The Tsunami

Strategize. Optimize. Pulverize.


Wow…I Actually Need to Think Deeply About my Poker Decisions!

I talk a lot about play that’s fundamentally sound – play that’s difficult for any opponent type to exploit. When short-stacked in tournaments, I’m so in tune with fundamentally sound play that I can play 12+ tournaments concurrently with little difficulty. And even though a non-exploitable strategy for deep-stacked no-limit hold’em is unknown, I’m able to accumulate chips in early levels of tournaments when playing a lot of tables simply because many tournament players still aren’t great at playing deeply stacked.

My auto-pilot deep-stacked game currently performs good enough in tournaments. However, cash games are a different beast. Online cash games have continually gotten tougher, and I know that my auto-pilot deep-stacked game isn’t good enough to compete. For awhile, I’ve puzzled over how a handful of players (like Nanonoko) are able to post respectable PTBB/100s when 24-tabling. After subscribing to, I realized something – at least about Nanonoko. Nanonoko actually has a good handle on how his opponents play – he’s not playing on autopilot.

How does Nanonoko pull it off? I don’t know for sure, but I’m assuming that he does some homework away from the tables (along the lines of what I described in my last blog post) and that he plays with amazing focus and concentration on his tables. All of this, combined with my recent live play, has made me realize something really important: my deep-stacked game is much more read-dependent and deep-thinking – and much less auto-pilot – than I had previously thought.

If a non-exploitable strategy for deep-stacked no-limit hold’em was known, there’s no doubt that my desk would be covered with cheat sheets – similar to the cEV jam/fold cheat sheets I have in front of me when playing online tournaments (which are available to PokerPwnage members). However, such a strategy isn’t known, so I have to rely on my ability to reason and on my discipline to avoid playing more tables than I should be playing.

If you feel like you’re in a bit of a rut at the tables, it could be that you’re simply not putting in the focus needed to play quality winning poker. Next session you play, make a concerted effort to focus on everything that’s happening. Play fewer tables. Take notes. Use your site’s hand replayer to watch showdowns that you may have missed. Bring this discipline to all your sessions. It may sound difficult, but that’s only because being a solid winning multitabler is difficult.

If you’re used to hitting buttons as fast as you can, slowing things down may seem boring. However, winning money is much more fun than breaking even or losing. And as you repeatedly think deeply about your decisions, you’ll eventually be able to think deeply with more speed – meaning that you’ll eventually be able to add more tables to your mix. However, don’t simply play lots of tables for the sake of playing lots of tables. Instead, only play lots of tables if playing lots of tables results in you winning more per hour than playing fewer tables (where, of course, winnings include rakeback and other player rewards).

May Your EV Always be Positive!

The Tsunami


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