5 Tips To Improve Your Game Away From The Poker Table

Jack Wilcox (Hoodlincs) Profile Photo

By Jack Wilcox

29 Nov, 2011

Poker is a technical game, and if you want to succeed, you need to spend time learning away from the tables.

Here are five tips from my own experiences.

1. Filter in Hold'em Manager for VPIP = TRUE.

This will show every hand where you put money into the pot that wasn't the blind money. It allows you to replay every hand you chose to play during the session.

From here you can start to select hands for further analysis. The questions you need to ask yourself are:

  • Where could I have won more money?
  • Where could I have lost less money?

2. Record your session using screen recording software.

You can watch this session back and try to pick up on spots you missed. For example, where you made too tight of a fold preflop, or missed a great opportunity to 3bet.

This is a good method for developing a sense of gameflow, as you will be easily able to watch the games developing during the video. Pay attention to how players adjust to each other.

It also gives you the opportunity to see whether you auto-pilot, which is the problem associated with playing too many tables or too many hours.

3. Use PokerStove to analyze river value betting spots.

The vast majority of your winnings at micro and small stakes should come from showing down the best hand.

Try and look for spots you missed value on, particularly the river. You should hate it when you check back the river and have the best hand.

Filter in Holdem Manager for:


And then go to PokerStove to put in your hand, your opponent's range, and see if you have more than 50% equity. If you do, try to find some value.

4. Think about the opponents you struggle to play against.

Think about what it is they do well, and why it is tough to play against them. Whether it's a fish or regular who you struggle against, try to work out why.

For example, I struggle against people who multi-barrel a lot. So when I am playing against other regs, I think to myself that I would be much tougher to play if I was more aggressive.

It's something that I am trying to build into my game more and more.

5. Use forums effectively.

Forums are a great way to learn. All the advice is free and posting hands is free, so make the most of it.

All you do is find the hand history file in Holdem Manager / Poker Tracker (or directly from the poker site you're playing on), and copy/paste it into a hand history converter.

Enter as many details as you have on the opponent, remove the result of the hand (the best advice comes when we don't know the result, as there's no bias), and create the new thread.


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