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Adding Tables and Kicking Ass | Podcast #237


Sky Matsuhashi

on May 23, 2019

I discuss adding tables to your online play sessions and having a kick-ass attitude on-the-felt.

In case you missed episode 236, I discussed the importance of following bankroll rules and doing simple pre-session warm-ups.

Challenge (2:10)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Start your session as usual: warm-up followed by opening your normal number of tables.

Play through those tables and if you’re feeling good and ready to kick ass on another table, load it up.

The goal now is to continue playing through your entire session with this one additional table.

Keep doing this, session after session, until this increased # of tables is your new “standard”.

Now it’s your turn to take action and do something positive for your poker game.

Adding Tables (the Why) (3:25)

Why do we want to play more tables?

Practice Strategies 

  • You want to refine and master your strategies, time on the felt, putting in those reps, is the only way.
  • Reading books, watching videos and listening to podcasts can only get you so far. Experience is the best teacher, and putting in tons of volume gives you the most experience.
  • More tables means more hands played and more hands to review off-the-felt.

Get Beyond Variance 

  • Variance is the ups and downs inherent in poker. Nobody can win forever, and there will come times when you lose continuously for thousands or even tens of thousands of hands in a row.
  • The only way to get beyond this inevitable variance is by playing through it. If your downswing lasts 5,000 hands, but it takes you 2 months to play that many hands, wouldn’t it be better if you could get through that in 1-2 weeks instead?

Make Money

  • As a winning player, the more hands you play the more money you’re going to make.
  • A 4bb/100 hands win rate at 25nl means you earn $1 for every 100 hands played. 2,000 hands per month means you earned $20. But, if you played 10,000 hands you would’ve earned $100. This puts your bankroll $100 closer to the next level.

Adding Tables (the How)

Make a commitment to playing 1 more table than you currently do starting this week.

Prepare with warm-ups (ditch distractions, strategy focus and logic statement at the ready) and get good rest so you can remain at the tables and not end your sessions early.

Adding tables gradually is key. Do this one at a time, when you’re feeling good and making good decisions.

Be ready to drop that extra table if things go downhill (timing out, feeling rushed/anxious, etc.).


Finding and Plugging Leaks with PT4 Webinar

5 Steps to Adding Tables

1. Start your session with a warm-up and your standard # of tables.

2. Add one table when you feel comfortable. Try to push through and keep playing even if you feel a little uncomfortable.

3. If you notice a severe drop-off in your decisions, then drop the extra table

4. Do this every day for a week. Eventually you'll become very comfortable with this new “standard” number of tables.

5. Then you can repeat step 1-4 to add another table.

You have to realize that with multiple tables you're spreading your attention, so there's naturally going to be a decline in your ability to make good decisions no matter what. Your goal is to find that maximum threshold and stay there.

I can't go above 8 tables, but I find I'm playing best at 4-6 tables before my play starts to decline.

Playing with a Kick Ass Attitude (10:15)

My favorite scene with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in ‘They Live’:

Why do you play poker? 

Do you just play to call hands preflop, hope to hit big, then finally start betting for value? Are you on the table to limp in and hit sneaky 2p, set or weak 6-high flush on your opponents?

Or, are you here to make money, exploit your opponents, bluff them off hands and get crazy value when you’ve got the goods?

That’s why I play poker. I’m not a bingo poker player.

Instead, I try to make things happen by using well-timed aggression and I hunt for my opponent’s weaknesses and work to exploit them.

Positivity vs Negativity

On the felt, I try to have an attitude of positivity as opposed to negativity.

A negative person might look down at AA and say to themselves, “What a great hand, but I hope it doesn’t get cracked again.” These players let their thoughts poorly affect their play. They’re too scared and timid, make bad choices that allow their opponents to catch or they blow everyone off the hand preflop with raises that are just too big because they’re scared.

A positive person, on the other hand, will look down at this same hand and say, “Yes, AA. How can I play this to extract the most value from my opponents?” They think about the best way to play their hand, they consider their opponents and the board, and because they’re thinking clearly, they’re able to gain great value or fold when they know they’re beat.

How many times have you heard someone say with AA, “I know I’m beat, but I just can’t fold this hand.” Then they call, show AA in an effort to gain sympathy from the table, and they lose the pot to a flopped 2p hand.

You don’t want to be this person.

You want to be the one who’s in full control of your actions and your attitudes. You want to have the kick ass attitude of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, someone who’s willing to take on what comes their way and doesn’t let fear or insecurities affect their decisions.


Fostering a Kick Ass Attitude

So what can you do to develop or hold onto a kick ass attitude?

Be Present in the Situation

You want to present and fully engaged in every session you play.

Warm-up properly by ditching the distractions and have a strategy focus in place.

Pay attention to who your opponents are and who is still to act after you.

Be aware of table dynamics: how each table is flowing and look for patterns of play. You can be on 6 different tables online, all at the same stake, and each is playing differently. You have to adapt your game to the table and opponents.

Be tuned in to your own emotions. Are things flowing well and you’re making great plays, or do you feel frustrated, angry, distracted or tired?

When things are flowing and you’re in an A-game mindset, that’s money-making poker.

If that’s not the case, figure out how to get there or end your session.

Have a +EV Mindset

EV is expected value: it’s the value of your decision in the long run if you can make it over and over again. You should always be striving to make +EV, winning plays.

You want to play with a +EV Mindset, not a “get lucky” nor a “get aggressive” nor a “punish fools” mindset. Your sole intent for every session you play is to make the best decisions possible at every opportunity.

Having a +EV Mindset will:

  • Set you up for success because you’re making great decisions (no luck necessary)
  • Cause you to use well-timed aggression to earn pots and value (you won’t force the aggression)
  • Allow you to exploit your opponents because you’ll find great opportunities to do so (they punish themselves)
Believe that Results Don’t Matter

Do not let the results of your decisions effect your attitude.

As long as you’re present in each situation and striving to make the most +EV decision at every turn, the results shouldn’t matter.

If you got it in preflop with AA vs KK and they suck out, be content in knowing that you made the best play you could’ve preflop. You got it in as an 82% favorite, there’s not a better situation in all of poker.

But here’s the thing with this: it’s poker. Being an 82% favorite means there’s an 18% chance you lose. You signed up for that when you became a poker player, so accept it.

Accepting your results, having a +EV mindset and staying present at the tables are what it takes to be a kick ass player.


Support the Show

Nyll Barnabe wants to improve the all-important hand reading skills, so they purchased my Expert Hand Reading Webinar.  Focusing on my hand reading skills for 66 days straight was the best thing I ever did for my game, and Nyll's now on this same path.

Jimmy Lai jumped board the Smart HUD for PokerTracker 4 (with 4+ hours of training) bus and now he's learning to exploit his opponents to the max with the #1 HUD for PokerTracker 4. Thanks for making the purchase, Jimmy.  The webinar that comes with the Smart HUD is going to teach you all you've ever wanted to know about utilizing your HUD to understand the player you're up against and to make exploitative plays.

Sam Tarrant and Gabriel Samson purchased How to Study Poker Volume 1 and Volume 2 (the links here are for the PDF version). They're taking their studies to a new level with these two books.


Up Next…

In episode #238, I’ll discuss fear at the tables and dealing with your enemies.

Until next time, study smart, play much and make your next session the best one yet.


Sky Matsuhashi

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