MMAsherdog's High Stakes Course Review
When I learned that high stakes poker pro MMAsherdog released a video course focusing on 6max No Limit Holdem strategy - the "High Stakes Course" - I was immediately excited. I had seen and been impressed by some of his commentary in the past, and I already knew that he is currently one of the most elite online NL Hold'em players in the world. I recently went through the course, which is a total of 13 videos over about 12 hours, and it has improved my game immensely. Despite it being titled “High Stakes Course”, in today’s poker environment I would say it is most well suited for low to mid stakes players who want to take their game to the next level by understanding what winning high stakes players are doing and why.
The entire contents of the course looks like this:
Studying with Pio Solver
Out of Position play from the Big Blind
Blind vs. Blind
In Position play
3Bet Pot in Position
3Bet Pots Out of Position as 3Bettor
3Bet Pots Out of Position as Caller
High Stakes Hand Review
In the beginning, MMAsherdog demonstrates how he uses Pio Solver efficiently to develop simplified yet effective strategies. He runs a simulation on a T94 flop, BTN vs BB, and shows the optimal frequencies of 4 different continuation bet sizes: 1/3 pot, ½ pot, ¾ pot, and a slight overbet.
He then runs a sim with only the most frequent bet size (roughly full pot) being used, shows the GTO betting and checking ranges, and proves that a strategy with just that one bet size does not effectively lose any EV compared to using 4 sizes. Of course not all scenarios can be simplified to using only one bet size without sacrificing EV, and MMA explains when to simplify to one or two sizes, and why.
Even if you’ve never used a solver before, watching MMA discuss solver outputs and how to approximate GTO strategies is intuitive and easy to follow.
The real bulk of the course is the Theoretical Videos section. These six videos alone would easily be worth the $799 cost of the course. In each of these videos, MMA takes you through almost every conceivable post-flop situation. For instance, he walks the viewer through optimal strategies (demonstrated with Pio Solver) for cbetting different flops, defending vs. cbets of different sizes on different flops, raising the flop, and defending vs. raises on the flop. He then discusses these same things for multiple turns and rivers, and draws valuable conclusions, sharing easily-to-implement heuristics for all streets. He goes through this entire process for every single one of these broader categories:
Out Of Position Play from the Big Blind
Blind vs. Blind
In Position Play
3bet Pots In Position
3bet Pots Out Of Position as 3bettor
3bet Pots Out Of Position as Caller
As you can see, these videos are highly comprehensive and discuss in-depth GTO play in certain spots that may not be intuitive to study on your own, such as after we call a flop check-raise and then are checked to on the turn. On certain turn cards we want to overbet, and on other turn cards we want to bet smaller with our betting range, and using Pio Solver, MMA shows the differences and suggests reasons why so that you can incorporate them into your game without having to memorize solver outputs.
After you have digested the theory videos, MMAsherdog puts everything into practice by playing 4 tables of $2.50/$5 NL Zoom on PokerStars. He explains his thought process throughout each hand, discusses how ranges interact on different boards, and finds interesting spots to bluff with unconventional sizes. He also discusses scenarios for exploits such as "non-GTO" check-raises, and explains the reasons for those exploits. I found it insightful to pause the videos at various decision points, decide what I would do in that situation, and then press play and see what MMAsherdog does. When his play differed from what I would do, those spots stuck in my head and lead to lasting improvement in my own game.
Next, MMAsherdog spends an hour reviewing a dozen or so hands that he played at $50/$100 and $100/$200 NL against some other world-class players including Jungleman, LLinusLLove, and OtB_RedBaron. These hand-picked scenarios again demonstrate, in a practical sense, much of what was taught in the Theoretical Videos section, and he also illustrates the importance of reviewing your own play to improve your game.
MMAsherdog wraps up the course with a 15-minute FAQ video. Using power point slides, he delves into his personal views and strategies on the following questions which he commonly receives:
What are the main differences between a small stakes or mid stakes No Limit Hold'em player and a High Stakes NL player, and how do I get there?
Which areas of my poker game should I focus on?
Which bankroll management should I stick to?
How do I work on improving my skills?
How do I stop myself from being too results oriented?
How do I improve my poker setup and routine?
Which study/play ratio should I maintain?
What kind of goals should I be setting?
Finally, he offers some additional tips and pieces of advice regarding miscellaneous expenses and mental game.
It should be noted that while MMAsherdog shows the preflop ranges used in his simulations, actual pre-flop strategy is barely discussed at all in this course. If you are looking for pre-flop ranges, MMAsherdog / Bluff the Spot also sells a Preflop Bible as a package with the High Stakes Course, for an additional $200. This can be found here.
That said, the High Stakes Course is, in my opinion, the best video course currently available for improving your post-flop No Limit Hold'em skills. While $799 is not cheap, the course provides so much value and is well worth it for anyone looking to take their poker game seriously. It is clear that MMAsherdog has studied the game more than almost anyone, and using his knowledge and experience, he expertly demonstrates how to simplify a variety of GTO strategies without losing any significant amount of EV.
Learn More and/or purchase the High Stakes Course course HERE for $799.
Enter promo code TOP at checkout for 10% off the course!
This coupon expires on March 31st, 2020.