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How to INSTANTLY Play Better Poker WITHOUT Studying


Sky Matsuhashi

on February 22, 2023

I’m going to help you play better poker in your very next session and for the rest of your poker journey and, the best part, you don’t have to do ANY STUDYING!

Yeppers, if you hate studying poker, this is right up your alley.

Watch this podcast episode on my YouTube channel:

Prefer audio podcast? Download this episode here and follow along below.


5 Key Strategies That Need NO STUDYING!

#1 Target the Weak

It’s your job to figure out who the weakest players are.

Common Characteristics of the Weak:

  • Don't buy in for a full stack.
  • Seem to play haphazard poker (clueless).
  • Limp a lot.
  • Call a lot.
  • Always defend their blinds.
  • Can’t fold draws.
  • They whine about their results.


Who are the weak?

  • Short stacking Fish: Villains 1, 2, 5
  • Passive Fish (gap between VPIP-PFR > PFR): Villains 2, 3, 5
  • Loves Calling: Villain's 2, 3, 5 and even 4 calls 15%
  • Folds to 3bets a lot: Villain 4
  • Folds on the Flop: Villain 4
  • Folds on Turns vs Cbets: Villains 2, 3
  • Doesn't Cbet Flop: Villain 3


Now that you know who the weakest players are… target them!

  • Raise their blinds with anything playable* (get Bread & Butter vs them).
  • Isolation raise when they limp (more B&B).
  • When they open-raise, you’re going to call IP so you can use your position against them post-flop.
  • 3bet their open-raises to play HU in bigger pots.
  • If they can’t fold, value bet the crap out of them.
  • If they can fold, bet on their honest street.


*What does “anything playable” mean? Because you’re trying to isolate the weak and see the flop, play hands that you’re happy seeing a flop with. J4o sounds crappy, but J8s works. A6o is alright, but Q6o not so much.


#2 Seek & Destroy

A huge part of profitable, strong poker is playing the player. You must learn each player's tendencies and weaknesses.
Why? So you can exploit ‘em, fool!

You must seek and destroy:

  • Seek: Put yourself in a position to exploit your opponent's weaknesses.
  • Destroy: Pull the trigger on your exploits!


Check out these 3 example hands (at 8:48 in the video):


#3 Practice Something… Anything!

For many of us, poker content = entertainment. So, the next time you're watching Poker After Dark or Poker Go, and you think, “I should do that”… practice it!

Example: Maybe you're watching a video and you learn:

Aggression wins more pots, so bet more often when they check.

Those are your next session's marching orders. Play with purpose and practice it as often as possible.

Look for every opportunity to bet when they check and pull the trigger on it.

Even when you’re not involved, “Would I bet here after they check?”

In this hand, the MP Villain 5 opened, we folded in the CO and the BB Villain 7 is the only caller. Flop comes 652 and the BB checks.

If we were the MP Villain 5, would we make a bluff bet here after the BB checked to us?

By noodling on each situation that arises, even when you're not involved, you’re actively practicing the skill you’re trying to learn over and over through the session.


#4 Bet When They Check

Checking = weakness, so bet if you can get value or earn the pot. Most common bets you'll be making:

  • Cbetting IP
  • Floating the flop/turn when the cbettor checks to you
  • Probing the turn/river when the cbettor checks-back


My flop results from PokerTracker 4:

  • Opportunity to bet = 16,777 hands, +105bb/100 hands
  • Made the bet = 6,685 hands (40%), +296bb/100 hands
  • DID NOT bet = 10,092 hands (60%), -22bb/100 hands


Yep, I need to bet more often!

Check out these 2 example hands (at 19:40 in the video):


#5 Have a Reason Behind Every Play

Avoid simple beginner thinking, things like, “I have A5s/fd/2nd pair, I hafta call.”

Instead, consider what you want your opponent to do? Can they do it?

Here are some example actions with possible reasons for making the plays:

  • Open-raise: steal the pot; iso the BB; get LAG to 3bet
  • Calling preflop with 33: hit a set and get value; bet when they check
  • 3bet with A5s: want them to fold
  • Cbet: get Value from worse or Bluff and win the pot; be sure to consider their range
  • River raise: get value from weaker hands in their range.


Complete this sentence before every play: I’m PLAY because REASON.

Example: I’m betting because he can fold overcards and non-pairs.


Take Action!

Pick one each day and play with purpose starting now!

#1: Target the Weak
#2: Seek & Destroy
#3: Practice Something… Anything!
#4: Bet When They Check
#5: Have a Reason Behind Every Play


Support the Show

Want to study the easy way? Get the 1-Hour Poker Study Workbook. Much thanks to these awesome poker peeps for picking it up recently: Werner Taschner, Tyler Mathes, Alex Roberts, Trevor Mccarthy, Brian Roy, Christian Olegård, Joe Tolentino, Dale Silver, Rene Emmell, Gregg Thibodeau, Andrei Munteanu, Jerry Smith, Kevin Blanc, Luke Frankson and Patrick Waly.


Sky Matsuhashi

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