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Q&A: Order of Study, LIVE Low Buy-in Tourneys and Keeping Track of LIVE Poker Hands | Episode 176


Sky Matsuhashi

on February 14, 2018

I answer 3 Q's about the order of study topics, playing LIVE low buy-in tourneys and tracking LIVE poker hands.

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


Q1: Order of Study Content (3:50)

I've mapped out a blueprint where I start with “player types”, then “pre-flop ranges”, followed by more of the math and theory aspect. My question for you is, does it really matter the order in which we study to make other concepts easier?
Thanks for your time – Rick


I like the idea of studying player types first then pre-flop ranges, and that’s how I'm starting off my next book.
You can study in any order you want, but just like learning to crawl then walk then run, there’s a natural order to your studies, and this order makes progress quicker.
Macro level: you're better off working on pre-flop before you work on post-flop skills.
Micro level: you're better off studying 2bet ranges before you study 3bet ranges, because 3bet ranges should be developed around what people 2bet with. And, your 3bet defense ranges can only be made with your 2bet ranges in mind and after studying what your opponents are likely 3betting with.
Also plug leaks in order.
Macro level: fix pre-flop leaks before going post-flop; flop before turn, etc.
Micro level leak fixing:
1. 220 and -10bb/100 hands
2. 45 hands and -4bb/100 hands
3. 15 hands and -80bb/100 hands

Q2: Beating Low Buy-in Tourneys (6:30)

What is the best way to try and run well in these low skill tournaments and not get so frustrated that I quit trying to beat them?


These tournaments are super profitable, but they are variance ridden because of all the weak players in them. The opponents you're up against make a ton of mistakes. They call way too often pre-flop, and call too often on the flop as well. Because they call so often, they hit tons of draws and your value hands can be brought down very quickly.
Avoid frustration by realizing that these weak players are what makes poker profitable. Their bad calls and plays will cause them to lose in the end, even if they win this hand against you right now.
You must be value oriented and charge the weak calling stations BIG TIME when they’re capable of calling.
An important lesson from Alex Fitzgerald: poker tourneys are not about making the most money every hand. They’re about making money from as many hands as possible. This means that due to the blind increases, you need to constantly earn chips in order to stay afloat and to have a chance of surviving and ultimately taking it down. Earning tons of blinds and antes in the later rounds is critical.
Make sure you aren't missing opportunities to get value from your hands. Too many players bet big on the river in hopes of getting paid off with their strongest hands. This makes it easy for opponents to fold their marginal hands. Bet smaller for value on rivers and fold to big river bets yourself.
If a 1/4 pot river bet can earn you 8bb's, this is more than stealing 3 pre-flop pots. Don't miss value.
Strive to play as many IP hands as well. Your weak opponents don't care about their position, but if you play a majority of your LIVE tourney hands IP, you'll have a huge advantage over them.

Q3: Tracking LIVE Hands (11:10)

I know you have a ton of online experience, but I have a question about live play. I’ve downloaded Poker Income and Poker Bankroll Tracker (iOS apps) but I was wondering if you knew of something that would be optimal in recording my hand, my bets, and others that I may see in showdown.


There’s only one way to do it, and that’s to write them down and be diligent about it.
I record my hands in two ways:
1) Hand written in my little LIVE notebook. This is the quickest and easiest way for me. I try to record positions, player types, stack sizes and street by street actions along with the boards. It just takes a bit of practice and you'll get this down pat.
2) I use the ShareMyPair App. Once you record the hand, use the app to view the action as a replay. Once you create just a couple of hands, you’ll be totally used to it and it’ll take just a few minutes to do each hand. One of the great things about it is you must put in the information correctly or things won’t add up, so you’re forced to take good notes so you can later build the hands correctly.

Q4: The Meaning of Life (13:45)

Here is my question: “What is the meaning of life?” or “Why are we here?”.


We’re here to do what we love to do.
Me: Raise my children; travel and share everything with my wife; play and teach poker; play paintball; podcasts & books & movies & music.
You’ve got to figure out what you love to do and do more of it. What that also means is you’ve got to do less of the stuff you hate doing.

Support the Show

Tyler Kress got the goods when he purchased PokerTracker 4 through my affiliate link.  And by “the goods”, I sent him my Smart HUD as a thanks for the support.  Get PokerTracker 4 here.

Johnny Scarlet once again is taking his learning to the next level with his purchase of the Expert Hand Reading Webinar.  Watch out for this guy on the felt!  Pick up your own copy of the webinar here.


Sky Matsuhashi

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