Since first starting to play poker over seven years ago I’ve experienced what I estimate to be over 200 live poker sessions. Almost all of these sessions have been home games with Texas Holdem being the game of choice. During these sessions I’ve learnt a thing or two about being prepared for the game from a psychological, logistical and financial perspective.

The aim of this post is to cover all of these lessons so that you can be more prepared for your next live poker session.

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A few months ago one of the readers of this blog contacted me about some of the struggles he was having at 2NL. The reader was kind enough to send me his hand histories and agree for me to turn my analysis of his play into a detailed blog post. In this post I’ve done a full statistical analysis of a sample size of close to 50k hands at 2NL. I’ve decided to protect the identity of the reader, even though he agreed for me to publish his FullTilt username.

One of the challengers of doing a statistical analysis on a sample of poker hands is that there are hundreds of directions you can go in. In order to simplify the process for myself and for you as the reader I’ve broken down the entire analysis into a number of questions which can help us understand where the hero can improve his game. Among these questions there is also a hierarchy so I’ve color coded the questions which have the most impact on a micro poker players bottom line. If you are new to poker stats then you should start with the questions highlighted in red.

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The Poker Skill Pyramid

July 13, 2015

Since starting to play poker about 7 years ago I’ve spoken to hundreds of people about the game both online and off. I’ve learnt that people who aren’t regular poker players fall into two main groups. The first are the individuals who understand that the game has both elements of skill and luck. The second group of individuals believe that poker is no different than flipping a coin, some days you win, some days you lose, and the decision of when and where is up to the gods to decide.

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Tilt is a son of a bitch, especially when you first start playing poker. As bad as tilt is, it is a part of the game. Tilt is another variable which you can control just like the tables you choose to sit down at or the hands you decide to play. Every poker player, even the best out there, deals with tilt a certain percentage of the time they are on the felt.

The great players realize when they are on tilt and either snap themselves out of it or take a break. In this post I’m going to share my top 3 tips for tilt control. I have no doubt that any one of these tips will help you stop tilting at least some of the time.
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Variance is one of those statistical concepts which most people struggle to grasp, especially when it comes to connecting it to poker. In this post my goal is to help you understand poker variance and cover three simple adjustments you can make to your game to lower your variance.
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When I wrote my post about quitting online poker back in November I knew there was a very good chance I would return to the game in the future. When I wrote that post I had reached my frustration limit and had fallen out of love of the game. My expectations didn’t match the reality and I had hit a wall that I couldn’t climb over. I spent almost a year trying with no success. Hundreds of hours spent with little to show for it. It was time for a change and quitting the game altogether was the change that I needed at the time. Over the months following the publication of that post I didn’t play a single hand of online poker and very little live poker. My focus was on other things and honestly I didn’t miss it.
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Tyler Frost is a professional poker player who I’ve been following for years. I first heard of Tyler when he joined Pokerstars Team Online back in 2012 and I’ve have been following his blog ever since. I noticed Tyler had recently started to do some interesting stuff with his community on the popular streaming site Twitch and decided to reach out to him to ask him a few questions about this, as well as a bunch of other things. The full interview is below.
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Back in January 2007 I played my first hand of online poker and I loved it. Since then I’ve played over a million hands online and been through a myriad of experiences that only poker grinders can understand. I was thinking about many of these experiences last night while sitting at a bar waiting to go dancing with my girlfriend. By the end of my time sitting at the bar I had come to the decision to quit playing online.
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