How I made $100,000 playing online poker

March 15th, 2019 | web development | 3 minutes

This is the first bit of programming that made money for me.

Ten years ago, I played online poker. After finding success programming heads-up displays for PokerTracker 3, I started CrushTheGame.com and sold my suite of statistics to players around the world.

For poker professionals who would dissect my play in the video above, let me explain. (Poker lingo to follow.)

Why T3o is a profitable hand in this spot

Obviously if you’re raising any two cards first in on the button, you’re going to be opening a bit too wide and can be exploited. Most would say you need a slightly more reasonable range, something like 60%—which T3o falls out of.

And if you’re going to 4-bet, you certainly don’t want to be 4-betting any two cards. You’ll just be spewing money.

But if you look at my 4-bet after PFR stat, it’s higher than average in 100BB 6-max games (around 6%), but not off-the-charts.

This is because I’m not 4-betting 100% of possible card combinations (like T3o suggests), I’m 4-betting 6% of opportunities.

Sometimes I’m folding JJ to a 3-bet.

If the player has a 60BB stack and only 3-bets QQ+ and simply calls the preflop raise with hands like AK and TT, I have to lay down JJ to a reraise.

My statistics gave me that precise information.

I would come in for a 4-bet with any two cards under the following conditions:

  • The BB is presented with a squeeze opportunity
  • The BB can 3-bet light
  • The BB most often folds to a 4-bet
  • My 4-bet will be between 10 and 15% of the effective stack (creating “leverage”)

These conditions don’t occur that frequently. But when they do, it would be a mistake to not take the money.

In the end, the expected value of this play is 0.78 big blinds. The expected value of folding is 0.

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