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Poker Zoo 74: Thomas Against the Simps

zenith 2022 zoo podcast

Thomas Pinnock of Zenith Poker returns to the Zoo to review his most challenging year in poker. In addition to releasing a controversial new set of exploitative ranges and taking on a six-max challenge, Thomas kicked up a series of related kerfuffles with a video mocking many preflop ranges. Trouble followed on multiple fronts, and I get some of the details from him – including whether any of this has changed his perspective.

Agree with him or not, Pinnock is an increasingly important poker influencer – more and more, the ranges your opponents are using come from this twenty-six-year-old medical student’s basement.

Here is some of the controversy, comically covered by the clickbait site “pokerguru,” in a careless article which mistakes former Zenith Poker coach and acolyte Josh for Thomas. (In a small world moment, Josh did make an appearance at my Sahara deep-stack game early in 2021).

Here’s Pinnock last year on the Zoo.

We didn’t talk about this on the Podcast, but it was also in 2021 that Upswing removed some of Thomas’ excellent articles on their site. Here’s a remaining one.

…but because out-of-position, we should weight our range towards hands that work well out-of-position in the smaller SPR pot – hands like suited connectors will go down in strength. Using larger RFI sizes allows us to take the pot down more often pre-flop when we raise and mitigate the button’s positional advantage going forward.

In this blind structure, it is even more important for us to 3-bet or squeeze all of our continuing range, because if we call we let the button/straddle in for a cheap price and they will have position against us for the rest of the hand. Keeping our range uncapped is important here – If we were to have a calling range, then the button can squeeze aggressively into our capped range with position. When 3-betting our entire continuing range, we can use a smaller raise size closer to 2.5x instead of the usual 3-3.5x.

Three-blind games have become a big part of contemporary live NL. I’m not certain Thomas would still agree with the specifics of this advice, but note the sensitivity to bet sizing.

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