Let’s put you in a situation:
You are on the button with A-Qo. It’s folded around to you in a $100 buy-in tournament in your local casino. You raise. Dustin Richards is in the big blind. He’s a nice guy. He works in waste management. He likes cards and sports, but this isn’t his obsession. He plays for fun.
You raise to 3X. Dustin calls out of the big blind. You’re both 50X deep.
The board comes. He checks to you.
What do you do here? Should you check? Do you bet 1/3rd pot? Do you bet half the pot? Do you bet more?
The 2-5 No Limit Hold’em level of cash games is the beginning point where a significant amount of money can be made. At lower levels, the lack of stack depth and higher relative rake cut into profits to a large degree. An intelligent player at these stakes in poker can make enough money to grind out a living if need be. Through countless hours playing in these games, I have recognized a few key traits that are possessed by the best players at these stakes. This article will focus on 100 Big Blind capped buy-in games because 1) This was the structure used when I came up playing and I have a lot of experience, and 2) There are specific adjustments that must be made to maximize your win rate in these games due to the shallower stacks. Some of the topics I will be covering will include: calling too much pre-flop, value betting, recognizing player types, avoiding fancy play, limping and 3-betting.
Now that I’ve finished my six part series on playing draws (whew!), I want to do a series on bluffing and semi-bluffing. This three-part series will only scratch the surface of this complicated topic, but I plan to address some of the most common mistakes I see made in this area.
In this first part, I’m going to give a high-level overview of the math behind bluffing. In part 2, I’ll talk about what hands you should bluff with. Finally, in part 3 we’ll look at some practical tips and examples. Ready?
This interesting hand took place in the 2018 $10,000 buy-in World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas. Around 30% of the players who started the tournament remained in contention. The blinds were 1,000/2,000 with a 300 ante. Everyone folded around to me in the hijack seat. I raised withto 4,500. The Button, a loose aggressive kid, and the Big Blind, a splashy, straightforward player who typically overvalues his marginal made hands, called.
Which would you rather have: $1 million USD right now or a single penny that doubles every day for the next 30 days?
You’ve probably heard this question before because the answer is one of the clearest examples of the power of compound interest.
I suspect that if one hasn’t given it too much thought, one would go for the cool $1 million. After all that’s a lot of money. Besides that, a paltry penny really isn’t worth much is it? Intuitively, it just makes sense to get the $1 million in hand. Compound interest doesn’t care about intuition, though…
While I feel like I have a fairly solid grasp on how to play fundamentally sound poker, I have found that I have been calling a bit too often with good, but second best, hands when my opponents seem to be willing to put all of their money in the pot. I have been working hard to plug this leak. This hand demonstrates my progress.
In early 1988, Warren Buffett wrote his annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the multinational holding company for which he served as chairman and CEO. It was an especially tense time in the investment world, just a few months removed from the “Black Monday” crash that saw markets plunge precipitously around the world. On that day (October 19, 1987), the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 22 percent, the largest single-day decline in the history of the index.
I was recently told about a poker hand that illustrates a few key errors that many amateur players make on a regular basis. Somewhat early in a $120 buy-in tournament with blinds at 200/400 with a 50 ante, a straightforward recreational player in first position raised to 800 out of his 12,000 effective stack and the player in the cutoff, who was loose and passive, called. Hero looked down atand decided to 3-bet to 2,100.
I recently had the pleasure to travel to Montreal to play the World Poker Tour $1,000,000 guaranteed $5,000 buy-in event. As usual, I was playing my standard, fairly loose, aggressive strategy, which consists of raising a lot of hands preflop and making numerous small stabs postflop. There was a young Brazilian guy across the table from me who also happened to be very loose and aggressive. We had tangled a little, with me getting the best of him twice (he bet twice and I called down with middle pair both times) before this hand came up.
This is the sixth and final article in my series on playing draws. We’ve been talking specifically about flush draws and open-ended straight draws.
Finally, I want to briefly talk about backdoor draws and how even they can be critical in your decision making process.
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