On the CPG podcast one of the questions I routinely ask my guests is:
“What’s some common poker advice you hear that you completely disagree with?”
For my money there’s only one choice that’s hands down the most damaging:
“Always be betting or raising, never be calling!”
Many of bankrolls have been lost trying to adhere to this god-awful “wisdom”.
Here’s how poker REALLY works:
Each action you choose has a positive or negative value.
And (surprise, surprise) there are TONS of scenarios where calling or checking wins WAY more money than betting or raising.
Throwing away powerful tools just because some old fart couldn’t figure out how to use them correctly is an extremely costly fool’s game.
Which means your job (No pressure) is to figure out the highest EV action (check, bet, call, raise, or fold) to take at every single decision point in every single hand you ever play for the rest of your life…
If that sounds rough you also have this to contend with:
When betting and raising you ALSO need to choose the right sizing because…
- Some sizes will cost you money.
- Other sizes will make you money.
- And one size wins you THE MOST money.
Poker’s real fun, amirite?
And if you’re in a spot where Villains defend a ton (Which are very common) and you foolishingly decide to bet…
You lose MORE money the bigger size you choose.
And if you’re sitting there thinking:
“FOLDING CAN’T LOSE MONEY COACH BRAD! YOU CAN’T LOSE WHAT YOU DON’T PUT IN THE MIDDLE!”…
Pipe down and imagine this scenario, Sparky:
You river a Royal Flush and the Sultan of Brunei jams for (Insert Dr. Evil Voice)…$1,000,000.
You have him covered, naturally, and exclaim, “Too rich for my blood, Sultan! I’m gonna just wait for a better spot” as you chunk an unbeatable hand into the muck…
Pretty sure folding just cost you a million bucks.
And if making an incorrect fold costs you money in the EXTREME…
When you dial it back to something more realistic, you’ll quickly find that bad folds have a monetary cost all the same (Although it may be for TENS of dollars instead of MILLIONS).
So if you aspire to be a Poker God, here’s your Ultimate Mission:
Choose the highest EV action AND sizing (If you’re betting or raising) at each decision point in every single hand you play for the rest of your life.
If that sounds impossibly difficult, that’s because it is.
There’s a reason almost everyone loses money playing this game over their lifetime.
If only a course existed that makes your life much easier by mapping out the game tree and giving you not theoretical +EV actions you should sometimes take (What a cop out)…
But the ACTUAL HIGHEST EV actions you should ALWAYS take for THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of decision points!
Oh ya, there is:
In a game of seemingly infinite options (Each of which has a value whether you’re aware of it or not) MDA powered CPG courses make consistently finding the highest EV decisions dead simple.
I can’t imagine anything more valuable to your poker game than that.
Hope to see you tonight at 8 pm EST for a Jason Su led PPH (Poker Power Hour)!
Take care and talk soon,
– Coach Brad