การฝึกสอน Steven Begleiter สำหรับตารางรอบชิงชนะเลิศ WSOP ปี 2009

สตีฟที่ตารางสุดท้ายของ WSOP รูปภาพ© PokerNews นี่คือ “บล็อกย้อนยุค” ตั้งแต่วันที่ 11/8/2553 โดยพูดถึงช่วงเวลาที่ฉันใช้ในการฝึกสอนสมาชิกตารางสุดท้ายของ WSOP ประจำปี 2009 Steven Begleiter ย้อนกลับไปตอนที่ฉันตั้งกระทู้นี้ตอนแรกฉันเป็นนักเขียนที่แย่มาก ฉันตัดสินใจที่จะทำความสะอาดไวยากรณ์และแก้ไขการพิมพ์ผิด เชื่อหรือไม่ แต่ฉันก็เคยเป็นนักเขียนที่เหลวไหล (และยังเป็นอยู่บ้าง) ฉันมีปัญหาไม่รู้จบในการพิสูจน์อักษรงานเขียนของตัวเอง ฉันพยายามอย่างต่อเนื่องที่จะไม่มองข้ามข้อผิดพลาดเล็กน้อย แต่ชัดเจนในการเขียนทุกรูปแบบรวมถึงหนังสือบล็อกโพสต์ใน Twitter อีเมลและข้อความ บางทีสมองของฉันก็แตกสลาย โปรดรู้ว่าฉันพยายามอย่างเต็มที่! การรับงาน Ylon Schwartz และฉันไม่เคยเปิดเผยว่าเราใช้เวลาสามเดือนในการฝึกสอน Steven Begleiter ผ่านการเตรียมตัวสำหรับตารางสุดท้ายของงาน WSOP Main Event ปี 2009 ในตอนแรกฉันได้รู้จักกับสตีฟผ่านสมาชิกฟอรัม 2 + 2 เบ็นแลมเบิร์ตซึ่งรู้จักฉันจากการนั่งเอนหลังไปหลายวันซึ่งฉันประสบความสำเร็จเป็นจำนวนมาก แน่นอนความสำเร็จในชีวิตของฉันทำให้ฉันอยู่ในเรดาร์ด้วย เนื่องจากตารางสุดท้ายทั้งหมดเป็นทัวร์นาเมนต์ที่มีการจ่ายเงินและขนาดสแต็คตลก ๆ เขาคิดว่าฉันจะเป็นผู้สมัครที่ยอดเยี่ยมในการเปลี่ยนสตีฟให้เป็นผู้เล่นที่ยิงได้ดีกว่าค่าเฉลี่ยในการคว้าสร้อยข้อมือกลับบ้าน เป็นที่น่าสังเกตว่าสตีฟชนะการแข่งขันหลักปี 2009 ผ่านลีกท้องถิ่นที่มีเดิมพันค่อนข้างสูง เบ็นยังมีส่วนร่วมในลีกนี้ซึ่งเป็นวิธีที่เขารู้จักสตีฟ Ylon Schwartz รูปภาพ© PokerNews ฉันควรพูดถึงตอนนี้ว่าสตีฟเป็นคนฉลาดมาก ตอนนี้ฉันมองหาเขาในฐานะที่ปรึกษา เขามีความสามารถในชีวิตที่สำคัญที่หลายคนขาด เขาตระหนักดีว่ามีหลายสิ่งที่เขาไม่รู้และเขาไม่กลัวที่จะขอความช่วยเหลือเมื่อเขาคิดว่าเขาสามารถปรับปรุงได้ สตีฟรู้ว่าเขาต้องการจ้างโค้ชดังนั้นเขาจึงสัมภาษณ์ผู้เชี่ยวชาญด้านโป๊กเกอร์จำนวนมากเพื่อหาสิ่งที่เหมาะสมที่สุด เขา จำกัด การค้นหาให้แคบลงมาหาฉันและ Ylon Schwartz ปรมาจารย์หมากรุกที่จบการแข่งขัน WSOP Main Event ในปี 2008 ฉันไม่มีประสบการณ์กับ Ylon แต่ไม่นานหลังจากที่ได้พบกับเขาก็เห็นได้ชัดว่าเขาเข้าใจโป๊กเกอร์อย่างมั่นคง ฉันค่อนข้างแน่ใจว่าสตีฟกำลังจะเลือก Ylon ส่วนใหญ่เป็นเพราะทั้งเขาและ Ylon อาศัยอยู่ในนิวยอร์ก ตอนนั้นฉันอาศัยอยู่ทั่วประเทศในเวกัส ฉันเจรจาและประสบความสำเร็จในการแยกงานระหว่างเราสองคนซึ่งได้ผลดีทีเดียว ฉันลงเอยด้วยการบินไปนิวยอร์กสามครั้งครั้งหนึ่งสำหรับการสัมภาษณ์ครั้งแรกและอีกสองครั้งเพื่อใช้เวลาช่วงวันหยุดยาวในการฝึกสอนสตีฟ ในช่วงวันหยุดสุดสัปดาห์นี้เราได้พูดคุยและเล่นโป๊กเกอร์กันอย่างต่อเนื่อง สตีฟเป็นผู้ชายที่ยุ่งมากกับงานที่วุ่นวายและมีชีวิตครอบครัวที่สมบูรณ์ อย่างไรก็ตามเขามักจะใช้เวลาร่วมกันทำงานอย่างหนักและซึมซับทุกสิ่งที่ฉันสอนเขาอย่างรวดเร็ว คนส่วนใหญ่โดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่งเมื่อพูดถึงโป๊กเกอร์จะติดอยู่ในวิถีทางของพวกเขา พวกเขาปฏิเสธที่จะเชื่อว่าพวกเขาอาจจะเล่นโป๊กเกอร์ไม่ดี สตีฟเป็นตรงกันข้ามโดยตระหนักว่า Ylon และฉันอยู่ในระดับที่แตกต่างจากเขา เขาเรียนรู้มากมายจากเราเพราะเขามีใจที่เปิดกว้างและต้องการเรียนรู้ การเดินทางครั้งแรกของเราหลังจากการสัมภาษณ์ครั้งแรกเราตัดสินใจว่าจะเป็นความคิดที่ดีที่สตีฟจะบินไปเวกัสและขับรถไปลอสแองเจลิสเพื่อเล่นงาน WPT ที่คาสิโนจักรยาน เราคุยกันเรื่องโป๊กเกอร์ระหว่างนั่งรถทั้งหมด ฉันคิดว่าเราทั้งคู่ได้เรียนรู้อะไรมากมาย ฉันลงเอยด้วยการเก็บเงินในการแข่งขัน แต่สตีฟจบลงด้วยอันดับที่ 9 ซึ่งน่าประทับใจมากเมื่อพิจารณาจากสนามนั้นยากและเราเพิ่งเริ่มเล่นเกมของเขา สตีฟกับเพื่อนแท็บลิสต์สุดท้ายของ WSOP Kevin Schaffel ในงาน Legends of Poker WPT รูปภาพ© PokerListings เขาอ้างว่าคำแนะนำที่ฉันให้ไว้ทำให้เขาสามารถหลีกเลี่ยงการพังสองครั้งในทัวร์นาเมนต์ในขณะที่ก่อนบทเรียนของเราเขาจะถูกจับในช่วงต้นของวันแรก นั่นเป็นสิ่งที่ดี! หลายสิ่งที่ฉันสอนเขาคือการควบคุมขนาดของหม้อด้วยมือที่ดีของเขา แต่ไม่ใช่มือที่น่าทึ่งเช่นคู่บนกับนักเตะชายขอบ คุณจะพบว่ามันค่อนข้างยากสำหรับการเดิมพันของคุณที่จะถูกเรียกบนถนนสามมือซึ่งแย่กว่าคู่บนที่มีนักเตะที่ไม่ดี ซึ่งหมายความว่าคุณต้องตรวจสอบในบางจุด คุณจะพบว่าการตรวจสอบมักจะกระตุ้นให้คู่ต่อสู้ของคุณเห็นคุณค่าของมือที่เขาสร้างขึ้นมาแย่กว่าหรือพยายามทำให้คุณไม่เห็นการถือครองที่อ่อนแอ “ชัดเจน” โดยการตรวจสอบคุณดึงมูลค่าเพิ่มเติมที่คุณมักจะพลาดจากการเดิมพัน ฉันได้เรียนรู้จากสตีฟว่าผู้เล่นมือสมัครเล่นส่วนใหญ่ไม่ใส่ใจกับขนาดสแต็ค แนวคิดที่ว่าแต่ละขนาดของสแต็กต้องใช้กลยุทธ์ที่แตกต่างกันอย่างมากไม่ใช่สิ่งที่พวกเขาตระหนักถึง โป๊กเกอร์ต้องใช้กลยุทธ์ที่แตกต่างกันมากเมื่อคุณมีบิ๊กบลายด์ 20 แบบมากกว่าเมื่อคุณมีบิ๊กบลายด์ 100 แบบ เราทำงานอย่างหนักกับแนวคิดทั้งสองนี้และฉันคิดว่าเขากลายเป็นผู้เล่นโป๊กเกอร์ที่ดีขึ้นมากเกือบในชั่วข้ามคืน สตีฟรู้สึกเศร้าที่ได้อันดับ 9 แต่ในขณะเดียวกันเขาก็ตระหนักว่ามันเป็นความสำเร็จที่ยิ่งใหญ่ การทำงานอย่างหนักที่บ้านกลับมาในนิวยอร์กเราดำเนินการจำลองหลายครั้งโดยเราจะจัดเรียงสแต็กตามขนาดสแต็กสุดท้ายของตารางและพยายามจับคู่แต่ละสแต็กกับผู้เล่นที่มีสไตล์การเล่นคล้ายกับผู้เล่นในโต๊ะสุดท้ายจริงๆ สตีฟทำได้ดีพอสมควรในเซสชันเหล่านี้ส่วนใหญ่นั่นจึงเป็นกำลังใจ หลังจากสุดสัปดาห์ NYC เต็มครั้งแรกของเราสตีฟก็ตัดสินใจเล่น WSOP Europe เขาเป็นหนึ่งในผู้นำชิปในช่วงแรก ๆ ของวันแรก แต่เจอสถานการณ์ที่หลีกเลี่ยงไม่ได้และถูกกำจัดไป ในขณะที่การเลิกรานั้นไม่ค่อยเป็นเรื่องที่ดีนักการที่เขาสามารถรวบรวมชิปได้อย่างชัดเจนหมายความว่าเขามีโอกาสชนะอยู่เสมอ คุณค่อนข้างจะมีการชิงช้าขนาดใหญ่มากกว่าการคุ้มทุนในการแข่งขันโป๊กเกอร์เพราะในการชนะคุณต้องได้รับชิปทั้งหมด การแขวนคอรอมือระดับพรีเมียมมักไม่ใช่ความคิดที่ดีโดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่งหากคู่ต่อสู้ของคุณเล่นได้ดี ก่อนที่จะพบกับสตีฟฉันคิดว่าฉันจะต้องทำงานอย่างหนักเพื่อให้เขามีรูปร่างที่ดีเนื่องจากผู้เล่นโป๊กเกอร์ส่วนใหญ่ไม่ได้มีรูปร่างเลย โชคดีที่สตีฟมีรูปร่างที่ยอดเยี่ยมอยู่แล้ว ไม่มีอะไรจะแย่ไปกว่าการเล่นโป๊กเกอร์ในทางเทคนิค แต่การล้มเหลวในช่วงปลายเซสชันเนื่องจากความฟิตไม่ดี เมื่อเขาทำตารางสุดท้ายเขามักจะอยู่ในโรงยิมและทำงานหนักกว่าที่ฉันคาดไว้มาก ฉันเป็นและยังคงภูมิใจอย่างไม่น่าเชื่อกับการเตรียมการของเขาทั้งในและนอกความรู้สึก ฉันยังชี้ให้แน่ใจว่าเขาอยู่ในตารางการนอนหลับที่เหมาะสม หากคุณเหนื่อยตอนเที่ยงคืน แต่คุณต้องเล่นจนถึงตี 4 ล้ออาจหลุดได้ง่าย ฉันเชื่อว่าการที่สตีฟเข้านอนตามตารางเวลาการนอนหลับที่เหมาะสมยังช่วยให้เขาประสบความสำเร็จ พูดคุยเกี่ยวกับการเตรียมการก็เพียงพอแล้ว บนโต๊ะสุดท้าย! การจัดการกับ WSOP Main Event Final Table Steve มีหนึ่งในที่นั่งที่แย่ที่สุดที่โต๊ะโดยมี Eric Buchman ซึ่งเป็นผู้เล่นระดับโลกที่ “เป็นที่รู้จัก” เพียงคนเดียวที่มีชิปจำนวนมากอยู่ทางซ้ายของเขา นอกจากนี้ทางซ้ายของ Steve ยังมี Joe Cada ซึ่งเราคิดว่าน่าจะเล่นกองสั้นของเขาได้ดีเนื่องจากเขามีประสบการณ์ออนไลน์มากมาย เราคิดว่า Antonie Saout, Jeff Schulman, Kevin Schaffel และ Darvin Moon จะเล่นได้ค่อนข้างแน่น เราคิดว่า James Akenhead, Phil Ivey และ Joe Cada จะดูผสมผสานกันเล็กน้อยและพยายามเพิ่มสแต็คสั้น ๆ เป็นสองเท่า เราคิดว่า Buchman จะพยายามไล่ตามสตีฟเนื่องจากตำแหน่งของเขามีการเรียกและการปรับใหม่มากมาย คุณอาจแปลกใจที่เราไม่ได้ประเมินว่า Ivey เป็นภัยคุกคามมากนักอย่างน้อยที่สุดเท่าที่ชิปกำลังนั่งอยู่ สตีฟมีตำแหน่งใน Ivey ซึ่งทำให้สตีฟได้เปรียบโดยอัตโนมัติ นอกจากนี้ Ivey ยังไม่มีชิปมากนักซึ่งหมายความว่าเขาจะต้องเพิ่มขึ้นสองสามครั้งก่อนที่จะเข้าชิง เป็นเรื่องยากพอสมควรแม้สำหรับฟิลไอวีย์จะเพิ่มขึ้นสองสามครั้ง ในการจำลองทั้งหมดที่เราวิ่งฉัน (เล่นในที่นั่งของฟิลไอวีย์) ไม่เคยห่างจากพื้นมากเกินไป การเริ่มต้นด้วยกองเล็ก ๆ เป็นข้อเสียอย่างมาก ปรากฎว่าโดยทั่วไปเราถูกต้องในทุกข้อสันนิษฐานของเรายกเว้นว่า Saout ไม่แน่นเกินไปและ Ivey ก็แน่นมาก ในช่วงเช้าของวันดูเหมือนว่า Schaffel จะเพิ่มเป็นสองเท่าใน Buchman ซึ่งจะทำให้ตารางดีขึ้นมากสำหรับ Steve เพราะชิปไหลไปทางซ้ายและ Steve มีตำแหน่งใน Schaffel แต่ AA ของเขาไม่สามารถเอาชนะ KK ได้ นี่เป็นการระเบิดครั้งแรกในสมัยของเราที่มีคนเพียงไม่กี่คนที่สังเกตเห็น มันแย่มากเมื่อผู้เล่นที่ก้าวร้าวและก้าวร้าวทางซ้ายของคุณได้รับชิปจำนวนมากเพราะเขาจะใช้มันเพื่อกดดันคุณตลอดเวลา นั่นคงจะดีถ้าสตีฟสามารถสร้างมือดักที่แข็งแกร่งได้ แต่ถ้าคุณเคยเล่นโป๊กเกอร์มาก่อนคุณจะพบว่าคุณไม่สามารถพึ่งพาการสร้างมือที่แข็งแกร่งได้ ความผิดพลาดเล็ก ๆ น้อย ๆ สำหรับการเล่นของสตีฟที่โต๊ะสุดท้ายฉันพอใจกับการตัดสินใจทั้งหมดของเขายกเว้นสองครั้งที่เกิดขึ้นในช่วงท้ายของวัน ในตอนแรกเขาเลี้ยงด้วย 8c-7c และ Saout ซึ่งแน่นอนว่าเล่นได้ดีที่สุดจากคนอื่น ๆ ในโต๊ะโดยได้รับการยกระดับจากบิ๊กบลายด์ เซาท์ไล่ตามสตีฟไปเล็กน้อยแม้ว่าจะไม่มากนัก ฉันจำขนาดสแต็กไม่ได้ที่แน่นอน แต่ฉันคิดว่าสตีฟมี 44,000,000 และ Saout มี 23,000,000 มู่ลี่อยู่ที่ 250,000 / 500,000 Steve เพิ่มขึ้นเป็น 1,500,000 และ Saout ปรับใหม่เป็น 4,500,000 สตีฟเลือกที่จะโทรซึ่งค่อนข้างหลวมและน่าจะไม่ดีเนื่องจากขนาดกองซ้อนที่มีประสิทธิภาพค่อนข้างสั้นของ Saout Saout ตรวจสอบฟล็อป 9h-8h-3c และสตีฟเดิมพัน 5,250,000 ฉันไม่ชอบการเดิมพันนี้มากเพราะถ้า Saout ตัดสินใจที่จะเล่นแบบ all-in สตีฟจะได้รับโอกาสที่ดีที่จะเรียกด้วยมือที่ค่อนข้างร่อแร่ โดยทั่วไปคุณไม่ต้องการเดิมพันจำนวนที่ทำให้การตัดสินใจของคุณยาก คุณต้องการตั้งค่าตัวเองให้มีการตัดสินใจที่ง่าย เดิมพันที่น้อยกว่าหรือเช็คจากสตีฟน่าจะดีกว่ามาก อย่างไรก็ตาม Saout ก็ผลักดัน All-in และ Steve ก็ทำสิ่งที่น่าจะเป็นการเรียกที่“ ถูกต้อง” Saout พลิกกลับมาเสมอและชนะเมื่อหัวใจมาถึงเทิร์น มันได้ผลดีสำหรับ Joe Cada รูปภาพ© PokerNews หากคุณดูการรายงานข่าวของเหตุการณ์นี้ก่อนที่จะถึงตารางสุดท้ายคุณน่าจะรู้ว่าสตีฟชอบโทรซ้ำด้วยตัวเชื่อมต่อที่เหมาะสม เราทำงานอย่างหนักเพื่อตัดสิ่งนั้นออกจากเกมของเขาโดยเฉพาะอย่างยิ่งกับผู้เล่นที่ดีที่จะไม่ซ้อนทับกับคุณแบบสุ่มสี่สุ่มห้าหรือเมื่อคุณไม่ได้รับอัตราต่อรองโดยนัยมากนัก แต่เขาก็ยังตัดสินใจที่จะล้มเหลวในสถานการณ์นี้ แม้จะมี “ข้อผิดพลาด” นั้น แต่เขาก็ได้เงินมาด้วยส่วนของผู้ถือหุ้นประมาณ 50% ดังนั้นฉันคิดว่ามันก็ไม่ได้แย่เกินไป แทบจะไม่ใช่เรื่องเลวร้ายที่จะอยู่ในจุดพลิกที่ถ้าคุณแพ้คุณจะยังมีสแต็คที่เหมาะสมและถ้าคุณชนะคุณจะมีผู้นำชิปขนาดมหึมา การสูญเสียมือครั้งนี้เป็นสิ่งสำคัญประการที่สองที่ทำให้สตีฟผิดพลาด มือถัดไปที่สตีฟแพ้อาจดูเหมือนจะเป็นรองอยู่พอสมควร แต่ก็มีผลกระทบอย่างมากเนื่องจากช่วยตัดสินแชมป์ได้ Joe Cada ยกผ้าม่านขนาดใหญ่ 2.5 เส้นจากกองบิ๊กบลายด์ 20 ชิ้นจากตำแหน่งแรกและสตีฟเรียกคนตาบอดตัวเล็กด้วย As-3s ความล้มเหลวมา Ah-Jc-2s สตีฟเลือกที่จะเดิมพันกับโจซึ่งเป็นการเคลื่อนไหวที่ฉันดูหมิ่น เคด้าตัดสินใจโทรหาลีด พวกเขาตรวจดูทางเลี้ยวและแม่น้ำโดยให้หม้อเล็ก ๆ แก่สตีฟ ฉันอยากเห็นเขาโทรเช็คด้วยความตั้งใจที่จะชักจูงให้ Cada ปฏิเสธกองของเขา แทนที่จะมีโอกาสจริงในการชักจูง Cada ให้ทำบลัฟโดยแสดงความอ่อนแอสตีฟแทบไม่ได้อะไรเลย สิ่งเลวร้ายสุดท้ายที่เกิดขึ้นกับสตีฟคือจังหวะที่ไม่ดี สตีฟยกม่านบังตาขนาดใหญ่ถึง 2.5 บานจากสแต็กบิ๊กบลายด์ 35 บานจากตำแหน่งกลางด้วย QQ และดาร์วินมูนผลักออลอินจากมู่ลี่อันใดอันหนึ่งด้วย AQ แน่นอนสตีฟเรียกทันที ความล้มเหลวมา XXXXA และสตีฟก็ออกไป เขาคว้าอันดับที่ 6 เก็บได้ 1,587,160 ดอลลาร์ ชีวิตดำเนินต่อไปสตีฟให้สัมภาษณ์ทางออก รูปภาพ© PokerNews Steve ยอมรับการสูญเสียของเขาได้ดีเป็นพิเศษและให้สัมภาษณ์ทางออกที่ยอดเยี่ยมสองสามครั้ง ฉันไม่รู้ว่าฉันจะรักษาความสงบได้หรือไม่หลังจากที่วิ่งได้แย่พอสมควรในตารางสุดท้ายทั้งหมด เขาเป็นคนที่แข็งแกร่ง สตีฟมีความสุขอย่างแท้จริงที่ได้ร่วมงานด้วย ฉันไม่คิดว่าคนอื่น ๆ ในโต๊ะสุดท้ายจะเป็นนักเรียนที่ดีกว่านี้ แม้ว่าเขาจะทำผิดพลาดเพียงเล็กน้อย แต่ก็ไม่มีสิ่งใดที่มีค่าใช้จ่ายสูงเกินไปในแง่ของความเสมอภาค แต่ฉันเชื่อมั่นว่าเขาทำผิดพลาดน้อยกว่าที่เขาจะทำได้โดยไม่ต้องฝึกสอน ถ้าสตีฟมีความปรารถนาที่จะอยู่ในวงจรโป๊กเกอร์มืออาชีพฉันมั่นใจว่าเขาทำได้ ดังที่กล่าวมาเขามีงานและชีวิตที่ยอดเยี่ยมซึ่งเขาไม่ปรารถนาที่จะจากไปดังนั้นเขาจะยังคงเป็นนักรบสุดสัปดาห์ระดับโลก ตอนแรกที่ฉันได้งานเป็นโค้ชสตีฟฉันมีความสุขมากที่ได้งาน แต่ตอนนี้ฉันรู้สึกเป็นเกียรติที่มีเพื่อนไปตลอดชีวิต หวังว่าจะมีใครบางคนตัดสินใจที่จะกระโดดกับฉันอีกครั้งในปีหน้า ฉันชอบประสบการณ์นี้ ยังดีกว่าฉันจะพยายามทำตารางสุดท้ายด้วยตัวเอง หากคุณชอบโพสต์นี้โปรดแบ่งปันกับเพื่อนของคุณ ขอบคุณสำหรับการอ่าน. .

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The Monster Stack WSOP Event

That is a lot of people!© PokerNews
The 2014 WSOP introduced the concept of the “Monster Stack” tournament, which provides each player with a much larger starting stack than normal.
While it is a well-known fact among professionals that they have a larger edge with a larger stack compared to a smaller stack, the Monster Stack event was one of the largest of the series, attracting a whopping 7,862 players.
When I posted about my confusion on twitter, I was instantly faced with lots of people spewing blatant ignorance. Somehow over the last few years, amateurs got the idea stuck in their head that deep stacks are good for them!
In this blog post, I will explain why the Monster Stack event is bad for amateurs and what they can do to find events that give them the best chance for success.
Before I proceed, please know I am only trying to spread the truth. While it has become clear to me that countless people blindly believe incorrect concepts, if you are an amateur player who cares about money and you seek out deep stacked events consisting of a few professionals, you will quickly find your bankroll is gone.
Playing for Fun
The main reason most amateur players seem to favor deep stacked events is because they allow for “more play.” To them, this means they get to sit at the table for a longer period of time before going broke. This is, of course, correct, because they can lose more hands before becoming handcuffed by a short stack. Compared to normal $1,500 WSOP events, where you are often crippled after losing one marginally significant pot, having a larger stack in terms of big blinds will allow for longer periods of play at the table.
That isn’t a lot of chips!
I want to make it clear that sitting at the table for a long period of time should not be your goal when you enter a poker tournament, assuming you care about money. If you are only playing for entertainment, to complete a “bucket list” item, or for a story to tell your friends, this article is not for you. Those people value experience over money. There is nothing wrong with that at all. However, I try to help people who want to improve at poker, not those who blatantly do not care about knowledge and self-improvement.
In all aspects of life, you can usually find a way to trade money for experience. Most of the time for lunch, I have blended up spinach, kale, parsley, and other vegetables. Yum! However, on some days, I will go out to an overly expensive restaurant and eat fairly unhealthy (compared to raw veggies) food. When I go to a restaurant, I am voluntarily trading money, time, and health for a nice experience and pleasant tastes in my mouth. While I don’t do this too often, perhaps once per week, I enjoy it and will continue to do it.
This guy is clearly having fun.  © PokerListings
I think most amateur poker players who are playing poker for the experience view the Monster Stack event similarly to how I view going out to a fancy restaurant for lunch. There is nothing at all wrong with that. Trying to teach me about nutrition and getting a good value when it comes to dining out at lunch is futile because both of those things are not my goals in the least bit, just like some amateurs’ goals are not to win money in the long run.
I am not on the same page as those players looking for an experience at the poker table because we have vastly different goals. If I want to save money, time, and health, I eat spinach. If I want to spend money, relax, and eat cake, I go to lunch. If you want to maximize your equity, especially if it is certain to be negative (the goal, perhaps, should be to lose less), you should play shallow stacked events. If you want to play poker with the pros, sit at a poker table for a long time, and not instantly go broke, you should play deep stacked events. However, you must realize that you are sacrificing monetary equity for experience equity.
Of course, it is possible to have the best of both worlds, playing deep stacked with an edge, which is what the pros do, but you must accept that you will have to spend tons of time away from the table studying and at the table practicing to develop your skills. Most amateurs refuse to study away from the table and do not have adequate time to spend at the table. If you care about money, you must be realistic with yourself about your goals and your commitment to the game.
My problem occurs when someone tells me “I am playing the monster stack because the deep stack gives me an edge” and also “I play one poker tournament per year.” It is almost impossible for that player to be good at the game.  I am simply being honest and fighting ignorance. Sometimes the truth hurts.
Playing for Money
If you are playing with the intention of trying to not lose your buy-in, you must be perfectly fine with busting out at any point in a tournament. Some of my best days of the summer are when I bust out of within an hour because I get to take the rest of the day off. I would much rather bust one hour into a tournament than eight hours into it, assuming I am not in the money.
It is easy to make bad decisions with a huge stack. © PokerListings
Most amateur players use the extra time afforded to them by having numerous big blinds by waiting around for premium hands. The problem with this is that they often cultivate an overly tight image and fail to get action with their strong holdings. Waiting around for a nut hand is useless if you only win small pots. In order to succeed in deep stacked poker, you have to get at least a touch out of line and let your opponents know you aren’t playing with only the nuts. If they think you are capable of bluffing, you will get paid off much more often.
As an example, in the Monster Stack event, which I made a point to play due to my gigantic perceived edge, someone raised to 3 big blinds and a guy who had yet to reraise over the course of eight hours all of a sudden reraised to 12 big blinds from the button out of his 75 big blind stack. I looked down and found Q-Q. I folded it with little thought.  If my opponent was even the least bit active, I would have happily doubled him up. Instead, I lost nothing. I was not surprised at all to see him turn up A-A. For the record, in tournaments with strong players who play at least marginally aggressively, I don’t think I have ever open folded Q-Q in my life. My opponent’s play cost him around $1,000 in equity and he didn’t even realize it. He was simply happy to win the pot.
Some Math
Lots of other amateurs claimed they don’t like playing short stacked because they are forced to “flip”. While getting it all-in with around 50% equity is never ideal, you will find that if you can get all-in with around 55% equity or more you will crush the competition in the long run. Believe it or not, it is difficult to do once stacks get shallow.
I will demonstrate this concept using oversimplified, but hopefully enlightening, math. In these simulations, you are forced to go all-in every hand in a heads up match. Notice in an actual poker tournament, when you get all-in, it will frequently be against one player, which is a similar situation. You must recognize that if you are overly focused on getting your money in good, you will often be blinding off, making the math much worse for you because when you win, you will not bust your opponents. This gives them the opportunity to run their stack back up, occasionally busting you despite you initially winning almost all of their chips.
Hopefully you know that if everyone has a 50% chance of winning each all-in, in an eight-person heads-up tournament, everyone will win 12.5% of the time. However, if one guy has a 55% chance of winning his flips, meaning each of his opponents has 45% chance against him and 50% against everyone else, the player with 55% will win the tournament a 16.6% of the time, which provides a hefty 32% return on investment. This is because each of his opponents will only win 11.9% of the time.
If instead of only eight people, there were 64, the player with 55% will win 2.77% of the time, which might sound minuscule, but is huge compared to everyone else, who will only win 1.54% of the time. In that event, the player with 55% will have a 77% return on investment, which is more than most top tournament players expect to have in a tournament with many more people. Hopefully you immediately recognize that if you can consistently get your money in good, you will have a larger return on investment as the field size increases.
It is important to realize that when playing deep stacked, good players do not get all-in against an amateur without a hand that can reasonably beat good, but not amazing, postflop hands, such as A-A on 9-7-4-2. It might be hard to believe, but against someone who is a good poker player, you do not want to get all-in with most one pair hands in most situations when you have more than 150 big blinds.
To make matters worse for the amateurs, pros slowly grind up their stacks with minimal risk by stealing lots of pots that do not belong to them. This allows the pros to get all-in as a significant favorite with more chips than their opponents, killing the amateur’s chances in the long run. Notice in a 64 person flipping tournament, if a really good pro has 60% equity and everyone else is neutral, he will win 4.67% of the time with a gigantic 199% return on investment. If instead, all of the stacks are super short, perhaps the best a pro can hope for is to have around 53% equity on average, cutting his return on investment to 41%, giving the amateurs a realistic shot to win in the short run.
This is why deep stacks are devastating for amateurs, assuming they care about money. This is also why you see the same pros making deep runs in major deep stacked events on a consistent basis while they put up less than stellar results in short stacked events. The math is inexorable.
How Did the Amateurs Do in the Monster Stack Event?
If you look up all of the Monster Stack final table players on the Hendon Mob database, you will see that six of the nine players are what I would consider to be mediocre pros or complete pros in the $1,500 and smaller events. Two of the players, including the eventual winner, had almost no live results, but if you take a look at the events they were playing prior to this event, you will notice they were playing mostly high stakes European tournaments. This tells me they are almost certainly strong online players. If you are an online player who plays mostly on the internet and in Europe but you can find a way to come out to beautiful Las Vegas for the WSOP, you are probably excellent at poker. Only one of the players had relatively weak results and even then, he had some.
How did You Do in the Monster Stack Event?
© PokerListings
I got lots of “hate tweets” when I lost, saying that if pros have such a large edge, why didn’t I win? There is a relatively large amount of variance in any poker tournament. How any individual pro fared in the event is entirely irrelevant. You must look at how we did as a whole. Considering that most likely eight out of the nine final table players were at least mediocre pros, we likely did better than average.
That being said, I doubled my 15,000 starting stack to 30,000 without going to a showdown within the first two hours. From there, I got all-in for a giant pot with A-K as an 85% favorite in a spot where I was fairly confident my opponent had A-K, A-Q, or A-J on an A-T-8 board. He had A-Q and got a Q on the river, putting me back to 15,000. I again ground up my stack with no showdown to get to 30,000, and then I lost with A-K versus A-J all-in before the flop to bust. Within a few short hours, I got my money in as an 85% favorite for a two starting stack pot, as a 73% favorite in a four starting stack pot, and I ground up two starting stacks.
I am entirely happy with my performance. The actual outcome (I lost) is irrelevant. Remember, if you are playing poker for a living, you only care about winning equity. Money will come in the long run.
Which Events Should Amateurs Play?
So, which WSOP events should amateurs play, if they are looking for good value for their tournament dollar? They should play events that have the highest variance because those lead to the most flips. This means the typical $1,000 and $1,500 events that have shallow stacks. The Millionaire Maker event is an excellent option for such amateurs looking to play a WSOP event because the stacks are short and the prize pool is huge. If you are looking to gamble hard with at least some equity, that is the event for you. Before buying in, realize you have around a .014% chance of winning, assuming you are a break-even player.
If they play a conservative strategy, they should play events that do not punish being tight with a deep stack. Since pot limit events do not have antes, those are the ideal events for amateurs. Despite this fact, pot limit events attract some of the smallest fields of the series. This is another example of blatant ignorance at work.
My books are a good place to start!
Notice that the WSOP Main Event, which is a giant $10,000 buy-in event, attracts loads of players, and proudly boasts the deepest structure of all events played around the world. This is the one event amateurs should not even consider playing. Instead, they show up in droves.
Of course, the amateurs could spend their time learning the game well before tackling fairly large buy-in events, whatever stack size they provide. That would certainly be a much wiser use of their time and money. Luckily for me, most people find studying to be boring. Poker is alive and well.
Once professionals stop being short-sighted and accept that whatever is good for the amateurs, whether they know it or not, is good for the game, they will fight hard to spread the truth. Sometimes you have to ruffle a few feathers and viciously attack ignorance along the way. I am willing to fight the fight.
Thank you for reading. If you have any comments at all, feel free to share them.

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10 Aspects of a Successful Game

I constantly hear immature poker players talk about how they hate poker and how they think it is intrinsically a bad game. In reality, poker is an outstanding game for numerous reasons.
I read very few weekly columns, but one I never miss is Mark Rosewater’s “Making Magic”. Although his articles are about Magic: the Gathering, a card game that is somewhat a mix between poker and chess, if you have any interest in game design, I strongly suggest you check it out as he is the premier game designer in the world.
One of his articles, “Ten Things Every Game Needs”, discussing the 10 aspects of a successful game, really hit home because, while there are aspects of poker I do not particularly enjoy, such as getting unlucky for huge amounts of money, I realize they are necessary for the game to thrive and survive in the long run.
In this blog post, I am going to go through his list and outline why I think poker is a superb game. My hope is that you see the game in a new light and appreciate it for the various nuances that make it amazing.
Before I get started, it is worth noting that Rosewater initially had 10 aspects of a successful game in his article. I will only be discussing nine of them because one of his aspects deals with selling a game to consumers. Seeing how poker is not sold in the traditional sense, I do not think it is worth discussion. Also, Rosewater mentions that in order to be successful, a game can be missing one of the 10 aspects. Interestingly enough, poker, in my mind, seems to be blatantly missing one of them although I bet quite a few people, particularly amateurs, would disagree.
I am going to briefly discuss a tic-tac-toe at the end of each section to contrast how poker, a good game, and tic-tac-toe, a bad game, differ. It is important to be able to look at all games and see why they work or why they do not. While those points will have nothing to do with poker, I think they are worth considering.
A Goal
All good games must have a goal. If the players have nothing to work towards, they will lose interest and stop playing. The goal of poker is to win money. Tournaments are a particularly engaging form of poker because you often have multiple goals, such as getting your first double up, getting in the money, making the final table, getting heads up and winning the whole thing. Poker also allows for other non-game related goals, such as socializing with your friends or getting a gambling high. Poker definitely succeeds in this category.
The goal of tic-tac-toe is to get three of your symbol in a row. This is clearly defined and concise.
A Clear Set of Rules
The basic rules to poker are easy to learn and understand. Pretty much everyone who plays even small stakes poker understands 95% of the rules. The learning of the basic, and even advanced, rules is not a terribly difficult task. If the rules to a game are too difficult, people will not want to learn to play. I believe one of the reasons Texas Hold’em is the most popular variant of poker is due to its simple rules. If you compare Hold’em to other poker variants, you will see the rules of the other games are much more complicated. While I do not think the rules of any poker game are enough to stop a hardcore gamer from playing, I can see how a novice would not want to learn Pot Limit Omaha 8 or Baducey.
Quite a few players do not know around 5% of the rules of poker, such as the “oversize chip rule” and the somewhat new “first card off the deck” rule. There are various rules in place to deal with a player who acts out of turn or slow the game down.  The Tournament Directors Association has done an excellent job in outlining these rules and implementing a progressive series of penalties for breaking the rules. They actually have a rules booklet that is 15 pages long. You can download it here.
When something happens at the table that is not covered in the rule book, which is extraordinarily infrequent, the floor man, who oversees each game, is given permission to use his judgment and make a rational ruling. While some less experienced floor men get some of these tricky decisions wrong, the best floor men in the world are almost always 100% correct and fair with their decisions. I think poker succeeds wonderfully in the “Rules” section.
The rules of tic-tac-toe take around 30 seconds to learn, allowing anyone to play with no prior experience. While having simple rules can be a good thing, the rules are so simple that the game quickly becomes stale.
For contrast, Chess and Magic: the Gathering both have fairly difficult rules to understand and master. Despite this, both games have a huge following because the price you pay by spending time learning the rules is more than paid back in the form of a lifetime of enjoyment. For example, the Magic rule book is currently a whopping 207 pages long. You can download it here.
That being said, almost no one actually “knows” all of the rules of Magic. The game is designed in a way such at most of the tricky rules are explained as the game progresses, allowing for clean, progressive accumulation of knowledge.
Interaction
Poker is filled with interaction. Since both players have the same goal in poker, winning each other’s money, both players must fight hard to make sure they have a reasonable chance to win. You must adjust your strategy to beat whatever strategy your opponent is currently or expected to be implementing. When you have the nuts, you have to figure out how to make your opponent put in his money with a lesser holding. When you have nothing, you have to either fold or figure out how to make your opponent fold a superior hand. This can be done in numerous ways, such as talking to your opponent, throwing your chips into the pot in a particular way, or simply remaining stoic, using your overall game plan and bet sizing to force your opponent to make an error. Poker clearly succeeds in this category.
There is very little interaction in tic-tac-toe. There is nothing you can say or do to influence your opponent’s decision to play fundamentally sound. You simply make your move and hope your opponent makes an error. That being said, you usually converse with your opponent, mostly due to the game being so boring, which I suppose is a minor redeeming factor.
A Catch-Up Feature
Anyone who has been brutally bad beat can attest to the fact that poker has an excellent catch-up feature build into it. A game will quickly become unplayable when weak players think they have no chance to win. The saying “a chip and a chair” has become famous because you always have some equity as long as you have some money in front of you at the poker table. I have personally watched a guy go from one ante chip with 18 players left in a WPT event to taking home the title. I have gone from having half of the chips at a final table to out in 7th place. Anything can happen in poker, which is one of the reasons people keep coming back to play.
Tic-tac-toe has no catch up feature. If you somehow find yourself behind, you will quickly lose unless your opponent makes an error.
Inertia
Inertia refers to something that drives a game towards completion. In tournaments, the constantly rising blinds ensure the game will end at a scheduled time. While everyone may start deep stacked and be able to play lots of hands after the flop, as the blinds increase, the game eventually evolves into a short stacked game dominated by preflop poker. Interestingly enough, deep stacked poker and short stacked poker require vastly different strategies.
Cash games are a bit different because they never end, assuming you are not playing fairly high stakes or at a casino that closes each night. High stakes games often break when the weak players quit. This unique dynamic often induces the good players to play way too many hands, hoping to win the weak player’s money before he quits for the day. Some players sit at the cash game tables until they are too tired to stay awake.
The best players are able to find a balance between always playing with weak players and playing while alert and focused. Sometimes the game is simply too good to pass up, forcing good players to play when they are overly tired and not playing their “A” game. This is a sacrifice they are willing to make. I think the total lack of completion is something that drives hardcore gamers to cash games because they can play as long as they want.
I think tournaments do an excellent job of bringing the game to a halt whereas cash games do a fairly poor job of it. For this reason, some poker players play exclusively cash games or exclusively tournaments. I believe this is a smart decision for the vast majority of amateurs as the games are totally different and appeal to different player types. There is no point in playing one variant of poker you don’t like as much as another, especially if you think you will have the same win (or loss) rate in both games.
Tic-tac-toe ends when someone gets three symbols in a row or there is a tie. This usually takes around one minute per game. Tic-tac-toe does a good job of ending the game quickly, although it likely ends the game too quickly.
Surprise
Believe it or not, people enjoy not knowing what is going to happen next. Why do you think poker television shows spend time displaying how the flop, turn and river run out after two players get all-in? Most people want to see who wins. You will find very few professionals actually care who wins once the money gets all-in. They simply care about who has the most equity and if both players played their hands in a fundamentally sound manner.
Poker offers a huge level of surprise to someone who thinks they lost a huge pot only to find out they won. On numerous occasions, I have witnessed someone get up from a table, thinking they lost a huge pot, cursing and screaming, only to be told they actually won the hand. Poker makes some people lose their minds.
I personally enjoy the surprise of playing a hand and getting an unexpected turn or river card when playing deep stacked. It is extremely exciting to me to have a well thought out plan for a hand that is forced to change because I did not factor something into my thought process. This forces me to rethink my plan and reminds me to think of all possible outcomes on future betting rounds, which is quite difficult to do all of the time. Poker excels in the surprise category.
The only surprising thing that can occur in tic-tac-toe is when your opponent makes a huge blunder.
Strategy
While there seems to always be a “luck vs. skill” debate raging in the government, I think everyone who has ever played poker for more than an hour realizes there is a huge amount of strategy involved. There must be a built in feature of a game that allows players to define and redefine their strategy as they become more experienced at the game.  You must be able to use your experience from the past to learn to play better in the future. Poker allows for this perfectly.
When someone first starts playing poker, they typically learn some basic strategy, such as “only put money in the pot when you have a strong hand.” Clearly, this does not require much actual strategy or thought. Later, those same players have their eyes opened to the fact that they can bluff, which leads them to think about what cards their opponent is holding. From there, they start thinking about how their hand appears to their opponent. This proceeds until the player learns a somewhat game theory optimal strategy. From there, they learn to think one level ahead of their opponents, adjusting their strategy as they see fit. The layers of strategy built into the game are limitless.
There are mounds of tools available on the internet that you can use to improve your game. There are lots of articles and books available on all subjects pertaining to poker that can help you improve. Some of the best players in the world produce training videos, exposing the plays they make that weaker players do not. If you cannot find excellent poker training material, you are not trying hard enough.
Poker is an engaging game because, at the table, you have to figure out your opponent’s strategy then adjust your strategy to beat their strategy. This means you cannot have a default strategy that will win a huge amount all of the time. The best you can do is develop some sort of game theory optimal strategy, but this will always win significantly less than if you varied your play based on your specific opponent’s tendencies. While you can spend as much time as you want to study the game away from the table, you must be able to think soundly and implement your flexible strategy at the table if you want to make money in the long run. Poker is dense. Dense games require a huge amount of strategy.
Tic-tac-toe has an easily discoverable basic strategy that requires only a few brain cells to figure out. Once you master this strategy, you will be unbeatable.
Fun
“Fun” is a difficult thing to define because different people enjoy different things. While some people enjoy wild fluctuations of the money in front of them, others have no desire to have any swings at all. Some people despise losing money. Some people love even the opportunity to win money. According to Rosewater, the real way to figure out if a game is fun is to ask the players at the end of a game if they would play again.  I have seen numerous players play marathon sessions of poker because they thoroughly enjoy it. I have seen players show up to their local casino at the same time every day to play a small, almost inconsequential, tournament. People love the act of playing poker.
Poker offers numerous avenues of enjoyment besides the act of playing poker. Some players enjoy conversing with other players at the table. Others like to get away from their “real” life and use poker to relax. Some people love to gamble and use poker as their game of choice. Others like to develop strategies and plays that allow them to push the boundaries of what is thought to be possible in the game, figuring out ways to run insane bluffs and make huge folds. While people use poker in different ways to have fun, they all keep coming back, at least until they are broke.
When you play tic-tac-toe, you frequently play for around five minutes then stop. This is because it is not a fun game.
Flavor
Flavor refers to the theme or story of a game. Candy Land, for example, is a race between players to find King Kandy. In reality, players are rolling random dice and moving through a grid of squares with no skill involved whatsoever, but kids love the game. The flavor of Candy Land is sweet!
In my opinion, poker completely lacks flavor although I think most amateurs would disagree. I do not think many people think in terms of the pocket cowboys drowning the two red Aces when their brother rides into town to save them at the river. However, in the past, poker was played in the backs of bars and pool halls. Poker games would frequently get robbed or raided by the police. Fights would break out over bad beats.
While this is not the case in today’s casinos, some players think they are doing something risky by playing poker. Other players associate poker with the Wild West, thinking they are like the old cowboys who could win or lose the farm, given the right amount of luck. I think these people associate poker with being macho. Lots of kids watch their dads go off to play poker and think that if you play poker, you must be a real man.
For those who did not know, the best poker players are overly intelligent people who spend countless hours studying the intricacies of the game, not the guys who show up in muscle shirts and try to beat people up. In my eyes, poker is a math game where you have to make adjustments based on the mistakes you think your opponents are likely to make. I do not think of back rooms, cowboys, or proving my masculinity while playing. I simply show up and do my best to make the best decisions possible. However, I realize I see the game much differently than most people because I have played it for so long. Overall, I think poker fails in this category once players become the least bit seasoned but initially, the game has gushes with flavor.
To continue hating on tic-tac-toe, it has no flavor at all.
Conclusion
As you can see, I think poker passes these nine criteria with flying colors. While cash games may have a bit of problem with inertia and I believe the game lacks flavor, the other aspects of the game more than make up for these minuscule flaws. Seeing how poker continues to grow at a staggering rate, especially in locations where the game has recently been officially and legally introduced, you can bet on it being around for a very long time.
Thank you for reading! If you like this post, please share it with your friends.
 
 

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How I lost 40 pounds and got in the best shape of my life

In this blog post, I am not only going to tell you how I got fat, but I will also explain how I got in the best shape of my life.
Throughout this post, I will outline changes you can make to your eating habits to get in great shape with minimal effort.
My Past
As a 12 year old boy, my diet consisted of microwavable chicken pot pies, canned vegetables, and Coca-Cola. Sometimes we would get lucky and have pizza or Chinese food.
Due to being reasonably active, I was not overweight as a child. As I got a bit older, the junk food started taking its toll. I ate this same trashy diet, which is fairly typical for most Americans, until I turned around 19.
When I started playing poker professionally at the age of 19, I weighed about 150 pounds and was not in good shape. The concept of physical fitness was completely foreign to me.  By the time I was 22 years old, I weighed 185 pounds and was blatantly fat. Apparently sitting around and playing poker all of the time is not a good way to be physically fit.
My “healthy” diet
Waking Up
One day, I woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw an obese, unhealthy young man staring back at me. Something had to change.
I decided it would be a good idea to get healthy by eating primarily grilled chicken with BBQ sauce and drinking cranberry juice. I assumed chicken must be healthy because it has almost no fat and juice must be healthy because it is made from fruit.
For those who don’t know, both BBQ sauce and cranberry juice are packed with sugar, which makes them terrible for you. However, that mild change put me on the road to nutritional enlightenment.
After seeing almost no results due to my change in diet, I decided to get a trainer and go to the gym on a somewhat regular basis, which ended up being around twice per week. The trainer educated me to the fact that my current “healthy” diet was actually incredibly unhealthy. He suggested I start eating lots of meat and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. As it turns out, he also had the concept of a “healthy diet” wrong.
There is a ton of misinformation out there about what is actually healthy.
Advice that Worked
This book changed my life.
After working out somewhat hard and eating what I thought was nearly optimal for a few years with almost no results, I randomly discovered Tim Ferriss’s book, The 4-Hour Work Week. Although this book has nothing to do with fitness, it taught me a lot about living a fulfilled life. I devoured the book and craved more.
A little while later, Tim put out his second book, The 4-Hour Body, which radically changed my life. In this book, he outlined a diet, which he referred to as the Slow-Carb diet, which I stuck to rigorously for about a year. I giddily watched 40 pounds disappear, putting me in the best shape of my life.
According to the diet, I was supposed to eat:
Meat – Lean meat is ideal unless it is grass-fed.
Fish – Wild caught fish is best.
Eggs
Vegetables – Green, leafy vegetables are best although others are fine too.
Beans – Be aware that beans can be difficult for some people to digest.
Nuts – Generally avoid peanuts. Realize most nuts are very high in healthy fats, so eat in moderation.
Healthy oils – For example, coconut oil, butter, and fish oil.
Tea – I prefer green, white, oolong, and pu’erh teas.
Coffee – Two cups per day at the most.
Water – Drink lots of water.
Red wine – Just a little!
 
I was not to eat:
Sugar – For example: soda, candy, ice cream, cake, chocolate, caramel, BBQ sauce, etc.
Fruit – Fruit is full of sugar.
Grains – Even though grains don’t taste like sugar, your body converts them into sugars that are difficult to burn, eventually turning them into fat. Also, grains are incredibly difficult to digest.
Potatoes – They are full of carbohydrates.
Trans fats – These are the unhealthy fats found in most processed foods.
Highly processed foods – If it is sold in the middle aisles of the grocery store, it is probably bad for you.
Vegetable Oils – For example: canola oil, “vegetable” oil, sunflower oil, shortening, margarine, etc.
 
The most fun part about this “diet” is that one day per week, you can eat whatever you want, within reason. I would usually have some pasta on my cheat day. I love pasta!
 
My default meals when I was strictly adhering to the diet were:
For breakfast, two eggs plus a salad or avocado.
Chipotle!
For lunch and dinner, a burrito bowl from Chipotle. My exact order was lettuce, black beans, chicken, pico de gallo, and spicy salsa. I had this meal around ten times per week. It is worth noting that eating so many beans eventually started hurting my stomach, so I cut out the beans.
I would also sporadically eat grilled meat with vegetables for lunch and dinner.
That was it! I did not consume fruit, juice, bread, dessert, prepackaged foods, Coke, etc. After a tough month or so, I stopped missing these unhealthy foods. Now, I don’t even like Coke, which used to be the only beverage I drank!
It is important to note that this “diet” is actually a lifestyle change. My goal was NOT to lose a bunch of weight then go back to the same disgusting habits that made get fat.
My goal was to get in shape and stay in shape.
I never went back to pot pies and Coke.
I came to the realization that I was no longer eating because I wanted something to taste good in my mouth. I was eating because I wanted to be physically fit. If you demand that all food you eat tastes amazing, you must recognize that you will likely be out of shape. Some people prefer to eat things that taste good and some people prefer to be in shape. While some healthy foods taste great, you will find the unhealthy versions often taste better.
As a balance, I make a point to eat almost perfectly at breakfast and lunch. For dinner, if I see something I want, I eat it. That being said, I typically don’t want something that I know is blatantly unhealthy because I recognize the nice tastes in my mouth are not worth the damage they do to my body. Once you realize that eating crap turns your body into crap, you won’t want to eat crap anymore.
If you follow the guidelines above for over a month, you will almost certainly lose weight. The key is that you must be disciplined. If you constantly stray from the diet, which most people seem to do, you will not experience the desired results.
We completed the NYC marathon
Leveling Up
After dropping 40 pounds, I decided to ramp up my work out sessions and build some muscles. I must admit, even today, I could work out harder than I do.
When I first started working out, I remember jokingly saying to my trainer that I would like to run a marathon someday. Amie, my fiancée, enjoyed running short races, so one day, I decided to join her. Over the course of three years, we worked hard on running longer distances.  Eventually, we completed the NYC marathon, running 26.2 miles in a little over four hours.
After completing the marathon, I decided that I wanted to be fast. I would much rather have the body of a sprinter than the body of a distance runner.
Growing up, I was never fast. As a kid, it was a struggle to run a 9-minute mile.  So naturally, I decided that it would be cool to run a 5-minute mile. I worked hard, doing mostly high intensity interval training, which is where you run really hard for a short period of time, and then recover. I got to where I could somewhat easily run a 6-minute mile.
Issues
This is what I have to look forward to!
That is when my body started failing. Both my mom and dad have problems with their legs/feet/ankles. I was born with the same issues. I was told by a doctor that I have the early stages of arthritis in my right foot. It currently hurts to fully stretch out my right leg. I also have a decent amount of pain in my left heel. The doctor said that it is no longer intelligent for me to run. Bad beat!
Not to be deterred, I now spend most of my workout time learning to lift my own body weight in various ways. The idea of using my weight as my gym has always interested me. I have been learning to do hand stands, back bends, pull ups, etc. over the last two years. Knowing how to put in a good work out from a hotel room is beneficial for a traveling poker player.
Best of all, I am much now stronger than ever. Through research, I learned that having lots of muscle mass burns lots of calories while you are sitting around doing nothing, which means I don’t have to put in nearly as much cardiovascular training to keep the weight off.
Today
I must admit, I have been somewhat lax when it comes to my diet over the last few years. While I certainly eat cleaner than almost everyone I know, I could do better. For example, I probably drink too much wine. It is a tough one for me because I either have one glass or way more than one glass. I seem to lack the discipline to have two glasses. I have been working hard on having no wine or one glass. I have my struggles too! I am doing much better now than in the past.
Incremental improvements cause huge changes in the long run.
When I am home, my breakfast and lunch consists of lots of blended green vegetables and around half of an avocado. I sometimes splurge on dinner, which I suppose isn’t too bad. When I travel, I eat mostly salads and Living Fuel Super Greens.
When I am eating lots of green smoothies, I feel absolutely amazing. I have more energy and I seem to think more clearly. My green smoothies typically consist of water, spinach, kale, alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, and other various green, leafy vegetables. I also add in small amounts of carrots, peppers, blue berries, gogi berries, chia seeds, and flax seeds.
A hidden benefit of the green smoothies is that you can drink them very quickly. Most people spend at least 30 minutes making and eating each meal. A green smoothie takes around 3 minutes to prepare and 1 minute to drink. Having an extra hour each day to do whatever you want is quite beneficial.
I still make a point to totally avoid all forms of grains on a regular basis. I have found that eating any type of grain messes up my belly. I don’t want a messed up belly! I splurge on a bowl of pasta around once per month. I occasionally have sushi, which seems to agree with my stomach. Rice is the one grain that doesn’t give me many issues. That being said, I probably have around 5 servings of grains per month.
My weight currently fluctuates between 140 and 145 pounds. I have never been too into stats relating to fitness, so I can’t tell you my body fat percentage or any other numbers. It seems to me that lots of the statistics people spend tons of money looking into are irrelevant, at least for my purpose of being in fairly good shape without obsessing over it. My goal is to continue getting stronger without expending too much mental energy on the subject. I recognize I am never going to be an elite athlete and I don’t think I need to work out and focus on nutrition like one. However, I do want to live a long, happy, healthy life.
While I am certainly not a nutrition or fitness expert, if you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them. I strongly urge you to check out The 4-Hour Body. Applying the information in that book changed my life. I hope it changes yours too.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends! Thank you for reading.

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10 Things You Can Start Doing TODAY to Improve Your Poker Game

In this blog post, I will list and explain 10 things you can start doing today that will improve your poker game. Even if you only apply one of the tips listed below, you will increase your win rate. There is never a better time to start improving than today.
1. Start reraising with a polarized range.
Before the flop, the vast majority of amateur poker players reraise with one of two ranges.
Most amateurs simply reraise with their premium hands. This is an awful strategy because it turns all of their premium hands face up, allowing their opponents to call when getting the proper implied odds or fold when they are not getting the proper implied odds. If you turn your hand face up, you allow your opponents to make perfect decisions, costing you a ton of money.
Once someone becomes aware that reraising with only premium hands is a losing strategy, they usually shift to reraising with a linear range, meaning they reraise with both their premium hands and hands they perceive as strong, such as A-J and 7-7. While this can be a great strategy against players who call reraises with hands that are easily dominated, such as A-9 or K-T, it is not a good strategy against players who only call reraises with premium hands and hands that do well against a linear range, such as 2-2 or 6s-5s. You will find very few thinking players opt to call reraises before the flop with hands that do poorly against a linear range because they recognize how detrimental it is to be dominated on a regular basis.
Most of the time, the ideal reraising range will be polarized. This means the range consists of the best hands, such as A-A, K-K, Q-Q, J-J, and A-K, as well as hands that are not quite good enough to call a raise with, such as Ac-9d, Kd-5d, and 9s-6s. Notice that by calling instead of reraising with most of your good, but not amazing, hands, such as A-J, K-Q, and Ts-9s, you get to see if you flop well before investing a significant amount of money.
Reraising before the flop with a polarized range also allows you to play a wider range in an aggressive manner, drastically increasing the profitability of your premium hands. If your opponents are unsure if you have the nuts or nothing, they will have a terribly difficult time playing against you, forcing them to make costly mistakes.
2. Start continuation betting more in heads up pots.
While most amateur players know to continuation bet on the flop when their hand improves, they often fail to continuation bet when they totally miss the flop. When against only one opponent, especially on flops that should be good for your range and bad for your opponent’s range, you should continuation bet almost every time.
For example, if you make a preflop raise from early position and only the big blind calls, if the flop comes A-7-3, K-Q-2, or 8-4-2, you should continuation bet every time. Flops you should consider checking behind on include 8d-7d-2s and 6c-5c-4c because, on average, those should be much better for your opponent’s range than for yours. That being said, if you raise from all positions with a decently wide range, as I suggest in my books, you can get away with continuation betting on almost all boards a high percentage of the time because any flop could conceivably connect with your hand. Notice if you only raise with a tight range from a specific position, you should continuation bet less often on certain flops because it will occasionally be clear that the flop is terrible for your range.
3. Start two barreling more.
While many players have become somewhat comfortable with continuation betting on most flops, they have yet to realize that they should often be firing again on the turn, even when they have nothing. As the continuation bet has become more main stream, observant players have started calling or raising them with a wider range. To combat your opponents calling your continuation bets with a wide range, you should continue betting the turn with a wide range, at least until they make additional adjustments.
Also, make a point to almost always bet again on the turn when the board drastically changes, such as when an obvious draw completes, or when you pick up additional equity, such as when you turn a flush draw, assuming you do not expect to get check-raised. You will be surprised at how often a turn bet will steal the pot.
4. Start getting comfortable postflop.
As you move up to higher stakes, you will find that most of the large pots occur due to betting after the flop. The problem with this, at least for most amateurs, is that they only have experience playing before the flop. This is because most local casinos have a goal of getting tournaments over quickly so the players can hop into cash games.
If you want to move up in the tournament poker world, you must get comfortable with not getting all of your money in before the flop. While this creates more situations where you are uncertain about the relative strength of your hand, you will find that, with practice, the turn and river become where you want to invest most of your money.
5. Start putting your opponents on a range of hands.
If you are not putting your opponents on a range of hands during every hand of poker you witness, you are not playing correctly. If you only pay attention when you are involved in a pot, you will fail to develop vital reads on your opponents, costing you a ton of equity whenever you enter a pot. By failing to pay attention, you also miss out on time spent learning how to put players on ranges. If you make a point to mindfully practice whenever you are at the poker table, your skills will improve. If you don’t pay attention, expect to lose in the long run.
6. Start practicing other forms of poker.
Especially if you want to play poker tournaments, I strongly suggest you learn to play both short handed and heads up. The vast majority of amateur poker players are deathly afraid of playing against only a few opponents because they are forced to play hands they view as weak. In reality, they don’t understand how hand values change. This causes them to either over adjust or under adjust, leading to huge errors.
While this lack of understanding is not much of a problem if you constantly play at a full table, in tournaments you are forced to play short handed when most of the money is on the line. If you don’t know how to play short handed, you will be at a huge disadvantage.
Cash game players are not exempt from this concept. The most profitable opportunities in cash games often arise when you can start a game with only a few other players or late at night when the table is about to break. This allows you to play many more hands than normal against the weakest players at the table, allowing you to have a huge win rate. If you refuse to play short handed, you will miss out on these prime earning opportunities.
I also suggest you learn to play other games besides no-limit hold’em. Learning other games will force you to break free from any sort of default thinking you may have about standard poker strategy. That being said, don’t spend too much time on the other games because most of your time should be focused on the game you expect to be the most profitable in the long run.
This is not me, but it is close enough.
7. Start getting in shape.
Most amateur poker players think poker is only played on the felt. Most players at the very top of the game perform the technical aspects of poker amazingly well. What separates them is their mental and physical conditioning. If one player can play well for 8 hours and another can play well for 12 hours, the player who can play well for 12 hours will almost certainly win more money in the long run. Being in excellent physical shape will allow you to play longer hours without losing mental focus or emotional control.
The most obvious way to get in better shape is to exercise regularly. If you are just starting to work out, don’t push yourself too hard. There is nothing wrong with starting slowly and gradually progressing to a more strenuous routine. If you are clueless about where to start, hire a trainer or study the subject online. I suggest you work out moderately before each of your poker sessions. This will help you get in the zone, allowing you to think more clearly.
While working out is obvious to most people, eating right is often ignored. You must become aware that what you put into your mouth will directly alter your physical condition and mindset. If you constantly eat pasta and ice cream, you should expect to have cloudy judgment and be overweight. If you eat lean meat and vegetables, you will think clearly and be in shape. Going from eating total crap to eating a healthy diet has changed my life. I strongly suggest you look into it.
8. Start sleeping right.
I know that if I do not sleep for at least 7 hours per night, I will not play my best poker the next day. It is as simple as that. I make getting at least 7 hours of sleep my highest priority when I know I will play poker the next day. If my friends want to hang out late at night or there is a business issue that demands my attention, I ignore them and go to sleep. I much prefer thinking with a clear mind. If I am tired at the poker table, it means I made a severe error the previous night.
9. Start writing down and reviewing your hands.
If you do not review your play at the end of most of your sessions, you are missing out on lots of valuable educational time. I suggest you carry a notebook with you and write down every significant hand of poker you play for the rest of your life. You will be shocked how your memory will fail you if you try to remember all of your hands. I have created a free video explaining exactly how I have recorded all of my hands at the poker table for the last few years.
Once you have your hands recorded, you can then discuss them with your friends and poker coach. You can also review them at the end of the day to see if you made any clear errors. On most days, I am usually unhappy with a few hands I played. I make a point to figure out where I went wrong and adjust accordingly. Over time, you should hopefully see your errors decrease and your win rate increase.
10. Start studying poker.
If you spend most of your time dedicated to poker actually sitting at the poker table, you are not studying enough. Before I ever played a hand of poker for real money, I diligently read over 10 poker books. By studying before I played, I had a huge advantage over my competition who learned primarily through experience.  Once I started playing, I became excellent at the game by spending around half of my time studying and the other half playing.
Today, you can easily learn by watching training videos and reading books from the best players in the world. I have published a number of books as well as a training site, FloatTheTurn.com where I post poker training videos on a regular basis. Of course, I suggest you study from other world class players as well. I am a member of several training sites and I study poker training videos on a regular basis.
Check out my training videos
I have discovered that live webinars are a much better learning tool than either books or standard training videos because they allow for a high amount of interaction between the audience and the instructor. Interaction is the key. I host a monthly Q&A webinar for all FloatTheTurn.com members and I also produce a webinar about once per month where I discuss a specific subject in great detail. Going into a high amount of detail on a specific subject is an excellent way to learn, especially for advanced players who have already mastered the basic fundamentals of the game. For information on my past webinars, check out my product page. For information about my future live webinars, sign up for my email list.
If you have the resources, I strongly suggest you hire a poker coach. You will find that the most cost-effective way to do this is usually to hire someone who plays slightly higher stakes than you play. If you normally play $2/$5 at your local casino, hire someone who beats the $5/$10 games. If you play $1,000 tournaments, hire someone who does well in the $3,500 tournaments on a regular basis. If you find you do not work well with a particular coach, find someone else. As the customer, you should make a point to get everything you desire from a poker training experience.
I hope you have enjoyed these 10 tips to help you improve your poker game.
If you have any suggestions or comments, please let me know. Thank you for reading!

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Two Blatantly Opposite Hands from Borgata

In this blog post I am going to reveal to you a flaw I currently have in my game. I am also going to explain the actions I am taking to fix it. I hope you enjoy this candid look into my mind.
Borgata!
I recently had the pleasure of playing the $3,500 Borgata Poker Open World Poker Tour event. I must admit, Borgata has done an excellent job of cultivating their poker community and constantly growing their games. They were one of the first casinos to lower the buy-in of their main events to $3,500, which made it much easier weak players satellite into the main event, making the event quite profitable for professional poker players, despite the decreased buy-in.
(As a brief aside for those who do not know, Expected Profit = ((Return on Investment x Buy-in) – Rake))
On both Day 1a and 1b, I got lots of money in good and only a bit in bad, so I am happy with that. Believe it or not, I somehow got all-in with a set on BOTH days and lost to a draw. Fun times!
I think this event was one of my best tournament showings to date. I focused well and generally made accurate reads. However, there is one hand I butchered, which I will discuss later in this posts.
I have been focusing hard on trusting my reads. In a recent webinar I hosted with perhaps the best people-reader in poker, Phil Hellmuth, he discussed how he trusts his reads entirely. In the past, I have been a bit afraid to blindly trust my reads, especially when they didn’t make logical sense. Below are two hands where I had overly strong reads. On the first, I trusted them and on the second, I let my analytical brain control my actions, leading to devastating results.
A Big Call
Hand 1
I raised to 525 at 100/200 from  2nd position with As-Kc out of my 61,000 chip stack. A 40 year old guy who was perhaps on tilt reraised to 1,500 out of his 21,000 chip stack from the lojack seat. I reraised to 3,500 and he instantly called.
The flop came 7c-5c-4s. I bet 4,000 and he instantly went all-in for 13,500 more.  I didn’t think too long before calling. I had his Ad-Td in bad shape. He failed to improve and I scooped a nice pot.
Math is fun!
Everyone at the table told me what an amazing call it was, but in my mind, it was fairly easy. I needed to win around 32% of the time to break even based on the pot odds. If my opponent had a strong hand, such as Q-Q or 6-6, I have somewhere between 23% and 30% equity, making my call a small loser. If he had a set, I am drawing nearly dead, which would be a disaster. However, I thought he would tend to slow play a set most of the time. If he had any unpaired draw, I have between 45% and 60%, meaning I should call. If he was losing his mind with a random unpaired hand, I have between 75% and 85% equity.
Of course, you cannot simply average these numbers and see where you stand. You have to figure out how much of his range is made up of each type of hand. For example, if he only has overpairs in his range, I have an easy fold. If he has overpairs and draws, I have to reluctantly call. If he is running a lot of bluffs, I have an easy call.  That being said, it is difficult to know if your opponent is capable of running an insane bluff for all of his chips for no good reason.
Luckily for me, I had developed fairly strong reads on my opponent. First off, he was clearly tilty. He seemed like someone who was capable of thinking, meaning I thought he at least somewhat knew what he looked like to me. After I continuation bet the flop, he instantly went all-in. This made me think he either had a premium hand, a draw, or nothing. Since I am in fine shape against both nothing and a draw and it is very difficult for him to actually have a premium hand on this board, his quick all-in made me think my hand was in at least marginal shape.
I am sure I also picked up on some subconscious tells I am not even aware of. You will find that after you play poker every day for around five years, you simply “know”. This is one of those spots where I was about as confident as I could be that he was bluffing.
(Almost) A Big Fold
This next hand was my bust-out hand from the tournament.
Despite a nice start to the day, getting to 100,000 chips, I found myself back with a short stack after making trips and losing to a full house then losing with 5-5 versus A-K.
Hand 2
In this hand, I raised to 2,200 out of my 23,000 stack at 500/1,000+100 with Kh-9c from the hijack seat. A super splashy LAG 40 year old called from the small blind and a kid who was clearly an amateur who played a relatively tight, passive style called from the big blind.
The flop came Ks-Qd-4c. The Small Blind checked. The Big Blind thought for a few seconds before checking. I got the drift that he wanted to bet but elected to check instead. I decided to bet 2,600 to hopefully induce the Small Blind to lose his mind and raise me with air, which he was certainly capable of. The Small Blind quickly folded and the Big Blind thought for around a minute before saying “Raise” and putting in a 5,000 chip. He was told he had to put in 5,200, which he did. I elected to call.
The turn was the (Ks-Qd-4c)-8c. My opponent thought for a while before asking me how much I had left in my stack. After that, he went all-in. I called and lost to his Kd-Qc.
Where Did I Go Wrong?
While checking back the flop would have saved the most money, I think betting the flop for value, protection, and perhaps to get the Small Blind to spaz out is mandatory. However, once the tight passive amateur in the big blind check-raised, I think I should have found an easy fold.
His weird flop check plus his misclick min-raise should have made it blatantly clear to me that he was not messing around. If you are unaware, when someone tries to raise and is so excited that he cannot figure out 2,600 x 2 in his head, he usually has a premium hand.
I somehow convinced myself that he might take this line with A-Q, Q-J, J-T, or perhaps and K. Obviously my thought process was awful. This specific opponent was simply NEVER messing around in this spot.
Given my flop call, I do think calling off on the river is somewhat mandatory. I don’t like it, but I think it is the only play that makes sense as I expected him to go all-in with his entire flop check-raising range, which I thought contained some worse made hands that I beat. It is worth mentioning that when someone asks you how much you have left before going all-in, he usually has a premium hand. K-9 loses to all premium hands. Maybe I could have saved my last 13 big blinds.
Before I conclude this post, I want to mention that it takes an incredibly high amount of skill at any game to accurately figure out the difference between bad luck and bad play. While my bust-out hand could be simply viewed as a cooler where most players go broke every time, I do not see it that way. I view my bust-out hand as a purely avoidable situation. Although folding the flop would have only saved me a paltry 18 big blind stack, I should have folded and tried to run up my stub.
I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not looking back at this hand and thinking “I clearly played it wrong because I lost.” I do not care in the least bit whether or not I lose a poker hand, regardless of the stakes. All I care about is making good decisions that win equity in the long run. While I feel like I do a good job of that most of the time, the K-9 hand was a clear mistake. I have to make a point to not commit the same error twice.
What can I learn from this?
Throughout this tournament I made numerous good calls and what I believe to be a few good folds. However, it is obvious to me that, especially when stacks start to shrink, I become much more inclined to make decisions based purely on the math I learned many years ago as an online player. When you have almost no reads on your opponent, all you have to rely on is math. That is not the case with live poker.
When you have a 23 big blind stack, you should rarely be looking to fold top pair. Since I knew my opponent was not messing around, I should have made the disciplined fold. Online, except in the rarest circumstances, knowing my opponent was not messing around would be impossible. Live, it should have been crystal clear.
Given I have worked hard to develop fairly strong reading abilities which seem to be accurate way more often than they are not, I should rely more heavily on them.
In the future, I will work harder on making big folds. The problem with being good at folding is that you usually need your folds to be right a huge percentage of the time whereas your calls rarely need to be correct in order for them to be profit, due to pod odds. This problem leads me to often call off a bit too wide, especially against reasonably active players.
There you have it! I need to put more trust in my reads, especially when it comes to folding.
Now that I have put this out there for everyone to read, expect me to never fold again!
If you enjoyed this type of hand analysis and want more, I strongly suggest you check out my book The Main Event with Jonathan Little. 
Thank you for reading. Good luck in your games.

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Travel Rake

In this blog post I will detail one of the most costly leaks that aspiring poker pros fail to comprehend or even acknowledge. I will also outline ways for you to plug this leak so it doesn’t destroy your bankroll. It should be noted that this post is for people who care about money. If you are super rich or simply do not care about money, ignore this post
I frequently get emails from my students detailing their poker trips. One of the most common mistakes they make pertains to how much time and money they spend to actually play a tournament series. It is not uncommon for someone to go on a poker trip for a weekend to play a $240, $340, and $550 tournament. The rake in these events is $40, $40, and $50, meaning they think they are paying $130 in rake. This could not be further from the truth.
Travel Rake
While you must pay the casino $130 when you buy into the tournaments, you must realize that you have to spend WAY more money than that to actually play the events, especially if you have to travel to play it. Travel rake, which I define as how much you have to spend to play a tournament, comes in many forms, including travel costs, hotel bills, food, and parking. You must account for ALL of your expenses beyond what you would normally incur while sitting at home when figuring out if a poker trip will be profitable.
For example, it is not uncommon for hotels to give a discounted poker rate of $100 per night, which feels like a decent deal. However, if you were initially looking at spending $1,130 for a poker trip in order to have $1,000 in action ($240 + $340 + $550, from above), you now have to spend an additional $200 for a room. You also have to pay for food that is slightly more expensive than normal, perhaps to the tune of $5 per meal. If you will have 9 meals, that is an extra $45. You also have to pay for either gas plus wear and tear on your vehicle or an airplane flight to get to the casino. While this cost varies significantly, let’s assume it is $100, which is on the low side. This means you now have to spend $1,475 to get $1,000 in action.
Realistically, if you are a WORLD-CLASS player, you should expect to win at roughly 100% ROI, meaning for every $1 you invest, you should win $1. So, if you are investing $1,000, you should win $1,000 profit in the long run. It is worth noting that the long run takes a long time to even out. Expect huge swings in your bankroll along the way. You will certainly not win anywhere near a set amount on each and every trip. You will usually lose most of your tournaments and occasionally win one. Do not fool yourself into thinking you will win on all, or even most, of your poker trips.
Notice that you do not win on your entire $1,475. The extra $475 simply vanishes. So on average, you should expect to go for this poker trip and win $525 over the course of three days. While this is reasonably acceptable to most people, effectively giving away 48 hours (3 days – 8 hours of sleep per day) at the rate of $10.90 per hour, it is certainly not a great deal.
You should notice that in the above example, I made a few assumptions that make this situation favorable for the player. In reality, most players are not world-class. Most “good” players win at roughly 25% ROI, meaning they will win $250 on the trip, resulting in a $225 loss for the trip. Most of the time travel costs are WAY more than $100. A high percentage of poker players gamble at casino games while traveling, also costing them some amount of equity. Others go out and party or drink at night, reducing their expectation at the poker table. It is quite easy to butcher your profits while traveling.
Some players realize that short poker trips are a bad idea and make a point to take longer ones. Assume that instead of a weekend trip, they go on 14 day trips. They fly to a tournament series and play an event somewhere between $500 and $1,500 each day. Let’s average it out to $1,000 per day. So, as a realistic example, they get to invest $14,000, which comes out to $1,000 per day plus $100 rake. They also have to pay $500 for a flight plus $100 per night for their hotel room and perhaps $100 extra for food. Their total “bill” comes out to $14,000 + $1,400 + $500 + $1,400 + $100 = $17,400. This means they must win at a win rate of at least 17,400/14,000 = 124%, or 24% ROI to break even. Obviously the goal is to win, not break even.  If the player is really good, winning at 50% ROI, he will win $3,600, which sounds pretty decent. However, once you realize the player had to devote two weeks of his life to win that amount while experiencing huge swings to his bankroll, it doesn’t sound like such a good deal.
High Stakes
In the high stakes poker world, the travel rake, which is often more costly in terms of dollars, is less significant compared to the total amount of money invested. For example, I recently went to Barcelona where I could invest roughly $50,000 in 10 days. I estimate the total travel rake was roughly $8,000. This means I had to win at 16% ROI (58,000/50,000) to break even, which I certainly think is possible for me.
More recently, I made the MISTAKE of going to the WSOP APAC in Melbourne, Australia. While I love the city and the venue, it is simply not worth it in terms of time and travel rake. I was going to play around $25,000 worth of events and had to spend $10,000 in travel rake. The math of 35/25 simply doesn’t work out because I have to win at 40% ROI to break even, which is tough in high stakes tournaments. I also had to invest 60 hours on an airplane. No thanks!
Variance
It is important to note that as your ROI diminishes, the amount of variance you will experience will go through the roof. If you consistently play with a 65% ROI, you will usually be on a fairly consistent upswing, but if you are playing with a 15% ROI, you will have gigantic swings, especially in the downward direction. Maximizing your ROI will help keep you sane because you will rarely go on devastatingly long downswings. I actually make a point to skip tournaments where I don’t expect to have a large ROI. I don’t play poker to gamble.
Time
It is important to realize that travel rake occurs EVERY time you play poker. Even if you roll out of bed and play online, where the travel rake is minimal, you must realize that you are spending some amount of time to play. Those hours could easily be spent doing other things that make you money immediately, improve your future earning potential, or improve your happiness. If you fail to value your time, you are making a serious mistake because time is the only resource you cannot get more of.
Experience
It is worth noting that most people enjoy traveling to play poker. They derive happiness from it. If you told most amateur poker players that they could play poker for two weeks with relatively little risk and no potential of winning money in the long run, they would be thrilled. Most players love traveling to exotic locations and experiencing new cultures. There is certainly value to all of these things.
When you travel, I strongly suggest you spend time away from the casino. While this means you will play slightly less poker, you will learn about the world and hopefully enjoy your time a bit more compared to sitting at a poker table. I made the mistake of not experiencing the world, despite traveling all over it, during my first few years as a poker player. All I did was play poker. I now realize how stupid I was. I wasted time I can never get back.
I got to travel around Australia!
You can realistically add some amount of equity onto your ROI to account for the happiness and increased knowledge of the world you get from traveling. On the other hand, you can also subtract some equity from your ROI when traveling to places you don’t like. There are a few poker venues I will almost certainly never visit again because traveling to them is difficult and the venues are not nice. Even if they ran a super-soft high stakes tournament, I would likely not attend. I value my happiness quite highly.
As for my Australia trip where I did not expect to gain much poker equity, I actually made a vacation out of it, greatly improving the perceived ROI of the trip. I realized that going to Australia (at least for an American) is not something I will get to do too often. I spent two weeks after the tournament traveling around the country with my fiancée and one of her friends. It was an amazing time that I am glad I got to experience. That being said, I do not expect to go back to Australia anytime soon. It is simply too “expensive” in terms of travel rake.
Keeping Travel Rake Low
When possible, simply do not travel to play poker. If you have your choice between a $340 local tournament or a $1,100 tournament you have to travel to, play the $300 local event. For some simple math, if you win at 50% in both events but the $1,100 event requires $100 in travel, $115 for hotel/food, plus six extra hours of your life, you will win $150 from the $340 tournament (minus some minimal amount for travel) and you will win $285 from the $1,100 event. Notice that six hours of your life is likely not worth $135, which is the difference in the profitability of the two trips.
You should make a point to share hotel rooms with your trustworthy friends. I spend around 90% of my poker travel time rooming with at least one other person. Not only does this drastically reduce your hotel bill, but it also gives you someone to talk to about poker. If you constantly discuss poker and question your strategies, you will improve, increasing your win rate. You may also be able to share a car ride with your friend, saving gas money.
Different than a hotel
I have recently started staying in private apartments instead of hotels, especially when traveling to expensive venues. For example, in Barcelona, I booked a place for the 10 days through airbnb.com at the cost of $100 per day. This was a huge discount compared to the hotel rooms at the tournament venue, which were $300 per night. It is also nice to get away from the poker area and enjoy the city on a daily basis. Just be sure to be safe!
This should be obvious, but you should not stay in gigantic suites or fly in first class. I have known many poker players who have gone stone broke because they thought they had to indulge in these luxuries. While splurging on these experiences is nice from time to time, if they become the norm for you, expect to watch your bankroll slowly diminish.
Make a point to sign up for frequent flier programs and hotel rewards programs. While these things will not bring in huge amounts of money, every little bit helps.
I have started traveling with some food, mainly because I am working hard to be healthy, but also to keep my expenses down. I usually have some form of a green smoothie for breakfast and lunch each day. Given the smoothie only costs around $5, I save at least $5 every time I have it instead of buying breakfast or lunch somewhere.
My water stash
When possible, get comps from the tournament director or casino host. Lots of casinos offer various discounts for poker players, such as cheaper hotel rooms and food vouchers. In Australia, I realized that the bottled water in the hotel room cost $5 each. I found a refrigerator in the tournament area that had free water. I stocked up each day and ended up with lots of water to drink in my hotel room. You will find that most hotel spas stock free fruit and nuts you can have as well.  In Barcelona, the EPT registration booth had coupons to get a gigantic spread of food at nice local restaurants for $13. It was an absolute steal.
I strongly suggest that you avoid all vices while on your poker trips. If you are out clubbing all night, you will be hung over and tired the next morning. If you spend your time, energy, and money gambling in the pit, you will certainly be a loser in the long run. If instead, you spend your time sleeping well, meditating, eating right, and working out, things are much more likely to go your way.
Assuming you are good at other forms of poker, such as satellites and cash games, you can spend your free time playing those. Even if you win only $100 per day, that will become significant in the long run. I typically play a decent amount of cash games (as long as the rake is low!) and also a few satellites. For example, during my trip to Australia, I spent around 15 hours playing satellites and cash games, winning $7,000. In Barcelona (where I won $6,000 on the side), I only played satellites because the cash game rake was gigantic.
If You Must Travel
I recognize that lots of people simply must travel in order to play poker because there is no casino in their town. Assuming you must play poker (no one ever said you MUST play), plan your trips intelligently and do the math ahead of time to see if you can realistically turn a winner. If it is simply not possible, there is nothing wrong with traveling to play with the understanding that you are going to lose in order to learn and to have a good time. You can also play online for tiny amounts of money to get experience. If you know that you are not going to win money from a poker trip, ask yourself why you want to go play it in the first place. The way you answer that question will determine your course of action.
Conclusion
While traveling the world (or region) playing poker can be fun, exciting, and rewarding, it can also be the unseen leak that slowly depletes your bankroll. Once you become mindful of your spending, you will discover numerous ways you can save money, allowing you to continuously grow your bankroll.
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on twitter and facebook. Are there any steps you take to keep your travel rake low that I didn’t mention? If so, please share them in the comments section. Thank you for reading.

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My Podcast List

I have been asked numerous times “What podcasts do you listen to?” For those who do not know, I spend a TON of time listening to podcasts. While most people spend their time listening to music, I try to learn things to better my life. I usually listen to podcasts while traveling, working out, and occasionally at the poker table, although that is not recommended because it makes concentrating on the game nearly impossible.
For those who don’t know, a podcast is a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player (such as a smart phone). Podcasts are typically available as a series. New installments can usually be received by subscribers automatically to their devices.
For example, you can listen to (and watch) my podcast, Weekly Poker Hand, on this website but you can also download it automatically through iTunes directly to your phone. Podcasts cover in a wide variety of topics. There is at least one podcast for pretty much any subject you can imagine.
Personally, I listen to podcasts through my iPhone’s Podcast app. I simply subscribe to the podcasts I want to listen to in the iTunes store and they download automatically to my phone whenever I am connected to wifi. When I finish listening to a podcast episode, I delete it from my phone. It is that easy!
I always listen to podcasts at either 1.5x or 2x the normal speed, which is a setting you can enable on most podcast programs. This will allow you to quickly devour the content. Remember, time is the only resource you cannot get more of! I keep my notepad open on my phone where I write down anything I hear that I may want to implement into my life. When I have free time, I go through my ever-growing list and start adding the concepts to my life. Some of them stick and some of them don’t, but either way, I am constantly growing and learning.
You will notice that I listen to podcasts on various subjects. Some of these may be interesting to you and others may be irrelevant. I hope you find this list to be helpful. If you find any of these to be useful to you, let me know!
Poker Podcasts
You may be surprised to discover that I don’t listen to many poker podcasts. Honestly, I think most of them are bad. I have tried listening to almost all of them with no luck. Most of them either cover poker news/gossip, which I don’t particularly care about, or have people discussing poker strategy who aren’t actually good at poker. That being said, there are a few amazing podcasts I listen to on a regular basis.
The Mindset Advantage Podcast
My Positive Poker co-author, Dr. Tricia Cardner and my mindset coach Elliot Roe teamed up to bring you this amazing weekly podcast. They interview world-class poker players and athletes, allowing you to see how they remain at the top of their games. This is by far my favorite poker podcast. I was honored to be one of their first guests. For more from Tricia and Elliot, be sure to check out their sections in my book, Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em.
 
The Mental Game of Poker Radio Show
Jared Tendler, author of The Mental Game of Poker, interviews people in the poker world and discusses topics not relating to the actual playing of poker. I love this type of content because it shows you who these poker players actually are. When you only encounter someone at the poker table, unless they are overly loud, you often don’t know much about them. It is easy to think someone who is quiet at the table is either a machine or a jerk. After an interview with Jared, you realize they are almost all kind, loving humans. For more from Jared, be sure to check out their sections in my book, Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em.
 
Weekly Poker Hand with Jonathan Little
Yes, I listen to my own podcast. I have to be sure I don’t say anything silly! In this weekly podcast, I review a hand I recently played. I try my best to pick fun but educational hands. Do not expect any bad beat stories. If you like my podcast or if you have other format ideas you would like me to try out, please let me know. I am willing to give anything a try! If you haven’t checked out Weekly Poker Hand, please do so and give me your honest feedback. You can watch the video version each week on this site, JonathanLittlePoker.com. 
 
Business
I am having a difficult time actually classifying the following podcasts because, in my mind, they are only somewhat related to business. To me, they are related to life. I have learned a TON of what I know from these podcasts. I am always excited when a new episode is released.
The Tim Ferriss Show
I discovered Tim a few years ago through his book, The 4-Hour Work Week. He put out the 4-Hour Body, which I diligently followed and lost over 40 pounds. He then put out The 4-Hour Chef, which taught me to cook better than I ever thought possible. He recently started putting out a podcast where he interviews influential people from all walks of life. Tim asks perhaps the most perfect questions to get actionable information from the brightest people in the world. It is amazing.
 
The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
This is another interview-based podcast. I learned about this podcast because he had Daniel Negreanu on it and I decided to give it a listen. Ever since then, I have been hooked. He has interviewed lots of people who are at the top of their chosen craft. If you like inspirational stories from successful people who worked hard to get to the top, this is the podcast for you.
 
The Smart Passive Income Podcast
Pat Flynn, who I learned about from Tim Ferriss’ podcast, is an online marketer who has made lots of money through affiliate links. He gives away a TON of content for free. In each episode, he either discusses a specific topic, such as How to Start a Podcast, or interviews someone who has been successful at an internet business, usually using somewhat unconventional strategies. I actually designed this website, JonathanLittlePoker.com, shortly after discovering Pat’s podcast. He also inspired me to start writing this blog.. If I didn’t stumble on this podcast, this site would not be here. “No one ever got poor by giving.”
The James Altucher Show
I discovered this podcast when he interviewed professional poker player Ylon Schwartz on. I coached WSOP November 9’er Steve Begleiter with Ylon. This podcast is a series of interviews where James Altucher, who has had too many successes and failures to count, interviews fun people from all walks of life. This is quite similar to the Tim Ferriss podcast in terms of content. I learn a ton from this podcast, not only about things I should be doing, but also about things I should be avoiding.
 
Educational Podcasts
While these podcasts are all educational, you are probably not going to learn a ton of actionable information. However, I find all of these to be thoroughly entertaining and highly insightful.
Freakonomics Radio
This is a podcast by the guys who wrote Freakonomics, which was one of the first books that got me thinking about using math/economics in everyday life. They always have fun stories discussing various aspects of life that often leave me wanting more, which is a good thing. I actually emailed one of the authors of the books looking for life advice and he told me his wife was currently reading my poker book. How cool is that?!?
 

NPR: Planet Money Podcast
This podcast is quite similar to Freakonomics but is put out on a more consistent basis. The episodes are roughly 15 minutes long, compared to Freakonomics’ 30 minutes. They cover lots of stories on various topics, usually involving the economy, but not in a mainstream, fear-driven way.
 
Magic: The Gathering podcasts
I play a marginal amount of Magic: The Gathering online as my primary hobby. As with everything I do in life, I make a point to study it at least somewhat diligently. If you don’t know how to play Magic, these podcasts will be relatively useless for you. That being said, if you currently play or played Magic in the past, these are great.
 
Magic: The Gathering Drive to Work Podcast
Mark Rosewater, the head designer for Magic: The Gathering discusses numerous aspects of game design and being the head game designer of the best game in the world. Quite a few of the concepts discussed in my blog, including 10 Aspects of a Successful Game and Understand the Three Player Types came from knowledge I gained through his podcast.
 
Limited Resources
In this podcast, Marshall Sutcliffe, who is a poker player and commentator for the Magic Pro Tour, discusses the only format of Magic I play, Limited. With a cohost, he discusses each new set of cards and various strategies used to improve your Limited skills. Even though these podcasts tend to be quite long, there is never a dull moment.
 
That is all of them!
If you found this list to be useful, please let me know. If you fall in love with someone’s content, let them know I sent you. If you listen to any podcasts that you think I would enjoy, please share them with me. Thanks for reading!

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Australia Trip Report

My view in Melbourne
As most of you know, I spent all of October, 2014 in Australia.  I decided to make the trip to play the WSOP APAC events even though EPT London, which turned out to be a much larger tournament, was going on at roughly the same time. I decided to travel much farther to Australia because Amie, my fiancée, wanted to take a vacation to Australia and I figured this would be our only opportunity to make the trip any time soon.  Our plan was for me to arrive on 10/1 and for Amie to come after the poker tournament was finished, along  with one of her friends.
Before you proceed, please know there will be very little poker information and a lot of talk about my travels in this post. If you want poker advice, please check out my other blogs.
Flying to Australia from NYC is rough. My total travel time was 31 hours. Even though most people complain about flights, I don’t mind them. I spent almost all 31 hours listening to podcasts, reading books, and hibernating. The flight went as smoothly as possible. Uneventful flights are nice.
I had the opportunity to spend six hours in the Hong Kong airport on the way to Melbourne. For some reason, seeing lots of things I view as strictly American in Chinese is funny to me. I somehow had dim sum at a relatively nice place and I also spent $50 on tea, mostly because I was too tired to figure out how to convert USD to HKD. I am a money conversion fish when I am tired!
It’s poker time!
I stayed at the Crown Casino, which is where the WSOP APAC was held. The venue is amazingly nice. That being said, I think it is about 50% overpriced. For example, in their food court, a salad is roughly $15. I ate a lot of salad because that was the healthiest thing I could find that was available whenever I wanted it. Also, the hotel rooms, at a discounted rate, are $400 per night. Maybe they give huge discounts if you play casino games? I decided to simply pay the $8,000 hotel bill. Ouch!
The other main issue I had was that the internet in the hotel did not work well at all. I planned to put in a decent amount of online volume, especially in the time between the end of the WSOP APAC and when Amie was set to arrive, but due to the awful internet service, I was afraid to play. I have no desire to play high stakes when I could get disconnected at any moment, costing me lots of equity.  I tried a few times with no luck. That was disappointing.
Poker went fairly poorly for me. I won a $10,000 main event seat in a $1,000 multi-table satellite early in the series but besides that, I lost everything else. I played a bit of $5/$10/$20 no-limit cash games and won a little. Poker-wise, the trip was not too good for me, but that is fine. You get used to bad trips when you play a lot of tournaments. When I hear tournament players discussing whether or not they won or lost during any individual poker trip, it makes me laugh because you probably should lose around 4 times out of 5 simply due to the payout structures of tournaments. If you care about your short term results, you will go crazy. I learned a long time ago to not let short term tournament results drive me crazy.
Image © PokerNews
I roomed with Scott Clements during the 15-day poker part of my trip. Scott is an excellent roommate. He never woke me up when he came home after I was already asleep and he didn’t wake me up when he left before I woke up. He was also not loud and didn’t mind discussing poker. When we went to the gym at the same time, he constantly inspired me to work harder. I would give him an A+ as a roommate.
I was drinking a bit too much during the series, mostly to help me fall asleep at night. I am fairly bad at getting on the right sleep schedule, especially when traveling to the opposite side of the world. Anyone who knows anything about drinking knows that while it will put you to sleep, it will often not keep you asleep throughout the night and when it does, you will have a hangover the next morning. Drinking is obviously not a +EV play for a poker player.
On October 10, I decided that I was going to stop drinking. After listening to a ton of inspirational podcasts, I came to the realization that I was not devoting myself 100% to poker. While I almost certainly do more than most poker players, I had glaring holes in my game, mainly off the felt. Drinking was the main problem and I am proud to say I haven’t had a sip of alcohol during the last month. I plan to never again get caught in the viscous cycle where I am drinking on a regular basis. When I have the urge, I simply say “I stopped drinking” and forget about it. I also realize that most poisons look and taste good to the animal being poisoned. In my mind, alcohol and sugar both fall in this category. I am also making a point to get off sugar unless I am feeling especially naughty. So far, this change in mindset has worked amazingly well. I am excited to see what the future holds.
Freedom is secured not by the fulfilling of one’s desires, but by the removal of desire. – Epictetus
I also wrote down my goals in life and poker as well as how I am going to achieve them. So far, things are progressing nicely. In one of my upcoming webinars, I am going to discuss all of my goals, including numerous things I am working on to get better at poker. I am also going to discuss some of the holes I have in my game and what I am doing to fix them. I will use numerous hand examples to show you spots where I made mistakes in the past and how I have improved. If you aren’t constantly improving, you are falling behind. Be sure to sign up for my email list on the side of this page to get updates about the date of the webinar (and to claim your free poker training video).
After all of that soul searching, Amie and her friend Courtney arrived.
It’s vacation time!!!
Day 1:
The ladies arrived in the middle of the day, so we didn’t have much time left before the sun went down. Amie and I tend to not party (we went to a total of 0 bars/clubs during our Australia trip) so we are usually not out too late. We spent most of our time walking around downtown Melbourne. We went to a Peking duck restaurant in Chinatown. They brought out a nice plump duck and promptly sliced all of its meat off for us to devour. It was delicious. Poor ducky!
Day 2:
Shrine of Remembrance

We had breakfast in the city at a nice little café (I almost always ordered the “Big Brekky”, which includes eggs, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, and beans),  then went to the Shrine of Remembrance, which is an awe-inspiring building near the Royal Botanic Gardens. I thoroughly enjoy simply walking around and observing the sights. I find it to be calming. After that, we went to an amazing Malaysian restaurant, Mamak, which is a local chain. It was really good. They should try to bring it to NYC for sure . Before coming to Australia I was actually told by a few Australians that their food is crappy. I don’t think I had a bad meal the entire time.
Day 3:
 
We rented a car and drove along the Great Ocean Road. I was not a huge fan of this experience, mostly because it consisted mainly of us driving around in a car for 10 hours. I don’t enjoy sitting and doing relatively nothing for most of the day. Of course, we did see some amazing sights but I don’t think spending the entire day in the car was worth it. However, I did get to experience driving on the “wrong” side of the road for the first time. It took a while to get used to but I eventually figured it out. Now I am afraid to drive in America. I guess I forgot how.
Day 4:
We traveled to the Moonlit Sanctuary, which is basically a zoo where some of the animals roam free. We had the experience of petting a koala bear. That was fun. I felt bad for him because we clearly woke him up from his nap. Ohhh well.
We also got to hang out with some kangaroos. I didn’t realize this, but lots of people in Australia consider kangaroos to be pests, just as some people from the northeast United States consider deer to be pests, even though they are so cute. I always viewed kangaroos as cool animals. After searching the sanctuary for kangaroos and only finding one little wallaby, we found a section with about 15 kangaroos hanging out and relaxing. We decided to gamble a bit and hang out with them. We ended up petting and feeding them for almost an hour. They became our friends. They loved all of us, probably because we were feeding them. They would be relaxing and when you approached, they would walk over and see what you were doing. This was one of the best experiences of the trip for me.
After we left our new friends, we went to Phillip Island to watch the famous Penguin Parade. Every night, thousands of little penguins swim in from the ocean then walk inland to their homes in the sand. They were so cute! There is a giant boardwalk built so spectators can watch the penguins hang out before going to bed in their little holes in the ground. It was awesome watching them behave as if they were in their own little world.
Day 5:
We flew to Cairns, which is near the top of the east coast of Australia. We traveled to our hotel in Port Douglas and bummed around town during the first day and relaxed. Amie and I got the bright idea to go buy groceries. She put me in charge of navigating. Our 30 minute round trip turned into a 90 minute round trip because I can’t read a map. Sorry Amie!
Day 6:

We took a long boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkeling along the reef was amazing.  We saw tons of coral, fish, and even a shark. The water was fairly cold and they made us wear a body suit. I made the mistake of getting flippers that were a size too big and I ended up grinding blisters into my feet. When we saw the shark, I was worried about my feet bleeding into the water. Luckily the shark didn’t want to eat me.
After the Reef, we went to a local bar to watch cane toad racing. Cane toads are pests in Australia. The announcer claimed that the bloody Americans brought over 102 toads to Australia some number of years ago to take care of pests that were messing with the local sugar cane. The toads made boatloads of babies and now they are everywhere. In the race, people from the audience got on stage and blew party whistles at their selected toad to try to get them to jump off the table first. It was an enjoyable experience to witness.
Day 7:
Went to the Daintree Rainforest. I wasn’t even aware that Australia had a rainforest. The American school system failed me again! We were told by our guide, Dave, that the Daintree is the oldest rainforest in the world. There are lots of animals living there that are somewhat unevolved compared to other parts of the world. For example, there is a giant bird called a Cassowary that looks rather like an ostrich but is apparently quite vicious. We got lucky enough to see one of them! There are also little birds that bury their eggs in a giant communal nest on the ground, similar to how some reptilian dinosaurs were thought to lay their eggs.
We also saw tons of cool trees. Ever since relocating to NYC, I have fallen in love with trees. I constantly admire their beauty when I stroll through the parks. There is something about them that is awe-inspiring to me. They seem so peaceful. We got to see a wide array of trees. I loved it.
Dave enlightened us about many aspects of the rainforest. We learned that some of the land is saturated in salt water, which results in only specific types of trees growing in that area. We also got to lick the butt of an ant, which tasted like lemon juice. It was an interesting experience.
There is also a famous ice cream shop in the middle of the rainforest. They have a farm where they grow all of the foods they use to flavor their ice cream. Even though I am making a point to be a good boy when it comes to my diet, I had four small scoops. It was naughtily delicious.
Day 8:
We woke up at 3am to catch a shuttle to the airport, then flew to Hervey Bay, which is a little below Cairns, and rented a Land Rover plus camping equipment. We stopped at the grocery store to get our food rations for the next six meals. I came up with the genius idea of buying 12 side salads for Amie and me to split. She decided to be smart and buy some calories in the form of things to make s’mores.  Interestingly enough, they don’t have graham crackers in Australia. We bought similar-looking cookies instead.  I was super hungry while camping. Being hungry is good sometimes.
We then took a ferry to the largest sand island in the world, Fraser Island. I had no clue what to expect going into this part of the trip except that I knew we would be camping. It turns out that the roads on Fraser Island are not really roads. You can go about 15 miles per hour on most of them. They were by far the most rugged “roads” I have ever driven on. They reminded me of riding in Hoyt Corkins’ jeep through the Red Rock Mountains in Nevada. We spent about 90 minutes driving across the island to where we planned to camp. Seeing how I am a southern boy and I was traveling with two ladies from NYC, I was in charge of setting up camp and making sure no one died.
We arrived at our camp site right as the sun was going down. I proudly got our two tents and chairs set up right as the sun dipped below the horizon. To be fair, it wasn’t all my doing. The ladies worked hard to make sure we got our camp set up. As I pulled out the propane grill (no wood fires are allowed on the island) to make our s’mores, two rangers drove up and told us that we had to relocate because a pack of dingoes attacked some people near our location a few days earlier. Bad beat!
We quickly packed up our camp and we drove a little ways down the beach. We set up our camp again. It is much harder to set up camp when there is no light. We eventually got it taken care of. We slept soundly.
Day 9:
I convinced the ladies that we should ditch the idea of having any sort of planned agenda while camping. My idea of camping is relaxing and doing whatever we have time for.  We drove our Land Rover up the east coast of the island. The west coast of the island is not safe to drive on due to the overly wet sand. If you try to drive there, your vehicle will surely get stuck.  Along the way, we saw a few landmarks but we ended up spending most of our time at a waist-deep creek filled with crystal clear water. The creek was SUPER cold. I drank lots of the water. I liked it! We met a few locals there and talked with them for hours. After that, we drove back to our camp. We saw a few dingoes walk by but they left us alone. We devoured our salad and s’mores, and then slept.
Day 10:
At around midnight, Courtney started yelling and woke us up. The flap on her tent that was supposed to keep out the rain blew off due to extremely strong winds. Since it was the middle of the night, I told her to get in our tent and we would figure everything out in the morning.
I woke up the next morning and looked outside to see Courtney’s tent already packed up. I was happy that she was being proactive and packing up the camp. In reality, the wind blew it away. Both of the girls were convinced it was gone. Amie started looking around and found it in a tree. I made the short trek to retrieve it. Before 5am, we had finished our salads, packed up our camp, and embarked on another long bumpy ride across the island.
Our primary destination was Lake McKenzie, which is an amazingly clear lake that is filled with rainwater. We arrived super early. There were only a few other people way down the beach, meaning we pretty much had it all to ourselves. I spent the next few hours swimming. I eventually got tired and took a nap. One of my feet was stuck out from under my multiple layers of protection and it got super burnt. It was toasty for the rest of the trip.
This is me taking a nap on the beach.
We took the ferry back to the mainland and returned our Land Rover and camping gear. We checked into a hotel in Hervey Bay, which was both seedy and homey at the same time. Since I was overly hungry, we decided to go to an Indian restaurant.  The food was amazing.
I was so hungry. I ordered tandoori chicken, aloo gobi, then when it was time to consider dessert, I ordered another order of tandoori chicken. It was so delicious. We got caught in a rainstorm and sat in the restaurant for around two hours. I really could have used a drink then but I abstained. The rain eventually stopped and we walked back to the hotel for the night.
Day 11:

We slept in a bit, had breakfast at a trendy-looking local café with fun food then flew to Sydney for the last leg of our journey. Every time I mentioned Sydney to a local Australian, they said, “You mean Shitney?” Apparently they think Sydney is shit. I was expecting the city to be an absolute dump. The airport seemed nice, but I was still skeptical.
It turns out that Sydney is awesome. At least in my mind, it is comparable to a clean NYC. There is great architecture, large parks, and great food. We spent our first day walking around the town. The ladies shopped a bit. While they were shopping, I read various books on my iPhone. I used to never read books. Now I am constantly reading. I have found that reading is much more beneficial than playing mindless games on my phone. I am a true genius, I know.
We took two ferry rides to various ports around the city. I wasn’t expecting much from a ferry ride, but in reality, these were fairly high speed boats that only carried humans. They seemed to be a surprising part of the local public transportation system. It was fun and relaxing. Seeing the Sydney Opera House was a great experience. I never thought I would be moved by a building, but I was. There is something special about it.
Day 12:

We woke up and had breakfast at a great place called Bobby’s that was a block away from our hotel. We ate breakfast there two more times while in Sydney. Obviously I had the Big Brekky every time. We walked around the city and the ladies shopped some more. I read some more. We did the touristy thing and climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was actually much less intimidating than I expected. My only other experience climbing something I perceived as “scary” was climbing to the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park in Utah. That actually was scary. The bridge climb was super safe. Everyone was strapped in. You would have to try really hard to fall off. The views from the top were great.
After that, we went to a local chain called Pancakes on the Rocks. I would have loved a gluttonous pancake topped with ice cream, chocolate, and Nutella but instead, I had a crepe that looked more like a salad. It was surprisingly good.
Day 13:
Impromptu work out

We spent our last day walking from Bondi beach to Coogee beach. The walk, which was supposed to take about 45 minutes, ended up taking about two hours because there was an amazing sculpture exhibit going on. We saw lots of interesting sculptures from various artists. In the evening, we walked around a part of Sydney that is comparable to Brooklyn. The area was a bit grungier than the main downtown area in a charming way. Amie loved the beautiful trees with purple leaves/flowers. She snapped a picture of me impromptu working out on a pole below one of them.
We had dinner at a fun place called El Loco. It was overly crowded when we arrived so we had to fight to get a table. Of course, there was no sort of waiting list. We eventually found a seat and had delicious food. I had fish, steak, and a “special” taco that was essentially a pile of goodness. It was great.
Day 14:
We woke up early and headed to the airport. We flew to Hong Kong, where we had a 40 minute layover. That was a bad beat because I wanted to play some more in the Hong Kong airport. An agent greeted us as we disembarked our flight and rushed us through all of the security lines to our final flight to NYC. Again, I listened to podcasts, read books, and hibernated the whole way.
All in all, I had a great time in Australia. I got to swim along the Great Barrier Reef, play with kangaroos, hang out in a rainforest, go camping, and spend time with Amie and Courtney. I would strongly suggest visiting the country if you have the opportunity. Perhaps most importantly, I learned a lot about myself and have developed a solid strategy for self-improvement. I am excited about the future! As much as I enjoyed the trip, I am happy to get back home and get to work. I have lots of new ideas to share with you.
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. Thanks for reading!
 

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ทางเข้า คาสิโน
คาสิโน 1688
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คาสิโน ทรูวอลเล็ต

Evaulating Top Pair

เนื่องจากคู่บนเป็นมือ “มูลค่า” ที่พบบ่อยที่สุดที่คุณจะทำหลังการปัดจึงเป็นสิ่งสำคัญที่จะต้องเข้าใจวิธีการเล่นอย่างถ่องแท้ แม้จะมีความถี่ในการจับคู่อันดับต้น ๆ แต่ผู้เล่นมือสมัครเล่นส่วนใหญ่เล่นผิดการถือครองนี้เป็นประจำ สิ่งสำคัญคือต้องตระหนักว่าคู่สูงสุดทั้งหมดไม่ได้ถูกสร้างขึ้นเท่ากัน ตัวอย่างเช่น Kh-Qh บนบอร์ด Ks-8c-3h นั้นแข็งแกร่งกว่า 9d-6d บนบอร์ด 6h-5h-4c มาก หากในใจของคุณคุณคิดว่ามือทั้งสองนี้แข็งแกร่งพอ ๆ กันคุณจะทำข้อผิดพลาดขนาดใหญ่ซึ่งทำให้คุณต้องเสียเงินเป็นจำนวนมากในระยะยาว สมมติว่ามีคนที่มีสแต็คบิ๊กบลายด์ 100 อันยกบิ๊กบลายด์ 3 อันจากตำแหน่งกลางมีคนโทรจากปุ่มและคุณโทรด้วย Qh-Th จากบิ๊กบลายด์ ใบปัดมา Td-7c-5s คุณต้องตัดสินใจก่อนว่าคุณควรตรวจสอบหรือเดิมพัน ในขณะที่คุณอาจคิดว่าคุณควรตรวจสอบเสมอหรือเดิมพันเสมอในสถานการณ์นี้การเล่นของคุณควรขึ้นอยู่กับว่าคุณคาดหวังให้คู่ต่อสู้ตอบสนองอย่างไร หากคุณคิดว่าพวกเขาจะเล่นอย่างตรงไปตรงมาการยกมือที่ดีกว่าและการเรียกหรือพับด้วยมือที่แย่กว่านั้นการนำทางเป็นตัวเลือกที่ยอดเยี่ยม หากคุณคิดว่าฝ่ายตรงข้ามของคุณจะทำการตัดสินใจในอนาคตของคุณให้ยุ่งยากโดยไม่เล่นแบบตรงไปตรงมาคุณควรตรวจสอบ หากคุณตรวจสอบการเดิมพันเรเซอร์เริ่มต้นและปุ่มพับคุณควรเรียกหรือกาขึ้นอยู่กับว่าคุณคาดหวังให้คู่ต่อสู้ตอบสนองอย่างไร หากคุณคิดว่าเขาจะพับมือที่แย่ที่สุดไปสู่การยกเช็คซึ่งโดยปกติจะเป็นกรณีของฝ่ายตรงข้ามที่มีความสามารถส่วนใหญ่การโทรนั้นดีกว่าการเลี้ยงเช็คอย่างมากเพราะการเลี้ยงแบบเช็คจะส่งผลให้คู่ต่อสู้ของคุณเล่นได้ดี คุณไม่ต้องการให้คู่ต่อสู้ของคุณพับเมื่อเขาวาดผอม การโทรจะทำให้คุณมีโอกาสทำผิดพลาดเพิ่มเติมในรอบการเดิมพันในอนาคต หากคุณคิดว่าคู่ต่อสู้ของคุณจะถือว่าคุณต้องเป็นกึ่งบลัฟเมื่อคุณเช็ค – เพิ่มบางทีอาจเป็นเพราะเขาคิดว่าคุณชอบโทรหาด้วยมือที่แข็งแกร่งและแข็งแกร่งของคุณการตรวจเพิ่มจะกลายเป็นตัวเลือกที่ยอดเยี่ยมเพราะมันจะดึงข้อมูลจำนวนมหาศาลออกมา มูลค่าจากมือที่สร้างขึ้นของฝ่ายตรงข้าม แน่นอนคุณต้องคิดว่าคุณจะดำเนินการอย่างไรหากฝ่ายตรงข้ามยกเช็คขึ้นใหม่ หากคุณตรวจสอบผู้เล่นเริ่มต้นเดิมพันและผู้เล่นคนอื่นโทรมาคุณต้องคิดว่าคุณควรโทรพับหรือเช็คเพิ่ม โดยปกติคุณควรโทรหาหากคุณไม่ได้อ่านเกี่ยวกับแนวโน้มของฝ่ายตรงข้ามโดยเฉพาะ หากคุณมั่นใจว่าอย่างน้อยหนึ่งในสองคู่ต่อสู้ของคุณมีมือที่แข็งแกร่งคุณควรพับ ตัวอย่างเช่นหากคู่ต่อสู้คนใดคนหนึ่งหรือทั้งสองคนของคุณตึงเกินไปคุณควรจะพับแน่ ๆ เพราะคุณอาจถูกบดขยี้ไปแล้วและถ้าคุณไม่เป็นเช่นนั้นคู่ต่อสู้ของคุณทั้งสองก็มีโอกาสที่จะได้รับความสนใจเป็นจำนวนมาก หากคู่ต่อสู้ของคุณทั้งคู่ใช้งานมากเกินไปซึ่งหมายความว่าพวกเขาสามารถมีอะไรก็ได้อาจเป็นเรื่องฉลาดที่จะตรวจสอบเพิ่มจำนวนที่มือที่แย่กว่าสามารถโทรได้ตามความเป็นจริง สังเกตว่าการเพิ่มจำนวนเช็คเป็นจำนวนมากไม่ใช่ความคิดที่ดีเพราะจะทำให้ฝ่ายตรงข้ามเล่นได้อย่างสมบูรณ์แบบ ดำเนินต่อไปเมื่อพวกเขาเอาชนะและพับเมื่อคุณชนะ หากคุณไม่แน่ใจว่าคุณยืนอยู่ตรงไหนการโทรน่าจะดีที่สุด สังเกตว่าความคิดทั้งหมดนี้นำไปสู่การเล่นสิ่งที่ผู้เล่นส่วนใหญ่มองว่าเป็นสถานการณ์คู่บนทางโลกได้อย่างไร ลองนึกภาพถ้าแทนที่จะเป็น Td-7c-5s บอร์ดคือ Td-7c-5d การปรากฏตัวของการดึงแบบฟลัชจะทำให้คู่ต่อสู้ของคุณคิดว่าคุณมีจำนวนการจับฉลากที่เหมาะสมในระยะของคุณหากคุณตัดสินใจที่จะเล่นในแนวรุกเปลี่ยนสถานการณ์ไปอย่างสิ้นเชิง ในขณะที่คุณน่าจะเล่นด้วยมือกับใบปัด Td-7c-5d ตามที่ระบุไว้ข้างต้น แต่ตอนนี้คุณต้องพิจารณาความจริงที่ว่าทุกคนมีจำนวนการดึงในช่วงของพวกเขา สิ่งนี้ทำให้สิ่งต่าง ๆ ซับซ้อนขึ้นอย่างมากเพราะตอนนี้คู่ต่อสู้ของคุณอาจคิดว่าแนวรุกของคุณอาจเป็นกึ่งบลัฟแทนที่จะเป็นการเดิมพันมูลค่าส่วนใหญ่ อย่างที่คุณเห็นนี่เป็นสถานการณ์ที่ยากลำบาก ฉันขอแนะนำอย่างยิ่งให้คุณใช้เวลาห่างจากตารางเป็นจำนวนมากเพื่อกำหนดว่าคุณควรจะเล่นเกมนี้อย่างไรและทุกสถานการณ์โดยพิจารณาจากภาพลักษณ์และแผนการเล่นเกมโดยรวมของคุณ หากคุณไม่ได้คิดถึงความซับซ้อนทั้งหมดที่อยู่ในมืออยู่ตลอดเวลาคุณจะทำข้อผิดพลาดที่มีราคาแพงในระยะยาวทำให้คุณต้องเสียเงินเป็นจำนวนมาก หากคุณต้องการข้อมูลเพิ่มเติมเกี่ยวกับวิธีการเล่นคู่บนสุดฉันขอแนะนำอย่างยิ่งให้คุณดูการสัมมนาทางเว็บขั้นสูงมูลค่าที่แท้จริงของคู่ยอดนิยม ฉันพูดถึงสถานการณ์ต่างๆมากมายที่จะทำให้ชัดเจนว่าเมื่อใดควรใช้ค่าสูงสุดและเมื่อใดควรควบคุมหม้อ หากคุณเรียนรู้ที่จะเล่นสถานการณ์ทั่วไปนี้อย่างถูกต้องคุณจะเห็นอัตราการชนะของคุณเพิ่มขึ้นทันที ตรวจสอบและแจ้งให้เราทราบว่าคุณคิดอย่างไรบน twitter @JonathanLittle อย่าลืมกลับมาตรวจสอบอีกครั้งในสัปดาห์หน้าสำหรับบล็อกโพสต์เพื่อการศึกษาอื่น ๆ ขอบคุณที่อ่าน! .

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