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Poker Growth Mindset | ‘The Hand Reading Lab’ Part 5 | Podcast #74


Sky Matsuhashi

on June 22, 2016

Today I discuss having a growth mindset within poker and when practicing hand reading.

Download and listen to this episode as you follow along below.


The Hand Reading Lab

In episode 72 I taught you why exploring your pre-flop calling ranges will help improve your frequencies and give you better insight into your opp’s pre-flop hand ranges.

Poker Growth Mindset

Podcast Mission (2:50)

My mission for today is to teach you about having a growth mindset when it comes to hand reading.  Hand reading is a skill you can develop, not some gift given only to a select few poker geniuses.  With hand reading you’ll often be incorrect, but having that growth mindset in place will propel you to learn from your mistakes.

A Growth Mindset VS a Fixed Mindset (3:25)

SplitSuit discusses making assumptions pre-flop and learning from mistakes within his incredible course, ‘The Hand Reading Lab.'  This concept made total sense to me, and it reminded me of ‘Mindset’ by Carol S. Dweck.  In it, she discusses the dichotomy between two basic mindsets: a Growth Mindset and a Fixed Mindset.

  • Growth Mindset – this is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.  If you have a growth mindset, you believe that you can better yourself through hard work and you see mistakes as an area where you should work on.
  • Fixed Mindset – this is believing that your qualities are carved in stone.  If you aren't good at something, you never will be so why should you ever try it again?

When it comes to hand reading (and poker in general), you’ll often be wrong due to the inherent nature where in poker you're dealing with imprecise information and assumptions.  The fact that poker players can play their hands any way they want and there really aren't any set rules in how you do it can cause you to make plenty of mistakes when hand reading.

Your job is to learn from these mistakes by having a growth mindset and be accepting of your mistakes and to work on your weaknesses to strengthen your game.

Hand reading is a skill that can be developed, so you need to have a growth mindset when practicing it.  The great thing about poker and hand reading is that as soon as one hand ends, you get another opportunity to practice these skills again.

A Growth Mindset Within the Rest of Poker (11:55)

The fact that you’re listening to this podcast (and reading these show notes) = a growth mindset.  Good on you!  Keep up this mindset and adapt it to every other aspect of poker where you might feel some trepidation or where you think you can never get better no matter what you do.

  • Transitioning between games (cash>MTT, MTT>SNG)
  • New stats in HUD's and how to use them
  • New plays like check-raising and finally folding on the river
  • Visiting new brick and mortar card rooms – new environment, new players with different strategies

Podcast Challenge (17:20)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Assess whether or not you have a fixed mindset regarding any part of poker.  Do you avoid playing suited connectors or pocket pairs because of a few bad experiences?  Do you fold every BB because you don’t know how to defend and don’t want to look like a fool?  Do you never check-raise or cbet OOP or 3bet pre-flop or even bluff because you’re scared of making a mistake and losing chips?  If you answer yes to any of these, then you’ve found an area where you may have a fixed mindset which limits your growth.  Resolve to get over this, learn new skills, attempt scary or new plays and be willing to make mistakes.  Develop that growth mindset and take your game to the next level.

Purchase the Hand Reading Lab with my affiliate offer code

I got the ‘Hand Reading Lab' and it’s the best poker course I’ve ever experienced and I truly feel it’s worth every penny.

The course contains everything you need to master the skill and art of hand reading:

  • 27 videos
  • Powerful Guides and Exercises
  • A 2-hour Hand Reading Webinar
  • A Hand Reading LIVE Tags video from Red Chip Poker
  • A Flopzilla License
  • A set of custom Flopzilla Ranges to help you hand read opponents and use Flopzilla successfully

Click here and use my affiliate offer code “smart” at checkout to get the Hand Reading Lab course and these two additional bonuses:

  1. Splitsuit's popular ‘Playing 3bet Pots' video series
  2. Entry into my Hand Reading Webinar on July 9th at 10am Pacific (just send me your HRL purchase confirmation)

Up Next…

In podcast #75, I'll answer 3 insightful listener Q’s.  And next week, in episode #76, I’ll continue the ‘Hand Reading Lab' series with part 6.

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


Sky Matsuhashi

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