Folding and Math and Other Links

Exceptional Poker PokerBug Mark Warner blog

Rarely do I know I’m going to blog about a poker hand or situation until at least a day or two after it happened, and I’m still thinking it.  Then I simply tell it like I see it (or experience it) and try to make it interesting.

For a poker blog that provides a more organized, instructional format, check out Exceptional Poker.  I’m a subscriber, and Friday’s email update linked to some excellent content (the comments after each link below are his, not mine):

Folding is Exciting. No, Really!. To win at poker, you need to learn to fold. Heck, you need to learn to love folding. Folding is always zero-EV, which means it costs you nothing to fold. Don’t get caught up in the whole “the pot has so much money in it I have to call!” syndrome. That money isn’t tied to you in any way whatsoever. Folding costs you nothing. Get over it. Man-up. Have some courage. Put on your big-boy pants and learn to love to fold.

By the way, here is another article I read recently about the power of folding, by Tommy Angelo.

The Shocking Truth About Poker Math. Apply Pareto’s Principle to poker math—and win. Poker math isn’t nearly as difficult (or scary) as some experts make it out to be. This article dispels some common myths, as well as points toward the important things to learn on your way to math mastery.

Smart Poker Study – Thinking Ahead. Sky Matsuhashi’s podcasts continue to get better and better, including the addition of his “Walking Wednesday” episodes. I particularly enjoyed this week’s (WW#27) episode in which the notion of thinking and planning head in a hand is discussed. I found myself nodding my head while listening to this one (coincidently, while walking into work myself). Not thinking ahead is a common issue I often find myself addressing with many of my intermediate-level students. Sky gives a really nice wake-up call with this short podcast on the topic.

Treat Failure Like a Scientist. Here’s another good, short post I read on learning from your mistakes. Too many beginning players get angry, beat themselves up, tilt, etc. when they screw up and make a big, bad play at the poker table. I’ve written about this before on the blog (here and here) but it still bears repeating: you can lose and whine, or you can lose and learn. The choice is entirely up to you.

Dance With The One Who Brung ‘Ya. He may be controversial, but you can’t argue with Alec Torelli’s results. This quote I saw from him recently resonates strongly with me; this is the same advice I give my own students when they’re moving up in stakes. The fundamentals still apply, whether you’re at $5NL or $500NL.

In other news, I played poker myself last night, folded a lot, did some math, and won a few dollars, yada, yada, yada.  The most memorable moment was the gleeful, childlike, unconstrained, tears-in-his-eyes laughter by one of the players – for purposes of this blog I’ll call him “Zach” – as he watched his all-time favorite YouTube video at full volume on his phone screen:

I’ll be back with some original writing very soon.


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