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Old 07-09-2012, 03:57 AM   #63
old hand
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,264
Re: Smashing Fewer Holes in Your Computer Desk: Written Insights on Modern Internet Poker

Just wanted to x-post my review from Jon's coaching thread to here

Originally Posted by LTT777 View Post
Hey Guys,

In this review I'm going to give a brief history of my poker career as I think it adds to how much SFH (what I'll be calling Jon's product ITT) has helped me. For those of you that don't frequent PG&C or STTF (likely most of you) my name is Logan and I am a high stakes superturbo regular soullessly grinding for rakeback on Merge.

While I'm successful at what I do, the superturbo climate is a volatile one, and the games could feasibly dry up at any point. Further, I feel like my yearly earnings are capped at a low 6 figure number no matter how much I improve my game or how much volume I put in. These factors are the basis for my wanting to learn to beat cash games. Cash games are much more stable (not drying up), can be played on any site (even live), and one's yearly earnings are capped at a much higher number. The problem with this is that historically, I am a loser at them. I have a few hundred thousand hands over my career. Some of those samples I got crushed, some I broke even, and in one 50k sample playing rush, I won a small amount once. Lol.

I have read a majority of the major books out there (Let There Be Range, Easy Game vol3, PNLvol1, Blue Print, Building a Bankroll, Hole Card Confessions, Poker Math That Matters to name a few), and while a lot of them surely had good information in them, they didn't really help me become a better player on the table. Admittedly some of that was my fault, as I likely didn't take the information in slowly enough and tried to apply it all at once, but the point remains. I have seen tons of videos across the major training sites, and again, I think they were pretty good but I didn't improve from watching them. I'd like to be clear that I'm not saying these books and videos were garbage, it is just I was not able to learn as much as I think I should have from them, or more importantly, I didn't know how to apply what I learned. My thought process on the table didn't change much at all in the short term, and didn't change at all in the long term.

I decided recently I wanted to give cash games one last shot, and given that books and videos didn't work for me, I was going to attempt to get a coach. It was in that search for a coach that I found Jon and SFH. In reading up on SFH I read that Jon likened it to 20 hours of his coaching. I did some more research on Jon as a coach, read a lot of his past posts, discussed my cash games career and aspirations with Jon himself (he was very helpful and informative before I ever purchased SFH) and discussed the product with StarvingWriter (the review above mine), who I had known a bit and trusted a lot from other forum interactions. The result was my deciding to purchase SFH. Although this might not be relevant to many people, but one of the major factors for me was that I could go through it at my own pace (as opposed to a coaching package) so I could continue to grind my games I play for a living at the pace I wanted. A coaching package would take a much more of an upfront time commitment as well as a relevant sample of your current play which I did not have.

As it turns out at the time I purchased SFH it was a really good time to take a break from superturbos and I was able to dedicate a lot of time to it. I have now been through all of the material at least once, although I will likely go through everything at least 4 times before I say I have it fully internalized. To put it succinctly, WOW. SFH did what I would have said was nearly impossible, in that it taught me how to think properly. Where I previously would constantly find myself in a position where I didn't know what to do and resorted to clicking buttons and spewing, I now have a solid framework and thought process to work through on every decision. I am able to go through a majority of my available options in a hand, pick what I think is the most +ev given the information I have at my disposal, and make the decision. I can't say I always make the most +ev move, but it is still a huge improvement for me that I am learning how to think my way through every situation. I can say with confidence that SFH was able to do something that no book or video series was ever able to accomplish. It taught me how to think like (something resembling) a winning player.

By its nature, SFH is a very content heavy piece of material to work through. It is by no means easy. There is a lot of information crammed into a relatively small package, and it does not stop hitting you in the face. Each of the 3 videos took me 9 or more hours to get through fully. That isn't counting the couple hours spent reading the strategy articles. Thus I would say it takes roughly 30 hours to get through the material once. One of the things I really liked about SFH, is if done properly, it almost forces you to get the most out of it. By that I mean if you pause the video at every interesting spot, think about what you would do, then read Jon's take (and the corresponding strat article references that help drive home his points) and then go through where your takes differ and internalize the thought process, you cant help but learn a lot. For me that was very different from a book or video where I just passively read through the concepts and hit the tables, with not much changing. Because going through SFH means your thought process is changing with each hand that is examined, you can't help but change the way you think about poker hands after the fact. The information in SFH is immediately applied to your game.

One of the other major factors that separates SFH from other “ebooks” out there is Jon's thought process itself. Jon's thought process is incredibly in depth. He literally is able to analyze the pros and cons of every available option in a given hand, and from there decipher what would be the most +ev play given his reads. It is unlike anything I have seen from any author or video producer in all of my poker studies, and it is very impressive to work through. Surely that is how the best players do it, whether it is conscious or subconscious. Fortunately, it is now how I am starting to do it.

Beyond the material in SFH, Jon is also a really good guy. He is easy to get a long with and was very helpful throughout my learning process. I don't want to over extend him and say he will discuss any hand you want for the rest of both of your lives if you buy SFH, but the few hands or concepts I wanted to discuss with him after were not a problem and he was very helpful. After I make it through the material fully I will likely pursue some of his actual coaching options to further my learning.

I only have 1500 hands under my belt since going through the material, and won't be putting in serious volume for a while as intend to go through the material a few more times, as well as make a living from supers in the meantime. But I will followup this review with my results once I have a legitimate sample size to display. Hopefully it will be as baller as StarvingWriter's

If anyone has any questions about my learning process with SFH and don't feel like the author is the appropriate person to ask, feel free to ask me. Even though it is pretty long, I tried to make this review as short as possible, so it is very likely I missed some things.

Edit: I also wanted to make a point on the price, as I know it was discussed at length in on of Jon's threads. As I told Jon, when I bought the product i was slightly reluctant about the price. Not that 500$ is too much for what he was offering, it was just 500$ was a lot for someone to spend on cash games material when they don't even really play them. With that said, after the fact, I would gladly pay 1500$ for it. It is that valuable to me.
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