Saulo Ribeiro's avatar

Saulo Ribeiro

2506 points

Update and farewell

Long time since last update so its time for a new one. And I think I will make this the last one in poker forums. I don't really see the point of posting anymore.

So, September was a month where I definitively learned that QUALITY > QUANTITY. I was upset about my low volume for the year and impulsively decided to start playing 6 tables of zoom to make up for it. That was a terrible decision. After 2 weeks I was feeling super tired and I was playing super bad. Here are the results for these first 2 weeks. After that I decided I wouldn't ever focus on quantity again, and dropped to 2/3 tables while studying a lot as well. Changed a few things in my game and things got back to normal.

This has been a very good year poker wise, not only in terms of results but overall improvement in my techinical and mental game. I learned and keep learning a lot from my friend Mateus, which I'm grateful for. I have had many students that were able to improve a lot and move up in stakes, which I'm very proud of.

However, I failed at finding the balance that I said I wanted to pursue when I created this blog. I have neglected major areas of my life and have developed very bad habits. So, with that in mind, I will cut down some of the time I currently devote to poker, and force myself to take care of the rest of my life. I got used to working 8-9 hours a day, and I will cut that to 6-7. And since I will be spending less time working, I want to be more productive as well, which means spending less time on forums, skype and other possible distractions. These extra hours will be spent taking care of my health and social life, mainly.

I will leave you guys with my YTD graph. I have also made around 8k with coaching this year, which puts me at around 53k profit. Happy overall, but there is certainly a lot of room for improvement. And that's a pursuit that never ends.

I wish you all good luck with your poker endeavours. But don't forget: you need more than poker in your life. Don't let it be your everything.

GL! <3

Oct. 8, 2018 | 2:37 a.m.

Imo you should actually work on your understanding of fundamentals before you continue down this path. The fact that you expected turn to change from locking one river shows that you still don't quite understand how EVs work.

But to answer your question, I can't speak for GTO+ cuz I don't use it. I know that Pio Solver automatically locks strategically equivalent cards, which is a nice feature. But thats all. Most of the time, if you want an accurate exploitative adjusment for turns and rivers, you will have to node lock many cards. You obviously don't need to lock all to arrive at a conclusion tho. Sometimes, after locking a few different runouts you can already see the incentive shifting strategic options

Oct. 6, 2018 | 4:06 a.m.

How many rivers have you locked? The turn strategy isn't going to change if you only lock one river. For every turn you have 48 different possible rivers, so you would need to lock a decent amount of rivers to see an effect on turn strategy.

Oct. 5, 2018 | 9:14 p.m.

The content of the video is really good, so thanks for that. But I feel like the format could be improved a little bit, maybe a 2 part series to make it less dense and also to allow you to go slower. You could also select a few HHs to review and show how this appllies to real life poker

Sept. 25, 2018 | 1:58 a.m.

That looks okay to get started. I used to have a laptop with similar specs, and it would perform decent for what I was doing. That said, you will have to upgrade if you decide to do some heavy solver/ DB work.

As for the monitor, I find the 27'' the best size. I've had 22'' and 32''. Nowadays I use the 27'' for the tables and the 22'' for secundary stuff like browser and etc. I used to only buy LG ones but the newest one I bought is from Dell and I gotta say, I really like it.

Sept. 16, 2018 | 7:20 p.m.

Yeah man, you are either like really really unlucky or you are just a losing player at this point. Which is fine, acknowledging that is the first step towards real improvement.

Its very easy to overestimate our ability in poker when running good, and then blame variance when we lose. Im not saying its your case necessarily, but im pretty sure that most poker players do this to some extent

Sept. 15, 2018 | 10:36 p.m.

A few thoughts

Decided to make this post because there is a lot in my head and hopefully I can organize everything by writing.

I've been doing a lot of MDA lately. The study has widen my vision over the poker industry tremendously, not only in terms of strategy but it allows me to better predict stuff like the longevity of the games. It's amazing to me how:

1) I still have SO MUCH to learn, even after spending hundreds of hours in research;
2) People are extremely exploitable everywhere
3) People are NOT aware that they are extremely exploitable (regs included)
4) And things will stay that way for a long time because no one is doing what it takes to acknowledge the previous 3 points

There is this GTO paranoia in the industry for like what, 3 years now? And yet, if I had to make an analogy, 99% of poker players in 2018 are as far away from optimal poker as a fat 70 year old is from perfoming at Cristiano Ronaldo level in football. Or a turtle from running at Usain Bolt's speed. It's like really really really far.

And on top of this, you have an industry that still doesn't understand how to approach poker in a meaningful way. I'm gonna give an example that will illustrate what I mean.

A lot of thinking poker revolves around the concept of 'Hand Reading'. So based on my opponents actions, I will estimate a range of hands that he could likely hold, and then, based on my guess, I will take whatever I think is an appropriate counter strategy. But what 99% of the people that play poker don't realize is that this is an extremely poor and inefficient decision making process. There are so many ways for this to go wrong:

1) Your guess is totally off because your opponent doesn't perceive the game the way you do, and this is a problem because people do hand reading (most of the time) by projecting how they would play the hand and they expect their opponent to behave the same way.

2) Your guess is totally off because you are using some basic logic to assing a range to villain (like medium hands get checked, strong hands get bet), when in reality he might not be operating under any logic whatsoever, and might be doing the exact opposite (betting medium hands, checking strong hands)

3) Your emotions during the hand might make your 'hand reading skills' even worse by introducing confusion, anxiety, fear that ultimately cause you to rationalize towards the option that satisfies themselves - you will rationalize towards folding if you have fear of failure; you will rationalize towards being over aggressive or calling station when anxious.

4) You have believed a high number of biases that the industry has been propagating over the years, wihch MDA shows are totally incorrect. So during your 'hand reading' process, you assume things such as 'recreationals are passive', or 'people don't turn pairs into bluffs'.

Poker is extremely complex, and yet people approach it like complete amateurs. Its like they try to be a mathematician by daily memorizing whats 2 + 2. Obviously thats fine if you are playing the game just for fun and have no intentions of getting better or learning. But this is professionals I'm taking about. Players that have been doing this for years. People that are making large investments in uncertain spots on the river based on arguments like "Im at the top of my range", or "he NEVER checks XYZ hand on the flop so he has to be bluffing here".

Which gets to my final point: no one cares. There might be like 10 regs around the whole world that are treating poker the way it should be treated. The rest simply doesn't care, and will continue not to care no matter what happens. Either because they are lazy, or not capable of accepting that they have been doing it all wrong all this time.

The future of poker is still really good imo. Today we have the tools that didnt exist before, and we can use them to maximally exploit 99% of our opponents, and they wont even realize or care. Eventually the closed markets will reopen again. The prejudice towards the game will lower over the years, allowing more people to get introduced to it. We have honest and hard working people trying to provide better and fair platforms for the game, like Mr Phil Galfond and his team are doing, and this is 2018. The list is big...

If you have been playing this beautiful game and have been concerned about the negativity towards the profitability of the games, I assure you: if you dedicate yourself, there is no way you can't make a comfortable living out of poker.

Sept. 9, 2018 | 5:25 p.m.

Hey man, thanks

How are you going to manage this kind of volume? With 1k hands / hour thats 9hours of poker every day. Any tips / tricks to manage this? (:

I've always played at least 8 hours a day since I began playing in 2016. I do get a little tired in the last 2 sessions but nothing that would prevent me from playing at a good level.

Personally i wouldnt be able to manage that kind of volume, so that it wouldnt have a great affect on quality of my play. Or is your B- and C-game so solid that you are able to beat games with great margin even while playing your B- or C-game?

Yeah this a factor as well. At this point most decisions are automatic so I don't have to spend much mental energy which should contribute to extended sessions.

All that said, this month is still going to be a challenge for me since the most I've ever played in a month was something like 110k hands. But I think I've set up a great schedule/strucuture to accomplish this, which includes taking one day off per 2 working days, which I think will help me take the proper rest to play at my highest level in all working days.

Sept. 3, 2018 | 3:30 p.m.

August Recap

Results. Pretty happy about how the last week of the month went. I was running pretty bad and finally catched some heat. I am still struggling with volume and this is something I will try hard to change from now on. I am however improving techinically everyday, and grinding/studying has been a lot of fun.

Selected a few hands of my opponents failed attempts to bluff me:


Goals for September

  • 140k hands
  • 40 study hours
  • 10 days off

gl everyone!

Sept. 2, 2018 | 4:40 p.m.

Nice post from Tyler and good observation from Kalupso.

However, I think I have something very important to add here. Which is that simplified strategies will often be significantly higher EV than GTO. Both because 1) your opponents will make huge mistakes vs it and 2) because you will make less mistakes when applying it, compared to a more complex and seemingly higher EV strategy. So when you compare the EV of a GTO strategy vs a simplified-close-to-balanced strategy, you are far far away from the actual difference.

Aug. 31, 2018 | 4:47 p.m.

A few people have contacted me about coaching, and 2 of my students shared their graphs with me yesterday so I thought I should post. They both started classes at the bottom of the graph. They also both start the coaching playing 25nl and are now shot taking 100nl.

graph 1
graph 2

This makes me really happy. To be honest, I'm happier about this than my own results. I knew I could be a good coach, and beeing able to see their development and improvement makes me think I was right. Coaching has been an amazing experience for me, and Im sure my students feel the same way.

Right now I'm focusing a lot on my game so I don't plan on taking more than 1 student. If you are interested, send PM and we can talk over skype.

gl <3

Aug. 25, 2018 | 5:37 p.m.

LOL I'm gonna stop right here because honestly I'm starting to worry that you are schizophrenic or something. And I still have to donate my money to the bots today. Take care man, and please keep spamming all threads, thats great for the forum

Aug. 24, 2018 | 9:10 p.m.

This post has been flagged as inappropriate

Aug. 24, 2018 | 9:04 p.m.

Dude can you at least keep the thread clean and use the 'reply button'? Its there for a reason, make use of it

Aug. 24, 2018 | 9:04 p.m.

Oh so I'm one the best of the best in the world? or 200nl doesnt count? or am I just lucky and the bots will take all my money soon, when I least expect it?

I will come back in a few months with my 1knl graph so you can call me the best of the best in the world

Aug. 24, 2018 | 9:01 p.m.

Yes, we are idiots and you are the most enlightened person in this forum. The only reason why you are here in the forum making these posts instead of crushing HS is because of the bots everywhere, and rigged sites

Aug. 24, 2018 | 8:56 p.m.

That's what I started to realize Saulo. Poker is definitely not for everyone. Fortunately I just love studying this game. Actually I'm obsessed with it. I won't let negative or half-assed people to discourage me any longer.

Nice attitude man. Poker is definitely not for everyone. But if you are dedicated and disciplined, you can definitely get there. GL mate

Aug. 24, 2018 | 8:50 p.m.

I never said anything about the content of what you are saying. I said no one cares about what YOU say because you are extremely annoying, and even if what you are saying is true no one will listen to you.

There will always be problems in poker. There will always be bots, there will always be peope cheating, there may be a few sites that are rigged. It was always like that and it will always be. Its up to you to trust this site or that site. Bigger sites will spend time, money and energy into providing the safest playable environment for their customers. Smaller sites won't spend a dime, no matter how many posts you make on poker forums. In the end, its up to you. Everyone knows this. Spamming threads on Run it once isnt gonna change anything, you are just ruining the forum experience for other people. So stop being annoying please

Aug. 24, 2018 | 8:48 p.m.

Where could one look for such a path? I would definitely like to be more practical.

Nick Howard. Videos here from him, his blog, youtoube channel, hell even on instagram he has good content

Aug. 24, 2018 | 8:41 p.m.

This post has been flagged as inappropriate

Aug. 24, 2018 | 8:31 p.m.

Everytime you see 'poker is dead' or something related online read it as 'poker is not easy money anymore'. Because it isnt. Like it shouldnt be. Just like any other career in the world. But you can still make pretty good money if you become good. Just like in everything else

Aug. 24, 2018 | 8:17 p.m.

I feel like something that would vastly improve my game at this moment in time is visualizing ranges better as I play, knowing with more certainty exactly where I am at in my range in different situations. Therefore I feel like doing this MDF exercise would be good for me

So it seems like you went from "its obviously great for my game" to "I feel that would be good for my game". Quite a drastic change

knowing with more certainty exactly where I am at in my range in different situations

Why would that help you? How does that directly improve your winrate? That comes from a very theory oriented idea that you will look at your own range in that exact spot, and know whether your holding is the bottom or the top of that range, so that you can decide if you have to call or not, right? Well, you don't 'have' to do anything. First of all, because its extremely naive and arrogant to think that you can precisely figure out where a certain hand falls in the spectrum of your range and then mathematically decide whether you should or should not call that hand based on your MDF frequency. And the work doesnt end there, if you atr trying to mimic GTO you have to figure out how often you have to call with the combo you hold, since most of the time bluffcatchers will be mixed strategies. Second of all, because this is a complete waste of time because there are very very few spots in NLHE where people are betting balanced ranges, and even if they were, calling at the correct frequency would only be necessary if your opponent were actively trying to exploit you on that exact spot, which I can tell you a fish isnt.

In NLHE, 99% of the time people are either overbluffing the river or underbluffing the river. Same goes for previous streets. Maybe a handful of regs at mid-high stakes have balanced ranges everywhere, but the rest of the world is extremely unbalanced in one way or the other in almost all spots. So you are sabotaging yourself by spending time into something that has no practical use, and is actually extremely hard to execute. Not to mention that the method and tools you want to use make the exercise even more pointless.

You can achieve awareness of your own range by doing work that actually matters, and with time you will realize that knowing whether you are at the top or bottom of your range makes very little difference when your opponents are deviating so hard from optimal play. All you need to do is gain vision over your opponents and environments to know which direction they are deviating, so that you can deviate in the opposite direction.

And then, after all this, if you have no reads, no resources, no knowledge about your opponent, it definitely does not mean you should rely on MDF to decide whether you want to make calls or not. Most decisions we make in poker have an impact on how we are going to play future hands. So if you are uncertain about a hand, you have absolutely no reason to default to MDF. Defaulting to folding is a much smarter decision because it avoids all these feelings of uncertainty and the inevitable frustration of making the wrong decision, which can hurt your winrate by affecting your mindset in a way that causes you to play worse on future hands.

However, if you keep on this direction, you will fool yourself into believing you are making progress, when in reality you are just sabotaging your own growth by insisting in a paradigm that has no practical use. Then when an upswing comes, you will believe even more in the lie you have been telling yourself, because you are winning, so what you are doing most be correct, right? Then time will go by, you will lack proper fundamentals and meaningful studying until you hit a big downswing that forces you to accept reality and look for a path that is incentivized.

Its your choice to look for that path now, or wait until you are forced to do so

Aug. 24, 2018 | 7:48 p.m.

I don't see why people are so negative towards doing this lol it's obviously great for my game

Its obvious that I can't help you lol when someone that plays 4x-10x the stakes you play says you are wasting your time and you reply 'its obviously great for my game' then its really a hopeless case.

It's like saying dont use pio because your opponents aren't playing GTO anyway

Don't know where that came from...I use Pio every single day. And im never trying to mimic gto strategies. What you are trying to do is pointless, and it can actually hurt your game. But that was just me trying to help. Some people cant change paths until they struggle. Im certainly not the one to judge, been there done that.

I've seen you around Saulo, on Nunos vids etc.

lol not sure what this has to do with anything?

Aug. 24, 2018 | 6:01 p.m.

So you want to do MDF exercises on Equilab to then apply the results vs fish in HU cash?

Its like you are intentionally jumping off a cliff when there are multiple paths behind you because you think jumping is safer

Aug. 24, 2018 | 5:01 p.m.


Sup everyone, hope you're all crushing. Making a quick update cuz its been some time.

Month so far. Gonna get nowhere near 80k hands lol That was way optimistic. To be fair tho, I havent been forcing myself to play, and I have studied A LOT this month, much more than I was before, and I'm happy about that. Ive been running like shit too so that helps with the studying part xD

This game is fascinating, the more I learn, the more there is to learn. But im happy that I'm gaining more vision over the environment and the profiles on a daily basis, and I feel very comfortable in most spots in NLHE. I wasnt feeling very well about my BB play in SRPs (both IP and OOP) and devoted some hours to studying that and I can already see the improvement. There is still a lot of work to do tho. Im gonna try and keep improving a little bit everyday.

Some fun hands for you:

Give them rope
Regs getting mad over the limp strat lol
Advanced bluffcatching
Give them rope, part 2
And one bluff to make me look agro

Enough for now, gl all <3

Aug. 24, 2018 | 3:51 a.m.

hey nice blog :)

Thanks mate

is the gto trainer you are using from simple poker?

Yes it is

Aug. 24, 2018 | 3:38 a.m.

It's hard for me to continue playing when the basic is not optimal.

Stressing about preflop betsizing in NLHE is probably one of the best ways to be counter productive

Aug. 23, 2018 | 4:12 p.m.

Comment | Saulo Ribeiro commented on Where to start?

No, games are nowhere near close an equilibrium. They are actually very very far away. You shouldn't use solvers to study gto play, but rather exploitative play

Aug. 23, 2018 | 2:41 p.m.

The guy bought a 1 year sub of the software for $230. With that money he could have bought GTO+ ($75) and 6 months of Simple GTO trainer ($149). Or GTO+ and 4 months of Hand2Note edge sub. Or PioSolver basic. Or 1 hour coaching from a good coach. Or 2 months of Rio elite. All of the above are better ways to spend $230

Aug. 23, 2018 | 3:46 a.m.

lol so you are saying that if you don't have goals to reach HS you can use shitty tools for improvement? that makes no sense. It makes zero sense to use snowie in 2018 when there are stuff like GTO+ (for a cheap solver option) and simple gto trainer available. A very round zero. If OP is serous about improving in poker, as he seems to be since he is asking about a studying tool in an advanced poker community, he should reconsider what he is doing.

Aug. 23, 2018 | 3:30 a.m.

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