Fun hand from the 2014 Main Event

111The WSOP is right around the corner! You can expect lots of educational content from me to help you prepare for the WSOP (or any major tournament series) over the next month or so. For those who do not know, I managed to cash in the 2014 WSOP $10,000 buy-in Main Event for $22,678. I somehow had the chip lead early in day one but couldn’t hold onto it for seven more days. Bad beat! I transformed my experiences at the table into a hand history book, which ended up being a best-seller on Amazon, detailing every significant hand I played throughout the tournament. The following hand example one of the key pots I won that allowed me to cash. If you would like to get the book, you can get it here: The Main Event with Jonathan Little. The book is set up in a quiz format so you can test your skills as you follow along. If you are playing the WSOP Main Event or any other deep-stacked tournament, I suggest you check it out.

Hand  A♣-A♦     Stack  100,000     Blinds  2,000/4,000/500     Position  Button

Everyone folds to me.

What did I decide to do?

  1. Call 4,000
  2. Raise to 8,000
  3. Raise to 9,500
  4. Raise to 12,000

I raise to 8,000. The big blind South American maniac reraises to 19,000.

Pot = 33,500

What did I decide to do?

  1. Call 11,000 more
  2. Reraise to 40,000
  3. Reraise to 54,000
  4. Go all-in for 81,000 more

I call.

I decided to call preflop because I thought the BB, the same LAG guy from the previous few hands (he was bluffing a lot), could easily be bluffing with a wide range. The last thing I wanted to do was four-bet and let him off the hook. Remember, when your stack is somewhat short, you do not have to take aggressive lines that turn your hand face up as “strong” because you will easily be able to get your stack in by the river with a passive, weak-looking line.


BB checks.

Pot = 44,500

What did I decide to do?

  1. Check
  2. Bet 16,000
  3. Bet 20,000
  4. Bet 42,000

I bet 16,000. BB calls.

When my LAG opponent checks, I decided to make a small bet, hoping to look weak and induce him to do something silly. Also, if he happened to have a made hand, I thought he could be looking to check-raise all-in, which would be fantastic for me. I did not think he was looking to check-fold.


BB checks.

Pot = 76,500

What did I decide to do?

  1. Check
  2. Bet 21,000
  3. Bet 32,000
  4. Bet 42,000

I bet 21,000. BB instantly goes all-in for 41,000 more.

Pot = 159,500

What did I decide to do?

  1. Fold
  2. Call 41,000 more

I call and beat T♠-3♦.

I decided to make another small bet on the turn to hopefully induce him to make a mistake. Luckily, this time he did.

Against this specific player, there is absolutely no merit at all in folding to his turn check-raise. If he was weak, tight, and passive, I could see finding a super tight fold, but even then, I would probably call off reluctantly.

111If you want to get access to the 53 other key hands I played during the 2014 WSOP Main Event, be sure to grab the book. You will even get to see a mild meltdown where I made a few speculative (bad) plays in a row. While I certainly did not play perfectly, I think I played reasonably well. I would love to hear what you think about my play.

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