While most of your profit in soft or small buy-in tournaments will come from getting full value from your strong hands, occasionally you will need to run a well-timed bluff. I played a hand in the recent $1,000 buy-in WPT side event at Borgata that illustrates this point.
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.
The following hand took place in a $1,000 buy-in World Poker Tour side event. The tournament just started and everyone had about 4,500 chips with 25/25 blinds. I raised to 75 from the cutoff seat withand only the small blind, a 50-year-old recreational local player, called.
I recently went to the Bahamas to play a major tournament series and as soon as I landed, I jumped into a fun-looking $10/$20 no-limit game. After about 30 minutes, I won $2,500 from an overly aggressive kid when he three barrel bluffed in a 3-bet pot and I didn’t fold a marginal overpair. He seemed to be tilted, which is always nice.
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.
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.
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.
I was recently told about a hand from a $75 buy-in poker tournament that illustrates a major mistake many recreational players make with premium, but possibly second-best, hands.
With blinds at 2,000/4,000 with a 400 ante, an unknown player in second position raised to 9,100 out of his 160,000 effective stack. The player in the hijack and cutoff seats both called, as did our Hero on the button with
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