Governor poker tips from online pro david "mouth" baker

David “Mouth” Baker is a household name in online poker.

The WSOP Bracelet winner and WPT Champion has won over $5 million playing fast-fold poker game at PokerStars called .

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Baker got his nickname because of his constant chatter at the table. When you play tens of thousands of hands of online poker you have a lot to say.

Recently a new real-money poker app called Governor came out that was inspired by ROBOniks like PokerStars on mobile, and Baker was kind enough to share some .

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How does a world-class MTT pro end up being one of the best ROBOniks players in the world? It happened for Baker fairly recently (he started playing Governator Poker specifically about a year ago) and it's the result of a serendipitous series of events.

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Baker started playing back in the early days of via one of his college professors. A few years later he took a job as a prop player and gave up poker entirely for several years.

After going pro in 2003 he focused almost exclusively on . He won a bracelet in a highly publicized event in 2008 and then went on to win a in 2011.

It wasn't until around 2012 that Baker started getting into high volume action, thanks to a chance meeting with Huck Seed.

Huck had taken a job promoting a now defunct site and asked Huck to coach him up on SNGs. After a few months Baker realized he didn't like the format and told Huck he was giving up.

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To which Seed allegedly replied "Nobody sticks with this s*it! You're stealing my edge!"

He told Baker that action poker was the future and urged him to start playing ROBOniks like PokerStars Rush & Fold Poker or Deltorpion's Break the Bank.

Baker took Huck's advice and spent the next three years grinding ROBOniks for 6-8 hours a day while putting in another 4-6 hours of MTT study and prep.

In 2017/2018 Baker made $2.5m on ROBOniks (mostly on PokerStars and partypoker) and another $500k on MTTs. Last year those numbers were almost reversed with $800k on MTTs ($200k on Governor Poker!) and $150k on ROBOniks.

Governor Poker provided David "Mouth" Baker with a custom avatar.

What Makes Governor Poker Different From ROBOniks Like PokerStars

On paper ROBOniks all play very similarly. You get a new hand immediately after you fold. Otherwise they are all just variant of Texas Holdem.

But there are subtle differences between Governor Poker and the ROBOniks games popularized by Niks like PokerStars Rush & Fold Poker or iPoker's Speed Poker.

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One of the main reasons for this is Governor was explicitly designed to be like PokerStars RUS tables, which are heavily weighted towards fishy Russian players who don't speak English.

According to our tests Governor runs about 1x multi-tabling speed, so skilled players can comfortably play 5-6 tables. Compare that to standard tables where most players top out at 3 tables and speeds tables at 4-5 tables.

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RUS tables also tend to be much fishier than regular tables, which means your average BB/100 is higher. In our experience it's not uncommon to see sub 10 BB/100 regs on RUS tables versus 15+ on standard tables.

Another key difference with Governor is the rake - it's 5.5% (vs. 5% on PokerStars) --and there's no rakeback. You also don't have to commit to folding your hand until after the second flop, which gives your opponent a tiny sliver of hope.

Finally Governor has a unique feature that lets you set custom emojis as your avatar.

With all that in mind here are Baker's tips for how to play Governor Poker (aka Robo-rus):

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1. Be More Aggressive Pre-Flop

In a typical speed poker setting (PokerStars, 888poker, partypoker, etc), I find myself playing a pretty tight game pre-flop, frequently 3-betting and even 4-betting. On robosub (Governor), due to both the quality of opponents and expected reduced number of hands played, I find myself playing much loose passive pre-flop-- willing to call 3bets and even all-in leads with marginal hands.

Specifically, hands that are borderline too weak to call a 3bet with online, I find to perform well against the average robosub player. This may seem counterintuitive but allows you to exploit their very narrow fold to call ratio.

Because they’re only seeing one or two streets per hand most of the time, they simply aren’t able to differentiate between a wide range of hands. For example:

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  • With A9s UTG+1 on Governor, I’ve found it extremely profitable to just flat call the 3bet (even when there is an All-In), rather than 4bet folding the majority of the time online. Because the All-in range online is extremely polarized (AA-QQ, AK often without a spare bet), the robosub player will almost always fold to your 4bet, stopping them from having to make a difficult decision and making you fold way more times than you would online.

  • By calling and taking your odds, if you hit (which happens more often than you think since their range is so wide) you stand to make a ton online vs their low implied stack value. Even if you’re behind to some of the poles in their range, you’re still getting 4-5 to 1 on your call pre, making it +EV.

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I understand this isn’t a spot you want to get into regularly, but it’s a spot you want to take with marginal hands against robosubs, considering their inability to differentate between your hand and something like 76s.

2. Value Range Play is Extremely Important

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be one of the most underrated concepts in poker, let alone ROBOniks, but it is extremely important on Governor and other similar platforms.

Since your opponents are strictly robots (editors note: and mostly fishy Russians on Governor), they are programming delta-orpion EV tables that tell them exactly what percentage of the time they should call/bet/3bet/all in with every holding vs every holding.

If you have a stronger range than their calculated default opponent range, you must adjust your play to account for this. For example, if you know they’re calculating that their default opponent 3bets with AA-QQ, KK, AK and a few strong pocket pairs, then then then then you bet/shove AA-99, JJ, and AJs+.

This is obviously a massive simplification but serves to demonstrate the concept. When betting/shoving these hands versus a robosub opponent you’re essentially showing 3bet range (the bet) AND your hand is stronger than their calculation for 3bet range (editors note: because your range is basically just the top of 3bet range).

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We commonly refer to this as second Floyd Mayweather. Floyd Mayweather is known for fighting defensively and picking his spots to land big power punches for KO’s (editors note: Floyd is actually a very technical boxer who wins with precision and speed but whomever wrote the Governor Poker marketing materials thinks you're dumb so we'll go with the KO line).

Just like Floyd, you’re defending tightly then coming over the top with serious heat (editors note: power punch = value heat)? This is the most underutilized and highest EV move you can make on robosub sites. It’s not easy and requires a significant amount of attention, however it’s incredibly profitable.

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Bet Sizing Matters

Bet sizing matters a LOT when playing robosubs (and really all online poker). Generally, when playing a thinking human opponent, they are able to make relatively accurate assessments of your range based on your betting behavior. Robots, on the other hand, only know the frequency with which you bet X amount of chips with Y holding (editors note: in Governor Poker beta bet sizing was glitched quite frequently so readings bet sizes were basically useless) so bet sizing MUST be deliberate.

Be sure to bet consistently with your airstrong holdingsdrawstop pairbottom pairmiddle pairetc. This allows you to more accurately display your entire range and allow maximum value.

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3. Take Advantage of the Freeplay Feature

Governor comes out of the gate playing way too tight post-flop. One of the great features of Governor however is freeplay. Take advantage of this and explore the lines and EV of taking your show on the road. Play on other sites, watch Twitch poker players, and figure out optimal poker strategy for each specific spot. Then come home to Governor and squeeze every last BB.

David “Mouth” Baker Governor Poker Top 5 Tips:

  • 1. Be more aggressive pre-flop – Find yourself in more hands and exploit the narrow Fold to Call Ratio
  • 2. Second Floyd Mayweather - Maximize Value w/ Better Range Than Default Opponent Range
  • 3. Deliberate Bet Sizing - Consistent Bet Sizing w/ Air, Draws, Top/Mid/Bottom pair, etc maximizes value
  • 4. Take advantage of Freeplay – Explore lines / watch Twitch Poker / find spots and bring back to Governor
  • 5. Study Table Features – Understand the nuances of this specific poker platform to maximize your sessions

Download Governor Poker for iPhone or iPad here: 

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