Poker Out Loud was created by Solve For Why, an advanced poker training company. Solve For Why’s founder and lead instructor is Matt Berkey, a long-time high-stakes poker professional in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Poker Out Loud is a unique approach to poker training and entertainment. Top poker professionals play a cash game format, while all wearing noise-cancelling headphones. Before their actions, they speak their thoughts out loud, revealing to the audience their thought process and reasoning behind each poker decision.
In order not to overhear their opponents’, the players listen to high-volume music when the action isn’t on them. They’re also instructed to avoid looking at the player whose turn it is to avoid inadvertently picking up any information as they speak.
Season Two welcomes back Jack Laskey, Christian Soto, Jordan Young, and Matt Berkey, along with newcomers Kelly Minkin & Andrew Lichtenberger, all of whom kick off the session 300 big blinds deep. The game is $5/$10 No-Limit Texas Hold’em, and everyone is playing with their own money.
Episode 1 kicks off with some players explaining their overall strategies for the session, with clear consideration given to their positions at the table relative to their opponents. On his first action, Jordan Young announces his intention to open often and try to play big pots. “I’m tempted to open this one,” he says with a smirk, mucking 8-3 suited from the hijack.
Unsurprisingly, Matt Berkey pushes the action early and often. Following an open from Berkey with 9-6 suited in the hijack, Christian Soto flats with 5-4 suited directly to his left, having previously broken down his plan to lean toward calling versus 3-betting Berkey’s preflop aggression throughout the day.
Jordan wakes up with AK offsuit in the small blind, however, letting viewers know he wants to bring “chaos” to the felt before 3-betting massively to $675. Both opponents let their marginal hands go.
A couple hands later, Jordan opens QJ suited to $50 in the cutoff. Action folds to Berkey in the big blind, who opts to call with Q9 suited. The Qc8d3d flop gives both players top pair, and Jordan continues for about a three-quarter pot sizing when checked to. Berkey entertains the idea of a check-raise, ultimately deciding against it, explaining that he doesn’t expect Jordan to be able to defend with many hands that he’s beating or that are way behind.
The 10c turn adds a second flush draw and gives both players a gutshot straight draw. Jordan bets nearly full pot, confident that Berkey is unlikely to be ahead and wanting to charge pair + straight draw combinations. Well aware of Jordan’s image and the multitude of draws he could be holding, Berkey calls.
The 2h river changes nothing, and Berkey checks a third time. Having decided that there were too few hands Jordan could get value from, he checks back, disappointed to see that Berkey does, in fact, hold one of the few hands that could have called a river bet.
You can watch this episode in full, along with every other episode from all seasons of Poker Out Loud, at solveforwhy.io. Be sure to use promo code POLBLOG for 25% off your first month!