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
In the previous article we began to talk about playing draws in position. We decided that we would rather just call with draws when we’re in position, rather than raise with them. By doing so, we keep the stacks as deep as possible, and that allows us more creative tactics on the turn and river.
The only other thing I’ll say about playing draws in position is, always consider your opponent before deciding to bet or raise as a semi-bluff. Your opponent’s personality type should weigh heavily on that decision.
For example …
People occasionally complain that (for example) $35 is a lot of money to spend on a poker book. My stock reply is that if you learn JUST ONE THING from a book that you subsequently put into practice, then you have almost certainly got your money back. If you learn dozens of things from a book, then… well, you do the maths…
I’m going to be presenting an entire series on playing draws correctly, because as a poker coach, it’s the #1 aspect of post-flop play that I see botched time and time again. By the end of this series, you should feel confident playing your draws in a multitude of situations.
I was recently told about a close situation by one of my students that I think is particularly educational. With blinds at 75/150, the action folded to a straightforward player who limped from the hijack seat. My student raised to 550 out of his 28,000 stack with. A splashy calling station called in the big blind and the initial limper folded.
I was recently told about a hand from the final table of a live $300 buy-in tournament that illustrates a few key mistakes that many players make when playing short stacked. With blinds at 5,000/10,000 with a 10,000 big blind ante, everyone folded to the small blind who started with 150,000. He was the shortest stack at the final table, but there were a few other players with between 17 and 25 big blinds. The blind was a loose, aggressive player with 50 big blinds.
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