on the BTN, so he has a really wide range here. Maybe he doesn’t truly have a wide range, but when you say “solid player” that means he’s capable of recognizing the great bluffing opportunity this is.
I’m not a fan of calling here. You’re putting yourself OOP as a caller in a 3-way, 3bet pot vs a solid player and another one with position on you.
This is a 4bet or fold spot for me. You’re in EP, so an open/4bet would look very strong, like QQ+ maybe (I don’t know the game you play, but for most live players, an EP open/4bet looks like ultimate strength). If you think the two players involved would put you on such a strong range and are likely to fold, 4bet bluff here. In case you get called, you have good equity vs 99, TT and JJ and any other AX hand they have (other than AK).
If you’re ever unsure, just fold.
If you think they won’t fold vs a 4bet, just fold and watch the action.
You can see from my answer above that the flop cards don’t factor into my preflop decision. You can’t know what cards will come so you can’t really use them when analyzing your preflop decision. And, he showed the Kc so he could’ve very easily had AK or KK, which preflop both crush your AQ.
And, if you think he could’ve had KcQs or KcJc when he 3bet, all the more reason to 4bet preflop to re-bluff him off his $75 3bet.
Forge Video Recommendation: Preflop Hand Selection Course – Strategy: Preflop 3bet Defense
#4: Improving the Blue Line – Money Won with Showdown
Question from Mark: How can I raise the blue line? (graph in pt4, money won with showdown) Is there a course in the Poker Forge?
Answer: You need to do these two things more often at showdown:
Make better river calls so you win more at showdown as the caller. Plus, good decisions on earlier streets will help to win more as a caller and/or to cut your SD calling losses.
Make more/bigger river value bets to win more from calling opponents. And, make more value bets on earlier streets to win more at SD.
It’s easier said than done, but the Finding the Fold Course is a great start. There are 3 videos to focus on:
Forge Video Recommendations: Finding the Fold Course strategy videos:
Listen to What They’re Telling You
History Opens Your Eyes
You Have Options
#5: Stealing Affects My Image, Should I Care?
Question from Ross: When I have players who fold a lot to my steals I have to steal right?! However, that then affects my image at the table as my VPIP and PFR start to rise, is this okay?
Answer: Absolutely, the goal of poker IS NOT to have perfect stats.
The goal is to exploit your opponents at every opportunity and just let your stats fall where they may. Don’t worry about your VPIP and PFR and ATS increasing.
If this makes you appear to be a LAG, like with a temporary and uncharacteristic jump to 28/24 or something similar, that might work in your favor. You’re a TAG player (I presume) so the ones who use HUD’s might think you’re a LAG. But, your TAG style will have you playing stronger ranges so you’ll be able to defend against their 3bets. Due to this, you’ll frequently get to the flop with better holdings than they do when they call.
In the long run, your stats will naturally converge to your player type.
Forge Video Recommendation: POKER MATH COURSE – Strategy #4: Stealing & 3bet Restealing
Sky Matsuhashi is the creator of the Smart Poker Study Podcast and www.ThePokerForge.com training site. He has authored 4 poker books including ‘How to Study Poker Volumes 1 & 2’, ‘Preflop Online Poker’ and ‘Post-flop Online Poker’. As a poker coach, Sky is dedicated to helping his students play more effectively, earn more money and be 1% better every day.
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