Play your A-game with PokerStars School

July 03, 2019inPoker

Studying with good poker players is one of the best ways to improve your own game in the long run. Converting what you learn into a bigger bankroll isn’t always simple when you’re starting out, but PokerStars School is here to make the journey a little easier.

This week:

• Adjusting to recreational players
• Optimizing session length with ZOOM
• Triple-barrel bluffing in tournaments

How to adjust your play against recreational players

Get an edge on more of these players by adjusting to their less profitable tendencies

If you try to apply everything you’ve learned from PokerStars School directly to small-stakes games, you’ll find yourself quickly frustrated. But if you deviate too much from your regular game plan when adjusting to these games, you’ll find you aren’t playing profitable poker anymore.

The trick is knowing where and why to deviate from strategies that work well against more skilled opponents. In his latest video, OP Poker’s Nick Walsh dives into just this topic during a 30-minute live session. He plays several $1 Spin & Go tournaments, putting him in lots of real-world situations where his recreational opponents deviate from optimal tournament strategy.

Watch Adjusting Your Play Against Recreational Players and start learning reliable ways to profit from these players’ tendencies.

Play your “A-game” more often with ZOOM Poker

It might not turn you into Phil Ivey, but playing timed sessions of ZOOM Poker can help you play your best game more often

“Your poker mind is like an engine,” writes Pete Clarke. “It needs to warm up before it starts to approach maximum capacity.”

After about 10 to 15 minutes, in optimal circumstances, you’ll begin to play your “A-game.” But even if you manage to stay settled in this zone, says Clarke, after an hour or so you’ll find yourself reaching the limits of your concentration and start playing on autopilot. Worse, chances are you won’t even notice as your A-game becomes something more like your C- or D-game.

Tournament players are at the mercy of the structure, but cash game players can alter these dynamics in their favor by playing ZOOM Poker. Learn how ZOOM offers the flexibility you need to play your A-game more often, and just how much more profitable that can make your time at the tables, in Using ZOOM to Optimize Session Length.

Tournament lives, capped ranges, and triple-barrel bluffs

Learn when to fire that third barrel — and when to hold off — if you want to make more final tables

Tournament poker is all about survival — you can’t win it if you’re not in it. But sometimes the situation calls for firing three barrels and bluffing your opponent off an important pot. So how do you know when this type of move is likely to work? The key is understanding the difference between a capped range, which should not contain many strong hands, and an uncapped range, which does contain them.

“When your range is uncapped and your opponent’s range is capped, we say that you hold the ‘uncapped advantage’. This is one of the most profitable times to triple barrel bluff,” writes Pete Clarke. “This uncapped advantage becomes even more powerful when your third barrel threatens your opponent’s stack, but not yours.”

Two example hands follow in which Clarke demonstrates exactly what sorts of circumstances do and don’t call for firing a third barrel on the river. Win more big pots on the river in your next tournament when you learn about Triple Barrel Bluffs and Tournament Life.

Other PokerStars School content you might enjoy

• Question of the Week: How many hours per week should you study poker?
• Strategy: Heads-up: Trusting your instincts
• Interview: OP James Binks a Big Spin — live on stream!
• Course: Bankroll Management

WSOP photography by

Open a PokerStars account today and start learning from PokerStars School. Click here to get started, and then click here to register for PokerStars School.


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