The Limitations Of Exploitative Play by Alex Fitzgerald

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By PokerCoaching.com coach Alex Fitzgerald

I love teaching the everyman how to play poker, because I can identify with them.

Growing up, I loved competition. Unfortunately, competition didn’t love me. I wasn’t athletic enough to excel in sports. I wasn’t intelligent enough to play chess competitively, or to compete within academia. My glacially slow mind wasn’t appropriate for video games. Read More

Do NOT Use a Card Protector

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One of the first things I tell my new poker students is to not use card protectors, which comes as a shock to some of them. They vividly recall a time when the dealer mistakenly mucked their hand, costing them a ton of money, and a card protector would have saved them. While it is obviously a disaster to get your hand mucked, a card protector is not the only solution to protecting your hand. Read More

Don’t Be Afraid to Go for Full Value

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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

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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?

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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

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