Two Plus Two Pokercast Steps Up

I’ve been a listener of the Two Plus Two Pokercast since their previous incarnation, before they hooked up with Two Plus Two publishing. Most shows range from OK to quite good but the episode from March 10, 2009 flat out rocks. Not only does it have a great and illustrative interview with Huckleberry Seed (one of my favorite players) but they have a long hand analysis of a particular pot from the High Stakes Poker TV show that really opened my eyes. The take-home was that Tom Dwan had Ten-rag in a spot where both other guys in the pot had him beat on a 10-2-2 board on the flop – one had AA and the other had 24. However, by having the ten, Dwan knew that the range of another guy having the pair of tens to complete the full house was reduced with him holding a 2nd ten. That meant that a big balled bluff was that much harder for both the other guys to call, and he ended up taking down the pot with the worst hand.

That’s the sort of thing I never think about but I’d be a much better player if I did. Online games go fast, but I need to make a habit of jamming as much analysis as I can into those dead seconds while I wait for other players to act. Rather than impatiently wait for the action to get to me, I should be thinking ranges every available second and preparing for my range of actions depending on how things go. Can I call a raise here? Do I check behind, or reraise regardless or fold to any action? I am an above average and profitable player. I’d really like to be so much better though. I appreciate when poker podcasts take time away from taking about which players have the nicest Rolexes and cars and actually spend some time on the game itself. I hate all the flashy lifestyle stuff, I’m about the game and nothing but.

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Dave Slusher is a blogger, podcaster, computer programmer, author, science fiction fan and father.