Skip to content


6 Strategies to Win the Next 6 Months – Jim Kwik Inspired!


Sky Matsuhashi

on July 15, 2021

Yowza! 2021 is already half way done!!!

Time flies when you're having fun, right?

I received an email the other day from Jim Kwik, a memory expert, author and podcaster. As he says on his website, “My life’s passion and mission are to create a smarter and more caring world by helping you reclaim your power.”

His newest podcast is about the 6 steps we can take to win in the next 6 months. And I thought this is a perfect thing for all of us poker players to focus on, especially those of us who had a difficult 6 months and maybe we are down and out in poker.

So I'm taking a note from Jim Kwik here and I’m going to give you 6 strategies, on- and off-the-felt, that will help you reset and move forward as you tackle the rest of 2021.

Listen to this podcast episode:

#1: Study to Avoid Overwhelm

What is it?

This is studying one topic at a time, consuming at most one item per day while taking notes, and putting to use what you learn before consuming a new item.

Why will this help?

I used to have a huge issue with overwhelming myself by trying to study too many things at once.

For example, I would watch 3 training videos in one day: one on cbetting, one on preflop bet sizing and one about missing the flop with AKo. Those are 3 totally different strategy topics, and by overwhelming myself with so much strategy, I’m guaranteeing that I won’t practice any of it and my play won’t improve at all.

How to do it…

Choose ONE:

  • Choose ONE strategy to focus on this week.
  • Find ONE piece of content to study.
  • Take notes as you consume the item.
  • Practice ONE thing you learned from the item you studied.
  • Repeat over and over until you’ve practiced all you can from this ONE piece of content and you feel your skills have improved for it.

Poker Study Routine for Beginners video:


#2: Daily Hand Reading

What is it?

Hand reading is poker’s #1 skill. It’s the art & science of putting your opponent on a range of hands then narrowing that range through the streets. As you narrow their range, you’re better able to make exploitative plays based on the hands they can possibly hold at any given time.

Why will this help?

The best thing I ever did for my poker skills was to accomplish 66 days of hand reading. I posted videos for all 66 days on my YouTube channel.

I was already a winning player prior to this, but 66 days in a row of hand reading in various situations and many different players improved my skills across the board.

The best thing I ever did: 66 Days of Hand Reading

How to do it…

There are three things you need to learn hand reading:

  1. Hand histories: Write them out or use PokerTracker 4 to save all of your online hands.
  2. Flopzilla Pro: This is the best hand reading software and it's the best $25 you'll eve spend along your poker journey.
  3. How to Do Poker Hand Reading article: Epic 3,700-word post with podcast episodes, videos and action steps that will teach you how to do hand reading.


#3: Play for Bread and Butter

What is it?

This is the most profitable situation you can put yourself in: In position as the preflop raiser against 1 or 2 other players.

Why will this help?

I’ve reviewed hundreds of databases and this is by far the most profitable spot to be in. As the preflop raiser you have the strongest range, and your opponents have to contend with that. You have position, so you have an informational and a time advantage. And facing just one or two opponents makes it easier for you to put your hand reading skills to use to make exploitative plays.

How to do it…

  • Raise more frequently than you call preflop
  • Have a wider raising range in the CO and the BTN
  • Iso-raise versus limpers instead of limping behind
  • 3bet versus open-raises instead of calling
  • Defend your blinds with calls less often

Check out this podcast: On the Hunt for Bread & Butter Profits


#4: Table Select

What is it?

Table selection is where you actively choose profitable tables to sit at. The more fish on a table, the more profitable it is.

Why will this help?

A 6-max table with 5 fish on it is way more profitable, easy and fun than sitting at a table with 5 winning TAG players. Fish make loads of mistakes and often just play their cards and the board. Their mistakes and unsophisticated plays put their chips in your stack. However winning players, whether they’re TAG or LAG, pay attention to more than just their cards. They use a HUD, study the game like you do and find ways to exploit you.

How to do it…

Actively assess the fish count at your table. Within 10 hands you should see lots of calling and limping and minimal 3bets. If everyone appears to be a strong winning player, leave the table and find another.

You also want to consider who is seated on your left (they have position on you). If it’s a strong, aggressive player who can make your exploits difficult, leave the table and find another.

Check out this podcast: Table Select For High Profit Potential – Avoid The Sharks!

#5: Call Less, 3bet More

What is it?

3betting preflop instead of calling makes you the aggressive player with a stronger range. Plus, you have the cbetting initiative post-flop. Calling shows weakness and you’re asking aggressive players to 3bet you.

Why will this help?

Aggression wins in poker and by turning calls into 3bets, you’re sticking it back in the open-raiser’s face and putting them to the test. This gives you the opportunity to win the pot preflop if they fold. And if they call, you can still hit something good on the flop or take it down with a cbet bluff.

And lastly, calling is non-Bread & Butter, you’re purposefully putting yourself in a losing situation. 3betting is Bread & Butter poker.

Turn calls into 3bet bluffs:

How to do it…

Every time you face an open-raise, consider the merits of 3betting. 3betting for value with AK and QQ+ is easy, it’s the 3bet bluffing that’s tough.

If all 6 of these are in place, you MUST 3bet bluff:

  1. You are in position
  2. Hold an Ace, prefer suited and connected
  3. Small open-raise and large stack
  4. RFI by position > 20%
  5. Raise/Fold to 3bet > 50%
  6. Fold to Flop Cbet > 50%

#6: Read The Mental Game of Poker

What is it?

This is my favorite mental game-related book by Jared Tendler. It’s helped me immensely with my tilt and anger issues.

Why will this help?

The mental game is the thing that most players ignore and at the same time, it’s probably the leading cause of poker losses. Anger, entitlement, revenge, a hatred of losing and a fear of making mistakes all lead to terrible play and further loss.

This book addresses the most common mental game issues and it gives clear advice on how to work through them to become a mentally stronger player.

How to do it…

Get the book ASAP. I recommend the paperback:

If you do get the book, focus on this one item for an entire month so that you can avoid overwhelm (Strategy #1 above). Just play your normal game, but work to become mentally stronger before adding new poker strategies to your skillset.

Support the Show

You need to snag the Get More From Poker Tracker 4 Program to help you learn all the ins and outs of this incredible program. Thanks to Eric Anderson, Rodriguez, Margaret Coughlan, Andy Fisher, Michael Matteo (author of Fundamentals of Playing Online Texas Holdem Poker), Cyrille Victor and Charlotte for supporting the show and donating a little something for this FREE program.


Sky Matsuhashi

Don’t Miss Out!

Get expert tips and strategies straight to your inbox each week!