I share 11 ways you’re losing money and 1 simple profit boosting solution for each. Let’s get to work, people!
In case you missed episode 238, I taught you how to handle an opponent who can “read your soul” and gave ways to avoid revenge tilt.
This is the first episode in the Month of Profits.
Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: Choose 1 of the 11 profit boosting solutions below and implement it today. Start with the one that you have a natural, gut-reaction to. That’s the one that you know you need to work on most, so trust your gut and get to work.
Now it’s your turn to take action and do something positive for your poker game.
Why am I losing? (3:25)
Most of my students come to me as losing players, but they don’t know why. We go through their database and we find different leaks to plug and various skills to develop.
Even if my student does not ask me this question verbatim, “Why am I losing?”, this is the question I answer over and over again throughout our one-on-one sessions.
Today, I’m going to answer this question 11 times over and share with you one simple profit boosting solution for each.
With each of these items, I’ll go into a little explanation of the problem and then I’ll give you my simple solution.
A “simple” solution doesn’t mean “easy”.
It might be a solution that contradicts your natural on-the-felt tendencies, or it might be a solution that takes a long time and a lot of practice to implement.
But I call them “simple” solutions because it is the one thing that is going to make the biggest impact to your poker profits.
11 Profit Boosting Solutions (4:30)
#1. You’re playing too many hands.
The more hands you play, the weaker you are on the flop. I know, folding a lot preflop can be boring, but embrace the fold!
The loosest players are the losingest players.
Simple Solution: Fold more often preflop. If you need more justification for this, listen again to episode #230 where I discussed ‘Waiting for Straighters’ by Tommy Angelo.
#2. You undervalue the power of position.
You’ve heard me go on and on about having position in the podcast. And the reason for this is position is the most important advantage to have at the table. If there was one magical thing that you could implement that would lead to winning poker, it would be having the BTN for every hand dealt.
Simple Solution: Strive to play IP as much as possible. Call less frequently out of the blinds, 3bet more often from the CO and BTN, and raise it to a size in the earlier positions to get everyone else to fold and only the blinds to call.
#3. You don’t play enough.
This is tough for LIVE players, but not for online players. You need to put in enough volume to get beyond the variance that’s inherent in poker. The more you play, the more the math will favor your +EV decisions and you’re more likely to end the week or month a winner.
Simple Solution: Put in more volume. Strive for 5,000 hands or more per month.
#4. You don’t do the work.
Most of your time is spent playing poker and this is your opportunity to practice the strategies you’re learning. But if you’re not working off-the-felt to improve your strategic understanding of the game, where are your new strategies coming from? I know you want to become a better 3bet bluffer, you want to cbet more effectively and you want to use better bet sizing.
Simple Solution: Spend time off-the-felt studying. Watch videos, read articles and listen to podcasts about the strategies you want to use. Take notes and purposefully practice what you’re learning.
#5. You call to much.
We know that aggressive poker is profitable poker, and passive poker is basically like playing bingo. You look down at your 2 hole cards, call preflop and you’re relying on hitting a hand on the flop, the turn or the river. When you throw out the bet or raise instead, you’ve now given yourself fold equity and an additional way to win the pot.
Simple Solution: Get more aggressive with bets and raises in order to get your opponents to fold and stop relying on hitting your hand.
#6. You 3bet way too small.
Your preflop 3bet is intended to do one of 3 things; either take the pot down by making everyone fold, gain value from your strongest hand or isolating a weak open-raiser. 3betting to only 6bb’s, or even worse 3bb’s, over a min-raise preflop doesn’t accomplish any of these things. When was the last time you saw somebody fold to a 3bet of less than 6bb’s? And when somebody called that 6bb’s with JJ versus your AA, don’t you think they still would’ve called 9 or even 10bb’s?
Simple Solution: Make every 3bet at least 9bb’s. This gives your wide open-raising opponents (and those yet to act) less of a reason to call and less of a reason to 4bet you. And when they do call and you have AA, you are getting loads of more value out of them before the flop hits.
#7. You aren’t capable of folding even when you know you are beat.
Why can’t you get it through your head that when your opponent bets big or raises on the turn or river, they only do this with a very strong hand? Think about how you play. How frequently do you bluff the turn or river with large bets and raises? For most of us, it’s not often at all. I know you want to confirm your read while at the same time you hope your top pair hand is good on the 3-flush or the 4-straight board. Stop hoping and stop calling to confirm your read.
Simple Solution: Trust your gut and fold when you believe you are beat. You have confirmed your read hundreds if not thousands of times in the past. Let those prior confirmations help you see the truth that your reads are good and be content that your fold in this situation right now is the best play.
#8. You don’t cbet enough.
Cbetting allows you to take down a lot of small flopped pots, and these pad your win rate. You were the preflop raiser, so they know you can be holding a monster. Represent a big hand by throwing out a cbet on hard to hit boards more often.
Simple Solution: Cbet more often when you’re in position, on hard to hit boards and when your opponent has a folding tendency.
#9. You always bet half pot.
Players don’t think twice about calling 1/2 pot bets nowadays. Everyone has been trained to see half pot bets as cheap bluffs, so they don’t work as often.
Simple Solution: Start using a larger 2/3 pot or greater bet sizing.This will gain you more value when you have that really strong hand and it will gain you more frequent folds when you’re bluffing. And if they fold versus your nutted hand? So be it…
Any winning pot is a good pot.
#10. You chase poor draws.
Of course you know you shouldn’t be calling with the under-gutter on the turn versus a tight player. You know you shouldn’t be set mining in a 3bet pot with only a 30bb stack. You know you shouldn’t call a 1.5x pot-sized raise with an open-ended straight draw.
These things are evident to you, yet you still chase poor draws and often pay too much in the process.
Simple Solution: Use outs and odds math to determine whether or not to chase your draw.
Listen to episode 138 for more on using outs and odds math. But it all boils down to this: if you’re drawing to a hand, in order to make a profitable call, the bet has to be small enough so that your chance of hitting the hand is greater than the odds you’re paying to see the next card.
#11. You blame others for your losses.
It’s always somebody else’s fault:
- The dealer
- The cards
- Your idiot opponents
- The poker site is against you
There are so many things to blame for your losses. But, the #1 perpetrator is yourself:
- You are the one who got frustrated because you were card dead and you spewed your stack with J8s.
- You are the one who tightened up too much on the bubble in hopes the shorties will bust, then you bubbled when you got down to 3bb’s with A8o.
- Played until 2am? Yep, you made that choice.
- You are the one who played with game 5 of the World Series on television.
- You are the one who chose to play T8s from UTG and barrel 3 streets with your busted flush draw and lost to a 2nd pair hand.
Simple Solution: Take responsibility for your losses and work to figure out what you can do to correct your issues. No more playing the victim.
Support the Show
A ton of incredible poker peeps supported the show by purchasing my latest webinar, Finding and Plugging Leaks with PokerTracker 4. I want to thank John Walsh, Johan Cedarlund, Al Mathews, Mark Remnant, Gabriel Samson, Frank Tanner, Halfday, Kevin Summers, Tim Polumbo, David Ridge, Vidar Sorenson and Michael Kansier. There’s no better webinar available for plugging 7 costly and common leaks including Small 3bets, Double-barrel Madness, Poor 2bet Calling, Playing Too Loose, RFI-Call 3bets Poorly, Unprofitable BB Calls and for tournaments Limping at 10-15bb’s.
Michael Cook and Craig Boyle picked up the #1 poker software available, PokerTracker 4. Thanks for your support, Michael and Craig. In appreciation, I sent them my Smart HUD for PT4. Along with the growing database of hands to study, the Smart HUD is a powerful tool in anyone’s poker toolbox.
Alex Panda purchased the PDF version of How to Study Poker Volume 1. This is the best book to get you started on your poker studying journey.
In episode #241, I’ll dive deep into the 3 things that you MUST begin doing off-the-felt to improve your skills and make more money.
Until next time, study smart, play much and make your next session the best one yet.