Top Pair Podcast 344: Straddles, Czech Raising, and Poker Training Oh My!

Robbie recaps his solo three-day poker trip to the Czech Republic.

Bruce talks about a new book on the straddle bet in poker he’s looked into.

The hosts dip into the mailbag to hear from a listener looking to help a friend improve at the game, and offer some tips, suggestions, and advice on poker training programs.

George Chao from BBO Poker Tables discusses how to keep your poker table in pristine condition, while Ben Ludlow has us rolling with his takes on the WSOP Player of the Year snafu.

Top Pair thanks their sponsor, the Poker Notes Live mobile app, for their support. Be sure to check it out!

Show Time Stamps

1:18–24:45How Ya Runnin?
2:15Bruce: Unfortunately no home game recaps to share; been sitting on the rail, with no games running thus far during the winter season.
3:35Longtime fan Jim Donahue sent us his new book entitled Live Straddle: The Best Sucker Bet in Poker. We’re giving away a couple of copies to our listeners!
6:58Robbie: Recapping a fun, but very costly trip to Prague to play poker. Played six sessions, and was never in the black, even for a moment.
9:30Going through a few hands played in Prague, and how they turned sour. Recounting how all the running poorly led to a rare instance of tilting. Cash games, tournaments; nothing worked, lost a bundle.
16:15Wrote up a helpful guide to playing poker in Prague, for recreational players.
20:15You’ll only find No Limit Hold’em and PLO in Prague because they’re not licensed to spread other poker variants!
23:20Getting back into the regular home game; good to be among friends, playing mixed games again. No additional poker trips on the horizon for a while.
26:55-46:21Congrats, you made the show: Listener mailbag!
27:45Cody, from Tennessee, has a friend who wants to start getting into the local office home game. Thing is, the home game is a mix, and it’s unclear to Cody how he can quickly help his friend learn all the games without the friend having to play for real money and “learn the hard way.”
31:35It DOES take time to learn all the different poker variants; you can’t just flip a switch and all of a sudden know what to do. Someone also has to have a willingness to learn; a good teacher isn’t enough.
35:00Lots of free resources out there, including PlayWPT, and all the online poker sites offering play money games.
36:20You can always take someone aside and explain each game one-on-one. Some people learn better from an in-person demonstration.
37:15Some of the best poker training resources are available online. You can do the legwork, find free information, tips, and strategy articles, but it’s time consuming and you’ll need to filter good instruction from bad instruction. If you’re willing to invest money, enrolling in poker courses to improve one’s skills is worthwhile.
40:08Advanced Poker Training specifically offers someone software that simulates real money poker play. For mixed game instruction, Upswing Poker’s course by Jake Abdalla is the only real option.
42:00The hosts continue discussing new players learning the game and getting into poker; what it used to be like vs. nowadays.
46:22-50:51Table Talk with George Chao of BBO Poker Tables
 The importance of keeping your poker table in pristine condition, and how to do that. How to prevent wear and tear, clean spills and stains, preserve the condition of armrests, and what sort of poker table ageing is inevitable.
50:52Ben Ludlow’s One Outer: Congratulating the new World Series of Poker Player of the Year, whoever that happens to be, and reflecting on what the POY chase means for “the rest of us.”

You can subscribe to PokerNews’ Top Pair Home Game Poker podcast on iTunes here, or you can access the RSS feed here.

Follow hosts Bruce Briggs @toppair and Robbie Strazynski @cardplayerlife, also available via email: [email protected]

  • LISTEN: Playing poker in Prague + the best way to learn all the poker variants without breaking the bank

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