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

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

Exploitative Play vs GTO Play by Michael Acevedo

By | Articles, Guest Posts, Long Posts | One Comment

This post is a tiny piece of Michael Acevedo’s upcoming book Modern Poker Theory. I had the pleasure to see an early copy and it is excellent. You will not want to miss this ground-breaking book!

Passive Exploitation

Does GTO play make money against bad players?

In a HU situation, if one player is playing optimally vs a suboptimal opponent, any deviation the weaker player makes away from GTO to a worse strategy can only cost him value, which will in turn be gained by the optimal player. This phenomenon is called passive exploitation because the optimal player does not have to do anything besides play his equilibrium strategy to gain extra Ev from the suboptimal player. Read More

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