POKER TIPS & STRATEGY

Studying Poker in 2022: Prioritize Your Weaknesses

By Sky Matsuhashi
February 16, 2022

In the prior article of this series, I helped you create your list of weaknesses (poker leaks).

Whip out your list right now because I’m going to help you prioritize ‘em so you can get the biggest bang for your study buck.

Let’s imagine you wrote these five weaknesses in your poker journal:

  • I Don’t 3-bet Bluff Enough: I 3bet only 2.8% of the time and my Call PF 2-bet is a whopping 20%.
  • I Don’t Double-Barrel C-bet Enough: My c-bet drops 32% from the flop to the turn. This makes it easy for them to steal the pot when I check the turn.
  • I Lose Too Much When Calling Rivers: Losing 18BBs on average when calling the prior 83 river bets is terrible for my bankroll and morale.
  • I Don’t Table Select: I stay on tables with too many strong players, allowing loose and aggressive players to sit on my left. This makes poker very difficult.
  • I Fail to Target Players: I don’t consider who my opponent is before entering the pot.

strong weak

Before you begin working on your weaknesses one at a time, follow this general rule: Work on the most common spots first, as well as quick fixes that yield great results.

Here’s how and why I would prioritize the list of weaknesses above:

#1: I Don’t Table Select

This is a very quick fix. If I target this weakness first, I’ll be at tables full of weak players which makes poker easier and more fun. Plus, my bluff 3-bets will be more effective, I’ll be able to double-barrel more because they can’t stand the pressure and I won’t face as many river calling opportunities.

#2: I Fail to Target Players

Another quick fix. If I actively search for the weakest players to play hands against, poker will naturally be easier, more fun and more profitable. Plus, weak players won’t put me in tough post-flop spots as often.

#3: I Don’t 3-bet Bluff Enough

This one will take a bit longer to fix. However, if I can turn bad calls into good folds or 3-bet bluffs, I’ll be the one pressuring my opponents. I won’t face as many c-bets nor river bets, and I’ll be the one c-betting more often with stronger ranges.

#4: I Don’t Double-Barrel C-bet Enough

Now that I’m 3-betting more often and calling less, I’ll have stronger ranges with which to pressure my opponents on all three streets. I’ll include some range and board interaction studies to help me pull the trigger on more turn c-bets.

#5: I Lose Too Much When Calling Rivers

This could take a long time to fix without the above four fixes. With the above four in place, the players I get to the river against won’t be able to put so much post-flop pressure on me, so river decisions should be improved. And I will do some additional study into finding the fold when I know I’m beat.

Take Action!

Prioritize your own list of weaknesses just as I did above.

Your job is now to put all your focus on #1 until you feel comfortable with it and you see positive results.

Then move to #2 next week and so on.

In the fourth and final installment of the Studying Poker in 2022 series, I’ll give you my simple weekly plan for study and play that will help you fix your weaknesses one at a time.

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Sky Matsuhashi poker author
Written By.

Sky Matsuhashi

Sky Matsuhashi is the creator of the Smart Poker Study Podcast. He has authored 4 poker books including ‘How to Study Poker Volumes 1 & 2’, ‘Preflop Online Poker’ and ‘Post-flop Online Poker’. As a poker coach, Sky is dedicated to helping his students play more effectively, earn more money and be 1% better every […]