Poker Will Always Be Beatable

Many of you lately have been telling me, “poker has become solved. There’s no money in it anymore.”

This is a convenient way of saying, “it’s not my fault I am not succeeding.”

Mind you, this is coming from someone who dropped out of the poker scene for a few years. While I do have a WPT final table and Sunday major final table under my belt over the last year, I don’t play nearly as much as I used to.

The reasons for this are simple. If you were a very good MMA fighter, but not an excellent one, would you rather own an MMA gym or be professionally fighting?

Exactly. If you want money, you get the loan from the bank and run the gym. If you want the glory and the (highly unlikely) big checks, you stay in the octagon.

Poker isn’t much different, brain damage included.

I love playing poker. If I had a choice, I’d play poker all day while watching football, playing with my dogs, and eating falafel.

Unfortunately, while I’ve never been a money guy, I do need quite a bit of it. I support my mother, who is disabled. I’m divorced. I actually pay my taxes.

For this reason, I’ve bowed out from the game. Whereas the median professional poker player’s salary in 2009 was maybe $80,000 a year it’s probably closer to $40,000 a year in professional poker now. That’s not going to pay for my mother’s caretaker.

But did I leave poker because there’s no money in it? Hell, no.

First off, No Limit Hold’em is more complex than you can ever imagine. I cannot begin to tell you what I have sacrificed to attain my mastery.

10,000 hours? I wish. I still was a bumbling mess at that mark. Try 25,000 before I got anywhere. It’s only now at 30,000 hours where I can say confidently, “I am a dynamite No Limit Hold’em player.”

What did I sacrifice to get there? I have spent more time sitting than sleeping over the last 12 years.

You know that feeling you get on a road trip, when you get out of the car after six hours and stretch out in pain at the rest stop? Yeah. Multiply that by every day of your adult life.

Now, you can make the case that I’m dumber than a box of rocks, and I’ll probably agree with you, but then there’s the game.

If you play online poker, you need a HUD. Take a look at one sometime. There’s about a 1000 numbers.

I literally wrote the book on how to use all of them. I still struggle to use that damn thing every time I play. Every week or so I bring in another number, but every few months I have to refresh. Every single professional poker player in my 2,000+ person client list expresses similar difficulties.

Have you played live poker lately? Do you know if those people can tie their shoes two times out of three?

I had a guy flat my early position open in a $1,050 in Vegas this year in middle position with 9-3 of clubs. He tabled it on the river and nobody batted an eye.

Anyone who has ever used remedial poker analytics can tell you many of the current trendy plays are absolute garbage.

I know, I know…this might shock some of you who think you’re God’s gift to poker, but you can’t open 5-3s UTG and flat a threebet OOP and turn a profit. Like every poker player from the dawn of time you’re going to have to fold it.

Think of how many topics there are between online and live poker: Timing tells, physical tells, bet sizing tells, out of position play, big blind defense, optimal threebetting strategy, fourbet bluffing, threebet semibluffing, fourbet

semibluffing, triple barrel bluffing, flop checkraising, overbetting, underbetting, range analysis, balancing, disguising capped ranges, field reads, tilt control, and on and on.

Are you going to tell me that everyone has sufficiently mastered all of these categories and about 503 more while they were playing on their cell phones at a live table?

Please. Get back to work. 

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