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Interview: Steve Fredlund of the RecPoker Podcast | #215


Sky Matsuhashi

on December 20, 2018

In this episode, I interview Steve Fredlund of the RecPoker Podcast and we discuss his poker history, the podcast and LIVE tournament poker.

In episode 214, I answered questions about what preflop considerations, making better calls and what to do when AK misses.

Steve Fredlund interview (6:35) has only been round a couple years now.  Steve has developed a loyal fan base and a wonderfully supportive community.

Steve began playing about 10 years ago as a way for himself and his friends to connect with their teenage kids. In stepped poker!

When he began taking it seriously, there was no content source that gave him what he wanted.  So, he started up RecPoker to fill a need in the poker training world.

All about LIVE Tournament Play

The website and the podcast are geared towards the recreational LIVE tournament player. His goal is to grow their skills along with growing the numbers of recreational LIVE players. He started it with no grand designs, but it’s grown immensely over the past couple of years.

Steve used to listen to a lot of poker podcasts (just like me!).  But, since he started his own podcast his listening frequency has dropped (as has my own).

RecPoker is mostly a one-man operation (13:05)

Steve does most things on his own, but Brad Olsen (listens to both our shows – hi, Brad!) helps him out a bit with website stuff.

But, he also has a core group of people who participate in group forums as participants and also as leaders.

His Player Panels bring together a few different high-level recreational players and they answer questions and discuss strategies for the benefit of the entire audience.

Community is critical

Steve’s all about building community and he works with the end in mind. His Player Panels helps to give valuable content to his audience, but it also brings people together and develops a strong player community.

“Start with the end in mind.” This is something I need to keep at top of mind to help me give the best value and have a direction with Smart Poker Study. Where do I want to be (or my company) and how do I get there? Have a mission, plan and execute.

Meeting high-level tournament players (18:55)

Running Aces Casino (Minneapolis, MN) is a sponsor of his podcast and where he spends most of his playing time. He’s met plenty of rec players and high-level players at the casino and through his charity fund-raising ventures.

Through his professional manner in running these charity events, he’s developed a community of players who are willing to help him with his RecPoker Podcast, trainings and seminars.

Play and Learn

Play and Learn Sessions are something he’s just begun. Players along with one “trainer” or facilitator get together and play hands as they review everyone’s actions. Players need to be willing to share the way they play their hands.  It’s a great learning experience and has been well-received so far.

He’s got other things in the mix, so make sure you subscribe to his podcast and newsletter to stay informed.

How Steve improves his LIVE tournament skills (25:30)

He’s been working on his early stage preflop ranges. He’s consumed tons of content, wrapped his mind around that stuff, then worked to create his own ranges. Steve know's he gets overwhelmed easily, so he has one focus each time he goes and plays (like opening wider UTG or finding more 3bet spots).

He’s been playing the “guess their range game” that helps him to understand ranges and his opponents even better. It’s like practicing hand reading but in-game when you’re not involved in the hand. If a hand gets to showdown and their holding is within the range you gave them, great! But, if not, that’s a good learning opportunity for you to figure out how you didn’t see that hand as a possibility in their range.


Distractions are everywhere on the LIVE felt, but the thing that distracts him the most is chatting at the tables. Sometimes work gets in the way as well and he’s on his cell phone and answering emails occasionally.

Steve doesn’t play online, everything is LIVE for him. He records hands he plays for later study, though.

Sharing hands with others is great for learning, but right now Steve (and me) don’t have people really to share hands with.

One of the great things about LIVE poker is that poker players can be very sociable and it makes LIVE poker much more fun that online poker.

Steve is big on the social aspects of the games, but he does pay a small price for this because when he’s chatting, he’s not as focused on his play and mistakes will be made.

I’ll be seeing Steve and his buddies at the next WSOP! Looking forward to that.

Check out Steve's interview with me: Episode 111 on Soundcloud

Support the Show

John Milligan, Michael Volpe, Leland Baldwin, Brad Olsen all took the plunge and purchased their copies of PokerTracker 4.  I sent them my Smart HUD in thanks for their support, along with lots of videos to help them get more out of PT4 and the Smart HUD.

Guy Brooks purchased one of my most popular webinars, the Mashing the Micros Webinar (click for $5 off).  He's got his work cut out for him with this one because it was super value packed and is just what microstakes players need to build their bankrolls.

Up Next…

In episode 216, I'll discuss how to build skills into your unconscious competence using Focus Sessions.

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


Sky Matsuhashi

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