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  1. Establishing A Deliberate Poker Practice A frequent area of concern for most poker beginners is how to manage the process of learning the game. After all, poker is a unique pursuit that requires a learning process very different to almost any other discipline. It’s very hard to construct a focused, structured learning program because every concept is related to every other concept, so there’s no obvious starting or ending point. However, it is indeed possible to construct a more deliberate, step-by-step learning process for yourself if you’re the kind of person who learns best via th
  2. [caption width="640"] Dominik Nitsche has a few tips to help you get better at No Limit Hold'em.[/caption] Every poker player starts their poker education somewhere, even someone with over $10 million in combined live and online tournament earnings like Dominik Nitsche. He may be one of the best No Limit tournament players in the world now, but Nitche’s poker beginnings probably look more like yours than you would expect. While many probably think these high rolling Germans just roll off the assembly line at the Willy Wonka Poker Factory, it took years of work for Nitsche to get his game whe
  3. [caption width="640"] EPT Barcelona winner Sebastian Malec may have understood the truth about variance (PokerStars photo / Neil Stoddart)[/caption] If you spend a lot of time discussing hands on poker forums, with friends and fellow players, or with a poker coach (or, like me, with poker students), there’s a certain type of thought process with which I guarantee you’ve come into contact. It goes a little bit like this: “Well, I could have called villain’s shove here, but I figured the best case scenario is that I’m flipping, and I don’t really want to take a flip at this stage. If I fo
  4. [caption width="640"] Winning at poker means learning what it really means to be competitive[/caption] Living in Poker’s Competitive Paradigm An often overlooked aspect of the mental game in today's poker environment is the extent to which taking poker seriously and making an effort to improve your game requires a transformation in the way you look at the world. Becoming a professional poker player in particular forces you to re-evaluate the way you approach life. In many cases, it can mean going from a lifestyle where your paycheck is only loosely related to your performance a
  5. As 2016 becomes 2017, we reach the time of year when everyone starts manically trying to plan the next 12 months of their future in the space of a few days. While many poker players are ahead of the curve in understanding where they want to go in life, it's easy to go through a whole year without thinking much about what you'll be doing the year after. In the case of many recreational poker players, evaluating one’s goals for the year ahead requires making decisions about exactly what kind of role poker will play in their lives. Those with families and careers outside of poker to worry a
  6. There are a million articles written on the topic of tilt. The internet abounds with information that describes the game's vices. You can see helpful tips in one place and hear expert opinion in another. Some dive deep into the study of the issue down to the Freudian hidden subconscious signals; others utilize the higher mathematics and third-order nonlinear partial differential equations to explain the phenomenon of tilt, but it all comes down to one thing: if you do not learn how to control tilt, your entire session can get derailed. A student in 2CardsCollege's top group, Alexander "Um
  7. Poker occupies a special place in the realm of online gambling. The game that has become an instrument of enrichment for recent high school grads has transformed the industry and survived several global catastrophes. In total, we have millions of players and millions of dollars filling the pockets of the chosen ones. Online poker is commonly characterized as the easiest way to make money, but grinders know this money is quite difficult to come by. 2CardsCollege Pro Poker Training and PocketFives are launching a series of articles about the history of online poker from its introduction t
  8. What is an indicator of a poker player's success? That's right: profit, which, in turn, is determined by dollars per hour and the number of the dedicated hours. So, it would seem the more time we spend at the table, the more money we should be able to earn. But there is a downside. Because of a bad regimen and the wrong approach to planning your day, your $/hour will inevitably fall and instead of the expected numbers, we can get a completely different, bleak outcome. How can you preserve a large volume of play without losing the quality of your decisions? How can you properly prepare yo
  9. Name any poker tournament. Which one is the first that comes to mind? Maybe it is the WSOP Main Event. An online grinder's choice is definitely the Sunday Million. Thousands of amateurs come to online poker with a dream of winning the Sunday Million. Amateurs go to sleep thinking about it and fulfilling this dream is what makes every successful pro happy. Whether you are inspired by the intro (or not), look at 2CardsCollege's all-time top five rankings of the Sunday Million's best players. [caption width="690"] The number of participants since June 2012: a summer regress and a growth du
  10. Experts from 2CardsCollege Pro Poker Training continue to review the most interesting hands received from PocketFives users. 1) https://www.weaktight.com/h/55f8c6e5d3904303468b4737 The villain I was against in this hand plays with a 25/19 image, cold calls about 12, 6 versus EP, 270 hands. It was the pre-final stage of a $55 regular tournament. I also think the villain would 3-bet with offsuit blockers and call with suited broadway in this stage of the tournament instead of 3-betting dipolar due to variance in order to avoid “burning” his hand's equity if I 4-bet him because he
  11. Experts from 2CardsCollege Pro Poker Training continue to review the most interesting hands received from PocketFives users. 1) https://www.weaktight.com/h/55eea525d39043003d8b45d3 This hand converted incorrectly; Hero had JhJs. He had 55 hands on the villain with 16/11 image. The rest of the stats are not representative. Let us picture the villain's approximate range of calling a 3-bet: Green marks the hands that the villain would either fold or 4-bet with 50/50 probability. Considering his stack's depth, he would most likely call with TT and JJ. He wou
  12. Experts from 2CardsCollege continue to analyze the most interesting hands played by their students, as well as those sent in by the PocketFives users. 1) https://www.weaktight.com/h/55e7a967d39043102e8b477f We are in the middle of the pay-zone in the Big $55. I had 102 hands on the villain, who was a regular with 27/23 and a 17.1 total 3-bet. The sample of 3-bets was not representative. I was quite active at the table, but I don't think the villain would 3-bet me too wide. He only defended by calling on the BB, so I think his 3-bet in such a spot is more likely bipolar. Here
  13. Tournament player, backer, poker coach, Budapest This article is courtesy of 2CardsCollege Pro Poker Training. I think I'm an incredibly boring person. A few months ago, I would wake up at 3:55, know the Big $75 was starting in 5 minutes and just stay in my pajamas, start playing, not eating, not washing, not seeing daylight, not approaching the game correctly at all. At the end of the day, if a professional athlete acted the way I did then, there is no way they could ever be successful. Somebody asked me what else I like to do besides poker. And I was like errrrrrrrrrrrrr.
  14. The more one begins to understand the nuances of the game of poker, the easier it is to start believing that the concepts central to comprehending the game on a deep level are inapplicable in any other field. After all, in what other areas of our lives do we find ourselves regularly attributing mathematical denominations to other people's actions and trying to figure out how to best exploit their weaknesses? Hopefully none, otherwise we would be exhibiting some decidedly sociopathic tendencies. However, when we flip this dynamic around and start applying 'real-world' concepts to poker, th
  15. Poker and gambling continually evolve. During the different periods of its history, poker demanded different degrees of involvement and different sets of essential qualities necessary for success. This article is brought to you by 2CardsCollege. Being able to grab a gun right in time and defend one's own winnings, beliefs, and sometimes even life was almost the main skill during the original formation period of the game. Eventually, poker has become more civilized and the key skill at this stage was understanding game play. After the dirty smoke-filled rooms were replaced with well-organize
  16. As you probably all know, analysis of hands played is a big part of working on one's game. Obviously, we pay a lot of attention to this part of the learning process at the 2CardsCollege training program. In fact, analysis of the hands by trainees is a good indicator for their coach on how well they've digested the new theoretical knowledge and whether they successfully apply it in their game. The experts of 2CardsCollege has analyzed some hands by students of the first group to show you the importance of hand analysis: Click here for Hand 1 Flop is a standard check, because there is n
  17. It's something most of us do hundreds, even thousands of times a day: decide how we want to continue with a hand. The information in a given hand is massively clarified from where it stood pre-flop. It's a huge turning point and one of the most important decision points in tournament poker. Do we c-bet or not? If so, what size? What's the board like and what can the turn and river hold for us? This article is not meant to be an exhaustive guide on things to consider, but it will list a lot of the factors in play. Most of you already know these things, but I think it helps to clarify, even
  18. Consider the following scenario: You're a new poker player who is invested in a strategy coach to get you on the track to making steady income at the tables. You end up in a hand with Kh2h on a board of AsTh9h4c and your opponent accidentally flashes you his hand of Ac6d. You want to know what your chances were of winning, so you review the hand with your coach during your next session. Your coach tells you there was a 20% chance that you'd catch a flush on the river and moves on to the next hand you want to review. Technically, your coach is correct, but has he improved your game? Not rea
  19. When it comes to OFC tournaments, there is a right way and a wrong way to run them. Unfortunately, it seems that the wrong way is becoming the standard and as an OFC lover, it makes me sick. Poker tournament rules are designed to create a level playing field. Everyone starts with the same number of chips, everyone has the same amount of time per blind level, the button rotates so that everyone will have the same opportunity from every position, etc. These rules hold together the integrity of the game. It would be ludicrous if the blinds went up faster for some tables than others. But that's
  20. Don Quixote was a middle-aged madman who believed the world was not chivalrous enough. So, he took a broken nag that he deemed his mighty steed and proclaimed himself a knight and ventured off into the world on a quest for adventure. To be a poker player, you have to be a little bit mad. You have to eschew the conventional and choose the riskier (and more exciting) path. Poker is a game that can reward bad decisions and penalize you even if you make the right one. Like Don Quixote, you have to embrace your vision and play optimistically despite overwhelming odds or you will fail. For the vast
  21. Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey, Jason Mercier, Phil Galfond – we all know these names. We watch them play and envy their success. However, everyone should remember that the poker legends managed to get where they are today because they worked hard and dedicated their lives to poker. Every poker pro had his own reasons for becoming a professional player. It could have been a desire to become rich, a passion for the game, or the dream of becoming famous. Surely, most of us are not pro players and will never become ones; yet, anyone can find enough reasons for trying to achieve great things in po
  22. Dmitry 'Mozgolom26' Zaytsev, a 2CardsCollege coach, analyzes three of his most interesting hands from the high-stakes Sunday tournaments. The hands were played in different tournaments that have one thing in common: in order to make optimal decisions, he had to estimate his opponents' ranges correctly and take all of the necessary stats into account. Hand #1 https://www.weaktight.com/h/569f6790d390433e188b4685 $109 freezout on PartyPoker. The villain is a weak regular who has an ABI of $37 with stats of 18/12/5. We have a pair of kings in early-middle position, we open-raise happi
  23. Every tournament player can tell fascinating stories about his wins and losses at final tables. That’s cool, we get it: there are no unimportant hands at this stage, every mistake can lead to a catastrophe, and coin flips can be really expensive. The success of a player is often measured not only by the number of cashes but the quantity of final tables he reached, especially in live tournaments. And pre-final tables are usually excluded from global player’s statistics, for they bring you no glory and no money. But oftentimes, the pre-final table turns out to be the most dramatic stage of th
  24. The following is hand analysis from 2CardsCollege pro poker training analyzing a capped range in a 3-bet pot. https://www.weaktight.com/h/5636c125d390432b318b460e We played 120 hands with the villain and he has 30/27 stats. The villain is known to be a top regular, although his results statistics are hidden at the moment. He open-raises 22/16 with a fold to 3-bet of 57. To accurately set the villain's squeeze call range, let's begin with defining his pre-flop call range. The opponents behind them are tight. This hand was played in the PokerStars Sunday Bigger $162. I would pre
  25. I’ve done roughly 750 hours of one-to-one poker coaching over the last two and a half years, and one trend has become evident to me recently among lower-stakes players who are learning the game and trying to take their performance to the next level. It occurs to me that many people who believe they’re taking the right path to poker success are, in fact, more or less attempting to do things in reverse. Yes, that’s right, they’re pretty much doing it the wrong way around, with the harder, more specific parts first and the more useful, broad-strokes parts last. Let me explain. What do we mea

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