It seems that everyone overrates himself when it comes to playing poker!
The fact is that EVERYONE CAN BEAT poker if they are ready to put some work into it. I used to wonder how other players could win thousands or millions of dollars. Then I joined a group of professional players and learned strategy from them. With their help, I grasped the most important aspects of the game, which led to magnificent results on the table and online. My career skyrocketed and I was able to visit WSOP in Las Vegas and many huge EPT (European Poker Tour) events in the same year.
Going through my simple 9-step program, I will systematically help you learn everything you need to know to get great results. We will cover the path that will take you from point A to point B; from where you are right now to where you want and can be. To have guaranteed results, I recommend following all steps in the right order and concentrating on just one topic at a time.
Soon, you will surprise your friends playing pro online poker, and, moreover, you will be making money online.
In this article, I am going to show you exactly what steps you need to take if you want the side income from online poker to change your life and ensure your continuous success. Sound ridiculous? It may, at first, but it works, because my strategy teaches you exactly where you need to concentrate your attention.
Taking a wild guess, this is not the first time you are trying to learn poker. How many articles have you read trying to improve your game? Count yourself lucky this time, because this strategy is completely different from what you have seen before.
There is a lot of info out there, and it could get quite overwhelming, confusing, and even frustrating to find the right information that will lead you straight to success. In reality, many presumably “right” strategies can even keep you away from your goals.
Watching random videos, reading articles about casino and poker, or articles will not help you win money if you do not have the right approach on how to use that information. So, today we will concentrate on that.
If you are concerned that you cannot succeed in poker because of past failure, I want to put those fears to rest. You can and will easily reach your goals. All you need is the right information, a good strategy, and my step-by-step guide, which I am more than happy to share so that you could stop wasting your time and money.
Then, you will learn how to leave your opponents behind even before starting to play. I will share some tips that will help you reduce your tilt and prepare for your games. Most importantly, I will highlight some misconceptions about the GTO strategy that are most certainly hurting your chances to win.
Lastly, we will cover the importance of having the right pre-flop strategy. I will show you how to identify and fix the mistakes that cost you the most in your game, and how to master the 5 areas of your post-flop strategy.
All of that can almost guarantee to turn you into a winner.
I would have never been able to build my complete poker formula for success program if I hadn’t undergone coaching myself, so I am really happy and excited to have a chance to share all of this with you.
When it comes to preparation, the first thing that you should do is choose your path and stick with it. If you try to play multiple games at the same time, your chances to win fall dramatically.
My own experience is a perfect illustration of how significant this is. Before I met William, my first coach, I was playing all kinds of games. I would play Sit & Go’s and cash games at the same time, occasionally launching MTT on the side, which was the way to disaster.
I wasn’t able to learn very efficiently because I was doing too many things at once. Only after I realized the importance of concentration on one format as the main game, was I able to become really good. I chose to learn MTT strategy and that’s where I devoted my time. I started playing MTTs online only, so I was able to quickly build my skills to advanced level and that led to unbelievable results in the same year.
The cool thing about this strategy is that it works for everyone, not just me. For example, my friend Marius also started out by playing multiple different games at once. He played live and online cash games, tournaments and head-ups.
Even though he was enjoying decent results and was a winning player, moving to 6max cash games only was when his career skyrocketed. Now he plays the highest stakes online and is considered one of the best 6max players in the country. Many of my students choose the same path: concentrate on one game, master it and have stunning results.
None of that means you can’t play or enjoy other formats, but stick with one as your main game and do not play different formats at once. So, if you are playing cash games, do not open tournaments on the side and vice versa. I mostly play cash games and tournaments, but never at the same time.
So, to start out, decide on your format and stick with your selection. If you love action and changing dynamics, you can go with MTTs. However, if you do not want to spend 10 hours without a break or play at nights, Spin & Goes could be a better option. They give you the opportunity to play when you want and for as long as you want, which is not an option you get with MTTs.
Cash games give the convenience of freedom to manage your time. Moreover, there are pretty good dynamics with some opponents, which makes the game really interesting. With cash games, you can basically choose to play however suits you.
The main reason why I switched from tournaments to cash games was because of the easier schedule. I don’t think I would ever regret it. Now I play when I want, and most importantly, for as long as I want!
If you feel like you can easily sit down at the table for 10 hours straight, or more, then you will have a big advantage over your competition and MTTs could be your game.
Most players lose their concentration at the end of the tournament, and unlucky for them, that is where the most important decisions and all the money are made.
This has been proved to be the best strategy for hundreds of students over the years, and if you can be persistent enough, you can easily beat any game that you choose! Moreover, I have all the information ready at your fingertips, so all you have to do is decide to start winning!
Once you identify your strengths and decide on your main game format you have to choose where you want to play, be it live (which venue?) or online (which site and room?). This is the next step in my program, and unfortunately, many players dismiss its importance and start playing in random rooms without doing any research. So, choose wisely.
Let’s say you play live tournaments. Naturally, you would want to identify the venues with the weakest fields and attend only events you can actually beat. If you are just starting out in poker and learn of a high-roller tournament in your area, it would be best for you to ignore it. Chances are, you will be eaten by the big sharks in no time.
Location and convenience are not the factors that should determine the venue you decide to play. Instead, choose games and events that are less likely to attract professionals so you have an actual chance to win.
You should follow a similar thought process for live cash games as well.
Over the years I met many good players who couldn’t score a win simply because of their ego. They would stubbornly stay in games they should not engage at all, and for much longer than recommended. That is a sure recipe for disaster.
Even if you are able to beat other regulars with a small margin, a big rake in live games will not make you money. However, if you can find a table with at least one or two loose recreational players, you can double or triple – in some cases even multiply by 10 – your win rate which will help you make much more money.
The difference is even more eye-opening in online poker rooms. A 50% Rakeback versus 10% Rakeback in the same games can be the difference between making a few hundred or few thousand per month. The examples are numerous.
I’ve had lots of students who had started the hard way. Then, after learn- ing my strategy, some of them switched to new rooms and increased their income times over. So why not choose the best rooms from the beginning? It will save you time and win you money.
Obviously, Rakeback is not the only or even the main thing you need to consider, but it is a very important factor.
Some sites are good for MTT games but are pretty bad for cash games and vice versa.
Moreover, if you want to play Spin & Go’s, you only have two or three good options, but you still have to choose wisely. If you really want to find comprehensive data and my personal recommendations for each type of game, just visit THE BEST POKER SITES ONLINE where I put up a list of poker rooms’ stats and reviews.
The last step in your preparation is getting the right tools.
There are several options to choose from, but I highly recommend getting Holdem Manager 2. You can check out their trial version before purchasing, which comes in handy. In addition, HM2 is more powerful than its competitors and I will show you exactly how you can improve your game simply by using this program.
It is one of the best ways to keep track of your stats while playing, and also to analyze your strategy and identify potential leaks. Moreover, it gives you the chance to use advanced HUD that will help you make better decisions in-game, which makes it a really valuable tool.
I also recommend getting a free tool called Equilab. It will help you analyze the equity of your hand versus a specific range that you give to your opponent. Or you can see how specific handholds against another hand on different boards, which is really valuable information.
All of this may sound a bit complicated in the beginning, but it is pretty intuitive and requires a narrow learning curve. Just a few minutes are enough to get the hang of it. A useful feature of this app is saving pre-flop ranges for different situations which you can view and consult while playing.
There are many other tools that can help you gain an additional edge, improve your strategy or even give advice on specific hands, so make sure to get the best poker software for your games!
Now that you have learned how to prepare for the games, we can move on to the second part of this program – setting the foundations. There are 3 main topics we need to cover before you jump into your games. The first one is mental strength.
Many players think that in order to win they have to play like a PRO. However, this way of thinking is as far from the truth as it could possibly be. Most of my students play part-time, as a hobby or a passion they follow.
And the truth is, they often end up making more money from poker than they do in their full-time job. Still, they would never consider quitting- ting their job and going pro. On the contrary, they have an advantage over professional players because they do not feel so much pressure to win and can concentrate on the game instead.
At the beginning of my career, winning was very important. I didn’t have a job to rely on, so I was under a lot of pressure to win in poker. I lost a lot of money due to tilting, not being able to control my emotions or spewing money after a bad run. I was
always under the pressure and illusion of having to win today, and if I was not able to achieve my goal, everyone suffered. When I felt bad, angry, or brooding, I caused many stressful situations for everyone around me.
It had not escaped my notice that some players remained calm even after taking a bad beat and that always impressed me. Perfect examples are Patrik Antonius and Phil Ivey.
Who wouldn’t want to keep their cool and make the right decisions even at the heat of the moment? Most importantly, players like those two would always win money in the end, and that’s what I wanted too, but didn’t know how to achieve.
Once I realized that emotion was my weak point, I decided to learn to be the calm kind of player, so I hired a mental game coach. Let me tell you, it cost me a fortune, but once I learned to control my thoughts and emotions, the investment paid for itself very fast. As a result, I was able to beat my tilting issues.
Here are some things every poker player should do to gain that extra edge:
I have many success stories about players who improved their mental game. I can easily say that every single one of my students who implemented these simple principles improved not just their game and results, but their overall life as well.
Most players disregard these principles and lose a lot of money because of that. Don’t be one of them. Learn to control your mental processes and that will help close your leaks.
The next step we need to cover is Game Theory Optimal, also called a GTO strategy. It is a well-known, but little understood and massively misused topic. Therefore, I want to make sure you understand the concept before covering the strategy because every winning approach is built around GTO.
You might be familiar with the idea that you need to balance your ranges and develop an unexploitable strategy. However, many players miss the most important part – that GTO strategy is only used as your starting point, or in cases when you are playing against really good opponents.
If you stick to it against weaker players, you would be leaving a ton of money at the table. Unfortunately, many players fail to realize how to get the most out of GTO.
In truth, I was among them. I was so obsessed with learning to balance my ranges in every possible scenario that I failed to realize that the money is in a totally different spot. So based on my experience and the knowledge I gained from my coaches, here’s what you need to do
to make the most money at the tables. And most importantly, you can implement it right away.
The first step is dedicating time to learn game theory optimal strategy. However, you won’t be learning it so you can play according to it all the time. The main goal of GTO is understanding what a perfect play looks like, and that gives you the ability to catch the mistakes of your opponents.
For example, if you know that according to perfect strategy your opponent should bet on the river only 30% of his range and he ends up betting 80% of the time, you can easily exploit that by bluff catching more of your strong hands and even raising as a bluff a lot because he will have to fold most of his holdings.
This is the beauty of the GTO concept: When you know what mistakes your opponents are making it becomes extremely easy to exploit them.
After I realized this is how GTO worked, I was able to almost double my win rate in the next month which gave me confidence at the tables. I was no longer frustrated to play with good players because I learned how to deal with them and I started to beat recreational players, “punishing” them for all the mistakes that they made.
Even though many coaches do not explain this topic until the very end, almost every good player who knows about GTO implements it in this way. The next section will give you a good idea of how you can add this strategy to your own game and what you can expect as a result.
This is the last part of the foundation section. It covers how to make a plan and actually follow it.
Without a proper plan, you are very likely to waste your time watching random videos, reading blog articles, articles or anything else you can get your hands on. None of that will help you much because you will be getting a ton of different
content that will not fit into one strategy. As a result, you will most assuredly suffer from information overload.
You might end up spending tons of time and money without achieving the results that you wanted.
Everyone else has a clear path to success. Think about it: doctors, lawyers, even scuba divers know what they want to do. They dedicate years to study the best methods, strategies, and cases that will help them grow in their career and achieve their goals.
There is a clear path from point A to point B for everyone except you – the poker player. For you, there is no such thing as “the path to success.” Most certainly, there is no surefire way to take you from point A to point B.
Well, there wasn’t. Until now.
Most training sites and coaches offer random strategies that work in a vacuum environment but do not fit together and cannot win you money. Moreover, they never show you the full path or any concrete steps you should take that will have you moving toward point B.
Unfortunately for you, this random approach does not make much sense for your experience or current situation in most cases. Only when you see the full picture, identify where you are right now and start following the right steps in the right order you can reach success much faster than you ever imagined – and that without spending time and money on pointless random strategies.
This is exactly why I developed this formula for success program. I got tired of hearing stories about how and why people are not able to beat the games. Some even think you can’t beat the game at all. In reality, the only thing you need is clear guidance and that is where my signature solution comes into play.
Following this path, you will stop consuming random content and can instead concentrate on what is important to beat the games these days.
You should make a list of the times when you will play and the times that you will dedicate to learning new things or improving your strategy. This kind of schedule will quickly help you to build new habits and will lead straight to success.
Remember, it is really important to consider the best time for you to play so that you could concentrate on sticking to your plan. This is sure to pay big dividends in the future.
While the previous sections concentrated on preparing you for the game and building a strong foundation, here we will concentrate on the strategic steps you need to take in order to win.
After you go through and learn everything to this point, you have to sit down and spend some time mastering the pre-flop strategy. Without understanding pre-flop – and most importantly, learning how to adjust versus different players – you will never win any significant amount of money. If you end up making mistakes pre-flop, it becomes next to impossible to follow the right strategy later on, so this part is essential.
When building a house, if you lay bad foundations you can’t build a good structure. And even if you somehow manage to do that, it will eventually fall over. Your poker play is built on the exact same concept. If you make mistakes pre-flop you will end up in a bad situation where you do not have enough value hands, your ranges are very unbalanced, or you do not bluff enough, which is bad in all cases.
That’s where charts come in to help. I know that many players have the misconception that playing from charts is not an effective strategy, but in truth, every single good poker player in the world uses charts, be it printed ones or memorized. There is simply no way around it.
I was amazed how quickly I was able to improve my game after building the right ranges for all situations and understanding how to use them.
Now I have a clear strategy of how to play versus regulars, unknowns, and recreational players; how to adjust my strategy facing different bet-sizing from my opponents and so on. I can easily identify mistakes and punish my opponents for slipping.
Just a simple illustration:
But what do you do when you play versus regulars? Do you tighten your ranges? Actually, this is where you make the most of those charts. In order to make the right adjustments to exploit others, you have to know what the correct range looks like; otherwise, you will not be able to identify your opponent’s mistakes.
It may sound pretty simple and obvious, but not until you spend some time exploring it. Once I realized how perfect this strategy was, I implemented it in my game and reaped the results.
And I am not alone. My good friend and fellow poker player Mike felt the full force of the pre-flop charts magic. He was always a great MTT player and constantly won money, but things moved to a
whole new level for him after we sat down and wrote all ranges with needed adjustments for later tournament stages and different spots.
Instead of simply winning, he starting killing the games. At the moment when I wrote this, he had just reported more than $150k profit over the last month. Yeah, in just one month! He attributed a big part of his success to the great pre-flop strategy which now enables him to gain an ultimate edge.
Just like Mike, many of my students improved their game right after implementing my pre-flop strategy. Even without additional changes to their game, they went from losing players to winners; others simply skyrocketed their results.
This is the only way to reach long-term success and create an unbeatable strategy. Every good poker player uses charts but rarely shares this secret.
Now that you understand the pre-flop approach and what you need to learn to succeed, you can move forward to post-flop and learn to analyze your play.
There are several options you can explore:
This was one of the breaking points in my career because I was final- ly able to identify how theory could be implemented in practice and how it could help me achieve better results. All that said, you just have to play around with this tool and you will learn a lot more than you think.
Finally, we are here; a crucial part of any successful strategy. If you want to be a winner, this is what you want to know. Obviously, there are other important factors you need to consider; however, after all my years of playing and teaching, I have found that fixing just 5 areas in your gameplay can turn you – and any player, really – into a winner. If you adopt the right strategy from here on out, there is almost no way you can lose money. So let’s move to the most important part which includes the 5 topics that you absolutely must know.
Only after working with hundreds of players, was I able to realize that the most important part of any move is the reason for the play. It is impossible to know when you should c-bet and continue your aggression, or when it is better to check, without understanding what you are trying to achieve.
It may sound pretty obvious; however, I was falling into the trap, think- ing that I needed to prepare and learn all possible scenarios and strategies, which is practically impossible to do.
These are the most important factors which are going to help you make the right decisions all the time. Sure enough, if you want to take advantage of your opponents, you need to study different boards and runouts to know when you have range advantage.
Another crucial step is big blind play.
First of all, you need to understand that you are going to play a lot of hands from the big blind. You have to defend wide ranges pre-flop to prevent your opponents from stealing too much, and then you need to learn how to playback post-flop as well.
Many players tend to be way too passive and fold too much when facing a c-bet, so you need to step up your game and learn to check-raise aggressively. You should use hands with blockers, runner-runner draws, and hands that are too weak to call out of position, like gutshots or naked overcards.
Moreover, when you have a range advantage, you should float many hands to bluff it later on. Obviously, you need to learn when it’s best to raise aggressively and when it is ok to fold. However, I can say with certainty that the vast majority of players are giving up too much, so you need to find a good spot to raise and float much more often, otherwise, you will be just giving your money away.
Another area where you can print money from the big blind post-flop is when your opponent misses his c-bet. Once you notice that, you should be looking to bet most of your air hands and force him to fold.
Obviously, it is a bit more complicated than that, and you first need to understand the reasons for betting once or betting twice, and choosing the sizing based on your opponent’s range, to get the best results. But as a rule of thumb, playing aggressively in this scenario will yield really good results.
The third area that needs extra attention is 3-bet pots. When you are playing 3-bet pots the stakes are high, and most of the time you will have a big pot already, so making mistakes is quite costly.
While it is not very hard to play when you are the aggressor – and you can easily follow guidelines similar to playing single raised pots to know when you should be betting, checking or even giving up – it is quite a different story when you are the caller.
Moreover, you have to learn when to playback, because if you fold every time when you miss the flop, you will have a lot of trouble.
All successful players bluff more than you can imagine in 3-bet pots, so you have to raise their c-bets on connected boards as a bluff and call even some of your weak hands on the flop when you have the range advantage to bluff later on.
Another crucial thing to remember is that you need to employ different strategies when playing against regulars and recreational players, and you should be actively looking to get involved with the weaker ones in the first place.
In summary, you have to learn which runouts are good for a caller’s range and when aggressors have the advantage. This will help you to know when to bluff, and only then you will have a chance to put your opponents in many tough spots.
Next in line are bluffing and bluff catching.
Even though there is a very clear cut method to make your bluffs more successful, players tend to choose the wrong areas and hands for the move.
Here are two important rules you should remember:
This makes some sense because you do not want to end up bluffing if he is likely to have many strong holdings. For example, if he decides to check on any connected board, such as 678 with a flush draw, he is very unlikely to be trapping. In fact, he probably doesn’t have anything stronger than one pair hand, because he would bet that for protection in almost all cases. Therefore, this is a spot where you can run a profitable bluff most of the time.
Let’s say you still have the same board, 678, and your opponent did not bet on the flop. If you hold something like A9, AT – or any 9x or Tx hand for that matter – you have a great opportunity to bluff. In this case, your oppo- nent is even less likely to be trapping with a straight, because if you hold one of the cards he has much fewer combos in his range.
Thus, if you know that your opponent does not have many nut type hands and block some of his potential strong holdings, you have the best possible spot for a bluff.
Generally, there are 7 groups of situations where it is extremely profit- able to run a bluff, and you definitely want to be able to identify them in your games and take advantage of those spots.
A similar thought process goes with bluff-catching as well. When you are deciding whether to call or fold to a bet from your opponent, along with many other things you should also take blockers in consideration. If you have a hand that blocks his likely bluff, you should not be calling very wide.
For example, if you face a river bet where there is a missed flush draw on the board, and you have cards with the same suit, it means your opponent is less likely to have missed a flush draw himself just because you block many possible combinations, so you should not be leaning to calling him down as often. There are many things which you need to take into consideration, but always be aware of range advantage and blockers.
On top of that, population tendencies can play a huge role because in some spots players just almost never bluff.
Last in our list of 5 important areas you should master, but definitely not least, is bet-sizing. Actually, this is one of my favorite topics, and it’s one of the hardest ones to learn.
However, there are several simple steps you can apply right away to instantly improve your results. The easiest one is to start betting small on dry boards. You will get the same amount of folds because your opponent is not going to flat your bet with T9 on A63 no matter how much you bet.
Therefore, you should save money and bet no more than 1/3 or less of the pot in those spots. In contrast, you should follow through with bigger sizing on connected boards to maximize your fold equity and get more value when you have the upper hand.
To gain an even bigger edge, make sure to spend some time analyzing your stats and seeing when overbets work really well or when you should be under betting to gain more value.
Moreover, you can exploit weak players even more by forcing them to make huge mistakes just because they do not care much about the sizing. Against recreational players you can simply bet big for value and small as a bluff; just be aware that it will not work against more seasoned opponents and it can even cause you some problems.
Obviously, that is just touching the surface.
It is one of the most powerful weapons if used correctly.
The five areas discussed above are the most important part of any successful poker strategy. If you master them you are almost guaranteed to start winning no matter where you right now. This is not just based on my experience; the vast majority of my students are simply crushing the games, and they never looked back after implementing this approach.
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