Classic FTR Posts & Links
Renton's Theorem aka ABCD Theorem. Explains expert postflop play in a way beginners like me can understand. He followed it up with ABCD Theorem Exercises where folks post and analyze HH's, and break down the ranges. Renton comments using super-mod powers. Avoid this thread unless you want to stop sucking at poker.
ISF's Strategy Collection. Awesome strategy discussions by one of FTR's best poker writers. Read 'em all - twice.
BigSpenda's Five Biggest Leaks of a Losing NL Holdem Player Leak 1, Leak 2, Leak 3, Leak 4, and Leak 5. This is Poker 101 for noobies and intermediate players alike. Gives some theory and lots of practical advice. Tells how to think about poker.
ilikeaces 86 simple way to beat 6max. Great post and even better discussion including thoughts from some FTR icons like Gabe and ISF. Not everyone agrees, which is great, imo. OP was edited and lists several very strong points for any 6max player to consider.
Sauce123's Super Simple Guide to Beating Beating NLH 6max. Geared toward playing 6max in post-UIEGA and PT2 environment. Good stuff, but be careful with "3betting like a monkey" suggestions as those stats are available in HM and PT3. Still, the general suggestions are spot and still relevant. And the entire thread is filled with good suggestions from great players.
Beginner's Digest. I read every post in here when I got to FTR at least once. Every month since, I've gone back and read or reread it. They add new content, some of which I didn't see in the forums. And I often need refreshers on the basics.
ISF's Psychology: The Beauty of Admitting You're not Good is an awesome thread, and well written. Read OP. Rest of thread is meh.
ISF's Blog. Anything by IowaSkinsFan, aka ISF, is a must read imo. This guy gives great advice for beginners and advanced players alike.
Backwards Learning Theory of Poker. ISF makes a great point for noobies and beginners about how to learn poker and provides 2 great links to articles he wrote. Follow this one through, and keep thinking about it.
BJaust wrote a series he called "Thoughts on Beating the Micros." Each one is worth a read.
Thought 1, Thought 2, Thought 3, Thought 4, Thought 5, Thought 6, and Thought 7
Rant Complaints about Bad Opponents. Another Spoony rant. Read, laugh and learn something.
Why Poker is Simple. Spoon breaks it down, as only he can do.
Lukie's List of Exploitable Habits asks FTR regs to state one of their habits that thinking opponents could exploit. Great thread since most common leaks are addressed, and done so by FTR icons like Rondavu, pgil, DaNutsInYourEye, mcatdog, renton, jackvance, biondino, givememyleg, and pyroxene. Find leaks in our own game or exploitable tendencies to use in the Reg Wars.
ISF's 2nd leveling at 200nl is a very interesting preview of what's to come there, and how to adjust. ISF talks about how to use the fact that certain villains think to identify lots of profitable lines for bluffing and/or maximizing profits.
Dev's hilarious and insightful How to Become a Poker Player. Great read for noobies trying to make this whole poker gig work.
Spoon's Quick Fix American Guide to RB and Bonuses, a great template for noobies to follow to build up a roll and learn the game.
Time to Start Over, Need Advice Skim noobie post and read excellent replies, especially BR Management guidelines by Spoony in Wesrman's reply (2nd post in thread).
BR Management Rant. One of Spoon's great rants, and right on target, with good advice from guys like Lukie all the way through the thread.
Spoon's Rant: BR Management for People with Balls. Read, laugh and learn, like all of Spoon's rants. Have plenty of BI's to back your play.
Managing your non-playing poker issues. Miffed wrote an excellent article that all noobies and micro-grinders should read.
Taking Breaks and Avoiding Tilt. Dwafman's solid advice. Note to self: read once a month.
Importance of RB and Bonuses. Very comprehensive look at Rakeback and the money side of poker, how to game the system and maximize profit.
Dealing with Bad Beats. Long post but great for anyone who struggles with Bad Beat Anger Management Issues.
Jym's Thoughts on Sessions which is more like "math on sessions." He accurately computes the number of premium hands we should expect per 1k hands. He and Eupho related that to dealing with "bad" sessions, where no flops connect, all AA gets cracked, etc.
Tactics: Pre Flop
Blindstealing 101 and Raising Behind Limpers by Spoonitnow. Great stuff about playing late position hands in unraised pots. Blind Stealing 102 was added much later but fits in with the general theme.
Playing PP's Read Lukie's post, 3rd from top, and follow from there. Discusses playing small pp's in midstakes games, but the concepts are pretty well explained, especially in Fnord's, Renton's, Miff's, and Lukie's posts throughout thread. At the end, thread hits implied odds for sc's, and JefferyGB weighs in with more great content. This thread got me to dump the silly 10x set odds in favor of 15x at 10nl and 20x at 25nl.
Question regarding 3betting and 4betting by a reasonably good player with awesome insights provided by guys like Fnord and Spoonitnow. Good discussion of 3betting, where, when, why and how.
Should I Stop Raising Preflop. Bigslikk asks about preflop bets and bet sizes and gets a nice discussion of Stack-to-Pot Ratio and how effective stacks influence preflop strategy. Read whole thread - it's good.
Happy Fun Squeeze Time is yet another Spoony math classic, walking through a mathematical analysis step by step. This will definitely help you think better about big preflop pots.
Some Preflop 3betting Concerns, a math-filled strategic analysis of the TAGG-reg 3betting wars including ranges and implications based on wider/looser "light" 3bet ranges.
Muzz's awesome 3betting and FE in Full Ring theory post, with the math behind 3betting including a look at common ranges. Geared toward FR, but 6m guys can get something out of this, and every micro-FR-grinder should read this.
4bet is the new 3bet started by Genitruc and then pwn'd by Gabe and other FTR icons. Good discussions of issues every 50nl and 100nl 6m player needs to understand (and probably lots of others).
Some Soul Reading Threads: Nutsinho is master of posting HH's where he takes actions that simply blow your mind, and sometimes he explains his thinking. The Soul Read section of the post-flop tactics section was created to collect some of his classics: What have I gotten myself into?; Pwning 101: Do not try this at home; and Brag hand (53o). Good stuff.
KK with Axx flop is Gabe's classic discussion thread, oft-quoted by FTR regs the generation before me, and a very simple yet profound look at how to play KK postflop when an A hits. The OP is a SnG scenario and Hero has position. The concept applies to many cash game KK hands and can apply when Hero is oop.
Spoon's Good Example of When to Cbet. Also see A Good Example of When Not to Cbet. These are two threads that got me thinking more coherently about cbetting and started me working on my game. My work on cbets is linked below.
Restealing with the Best Hand. Classic Fnord. Succinct. Thought-provoking. Spot on.
ISF's I've found the biggest leak among .5/1 and 1/2 grinders. This is ISF's bet/fold opus, a classic development of poker thinking centered around postflop decisions that lend themselves to bet/fold plans. A must read for anyone who wants to learn to think better about post flop decisions.
Fnord's Implied Threat thread. A simple example turns into a great discussion between FTR icons like Rondavu, Lukie, and Warpe. They talk about how to play in position after a cold call against a Kinda TAggy player on an Axx flop. Fnord suggests a raise and then asks what kind of hands would make that suggestion correct. A great thinking exercise. If you want to think like these winners, that is.
Fnord's Leading into the preflop raising thread is another great flop-play thread like the one above. Same discussants as above with BankItDrew and Miffed joining in. Warning: will make you think correctly about flop decisions.
Playing a Set in Position. Spoon gives HH and quiz, and starts a great discussion about how to MAX EV with sets.
MCatDog is pretty good at math, so it's not surprising to see him offer a stab at a randomized, optimally unexploitable bluff-a-set line in his Mixing it Up: Pretending to Have a Set. Great ideas on how to exploit the regs when we set mine them.
BigSpenda's Advice for Beginners thread which starts off on how to play big hands postflop and meanders through bet-sizing for several different scenarios. Thread wanders a bit - read all posts by spenda and miffed, though.
Spoon's Betting Against a Flush Draw thread, with excellent discussion. Read BankitDrew's analysis toward bottom. Warning - short!!
Vi's Any way to cut down on your reverse odds thread, with great discussion of postflop play especially focused on big pp's.
Marginal hand out of the BB against a limper or two by DaGoat. Good conversation about how to play the Big Blind Special. Read Miffed posts half way into thread and final comments from Miffed and Goat.
Nutshino's Picking off Steals gives nice insight into when villain's line makes no sense compared to the board and game setting. Short, with input from Renton and Fnord.
Caddies' [url=http://www.flopturnriver.com/pokerforum/beginners-circle/fundamentals-value-betting-rivers-182312.html]Value Betting the River[\url] Strong op and follow-up discussion by folks who did the math and know both how to use it and how to explain it.
Just for Kicks
Newbie with a Couple of Questions. One of Spoony's first FTR posts. An LoL moment for those of us who have learned an ass ton from him in 2007 / 2008. Read Biondino's reply, several posts down for great beginner's suggestions.
Fnord's hilarious Why Poker Fucks with our Heads post starts a very entertaining discussion, which is insightful, too.
The origin of "that Gus Bronson poker guy from TV" allusion is in Fnord's Online Table Chat 101 post. Fnord chats like a donk while playing Omaha, and it's pretty funny.
Inspirational Stories of Poker Progress from FTR Guys You Know
IowaSkinsFan's Swings of Poker talks about his experience grinding up (and down) at the micros. He lost all but $2 and eventually won his way up to the nosebleeds. He's won over $100,000 lifetime (probably way more, now) and posted some awesome content on FTR. Jack Vance chimes in at the end at a time when he had less than a grand in bankroll. He's got a bit more than that now. Warning: short!!
Renton's I graduated post from 2006, when he had just reached the $10k bankroll mark. A great story from an FTR icon.
Spoony's My Great Story (1000th post) thread from January 2008. From a guy who won his way up, learned and contributed at FTR, and has supported himself with poker income.
Some of my personal posts on FTR
First, a disclaimer. My posts will be most valuable to beginners. I'm a poker enthusiast, not an expert. I have a master's degree in math (game theory, prob-stats expertise), and I work on my game. My posts aren't expert advice, but it's where a beginner can get ideas. See above FTR posts for the expert advice. I do.
Robb's 400th Post. I talk about my first year of losing poker and how I turned myself into a winning microstakes player, what I've learned, and how I used FTR to improve my game.
Problem Solving and C-bets. This post is more about how to work on your game than actual tips or advice about playing the flop. It describes in detail how to use PT, HUD reads, PokerStove and experience to work on a part of your game. I hope to update it into an article for new players soon.
Robb's First Rant: Don't be a Dumbass. An entertaining read, I hope, encouraging aggression and tight preflop play. I said a few controversial things, especially about KJo since AOK's 19-hand guide suggests limping it a lot. But the point wasn't a guide, just a way to think about opening ranges and aggressive postflop play.
Rant: Stations are *sob* so hard *sob* to play against. Title speaks for itself.
Bluffers and Stations: Attack 101. Patient aggression is perfect for both types of players. I talk about aggression and how to attack players we have solid reads on, together with two hand histories. One I played well. One I could have played better. Good critique by TJ afterwards.
Variance Tool for the Mathematically Challenged. If you hate math but want to understand variance, read the thread and download this Excel spreadsheet that allows you to enter two numbers from PokerTracker and estimate your projected "hotstreaks" and "downswings." It also gives decile ranges for sessions, letting you know how variance will play out in the short-run.
Where the $$ are at Micro NLH. Analysis of winnings at 10nl, and which groups of hands are most profitable.
Lesson 4 Noobs and The Noobie Never Do This List. Two short threads about basic "correct" plays and big mistakes I make at 10nl.
Profiling Villains (Robb's 800th Post). Suggestions for notes to take and keep handy for each villain reg we play (hands > 1k).
My HM HUD Configuration discusses the color-coding of all 10 main display stats and the 6 customized popups.
Improving FTR - Get to Work, Dammit (Robb's 1000th post) is a call for recycling classic FTR threads like all the ones above rather than reinventing the flat tire. My first sticky.
What to do when someone says you suck at poker is the turnaround point in my poker career and imo an interesting thread. After getting called out for sucking at poker, I did something about it, and as of 9-May-09 had won $4k as a direct result of what happened on FTR that week. I also posted it to show what I think people with class do when they get slammed or called out or disagreed with in the forums.
Practicing Ranges is exactly as advertised. I suggest a "chunking" memory method for grouping preflop hands and narrowing to successively more accurate range estimates at the table. Example HH's and range estimates included.
Great FREE Poker Content on the Web
I generally don't like linking away from FTR, since most great poker advice is available somewhere on FTR (see links above). But some classic sites have great articles from poker pros.
Mike Caro University. Fifty poker lectures from a guy who wrote part of Doyle's original Super System when Ngreanu was still in diapers.
Phil Gordon's personal No Limits website. The articles section gives advice from a pro who actually tells you how he thinks during hands, sessions and tourneys.
Steve Badger's Play Winning Poker . A lesser known pro, but reveals how he actually thinks about poker. Hasn't updated much since 2007.
Pokey's 2+2 "How to use PT2" Post . This is a great introduction to PokerTracker's usefulness in analyzing your game. The latest version of Holdem Manager has updated this guide for HM complete with ready-made reports to check out all the "leak-fixing" stats Pokey suggested. The articles are copyright protected, but HM has a full-feature download trial version - these articles alone are worth the download time, and they contain the results of a huge data-mining project with more than 1800 players of 6max at 100nl and below, each of which has at least 5k hands.
Holdem Manager. I was planning to purchase Poker Tracker 3 (and lots of FTR regs like it), but I'm a Holdem Manager convert. Awesome HUD, extremely versatile and customizable popups, slick and quick. Great reports and filters. All the usual graphs. Runs fast enough that I never notice it's even open.
The Stove. A great tool most of the good players I've read utilize. Ranges. Equity. Pwnage.