Don’t Be Afraid to Go for Full Value

By | Articles | 4 Comments

The following hand took place early in Day 1 of the $3,500 buy-in Borgata Poker Open WPT main event. I was pleased to find myself at a table that should have been quite good for me because my opponents were clearly playing in a blatantly straightforward manner. Despite this, I found myself down to 24,000 from my initial 30,000 chip stack, mostly due to making a strong, but second best hands a few times in a row. Read More

3-Betting All-In Preflop

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Image courtesy of splitsuit.com

I was recently told about, a poker hand from a $1,000 buy-in tournament that illustrates a fundamental mistake that many amateurs are unaware they are making.  With blinds at 800/1,600 with a 200 ante, a loose, but straightforward player raised to 4,000 out of his 56,000 effective stack. A tight player called in the cutoff. Our Hero decided to reraise to 14,000 with 9-9. Read More

Facing a Lead on All Three Streets

By | Articles | 7 Comments

I was recently told about a hand from a $500 buy-in live tournament that illustrates an important concept that many amateur poker players fail to fully understand. With blinds at 500/1,000 with a 100 ante, our Hero raised to 2,500 out of his 50,000 effective stack on the button with Kh-Qc. Only the big blind, a generally tight and extremely straightforward 50 year old man called. Read More

Check-Raise Bluffing the River

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I have recently been spending a decent amount of time working on my turn and river strategies. It is somewhat easy to play in a relatively straightforward manner and not do anything horribly wrong, but if you want to succeed at the highest levels, you simply must be willing to make what may appear like an optimistic bluff from time to time, often when you find yourself with one of the worst hands in your range or when you block the nuts. On one of my recent poker trips outside of America, I made a point to play a bunch of online tournaments take as many turn and river spots that I could. Here is one of them: Read More

Abusing the Bubble in a $10,000 Buy-In Event

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I found myself on the bubble of the $10,000 buy-in 6-handed WSOP event. This bubble will be remembered by all involved because it lasted three and a half hours. There were two very short stacks of 15,000 (3 big blinds) who were clearly trying to sneak into the money. Their presence forced the all players with medium stacks to play a snug strategy because going broke before someone who has 3 big blinds on the bubble is a disaster. Read More

Fold Pocket Aces on the Flop?

By | Articles | 2 Comments

Somewhat deep in a $1,500 buy-in event at 1,200/2,400 blinds, our Hero raised to 6,500 out of his 105,000 effective stack from first position with Ac-Ad. Only the reasonably competent players in second and third position called. The flop came 9c-7s-3d. Hero bet 12,000 into the 23,100 pot. Read More

Leading Usually Does Not Make Sense

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I recently witnessed a hand in a $1,000 buy-in poker tournament that illustrates a few mistakes that many amateurs make on a regular basis. With blinds at 300/600, the amateur called (limped) with a 33,000 stack from first position at a nine-handed table with Ad-Th. While A-T may seem like a decent hand because it contains two big cards, you are certainly better off folding it from early position because if you either limp or raise and face any amount of aggression, you could easily be dominated. If you decide to play it, you should usually raise in order to have some chance to steal the blinds before the flop and to also have the ability to drive the action after the flop. Read More

Vegas Retreat Vlog

By | Video Blogs | 2 Comments

I have been told quite a few times that I should have more face time with the people I work with, so we took a trip to Vegas. It was awesome! We worked hard and played poker even harder, including a win in the poker tournament for $8,000!

When NOT to Check-Raise

By | Articles | 19 Comments

Recently I have been reviewing hands from small stakes poker tournaments for some of my private students and it seems like their opponents (amateur small stakes players) check-raise in exactly the wrong spots. In general, you want to check-raise the flop when you can extract value from many inferior made hands, when you can make many superior hands fold, or when your marginal value hand plays poorly on future betting rounds, usually because your opponent is overly aggressive and the board will significantly change. Read More

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