I’ve been making more of an effort to save hands while I play. With Pt4, it is really easy to tag hands and I never did that before on HEM, Today, I played about 8 hours and saved 69 hands. Some stuff I thought was pretty standard, but wanted to double check for sure. Most things did not surprise me. I made a few light calls bvb or getting good odds and I was right. Some isos I made I thought were definitely good, or shoves over limps and I was shocked to see a standard range I’ve been using for years could easily be -ev. Some spots that seem very easy, we never give a second thought to. A lot of the time, our instincts will be right and we will just never second guess ourselves. But once and a while, you’ll be surprised. So don’t take “standard” for granted.
We’re in the process of buying another stable. It’s been a lot of work and I probably spent 40 hours looking at hhs over 4 days. At times, I was waiting to be finished with it, but mostly it was fun and a good study tool. Often, I could pinpoint what a player was doing wrong and what could make them win and other times I was baffled to see that their stats obviously lagged behind their skill. Anyways, in a couple hands, I stopped, ran the hand in ICMizer and found out what I thought was a very clear spot, wasn’t at all.
So I posted on our site. Initially, I got similar responses to what I initially thought. Then we were further in depth and found other options (other than jamming) were definitely better. Jamming in one spot was pretty horribly -ev and we needed crazy ranges to make it profitable, so we agreed on a flat (4 handed, calling a 5bb shove at a 35 180 FT with a4o in the btn with 15bb).
One problem with seeing so many hands and so many similar spots consistently is we get tricked into thinking that there is only 1 definite correct answer. But, when we stop and really think, we often find out we are completely wrong.
In January, I made about 30 hours worth of videos. That’s by far more coaching and studying then I have done in a very long time. Usually, I could whip through 4 3r hhs where the player got HU in 30 minutes. Last month, I made an hour long video of a $8 180 where the player got 7th.
There are several reasons for this, but for the most part, it’s because I got ICMizer. Instead of saying “you can probably shove about this range,” I decided to check it out in Icmizer to confirm. Often, my ideas of profitable ranges matched up pretty well but sometimes I was completely wrong and surprised about the result. The most surprising thing was what hands do better against certain ranges. I guess it wasn’t something I really thought much about, seeing that calling 85s could be better than like A3 facing a 3b jam off a 9bb stack.
I learned that the more time I put into videos and talking about hands, instead of spending a minute at most on it then moving on, the quality of my videos got way better. I had a lot more positive comments from our students and it was clear that they were learning much more as well, Instead of using the same general ranges and not giving too much thought, we were really questioning seemingly standard spots.
Often, we make so many repetitive decisions to the point that grinding poker becomes a little less fun. We’re not thinking critically as much and because of that, we aren’t accurately evaluating our play. We’re not adjusting our ranges and evolving as a player.
By saying what range seemed standard, I was making videos just to get through them, rather than thinking about making videos as an opportunity to study myself. ICMizer is pretty cheap, far better than any ICM calculator and I am very thankful that it has restored a lot of my excitement in poker. Most importantly, making videos and studying has moved from a chore to actual fun and the by-product too is that we end up with much better content on our site. I can’t promise to always make an hour long video for a $2.50 180 8th place finish, but questioning what might not be standard or plugging leaks will overall improve my game and tons of our students who care to sit through an hour of me rambling on.
Enjoy watching guys. By the way, ICMizer is $50 for 6 months and our site is $100 for a 3 month subscription. It’s definitely worth the investment in your poker future. And who knows, maybe we could be making training videos for ICMizer someday too.