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Q&A: MTT Leak Win Rates, Study Discipline, Equity Practice and Playing the Player | Episode 179


Sky Matsuhashi

on March 10, 2018

I answer 4 questions about analyzing win rates in MTT’s, developing study discipline, equity practice and playing the player.

In episode 178, I gave you my 7-step process for finding and plugging leaks for online poker players with a database of hands.

Q1: MTT Leak Finding (2:45)


Hey sky!  What’s up?  I was going through your episode #178.  Great material as always, highly appreciated.  There’s a thing I would like to ask regarding the paragraph about calculating the cost and defining the quantifiables.

As a cash player, you use the bb/100 hands win rate.  But as an MTT player, this doesn’t say much, right??

How do you approach it in MTTs?


Use a combination of BB/100 and All-in Adj BB/100.

Look it up in the statistics guide (in the Configure menu) for the definition and calculation. It's your win rate that's been adjusted for the equity you had when you went all-in and your opponent's hand is shown.

BB/100 hands is useful for most of tournament database reviewing, as a negative number is likely a leak.

Use All-in Adj BB/100 to see how the win rate changes with all-in equity calculated.

Filter for potential leaks and situations to see where the two rates differ, and look for negative numbers as well.

In the screenshot above, you can see the losses in the CO when 2betting pre-flop. Maybe this player is too risky in this steal position and doesn't give up steals too easily. Maybe their CO ranges are too wide. It'll require further diving into to figure it out.

In the EP, it's + for BB/100 then – for All-in Adj BB/100. This also means the player is getting it in with worse and they “should've” lost more chips just based on the equities at the time of getting it in, but they've lucked out a bit and have actually earned chips in the EP. This player should filter for all-in situations and review these hands to see where mistakes are being made in the EP.

Q2: Developing Study Discipline (6:30)

Lester Leslaw:

Discipline. I need to study more but I totally feel overwhelmed. Just bought a Deuces Cracked subscription. And bought your book on how to learn. Have to read that. The first fifteen minutes I’ve read is super juicy! So, any motivational things you can send me for more poker discipline would be great!


The discipline to study comes with time and seeing the benefits of study.

Here's what I recommend:

1. Commit to studying 1 losing hand every day within your database. This is an easy commitment to keep. What often happens is your 5 minutes can quickly turn into :30 or longer as soon as you get motivated to study further. Make this commitment every week for 4 weeks and see how you improve.

2. Time block your 5 minutes (1 losing hand) and put it on your daily calendar.

3. Commit to one area of focus each week in these 5 minutes. You can decide to study 3bet losing hands this week, or 2bet calling hands or whatever. This will help to prevent overwhelm and your game will improve even more than if you hit a completely different area of study every day.

Q3: Equity Practice (10:30)

Danny Seay:

The one poker skill I know I need to improve is calculating equity.


The best way to work on equity calculations is to whip out Flopzilla and run through tons of common situations. Practicing this over and over will start to cement these equities in your head and you'll start naturally using them in-game.

In the equity area under the “Dead cards” section, you can right-click that box to hide the equity calculations. Now, you can run different hands vs ranges vs boards and guess what the equities are.

Example: Let's say you've got AA and you're up against a suspected fd on the Jh5h2c board. How much equity does 8h7h have with their fd+bdsd? You might guess 35%, but when you hover over the area, it's at 39%. Okay, what if they had a pair +fd, like Kh2h? You might estimate it at 48%, but it's 49%.

Just keep practicing different scenarios like this for a few minutes every study session, or do it every time you're reviewing questionable hands.

Q4: Playing the Player (13:20)


Adjusting my play to who I am am playing against and not just my cards. Work on asking for help and making good questions.

Also in the email: The one thing I want to do is change my SharkScope flat line to an uphill growth pattern.


The perfect solution: HUSNG's.

I think my full month playing them (December 2018) really helped to open my eyes to how much I was NOT doing this and just playing my cards and the board. I didn't realize that I had de-volved into a robotic game and I wasn't playing the player.

Please listen to podcast episode 175 ( for what I learned from playing 263 of them.

Good luck on getting that line up. This was Olivier Busquet's big motivation when he went from a fish to a pro. He learned about Shark Scope and saw what his opponents would think of him. This motivated to study his ass off and improve his game to go from a losing to a winning player. This ended up propelling him to one of the the top players in the game.

Please join us in the FB discussion group as well so you can ask tons of questions and help other people with your own answers. (

Challenge (16:35)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Study more often. I recently said, “Everybody studies on Monday”. I want you to study every Monday, and 4 more days through the week. If motivation is an issue, time block 5 minutes out of every day and review just one hand. You’ll be surprised at how often your :05 will turn into :30. Also, shorter daily study sessions are better than 1-3 hours of study one day per week.

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

Support the Show

Karl Beard got the Smart HUD for PokerTracker 4.  Get 'em, Karl.  They'll fear the Beard soon enough.  Get the Smart HUD here.

Chuang Li also supported this past week by picking up a copy of PokerTracker 4.  Go here to learn more and get your own copy.  PokerTracker 4 affiliate link.


Sky Matsuhashi

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