You’re going to earn your next poker superpower with this 3-step process. Starting today, you'll be like Spider-Man, your friendly neighborhood amazing poker player. Or like Daredevil, the poker player without fear.
Watch this podcast episode #473 on YouTube:
Listen on Spotify:
You know that question we would debate as kids, “Which superpower would you love to have?”
My answer was always the power to fly like Superman. But I wouldn’t turn down Spider-Man's wall climbing, spidey sense and super strength, either.
And my younger son, his choice would be super speed like the Flash.
Super hero superpowers are special abilities that few have but everyone would love to have as well. The same thing holds true for poker. Imagine having the hand reading skills of Daniel Negreanu or the no fear of Phil Ivey, or even the patience of Phil Helmuth
You Next Poker Superpower
What poker superpower would you like? Answer this for yourself right now.
Maybe you want the ability to:
- Fold when you just know you’re beat.
- Make thin river value bets instead of checking all the time because you're scared or unsure.
- Read ‘em for weakness and make the bluff to win more pots.
These are Superpowers that you can develop! It just takes a bit of focus and hard work.
You don't need gamma radiation or a radioactive spider or a barrel of radioactive goo for this.
Follow this 3-step processto earn any poker superpower.
3-Steps to Your New Superpower
Step 1: Learn How to Wield the Superpower
It's time to crack open a book, or start-up a video or podcast, and learn more about your superpower.
For example, maybe you want to earn the ability to fold when you just know you’re beat.
Start by doing a simple Google or YouTube search to find study material (or find a chapter in your favorite poker book). Type in something like “make good poker folds” or “how to fold strong poker hands”.
When I ran the search, 7 of the first 10 videos looked promising from creators like Crush Live Poker and Jonathan Little and a couple from Pokerstars.
And tons of articles popped up as well from Splitsuit, Cardschat and Upswing.
From me, I have an entire course called “Finding the Fold” within the Poker Forge, so members can go there.
Now that you found your superpower training material, you gotta get to work with studying & playing with purpose.
I dove deep into this in last week’s episode called “The Hardgainer’s Guide to Effective Poker Study in 2024”. To follow this process, you have to
- Watch/read/listen to the training material.
- Take notes.
- Practice what you learned with the goal of developing this new superpower.
Your search is going to yield a lot of results. DO NOT study it all in one day.
If I was pursuing this superpower, I would plan it out and split it up. You want multiple days for study and play to fully ingrain this new superpower. I would probably make a 21-day plan out of it.
- Day 1 is for watching video 1.
- Then I would play with purpose over the next 3 days with the strategies I learned.
- I would do further hand history reviews and hand reading practice over the 3 days (Step 2 below).
- Then on Day 4, I would repeat this process with the 2nd video and so on until I've studied and practiced with all of them.
Step 2: Superpowered Hand Reading and Hand History Reviews
Everyday as you’re working to earn your superpower, you have to do lots of hand history reviews and at least one full hand reading exercise.
Filter in your database for hands to study. One area that would be perfect for learning the superpower of finding the fold would be your “called river and lost” hands. Of course, not all of these are going to be hands where you should have folded, but the only way you're going to figure that out is by doing the work.
Start your daily study sessions by reviewing 20 hands. I'm sure that out of those 20, at least 10 are going to be ones where you should have folded. Choose one of those “shoulda folded hands!” to do a full hand reading exercise with. Probably the one that you feel is the most obvious calling mistake or maybe the most costly one.
Take note of all your mistakes, whether they’re strategy mistakes, or failing to notice your opponent's stack size or their HUD statistics, or maybe even mental game hiccups that caused you to make the bad call.
GI Joe taught us, “Knowing is half the battle”. By knowing your mistakes, you're able to address them as you play and work to NOT repeat them.
Step 3: Practice Your New Superpower
I recommend playing just one or two tables at a time for this. The idea is that you're trying to put yourself into as many situations as possible to use your superpower. It's pretty easy to do this with something that's a common occurrence, like 3bet bluffing more from the blinds or cbet bluffing on hard-to-hit boards.
I recommend using a tick sheet and write your superpower at the top. Make a tick for every time you use it. The goal is to make as many tick marks as possible because the more reps you put in with your new superpower, the sooner you'll earn it.
However, some superpowers, like thin value betting on the river, rarely occur, so are tough to purposefully put yourself in. But, many hands each hour see the river. So let’s mentally practice the superpower.
For every hand that sees the river, if you’re not involved, noodle on it. Imagine you had some kind of value hand. Probably not the nuts, but maybe a TP or a 2pair hand.
- Is this a good spot to value bet?
- You've been watching the hand play out, so what kind of hand strength do you put one of the players on?
- Would you value bet your hand against his range?
- Would you even value bet a 2nd pair hand?
- And if you would value bet, how much would you make it?
Just noodling on the strategies, even when you're not involved, is great practice. So put another tick on your sheet.
And to help you learn from your practice sessions, tag key hands for review. You can still filter in your database for superpower-related hands to study, but these tagged hands are great for learning as well.
Repeat Steps 1-3 Until Superpowered!
Repeat the three steps for as many play sessions and as many study sessions as necessary until you feel that you've developed your new superpower. If it takes you a full month of play & study at 5 days a week to develop this superpower, it’ll be well worth it.
Choose your next superpower and work to earn it! Your answer to the question above, “What poker superpower would you like?”, is probably the best one to start with.
Follow the 3 steps here and work hard over the coming weeks to give yourself a new poker superpower.
STEAL more post-flop pots!! Introducing the Honesty HUD for PokerTracker 4:
Get the Honesty HUD here for FREE: https://go.smartpokerstudy.com/HonestyHUD
- “One More To Grow On” for Poker Skill Improvement - February 28, 2024
- Use YOUR Table Image Against THEM - February 23, 2024
- Poker Q&A: Tournament Statistics Analysis, Defense Frequency, Adjusting to Players and Going Pro - February 14, 2024
Don’t Miss Out!
Get expert tips and strategies straight to your inbox each week!