POKER TIPS & STRATEGY

Take Action with the Strategies You Learn

By Sky Matsuhashi
December 14, 2021

I firmly believe that action is the greatest teacher. That’s why I love giving action steps in my podcasts, videos, articles and books.

But, a lot of content creators don’t do this for you. So, you’ve got to do it for yourself.

Here’s the 3-part Action Step Creation Process:

  1. Learn something new
  2. Figure out how to practice it in-game
  3. Figure out how to practice it during study time

Sounds simple, and it is, especially once you start doing it. New ideas and ways to practice will come to you as you develop this skill.

action

Start doing this today so you can build your repertoire of action-taking techniques.

Let me demonstrate the Action Step Creation Process using something I taught in a Smart Poker Study Podcast episode called “3 Favorite Exploits Using the Smart HUD”.

Step 1. Learn Something New

In the podcast, I taught you the best players to double-barrel bluff against:

“Look for a big increase in Fold to Cbet from the Flop to the Turn; specifically, an increase of 30% or greater. This basically means you’re looking for a player who doesn’t fold on the flop (unbelieving), but they fold on the turn (they believe your second bullet means business).”

Now that you’ve learned this, you need to train yourself to look for it and to pull the trigger on exploiting these players.

Step 2. Figure Out How to Practice it In-game

Ask yourself, “How can I practice this strategy?”

Before you read my idea below, noodle on this for a moment and create your own action step based on the strategy above.

Here’s my action-taking idea for online poker:

  • Whip out a piece of paper.
  • Open 1 table and start playing.
  • Analyze each player’s HUD statistics and write the names of those whose Fold to Cbet increases by around 30% or more from the flop to the turn.
  • Also, open their Fold to Cbet Popup (the Smart HUD has one of these) and analyze their in-position versus out-of-position numbers. Write the names of those who are turn honest by relative position.
  • Now, start open-raising when the turn honest players are in the blinds. Try to get them heads up so you can practice your double-barrel bluffing against them.

Here’s my action-taking idea for LIVE players:

  • Have Evernote (or another note taking app) open on your phone.
  • Type out all the seat positions.
  • Observe every hand and watch for players who call preflop, call the flop then fold the turn. Take note of these players.
  • For now, assume anyone who demonstrates this pattern even once as a “turn honest” player.
  • Now, start open-raising when the turn honest players are in the blinds. Try to get them heads up so you can practice your double-barrel bluffing against them.

Step 3. Figure Out How to Practice it During Study Time

Again, create your own action step right now.

Here’s my action-taking study idea for online players:

  • Whip out a piece of paper.
  • Filter in your online poker database for “Opportunity to Cbet the Turn”.
  • Open a hand and analyze the HUD and popups of the players just like you did while playing. Write the names of turn honest players.
  • Replay the action of the hand until the point of your double-barreling opportunity.
  • Analyze your opponent’s Fold to Cbet stats again. Are they a great double-barreling target?
  • Review the rest of the hand to see if you pulled the trigger, and if it was a good spot to do so.
  • Record your mistakes so you can work to NOT repeat them in your next session.
  • Review 10-20 hands this way.

Here’s my action-taking study idea for LIVE players:

  • Start playing online poker so you can develop a database of hands to study and learn from!
  • Besides that, you probably play with a lot of regular players like Bob, Susan, Tim and Jeff.
  • Noodle on each of them. Which are likely to call preflop, call the flop and fold the turn? Who can’t stand up to the pressure? Who loves calling to see flops but gives up quickly with no pair and no draw?
  • Take note of these players in Evernote, then when you see them next, double-barrel bluff ‘em!

Bam!

Super simple yet highly effective action steps that force you to practice the strategy you learned.

Imagine how much better you’ll become at finding and exploiting turn honest players if you did these action steps for just 2 or 3 days in a row.

Take Action!

Create 2 of your own action steps from one of the items you already studied this week… then get to work taking action both on- and off-the-felt.

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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 […]

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