It’s been quiet around here for a month or two, but that’s because I’ve been hard at work finishing up a new project.
I am now pleased to announce my newest book titled Playing The Player: Moving Beyond ABC Poker To Dominate Your Opponents.
It is coming out on May 22nd. E-books will be available on that day with paper books coming out likely about a week or two later. The price will be $49.99 (plus shipping and possibly sales tax for the paperback edition), and there will be a two week preordering period where you get a few goodies for getting in early.
I got the idea to write this book when I began to see a major incongruity between how my students talked about poker and how they actually played.
Everyone knows that poker is a situational game. “It depends,” is a concept that has been repeated so many times it has become a cliche.
Here’s the thing, however. I’ve found that most poker players, even students of the game, don’t actually take that idea to heart. The vast majority of poker players have their own set of strategies—a style, if you will—that they take with them every time they sit at a table. They are very slow to adjust these strategies to changing circumstances. In fact, in most of their sessions, they never really adjust much at all. Only if a player of some “extreme” type is at their table—someone betting every hand like a crazy person, for instance—do they really make any real adjustments to their strategy. Othwerise, if they like to play like a nit, then every session they’re going to play like a nit. If they like to see cheap flops, then every sesion they’re going to see cheap flops.
This is almost completely backwards from how I approach poker. I don’t enter any game with a set strategy in mind. The first thing I do when I sit is look at what the other players are doing and, in particular, try to figure out what mistakes they seem like they might be prone to make. Sometimes I get lucky and see a huge mistake only a couple of hands in. Other times I have to infer the errors that my opponents may be making by watching a set of otherwise unremarkable hands. But, no matter, the beginning of a session is always focused on what my opponents may be doing wrong.
Next, I craft a strategy designed to take advantage of these mistakes. My job as a poker player is to take the mistakes my opponents already tend to make and try to create as many situations as possible for them to make these mistakes.
In other words, I’m playing the players. I have no consistent style from session to session. Virtually every decision I make is guided by the question, “How can I play this hand to maximize the frequency and magnitude of the mistakes my opponents can make?”
This approach is, in my experience, far more successful than developing a fixed style and sticking to it. It should be that way, of course, since the money in poker comes from the mistakes your opponents make, so any strategy that seeks to maximize these mistakes will likewise maximize profits.
Specifically, this book is designed to take players who rely on a tight and aggressive, ABC style and show them how to break out of the mold to take advantage of all the opportunities present at the no-limit hold’em table.
This does NOT mean the book teaches you how to be a LAG! LAG is just another fixed style that may or may not exploit the errors your opponents are making. No, the book is about finding and exploiting opportunities.
Here’s just a taste of it. Lots of tight, aggressive, ABC-type players around Las Vegas have become frustrated recently. The games have gotten tighter lately, pots have gotten smaller, and the ABC players have seen their winrates drop as a result. The thing is, the newly tight players are still making lots of mistakes. These are just not mistakes that an ABC style takes advantage of.
Playing The Player begins by detailing a number of traits of the tight, tight-aggressive, and nitty opponents you will face. It then breaks these traits down and shows you specifically how and why you can exploit them. After you read Playing The Player, you will never again need to complain that your game has no action, because you will have learned how to profit in virtually any game environment.
Again, the book comes out May 22nd. Get excited. I’ll have plenty more updates between now and the release, so stay tuned.
Tags: adjusting-your-game, no-limit-holdem, playing the player, poker, poker-books