Streamlining Thought Processes At The Table

This topic was raised in the Podcast idea thread by Ninjah and Joseph F, but I thought it'd be a good one to solicit community input.

When you're playing live, there's a lot to think about and a multi-layered data stream to process. Do you ever get overwhelmed trying to analyze your opponents' play, making real-time adjustments, and incorporating this with poker theory? Do you have techniques for simplifying the information so that it's manageable? Does a GTO approach solve all your problems?

Moderation In Moderation


  • bogata XLbogata XL Red Chipper Posts: 29 ✭✭
    If you are at a table with unknowns start with just to pick the 2 players to your left to analyze their play.
    The players to your left are very important.
    And because if you want to analyse all your opponents' play it is too much and you will miss things.
  • ChipXtractorChipXtractor Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 1,191 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2018
    I find that I am so engaged in poker talk/discussion/study off the table that when I am in play I generally try and just stay in the moment and keep my thought process to a minimum. That is not to say that I just zone out. However, I tend to let instinct sort of take over instead of doing deep analysis within a single hand of play.
    Twitter = @ChipXtractor
  • Albert AAlbert A Red Chipper Posts: 96 ✭✭
    I play live $1/$2 NLHE.
    1) ID the players who fork their range pre flop by limping, limping, limping, and suddenly raising. There is usually a clear line of distinction between their pre flop limp range and their raising range. Exploit: This is huge hand reading info. If they raise it's AJ+ or 99+. If they limp it's mid to low pairs, suited connectors, Ax suited or broadways.
    2) ID the players who limp then call a raise. IMO this is a sign of poor play, someone who is just trying to hit flops. Exploit: It's tough to hit flops so C bet them.
    3) ID the players who fold a lot on the flop. Hint... it's usually the players above in #1 and #2. They generally won't float the flop to make a move on the turn. Exploit: C bet/barrel them.
    4) ID the players who use screwy bet sizes. Usually the bets are on the small side. Sometimes they bet small then same bet the turn. To me this is inexperienced and/or scared play. Exploit: Raise them. Also, they usually won't bet enough to get you off a draw.
    5) Try to figure out what their donk bets mean. My default read is medium pair in the hole or top pair/weak kicker. Exploit: Raise them or float the flop and if they check the turn bet them off the hand.
    6) Obviously, if a hand that was raised pre flop gets all the way to showdown, remember what hole cards the raiser raised with and the cards the caller called with!
    Most of this is in Ed Miller's "The Course"
    It may seem like a lot but at $1/$2 these things are common place and, to me, very noticeable. I target them and try to exploit them.
    This is just my 2 cents. I'm not claiming that this is GTO. I am just a recreational 18 hour a month player. There are many other contributors to this forum that have infinitely more knowledge.

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