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Don't Be a Calling Station

I was recently told about a poker hand that illustrates a costly mistake that many amateur players make on a regular basis. In a $1/$2 nine-handed cash game with very deep $600 effective stacks, the player in first position limped and Hero limped behind with 6-6.

Hero’s limp is perfectly fine, given the deep stacks. Even if someone yet to act makes a reasonably sized raise, Hero can easily call due to his excellent pot odds. Raising to about $10 may have a bit of merit if it will usually get the pot heads-up, but that will not be the case in most small stakes cash games.



Introduction to the Squeeze Play

The Squeeze Play should be a crucial part of your pre-flop strategy. Qui Nguyen used it on Hand #70 in From Vietnam to Vegas! The Final Table was six-handed at that point, and the blinds were $400K/$800K with a $100K ante. Second to act, Michael Ruane opened for $1.8M. Kenny Hallaert called on the button. Qui was the big blind with Qs-6c. We had seen Michael Ruane opening light from early position – he had already opened with Kc-5c and 9h-7h earlier that day. Qui decided to re-raise to $5.9M, and took it down.



In this series of PokerSnowie hand history reviews, Byron Jacobs and Jonathan Little discuss an interesting spot that Byron played that Snowie disagrees with. Jonathan usually figures out why Snowie chose its play, but even he is sometimes stumped.

This week, Byron and Jonathan discuss when you should continue barreling off when a draw arrives.



Pre-flop Raise Sizing - Mastering Small Stakes No-Limit Hold'em Excerpt

It is quite common to see players raise to 5 big blinds or more when the action folds to them in small stakes games. I am sure you have encountered players who raise to $10 or more at $1/$2 whenever they have a playable hand. Making large raises is usually a significant error because it forces everyone else to play a snug strategy. While you can profitably raise large with your absolute best hands, such as K-K, you cannot profit from making large raises with your marginally playable hands, such as 9♥-8♥. This means that if you want to develop a strategy to play more than only the absolute best hands, you have to either choose a smaller pre-flop raise size or develop a limping strategy.



Messing Up on the River

I was recently told about a hand from a recreational poker player that illustrates a common flaw in many players’ strategies. In a deep-stacked $5/$10 no-limit cash game, the player in first position at a nine-handed table raised to $50 out of his $4,000 effective stack. The players in second position, third position, and the cutoff called. Our Hero decided to call on the button with Ks-8s.

While calling in this situation may be standard for many recreational players, it is a substantial mistake. The initial $50 raiser almost certainly has a premium hand, given he raised into the other eight players from first position. The early position callers should also have strong hands. While Hero may be able to win a hefty pot when he happens to make a flush, even then, he could be against the nut flush. Hero should simply fold and move to the next hand.



Dr. Patricia Cardner explains the keys to setting goals effectively.



In this series of PokerSnowie hand history reviews, Byron Jacobs and Jonathan Little discuss an interesting spot that Byron played that Snowie disagrees with. Jonathan usually figures out why Snowie chose its play, but even he is sometimes stumped.

This week, Byron and Jonathan discuss how to play a flopped flush draw when it improves to middle pair on the turn.



College and the Army - Life's a Gamble Excerpt

Beating the games was the easy part. Getting out of town with the money was the tough part.

~ Johnny Moss

Once I got to Ohio State, I discovered that I was much more talented than the other guys in the dorm at playing cards, whether it was gin rummy, hearts, euchre, or poker. As a kid I had paid my dues with Danny, but I discovered that I was now in a clover patch in college. These guys were not nearly as good as I was at any card game. It was time to get some “Danny money” back.



Blind Stealing, Qui Nguyen Style

At the final table of any large multi-table tournament, the prize payouts increase rapidly with each player eliminated. Most players, especially the smaller stacks, are just trying to outlast their opponents, to move up in the payouts. There is good reason to do this, and mathematically we demonstrate this in From Vegas to Vietnam! using the Independent Chip Model (ICM). However, when taken too far, it can allow aggressive players like Qui Nguyen to show a profit too easily from blind stealing.



In this series of PokerSnowie hand history reviews, Byron Jacobs and Jonathan Little discuss an interesting spot that Byron played that Snowie disagrees with. Jonathan usually figures out why Snowie chose its play, but even he is sometimes stumped.

This week, Byron and Jonathan discuss whether or not you should get all-in with Q-Q before the flop for 125 big blinds.


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