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Hand Analysis
D&B MAGAZINE
Strategy
D&B MAGAZINE

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.


Strategy
D&B MAGAZINE

This is the third part of my series on bluffing. In parts 1 and 2, we learned:

  1. Our bet size (relative to the pot size) determines how often we should be bluffing on the river.
  2. We bluff much more often on the flop, because those bluffs are mostly semi-bluffs that have equity, as opposed to pure river bluffs that have no chance of winning unless our opponent folds.
  3. On the river, we want to bluff with the absolute worst hands in our range, unless a stronger hand would block more of our opponent’s strong hands.

In this final article I want to give three practical tips to apply all of this.



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.


Strategy
D&B MAGAZINE

Moving up in stakes for a tournament or cash game player is often one of the most difficult things for a poker player. At higher stakes, you are faced with new, unfamiliar, opponents who are more skilled than the players at your previous stake. These two factors, unfamiliarity and skill, lead to a very challenging barrier to entry when moving up in stakes. Let’s discuss some tips that can help you move up in stakes successfully.

For this article we are going to use the example of Mike, who asked me about moving up from 2/5nl to 5/10nl.



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 with KJ and only the small blind, a 50-year-old recreational local player, called.


Strategy
D&B MAGAZINE
Mindset
D&B MAGAZINE

In part 1 of this series, I did a crash course in bluffing theory, as it relates to how often we should bluff. In this article, I’ll be talking about hand selection.


Hand Analysis
D&B MAGAZINE
Strategy
D&B MAGAZINE

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.



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 A24. 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.


Strategy
D&B MAGAZINE
Mindset
D&B MAGAZINE

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?


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