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Be part of the 1% crowd, not the 99%


I used to be this guy when I first started playing poker.  No one likes the guy who doesn't talk at parties, the guy who takes an age to make a decision, thinking about every single hand even in the smallest pots, a tight knit, who at a game of poker with friends check raises on the river with aces full and without uttering a word slowly turns over his unbeatable winning hand. At this time he may be raking in the chips, but will he be invited back again?  Of course not. I used to be this guy at first.

Slowly I have changed my game, still careful to select good starting hands, but realised there is much more than just pre flop strategy play...that way of thinking is for those without skill playing the deck.  I remember I used to fold hand after hand, waiting for the exact right position, to flop a set perhaps... like I did against my friend's girlfriend who was hosting the weekly game of poker and raised an eyebrow to her when she went all in for £10 with AK on a flop A87. I remember him saying to her 'you didn't need to do that!' while I silently raked in the money.  Was I invited back again? Of course I wasn't.  Well not to play poker at least!  Loosen up.

Don't be mediocre

My former housemate used to say to me 'you didn't get up this morning to go and be mediocre,' and I used to think 'No. I didn't.' Although I very much agreed with this philosophy and so it is easy to say 'go and do your best,' but what about if your best isn't good enough? What about if changing the way of thinking from the rest to counter the 99% of poker strategies is actually the way forward? And what does that mean? Does that meaning working hard? At least I won't have to flop a set against my mates' girlfriend to try to win some money - I might also do better on the online games, and keep some friends!


There were a few words which I found deeply powerful right at the end of the 'Small Stakes Hold'em - how to crush them,' and it is probably the best end of a book that I have ever read for a long time in terms of what it means and the author's strong final message.  It went as follows: "For many years people have been writing a steady stream of 'low limit', 'small stakes' and 'beginners' Hold'em books. Much of them advise similar conservative 'stay out of trouble' approaches.' Sklansky continues: 'We propose a very different strategy. We advise playing a more daring, aggressive, and attacking style than any "small stakes" book ever written. We do not want to turn rank beginners into successful recreational ones. We want to turn eager students of the game into experts. We want you to play well enough to earn $50,000 a year or more playing $3-$6 online. We want to provide you with the skills necessary to move up to $30-$60 games and higher. We do not want you to beat small stakes games. We want you to crush them! This book and Ed Miller's 1% poker will show you how.

  • Small Stakes Hold'em - Crush them (Sklansky & Malmuth)
  • Ed Miller's - Poker 1%

New mission statement (Black Eagle):

1. Stick to the bankroll rule of 30 times the maximum buy in

2. Adopt the pre flop strategy and the playing style suggested in Ed Miller's book and Small Stakes Hold'em

3. Counter 99% thinking with a different more aggressive strategy

4. Make a record of hands played and how on every street

5. Work hard in order to form this new playing style

6.  Continue to play cash games and Sit & Go

7.  Fight for the pots that you are involved in, don't give up easily.

  • Next up: Ed Miller's 1% book review 
  • Sharing your goals or not? Derek Sivers Ted Talk and how this can be applied to Poker
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I have been playing poker for about 15 years. I play online currently and I've played poker in casinos, card rooms, local games and with friends. I play NL hold'em tournaments and cash games and can also play Pot Limit Omaha, a game I also love.
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