- Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time Volume III
- Book Review: Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time – Thinking Poker
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- Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time, Volume 1
I believe they would have done their readers a service by ignoring what actually happened in the hand in the interest of considering a more difficult problem. The authors worry too much about protecting their hands and not enough about deception or balancing their ranges. There are a few more serious errors where the reader would do well to seek further advice beyond what is found in these pages. Their bet sizing and their reasons for betting the flop are the best examples of this. Even when they correctly identify how their opponents will play various hands in their ranges, the authors often chooses less than ideal bet sizes, particularly when value betting.
Though they correctly identify a wide range of factors that ought to influence bet sizing, they almost always settle on about half the pot, often failing to build large pots or get paid off to the fullest when he has very strong hands. With 17, in the pot, facing only one opponent with about 52K left, I am certainly willing to play for his stack now. However, there are plenty of cards that could hit the turn, an A, Q, T, or club, that would give me cause for concern and probably kill any potential action from weaker hands.
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This is about the worst possible board on which to slowplay top two pair. Although I usually like to make my continuation-bets a little less than half of the pot, I should bet a little more than this due to how easily my hands value could be destroyed by numerous turn cards. I do not want to bet too strong, however, as I do not want to discourage my opponent from making a move with the naked ace of clubs or a Jx Tc type hand.
I bet 9,, a little more than half the pot, knowing that if my opponent reshoves, I will call. My opponent folds, and I win the pot. Setup: This is three hands after the previous hand. The blinds have increased, putting 5 of my 7 opponents below the 20 big blind threshold. In the last hand, Seat 1 opened for a small raise to 6,, and Seat 7 called from the big blind. They ended up checking it down and Seat 7 showed 55 to beat Seat 1s unimproved A-9o. I find it interesting that with only 17 big blinds, Seat 7 chose to play 55 in this fashion. Normally I would expect him or most any strong, aggressive player to reshove preflop with his hand, maximizing fold equity against a player who is likely stealing light.
Preflop 8, : The action folds around to me on the button with Q-Jo, a relatively good starting hand for my position. If my opponents were both below 15 big blinds, I would just move all-in, putting maximum pressure on them and not giving them the illusion of fold equity that they might have if I put in a standard raise.
Note that I would never put in a standard raise and then fold to a shove if they had such stacks; however, I would rather apply the pressure myself than allow them to reshove a hand like 33 or K-T and have to call off with my marginal hand. In this particular spot, Seat 7 has 17 big blinds and Seat 8 has Note the difference between this hand and Hand 3, where I had J-To on the button. There, the blinds had 26 and 16 big blinds respectively, and I did not want to get involved against those stacks with such a marginal hand.
Here, however, I am up against smaller stacks with a somewhat stronger hand. If I raise my standard amount of 7, and Seat 8 reshoves, I will be getting 1. Although these are not the 2-to-1 odds I would like to get in order to call a shortstacks all-in with a marginal hand, given our positions, these odds are strong enough to call.
If Seat 7 reshoves, I will be getting 1. I never make these sorts of exact calculations in the heat of the moment, yet I do estimate the odds and determine whether or not I would call a shove from either player before making the initial raise.http://roxananicolescu.com/includes/espion/jebax-mouchard-invisible.html
Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time Volume III
Generally speaking, I should never raise the button here unless I am willing to call a shove from a stack of 15 big blinds or less. I now believe that he will need a stronger hand to reshove than I would have thought before witnessing that hand. Therefore I am confident in my decision not to call a shove from him, but surely to call one from Seat 8. I raise to 7,, and both blinds fold. Preflop 8, : The action folds to me in the cutoff with a strong hand given my position.
Book Review: Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time – Thinking Poker
Before raising, as always with shortstacks behind me, I must know whose all-in reshove I would call. Note that he may make some of these lighter reshoves believing he has fold equity as I could be raising a very wide range in this spot. My actual hand, A-Jo, is well ahead of the range that I need to open here. I would, of course, make a trivial call from a shove from Seat 8 as well. He is less likely to reshove a hand like J-Ts since he should not believe that he has much fold equity here. However, he may reshove hands as light as A-2s or A-8o since he could very well be ahead, and down to 12 big blinds, he needs to take a stand soon.
I raise to 7,, Seat 7 folds, but Seat 8 reshoves all-in for 38, Seat 9 folds. I make the automatic call, knowing I would do so before I even raised. Seat 8 shows 4 4, and were off to the races. The board runs out T 6 5 4 4, and my opponent wins with quad fours, a bit of overkill. Preflop 8, : Seat 2 limps in under-the-gun. The action folds to me in late position with a speculative hand. Seat 2s limp surprises me since it is rare for anyone to limp into a pot at this stage of a highstakes tournament online, especially a player with 19 big blinds. He could be trapping with a big pair, or he may be trying to see a cheap flop with a marginal hand like a low pocket pair or a strongsuited connector.
It is tough to assign him any particular range because the play is so unusual at this stage. It can be tempting with a big stack to assume limpers are weak and isolate them, especially with a hand like A-9s with some postflop value. However, I usually find it best in spots like this not to underestimate my opponents. Thus with a suited ace in late position, I am content to limp behind in hopes of seeing a cheap flop in position, looking to hit big with a hand that plays well in multiway pots.
I limp in for 3, Seats 7, 8, and 9 fold, the big blind checks, and we take the flop 3-handed. Flop 15, : I flop the nut flush draw on a relatively uncoordinated board. Seat 1 checks and Seat 2 leads out for 13,, almost a potsized bet, leaving himself with about I could call this bet, hoping to get paid off if I hit and willing to make a play at the pot if I miss and Seat 2 seems to give up on it.
However, this seems like a better spot for a semibluff raise than a call. By raising, I take control of the hand and likely push Seat 1 off of anything weaker than two pair. More importantly, Seat 2 could be using the implied strength of his early position limp to try to take down the pot with a low pocket pair, or an unimproved broadway hand like A-K, A-J, A-T, or K-J.
A raise would surely push him off any of these hands. If Seat 2 moves all-in, I will have a clear call with my strong draw. I see some players make the mistake of shoving all-in in my spot. A smaller raise serves the same purpose against Seat 2, but it also saves me my stack if Seat 1 happens to wake up with a monster. I raise to 29, on the semibluff, hoping to win the pot now, but committing me to call Seat 2s all-in.
To my surprise, Seat 1 reraises to 62,! Seat 1 then calls all-in for his remaining 47, The action is back on me. There is now , in the pot, and it is 32, for me to call, giving me 5. Knowing Seat 1 to be on the relatively conservative side, I would not expect him to make this raise with a pair and a flush draw or a combo draw like 8 6 when he is essentially risking his entire big stack against me.
He is much more likely to have flopped two pair or a set of 7s or 5s. In fact, his hand is essentially face up. Although at this point I should discount an ace or even the 7 as a possible out, I still have 8 outs to the nuts. The good pot odds and even better implied odds make a fold out of the question. Attempting a reshove here would be suicidal, as I do not believe that I could ever get Seat 1 off of two pair or better. If I miss my flush, I expect Seat 1 to move all-in on the turn, betting me off of my draw, however, the immediate odds he is giving me are too good to pass up.
I call 32, Turn , : Gin! I have made the nuts! Seat 2 is all-in already, and Seat 1 and I are left to play for the side pot. Seat 1 checks. I have about K left, and Seat 1 has about K left. With over K in the pot, I do not want to mess around with a bet of approximately half my stack. The pot is already huge, and winning it would give me a dominating chip lead over the field. I move all-in, putting Seat 1 to a decision for his stack.
He quickly folds what was likely two pair I expect to him have at least considered calling with a set. Seat 2 shows A Q and is drawing dead. The river is the inconsequential 8, and I win the pot, boosting me to a big chip lead. Seat 1 informed me later that he held bottom two pair. He made a mistake allowing me to draw to the flush so cheaply. His raise size on the flop appears to have been designed to put Seat 2 all-in with little consideration of my hand.
He should not have afforded me such a cheap turn card with a hand as vulnerable as bottom two pair. Setup: This is four hands after the previous hand. Since that hand, I raised with A J under-the-gun, taking down the blinds and antes. I also got a walk on my big blind. The table is now seven-handed, as Seat 2 busted when I hit my flush. Preflop 7, : The action folds to me in the small blind. The big blind has 15 big blinds left after posting. If he had about 18 30 big blinds, I would raise three times the big blind with K-Jo as I like to raise a little more than my standard from the small blind since I will be out of position for the rest of the hand.
If he had a big stack, I would likely limp in, as I would not want to build the pot out of position. However, with his stack as it is, I prefer to just shove all-in, applying maximum pressure. This is the most unexploitable play from this position given his stack size. It is not always optimal to just open shove all of these hands, but against a strong opponent, so long as I am consistent, I believe it to be the best option.
I shove all-in, and Seat 7 folds. Setup: Five hands have passed since the previous hand. I folded A-3s once from the button when Seat 1 opened from early position. It was a reasonable threebet steal attempt opportunity, but given Seat 1s conservative nature and his early position raise, I chose to pass on it.
Seat 7 then shoved all-in over the top, and Seat 1 folded. I also opened with KK in middle position, but I only won the blinds. Preflop 7, : Seat 8 opens in early position to 7, The action folds around to me in the big blind with suited-connectors. Seat 8s raise is barely more than a minimum raise, and with such a strong stack and reasonable implied odds, I choose to call and see a flop. If Seat 8 had 20 big blinds or less, or I had about 30 big blinds or less, I would fold this hand, but given the stack sizes and my disguised hands strength, it is marginally worth speculating. I call 3, and take the flop heads up out of position.
Flop 19, : I completely whiff the flop and check to my opponent as I usually would, whether I hit or not. My opponent checks behind. Turn 19, : I hit the turn, but with three diamonds and two overs on the board, my hand has very little value. Yet I would not expect him to fold any of these hands to a single bet on the turn. If I were to lead out it would be as a bluff, hoping my opponent held a small pocket pair, a hand like A-Q without a diamond, or complete air, and would fold to my bet.
However, he would likely have continuation bet with hands like small pairs or air on the flop, as he would want to use his position advantage to try to end the hand quickly. Therefore I expect him to show up with a semi-strong hand that he checked for pot control much more often than a weak hand.
I take the safe route and check, intending to fold to a bet. My opponent again checks behind. River 19, : My situation does not look any better on the river. With four diamonds on the board, if I bet, I would expect to be called if my opponent has any diamond. After all, he has shown weakness twice, and I have the stack where I can easily afford to bluff. It is because he is a strong player and I expect him to take all of this into consideration that I am better off not taking a shot at the pot.
I check, hoping on the off-chance that my opponent will check and I will show the best hand. I am not planning to call if he bets. My opponent checks behind and shows 9 9 to win with a flush. Setup: This hand is twenty-three hands after the hand previously described.
Seat 7 was moved to balance the tables, and most pots have been won by a preflop raise or a raise and an all-in reshove. I stole the blinds once with K-Jo under-the-gun and once with 22 from early position. The blinds have increased to 2, 4, With most of my opponents just below twenty big blinds, I have to be more selective about open-raising as they should be looking for good spots to reshove all-in. Thus even though I have a very big stack, it is my opponents stacks, not my own, that most influence my hand selection. Preflop 9, : Even though I am being selective about my opening range, I am not going to open fold a pocket pair with my current stack.
I would raise this hand from any position, but it is actually more appealing to steal with it from under-the-gun than it would be from the button. My under-the-gun raise should get a lot more respect than a button raise, a very important factor given the good reshove stacks behind me. With those hands, I would hope to induce a shove from a relatively short stacked opponent who may come over-the-top with a low pocket pair, A-x, any broadway hand or even a strong suited-connector.
However, with a low pocket pair myself, I would much rather pick up the blinds and antes than get any action. I raise to 9,, and my opponents all fold. Setup: It is four hands after the hand previously described. A player busted at the other table, so we are down to eleven players remaining in the tournament.
The final table bubble is one of the most important stages of every tournament in which to raise the level of aggression, since the payouts begin to increase substantially once the final table is reached. While I would like to have been playing more aggressively, using the bubble to my advantage, strong players at my table with good reshove stacks curbed my aggression. However, as we get even closer to the final table, I am looking to become more aggressive as the added incentive of immediate survival should factor into my opponents decisions in every hand. He may just be very card dead, but he appears to be letting the final table bubble influence him more than it should.
Seat 8 is the only other strong player known to me at the table. Despite several reshove stacks at the table, it seems that I should be opening up my game more than I have been. Preflop 9, : As the final table approaches and I sense that I should be taking more advantage of the bubble, I am looking for any spot I can find to steal. My actual hand makes little difference in this spot, as I doubt that any opponent will flat-call, but the value of A-x is simply that it makes it a little less likely that my opponent is holding an ace. I am still a little leery with several good reshove stacks behind me, but now that we are down to eleven players, it is time to take more advantage of the bubble.
I do not believe that Seats 9 or 1 will reshove light here, given the bubble, my reads on these particular opponents, and the minimal fold equity they appear to have. Thus if either of them shoves, I will give them credit for a relatively strong hand and fold. I raise my standard amount to 9,, and my opponents all fold. Setup: Two hands have passed since the previous hand. I picked up AA under-the-gun in the last hand but unfortunately got no action on my raise. With eleven players left, we remain two eliminations away from the final table.
Preflop 9, : Seat 9 raises to 12,, and the rest of the table folds to me in the big blind. With only twelve-and-a-half big blinds to begin the hand, I would be shocked if Seat 9 were not willing to go all the way with anything with which he open raises. Most strong players would open shove any hand that they chose to play with his stack to disguise the strength of their hand and polarize their range, but since he is an unknown player, I am not surprised by his three-timesthe-bigblind raise in lieu of a shove.
Nonetheless, calling to take the flop out-of-position against an opponent who should be very strong is not an option. I could move all-in, using the bubble and my stack to put my opponent to the test; however, this appears to be a mistake for several reasons. Since he open raised with such a small stack, I should not have any fold equity if he is even halfway competent.
My hand clearly should not fare well against his range. Lastly, I am the chip leader, and he raised into my big blind, which should indicate even more strength than a raise from any other position. All in all, this becomes a clear fold. I fold, and Seat 9 wins the pot. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. Preflop 9, : The action folds around to Seat 5, who opens to 9, on the button. I have a marginally strong broadway hand on the small blind.
Note that if Seat 5 had less than 20 big blinds, I would fold without much thought, since I would usually assume that he would not be opening from the button with that stack unless he was willing to go all the way. However, he has 26 big blinds, making this a spot in which its worth considering a resteal. Flat-calling is out of the question, as I do not want to play this hand postflop out of position or give the strong player in the big blind the chance to squeeze.
Folding is reasonable, since I should be somewhat leery of his willingness to raise from the button with this size stack on the bubble when he should know that both players in the blinds are likely to play back at him. Threebetting to about 27K with the intention of folding to a fourbet shove is another option. Normally, if I were to threebet this button raise from the small blind, I would make it about 32 to 35K, a little larger than my in-position threebet size because I would not want my opponent to decide to take the flop with position.
However, that size would commit me to call a fourbet shove, and I do not want to commit myself with this hand! Because we are on a bubble, I feel that a smaller reraise accomplishes the same goal since my opponent is very unlikely to call at this stage. He should be much more inclined to either fourbet shove or fold. In retrospect, because of the bubble and my stack, I believe I probably should have threebet to 27K. However, at the time, I convinced myself that he should be willing to play for his stack and likely fourbet shove, so I chose to fold.
The big blind also folded, and Seat 5 won the pot. The blinds have increased to 2, 5, with a ante, putting added pressure on the short stacks. The increase also makes every steal slightly more valuable. Preflop 11, : The action folds to me on the button with a reasonable hand but certainly not one with which I would want any action.
However, with my big stack and the final table looming, I want to take every shot at the blinds that I can. If I raise to my standard of 12,, I would have to fold to a shove from Seat 8. If Seat 9 were to shove, my decision would be very close. The pot would be laying me about 1. However, since he is an unknown player, and we are on a relatively large final table bubble, I expect him to play tight and probably fold hands as strong as K-T, Q-J or A-7 which stronger players, unconcerned with the bubble would shove.
From an EV perspective, the decision is very close. With such a large stack, it is in my best interest to keep the bubble alive as long as possible since the added pressure allows me to abuse the situation and keep adding to my stack with very little risk. Note that I would normally not raise the button facing these stacks in the blinds, knowing that I will not call a reshove from either player. However, my increased fold equity given the bubble situation invites me to raise virtually any two cards in this spot. I raise to 12,, and both blinds fold. Preflop 11, : Seat 4 folds, and Seat 5 opens for 11, Since I have been very aggressive lately, and my opponents likely know that I am abusing the bubble, A-Q appears even stronger than usual.
I am certainly willing to play for any of my opponents stacks behind me. Seat 5 is the only player with enough chips to give me a moment to consider the situation. Because he has more than twenty big blinds, he should be able to raise and fold. However, the reshove stacks behind him and me with position on him should cause him to fold many hands he might otherwise raise. In his shoes, with his stack, I would be very hesitant to open raise any hand with which I would not be willing to call off my entire stack. Nevertheless, he is an unknown to me, and I do not expect him to think on this level.
I also know that even if he is as strong as A-Q or JJ, he may be unwilling to call off his entire stack on the final table bubble. Therefore, with a hand as strong as A-Q, I must put pressure on him by reraising. Instead of a standard threebet to about 29K here, I prefer to shove allin; this may get him to fold some hands like A-Q or JJ 88 with which he may fourbet shove if I were to threebet small.
Note that if he were a strong, well-known, highstakes player, I would not expect him to fold hands as strong as JJ or TT, or perhaps even smaller pairs to my shove. However, I have much greater fold equity in this spot against an unknown player. I shove all-in, and all my opponents fold. Setup: This is three hands following the previous hand. I decided not to steal with o and K-5s in early position, although I certainly could have attempted steals at this juncture with either. I have just been moved to the other table, as they lost a player and the tables had to be balanced.
We are now down to ten players, on the absolute bubble of the final table.
I am extremely familiar with Seats 2 and 4 at my new table, both very strong, highly skilled tournament players. My experience tells me Seat 2 is on the loose-aggressive side while Seat 4 is on the tight-aggressive side, but both players are very capable of mixing it up and adjusting to their opponents. I am not at all familiar with Seats 1 or 8. I have the overall chip lead, but I am no longer in a dominant position as I was on the other table. However, I am fortunate to have been moved to the left of both strong players.
Preflop 10, : The action folds around to Seat 2, who opens for 12, on the button. Seat 4 folds, and the action is on me with a strong, suited onegapper. Because we are on the final table bubble, restealing with this hand would be perfectly reasonable. If I made the play, I would threebet to approximately 38K and fold to a fourbet shove. However, I am hesitant to make this move in my first hand at a new table.
My opponent is loose-aggressive, and certainly not afraid to risk his stack on the final table bubble to pick up a healthy pot. He should also be well aware when he raises the button into the two chip leaders that either of us may play back at him. Since I expect him to be thinking ahead, he may already be prepared to fourbet shove a threebet from either of us. On the other hand, because he understands that both of us in the blinds are tight-aggressive players and also aware of the same factors, he may be thinking on that next level and feel confident in stealing!
This sort of back and forth and next-level thinking can lead to some very tricky situations like this one.
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I decide that it is probably not worth risking a threebet, but my hand is too strong to fold given our stacks. I call 7, and take the flop heads up out of position. Flop 31, : I whiff the flop and check to my opponent as I would do on virtually any flop. Turn 31, : My opponent showed weakness on the flop, tempting me to lead out on many turn cards here. Unfortunately the Q on the turn makes it very hard for me to represent a hand. I would expect my opponent to call a bet here with as little as ace high or perhaps even weaker hands.
Against a weak opponent, on this bubble, I would lead out most of the time; however against this player, I believe a lead to be hopeless. I doubt he has air, as he would probably have continuation-bet the flop if he whiffed with a hand like 87s. Even if he chose to check air on the flop, he may either float or raise if I bet the turn. I would fold to a raise, although there is a case for threebet shoving, as he is unlikely to raise on the turn with any hand that could call a shove. If he called, I would certainly have to give up on any non J or 9 on the river, and I may end up paying off a big value bet if I hit and he has me beat.
Lastly, there is a case for leading out here and leading again for about half the pot on the river if he calls. However, that line looks like a bluff to many thinking opponents. I would be relying on my image to make such a play, but the final table bubble is usually not the best time to rely on my image, as Im likely to be read as doing so. I check, and my opponent bets 14, I do have two more options to try to win the pot. I could checkraise and bluff the river if called, but this line often looks like a bluffjust like leading the turn and riverto a thinking opponent.
The last option is floating out of position and leading out on the river. This may be the least obvious as a bluff, but he is likely to pick this off with a hand with any showdown value, since he would expect me to checkraise or lead the turn with a Q. The turn card pairing the queen makes this pot extremely difficult to pick up against a looseaggressive opponent, especially on the bubble. I exhaust my options and fold. Setup: This is two hands after the previous hand. I folded o from the small blind to another raise from Seat 2. We are still playing hand-forhand with ten players remaining.
Preflop 10, : The action folds to me on the button with a relatively strong hand given my position and the bubble. If either Seat 2 or Seat 4 had raised, it would have been a very good threebetting spot in position. Yet the action folded to me, and I have the two unknowns in the blinds behind me. If they each had at least about 13 big blinds or more, I could justify raising in this spot with any two cards. However, the big blind is very shortstacked, and raising commits me to call an all-in reshove from him, which he should feel committed enough to make with a wide range.
My hand is well within this range, making it a trivial button steal given the bubble situation. Setup: Seat 1 at the other table busted in tenth place, sending the rest of us to the final table. Three hands have been played at the final table, with Seat 7 moving all-in the first, Seat 2 successfully stealing the second, and Seat 6 moving all-in the third. All hands were won preflop. Seats 1, 2, 4, and 8 from my previous table remain in the same seats at the final table. Seat 3 is the strong player who was in Seat 8 at the table before that one, and Seats 6, 7, and 9 are the weaker unknowns who were in Seats 7, 4, and 5 respectively at it.
I am extremely lucky to have all three strong, highstakes players on my direct right at the final table! Now that we have reached the final table, the pay jumps become a lot more meaningful. I do not expect the strong players to be worried in the least about moving up the ladder. Yet some of the weaker players may be noticeably concerned about moving up, especially once we are down to about four players and the jumps become much more substantial. The payouts are as follows:. Preflop 12, : The action folds to Seat 1, who moves all-in from the cutoff for 28, The remaining players fold to me.
There is 41, in the pot, and it would cost me an additional 23, to make the call, pot odds of 1. Given Seat 1s desperate short stack of less than six big blinds, pot odds of 1. I call, and my opponent shows K 5. The board runs out 8 5 4 J 4. I win the pot and eliminate Seat 1 in ninth place.
Preflop 12, : The action folds to me in the small blind with a complete piece of cheese. My opponent is the shortest stack with 9 big blinds left after posting. I could limp in, hoping to see a flop, but my opponent should use it as an opportunity to push all-in with any two cards, and I could not call. There is a small chance that he might fear that I am trapping by limping and check behind. But even then, I would be counting on being able to push him off of his hand on the flop with a bet as I would have to lead out on any flop as that would likely be my only chance at winning the hand.
Limping is way too weak and out of the question. Putting pressure on my opponent by raising is a much better play than limping. I would not want to make a standard raise as I would commit myself to call if he shoved all-in. I am better off forcing him to a decision for all of his chips by shoving all-in. I believe that he is a weak player, and he probably would not risk his stack with too weak of a hand. Plugging this range for him and my hand into pokerstove, J-2o will win Folding my hand is my last and probably best option.
My opponent may call with a wider range than the one I assigned, making my shove less profitable. His stack is of no danger to me at the moment, and keeping him around may even increase my fold equity against other short stacked opponents on subsequent steals since they would be more reluctant to bust with a shorter stack still at the table. Giving him a walk should also lend more credibility to my future steals, especially against him in similar blind vs.
Nonetheless, I choose in the heat of the moment to move all-in, and my opponent calls with K 4, a hand that I mistakenly figured into his folding range. The board runs out Q T J Q 2, and I lucksack my way to an even bigger chip stack, eliminating my opponent in eighth place. This hand demonstrates how decisions can be vastly different based on the hand ranges that you assign to your opponent.
However, my opponent had a much wider calling range than expected. J-2o wins this battle With an increased calling range, a marginal shove can easily become a fold. Understand also, especially deep in tournaments, that chips gained do not have as much value as chips lost. For this reason, you generally only want to play in profitable situations, not marginal ones. Setup: This is two hands after the previous one. I folded Q-8o to a raise from Seat 4 in the hand between. Preflop 11, : Seat 9 folds, Seat 2 raises to 12,, and the rest of the table folds to me on the button.
I could make a reasonable case for calling, threebetting, or even folding. Yet given that an aggressive player is raising, my chip stack, my position, and most importantly, final table dynamics, mean that I can easily dismiss folding as the worst option. Calling would be reasonable, as it will be difficult for my opponent to fire many shells postflop out of position since he is currently third in chips and losing a decent-sized pot would drastically affect his chip position.
Once my opponent shows weakness postflop, I should be able to take the pot away whether I hit or not. Although it is a reasonable option, there are several potential pitfalls to flat-calling here. First, I open the door for one of the blinds to squeeze with an all-in reshove, which I do not want to face with K-Qo. They should be hesitant to make a play, given that the raise came from early position; on the other hand, they are probably aware by this point that Seat 2 opens with a very wide range and my flat-call should not appear very strong.
Even if I do get to take the flop heads up in position, I will be up against a strong opponent who may not let me get away with stealing the pot if he makes a good read. Threebetting here with the intention of folding to a fourbet is the strongest option, especially given the table dynamics. My opponent is currently in third place with almost forty big blinds. I do not expect him to get out of line with a fourbet reraise or shove unless he happens to be extremely strong here. Given the circumstances, it is probably profitable for me to threebet here with any two cards, but having a hand as strong as K-Q is good back up just in case Seat 7 wakes up with a hand and shoves his short stack in, which I would be committed to call.
Note that I can almost completely discount Seat 2 calling a reasonably sized threebet here with his stack size, as he would not want to play an inflated pot out of position. If he does so, alarm bells should be ringing that he may be trapping with AA or KK! My relatively tight image also contributes to getting away with this resteal a much higher percentage of the time than someone he would perceive to be a maniac could manage. I raise to 35,, a little less than 3x his bet, and the blinds and Seat 2 all fold.
Setup: This is three hands after the previous one. I stole the blinds from the cutoff with A-Jo, and then I open folded Q-To from the hijack because I had been so active. Seat 7 shoved all-in and won that hand uncontested. Preflop 11, : Seat 4 raises under-the-gun to 12, The action is on me in the next seat with the same hand with which I just threebet another strong opponent. However, the circumstances here are very different: I am facing a much deeper-stacked opponent who may play back at me without a strong hand or flat-call me, although it would be unlikely since a reraise from my position usually indicates a very strong hand.
I perceive Seat 4 to be much tighter than Seat 2, so I am in more danger of running into a big hand than in the previous hand. Most importantly, I have the entire table to get by if I threebet here, so there is a much higher chance of running into a hand than before. If I end up threebet folding or having to show this hand for any reason, it may destroy my tight image at this table, making it much more difficult for me to pick up chips without showdown later on.
Although a threebet here would have a decent success rate because it would look so strong, I do not believe it is worth the risk, especially given that I just threebet a few hands before. The action folds around to Seat 2 in the cutoff, who threebets to 37, The rest of the table and Seat 4 all fold. Seat 2 wins.
Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time, Volume 1
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