James 'SplitSuit' Sweeney
I'll bet, however, that they have no such difficulty reading each other. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I found your blog using msn. I would like to peer more posts like this. There has to be a way you can remove me from that service? Now you think I'm plagarizing a dumb magazine article? To which Josie responding, puzzlingly:.
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Remember, we have absolute position on them, which is a massive advantage in this poker hand. Putting in a standard raise here is completely fine, as we can isolate the bad players and play the rest of the hand in position. What will happen in the majority of cases is the blinds fold, one of the two limpers call.
The flop is dealt and the limper checks because the flop missed him. We put out a continuation bet, causing the player to fold. This is a very simple example of using position to your advantage in poker. In poker, relative position is expressed as where you sit, in relation to the preflop raiser player.
If the big blind bets out on the flop, when sitting under the gun, I am first to act in relation to the player taking the lead. Just like with players holding early position from an absolute standpoint, one must proceed with caution when in early position from a relative standpoint. If the cutoff bets out, even though I am on the button I know there are four people left to act.
I cannot always call with the confidence I would like. There are four other people who may put in a costly raise behind me yet to act. We have pocket fives. If you remember from a minute ago, we have the best absolute position, because we are on the button. However, the player acting right before us raised. Because of this uncertainty, we fold. This concept is known as poor realtive position as although we have position on the raising player, our positional advantage is lost due to the fact that there are so many players left to act after us.
If the raiser is to my immediate left, I hold the most favorable position, relative to the acting player. As a result, I can benefit from everyone else acting before me, and thus I am able to make the most informed decision of all. This time, imagine the small blind raises preflop. We have pocket fives on the button, 3 players limp into the pot, as does the cutoff player.
We also limp, in hopes of seeing a cheap flop. It is our turn to act. The price, in relation to the pot is right, so we decide we can play. In this instance, we will obviously call and take the cheap flop as playing a small pair in position in a multiway single raised pot is exactly what you want with small pairs. Often, one can use relative position to their advantage.
If there is a player who likes to take the lead when he is checked to, it makes sense to check to him so that he will bet and you can act accordingly raise, fold, or call. Hi Mike, love your blog, great quality and very nice design, most poker blogs look like is or something. I got a question for you: I have troubles with focusing while playing poker, my mind tends to wander and when this happens I lose money.
Have you ever experience something like this? Regarding focusing while you play, your capacity to concentrate is a skill that can be developed just like anything else. And the best way to do that is by meditation. If you spend a little time every day specifically practicing concentration exercises, eventually your concentration will become very strong and sharp.
Am I Crushing or is it Poker Variance? Royal Rosario February 27, at 8: Mike Gano February 28, at 4: Zanardi February 27, at 9: Thank you for the reminders, Mike!
I decided that I would take the rest of the semester off to play poker, and come back to school after the summer. I met a whole bunch of people, including I think..
I did have a memorable experience and an epiphany, however. I was in a hand with a player who was very angry from the hand right before it. I think he may have gotten sucked out on, or maybe nothing happened and he was just an angry person.
I became very good at this rough head-math, and especially in judging the ranges of various opponents at various times. This was my edge over the other pros, I believe. I could tell when people were more or less likely to make a play based on game flow and my guesses related to their psychology. Back to the hand. Here I was on the river with Ace high vs. The angry man tossed his hand into the muck.
He threw them angrily. I kept my cards where they were, and the dealer kept the chips where they were. I slid my hand towards the dealer, who flipped it up. I guess the games were different back then, or my table was full of amateurs I think a bit of both. After that point, I was hooked. What better way to feel satisfied than to outsmart them and make them feel stupid due to their own aggression? Peter told me that there was more money to be made in cash, and Peter was right.
I hired two coaches. First, Emil Patel whitelime , and then Tommy Angelo. Emil helped me with some preflop fundamentals, though I probably only got three hours of coaching from him. I thought that Tommy would be teaching me about cash game strategy, but man, was I wrong. Since then Tommy and I have become friends. I still call him from time to time for advice actually did just two days ago. Emil and I became friends too, but that was bound to happen anyways, as our paths were going to cross many times.
I spent the semester in Madison playing as much poker as I could, and still doing Atlas stuff and seeing my friends. Pretty much the same as before without the minor inconvenience of class. I still played from my same desk, in my tiny room, in the same three bedroom apartment. I learned more about poker that summer than I had in any full year thus far. Poker is what we had in common and poker is what we talked about. We were all students of the game, and learning together had a multiplying affect.
Sure, we had fun too too much fun for my taste. We were young and in Vegas for the first long time, so there was plenty of partying. It was during this summer that I started taking shots at bigger games.
I started playing in some FTP games. Most people were out partying, and I remember Andrew went to play poker somewhere. I was alone in the living room, one tabling on my laptop against 10lbBASS.
The hand went a little something like this:. He could somehow have an overpair or a set, but very unlikely. He was the type of player who floated a lot of flops. Could I actually shove this hand? It seems like my thought process was leading me there. As I realized I was deciding to shove, my heart was racing.
Tommy had taught me better. He went into the tank. I had no idea, actually. Maybe he bet with 55 and thinks I have an overpair now? Good play, no matter what. My heart did whatever the opposite of sinking is for hearts.
Oh man, this is awesome. I was a devastated. Andrew came home soon after to find me sitting on the couch in the dark. I told him what happened. Everyone came home eventually. I remember spending a lot of time talking to Max about being depressed about it. Everyone was understanding and tried cheering me up. I need to make a plan that will improve whatever the problem is. Sadness lifted, determination activated.
These three became a huge influence on the growth of my poker game, and especially my PLO game. Fall started and I enrolled in classes back at UW. I began going to class, playing poker, performing, just like old times.
I would stare at my professors and not hear a word they were saying. After a couple of weeks, I decided to stop going to school for real.
I told my parents. I showed my dad my PT graphs, and my hand samples. I explained it as best I could to both of them. I learned later that my Mom was crushed by my decision, but at the time she completely hid it. My friend Dan from Vegas had coincidentally just moved to Madison for his girlfriend now wife.
The key for me was my ability to move down and take it seriously. I had a bigger room now. I was in a new apartment, though just as cheap. I never really spent any money until I moved to NY two years later. Caroline spent a semester in South Africa, so Shannon and I moved into a two bedroom across the street. The truth is, I do regret dropping out, and actually, I regret getting so serious about poker so early on.
I missed out on some of my youth. I had other focuses, responsibilities. I had job offers from training sites, accountants to hire, bankroll decisions to make. I grew up too quickly. I wish I would have stayed in school and played a little bit of poker on the side, but not so much that it almost consumed my life like it did. That will be covered in my next post. I was loving poker, Atlas, my friends, life in general. People graduate and leave. This is what eventually led me to New York.
I had two rooms now: One bedroom and one office. Both were on the top floor, and both were the only rooms with full bathrooms in them. Everyone had to use the shower in my office, which was interesting. I had another amazing year living with them. My five years in Madison actually, just the last four were the best years of my life to date. But those were years full of laughter, fun, poker, great new friendships, and it was still before I started to have real grown up responsibilities. I had plenty of room in my new office for Dan to come over and play, or for me to store my mountains of empty gallon jugs of water and empty boxes of protein bars.
Still was working on a fold out table as a desk, but overall, a nice setup. Towards the beginning of that year, I took another shot at some bigger games. I was playing a lot of HU and some good 6max games ran too at higher stakes back then too. The competition was getting more and more exciting. My drive was getting stronger. The video game was becoming more real. Thanks for sharing your story with the world!
I laughed hard at Andrew getting pwned by Wayne Newton. I hope you keep blogging regularly, you have a real talent for writing, Phil. I wanted to ask you about when you took shots and lost,I found that it really makes you depressed like you said with the KQ hero check raise. When I took a shot and lost a lot of my roll and then had a bad run even when I dropped I considered giving up completely or that I would never be able to beat the higher games,did you ever think of that?
Thanks for the blog,I really enjoy these,gg. I am from a small country called Guatemala, down in Central America. I just write to say that you are one of my most respected and liked players. You know what I mean. I have been following you and seeing your game, and I just admire how cool and collected you always seem to be, not to mention your knowledge and reads on the game. I have no idea if you follow up on comments on your blog, but if you do, thanks for taking the time to read me.
Keep up the good work Phil, you sure do a great job. That was a brilliant read Phil. Thank you for taking the time to do it. I have seen you communicate parts of your story in interviews before but to see it all written down is very interesting. You went into some detail about your regret for not living your student years more fully which interests me.
I am 25 years old and only had a passing interest in poker when I was at university. I feel the opposite regret in that I wish I had taken the game as seriously as I do now when the games were so soft and I had so much free time. Good read Phil, you write nicely! Continue the good work poker, friends and blogging. I enjoyed the read. Wish u wrote more about party scene at college n in Vegas but suppossed u were busy crushing it.
Thanks for sharing… If you choose u could be the author of a New York Times best seller.. Great style and delivery. Now my focus is being an adult: I wish you all the luck and will be following you on Twitter and hope to see you win a bracelet or two!
I myself often have a tough time looking at my life with an honest perspective. Very good read Sir, it has the mood again what I could find in any of your writings!