The minimum effective dose is the smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome. In this podcast series, I'm giving you the minimum effective dose strategies among 10 different themes you MUST learn to turn yourself into the profitable poker player you want to be.
Updated! Originally posted August 16, 2016.
The 10 MED's of Poker
1. Pre-flop Ranges
Utilizing ranges will set yourself up for poker success by choosing better starting poker hands for every situation. I'll give you the ranges and sizings I use preflop. I'll also discuss all the necessary concepts to help you make great open-raising, isolation raising, 2bet calling and 3betting decisions. I will show you through additional companion videos how to use Flopzilla to help you work with ranges and learn the equities of hand vs hand, hand vs range and range vs range.
2. Stealing Blinds
Stealing is a valuable play in all forms of poker. I’ll teach you the math behind steal bets. Mostly it's break-even math, like my 4bb bluff bet has to work X% of the time. And I’ll show you why it’s important to be stealing quite often in all forms of poker.
3betting is an important skill that we need to understand in today’s aggressive games. We’ll develop 3bet ranges and 3bet defending ranges.
4. Blind Play
Blinds are defended very widely nowadays. You need to understand how and when to defend, and how to exploit those who defend too much or not enough. We’ll discuss blind vs blind confrontations as well.
5. Exploiting Opponents
I’ll discuss each basic player type, their tendencies and how to exploit them. We’ll also get into the common ranges these players play and how our ranges fair vs theirs. I'll also cover the most important HUD stats that help you gauge your opponent's play.
6. Continuation Bets
Cbet Principles will be the first episode which will cover the basics behind this important (and ubiquitous) play. We'll talk board textures and opponent ranges. Double-barrels for value and as bluffs will be covered, as well as how to react to specific cbet defensive plays (like the check-raise, cbet raise or float).
7. Post-flop Math
We'll cover everything math related from Expected Value (EV), Pot Equity, outs and the odds of hitting draws and implied odds. We’ll discuss what hands are good to chase and which aren’t. There will be a big dive into the math of determining if your call or semi-bluff is a profitable one.
8. Post-Flop Plays
Because we’re targeting players, defending blinds and getting called by weak players, we need to know how to play both OOP and IP post-flop as the pre-flop caller.
9. Hand Reading
This is a crucial skill that we need to develop in order to make the best decisions possible. We train this through daily off-the-felt work to develop great thought-process habits that we can use on-the-felt.
10. Poker Mindset
Having a growth mindset in poker is key. Part of this will be understanding/accepting variance, something I haven’t discussed yet at all. We’ll get more into Kaizen and working to constantly improve your game. I’ll discuss my favorite mindset question of all time: “What am I doing wrong?”
Jump Start the 1st Minimum Effective Dose: Opening Theory and Ranges
Some of you have never used ranges before, so with that I found a great resource to get you started. Doug Hull at redchippoker.com created some awesome pre-flop range infographics. These puppies give you recommendations, both tight and loose, for opening, calling and 3betting pre-flop. The ranges themselves come from Ed Miller’s book, ‘The Course,’ but Doug put them together in a lovely, easy to follow infographic.
Let’s take a look at one of the ranges he gives you. The loose BTN opening range is 33.3% or 442 combos of hands. That sounds pretty solid to me. Lots of steal hands mixed in with all the value hands.
Within this range 116 combos are 3betting hands. Out of this 116 hands, there are 40 combos that could be considered bluffs or semi-bluffs. They’re hands like 75s, 97s, A2s-A5s and some suited broadways.
The great thing about having so many semi-bluffing hands in your 3bet range is that it ups the aggression when you have ultimate position on the BTN. This also has the added benefit of making it harder for opponents to read you. Additionally, having all of your bluffs be suited and connected or gappers makes them more like semi-bluffs because they can spike big hands and can be used to push weaker ranges off their hands post-flop with lots of drawing equity.
Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: Remember that list of 10 MED’s I asked you to write at the beginning of the podcast during the mission? Well, let me know how and why your list differed from mine. I’d love to get your input into my list of Poker’s MED’s and how you would rather it be organized. Who knows, your input might open my eyes to something new I haven’t thought of. Kaizen in action, always working to improve and open to suggestions! Ganbatte!
Until next time, study smart, play much and make your next session the best one yet.