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HomeNewsHow I won $100K at NL200 Zoom: 3 poker strategies from Saulo “sauloCosta10” Costa

How I won $100K at NL200 Zoom: 3 poker strategies from Saulo “sauloCosta10” Costa

Saulo “sauloCosta10” Costa (the founder of the MetaGame and a coach at Run It Once) shared his poker strategies how to win $100K with a win rate of 5 bb/100 on YouTube. He went from NL5 to NL2K in 5 years. Here is the summary.

1. Play solid poker strategies against the best regulars

There are strong regulars who can actually play significantly better than you at every limit. They can exploit you if you’re unbalanced. They adapt well to you if you engage them in reg wars. If you want to guarantee your chance of a high win rate, you need to play solid poker against these guys.

The essence of solid poker is not making huge mistakes. Don’t allow significant deviations in your game based solely on assumptions that you can’t prove. Never stray too far from GTO against these players, it’s dangerous. Don’t play hands based on emotions just because you’re upset or because you’re not doing well against some other player.

To learn to play solid poker, you need to have a good understanding of game theory. It’s impossible to do this without understanding GTO concepts. You’ll have to work on the theoretical foundation of the game and on heuristics.

Heuristics are mental shortcuts that allow you to quickly come to a solution for a complex problem. Heuristics govern your behavior at the table. For example, you’re on the BTN, the board is K72 rainbow. You know that in such a situation, you should make small bets with a high frequency — you don’t need to think about ranges, equity, blockers. You just know that for this scenario, it’s the right strategy.

Or, for example, on ace-high flops, many players are accustomed to making a continuation bet with their entire range. Although in reality, in this situation, most solver-recommended hands should be played through a check.

GTO Wizard recommends to play check on A-high board

You need to master more heuristics and refine the ones you already have to become a very strong player. In my opinion, the best way to improve heuristic is through Drills in GTO Wizard. Use this tool every day, and you’ll learn to play solid poker.

2. Crush the recreational players by exploitative poker strategies

Nowadays most regulars still don’t know how to exploit recreational players to the maximum. Yet it’s through playing against recreational players that you make the bulk of your profit. Therefore, your main priority in studying the poker strategies should be understanding how to make more money specifically against them.

At times, recreational players will make erratic moves at the tables — there’s nothing you can do about that, their skill level is extremely low. But you can earn a lot of money against them through exploitation. You don’t need to wait for a recreational player to find a hand to shove. If you learn to understand and predict the behavior of recreational players, you can adjust your strategy to extract maximum EV from their mistakes.

The most important advice for playing against recreational players is NEVER fold rivers against them. I can see the reader’s face freezing with a grimace: “What?”

All the people who ever advised you to fold against recreational players on the river because they never bluff were wrong. They were not just wrong — they were terribly wrong.

Recreational players bluff more often than regulars. Recognize this thought. Recreational players are, in many ways, more aggressive than professionals. This is not just my subjective opinion, it’s a fact. Study the field’s tendencies using your hands in H2N, and you’ll see: recreational players always over-bluff on the river if there’s an opportunity for a bluff. Recreational players raise more frequently post-flop than regulars.

For example, in this spot, I called the flop raise and played a call on the turn and on the river with third pair.

Or another hand. I made a bet on the flop, played a check-call on the turn, and called the river bet with Ace-high.

I repeat this over and over again and recommend you do the same. If you want to achieve a high win rate and earn a lot of money, you need to start calling fish.

3. Destroy weak regulars

You can’t win a lot in regular lineups if you can’t beat weaker players. Regulars know how to play equally well against recreational players. The only difference between regulars is how they can exploit each other. It’s impossible to beat all regulars — read point 1. I’ll repeat: against strong regs, you need to play maximum solid poker.

But you’re playing alongside regulars who are worse than you — those who adjust slower, understand game theory worse, whose strategy you can exploit. Your task in playing against such opponents is to make their life hell.

Trends among most regulars are universal and don’t depend on limits, rooms, or even game formats. Weak regulars play passively:

  • They’re more likely to fold to a bet.
  • They raise less often than the solver recommends.
  • They apply less pressure in situations where aggression is needed — checking a lot and playing small pots more often.

Your task is to hunt down such opponents. You need to make weak regulars feel uncomfortable at the table with you because that’s the only way you’ll be able to earn more. Realize that the ability to play against weak regulars lies more in the realm of psychology of the game rather than theory. There are plenty of materials on strategy available online. And all these regulars have turned into passive regulars who only care about their own “pseudo-balanced” strategy and GTO. For such players, table dynamics, exploits, and even just reading opponents’ hands have not just taken a backseat but are completely forgotten.