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No Limit Hold’em Theory and Practice

While we have only found two books that are really valuable when it comes to no-limit cash games, Theory and Practice might be worth a read after you have finished them. We expected more from Sklansky, but then he isn’t much of a no-limit player and this book is more like a bunch of thoughts that he has on the game rather than a complete work on it. There are some interesting ideas in Theory and Practice, but some of them are dangerous if you aren’t already a knowledgeable player....
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Professional No-Limit Holdem: Volume 1

Mehta, Flynn, and Miller did a great job with this book. We thought no-limit couldn’t be broken down into a formula, but they have come close to doing exactly that giving no-limit players a set of rules to work with that will keep them out of trouble. The writing is well done and concise, if a bit dry at times, and each concept is clearly explained. The only complaint we have heard is that the book can be a tough read. It contains a lot of information and can be a lot of work because it feels more like studying a serious textbook than reading Poker for Dummies, but if you are serious about making money playing no-limit cash games...
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No Limits: The Fundamentals of No-Limit Holdem

While the authors, Wallace and Stemple, are prominent instructors, this book would get a five star rating from us regardless because it is by far the best book on no-limit cash games. The key to Wallace’s approach is his ability to break the game down into it’s component parts and Stemple helps him explain these concepts in ways that are easy to understand. Once the reader understands correct strategy, they are free to use their own creativity to exploit their opponent’s mistakes. We particularly liked the hand examples in the strategy chapters and the chapters on hand reading and bankroll management. These are overlooked concepts in most poker books, and they are incredibly valuable. The simple starting hands guide at...
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Being a Predator

I understand that most of you reading this article are not professional poker players. In fact, the percentage of poker players who make their living at the tables is probably less than one percent. Even most people who say they play for a living are not big winners and are either living off savings while they give it a shot or supplementing their income with another job. But even if you aren’t paying your bills with your winnings, you definitely want to win. The problem is that if you win at the tables, someone else has to lose that money. In fact, quite a few people must lose if you are going to make real money, because the rake eats...
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PLO: Sections 1-3

1. Introduction Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) has never overtaken no-limit Holdem in popularity as its proponents have been threatening for many years now, but it’s appeal has definitely grown. Even here in the midwest, where limit O8 or 7-Stud has long been ensconced as the secondary game to Holdem, Omaha High has definitely made inroads. At Running Aces these days, it’s far more likely to see the 2-100 Spread-Limit Omaha (we have no pot limit or no limit in Minnesota—don’t get me started), than Omaha Hi-Lo. It is also a game that generates a huge amount of action, more so than Holdem. And finally, people play it very, very badly. All of that adds up to a game that you’re going...
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Understanding Memory

You bring only one important tool to the poker table: your brain. To play well, you must understand its strengths and its limitations. I talked a bit about gestalt thinking in my Tilt Control course and mentioned that one side effect of gestalt thinking is that when faced with true randomness, your brain will often make up a pattern to make sense of it. One of the things I don’t believe I mentioned is that these false patterns bear no discernable difference to real patterns to your brain. They are stored in the same area and pulled to the conscious mind in the same manner. For all intents and purposes, they are exactly the same. Obviously, this can cause some...
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A Short Course in Tilt Control

Syllabus Intro What is Tilt? Defining Tilt The Triune Brain Theory Shifting Brains Emotional Distance ABC Psychology Gestalt Thinking Physiological Responses Achieving Emotional Distance Brain Health Final I. Introduction to Tilt Control Welcome to the tilt control course. Before we talk about tilt itself, I’d like to give you a little mental history of me, your instructor. As a poker player with a long history of mental illness, I feel I am uniquely qualified to speak about tilt, its effects, and how to beat it. The empirical studies on brain health, emotional control, relaxed focus and all the other topics we’ll be looking at are all readily available. I will have numbers of books for you to read and websites...
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A Short Course in Tilt Control 2

III. Shifting Brains Your browser does not support the video tag. Please upgrade to a more modern browser. IV. Emotional Distance While tricks for handling tilt like the one in the video you just watched are highly effective, they can occasionally be difficult to implement because you are trying to use the technique while on tilt. As detailed in section II, when your thought processes are in your limbic system, it’s tough to be rational. The idea behind the Fibonacci Technique is that it becomes automatic for you to start the sequence no matter your mental state, and the difficulty of the sequence helps you force your thoughts into your neocortex. But if that fails, you’re on tilt. The best...
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A Short Course in Tilt Control 3

Brain Health In all the talk about staying off tilt, I’ve always felt that brain health has been largely neglected. All the psychological tricks in the world won’t help you if the organ itself is compromised. Use these tips to keep your brain in good condition for full cognitive processing. Hydration — Like the rest of your body, the brain requires fluids. Even mild dehydration causes problems with memory, awareness, and anxiety. So you should drink water as soon as you’re thristy right? Wrong. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re probably experiencing a nearly 10% drop in cognitive function. You need to keep yourself hydrated even if you’re not particularly thirsty at the time. Drink at least 8 oz....
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