The idea behind this particular video is twofold: recognizing and fixing errors in your own play and taking advantage of these errors when they’re present in other players’ game.
In the video, Sweeney addresses four important areas, namely:
- Static flops containing big cards (Aces and Kings)
- Bet folding top pair type of hands
- Monotone boards
- River raises
Most players don’t actually follow the rules laid out in this series, which means that their frequencies are often very bad, especially in these particular situations.
For example, many players tend to have bad flop or turn betting frequencies on flops with high cards, and there are ways you can take advantage of their leak.
One particularly interesting area that Sweeney explores in this context is river raises. He asks the question about how often we raise rivers and how often we do it with bluffs?
Most players don’t raise rivers with bluffs almost ever, which means there is a frequency issue here.
Being able to recognize these mistake in your play but also to pinpoint them in your opponents can be of great value and help you improve your EV.
By this point in the course, you should be able to follow the logic behind these explanations and understand where ‘SplitSuit’ is coming from.
It may seem like you hear the word ‘frequency’ way too often – but it is what poker gets down to. In the simplest of terms, it is about how often you do or don’t do what is needed in particular situations and what kind of an effect this has on your overall success.
Good / Bad / Non Event Concept and Frequencies
Everything that’s been talked about up to this point makes sense. But, poker isn’t a linear game. Things change depending on the actions of your opponents and new community cards. ‘SplitSuit’ divides these occurrences into three main categories: good and bad events – and non-events.
As you could guess, bad events are the developments that are not favorable for us, such as opening a hand from the cutoff and getting called from the button.
It is not the standard development we expected, and this will influence our frequencies moving forward. In the same light, raising from the cutoff and winning blinds or getting called by one of the players in the blinds is a non-event (it’s what’s expected).
Bad events will cause us to lower our frequencies. If we’re called by the button, for example, we’ll probably drop our continuation bet frequency down to 50%. Good events, such as hitting a favorable card on the turn after c-betting the flop with air, will increase our betting frequency on the turn.
The point of this video is to try and highlight how to recognize good and bad events and also distinguish between bad and non-events.
Players often have a bias to value events as bad even when they’re more in a non-even category, especially when guessing what cards might have helped the opponent.
In addition to learning to recognize these three main categories, this video also focuses on explaining how to take advantage of players who don’t have this ability.
There are various ways we can exploit players failing to adjust to bad events, leading to them continuing with too wide frequencies either as aggressors or as callers.
Refining Your Hand Selection
The final three videos in the series are devoted to fine-tuning the strategy presented thus far. It starts with the video talking about how to refine your selection of hands. You can easily do that, with right preflop hands cheat sheets.
Of course, post-flop hand selection is vital as well. Some of the ideas presented in the video cover topics such as including more medium hands into your value range. In some spots, you’ll be able to go for thin value with your medium-strength holdings (such as 99 on a Q-high board) if you know your opponent’s calling frequency is too high in these situations.
Another interesting concept covered by ‘SplitSuit’ deals with what weak hands to include into your betting range, and he suggests including more holdings with the potential to make the nuts. These hands, even if weaker in absolute terms, have much more playability on later streets.
The video also talks about the idea of prioritizing when picking what hands to include in your betting and calling ranges. For example, in your bluffs, you should prioritize hands that have blockers to the nuts because you’re more likely to get folds from your opponents.
The lesson circles back to the main idea of this course, which is that we should never be folding too much.
It is important to create our frequencies in a way that prevents other players from taking advantage of our tendencies and adding these extra hands across the board helps achieve this goal.
What if You Get Raised?
Texas Holdem is much easier when we’re the one driving the action and staying in control. In real life, however, this isn’t how things work. Sometimes, players will attack your raises or come over the top of your flop continuation bet.
In this particular video, ‘SplitSuit’ goes back to the concept of branches discussed earlier in the series. He then takes a hand example to explain these concepts going through them in detail.
In these spots, it is essential to maintain proper frequencies and not fold too much. We already have our bluffing vs. value betting ratio (from earlier videos) but how do we choose actual hands to include into our continuing range to reach correct numbers?
Here, Sweeney brings home another important point, which is that players tend to fold way too much in these spots – even with some hands he defines as strong.
To get to the correct frequency, we need to include some fairly weak holdings as well. Including some of these very weak hands does seem counterintuitive, but we need them to keep the math healthy.
These hands don’t have much potential to become winners at a showdown, but we can use them as bluffs when the opponent gives up on the turn and decides to check. Likewise, these hands are first to give up when we face continued aggression.
You may have your doubts about Miller’s strategy, but the alternative is giving up too much, and this whole series tries to point out this is something we shouldn’t be doing.
Don’t give your opponents an easy life. Put them to the test and force them to make tough decisions instead.
How You Should Raise
The final video of The One Percent Series deals with situations when we’re the one doing the raising. To make it clear, it’s about the situations where there is already action ahead, i.e. facing a raise or a continuation bet.
Not surprisingly, the biggest point of the video is that we can’t afford to over-fold in these spots. There is no need to be a fold-or-raise type of player; calling is a perfectly legitimate option in many situations as well.
When it comes to selecting hands to raise with, this isn’t as clear-cut as some of the other areas discussed in this series. You can find a bit more about it in upswing poker lab review.
When trying to come up with our raising ranges, there are a few things to look at.
Once again, Sweeney takes us to a sample hand where he uses the already familiar process to come up with raising frequencies.
The video wraps up with some advice on how to recognize and fix issues we might have in this particular area, which can often be traced back to our preflop range.
Question & Answers and Homework Videos
As I mentioned at the beginning of The One Percent review, this series contains ten lessons, but Sweeney provided several additional videos to round things up and clarify discussed concepts.
The first of these bonus videos contains questions and concerns from real players regarding some particular ideas as well as Sweeney’s answers and explanations.
The rest are “homework” videos, presenting players with a series of questions on particular topics such as vpip and pfr, 3-betting, barreling, continuation betting, etc. These videos offer an opportunity to test the newly acquired knowledge and see if there are any areas that you might want to revisit.
Finally, we’re also given access to The One Percent Cheat Sheet. It is an automated Excel spreadsheet similar to the one used by ‘SplitSuit’ throughout the series to calculate the number of betting and calling combinations by the street based on the number of hands we start with.
It is a really handy tool and a nice touch to wrap things up as it is really helpful for practicing what’s been taught in the series.
Conclusion: Is The One Percent Course Worth It?
There are heaps of great poker training materials out there, so those looking to improve their game want to know if their money and time are well-invested.
When it comes to The One Percent by James Sweeney, there is certainly a lot you can learn from this series.
That being said, this course is more geared towards newer players who want to learn sound strategy based on math.
If you’re looking for an approach that is easier to keep up with than the GTO, then you’re probably going to love the 70% model explained in detail in this course.
While it may not be as precise as the GTO, it is close enough and much simpler to understand and implement. Therefore, it is probably the easiest and most effective way to learn poker math for anyone starting out.