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Which areas of poker do you need to study the most?

Which areas of poker do you need to study the most?

No limit hold’em is one of the most complex games ever invented and as a result, there’s no limit to the number of different spots we need to study.

This is where things get tricky. Let’s say it’s a Monday morning and you’re putting together a study schedule for the week. You list a bunch of spots and allocate one to each day (for example, early position push/fold on a Monday, blind vs blind on a Tuesday etc.).

Beautiful. But are those really the spots you need to be working on? Perhaps you have significant leaks in other areas that really need to be fixed, but you just don’t know about them.

The best way to find out which areas you need to study is to have a coach or a player better than yourself look through your database in order to identify the areas you need to work on the most.

That’s exactly what Jordan ‘bigbluffzinc’ Drummond does for Ben Spragg in the Spraggy Bundle.

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Spraggy Bundle

A behind-the-scenes look at Spraggy in the lab


Right off the bat, BBZ mentions how Spraggy had predicted that his cutoff and button raise first in (RFI) stats would probably be too tight. It’s safe to assume, then, that this would be an area Spraggy would choose to study on his own.

But it turns out those stats weren’t too tight at all. “Those numbers look fine,” BBZ tells him. “That’s definitely an improvement from previous [coaching sessions].”

This frees Spraggy up to focus on positions and spots where he’s not performing as well.

When looking over Spraggy’s win rate by position, one stat, in particular, stands out to BBZ.

“The big blind win rate stands out as being particularly bad,” he says. “This should be an area to focus on.”

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BBZ & Lex Veldhuis: Database Study Session Pt. 1

In this first collaboration video between Twitch Poker Legend Lex Veldhuis and BBZPoker head coach Jordan “bigbluffzinc” Drummond, the two break down Lex’s PokerTracker4 database by position in a recent hand sample to find areas for improvement.

This 50 minute video will show you some general parameters to apply to your own database in order to identify where you are leaking at each position. BBZ points out areas like:

  • Raise Small Blind Open Limp
  • 3-bet frequencies from the blinds
  • 3-bet vs. steal
  • Fold vs. steal

Explore those areas plus more in this introductory video to database analysis.



So instead of studying a different spot every day and running the risk of the information not sinking in, in this instance, it would be better for Spraggy to focus on studying big blind play only throughout his next few study sessions.

BBZ also points out that Spraggy’s ‘big blind raise vs small blind limp’ stat is too tight for his liking, so instantly Spraggy now has an element of big blind play to improve on.

Check out our article: How to use a poker HUD

It’s not all about the negatives, however. BBZ also points out that Spraggy is doing very well playing out of the small blind, and therefore this isn’t a spot he’ll need to study much in the near future.

“That’s nice to hear,” Spraggy says at the end of the 17-minute Database Review video. “But I want to get to the bottom of how we can do them better.”

Check out our article: How your HUD informs your study of poker charts


If you’re looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your own poker study, it might be time to book a database review for yourself.

You can book a one-on-one coaching session with any of the BBZ Poker coaches and one of the first things they’ll want to do is take a look at your database stats.

It can be a real eye-opener.

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apestyles Bootcamp

The apestyles Bootcamp brings together some of the biggest names in poker for 4 days of poker training and entertainment! Each day our panel of coaches and guest speakers methodically goes through different aspects of NL Holdem MTT poker, inluding preflop, flop, turn, river, ICM, mental game.  Guest speakers include apestyles, Antonio Esfandiari, Jeff Gross, Ben Spragg, Fintan Hand, Jordan Drummond, and more!

The same unbeatable BBZPoker value that won’t torch your bankroll! Relive our cutting edge bootcamp weekend with the VOD (video on demand) recordings from every session of every day! Wondering what you can expect in this package of content? We got you covered:

  • 37 hours of ELITE level coaching content
  • Stacked roster of world class coaches & poker pros explaining their thought process
  • A unique approach to poker strategy by examining multiple perspectives & opinions
  • 3 separate days dedicated to Flop, Turn & River strategy
  • PKO strategies uncovered
  • A session dedicated to learning How To Study

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