Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time Volume II Copyright © 2010 by Eric Lynch, Jon Turner, and Jon Van Fleet Published by Dimat Enterprises, Inc.
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InternetPokerRankings. who also plays online under the name PearlJammed.rizenpoker. . Online. Over the last couple of years. NC. and then later in Las Vegas. made over 1. and won almost $4 million. his biggest prize so far.000. Eric writes a popular blog found at www. He finished 26th in the 2006 main event. In 2009. and has won over $1.About the Authors Eric “Rizen” Lynch Eric “Rizen” Lynch is recognized as one of the top tournament players in the world in both live and Internet play. after a 3rd place finish in 2006. tracked by www.5 million. including a 2nd and 3rd place finish. In just three years at the World Series of Poker.000. he won one of the major Sunday tournaments for a prize of $156K. In 2007. His lifetime total for cash finishes in live tournaments is a little shy of $1 million. he placed second in one of the biggest online tournaments of the year taking home a cash prize of $ Eric has over 50 wins. made 300 final tables. He won the 2007 and 2008 Internet Player of the Year award. winning $494.000 final tables. he has eight cashes. PearlJammer has amassed an impressive online resume: He has over 200 actually got his start playing live games in Raleigh. Jon “PearlJammer” Turner. He continues to put up strong results online although he is focusing more on live tournaments and cash games than online tournaments these days. Jon “PearlJammer” Turner Well-known for his online prowess.

Jon “Apestyles” Van Fleet Jon “Apestyles” Van Fleet started playing professionally in 2004 after graduating from college. and quickly moved up the ranks in the online poker world. His biggest online cash to date is $135K when he finished 2nd in a major Sunday He is a twotime winner of PocketFive’s Triple Crown award.InternetPokerRankings. including over 500 final tables and 85 and 5th at www. Jon finished 2009 ranked 5th at www.PocketFives. . Jon has made close to $3 million playing in tournaments online.

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Our Books Texas Hold’em Odds and Probabilities: Limit. and Jon “Apestyles” Van Fleet. Jon ‘PearlJammer” Turner. by Jeff Hwang. Tournament Endgame Strategy. June 2009. 2010. Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time: Volume III . The World Poker Travel Guide. Internet Texas Hold’em New Expanded Edition. February 2010. and Tournament Strategies. Upcoming Advanced PotLimit Omaha Volume II: LAG Play and ShortHanded Workbook. by Eric “Rizen” Lynch. . January 2010. June 2008. Fall 2010. Jon ‘PearlJammer” Turner. by Ian Taylor and Matthew Hilger. by Jeff Hwang. Advanced PotLimit Omaha: Small Ball and ShortHanded Play. Fall 2010. by Matthew Hilger. Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time: Volume I . published in 2007. and Jon “Apestyles” Van Fleet. by Matthew Hilger. by Eric “Rizen” Lynch. Jon ‘Pearl Jammer” Turner. and Jon “Apestyles” Van Fleet. by Tony Guerrera and Matthew Hilger. published in 2006. No-Limit. January 2009. by Tanya Peck. Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time: Volume II . The Poker Mindset: Essential Attitudes for Poker Success. by Eric “Rizen” Lynch. Internet .de Das Poker Mindset Fortgeschrittenes PotLimit Omaha (Advanced PotLimit Omaha) Erfolg bei Pokerturnieren (Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time) .microapp.Foreign Translations Publishers interested in foreign translation rights may contact Dimat Enterprises at La Mentalidad del Jugador de Póker Como Ganar Torneos de Poker de Mano en Mano Volumen I Conceptos Avanzados de Omaha con Límite del Bote Texas Hold’em Oddsy Probabilidades Italian I Tornei di Poker (Winning Poker Tournaments) The Poker Mindset Texas Hold’em Oddsy Probabilità French – www. Spanish – La psychologie du Poker Texas Hold’em Coteset Probabilités German – www.

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Jon Turner I wish to thank my parents and all of my family. or read about. and my publisher Matthew Hilger.Acknowledgments Eric Lynch I would like to thank my coauthors. They have always supported me in anything I wanted to do and raised me in a great home. I’d like to give a shout out to anyone who has ever given me hand advice and helped me improve my game – including the coauthors of this book. you all help motivate me to write and to work to improve my game! The beauty of poker is that even the very best players always have so much to learn. of Dimat Enterprises. thanks to all of the members of the Forum at www. My hope is that that you do not take the hand examples here as gospel. I’d also like to thank my Dad. Jon Van Fleet I’d like to thank Stephen Chidwick. Andrew and Eva Kuczynski for typesetting and design. Lastly. Tracey. even though only a few of them have ever played our great game. They are the best because they understand this concept and work the hardest to learn from every hand they play. I feel blessed every day to have met the brilliant poker minds that I have and great friends in the poker community. Anyway. “the Geez. discuss. who convinced me to take on this project and helped me stay motivated throughout the process. Also. Without their support. Thanks to my friends in and out of poker. Everything I know about poker is just an accumulation of other people’s ideas and advice. thank you to everyone who has personally expressed their appreciation for the first volume (as well as the constructive criticism!). . to thank my wife and family. once again. who generously gave his time to help edit my section and co-write Hand 27. telling you how to best play specific hands in specific situations. and for continuing to help me improve my game. Jon Turner and Jon Van Fleet. for their dedication and patience in putting this volume for supporting and motivating me. even though he’s a really busy guy and online poker superstar. thanks to all of my friends and fans who have purchased this book and will probably use it against me at the table! Matthew Hilger I would like to thank several people who contributed to putting this book together: Neil and Susan Myers for style and copyediting as well as cover copy. I feel lucky to be standing on the shoulders of giants.and how best to figure things out independently. neither the book nor my career as a poker player would be possible. My sincerest thanks to my girlfriend. It was much more difficult than I think we all envisioned. Thanks to Clint Coffee for his thorough and precise edits that made a world of difference. I hope you learn how better to think about the situations in which you find yourself. Instead.InternetTexasHoldem. I forgot to thank my parents in Volume I.” for going over all of my math stuff and reviewing my section. Craig Ditman for the cover design and artwork. from whom I have learned and continue to learn so much. They continue to support my passion for poker. Also. but I’m very proud of the end product. I would also like. Chris Platt for feedback on the text.

Table of Contents Foreword Introduction Jon “PearlJammer” Turner Eric “Rizen” Lynch Jon “Apestyles” Van Fleet Glossary .

For it to be successful. by Jim Brier and Bob Ciaffone. and years of frustration by learning from the wisdom of consistently successful tournament professionals. Aprofessional playing only in live tournaments might play 100 tournaments per year. you need to be able to put these theories into practice. I believe strongly in this format as a way of teaching and learning poker.Foreword by Matthew Hilger Are you ready to take your game to an entirely new level?This book lays bare the inner workings of three of the brightest minds in poker today: Eric “Rizen” Lynch.800 final tables. Theory and concepts are fundamental to becoming a good poker player.000 tournaments. they have played in over 50. money. The Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time series is a unique addition to poker literature. Once you have established this foundation. But experience alone doesn’t make you a great teacher and author. These pages will reveal exactly how three of the world’s best poker players analyze and dissect a poker hand from start to finish. you need players with extensive experience. and there are many books that teach these. a book which contains hundreds of hand examples to illustrate how theory meets practice. articulating exactly how they think through individual hands. you would be hard-pressed to find three poker players with more tournament experience under their belts. have made over 1. this book is about how to play a poker hand. as it were. This book guides you along the path to tournament success by putting you. have logged over 300 major wins. enabling you to establish a foundation of solid theoretical knowledge. inside the minds of some of the world’s best players. The inspiration for the format of this book is Middle Limit Hold ‘em. Jon “PearlJammer” Turner. What separates these experts from other good players is that all three of them are able to accurately describe their decision-making processes. . and most important. and Jon “Apestyles” Van Fleet. Players who read and study this series (Volume III will be released later in 2010) will save themselves time. but a whole poker scenario. What makes this book different from any other poker tournament book? First. You will see exactly how they analyze not only a hand. and have cashed for more than ten million dollars! Second. These guys often play that many online tournaments in a week! Collectively.

Introduction: How this Book Was Created and What it Will Do for You
by Matthew Hilger Hopefully you have already read Volume I and know something of the history of how this book was put together. For those who haven’t, I’ll briefly describe how this series got started and then discuss Volume II and how it differs from Volume I. Finally, I’ll talk a little about Volume III, to be published in 2010. Back in 2007, I first contacted Eric “Rizen” Lynch about a potential book project. I had read an article by Rizen titled “Beyond Harrington” and was most impressed with his clear writing style, and how he described new ideas and concepts. A book from primarily online tournament players seemed like a good fit for my publishing company. Contacting Eric resulted in a fruitful meeting of minds, and this series began to take shape. As Eric and I brainstormed the project, we discussed other potential coauthors for the book. Eric’s first suggestion was Jon “PearlJammer” Turner. I then asked PearlJammer and Rizen each to create a short-list of other players who would be suitable coauthors. To my delight, the same player topped both their lists: Jon “Apestyles” Van Fleet. One of the great benefits of this book is to see three different styles of play. All three players are able to adapt to specific table and tournament situations, and they all have multiple gears – but it’s safe to say that PearlJammer has a more conservative approach to the game, while Apestyles is usually looking for the aggressive line of action unless there are specific situations that dictate otherwise. Rizen likely falls somewhere in between. Beyond their styles of play, you’ll find differences in their thinking processes and writing styles which make each of the three sections in this book unique. For those who haven’t read Volume I, it covered hands up until the money bubble. Most of the hands in that Volume were individual hands selected from various tournaments. The one exception was Apestyles, who had part of his section devoted to 24 hands from the same tournament on the bubble. Volume II focuses on hands in the money all the way down to heads-up play. This volume takes a different approach than Volume I: In this volume, each author has selected one specific tournament and has discussed all of the key hands in it. When you’re deep in a tournament, it is vital to know as much as possible about your opponents’ playing styles. By each picking a single tournament, the authors are able to show how their perception of their opponents governs their decisions. One section that was particularly popular in Volume I featured 20 Collaborative Hands in which I selected hands I’d played, and all three authors commented on how they would play the hand. This clearly showed how three top players might arrive at different conclusions based on their personal playing styles. That section was so popular, we’ve decided to devote Volume III to collaborative hands. All of the hands selected will be from tournaments where our hero is in the money, because how you play at this stage is critical to being a successful tournament player. We promise not to take so long between Volumes this time, and plan on releasing Volume III later in 2010. Working with these top players has been a tremendous boost to my own game. Since I’ve started working with them, I have won two tournaments within a year with over 3,500 entrants each (one with 10,000 entrants). One of those wins was in a 750K guaranteed tournament for a prize of $132K. There is no doubt that they’ve helped me take my tournament play to the next level. Can this book guarantee the same results for you? Unfortunately there can be no guarantees, but there’s no doubt in my mind that if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced player, your game will greatly benefit from the poker wisdom offered here. These three players are the cream of the crop. They are the best of the best. How often does one get the chance to be coached by a top poker expert? Reading and studying this book is like attending a poker tournament master class. Remember, poker is a fun game, but it is more fun when you win. Can you think of a better way to become a winner than by studying how the best in the world play?

Setup: I have made the money in a $100 rebuy tournament. 27 spots paid, and there are about 25 players left. First place pays $22,526, and 19th– 27thpay $514. I have been the chip leader (most of the time) since the field dropped to 40 players. I have capitalized on a (preconceived) tight image with most of the players in this field in order to pick good resteal spots to accumulate chips as the bubble has approached. Wielding such a big stack, I have opened up my game more than usual and have been more than willing to race when necessary. I am familiar with four of my seven opponents at this table, Seats 1, 3, 6, and 7. I know all of these players to be strong, experienced tournament players who are vying for first place, unafraid of busting out. Unless I see otherwise, I can safely assume they will all practice such common tactics of strong online MTTplayers as not raise-folding stacks of twenty big blinds or less and recognizing profitable resteal situations. Thus I will assume I have no fold equity when they open-raise with a stack of fewer than twenty big blinds. I will also avoid open-raising hands from late position with which I am not willing to call an all-in from those in the 12 – 20 big blind range. The importance of these concepts (deep in MTTs) when your table is full of tough opponents cannot be overestimated.

Preflop (4,000): I am in the big blind with a strongsuited connector. The action is folded to Seat 9, who minraises to 3,200. Seats 1, 2, and 3 fold. With 7,200 now in the pot, I have 4.5-to-1 pot odds to see a flop. Seat 9’s minimum raise with a thirteen big blind stack sets off some alarm bells. If I knew him to be a strong player, I would probably throw my hand away even with such good pot odds. I would assume that a strong opponent making such an inviting raise with such a small stack would be begging for action with a superpremium hand. In late position with 15 big blinds or less, I personally will open shove any hand that I feel is worth playing in order to maximize my fold equity and not give away the strength of my hand. However, against an unknown opponent, this minimum raise could indicate a hand with which he is hesitant to invest too many chips preflop, or he could be begging for action with a monster. Although I am not looking to play pots out of position or call raises at this stage, my assumption that my opponent is a weak player and the 4.5-to-1 pot odds he offers me persuade me to see the flop. I call 1,600 and take the flop heads up.

Flop (8,800): I flop an openended straight draw. With 8,800 in the pot and my opponent only having about 18K remaining, this seems like the perfect time to apply pressure with my draw and put him to a decision. I could lead out into him for approximately half the pot and call if he shoves, or I could just open shove, putting him to a decision right now and maximizing my fold equity. Many opponents would view a lead-out bet here as an obvious draw or a cheap attempt to steal the pot. After all, if I had a strong hand, I would let my opponent put more chips into the pot before I attacked, would I not? Note that if he only had about one potsized bet remaining, I would bet out strongly here to maximize my fold equity—were I to check, he would probably move all-in or at least clearly commit himself with a continuation-bet.

I feel my opponent will continuation-bet almost 100% of the time in this spot. If I can checkraise him, I will pick up more chips when he folds than if I fire out, and my hand will likely appear stronger to him than if I just lead out at the flop. If he shoves all-in as a continuation bet, I will fold, as I would assume that he has at least a pair of 9s, leaving me drawing to 8 outs and without quite the right odds to call. However, I expect a small bet from him most of the time here, an amount that hopefully does not pot commit him. I check, and my opponent bets 3,600. I am very happy that he still appears not to be committed to the pot. I checkraise to 22,400, enough to put him all-in. He quickly folds.

Setup: While I folded a few hands, my shortstacked opponent from the previous hand lost a race to bust. The blinds have increased, putting more pressure on the short stacks.

Preflop (4,750): I’m dealt a strong hand in the hijack, one I would certainly open-raise if the action is folded to me. However, Seat 3, a strong player, open-raises to 5,500. I could make a good case for threebetting here to 14 – 15K, coldcalling my opponent’s raise, or folding. My initial instinct is to threebet, as I planned to play the hand if folded to me, and my opponent is capable of opening with a fairly wide range. However, with 30 big blinds, my opponent has a very good fourbet shoving stack. I also expect that before he decided to open, he took into account that I will threebet him fairly often. A-J is not quite strong enough for me to call against a 30 big blind fourbet shove unless I have very good reason to believe that my opponent may shove light. Having said this, Seat 3 likely perceives me as tight, so he probably would not shove light over my threebet too often. However, I still have the opponents behind me to worry about. If I were to threebet, I would end up in a bind if anyone behind me woke up with a big hand. I would be getting the right price to call off against a shove from Seat 5, 6, or 7, and I would certainly be in bad shape. Although I am not usually very concerned with the rest of my opponents when considering whether or not to threebet a midlate position opener (especially when I have a very big stack), they are worth considering. This is especially true when several are strong players who are aware that with such a big stack, I may be threebetting light. All of these factors, along with how I feel my image is perceived at the moment and long-term, should be considered in deciding whether or not to threebet in situations like this when they happen. After making a close decision not to threebet, I should consider coldcalling, as I can use my positional advantage and big stack to play profitably postflop. I do not like to call raises very often at this stage of tournaments, as doing so may put me in difficult postflop spots. I could not imagine flopping top pair and finding a fold, but I do not expect my opponent to stack off often postflop with worse hands on A high or J high boards. Therefore, reverse implied odds play very much against me in this spot. With several strong opponents left to act, I could easily be squeezed out of the pot as well. Although I would probably threebet or call against a weak opponent here, against Seat 3, a strong opponent, folding seems like the best option, albeit a close decision. I fold, and the rest of the table follows suit. Seat 3 wins.

I choose to fold. especially the strong player in the big blind. . My table is now sixhanded. He is well aware that I should be raising a very wide range on the button with a big stack. nearing a table break to go down to 2 tables and 18 players left in the tournament. However. 99 coin flip. the big blind only has 16 big blinds and is very capable of reshoving light. and some other strongsuited hands. I would rather open with J-To from under-the-gun or any other position at this table other than the button. I should notice the stacks in the blinds. and if he does. any ace. any broadway hand. I would have an easy fold. however. Setup: This is two hands following the hand previously described. Even though it may seem counter-intuitive at first glance. Before I open. as I do not expect him to shove in 26 big blinds often.500): J-To is a fairly standard opening hand on the button. and we remain sixhanded. as I don’t expect the blinds will ever flat-call my raise.Setup: Ten hands have passed where I had unplayable hands and no worthwhile spots to steal. My positional advantage is also virtually nonexistent. and the action folds around to me. I do not want to take J-To up against that range. The small blind is not much of a concern. and I would expect him to reshove any pair. as Seat 3 busted Seat 1. especially for a big stack. The small blind folds. given the stack sizes of my opponents. Preflop (4. winning a standard A-Qs vs. giving the big blind a walk.

who shoves all-in from the cutoff for 11. T-7s+. Setup: This is two hands following the previous hand. Seat 7 is a strong player who should be openshoving a fairly wide range with his short stack. K-7s+. regardless of my stack size1. The board runs out 8♥ 4♣ 2♦ K♦ 8♣ and I lose the race. and my opponent flips up K♣ T♥. making A-Jo a straightforward call from the big blind.846.221 in the pot. The action folds to Seat 2 in the big blind. and it is 13. The board runs out 8♠ 5♥ 5♣ 4♥ 3♣ and I win a 60/40. a pair and a flush draw.500): The table folds to Seat 7. I call. I expect my opponent to have a similar range in this spot.971 for me to call. Q-8s+.500): I’m dealt Q-Jo in the hijack. 8-7s. Q-J plays slightly better against a wide reshoving range. perhaps even wider. I would be shoving any pair.5 big blinds. Seat 2 doubled through Seat 3 in the previous hand. I should get more credit from this position. Pot odds of slightly less than 2:1 and my big stack make this an automatic call. and the blinds are shortstacked enough that I am prepared to call if either of them reshoves. who shoves for 18. Although it is a similar hand to the J-To from the previous hand. There is now 26. winning a postflop race with AA vs. The action then folds to me in the big blind with A-Jo. and we are still sixhanded. any broadway hand. I call. as well as all but the weakest of those hands offsuit. . any ace. J-7s+. eliminating a tough opponent in the process. In his shoes. also under-the-gun +1 at this shorthanded table. Therefore I make my standard opening raise of a little less than two-and-a-half times the big blind. which I was already prepared to do before I even raised. 9-8s. and we’re off to the races. my opponent shows 9♦ 9♣.Preflop (4. Preflop (4.

with whom I have little experience but who seems to be on the tight side. a solid. I must weigh the risk of likely getting 50K chips in as a big underdog vs. and Seat 5 wins the pot.Setup: After busting Seat 7 with A-J. and 4 are unknown to me. In the next seat with 77. Seats 2. 3. yet threebetting would commit me to calling his shove. hoping to see A-K or A-Q. I would not want to take 77 against an unknown’s fourbet shoving range from this position. I am essentially spewing chips. especially with five players left to act who could squeeze me out of the pot. I would win the pot preflop some of the time so long as no one behind me wakes up with a big hand. I am in a difficult spot. who raises to 5. I do not believe threebetting is worth the risk in this particular spot. Seat 1 is a solid highstakes online professional on the tight-aggressive side. Seat 9 is unknown to me. Preflop (5. the tournament broke down to two tables with 18 players remaining. Calling to set-mine is out of the question. Seat 8 is Seat 6 from my previous table. Everyone behind me folds. 10-to-1 implied odds are not nearly enough to set-mine at this stage of a tournament. and 5% of the time someone behind me fourbets and I have to fold). waiting for a good spot. Seat 7 is a very aggressive online professional who can be quite unpredictable and tough. I would estimate that this relatively tight player raising a 25 bigblind stack at a full table will be fourbet shoving about 65% of the time. picking up 10K an estimated 30% of the time (65% of the time Seat 5 fourbet shoves.250): The action folds to Seat 5. My hand may seem too strong to fold to a single raise.025. but if I threebet. however. . so I fold my hand. aggressive professional who has been stuck with a stack of less than twenty big blinds for a while. Seat 5 is Seat 5 from my previous table. A standard threebet to approximately 14K would leave me with just under 2-to-1 odds to call a fourbet shove from Seat 5. especially since he seems to be on the tight side. but can also spew chips at times.

Setup: One full orbit later at the table. I should look at the stacks behind me. All in all. making stealing more valuable.300): The action folds to me with A-7o in middle position. The rest of the table folds around to Seat 2. but unless I am on a money bubble where I can run over the table with a big stack. I would not want to play my hand out of position postflop. Less worrisome. and if he chose to flat-call or resteal. Before I raise. however. All hands have been won preflop by a single raise except one hand in which Seat 1 won the pot by threebetting Seat 9’s raise. Seat 2 has a perfect reshove stack and the advantage of being in the big blind with no one else left to act should he face a single raise. who should all be looking to threebet all-in over others’ opening raises. but I must be aware of the four stacks in the 10 – 20 big blind range. The blinds are up. My only fold worth noting was K-Jo under-the-gun. many factors make this an undesirable spot from which to steal. Preflop (6. but worth noting. it is definitely good enough for a steal in this position with my stack. His stack and the button put him in an excellent resteal position against me. Seats 7 and 8 are capable of reshoving over my opening raises with a very wide range. is Seat 9 with a strong stack on the button. and there has been little action. . I fold. I am usually folding K-Jo in early position. I would have open raised in middle-to-late position. Although my hand does not play well postflop. who gets a walk. even though my hand strength is reasonable enough.

but I do not think it is necessary with a hand that may get me into trouble if I flop top pair. I would expect my opponent to have a dominating hand most of the time. My opponent’s relatively large raise size at this stage of the tournament (almost all players at the table are making it about two-and-a-half times the big blind or less) can be attributed to the fact that he is in the small blind. Calling to play the pot in position is reasonable. or top pair and win the pot without showdown. thus I feel the reverse implied odds of playing this hand do not make it worthwhile. The table is now eight-handed. Because my opponent is willing to raise out of position.Setup: Three hands have passed since the previous hand. I fold. I could not fold top pair on the flop given my opponent’s stack size. and Seat 5 wins. straight draw. Therefore. Preflop (5. I have position. . and yet if I managed to get all-in on a Q or 8 high flop. shoving is out of the question. In between. I am in the big blind with a mediocre hand that is playable only because it is suited. especially with Seats 9 and 1 in late position.000): The action folds around to Seat 5 in the small blind. I folded J-8s and K-Ts in early position for the same reasons as the A-7o fold. and he should know that I will reshove here with a relatively wide range. and I am facing a raise from the small blind. I like his raise size. In the last hand. Seat 3 lost a coin flip with A-K to Seat 2’s QQ. in fact.050. I always raise to three times the big blind from the small blind at this stage of the tournament if I want to raise and our stacks are not such that a shove is in order. to which one can never give too much credit. who raises almost three times the big blind to 7. I would be hoping to flop a flush draw. forced to play out-of-position postflop if I give him action. I believe that he is prepared to call a shove.

Setup: This is ten hands after the previous hand. willing to play for his stack. Seat 5 folds to me on the button with A-Qo. but because there is no player left in the hand who can hurt me too much. I would not open raise with a 17 big blind stack unless I were committed to going all the way with the hand. Seat 4 is an unknown who may be willing to raise-fold this hand. I am certainly willing to play my A-Q for their stacks as well. a couple of successful threebets. yet I would much prefer to apply pressure now in lieu of flat-calling and trying to play postflop. I threebet shove for 182. A threebet to approximately 17K would be reasonable and preferable if either of the blinds was deepstacked. and only one flop seen. Preflop (7. who raises from the hijack to 6. Because the stacks behind me in the blinds are both below 20 big blinds. I would rather apply the maximum pressure and shove all-in. even if I know that Seat 4 is calling with his entire opening range here. . If I were in Seat 4’s shoes. Nonetheless. He gave up to a bet on the turn from Seat 9. A-Q is too strong a hand in this position to consider folding. Thus I usually assume that any strong opponent would be committed for all of his chips with this raise. I have not seen any playable hands or good resteal spots.300. The blinds and antes are up. Chips have been traded around with mostly preflop raises taking down pots. and everyone folds.000): The action folds around to Seat 4. where Seat 5 raised preflop but did not continuation bet. I am still going to threebet my A-Q.448. However.

I flopped top two pair. it has been a very long time since I open raised a pot. which I would usually fold from early position at an eight-handed table. I bet 9. My opponent folds.700 in the pot. several factors lead me to go against my normal play and raise in this instance. and Seats 7 and 8 should need a huge hand to reshove. Although I usually like to make my continuation-bets a little less than half of the pot.750. my raise should get even more credit. I should have developed a very tight image that I can take advantage of in spots like this. due to my position and Seats 7 and 8 behind me with good reshove stacks. I should bet a little more than this due to how easily my hand’s value could be destroyed by numerous turn cards. 32 hands to be exact. Preflop (7. I am certainly willing to play for his stack now. knowing that if my opponent reshoves. I will call. . With 17. and I win the pot. or club. but there is a possible straight and flush on the board.750. These factors combined make this a good enough spot in which to steal with a marginal hand. However. I considered stealing with 8♥ 5♥ in the last hand. Flop (17. Q. an A. as I do not want to discourage my opponent from making a move with the naked ace of clubs or a Jx Tc type hand. I do not want to bet too strong. a little more than half the pot. For one.Setup: Four hands have passed since the hand previously described. but I chose to hold off. The action folds around to the big blind. only the first two of which were at my old table! Even though many players assume big stacks to be loose-aggressive. that would give me cause for concern and probably kill any potential action from weaker hands. T. facing only one opponent with about 52K left. Being under-the-gun. probably 99+ or A-Q+.000): I am under-the-gun with a mediocre holding. however. However. This is about the worst possible board on which to slowplay top two pair. there are plenty of cards that could hit the turn.700): My opponent checks. I raise my standard amount at this level—a little less than two-and-a-half times the big blind—to 6. who calls.

Setup: This is three hands after the previous hand.474 = 1.124… 55. I would just move all-in. If I raise my standard amount of 7. > One last consideration that leads me to a raise in this spot is Seat 7’s conservative play with 55 in the last hand. I should never raise the button here unless I am willing to call a shove from a stack of 15 big blinds or less. yet I do estimate the odds and determine whether or not I would call a shove from either player before making the initial raise. a relatively good starting hand for my position. In the last hand.300): The action folds around to me on the button with Q-Jo. even though he should be shoving a relatively wide range. I will be getting 1. I find it interesting that with only 17 big blinds.875. the blinds had 26 and 16 big blinds respectively.875 and Seat 8 reshoves. If my opponents were both below 15 big blinds.949 = 55. This hand illustrates that Seat 7 is playing conservatively at the moment. Seat 7 chose to play 55 in this fashion. and Seat 7 called from the big blind. They ended up checking it down and Seat 7 showed 55 to beat Seat 1’s unimproved A-9o. If Seat 7 reshoves. Seat 1 opened for a small raise to 6.6-to-1 odds to call the all-in (8. I would rather apply the pressure myself than allow them to reshove a hand like 33 or K-T and have to call off with my marginal hand. Note that I would never put in a standard raise and then fold to a shove if they had such stacks. however. not quite strong enough.124 34. and both blinds fold. I am up against smaller stacks with a somewhat stronger hand. I now believe that he will need a stronger hand to reshove than I would have thought before witnessing that hand. but surely to call one from Seat 8. Although these are not the 2-to-1 odds I would like to get in order to call a shortstack’s all-in with a marginal hand. putting maximum pressure on them and not giving them the illusion of fold equity that they might have if I put in a standard raise. not looking to take a marginally +EV gamble. I will be getting 1. maximizing fold equity against a player who is likely stealing light. Normally I would expect him or most any strong. Therefore I am confident in my decision not to call a shove from him.575.44-to-1. .6). these odds are strong enough to call. I raise to 7. Note the difference between this hand and Hand 3. given our positions. aggressive player to reshove preflop with his hand.300 + 7. putting 5 of my 7 opponents below the 20 big blind threshold. Here. and I did not want to get involved against those stacks with such a marginal hand. The blinds have increased. There. Generally speaking. where I had J-To on the button.875 + 38.5 big blinds. In this particular spot. but instead waiting for a really good spot before getting in his money. I never make these sorts of exact calculations in the heat of the moment. however. Seat 7 has 17 big blinds and Seat 8 has 12. Preflop (8.

Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one.

Preflop (8,300): The action folds to me in the cutoff with a strong hand given my position. Before raising, as always with shortstacks behind me, I must know whose all-in reshove I would call. Although he has been playing more conservatively than usual, I would certainly call a reshove from Seat 7 as he could reshove any pair, any suited ace, or A-8o+, K-J+, and probably some strong suited connectors like J-Ts or T-9s. Note that he may make some of these lighter reshoves believing he has fold equity as I could be raising a very wide range in this spot. My actual hand, A-Jo, is well ahead of the range that I need to open here. I would, of course, make a trivial call from a shove from Seat 8 as well. He is less likely to reshove a hand like J-Ts since he should not believe that he has much fold equity here. However, he may reshove hands as light as A-2s or A-8o since he could very well be ahead, and down to 12 big blinds, he needs to take a stand soon. I raise to 7,875, Seat 7 folds, but Seat 8 reshoves all-in for 38,549. Seat 9 folds. I make the automatic call, knowing I would do so before I even raised. Seat 8 shows 4♦ 4♣, and we’re off to the races. The board runs out T♦ 6♠ 5♥ 4♠ 4♥, and my opponent wins with quad fours, a bit of overkill.

Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one.

Preflop (8,300): Seat 2 limps in under-the-gun. The action folds to me in late position with a speculative hand. Seat 2’s limp surprises me since it is rare for anyone to limp into a pot at this stage of a highstakes tournament online, especially a player with 19 big blinds. He could be trapping with a big pair, or he may be trying to see a cheap flop with a marginal hand like a low pocket pair or a strongsuited connector. It is tough to assign him any particular range because the play is so unusual at this stage. It can be tempting with a big stack to assume limpers are weak and isolate them, especially with a hand like A-9s with some postflop value. However, I usually find it best in spots like this not to underestimate my opponents. Thus with a suited ace in late position, I am content to limp behind in hopes of seeing a cheap flop in position, looking to hit big with a hand that plays well in multiway pots. I limp in for 3,400. Seats 7, 8, and 9 fold, the big blind checks, and we take the flop 3-handed.

Flop (15,100): I flop the nut flush draw on a relatively uncoordinated board. Seat 1 checks and Seat 2 leads out for 13,600, almost a potsized bet, leaving himself with about 47.5K. My hand is too strong to consider folding, as I likely have 12 outs (3 aces + 9 clubs), and there is an off chance that I could actually be ahead of Seat 2 if he has something like K♣ J♣ or is simply on a bluff. I could call this bet, hoping to get paid off if I hit and willing to make a play at the pot if I miss and Seat 2 seems to give up on it. However, this seems like a better spot for a semibluff raise than a call. By raising, I take control of the hand and likely push Seat 1 off of anything weaker than two pair. More importantly, Seat 2 could be using the implied strength of his early position limp to try to take down the pot with a low pocket pair, or an unimproved broadway hand like A-K, A-J, A-T, or K-J. A raise would surely push him off any of these hands. If Seat 2 moves all-in, I will have a clear call with my strong draw. I see some players make the mistake of shoving all-in in my spot. A smaller raise serves the same purpose against Seat 2, but it also saves me my stack if Seat 1 happens to wake up with a monster. I raise to 29,750 on the semibluff, hoping to win the pot now, but committing me to call Seat 2’s all-in. To my surprise, Seat 1 reraises to 62,550! Seat 1 then calls all-in for his remaining 47,505. The action is back on me. There is now 168,505 in the pot, and it is 32,800 for me to call, giving me 5.1-to-1 immediate odds on my draw. Knowing Seat 1 to be on the relatively conservative side, I would not expect him to make this raise with a pair and a flush draw or a combo draw like 8♣ 6♣ when he is essentially risking his entire big stack against me. He is much more likely to have flopped two pair or a set of 7s or 5s. In fact, his hand is essentially face up. Although at this point I should discount an ace or even the 7♣ as a possible out, I still have 8 outs to the nuts. The good pot odds and even better implied odds make a fold out of the question. Attempting a reshove here would be suicidal, as I do not believe that I could ever get Seat 1 off of two pair or better. If I miss my flush, I expect Seat 1 to move all-in on the turn, betting me off of my draw, however, the immediate odds he is giving me are too good to pass up. I call 32,800.

Turn (201,305): Gin! I have made the nuts! Seat 2 is all-in already, and Seat 1 and I are left to play for the side pot. Seat 1 checks. I have about 109K left, and Seat 1 has about 101K left. With over 200K in the pot, I do not want to mess around with a bet of approximately half my stack. The pot is already huge, and winning it would give me a dominating chip lead over the field. I move all-in, putting Seat 1 to a decision for his stack. He quickly folds what was likely two pair (I expect to him have at least considered calling with a set). Seat 2 shows A♠ Q♠ and is drawing dead. The river is the inconsequential 8♠, and I win the pot, boosting me to a big chip lead. Seat 1 informed me later that he held bottom two pair. He made a mistake allowing me to draw to the flush so cheaply. His raise size on the flop appears to have been designed to put Seat 2 all-in with little consideration of my hand. He should not have afforded me such a cheap turn card with a hand as vulnerable as bottom two pair.

Setup: This is four hands after the previous hand. Since that hand, I raised with A♥ J♥ under-the-gun, taking down the blinds and antes. I also got a walk on my big blind. The table is now seven-handed, as Seat 2 busted when I hit my flush.

Preflop (7,900): The action folds to me in the small blind. The big blind has 15 big blinds left after posting. If he had about 18 – 30 big blinds, I would raise three times the big blind with K-Jo as I like to raise a little more than my standard from the small blind since I will be out of position for the rest of the hand. If he had a big stack, I would likely limp in, as I would not want to build the pot out of position. However, with his stack as it is, I prefer to just shove all-in, applying maximum pressure. This is the most unexploitable play from this position given his stack size. I will shove in here with everything from about 8-6s+, 9-8o+ to AA. It is not always optimal to just open shove all of these hands, but against a strong opponent, so long as I am consistent, I believe it to be the best option. I shove all-in, and Seat 7 folds.

Setup: Five hands have passed since the previous hand. I folded A-3s once from the button when Seat 1 opened from early position. It was a reasonable threebet steal attempt opportunity, but given Seat 1’s conservative nature and his early position raise, I chose to pass on it. Seat 7 then shoved all-in over the top, and Seat 1 folded. I also opened with KK in middle position, but I only won the blinds

K-Q. Yet I would not expect him to fold any of these hands to a single bet on the turn. as he would want to use his position advantage to try to end the hand quickly. he has shown weakness twice. it is marginally worth speculating. and with such a strong stack and reasonable implied odds.000): I hit the turn. QQ. on the flop for pot control.000): I completely whiff the flop and check to my opponent as I usually would. My opponent checks behind and shows 9♥ 9♦ to win with a flush. If I were to lead out it would be as a bluff. I check. I would expect to be called if my opponent has any diamond. hoping my opponent held a small pocket pair. intending to fold to a bet. if I bet. My opponent checks behind.850 and take the flop heads up out of position. I am not planning to call if he bets.000): My situation does not look any better on the river. It is because he is a strong player and I expect him to take all of this into consideration that I am better off not taking a shot at the pot. With four diamonds on the board. Moreover. Therefore I expect him to show up with a semi-strong hand that he checked for pot control much more often than a weak hand.and antes. but with three diamonds and two overs on the board. I choose to call and see a flop. A-T. whether I hit or not. my opponent may have checked behind a hand like A-K. I take the safe route and check. Flop (19. JJ. hoping on the off-chance that my opponent will check and I will show the best hand. a hand like A-Q without a diamond.250. He may even call with as weak a single pair as JJ or A-T if he suspects that I am bluffing. and I have the stack where I can easily afford to bluff.900): Seat 8 opens in early position to 7. with or without a diamond. My opponent again checks behind. I would fold this hand. Seat 8’s raise is barely more than a minimum raise. Preflop (7. River (19. The action folds around to me in the big blind with suited-connectors. or I had about 30 big blinds or less. I call 3. . and would fold to my bet. After all. Turn (19. or complete air. he would likely have continuation bet with hands like small pairs or air on the flop. If Seat 8 had 20 big blinds or less. However. but given the stack sizes and my disguised hand’s strength. my hand has very little value.

a very important factor given the good reshove stacks behind me. I would rather open from late position. I have to be more selective about open-raising as they should be looking for good spots to reshove all-in. I would hope to induce a shove from a relatively short stacked opponent who may come over-the-top with a low pocket pair. . any broadway hand or even a strong suited-connector. With most of my opponents just below twenty big blinds. The blinds have increased to 2. and most pots have been won by a preflop raise or a raise and an all-in reshove. Preflop (9.000. but it is actually more appealing to steal with it from under-the-gun than it would be from the button. My under-the-gun raise should get a lot more respect than a button raise.000 – 4. With those hands. Thus even though I have a very big stack. I would raise this hand from any position. A-x. with a low pocket pair myself. and my opponents all fold. Note that if I had a stronger hand—such as A-Q+ or 88+—against my opponents’reshove range. that most influence my hand selection. However.475. I am not going to open fold a pocket pair with my current stack. I raise to 9.000): Even though I am being selective about my opening range. I would much rather pick up the blinds and antes than get any action. not my own. Seat 7 was moved to balance the tables. it is my opponents’ stacks. I stole the blinds once with K-Jo under-the-gun and once with 22 from early position.Setup: This hand is twenty-three hands after the hand previously described.

I am looking for any spot I can find to steal.400 level. strong players at my table with good reshove stacks curbed my aggression. it is time to take more advantage of the bubble. since we made the money. Seat 8 is the only other strong player known to me at the table. A player busted at the other table. using the bubble to my advantage.475. My actual hand makes little difference in this spot. While I would like to have been playing more aggressively. so we are down to eleven players remaining in the tournament. I do not believe that Seats 9 or 1 will reshove light here. since the payouts begin to increase substantially once the final table is reached. but now that we are down to eleven players. The final table bubble is one of the most important stages of every tournament in which to raise the level of aggression.000): As the final table approaches and I sense that I should be taking more advantage of the bubble. and the minimal fold equity they appear to have. given the bubble. Despite several reshove stacks at the table. Preflop (9. However. it seems that I should be opening up my game more than I have been.Setup: It is four hands after the hand previously described. I am still a little leery with several good reshove stacks behind me. . I have noticed in particular that Seat 1 has only reraised once preflop. my reads on these particular opponents. I raise my standard amount to 9.200/2. at the 1. I am looking to become more aggressive as the added incentive of immediate survival should factor into my opponents’ decisions in every hand. Thus if either of them shoves. I will give them credit for a relatively strong hand and fold. He may just be very card dead. and my opponents all fold. as we get even closer to the final table. but he appears to be letting the final table bubble influence him more than it should. but the value of A-x is simply that it makes it a little less likely that my opponent is holding an ace. as I doubt that any opponent will flat-call.

but since he is an unknown player. I fold. I could move all-in. Most strong players would open shove any hand that they chose to play with his stack to disguise the strength of their hand and polarize their range. this appears to be a mistake for several reasons. and Seat 9 wins the pot. which should indicate even more strength than a raise from any other position.Setup: Two hands have passed since the previous hand. I would probably only continue here with a hand as strong as 77+ or A-J+. and the rest of the table folds to me in the big blind. All in all.000. this becomes a clear fold. With only twelve-and-a-half big blinds to begin the hand. Since he open raised with such a small stack. With eleven players left. I picked up AA under-the-gun in the last hand but unfortunately got no action on my raise. calling to take the flop out-of-position against an opponent who should be very strong is not an option. My hand clearly should not fare well against his range. I should not have any fold equity if he is even halfway competent. I am not surprised by his three-timesthe-bigblind raise in lieu of a shove. Lastly. any of which I would reshove all-in preflop. and he raised into my big blind. using the bubble and my stack to put my opponent to the test. Preflop (9. . Nonetheless. however. I am the chip leader.000): Seat 9 raises to 12. we remain two eliminations away from the final table. I would be shocked if Seat 9 were not willing to go all the way with anything with which he open raises.

Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. Preflop (9,000): The action folds around to Seat 5, who opens to 9,955 on the button. I have a marginally strong broadway hand on the small blind. Note that if Seat 5 had less than 20 big blinds, I would fold without much thought, since I would usually assume that he would not be opening from the button with that stack unless he was willing to go all the way. However, he has 26 big blinds, making this a spot in which it’s worth considering a resteal. Flat-calling is out of the question, as I do not want to play this hand postflop out of position or give the strong player in the big blind the chance to squeeze. Folding is reasonable, since I should be somewhat leery of his willingness to raise from the button with this size stack on the bubble when he should know that both players in the blinds are likely to play back at him. Threebetting to about 27K with the intention of folding to a fourbet shove is another option. Normally, if I were to threebet this button raise from the small blind, I would make it about 32 to 35K, a little larger than my in-position threebet size because I would not want my opponent to decide to take the flop with position. However, that size would commit me to call a fourbet shove, and I do not want to commit myself with this hand! Because we are on a bubble, I feel that a smaller reraise accomplishes the same goal since my opponent is very unlikely to call at this stage. He should be much more inclined to either fourbet shove or fold. In retrospect, because of the bubble and my stack, I believe I probably should have threebet to 27K. However, at the time, I convinced myself that he should be willing to play for his stack and likely fourbet shove, so I chose to fold. The big blind also folded, and Seat 5 won the pot.

Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. The blinds have increased to 2,500 – 5,000 with a 600 ante, putting added pressure on the short stacks. The increase also makes every steal slightly more valuable.

Preflop (11,100): The action folds to me on the button with a reasonable hand but certainly not one with which I would want any action. However, with my big stack and the final table looming, I want to take every shot at the blinds that I can. If I raise to my standard of 12,475, I would have to fold to a shove from Seat 8. If Seat 9 were to shove, my decision would be very close. The pot would be laying me about 1.7-to-1 to call, which would be reasonable enough given my stack, if I felt he would shove a fairly wide range. However, since he is an unknown player, and we are on a relatively large final table bubble, I expect him to play tight and probably fold hands as strong as K-T, Q-J or A-7 which stronger players, unconcerned with the bubble would shove. From an EV perspective, the decision is very close.2 However, I lean towards folding for one important reason. With such a large stack, it is in my best interest to keep the bubble alive as long as possible since the added pressure allows me to abuse the situation and keep adding to my stack with very little risk. Note that I would normally not raise the button facing these stacks in the blinds, knowing that I will not call a reshove from either player. However, my increased fold equity given the bubble situation invites me to raise virtually any two cards in this spot. I raise to 12,475, and both blinds fold.

Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. Eleven players remain.

Preflop (11,100): Seat 4 folds, and Seat 5 opens for 11,295. Since I have been very aggressive lately, and my opponents likely know that I am abusing the bubble, A-Q appears even stronger than usual. I am certainly willing to play for any of my opponents’ stacks behind me. Seat 5 is the only player with enough chips to give me a moment to consider the situation. Because he has more than twenty big blinds, he should be able to raise and fold. However, the reshove stacks behind him and me with position on him should cause him to fold many hands he might otherwise raise. In his shoes, with his stack, I would be very hesitant to open raise any hand with which I would not be willing to call off my entire stack. Nevertheless, he is an unknown to me, and I do not expect him to think on this level. I also know that even if he is as strong as A-Q or JJ, he may be unwilling to call off his entire stack on the final table bubble. Therefore, with a hand as strong as A-Q, I must put pressure on him by reraising. Instead of a standard threebet to about 29K here, I prefer to shove allin; this may get him to fold some hands like A-Q or JJ – 88 with which he may fourbet shove if I were to threebet small. Note that if he were a strong, well-known, highstakes player, I would not expect him to fold hands as strong as JJ or TT, or perhaps even smaller pairs to my shove. However, I have much greater fold equity in this spot against an unknown player. If I get called, I know that I am likely to be up against AA, KK, QQ, or A-K, however, with my stack, it is well worth the risk to pick up the 22,395 currently in the pot. I shove all-in, and all my opponents fold.

although there is a case for threebet shoving. and certainly not afraid to risk his stack on the final table bubble to pick up a healthy pot. however against this player. Because we are on the final table bubble. Since I expect him to be thinking ahead. Unfortunately the Q on the turn makes it very hard for me to represent a hand. . restealing with this hand would be perfectly reasonable. I would lead out most of the time. as he is unlikely to raise on the turn with any hand that could call a shove. Against a weak opponent. highly skilled tournament players. My opponent checks behind. However. He should also be well aware when he raises the button into the two chip leaders that either of us may play back at him. I would threebet to approximately 38K and fold to a fourbet shove. If I made the play. Even if he chose to check air on the flop. he may either float or raise if I bet the turn. Seat 4 folds.498): My opponent showed weakness on the flop. suited onegapper. and I may end up paying off a big value bet if I hit and he has me beat. because he understands that both of us in the blinds are tight-aggressive players and also aware of the same factors.Setup: This is three hands following the previous hand. I doubt he has air. tempting me to lead out on many turn cards here. but I am no longer in a dominant position as I was on the other table. On the other hand. If he called. I call 7. Turn (31. My opponent is loose-aggressive. on the absolute bubble of the final table. I would expect my opponent to call a bet here with as little as ace high or perhaps even weaker hands. he may be thinking on that next level and feel confident in stealing! This sort of back and forth and next-level thinking can lead to some very tricky situations like this one. I am fortunate to have been moved to the left of both strong players. both very strong. although I certainly could have attempted steals at this juncture with either. I decide that it is probably not worth risking a threebet. but my hand is too strong to fold given our stacks.999 and take the flop heads up out of position. Preflop (10. We are now down to ten players.999 on the button. I am extremely familiar with Seats 2 and 4 at my new table. as they lost a player and the tables had to be balanced. I decided not to steal with 4-3o and K-5s in early position. My experience tells me Seat 2 is on the loose-aggressive side while Seat 4 is on the tight-aggressive side. on this bubble. Flop (31. and the action is on me with a strong. I would fold to a raise. I am hesitant to make this move in my first hand at a new table. I believe a lead to be hopeless. he may already be prepared to fourbet shove a threebet from either of us. However.500): The action folds around to Seat 2. I have just been moved to the other table. I have the overall chip lead. I am not at all familiar with Seats 1 or 8. but both players are very capable of mixing it up and adjusting to their opponents. as he would probably have continuation-bet the flop if he whiffed with a hand like 87s.498): I whiff the flop and check to my opponent as I would do on virtually any flop. I would certainly have to give up on any non J or 9 on the river. who opens for 12.

and both blinds fold. I check. as I’m likely to be read as doing so. . it would have been a very good threebetting spot in position. or 8-7s+. especially on the bubble.475. any ace.Lastly. However. The last option is floating out of position and leading out on the river. This may be the least obvious as a bluff. J-9+. the big blind is very shortstacked. Preflop (10. If either Seat 2 or Seat 4 had raised. I could justify raising in this spot with any two cards. We are still playing hand-forhand with ten players remaining. I exhaust my options and fold. but he is likely to pick this off with a hand with any showdown value. I folded 9-4o from the small blind to another raise from Seat 2. and raising commits me to call an all-in reshove from him. However. making it a trivial button steal given the bubble situation. If they each had at least about 13 big blinds or more.500): The action folds to me on the button with a relatively strong hand given my position and the bubble. My hand is well within this range. K-7+. I need a hand with at least marginal showdown value to make this raise since I will be committed to calling an all-in from the big blind should he push—probably any pair.999. but this line often looks like a bluff—just like leading the turn and river—to a thinking opponent. Q-8+. Setup: This is two hands after the previous hand. I do have two more options to try to win the pot. I raise to 12. there is a case for leading out here and leading again for about half the pot on the river if he calls. since he would expect me to checkraise or lead the turn with a Q. I could checkraise and bluff the river if called. Yet the action folded to me. Therefore. but the final table bubble is usually not the best time to rely on my image. that line looks like a bluff to many thinking opponents. and I have the two unknowns in the blinds behind me. which he should feel committed enough to make with a wide range. The turn card pairing the queen makes this pot extremely difficult to pick up against a looseaggressive opponent. I would be relying on my image to make such a play. and my opponent bets 14.

and my opponent shows K♥ 5♦. In fact. 8-7.900): The action folds to Seat 1. I call. The remaining players fold to me.990. Seat 2 successfully stealing the second. I do not expect the strong players to be worried in the least about moving up the ladder. I win the pot and eliminate Seat 1 in ninth place. The board runs out 8♣ 5♠ 4♣ J♠ 4♥. and it would cost me an additional 23. pot odds of 1. 7. pot odds of 1. Three hands have been played at the final table. with Seat 7 moving all-in the first. . J-7+. All hands were won preflop. who moves all-in from the cutoff for 28. There is 41.Setup: Seat 1 at the other table busted in tenth place. Seats 1. and maybe even a little weaker. especially once we are down to about four players and the jumps become much more substantial. Yet some of the weaker players may be noticeably concerned about moving up. I am extremely lucky to have all three strong. 4. Given Seat 1’s desperate short stack of less than six big blinds. 2. 9-7+. the pay jumps become a lot more meaningful. and 9 are the weaker unknowns who were in Seats 7. and 8 from my previous table remain in the same seats at the final table. The payouts are as follows: Preflop (12. I would make this call with an approximate range of any ace.75-to-1. and Seat 6 moving all-in the third.890 in the pot. Seat 3 is the strong player who was in Seat 8 at the table before that one. Q-6+. T-7+. any king. and Seats 6.990 to make the call. and 5 respectively at it. I have an easy call with Q-J. sending the rest of us to the final table.75-to-1. and no one left to act behind me. 4. highstakes players on my direct right at the final table! Now that we have reached the final table.

. any ace. Q-5+. This represents approximately 50% of his hands. My opponent may call with a wider range than the one I assigned.914. but my opponent should use it as an opportunity to push all-in with any two cards. blind spots. and I could not call. So 65% of the time I will profit 12. for a net loss of 614. you generally only want to play in profitable situations.982—for an average profit of 2. a hand that I mistakenly figured into his folding range. any J-x suited. J-2o will win 30. especially deep in tournaments. I choose in the heat of the moment to move all-in. hoping to see a flop. and king.300. Given this new information.Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. Limping is way too weak and out of the question.751 from shoving3. and my opponent calls with K♣ 4♣. I believe that he is a weak player. Nonetheless. I could limp in. making my shove less profitable. and J-9+.300. K-7+. and he probably would not risk his stack with too weak of a hand. Preflop (12. and 50% of the time I will lose. 9-7+ suited. on average. I should win the pot preflop. Putting pressure on my opponent by raising is a much better play than limping. For this reason. that chips gained do not have as much value as chips lost.765% of the time. not marginal ones. Plugging this range for him and my hand into pokerstove. 12. and 7-6 suited.765% of the time when called.300): The action folds to me in the small blind with a complete piece of cheese. on average. Q-8+. J-2o wins this battle 32. However. and keeping him around may even increase my fold equity against other short stacked opponents on subsequent steals since they would be more reluctant to bust with a shorter stack still at the table. and 35% of the time I will lose. my opponent had a much wider calling range than expected. This is an estimated range of 35% of his hands. 8-6+ suited. The board runs out Q♦ T♠ J♥ Q♠ 2♦. and I lucksack my way to an even bigger chip stack. But even then. With an increased calling range. eliminating my opponent in eighth place. His stack is of no danger to me at the moment. Giving him a walk should also lend more credibility to my future steals. There is a small chance that he might fear that I am trapping by limping and check behind. I am better off forcing him to a decision for all of his chips by shoving all-in. He will likely call with any pair. I would be counting on being able to push him off of his hand on the flop with a bet as I would have to lead out on any flop as that would likely be my only chance at winning the hand. My opponent is the shortest stack with 9 big blinds left after posting. but perhaps even a little bit weaker. any Q-x suited. Given the range of hands I estimated above (35% calling). 14. T-8+ suited. So now. Understand also. 50% of the time I will take down the pot of 12. we might assign a calling range of any pair. especially against him in similar blind vs. Folding my hand is my last and probably best option. I would not want to make a standard raise as I would commit myself to call if he shoved all-in. it was a marginal decision to shove. any ace. This hand demonstrates how decisions can be vastly different based on the hand ranges that you assign to your opponent. So 65% of the time. a marginal shove can easily become a fold. J-9+.

given that the raise came from early position. Even if I do get to take the flop heads up in position. threebetting. my position. I could make a reasonable case for calling. I open the door for one of the blinds to squeeze with an all-in reshove. Although it is a reasonable option. I should be able to take the pot away whether I hit or not. Preflop (11. Seat 2 raises to 12. but having a hand as strong as K-Q is good back up just in case Seat 7 wakes up with a hand and shoves his short stack in. My opponent is currently in third place with almost forty big blinds. mean that I can easily dismiss folding as the worst option. and most importantly. or even folding. I do not expect him to get out of line with a fourbet reraise or shove unless he happens to be extremely strong here. Once my opponent shows weakness postflop. my chip stack. First. they are probably aware by this point that Seat 2 opens with a very wide range and my flat-call should not appear very strong. Given the circumstances. He probably needs JJ+ or A-K to reshove. I will be up against a strong opponent who may not let me get away with stealing the pot if he makes a good read. or A-Q. a little less than 3x his bet. I folded Q-8o to a raise from Seat 4 in the hand between. Yet given that an aggressive player is raising. Threebetting here with the intention of folding to a fourbet is the strongest option.Setup: This is two hands after the previous one. which I would be committed to call. 99. which I do not want to face with K-Qo. and the rest of the table folds to me on the button. Note that I can almost completely discount Seat 2 calling a reasonably sized threebet here with his stack size. especially given the table dynamics. If he does so. .700): Seat 9 folds. final table dynamics. alarm bells should be ringing that he may be trapping with AA or KK! My relatively tight image also contributes to getting away with this resteal a much higher percentage of the time than someone he would perceive to be a maniac could manage.999. on the other hand. as he would not want to play an inflated pot out of position. They should be hesitant to make a play. although he might take a chance that I am restealing and shove with TT. there are several potential pitfalls to flat-calling here. Calling would be reasonable. as it will be difficult for my opponent to fire many shells postflop out of position since he is currently third in chips and losing a decent-sized pot would drastically affect his chip position.775. I raise to 35. and the blinds and Seat 2 all fold. it is probably profitable for me to threebet here with any two cards.

Although a threebet here would have a decent success rate because it would look so strong. Seat 7 shoved all-in and won that hand uncontested.Setup: This is three hands after the previous one. The action folds around to Seat 2 in the cutoff. I perceive Seat 4 to be much tighter than Seat 2. . although it would be unlikely since a reraise from my position usually indicates a very strong hand. Preflop (11.999.444. If I end up threebet folding or having to show this hand for any reason. I fold. The action is on me in the next seat with the same hand with which I just threebet another strong opponent. especially given that I just threebet a few hands before. I stole the blinds from the cutoff with A-Jo. so there is a much higher chance of running into a hand than before.700): Seat 4 raises under-the-gun to 12. who threebets to 37. Seat 2 wins. However. making it much more difficult for me to pick up chips without showdown later on. the circumstances here are very different: I am facing a much deeper-stacked opponent who may play back at me without a strong hand or flat-call me. so I am in more danger of running into a big hand than in the previous hand. it may destroy my tight image at this table. The rest of the table and Seat 4 all fold. Most importantly. I have the entire table to get by if I threebet here. I do not believe it is worth the risk. and then I open folded Q-To from the hijack because I had been so active.

T-3o. Seat 9 calls with 9-9. Q-5o. and thus he would choose to fold mediocre hands like K-J. and K-Q. With 16 big blinds. 6-3s. Seat 9’s hand holds up.000): The action folds to Seat 2 who raises to 19. and is thus left with only 16 big blinds. The blinds and antes have increased. and it’s his second straight raise (I folded 4-3s to his previous raise. I do not want to reshove with K-Qo. Seat 7 open raised from early position with a fifteen big blind stack and folded to Seat 9’s reshove. putting added pressure on the short stacks.250): Seat 9 opens under-the-gun for 15. I am tempted to call and see a cheap flop. Because I expect Seat 2 to be strong here. I am in a tough spot with a somewhat strong hand facing a raise from a strong player with an awkward 16 big blind stack. as I know that I would not do so with his stack. Q-4o. The rest of the table folds to me in the big blind. I am likely to win a small pot or lose a big pot. However. as it is not optimal to open raise any hand with such a short stack unless you are willing to call off the rest of your chips. However. and of course of his precise range (it may include such hands as the smallest pairs and slightly weaker A-x hands). because he has just over twenty big blinds.Setup: Three hands have passed. 9-6o. In between. Nonetheless. and Seat 7 shows A♦ 8♦. This is the first hand since the increase of the blinds and antes. Seat 2 just threebet and folded to Seat 9’s fourbet shove in the previous hand. My hand is difficult to play postflop unless I flop precisely top pair or better or if it comes J-T-x or all diamonds or hearts. or low pocket pairs. 9-3o. This is a definite mistake! Once I decide not to reshove. I am once again in good position with a fairly strong hand and an opportunity to threebet resteal. Seat 9 is open raising in early position. I should fold the hand instead of trying to play it postflop. I folded the following hands with a few exceptions: K-7o. I do not believe that Seat 2 would open raise here and fold to a shove. Preflop (18. thus widely increasing his range. several factors make this a far different situation than the one in which I recently threebet Seat 2. 8-4o. and I have folded 9-5o. won the pot uncontested).000 chips with K-J! I fold. J-6o. and Seat 7 is eliminated in seventh place. By calling. and he won the blinds uncontested). Even when I do hit a pair without an Ace on board. and thus do not see him folding to a reraise. and Seat 7 shoves his short stack all-in. I am unsure of this latter point. two strong indicators that he has a legitimately strong hand. Setup: This is 17 hands after the hand previously described. This hand enforced my belief of Seat 7 as a weak player. and 8-3o. Seats 3 and 8 are now extremely short stacked. Before the blinds increased. A-T+. and partly invested in the big blind. A-9. I believe he has a little time to wait for a hand worth committing himself with. 6-3o. I also expect him to open shove with the weaker end of this range to discourage action (or perhaps even fold it). since he probably has me beaten if he likes his hand enough . Also. and 4-3s. Thus I feel his range should be approximately 66+. The action folds to me on the button. Preflop (14.999. as I would be getting close to the proper odds to call a fourbet shove. won the pot uncontested). I certainly do not want to commit 160. Q-4o. A-6s (raised. 6-5o. T5s. he is not a prime resteal target since threebet folding here would be awkward. and I can checkraise all-in with my draw.252. I invest more chips to see a flop out of position against a strong player who I believe has a very big hand. A-Qs (raised. and there is an ever-so-slight chance that he is willing to raise and fold here. facing a small raise. 8-3o. further narrowing his range here to 99+ and A-J+.

9-4o. praying for an unlikely check behind. However. and Seat 2 raises to 19. I would have an easy reshove given his stack size and the situation. If it were one notch stronger (A-Q). Preserving the lead can be very important in future situations and yet another reason why I should have thought more about the hand and made the fold! . I decide to reshove all-in. K-Q. or perhaps just fold these marginal hands given the precise situation. and low pocket pairs. The action folds to me in the small blind. Seat 2 has 15 big blinds. The board runs out A♣ 8♥ 6♣ J♦ 9♦. in hindsight. this is clearly a mistake. so I check. I make what is. and he quickly calls with A♥ Q♥. I risked losing the chip lead if I lost. 8-6o.998): I whiff the flop and expect my opponent to likely shove over the top of any bet. A-T. Q-5o. and I am in a similar spot to that which I just had with K-Qo.000): Seat 9 folds. since he is in slightly earlier position and now has 15 instead of 16 big blinds. Note that by playing this hand. increasing my chip lead. a clear mistake and call to see the flop heads up. in hindsight. I should realize how strong his range should be and that he should never fold to a reraise given his stack size and throw my hand into the muck! Nonetheless. However. Setup: Seven hands have passed since the previous one. Unfortunately. or A-9. and J-5o. My opponent bets 29.999. my A-Js puts me in a very borderline situation. and eliminating a very tough opponent in the process. If my hand were one notch weaker (A-T). Seat 2 had further increased his stack to 22 big blinds. stack off. and I had probably made a mistake against the same opponent by calling with K-Q. A-J. I think him more likely to shove all-in with the weaker end of his range. the big blind is shortstacked. Preflop (18. K-J. that awkward stack with which he is probably not open raising mediocre hands like low pocket pairs.999. I folded 8-5o. I would have an easy decision to fold. giving me an ugly come-from-behind victory. In fact. I shove all-in. but he lost a race to Seat 3 in the previous hand when his 44 was outrun by A-Ts. and I fold. J-3s. Flop (49. Because I am suited.

The short stacks at the table should help make him extremely hesitant to play a big pot preflop with me or to play back at me without a monster. Seat 8 actually raised and folded to Seat 3 in one hand (an astoundingly bad play given his stack) and then shoved all-in with 9-8s the following hand. and Seat 4 raises to 17. I will only make this play with a hand that at least has marginal postflop value (I would not threebet here with a hand like T-3o). Preflop (17. I have just increased my chip lead to a very healthy margin. Since the table is now five-handed. only to run .750. I also notice that Seat 4 is raising into the blinds of the two weakest players at the table. regardless of the strength of my hand. and the blinds and Seat 4 all fold. I raise to 49. I expect Seat 4 to pick up his aggression. Setup: This is three hands after the previous one.000): Seat 3 folds. Seat 4 will probably fold anything worse than 99 or A-Q and may even toss the weakest of those into the muck given his chip position.988. and I want to really begin using my stack. All of these reasons make him a prime target to threebet in position. but I expect to take down the pot preflop the vast majority of the time. I also expect that he views me as tight and not likely to threebet him lightly. approximately three times the size of his bet. In case Seat 4 flat calls or Seat 8 wakes up with a hand with which to call off his stack.Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. I folded 8-3o and 5-4o. but there was significant action.

It is always best not to underestimate your opponents until they prove to you otherwise. Seat 4 is a very well-known. it is a close decision. With a weak suited Ace in the big blind. but this option seems unwarranted at the moment. tough opponent. Seat 3. I could fold. and in this instance. and the action is on me. but as it stands. but that seems too weak given his position and the size of his raise. I surrender the pot and fold. I would expect him to virtually never flat-call. Seat 4 folds. the thought of calling off 25 big blinds.450): I whiff the flop and check to my opponent as I would do on most any board. threebetting. investing one-third of my stack preflop with A-6s. All in all. but I have not seen him make any noteworthy mistakes. does not sound appealing. Flop (42. . however.000. However. and Seat 3 raises to 17. and 9-8o.000): Seat 9 folds. this option is marginal at best. folding is probably the best option. Turn (42. If his stack were bigger. Setup:Three hands have passed in which I folded K-2o. but I still have position on him three out of four hands. I believe he would reshove all-in with a wide enough range that calling his shove would be reasonable. but I am not going to hit the flop strongly enough to play profitably out of position postflop with these stacks often enough to justify the call. Seat 9 is a bit of a wild card. and I have a decent-sized chip lead. My opponent checks behind. no draw.000. though. there are no longer any true short stacks at the table.450): This card is rather inconsequential and leading out would be reasonable. threebetting becomes awkward. has about 25 big blinds and has proven to be a strong shortstack player. and no good reason to believe that I could push my opponent off his hand. however. If I were to raise to approximately 50. but I feel that my opponent may be playing pot control with 2ndpair or even weaker and would be unlikely to fold to a single bullet. I would rather reshove all-in and put him to a decision for all his chips than give him the option of fourbet shoving on me. However. I could more reasonably threebet and fold to a fourbet.into Seat 3’s QQ. I would much rather call with a hand like T-9s that is much easier to play postflop and much less likely to be dominated when I hit. I choose to call. We are now fourhanded. With no pair. 3-2o. he bets 24. The shortest. basically hoping my opponent checks behind and I get to a very cheap showdown. or even folding! Against his 25 big blind stack. Preflop (16. even though it appears weak. calling. I essentially give up on the pot by checking. Calling is reasonable. I could make an argument here for reshoving all-in.225 from the button.

and with the chip lead. making this a much easier spot to threebet. threebetting an under-the-gun raiser appears much stronger than threebetting a button raiser.000): The action folds to me in the small blind. He would also be a lot less likely to have hit top pair or picked up a straight draw since he probably would have raised with many of those hands. and Seat 9 checks. or K-J-5. I check. I am up against a weaker opponent whom I believe will not fourbet me with near the frequency that Seat 3 would.000): This turn card should not have helped my opponent. Also. bigger bet on the river. because Seat 9 has almost 30 big blinds in lieu of Seat 3’s 25 big blinds in the previous hand. I would rather play the hand postflop. I generally prefer to keep blind versus blind pots small when I am out-of-position. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. I would expect my opponent to defend with an extremely wide range on this board. Lastly. I do not like the texture of the flop for a bet. and my opponent checks behind. The action folds to me in the big blind. My hand has no showdown value. I threebet to 49. and although I will stab at many small blind versus blind pots.995. if my opponent raises small. several factors are different. Preflop (16. Betting the turn is usually better than waiting until the river in these spots as it is much tougher for players to make hero calls on the turn than the river simply because of the potential that they may face another. fourhanded. Although raising in this spot would be reasonable. and since he has shown weakness. I limp in for 4. however. I would have to invest too much to make the call. I will be able to easily get away from my hand if he reshoves all-in. looking to extract maximum value if I hit or to pick up the pot cheaply if I miss but my opponent shows weakness. by limping in. Flop (20.Preflop (16. I should not be handing over free pots to anyone. certainly with bottom pair or one of many draws. I can call with hands like this that play well postflop. Most importantly. whereas if I were to raise and he reraised. I expect a strong success rate with a stab at the pot. and Seat 9 folds. I lead out for 11. a little more . I would lead out as my opponent would have a hard time defending with bottom pair on those boards. I am in a similar spot to the one I just faced.750. players should be raising approximately the same range of hands from both under-the-gun and the button. Secondly.000): Seat 9 raises under-the-gun to 18.000. However. With another somewhat weak suited Ace. Note that on a flop such as A-J-5.000): I completely whiff the flop. Turn (20. especially with the chip lead.750.

I am next to act with a suited onegapper that. I open the door for either of the blinds to squeeze. I call. Seat 9 folds. and I fold. though.873. I will have position throughout the hand.888. but I have threebet several times in recent hands. . given our chip stacks and my positional advantage. by flat calling. On the downside. I could make a reasonable case for threebetting. Seat 4 folds. Setup: Two hands have passed since the previous one. so I do not mind encouraging the blinds to defend. based on each of them having over 25 big blinds and not making any squeeze plays at the final table to this point. I expect them to only make this play with very strong hands. My opponent folds. and this type of hand plays well in multiway pots. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. and I am certainly willing to make a play at the pot if I miss the flop.000): Seat 4 opens under-the-gun for 17. Preflop (16.than half of the pot. I find worth playing. but Seat 3 seizes the opportunity to squeeze all-in for 220. and I got a walk in the big blind with Q-To. I folded 8-2o.

I bet 29. and with my chip stack. I folded 8-6o. this opponent has not shown a tendency to play back at me. I generally like to raise three times the big blind as I want to discourage action since I will be out of position throughout the hand.500): The flop is rather dry. given our chip stacks and the strength of my hand. reducing Seat 9 to a 20 bigblind stack. I eliminate Seat 4. assuming that I missed the flop the majority of the time. my strongest opponent. and 5-4o. about half the size of the pot.750. and it is virtually impossible for him to have two pair on this board. Setup: This is six hands after the previous one.Preflop (16. If I shove. I am in a prime spot to do so. my opponent may feel like I am trying to push him off of his hand with a draw or a weaker hand. He should expect me to continuation-bet the vast majority of my range. defends from the big blind. K-8s. Note that even if I were somewhat worried about a set here. He will have a hard time folding any pair on this board.000): I pick up a decent enough hand under-the-gun to take a shot at the pot.000): The action folds to me in the small blind as it did in the previous orbit. Unlike my T-8s from the previous orbit. From the small blind. 2♣. and my hand holds up. The blinds increased on this hand. whom I considered to be my toughest opponent. may go broke on the flop with top pair. Q-5o has very little postflop potential. I shove. and may even play back at me with air. Forcing him to either commit his chips now or fold also does not give him the opportunity to be scared into giving up his hand if a heart hits the turn.985! Having now invested almost one third of his stack in the pot. I should be applying pressure. and given the texture of the board. I expect him to be willing to go all the way with his hand. If my opponent were very deep stacked or a very strong player. is an option. The turn and river come 6♠. My opponent checkraises to 88. I would probably give him a walk.000 and my opponent folds. Q-7o. I raise to 24. and greatly increase my chip lead going into threehanded play! . I would expect him to either flat-call or checkraise smaller to encourage action. Simply calling in position. Seats 9 and 3 fold. but Seat 4. However. so a raise is in order. this play makes my hand appear extremely strong.750. and my opponent calls with Q♣ J♠. folding would not be an option. I raise to 24. with such a strong hand. however. but Seat 4 has been the most active. most likely either top pair or a big flush draw. and my opponent checks to me. Flop (58. There has been no significant action. hoping my opponent will put me all-in on the turn. picking up three of the five pots. With a set. Preflop (19. K-2o.

striking an early blow against my plan to run over both my opponents. I expect a much stronger success rate than usual with a steal in this spot. Preflop (18.750. I got a walk with 8-2s and folded 8-6o to Seat 3’s button raise. with such a large chip lead. Since I have a large chip lead and my opponents have relatively similar short stacks. I fold. . given the current dynamic. Play is now threehanded.Setup: Two hands have passed since the previous one. Unfortunately. However. This fact only changes when one of them at least doubles his stack. although I do not expect Seat 3 to be worried about the differences in prize money.850. I should be applying pressure to my opponents.000): My opponents have good reshove stacks. Seat 9 moves all-in for 189. threehanded. and the chip stack sizes now become more of a factor than ever. they are essentially playing for second place. Nonetheless. looking to gradually bleed them down. especially since they each know that the other is one hand away from elimination. I raise to 24. so raising hands on the button that I will fold to either player’s reshove is not generally optimal. especially Seat 9. I am not sure how much the payout increases will affect my opponents’ play.

With his 20 bigblind stack. This becomes an easy fold. threehanded. Despite this. has allowed me to see cheap flops in the past and make small. I stole the blinds with 7-6s from the button and got a walk with T-8o.Setup: I folded 5-3o from the big blind to a raise from Seat 3. or possibly even folded instead of limping in. I do not expect him to raise and fold to a shove. but I do not want to play for Seat 9’s stack preflop. raising would be a strong play given the threehanded table dynamics. Limping in on his big blind.000. Even though raising or shoving would probably be better plays. I would not usually recommend open shoving into a 21-big-blind stack. If either opponent had more than 30 big blinds.000): I am dealt a hand in the small blind with which I want to see a flop. Preflop (18. I shove all-in. With a strong hand that does not play very well postflop. nor do I want to play a larger pot preflop out-of-position with a marginal hand. shoving would be fine. but with these stack sizes. calling is not an option. This is the hand that followed. he should give me no credit for a hand and thus could reshove with a very wide range if I were to raise. given the strength of my hand preflop.000): Seat 3 raises from the button to 20. However. but given the pay jump between third and second place. especially out of position. . Based on how active I have been preflop. but marginal postflop strength. planning to call a fourbet shove from Seat 3. and it is even clearer now why I should have raised myself. I choose to take the conservative route and limp in. plus my read on Seat 9 being a fairly weak player (and thus probably not calling as lightly as he should). Setup: This is three hands after the previous one. however. I prefer to apply the maximum pressure now and shove all-in. successful stabs when I had air. I would rather threebet than move all-in.000. perhaps even optimal. Preflop Preflop (18. shoved all-in. it is best to just shove. Shoving all-in here would actually be a reasonable play as well. Seat 9 raises to 26. and both opponents fold.520. I could threebet to approximately 60. even to a small raise.

Preflop(18. Although I have a dominant chip lead. prime reshoving stacks. I am heads up against a strong. I expect A-J to fare very well against their ranges. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. with a very good structure (the average stack is now almost 70 big blinds). I do not want to make a big mistake that lets my opponent back into the match. I already know before raising the button that I will call if either player shoves. especially for threehanded play and the current table dynamics. With Seat 9’s elimination. applying pressure and very willing to gamble to try to end the match quickly. . he would have the chip lead! If the blinds were higher.750. as the board runs out Q♥ J♠ 6♣ 7♣ 3♥. a little bit of room to maneuver. If he were to double up only twice. I eliminate Seat 9 in third place. and I will be more than willing to call if either of them reshoves my button raise. Fortune is smiling on me in this tournament. a much stronger hand than I expected to see.Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. my opponent has 21 big blinds. player in Seat 3. however. I would be ready to shove in almost any two cards. but very shortstacked. Seat 9 shows A♥ K♣. However. especially since I have raised every button during threehanded play! I raise to 24. Seat 9 shoves all-in for 219.000): I am dealt a relatively strong hand on the button. so I call.600. Both of my opponents have 22 big blinds.

I can expect him to be pushed off of his hand much of the time. However it is enticing to call his extremely small raise with a hand that has the potential to become strong on the flop. as I have no evidence yet. My opponent moves all-in for 186. I call.000): My opponent raises to 22. if he has any piece of the board or a draw. Turn (47.099. suited onegapper in the big blind. I do not want to risk reshoving allin. or a hand like J-T. or perhaps correctly sensing weakness on my part. and a checkraise would only work if my opponent has complete air. as I do not want to call to chase the low end of a gutshot. I bet a meager 22. He knew that I probably would not call an all-in on this board unless I had a straight (or if I made a hero call with a set. Also. (even heads up). A threebet to about three times his raise would probably be met with an all-in fourbet. that my opponent is willing to raise and fold with a 21-big-blind stack. I have a very small. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. I check to the raiser as I have done throughout the tournament. Folding would be fine. I do not want to let him win the first heads-up pot so easily with such a small raise. and the turn fit well with the texture of the flop. Although it is marginal at best.750. perhaps having a very strong hand himself. I would expect him to move all-in over my checkraise. I can easily represent having hit the flop since I normally check the flop when I hit or miss. I will fold if my opponent bets. My opponent opts to check behind. as there is not much merit to playing this sort of hand out of position against a strong opponent.Preflop (17. Therefore it is rather likely that a shove would be met with a call. I do not want to start leading out when my opponent expects me to check to him. Unless my opponent has a straight. two pair.750. Of course. or an openended straight draw with the J. Since he checked. Flop (47.100): First to act.100): I expected that my opponent would generally bet with any piece of the board on the flop (and also bet a bit less often with air). consistent with his small raises throughout the final table and indicative of his willingness and desire to play postflop poker. he may actually have had a very strong hand himself and hoped to get called. with a 21-big-blind stack. of course. I may change this strategy as the heads-up match progresses. but for now. a bluff here is likely to succeed. I fold. . He also probably suspected that I would be leading out bluffing at this board much more often than I would truly have a hand with which I could call. gambling that it is good with the chance of improving). since I would certainly bet small here if I actually had a straight and wanted action. With his stack. top pair.

Preflop (17. and I will do so in some circumstances. preferring not to get involved with a hand this weak. More importantly. . I have no piece. If he chooses to call and see a flop. I fold. as your positional advantage will often make up for the strength of your hand.000): My opponent limps in from the small blind. In this spot.750. Flop (22. He bets 11. Playing this style also makes it much easier to get action when you do have a big hand. I do not want to build a pot preflop with a relatively weak hand out of position. the pot is very small. Preflop (17. however. I am up against a strong opponent who I will not be able to run over. depending on the strength of my opponent and stack sizes. as your opponent will realize that you could literally have any two cards. I fold.000): Many very good players argue that you should raise the button 100% of the time heads up. There are many strong arguments for using this aggressive style. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. however. so I check my option. and it seems reckless to make a play at this pot. he has a great stack for reshoving all-in over the top of a continuation-bet— which I will feel compelled to make on most flops with such a weak hand.000): I completely whiff the flop and check to my opponent. My opponent is likely betting any two cards with which he limped in this spot. his relatively short stack of 25 big blinds makes him likely to reshove all-in with a wide range.

he may feel that I am getting frustrated and making a play at the pot with a checkraise over such a weak bet. Therefore. In the last hand.000): My opponent limps in from the small blind. and I win the pot. Second. If he calls. Flop (22. I should have the best hand the vast majority of the time in this spot.Setup: Three hands have passed since the previous one. I gave my opponent a walk with Q-5o. so I check my option. he may not give me any credit for a hand. since he has been winning most of the pots heads up.750 from the button. I had given him a walk with two very weak hands to begin heads-up play. I checkraise to 38. He folds. and he folded his big blind. and I folded J-6o from the big blind. First. and I do not want to let him take a very cheap turn card in position. 10. My opponent bets the minimum. However. as it would not be prudent to continue that trend for long.560. but I raised the third one.000): I flop top pair but continue my heads-up trend of checking to my opponent postflop out of position. I will just call his bet because I do not expect to get much value out of a raise (I expect him to fold the worst hand and call or reraise with the best hand). . a couple of factors make raising the better option in this spot. he likely either has a T or a draw.000. the board is draw heavy. I certainly do not want to build a pot out of position with it. Although I just raised with the same hand from the button. He then raised to 24. Preflop (17.750. I raised J-8o to 24. A lot of the time with top pair and a weak kicker. I plan to take my chances and go with my hand. and I will proceed very carefully if a turn card hits that is likely to help him. since my opponent is likely to make this bet with any two cards. In the first. If he reraises.

and it is possible. I expect him to either move all-in or fold. . since I have not yet made this play. If he flat-calls and I miss the flop. I reraise to 69. that I am beaten. I folded J-2s from the big blind to his raise to 23.456. and I am happy to play for my opponent’s 26 bigblind stack. though unlikely. Preflop (17. and my opponent folded. However.750.456. I gave my opponent a walk with Q-5o. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. I will be in an awkward spot. I will gladly call. If I had reshoved preflop once or twice so far in the heads-up match. but I doubt that such a strong opponent will just call with many hands given his stack size.000): My opponent raises the button to 23. I would do the same right now. A-Q is a very strong hand heads up. I raised A-7o from the button. although I will often be in a race against a pocket pair.Setup: There have been three uneventful hands since the previous one. If he shoves. hoping that my opponent will make a mistake and reshove all-in with a weaker hand. I much prefer making a small reraise. and my opponent folds.

68.500): Bingo! I hit and am now likely to have the best hand. as my opponent is unlikely to make a big hero call for almost double the pot. I am very confident that I had the best hand on the turn or my opponent would have raised. but my bluffing range should be relatively large. My opponent goes into the tank. my opponent probably expects me to represent pairing the A. a value bet has a very good chance of being paid off. I settle on a little less than twothirds of the pot. and my opponent could not have improved unless he called with bottom pair. so I do not want to give a free card. This is a relatively good card for me. If I had a hand like Q-9 or J-T in this spot. Also. With 11.000): My opponent checks. and there are plenty of draws on the board. Thus he may be inclined to call with any pair. willing to move all-in if my opponent reraises or call if he shoves. I should bet my hand for value. He instead makes the call. Since my opponent may be suspicious that I am representing the Aand it is unlikely for me to have improved on the river. I do not want to continuation bet on such a coordinated board when I have some showdown value with A high. my opponent is now very shortstacked. and will probably be in push/fold mode. My opponent calls.000): I again have a strong hand considering the situation. My opponent has about 185K left. I also do not want to bet too small. I do not want to go all-in.Preflop (17. However. as I would not have bet anything weaker than a pair of Aces for value.750. I bet 29. Turn (51. a terrible flop! My opponent checks. I would usually continuation bet since my hand would have very little showdown value if we were to check it all the way down. My opponent checks again. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. as none of the draws hit.5 big blinds. even though I would not welcome a checkraise. whether or not it really helped me. I raise my standard 24.500): Not only do I miss the flop. making it fairly obvious that I am going for value. Flop (51. . but it is somewhat reasonable. but eventually makes the call with K♦ J♣! Clearly a hero call.750 from the button. but it is very coordinated. I check behind.750. River (111. My hand is relatively strong heads up.

However. . so I am likely to get called by any pair. any A-x. my opponent limps in from the button. and then he gave me a walk (I held 9-8s). My opponent should expect me to be shoving a wide range into him. and probably even lighter. I do not want to limp in and let my opponent out-flop me. K-J. Turn (22.000): I whiff the flop and check to my opponent. I shove. Preflop (17. Very suspicious that he may be trapping with a huge hand. Thus it seems imprudent for me to take a stab at the pot. He bets 12. Setup: Two hands have passed since the previous one.000): With a monster on the button and my opponent only having 12.Preflop (17. I check to my opponent. I gladly check my option. I want to get action. I am quite concerned that he may have a big hand even though he checked behind on the flop.000): With my opponent having limped a very small stack. K-Q. He checks behind. and I fold. and he folds. Flop (22. I gave my opponent a walk with 7-4o.250.5 big blinds.000): Surprisingly.

Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one.5 big blinds. some players may be tempted to limp in. Besides. and he is still shortstacked with 10. if I had been playing relatively passively heads up. My opponent makes an easy call with A♠ K♠.5 big blinds. The blinds and antes just increased before his last shove. I shoved A-Jo (he folded). and my opponent wins the race.Setup: Nine relatively uneventful hands have passed since the previous one. I folded 7-3o to my opponent’s shove. The board comes K♦ 6♦ 4♣ 9♣ 3♥. I shoved Q-Ts (he folded). and I folded J-4o to his shove. Therefore. hoping their opponents will shove with a weak hand (something with which they would not have called a shove). or even preferable. a limp would be extremely suspicious and may even cause him to check some marginal hands like K9 with which he would probably snap-call a shove. as I have been doing with every playable hand recently.000): With a monster on the button. My opponent now has 21. I prefer to keep up the pressure. considerably more room to maneuver than the 10 – 13 bigblind stack that he had been stuck with for about 15 hands. and we’re off to the races. I gave him a walk with J-4o. I shove all-in. . I folded 6-2o to his shove. Yet since I have been aggressive and expect my opponent to give little credit to a shove. I gave him a walk with J-2o. I got a walk with 7-3o. I got a walk with T-3o. This play would be reasonable. Preflop (21.

as now. of course. I expect him to occasionally limp in. I am a little leery of reshoving. With 18 big blinds. I raised QQ to 28. and usually only call if he is trapping with a monster. It would be reasonable to call and play a small pot out of position with J-To. This is the hand that followed. Even though I do not expect to get called and be in a race (he would probably open raise hands like strong A-x hands or middle pocket pairs). but much more often with a marginal hand that he wishes to play but not commit himself to the pot. It should be noted that this shove may have been influenced by a little frustration from losing the race in the previous hand.000): My opponent limps in from the small blind. I do not want to get into an awkward spot postflop if he chooses to call in position. I also believe that he is probably raising a wide range since he finally has a more comfortable stack and probably feels like he can raise and fold. and my opponent folded.Preflop (21. shoving all-in is the safest. but it is certainly a reasonable move given my opponent’s stack size. I shove. Setup: On my button. planning to call if he reshoves. I go with my gut that he will not call.750. . Nonetheless. However. My opponent folds. I could raise three times the big blind. Preflop (21. Given my opponent’s stack size and the 27K now in the pot. and my opponent folds. with a monster to trap. he has an awkward stack with which he probably does not want to raise and fold. I hit a set. as I have not had many opportunities to put him to a test with this stack size throughout the match.805. most reasonable play. however. I have a small pocket pair that will not play well postflop unless. and I reshove all-in.000): My opponent raises to 27. I feel that I let him control the action a bit too much when he had a 20 – 30 big blind stack early in the match. shoving here is still a much better play than checking or raising a standard amount. I expect my opponent to fold the vast majority of the time.

I must adjust. The flush draw hit. I limp.000): My opponent checks. When both raising and folding seem like mistakes. River (51. It is much more likely that he already had a pair. If my opponent seems to be taking advantage of my limps after several hands. my opponent’s stack will not be in this big blind range for long. Therefore I expect him to have an 8 (unlikely.Setup: Two hands have passed since the previous one.5 big blinds. but I choose to check behind. 12. I would shove all-in with this hand. and my opponent checks his option. and even if I do not improve.000): My opponent leads out for the minimum. marginal hands become difficult to play. is that I’ve kept the pot small in a marginal situation. and I can see the river cheaply. However. but a checkraise would put me in a bind. Betting would be fine. Checking behind gives me a free card and underrepresents my hand. so adjusting will not be necessary. when he has this awkward stack size of 15 – 20 big blinds. I hit middle pair with a gutshot straight draw. or a 5 or 4. I gave my opponent a walk with 7-2o.000): My opponent checks. Although it is very marginal. I am likely ahead. Flop (27. as he probably would have shoved any A when I limped preflop. I believe I may be able to get some value out of my hand. I would not want to invest too much on the flop. Turn (27. In most heads-up matches though. If he had more than 20 big blinds. a raise or limp would be fine. but it is extremely unlikely that he would have hit the flush and checked.000): If my opponent were below 15 big blinds. and my opponent gave me a walk (I had A-Jo). many good players choose to gamble on the aggressive side by shoving. The downside of the way I have played my hand is that I’m not sure where I am. I could call or raise. I call. Yet open folding marginal hands like this heads up in position seems too weak. My opponent has about 16. He has looked me up very lightly before. He can profitably reshove with a very wide range if I put in a small raise. it is better than winning the pot at a free showdown where he will . but folding is out of the question. If he folds.000. but I do not expect him to have a 9 as he probably would have bet stronger on the turn on a somewhat drawheavy board. I may be able to value bet and get called by worse. but I will often take the conservative approach and limp. I could certainly bet. I also do not expect him to have an A. I would hate to have to give up my hand. and I could not call. The upside. and I could easily sell that I missed one of many straight draws and must bet to win the hand. as there are only 2 8s left in the deck). however. if my opponent checks the river. however. Preflop (21.

110): I could take a stab at the pot or I could check. My hand is similar in value to the J-To with which I recently reshoved in an almost identical spot.see my hand.000): My opponent raises to 25. I check. my attempt at a very thin value bet backfired. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. shows J♣ 9♦.555. While shoving would be fine. I could have shown down the hand for free. it is difficult for me to represent a real hand by betting the river. My opponent again checks behind.110): My opponent has shown weakness twice. I could certainly reshove all-in. My opponent checks behind. if my opponent checks behind. but my opponent is savvy enough to value bet hands as weak as 55 or A-3 here. He calls. I would have made up for it with a free look at his hand. I fold. and wins the pot. Unfortunately. calling in this spot is reasonable as well and will let me underrepresent my hand if I hit. With a weak suited ace. . This bet was extremely marginal. Flop (54. However. and certainly can be argued to be a mistake. Preflop (21. albeit very small. however. I consider making a hero call as my opponent may be betting the river because he has no showdown value.110): I whiff the flop and check to my opponent as I have consistently done in similar spots throughout the match. I choose to check. I may call a random player here. expecting him to fold but hoping to get called by a worse hand. Back to over 20 big blinds. but given the way the hand has played out. I bet 29. and I loathe my positional disadvantage. I call.750. Turn (54. River (54. I do have a reasonable chance of winning at showdown. but he bets 36. my opponent makes a standard. hoping to get to a cheap showdown with A high.000. he could easily be value betting a J or any pocket pair as he should be fairly sure that I do not have much at this point. raise. Because similar stabs have not worked in this match. Although I would have given up information by checking.

750.Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. . Preflop (21. although limping would be reasonable as well. My opponent reshoves all-in. and my opponent folded.555. Preflop (21.000): My opponent limps in from the button.750 from the button. This hand is plenty strong enough to raise. I am happy to take a free flop with a marginal hand.000): My opponent’s stack is back above 20 big blinds. allowing me to open up my raising range to hands with which I am not willing to call a reshove. and I fold. I check my option. then raised pocket fours to 28. Setup: Two hands have passed since the previous one. I raise to 28. I folded T-5o to my opponent’s button raise to 25.

Flop (56.Flop (27. I want to act the same when I hit the flop as I have been when missing flops. I raised A-9o to 28. My opponent bets 29. I fold. Setup: On my button. if I were to double up my opponent right now.130): I hit the flop.000): I miss the flop and check to my opponent.999. Preflop (21. and my opponent folds. he will have a hard time folding it.565. I will double up my opponent unless I suck out. With no piece of the board and no draw. It gives away that I probably have an A or 9. we will likely get all the money in on the flop. My opponent has 26 big blinds. However. Reshoving all-in would be perfectly reasonable. but I prefer just calling against his chip stack. he may decide to float or reraise. however.000): My opponent raises to 26. as my hand will still be too strong to fold. we would be almost even stacked! If he had about 22 or fewer big blinds. If he has a weaker Ace. and we will likely get all the money in (it would end up a chopped pot about half the time. however. though. Note that if we were both deepstacked. as most opponents would expect me to raise with a flush draw given the chip stacks and the size of the pot. . and I have a relatively strong hand heads up. and if I am behind.750. I would probably just call here. building a pot where he is drawing almost dead. but I check to my opponent as I have done on every flop out of position heads up. Least likely. especially since I expect my opponent to continuation-bet on this board. If I raise small. as I would be behind much too often if all the money went in! I raise to 69. I choose to let my opponent take it down rather than make a play at a small pot. as I have a strong hand on this flop. If the flush draw hits and my opponent has it. I call. and I will be a 2-to-1 favorite. he will probably get all his money in by the river. I give my opponent the opportunity to make a mistake. My opponent would probably not put any more chips in the pot unless he has me beat if I call. Calling here is the natural play. and my opponent has me beaten. This is the following hand. The big disadvantage to raising is that I am deciding now to go all the way with my hand.750 and my opponent folded. I feel that calling here is a mistake. and I will double him up anyway. but I would be a heavy favorite). if I just call. but also possible: if he feels that I may be making a move. If he has a flush draw. He bets 13. I would certainly reshove. but I am likely either well ahead or well behind. I am probably going to pay him off.255.

000): My opponent limps in. He may have called with an 8 or perhaps even a 6 on the turn. and my opponent has 20 big blinds. he could have a wide variety of hands in this spot. If I felt strongly that my opponent had a Q or even a J. It is much more likely that he has a J than a Q. There are three 8s and two 6s left in the deck. as I could be betting a very wide range. and I now desperately want to build a bigger pot. Because my opponent has checked behind in similar spots before. My opponent calls. and my opponent folded.000): I now have top two pair with the option of checking. I bet 15. however. as my opponent is unlikely to have called with bottom pair on the turn. if he had checked it once. Preflop (21. considering the situation. I prefer to take the flop with a very underrepresented hand. looking to checkraise again. He probably would not have checked top pair on the flop or just called with it on the turn.750—a little more than half of the pot.500): This seems like a rather harmless river card. If I were to bet. and it would be reasonable for him to call with either of them on the turn. I check my option. so neither of these are strong possibilities. he would . If I raise a standard three times the big blind and my opponent calls. I will have built a pot out of position with a fairly weak hand. I will have to fold. Shoving here would be a very marginal play. expecting to get paid off. or leading out myself. My opponent disappoints me by checking behind. River (58. I would lead out with a strong bet. and more than willing to go all-in if my opponent comes over the top. If my opponent reshoves.750 from the button. Flop (27.Setup: I raised 8-6s to 28. ready to checkraise. I check as usual in this spot. I have a relatively strong hand in the big blind. Checking allows my opponent to bluff with one of many missed draws or certainly to bet with a 6 for value. and it makes much more sense to check against most of them. This is the hand that followed. Also note that there were several possible open ended straight draws and a flush draw that all missed on the river. However. It is not very likely that my opponent has a Q.000): I flop top pair with a relatively good kicker. but not a big mistake. Betting seems like the obvious line. Turn (27. but the decision as to whether to bet or check is actually rather interesting on this board. I should definitely lead out. there are only two Qs and two Js left in the deck.

and my opponent folded. By checking.000): My opponent raises to 25. My opponent bets 28. Although I have a gutshot and one over card.500. . but my hand is too strong to fold. Flop (54. For this very reason. which he might check behind if given the opportunity.888. I am very concerned that he has me beaten. If he had bet smaller. I do not want to raise such a large bet though. I fold. Setup: On my button.fold all missed draws and raise me with a 6. I probably should have leaned even more towards folding preflop. I would have raised. but it is arguably strong enough to defend. as my opponent has been raising most buttons with a 25+ big blind stack. the full size of the pot! Although I hoped to induce a bet out of him. This is the following hand. I check. but because my opponent just rivered me for a relatively large pot. calling out of position would be very weak. I call. This bet size is out of character for my opponent and sets off alarm bells on this particular board. Folding this hand would probably be the best play. I can raise and perhaps get paid off. keeping in line with my standard play heads up. if my opponent makes a weak looking bet that looks like he has Q or maybe even a J. I did not want him to bet so strongly. I am worried that he may think I am on tilt and much less likely to have a hand than I usually would be. around 20 – 30K. since my unorthodox play may tempt him to make the call. Preflop (21. I could checkraise.110): I check. I raised K-Qo to 28. I call. as I will only get called by a better hand. and my opponent bets 58. I doubt that he would choose to bluff for such a large amount.555. and my opponent shows T♥ 6♠ to win the pot with trip sixes.750. The only strong argument for betting is that he may pay off a bet with a J or an 8. putting me in a very difficult situation.

000): I flop top pair with a crummy kicker on a rather raggedy board. I check. This is the hand that followed. These factors make me much less willing to play a big pot and much more inclined to play potcontrol.000): The turn pairs the 8. I check as usual in this spot. I must call here. however. and probably not even a K. even bottom pair. I choose to check for several reasons: If I show weakness twice. . and with a complete trash hand.000): My opponent limps in. I expect my opponent to try to take advantage of this. My opponent now has almost 30 big blinds as opposed to 20 in the other hand. He checks behind. as I have underrepresented my hand on all three streets and it is very likely that he would stab at the pot if he could not win at showdown. but is unlikely that the card hit my opponent. With only two 8s left in the deck. I doubt my opponent would value bet any hand worse than mine. The situation with this hand is very different. Preflop (21. I hoped to checkraise and get all the money in on the flop. I check my option. One of the flush draws hit. Turn (27. I may induce a bluff from him if he cannot win the pot at showdown. I doubt my opponent limped in with an A. Nonetheless. whether or not he has any piece of the board. I plan just to call rather than raise. When I flopped top pair with Q-Js in an unraised pot a few hands prior.567. He surprises and disappoints me by checking behind.000): Betting at this point would be ludicrous. I call and win the pot as my opponent shows 7♦ 2♦ for air. My opponent bets 14. Leading out to protect my hand would be reasonable. and my opponent would need to have a pair below 9s and the desire to make a hero call in a very small pot for my bet to have any value. and it is certainly possible that he hit the K or a backdoor flush. He would expect me to bet to protect my hand if I had any piece with two flush draws and a straight draw present. By checking a third time. expecting to induce a bet out of him. but if my opponent bets. Flop (27. River (27. I check. Therefore he is very likely to bet to win the pot if he has air and to bet to protect his own hand if he has any piece. the odds of him having one and having checked it on the flop are extremely low. and my kicker is absolutely worthless.Setup: I folded 8-2o from my button.

I have little reason to suspect my opponent of making a play since he has defended so rarely. and it would be very expensive to test him here. a little more than half the pot. and my opponent folded. and I folded 4-2o.777. chance at winning the pot. Preflop (21. Nonetheless.000): With a weak but playable hand heads up in position. since he has defended from the big blind so rarely and may have a big hand or at least not give up easily. Perhaps I should check behind. I have no pair and no draw. Flop (60.500): I whiff the flop. I bet 34. My opponent calls for only the second time in the entire match.750 with K-4s. and a continuation-bet may be my only. My opponent checkraises to 84. and my opponent checks to me. so I fold. I raise the button to my standard 28.Setup: Two uneventful hands have passed since the previous one.000. or at least best. . I raised the button to 28.750. He then raised the button to 27.750.

My opponent calls.Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. By leading out now.000): My opponent limps in from the small blind. even with reasonably strong hands like Q-Js. If he has me beaten.000): I check to my opponent as I’ve been doing in this situation throughout the match. and a respect for my opponent’s skill as I have chosen not to play bigger pots than necessary out of position. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. he will at least call. However. suited connectors and one-. I have noticed that my opponent seems to be limping in from his button with an extremely wide range as evidenced by exposing 7-2s at the last showdown. and any over card is potential trouble. I choose to continue with this aggression and raise to my standard 28. I will have to adjust my preflop play if he comes back much more. playing carefully according to his stack size. but a 9 on the river would kill it. I may have to make a tough decision on the river. I should just be careful not to give up too easily postflop. My opponent folds. This passivity is a result of not having been dealt any very strong hands in the big blind when he has limped. I could raise. I bet 15. but I would be in an awkward spot if he were to reraise. I would be in a tough spot postflop as my hand would be difficult to play well after the flop against his calling range.750. since he is limping in with a lot of garbage. two-. and even threegappers have much more postflop value than they did when he had a smaller stack. I check. and I will not be looking to play a big pot unless I hit a set. Limping would be reasonable. Preflop (21. He checks behind.000): I probably have the best hand. but checking is also good as it underrepresents my hand. I observe that he is limping (where he does not raise) in with virtually 100% of his range. Turn (27. . It would be fine to raise. If he called my raise. but since I have been raising almost every button lately. Dealt a reasonably strong hand. but for now. Flop (27.750—slightly more than I would bet if I were in position—because of this disadvantage. He is probably taking advantage of his position and noticing that I have not been raising from the big blind. but this would be the last stab I would take at the pot. I expect to take the pot down but may actually get called by a worse hand if my opponent hit the 4. Preflop (21.000): Because my opponent now has a stack of more than 30 big blinds.

he gave me a walk in the last hand (I held 9-7s). I would prefer to take a free card. where I will probably end up with T high. I raised the button to my standard 28. and my opponent has not been giving up easily in raised pots. Although I am certainly concerned that I may be beaten. and my opponent folded. it is not the piece that I am looking for with this sort of hand. Turn (60. I check. I call. Instead of continuation-betting on a somewhat dangerous board.500): My opponent checks. I flopped bottom pair with a very weak kicker. and my opponent led out on the turn in the previous raised pot.500): My opponent checks. understandably.750 with Q-5o. I flopped a double gutshot straight draw. I choose to check behind and take a free card.000): Even with a weak suited twogapper. Although technically I still have a two-way straight draw. hoping to improve.Flop (60. but my hand is very weak.500): My opponent leads out for 36. Setup: This is four hands after the one previously described. seems to have opened up his calling range as his stack has grown. Preflop (21. Turn (60. my hand is easily strong enough to play in position. Flop (60. and perhaps getting checkraised off of my draw. I fold.750. I folded J-2o from the big blind to my opponent’s raise to 27. My opponent calls as he. I raise to 28. as I only have one overcard and the board is three-flushed.777.000. I would much rather have flopped a flush draw or straight draw. Surprisingly. I could bet. I check.000. and a bluff would most likely get picked off. it is extremely weak on this board. I am much better off giving up the pot and avoiding this situation. . but I would have to fold to a checkraise. I am not ready to give this pot up to one bet. but also prepared to bet on most turns if my opponent checks again. Although I hit a piece. This card is basically a brick. Calling would put me in a very awkward spot on the river.500): My opponent leads out for 36.

Preflop (21. my opponent now has almost 40 big blinds and is very much back in the game. but I choose not to because I believe my . I like his bet size if he has the monster he is representing. the board. and thus if I felt it was worth making a play. This is the first time that my opponent has reraised from the big blind preflop since he has had a stack with which he could do so.750 with a marginal hand. The flush draw hit.000. Setup: Three hands have passed since the one previously described. as it may induce me to make a play or even float him in position.000. and my opponent folded. My call may also have looked like a tilt call (as it likely was) and thus it would be very difficult and risky for me to sell strength postflop! Flop(147. I would basically commit myself to calling a shove from him as I would be getting over 2 to 1 on a call. I have showdown value but certainly not enough to value bet. Any bigger reraise would unequivocally commit me to call a shove. I raised to 28. I folded 8-5o from the big blind to my opponent’s raise to 27. but for some reason. I call. and the situation. Note that although T-5s is a rather weak hand at first glance. I expect him to give me a chance to take the pot away on most flops.777. In hindsight. and he should fear a trap. I also like the bet size if he was restealing and has air as he saves valuable chips if I move all-in on him. I check behind. and my opponent shows A♦ 8♦ to win the pot.000): My opponent bets 60. I decide that if I call. Simply put. He may have checked a Q. this play seems rather absurd given that my opponent had not reraised me preflop in a while. Floating (calling) this flop is tempting. an unusually small amount given the size of the pot. I suspect that he may be making a play because I have been raising every button lately and have just shown down 6-3s. Even though I still hold a substantial chip lead. one double here by my opponent and our positions will be reversed. hidden value to it because every possible straight contains a T or a 5. He then gave me another walk (I had K-7o). or a 6 with a better kicker than mine for pot control.000.River (132. He may also have missed a straight draw or just given up on the pot after betting the turn with air. it should appear very strong to my opponent.750 with A-Qo from the button. 8.000): I continue my aggressive button play by raising to 28. as it would be the best way to represent having the Q.500): My opponent checks. my opponent made an excellent bet given the stack sizes. but not commit himself. shoving all-in myself would probably be the best move. He does not have to worry about letting me draw too cheaply. as there are no flush or straight draws on this flop. In fact. I do not feel like giving up on this pot. My opponent reraises to 72. but it is unlikely that he would have hit the flush and checked. there is a little bit of added. If I were to make a very small reraise to about 160. Reraising or reshoving seems too risky.

Preflop (28. looking to value bet it on the river since there wouldn’t be much value in betting it now. . I would have a tough decision as to whether or not I should call.998): This river changes nothing unless my opponent has precisely 55.opponent may be begging for action with his bet size. I check. that he may be weak and using the small bet size to convince me that he wants action. there is little value in betting my hand. but there is no value in raising him here. but I would probably fold. I also expect that he would check a T. I check. I would be very concerned that he had limped in with a weak A or was making a good value bet with a T with a better kicker than mine. but it should be noted that I do not expect my opponent to take another stab at the pot with the air that I assume he has. My opponent checks behind. Turn (36. If he were to bet the river. River (71. I call. however.000): My opponent limps in from the button.000): I check as I always do out of position post flop. and my opponent bets 17. reducing my opponent to only 33 big blinds even though his quantity of chips is the highest it’s been throughout the heads-up battle. I feel that I am better off ditching my trashy hand before I dig myself into an even deeper hole. Yet there is much more value in checking. as I would expect him to raise preflop with any A. hoping to induce a bluff out of my opponent. It is certainly possible.999. Setup: This hand immediately follows the one just described. mucking 5♠ 4♦. as he would call with everything that beats me and fold all bluffs.000): I hit the best card I could hope for. The blinds and antes have increased. double-barrel bluffs throughout the match. Flop (36. I fold. I check my option. There is no value in betting my hand. and my opponent checks behind. Betting would protect my hand against one of several gutshots or a potential overcard hitting. It is very unlikely that my opponent has an A. given that I have not caught him in any outof-line. His bet appears like a rather obvious bluff. Happy to see a free flop with a weak hand. Nonetheless. of course.

I have the nuts.000): With a relatively strong hand heads up. it is very likely. I expect my opponent will probably fold to either bet. Preflop (28. My opponent calls. however. I bet 94. heads up. I raise the button to 38. With top pair and an openended straight draw. but there are two possible flush draws out. I bet 42.750. The only question is how much to bet.750 and my opponent calls. but the larger bet actually may induce a hero call more often and obviously get me paid more substantially. and my opponent goes into the tank. River (167. My hand is too strong to check. making it look like I may be trying to represent the straight.000): My opponent checks. but I expect my opponent to have led out if he hit the draw. Nonetheless. he makes the laydown. This is not a spot to slowplay. I hit a flop! My opponent checks. “two pair no good?” Although his chat is not proof that he had two pair.500): For the first time in a while. Turn (81. the decision to continuation-bet in this spot would be easy and certainly reasonable.500): My opponent checks. this bet screams “Value bet!” Instead. making any A or 9 a straight. I could bet a very small amount. because of recent history where I’ve been checking behind many flops after raising preflop. hoping to get a call from two pair. . He asks. One of the flush draws hits.750. My opponent may have two pair or a flush draw and call a bet. I choose to disguise my hand and check. I prefer to bet about two-thirds of the pot. and I win the pot. Flop (81.Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. However. He may also decide that I am unlikely to have the straight and make a play at me. Most of the time. the only card that I really do not want to see hit is a Q.

I probably should have checkraised my opponent on a flop with air at least once by this point in the match. Flop (77. Nonetheless. He continuation-bets 42.500. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. but with the worst hand possible. I make the call.Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. I give up on this one and fold. Preflop (28. . a little more than half the pot.000): My opponent raises to 36. I would certainly make the call with a low-suited connector.750. However.500): I completely whiff the flop and check to my opponent. If he had 30+ big blinds. his 25 bigblind stack makes playing this hand questionable.

However. and my opponent folds. my opponent has just over 30 big blinds. I expect my opponent is prepared to come over the top for all his chips. and my opponent may have hit this board hard enough that hitting a Q or 7 could cause me to lose more chips. Just in the last two hands. he has continuation-bet where he was checking much of the time throughout the match. Flop (81. whereas. and I do not want him to feel like he can run me over. my image should be tight enough for a threebet resteal to have a high rate of success. I would be risking having to fold it to a fourbet. with air.000): I continue my aggression from the button and raise to 38. but my opponent probably recognizes that on this board my raise would likely either be a bluff or a semibluff.999. and I do not expect him to flat-call a reraise. he should need a fairly strong hand to play back at me with a fourbet. and I feel that he may be riding some momentum. If I threebet with it. I may be tempted to float in position. Preflop (28. I could take the aggressive route and raise. I fold. . and he has led out into me after calling my preflop raise. Also. looking to steal a lot of pots. probably with a hand like 6-5 or a flush draw with overcards if I raise.500): My opponent surprises me by leading out for 41. My opponent calls.500.750 with a marginal hand. I would usually prefer to call and see a flop given his stack size. Only in the unlikely event that I flopped a straight or at least two pair would I have a made hand strong enough to raise for value. I have a terrible hand that I would normally throw in the muck without a second thought. However.Preflop (28. Note that with his stack size. I have not played back at him much. If I had a backdoor flush draw with my gutshot.000): My opponent raises to 36. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. If I had a hand with reasonable value like Q-Js. This is the first time heads up that either of us has called a raise from the big blind and then led out on the flop. I am unlikely to get paid off if a 6 hits.750. I am simply taking a one-time stab at the pot and will gladly release my hand if reraised. I threebet to 88. Since he now has over 30 big blinds. threebetting with air is better than threebetting with a hand that actually has postflop value.

whereas he would probably check behind K high or J high. I check my option. I doubt he can call. If I bet though.000): I whiff the flop and check to my opponent. He checks behind. My opponent again checks behind. Therefore.Setup: I folded 6-2o from the button.000): My opponent limps in from the button. I haven’t seen my opponent check down many unraised pots in position in similar spots throughout the match. by checking.000): With T high. River (36.750. and my opponent folds. he is likely to bluff. This is the following hand. and with my image at this point in the match. he probably would not expect me to lead out with a bluff on this river. Flop (36. I bet 23. I certainly do not expect to be able to win at showdown. giving my opponent a walk. as it is difficult to represent anything on this board in my spot. so I do not expect he has a hand strong enough to call a bet or value bet himself. Preflop (28. I am giving up the pot. If I check and my opponent has a weaker hand than mine. . With rags in the big blind.000): I again check to my opponent. Turn (36.

Preflop (28. and I folded T-8o.Setup: Three uneventful hands have passed since the one last described. Flop (28.500 from the button. He bets 18.000): I whiff the flop and check to my opponent. Setup: This hand immediately follows the previous one. . Again with no piece of the flop and no draw. I check my option.000): My opponent limps in from the button. I raised J-7o to 38. I raised T-2s to 38. I elect to fold. and my opponent folded. My opponent raised to 37.000. giving up another small pot.750 from the button. and my opponent folded. With another trash hand in the big blind.750 from the button.

there is an interesting dynamic to this hand that makes betting the better option. Q. obviously.661 to call. looking to checkraise. hoping that I hit a lower flush. My opponent shocks me by checkraising all-in. My opponent probably expects me to check behind 100% of my range unless I have the Q. just calls. but unlikely. I am not concerned about my opponent having a higher flush.35 times to make this call profitable. if I bet. With these thoughts. I bet 97. committing myself. My opponent. and thus likely bluff with air since I could represent the K. Perhaps if he floated me with precisely J-T and hit runner-runner straight. I would have expected my aggressive opponent to either lead out or checkraise the flop with a Q or a flush draw. If I call and win. but I would expect him to just call with a Q at this point unless he has a full house. I will probably win a much larger pot than I would if I hit the draw after checking the flop. Lastly. almost two-thirds of the pot. my opponent may defend with a wide range or even checkraise bluff. I also know he is capable of making this play with air. and I can take a free river card if I miss my draw. In hindsight. I find it difficult to believe that he could be value shoving with a worse hand than mine. If I call and lose. as I only have 3 high at the moment. or at least reraise. My opponent calls. as he would probably expect me to only bet with a Q or as a bluff. Turn (161. and it costs me 264. but I will still be very much in the game. If my opponent does not have a Q or the dreaded. Therefore I find it somewhat difficult to believe that he has either a flush or full house. 9. If he does just call. He would also get value out of me by checking if I had air. it . if he did play the Q or flush draw in this manner on the flop.000): I continue my aggression from the button by raising to 38. he might choose to shove it for value. as that will appear stronger. the pot is now 621. representing the Q. probably pricing me out of my draw. and then checked the river playing potcontrol on the off chance that I hit the flush. I probably should have bet around 65 – 70K as it is unlikely that my opponent would have a strong enough hand to call the bet I made. The only question is how much to bet. or perhaps a Q. I flop a flush draw. I expect that my opponent called on the flop with either a 4. With two Qs on the board and my opponent’s current stack size. He will be very suspicious that I am making a move with air if I bet the turn. he will be forced to fold. I whiff the turn and am stuck with 3 high. I expect he would have led out for value on the river with either hand (or checkcalled with Q-x). If I hit my draw on the turn or the river. He should expect me to put him on a 4. for it to be with this exact hand is extremely unlikely. Of course.750. If he called with a Q. higher flush draw. especially if he doesn’t think I have a hand strong enough to call.750 with very small suited connectors. I check. my hand has very little value by the river unless I make the flush. a middle pocket pair. a fine result. he could have checked the turn. he may be trapping with the Q and checkraise the turn.161. River (161. I will threebet all-in. Moreover. Perhaps he might checkshove Q-x for value. however. looking to build the pot with a Q or take it down immediately with a flush draw. Otherwise I can only win by hitting a 3 or 2 and counting on it beating my opponent. Flop (81.Preflop (28. but it’s a tough sell. but I seriously doubt that he would risk giving me a free showdown with a hand that strong.750. my opponent will have a decent chip lead on me. folding seems the most reasonable. hoping for a crying call. since I expect that he would have either checkraised the flop with a flush draw or led out on the river after hitting it. by far. but on a paired board where it has less value. so I only have to be right 1 in 2. Although it is somewhat likely that he floated on the flop with air.661! My initial reaction is frustration because I expect that my opponent has likely trapped me with a full house or a stronger flush. inviting a checkraise that I can threebet. On one hand. It is much more likely that he has a higher flush or a full house and decided to trap me on the river. Of course I may just win the pot outright with a continuation bet. I go into the time bank and really think it through. On the other hand. content to take a free shot at the flush in a big pot. I could check behind and take a free shot at my draw. I assume his most likely hand is a 4 or a pocket pair like 77 or 66. an additional 264.000): My opponent checks. If I bet and he checkraises. or flush. he will probably check to me on the turn. and it would be hard for him to call.500): My opponent checks. I hit the flush and have an easy value bet. expecting me to value bet a wide range. I bet 39. however. I could also be beaten by a full house. Nonetheless. I could bet again. First of all.000): Bingo! My opponent checks.

not leaving myself enough room to play much postflop poker.250. The two shorter stacks will probably be anxious to double up or bust out now that they’ve cashed. I am sitting on just over 20 big blinds. There are five tables (45 players) left in the tournament at this point. and. third $7. with a $65K guarantee. I win the pot and the tournament! Setup: The money bubble just burst in a nightly. When successful. First place pays $16. I will still have the chip lead. or simply raising too many hands in general. the pot odds. His game revolves largely around a push-or-fold mentality. I don’t have a stack large enough to see many flops since I will be committing a fairly significant portion of my stack to the pot preflop. or K-Q. Players who have cashed have won at least $285. who makes a minimum raise to 2. but your opponent surprises you by coming over the top. My table was very active on the bubble with only Seats 4 and 5 stalling to make the money. may even get called by a worse hand like A-T. This is an easy situation. and ninth pays $747. If I all over. I call. second $10. the action is folded to the big stack in the small blind. However. and my not believing that he would usually play a Q or a flush in this manner all lead me to make the call. Let’s say there is a raise and a reraise in front of them and they still move all-in. This type of stack is “perfect” because you have enough chips to use the stack like a weapon against those opponents who are either raising from a position of weakness. .311 and the small blind folds. despite the fact that they are probably dominated. my opponent’s ability to make this play as a bluff. although I’ll definitely want to see how the action unfolds before making any decisions. A-9. In this instance.475. I make a note to myself that Seat 1 is capable of making a minimum raise and then fold to pressure. He loves to squeeze and resteal.400. The very active nature of my table meant that I was unable to “abuse” the bubble. $150 buy-in tournament. as I probably have the best hand. It is always a difficult decision in any hand when you value bet the river.50. looking to get called. therefore. and there are more than enough chips in the middle to make just taking this pot down here a solid play. and my opponent shows A♠ 6♣ for complete air. and my opponent will have the momentum. I reraise all-in for 26. but only by about 200K. Preflop (3.075.150): A-J is a great resteal hand. One mistake many players make at this stage of the tournament is that they see a hand like A-J and decide they’re ready to go all-in before the action gets to them. Seat 8 is a very well known online professional player who is known for playing upwards of twenty tables at once. you can increase your stack considerably. In this case. a perfect stack with which to resteal.

I would raise here and be willing to get it all-in with the big blind and fold to the small blind. The small blind has a good resteal stack as well. The small blind raises to 3. If I do get all-in with him and lose. and the money bubble just burst. except against aggressive players who will open with a very wide range of hands. Last hand he shoved and picked up some chips. I cannot raise here and fold to the big blind if he goes all-in. it will take me down to 17.000 or more). Preflop (3. as it is very important that I maintain resteal fold equity. With my current chip stack.000 chips. . I don’t often play it as a resteal hand. I fold.Setup: This is two hands after Hand 1. The big blind in this hand is one of the short stacks. a crucial loss at this stage in the tournament. Since the player in the big blind has a short stack. and fold all but their premium hands to a resteal. however. The action is folded to me. However. If I had significantly fewer chips (around 15. which will take away most of my restealing ability.000 or less) I would just push all-in. My stack is awkward for this spot. he may be anxious to get his chips in lighter than normal. so I lean toward folding.500 and takes down the pot when the big blind folds. If I had a bigger stack (35.150): This is normally a very playable button hand.

This has eliminated some of the “double up or bust out and go to sleep” mentality at the table. I will have to fold. I would fold to a raise in front of me (restealing is an option if I can identify someone who will fold frequently. 600/1. my overall philosophy is to keep my raise sizes consistent to ensure that I don’t give away information about my hand. I try to raise the least amount that will still get respect from those players behind me. If someone goes all-in.200 Blinds. Alittle less than 2. it is folded to me and I open raise to 2. but with the shorter stacks out of the way. 150 Ante . I still have a lot of good restealing stacks at the table. but it can be a good steal hand since it is well concealed and it can flop a lot of draws that will allow you to comfortably move allin. However.150 so I actually make a profit if I successfully steal the blinds 50% of the time (and this doesn’t even take into account my postflop equity when called). Note that the total pot is 3. now that everyone has a reasonable number of chips.Setup: Last hand the two short stacks in Seats 4 and 5 went all-in against each other in the blinds and the bigger of the two (in this hand.400): 5-4s isn’t a super-playable hand with stacks this shallow. In this case. I should be able to open up my game a bit and steal more. Regarding preflop raise sizes.5 times the blind generally works at this stage of the tournament. but I don’t have that read on anyone at the table yet). the button) won. Preflop (2. everyone at the table folds and I take down the pot.888 chips.

I raise to 2. Even if I flop a king or a jack. and K-Js is more than good enough to open. as I could be dominated. and I’ve won two of them.Setup: This hand immediately follows Hand 3. or they can be cheap steal attempts. Thus if I resteal from him.888 and it’s folded to the big blind. Preflop (3. The action is folded to Seat 7. They can be extreme strength trying to entice someone to reraise their implied weakness. So I need to reraise him for value rather than as a resteal or semibluff. so if I were to call this reraise. although a vast majority of the equity in restealing with these hands comes from the times people fold. They aren’t often ahead when called. not from the times they call when you’re ahead.000 chips. I remember that the last time I opened. I can hardly get my chips in with confidence.750. I was reraised and I folded. and the big blind has given me no reason to think he is reraising lightly. Minimum raises at this point in the tournament are very odd. usually having more than 30% equity in the pot. I don’t have any additional reads. Some players who see you fold to a reraise a few times will try to take advantage of this. It is prudent to fold given my stack size. one with a resteal and one with an open raise where everyone folded. Setup: I skipped three uneventful hands where there were simple raises and everyone folded. although none of the players on my right have proven to be particularly active. who reraises to 9. It is folded to me. I would be putting in one third of my initial stack. but I need to stay aware of how active I am.000): Suited aces can make great resteal hands. K-Js is actually a good resteal hand. Preflop (3. I’ll be in a precarious position if reraised. In this instance I get to find out rather quickly. Knowing that this player likes to play an all-in or fold game leads me to believe he is extremely strong here or has some sort of . This is not yet enough to give me a loose image. another extremely small raise! If the raise were to only 3. Even though I am in position. Both of us started the hand with around 30.000): I am in the hijack seat for the second hand in a row because the blind busted a few hands ago. as Seat 8 makes it 3. I fold and the big blind wins the pot.999. who makes a minimum raise to 2. This is the sixth hand since the bubble burst. You will even occasionally be called by K-Q and be ahead. resulting in a minimum raise). Seat 8 is the well-known online professional who mostly plays an all-in-orfold game. he will happily call me down with hands like 33 and K-Q in addition to many of the hands that beat me. but they are rarely huge underdogs either. but I don’t mind taking a flop with this hand. resulting in a “dead button”.400.600 it could be an accidental raise (or ‘misclick’which happens when someone accidentally clicks on the raise button. the postflop play could prove to be very tricky. and the stacks are more or less the same as before. and resteal from you more often. The player in the big blind hasn’t shown much aggression.

A-Q is too strong to fold here. My stack has shrunk a little and a lot of the other mid stacks have grown. Preflop (3. The table remains the same. Let’s run some quick numbers to show why 30-big-blind stacks are good stacks to threebet against. the only way I am likely to get significant action is from an opponent with a very strong hand. he is in a difficult situation. I’m going to miss the flop two thirds of the time. Assume an opponent with a 30-big-blind stack raises 2. The action is folded to the initial raiser.888 and everyone else folds. despite the incredible odds he is getting. Unfortunately. Setup: Six hands have gone by with nothing eventful happening other than steals and a couple of minor blind battles that haven’t resulted in showdowns. If I reraise to 8. The good news is that all of the players in the 30-big-blind range are excellent opponents against whom to resteal.000. The fact that he is capable of folding for such a low price is knowledge I may later be able to exploit as a steal. His stack size is also big enough that he can raise and fold and still not feel committed to the pot. So I effectively put his tournament life on the line by threebetting him. If I get called. so I will raise and reevaluate the situation if I get any action. who also folds. He can only fourbet by committing his entire stack. I make a note that Seat 7’s minimum raises could signal weakness and also that he is capable of folding to extremely small reraises preflop.5 times the big blind to 3. and should therefore expect opponents to fold very frequently under these conditions. Still. I raise to 2. since he’ll be calling off almost 25% of his stack. I must fold my suited ace.000. but since I am raising from a position of strength. 30 big blinds is a stack size of 36. It is also a difficult stack size with which to see a flop. who is getting short from prior play. They are still deepstacked enough to be reluctant to gamble. as his raise represents less than 10% of his stack.000. . it’s very likely I will have to play out of position postflop. and I can inflict considerable damage to their stacks. and he knows I am basically pot-committed. and a raise plus a flop continuation bet is likely to commit one third of my stack or more. Either way. except for Seat 4.000): A-Q under-the-gun with 20 big blinds is a difficult hand to play well: It’s strong enough to warrant a raise.

Preflop (3. but not nearly as much as I would with 600/1.800): 4-2s is a pretty terrible hand. If. giving them about 1. I know he is capable of making some light calls (A-7s versus an early-position raiser with his size stack is usually a bad thing.036. or if I had a significant read on the big blind indicating he folded way too often. I have some fold equity giving them those pot odds. They are getting extremely shortstacked.036. In this case. Seat 7 bets 6. This probably means this player is either an early position stealer. although he could have had a read). Also. If I had a different stack size. I would definitely consider playing it for a steal. Seat 7 hits his ten on the river and the big blind is eliminated. Seat 7 raised with T-9o from early position. The blinds have increased. This means he understands (or at least thinks he understands) the concept of pot odds. the big blind is shortstacked and will probably move all-in soon. even on the button. or just likes to pick on shortstacked big blinds. (should he survive this hand). there is a raise in early position by Seat 7 and I have a hand like 77 or 88. in the future. The turn is the J♥. The big blind shows A♣ 7♣ and Seat 7 shows T♠ 9♦. though. Seat 9 also recently busted Seat 8 in a somewhat standard (A-K versus TT) all-in situation. they will need to call about 20. and the river the T♣. then this type of observation can turn a marginal decision into a much easier one. Before giving the result. Flop (11. Knowing this will allow me to make better decisions against him by not continuation betting as bluffs on the flop as much.6 to 1 pot odds. since I know he’s capable of stealing in early position. as I am likely to run into the player in Seat 7 again at some point. he called the checkraise all-in unimproved on the flop. paired flop. and the big blind checkraises all-in for 14. The new. but it’s very important to make a note of it. Unfortunately. I note that there is significant information to garner here: First.Setup: Two hands have passed since Hand 6.400): As I stated before.600 and Seat 4 in the big blind is the only caller. I can use this to my advantage by either getting it all-in with my good hands if he is pot committed or not stealing or semibluffing against him when I give good odds because I know he is willing to call light. . if someone raises to 4. but with only 36 players left. significantly diminishing my resteal fold equity. As for the big blind.000 and I push all-in. He’s also capable of checkraising all-in with only ace high and very little fold equity on a low. I don’t really know which one. my note taking could still prove quite valuable.000. With blinds this high.000. Seat 7 raises to 4. The big blind checks. higher blinds put additional pressure on the short stacks in Seats 4 and 6. or because I feel I have a good hand in a spot where there is a lot of dead money in the pot. I am now moved to a new table. Most of my reraises now will probably be because I feel I have the best hand.200 blinds. Seat 7 calls the extra 8.000 more to win 32. and will be more likely to make all-in moves. if he feels committed.

200 in the middle and 24. which is why this is slightly less than my stack size listed in the table). and with very little resteal fold equity. . and pocket treys isn’t really ahead of anything. and this is the second hand at my new table. and takes a flop. once told me that your first push (referring to both open pushes and resteals) should be with garbage. With stacks of this size. and the button folds. The only player with whom I am familiar is Seat 5. or it may present opportunities to steal if they all play too close to the vest. then this would be an easier push. I note that Seat 9 is capable of checkraising all-in rather than making a continuation bet. a well-known European player who plays a very aggressive style. The button is the only caller. If the action is folded to me. then I should not automatically bet. as your opponents will usually give you too much credit. as there is 4. That represents a nearly 17% increase to my stack should everyone fold. 7. Preflop (4. Seat 9 checks. This table has significantly more short stacks than the prior one. Annette Obrestad.266. with Seats 3. If I had more knowledge of how the shorter stacks play (for example. Seat 9 raises to 4. especially with a stack where he can believably checkraise all-in.800. I could make a case for going all-in. WSOP Europe 2008 winner. Seat 9 checkraises all-in to 19. many players will start open pushing a greater range of hands. I’ll be watching the table to see how they react. however. 6.200): Low-to mid-pocket pairs are really tricky hands with my stack size and position.Setup: We are now down to three tables. as they begin to doubt you more and more with each push. but it could be anything from an overpair to a big ace (A-K. Most of them have more than ten big blinds. It is also my first hand here. so I should get a lot of credit from the table. are they folding too often?). A-Q) to something like K♥ Q♥. I lack a sufficient number of chips to be able to resteal effectively with them.800): This is a very benign flop. The table may consolidate fairly quickly. I am forced to fold. and 9 all being very short. and subsequent pushes should be more selective.823 in my stack (there is a 200 ante. Flop (13. and the button bets 7. Without a showdown we don’t know his holding. I agree with her—although it’s no fun when your first push runs into aces! In this case though.200. The important information to glean from this hand is that if this player checks to me in a situation where most players might continuation bet.

even though my hand could become very tricky to play out of position postflop. All of the pots at my new table have been taken down preflop. Preflop (4. Seat 1 folds and I raise to 3. Setup: One hand has passed. Seat 5 is the aggressive European player and Seat 9 in the big blind is the player from the last hand who checkraised all-in on the flop. though. I can’t control that. I should be able to take advantage of the tighter-than-normal play at this table to accumulate some chips. and the table setup is largely the same. with the exception of the one hand where Seat 9 checkraised all-in on the flop.Setup: One hand has passed between this hand and the last. usually by the initial raiser. everyone else at the table folds. I feel that I still have too many chips to just open push and I don’t want to discourage action.888. I am very happy to get all of my money in the middle with A-K.200): At this point in the tournament. where I am much more likely to have a raiser before me so that I can reraise or be the initial raiser where my opponents won’t give me much credit. . I would prefer to get this hand in the blinds or late position.

4 Let’s assume I reraise all-in and don’t have any reads. The last thing to note is that of the 40% of the time he calls. I will lose approximately 64.989 chips.996). The other 40% of the time he calls.996) you get an average ending stack of 29. This is obviously an inexact science.2% increase to our starting stack. and some random suited connector-type hands.Preflop (4. my showdown equity would increase and the play would remain profitable. any two broadway cards.996 (35. The 60% of the time he folds.623 (remember.44%) of the time. My stack is 26. which would give me considerably more folding equity. I will be on the rail roughly 1 in 4 times. Astandard player will call me with a range like pocket pairs of 5s or better.56% equity given his calling range. I reraise all-in and the button folds. Setup: This hand immediately follows the A♦ 6♦ resteal. all pairs.046 and I will have 35.400 in the pot.023. All players fold to the button. I must make it selectively or I will bust out too often. That sort of edge is too great to pass up. Please note that I am not making these exact calculationson the spot. I will end up with 20. about an 11. I would prefer to have 20 big blinds. . I will have 35. but when I make this play. who raises to 4. Thus by making this play.4% of his hands. but by doing a lot of work away from the table. about 26% (40% of 64. stacks shown in the table graphics are the amounts prior to the blinds and antes being posted) and there is 8.44%. I will be out of the tournament.046 = 20. If my opponent has a typical button opening range.023 plus 40% of 20. That being said.4% then he will be folding to my reraise 60% of the time and calling 40% of the time. and K-Q both suited and off suit. So on average. an increase of 2. A-7s or better. but is probably a somewhat accurate range. This includes all aces.412 chips. they will (statistically) be hands of which I’m ahead. As you can see from the calculations above.200. resteals can be very profitable tools. but I don’t have as much fold equity as I would like. Also note that if he starts calling with more hands. The small blind folds and I’m faced with a decision. So even if he calls with a wider range. I will be all-in.56% x 59. my action will be largely determined by the action before me. This gives me a very solid sense of where I stand when similar situations arise at the table.200): Suited aces normally make great restealing hands. If he raises with 31% of his hands and calls with 12. When you combine the two (60% of 35. or very low pairs that are a coin flip against me. he’s probably raising about 31% of his hands. A-9 or better. That range represents 12. The pot is 59.

or some combination of the two. as my equity in the pot when called jumps from 36% to 42%. the action is folded to the button. I will. call with more hands. I actually have a better resteal situation than before. who raises to 4. but with my current loose table image. so I would have to call him. I must be careful. the more that gap is going to narrow. though. However. I would have to reevaluate. I would have a difficult time folding my hand to a single reraiser. I push all-in for 34.200): Like suited aces. and each successive time I shove. but whenever I plan on entering a pot. It is very important to be aware of my own activity. As in the previous hand.200): I was planning on playing with more caution to buy some goodwill at the table. as the point of restealing is to exploit the fact that most opponents will raise with a much wider range than they’ll call a reraise with. . low-to mid-pocket pairs make really good restealing hands that hold up pretty well in shorter stacked all-in situations. The small blind is a bit of an unknown. assuming (often correctly) that I am pushing all-in rather light. it is prudent to look at my opponents’ stacks to get some idea of what I might do in the event of a reraise.888 and everyone folds. I raise to 3. The more I resteal. In this hand.823 and both remaining players fold. but plans are subject to change when you pick up a solid hand. 55 is strong enough here that I simply must push over the top. the button is short stacked enough that I would have to call. I know that the aggressive European player in the big blind is capable of restealing with a very wide range. Assuming this player has a similar raising and calling range. raise if the action is folded to me. as my opponents will either open fewer hands. I will definitely be much more cautious in hand selection for the next orbit or two to buy some goodwill at the table. my opponents will call me with wider and wider ranges. If he were to reraise. of course. Setup: One hand has passed since the 5-5 resteal. Preflop (4. I just shoved all-in.Preflop (4.800. as my edge is too large.

750): A-T is a solid hand in the big blind. and were called. Yet considering how much he has started loosening up his raising standards. The vast majority of the pots have been taken down with a simple preflop raise. In this case. as the callers had premium holdings.Setup: Nearly two orbits have passed since the last hand. he has been opening many more pots lately. Unfortunately. making them both easy folds. The blinds have also increased. If this has the desired effect of slowing him down. then I will be given the opportunity to open more pots myself. Both times. and has started to ramp up his table aggression as his stack has grown to the table chip lead. They both lost and were eliminated.023 and he quickly folds. Preflop (4. I haven’t gained any significant information from the hands. as I know he has a very good understanding of short stack poker. the Aggressive European Player in Seat 5 raises to 4. I will often defend with it. putting me back into a firm resteal range with my stack size of nearly 19 times the big blind. I was dealt complete garbage with the exception of K-To twice. as I am significantly ahead of his opening range. went all-in. Reraising also sends a message that I am not afraid of confronting him. . I reraise all-in for 37. Two players were short. During the two orbits. The Aggressive European Player busted one of those players. and depending on how the action proceeds. the pot was opened before I had a chance to act from early position. As I mentioned in the setup. A-T really becomes more of a value reraise than a straight steal. and his calling range for my resteal will be fairly wide.850. He is not a great resteal target for me.

K-Js+. and the likely scenarios that will unfold before you open a pot. In late position. In hindsight. I knew I had made a mistake opening with 44 in the first place. but the small blind is now the table’s chip leader. I will be left with about 9 big blinds. Ranges are an inexact science. including my stack size and opponents’ skill. I will have over 70. and my opponent showed J♥ J♠. Looking at the players remaining to act. Preflop (5. I need 36.6% equity to make this a break-even call. and stuck in shortstack push/fold mode. The other consideration is more strategic. which still gives me time to pick and choose my spots and preserves fold equity. How do things change if I call and lose? What if I call and win? What if I fold? If I call and lose. but I leave them in his range to account for the occasional bluff-type hand. In this case. as it is quite likely that I will face a very tough decision. I was in a situation where (given my image and the aggressive players with big stacks behind me) it was highly probable I would be played back at. I did call. A-9s+. The pot is 33. I will often fold them in early position with less than 25 big blinds. I have no reads on either player.250): The action is folded to me. but there is almost always some chance my opponent is bluffing or overvaluing hands that I wouldn’t put in his range. It is important to always be aware of how the table dynamics change as players are eliminated and replaced by players with different stack sizes and playing styles. I have 42% equity against this range. I think calling is okay. it’s doubtful he’s on a pure steal. but it is very high variance. and I believe I let that affect my decision somewhat. but instead I decide to raise to 4. Clearly.000 chips and be in a good position to make a deep run in this tournament. I will assign a somewhat looser range of 22+. This precise spot really screams fold. if I simply fold. or the possibility that he might push with any ace here. I’ll tend to play them more.000 left. I’ve been quite active at the table without showing down any hands. with which I think he may shove.042 more chips. Small pocket pairs are really tough hands to play when you’re short stacked late in tournaments. I have a known aggressive player with chips. At the time.Setup: Five hands have passed since I reraised with A-T. A-T+. I will lose the opportunity to wait for hands and I will also lose any resteal fold equity. This hand illustrates the importance of paying attention to your opponents. This particular decision is a very close one. My raise has now gotten me into a bit of a bind and I must consider several factors in determining whether to call or fold. There is a reasonable chance he’s folding hands like 22-33. Given that his chip stack is only 12 big blinds. based on the range of hands on which I’ve put my opponent. The main consideration is whether or not I am getting the right price to call. so it stands to reason that my opponent probably thinks I am opening with a fairly wide range. and a new player in the small blind with a big stack. and the action is folded to me. . as I decided to call. If I call and win.068 chips. depending on several factors. K-Q. The player to my immediate left in Seat 3 goes all-in. I will have around 38. I have a bit of a margin for error in my range estimate for the call to still be profitable. All of the subsequent pots were taken down with a simple raise.888. as he doesn’t have much fold equity against me. The board ran out 8♣ 8♥ T♠ Q♦ J♦ giving him a full house and the pot. and I must call 19. Two new players have filled the empty seats at the table. I would lean toward the more conservative play of folding to conserve my stack and the power the stack gives me to continue to resteal. as they are difficult to play profitably postflop and out of position. Lastly.

K-T is in roughly the top 15% of hands. . It is very important to note here that if I had simply folded the 44 from the last hand. If the next two hands I get are particularly bad. Preflop (5. I may or may not get a stronger hand in the next 11 hands before the big blind hits me a second time—an event that would cripple my stack. and we’re off to the races. but it isn’t particularly bad. I would be in the exact same position as I am now after winning this coin flip—but with no risk of being out of the tournament. I know I’m likely to get called and will probably be behind.250): The action folds to me. However. In this case I must move all-in.Setup: This is two hands after the 44 all-in hand.943 and Seat 6 calls. I am prepared to let the blinds go through me and look for a decent spot to shove in the next orbit. either. The board runs out 8♠ 7♥ A♥ K♥ 2♠. and I win the coin flip. albeit with a very loose image now. and I have a loose image that is likely to get my all-ins called by a wider-than-normal range. While I was content to wait through the blinds if I didn’t get any hands. This hand isn’t great. as I’ll have to accumulate chips before I get so low that I will have to win multiple pots just to get a playable stack in the tournament. as I would have folded the K-To with the larger stack. I am in a very unenviable position. I am short stacked. I move all-in for 17. He shows 9♦ 9♣. rather than wait until later when the double up will only take me to 15-16 big blinds. I am willing to take that risk now for the chance to get back up to 20 big blinds. I am fortunate enough to be given a second chance. the blinds are about to hit me in two hands.

391)(-2. from my previous table. I won’t get the folding frequency that I would prefer. as I will win the blinds and antes 77. 65s. Q-J might be slightly ahead of that range. as well as some hands (like T-9s) against which I’m only a slight favorite.609)5.586 and the big blind folds.021 EV = 2.1% of 55. The blinds have increased.471 + (. My read on the player in the big blind is that he will likely shove over a standard raise with a super-wide range of hands. which makes restealing more difficult. I still have some folding equity.286)) 3. So 60.471 – 1. if I were to make a standard raise and call an all-in based on my read that he was reraising super wide (ex. K8s+. A2o+. The second option is pushing while assuming my opponent will call an all-in with a tighter range than he would threebet with: 44+. gain more opportunities to accumulate chips without hands than I would have had at the previous table.450 Note that I will also be out of the tournament 21.Setup: Fortune again smiles upon me.5 to 1 to call.391)(17. QTs+. as my opponent would be getting about 1. but not enough to encourage that sort of action.1% hands. 97s+. This allows me to ‘reset’my image and. Range 22+. K2s+.471 + (.445)(39.9% of the time I would win the blinds and antes. This is the third hand at my new table. Showing this mathematically.386)-(. T9o). If I attempt a resteal. going all-in is actually a lower variance play than raise/calling. but my opponent will be forced to fold many hands that he would probably threebet. I have no significant reads on the table except that the opponent to my direct left is a very good player who plays a push/fold game. he would reraise allin anyway with all of the hands with which he will call an allin push.700) Qs Jh: Restealing becomes a moot point now.1% of the time I would have 44. JTs. and the other 39. leaving me closer to a 15-big-blind stack. .391)((. it makes up 39.612) 3. but I must choose my opportunities very carefully – generally only against a player raising with a wide range (likely in late position) and whose stack would be crippled if he should call and lose. he will still call me with a very wide range. I avoid some marginal all-in situations compared to the raise/call strategy. Preflop(5. KTo+. T8s+. and JTo (22. A7o+. A2s+.7% equity when he calls. as the action is folded to me. 86s+. QTo+. QTo+. JTo+. He almost never takes flops and loves to resteal all-in with almost reckless abandon. If I were to make a standard raise.2% of the time and have 40. J8s+. By pushing. hopefully. K5o+.555)(36. Seat 4. My stack size is now bordering on small.527-20.5%). (. In this particular hand.5% equity in the pot. Pushing all-in may be a bit larger than your normal push/fold stack. 76s. He probably isn’t folding any hand that is ahead of me except for some weak A-x and K-x hands.700 + (. This gets some hands (like K-7) which are slightly ahead of me to fold. Pushing increases my expected value. Nonetheless. Q8s+. I push all-in for 37.139) 3. and I add over 11% to my stack when my opponent folds.7% of the time this way (39.8% of hands). My table breaks immediately after my double up and I move to a new table with only one player. A2s+.

993 – 744 EV = 4. Since his range is the same for both the first scenario (where he goes all-in over my raise and I call) and the second scenario (where I push all-in).593)(36.286)) 4. ATo+.609 Against this player this would also mean I would be out of the tournament 8. it’s very important to have an idea of how aggressive your opponent is and how he might react in these situations. I can use the same calculations for both.124)(13.400 + (. The second is that against tighter. but it does mean that I cannot be eliminated.000 3. There is a third option here.668)(36.3%).4% of hands). however.386)-(.609)5.400 – 1.518) 4. it is by far the lowest expectation option against this player. 3x minus the posted small blind. This only works because his range for pushing and calling are precisely the same.876)5.228)((.993 – 1.384 EV = 3.772)5. it can often be more profitable and lower variance to just ‘take the play away’ from them by pushing all-in yourself.700 + (. but it also reduces my likelihood of being knocked out of the tournament to only 13.993 + (. KJo+.124)((.700 + (. The range I’m using for this player is 77+. ATs+.391)-6.4% of 66.876)5.030 – 21.346 EV = 1.(.124)(-6. my equity is 33. I have good expected value here. raising and folding if they push all-in can be better than just pushing all-in yourself.125 Although this play has positive expectation.163) 4.239) 4.5% of the time (22.286)) 4. here’s how the results would change if the big blind were a more tight/passive player who would reraise all-in (and never resteal) with exactly the same range with which he would call.124)(-11. (.700 + (. In order to choose the optimal play. When I move all-in.249 This option gives me better expected value. .407)(39.000). and QJo (12. less creative opponents who are going to play more straightforwardly against you.5x or 6.993 + (.149 Pushing not only shows a higher profit. KTs+.471 – 2.228)(-5. so 2. and also no chance of being knocked out.251 EV = 3.488) 4. (. which is similar to scenario 1. There are a couple of important things to learn from this sort of analysis away from the table: The first is that against very aggressive players who are willing to push with a very wide range.400 + (.700 + (. raising 3x and then folding to this player has an even better expected value: (. rather than giving them the chance to push over your raise in a shorter-stacked (less than 20 big blinds) situation.386) – (.332)(39. In contrast.228)(16.076 – 24.8% of 59. QJs.2% against his range.000) 4. raise/folding.2% of the time (12. although I just lose my raise amount (approx.8%).

600 and my opponent folds. If I am called. I am deep enough that that he could still just push all-in. Against a player who is not sophisticated enough to know that I might be going for a limp/reraise here. I need to make a small bet to protect my hand and hopefully take the pot down right here. I insure there is less money in the pot for him to steal. I could potentially reraise all-in. I am deeper stacked than I was in the Q-J hand. There has been one all-in at the table and one player busted. This should prevent my limp from being easily exploitable. I bet 3. I decide just to call. which is a very good heads-up hand on a pretty dry board. The fact that my opponent knows I may have been going for a limp/reraise preflop will probably discourage him from making too many plays at me. the action is folded to me in the small blind. my opponent knows I am capable of doing so. I would have just raised this hand preflop and folded to a reraise. Preflop (5. Flop (6. I will almost always fold if there is any action in front of me. even though I know my opponent is capable of raising with a worse hand than mine.700): Unsuited aces with bad kickers are very poor hands to play deep in a tournament with a 20-big-blind stack. I also have enough chips that if I just call and he makes a standard raise to 7.200.Setup: An orbit has passed since I shoved with Q-J. making moving all-in less appealing than before. as I could have a big hand. making the riskversus-reward ratio much worse. While I probably wouldn’t do that with this hand. Since I know this player is very likely to force me into a very tough decision by going all-in with a wide variety of hands over a raise. and that I don’t often limp in the small blind. However. I can reevaluate the situation on the turn. Also. My stack is a little too deep to push all-in here. since I have the sort of stack that my opponent knows I may limp/reraise with. Q-J actually plays better against the range of hands with which the big blind will be calling. I will probably be forced to fold. but the rest of the pots were taken down preflop with a single raise. but by calling.900): I hit middle pair. while A-5 is a statistically better hand than Q-J. If I am raised. I call and the big blind checks. but my hand is too strong to fold. . since winning the blinds and antes will mean a smaller percentage increase in my stack. but only be small favorites over Q-J. The reason for this is that the big blind will be calling with many aces and small/medium pairs that will dominate A-5.

even with a 50K stack. Preflop (5. This confirms my read that the all-in player is playing very aggressive all-in poker. and I fold when the action comes to me.855. Setup: Just a few uneventful hands have passed. We’re still in a very precarious position at the table with many big stacks and a very aggressive all-in player to my left. pushes for 50. and now has even more chips directly to my left for me to worry about. giving the all-in player two pair and the pot. The small blind though.700): 5-2 is a terrible hand. The board runs out J♣ 8♥ A♥ 6♣ 3♠. who is the very good all-in player.Setup: This hand is right after the A-5 hand.400 and the big blind calls 32. . The small blind shows 8♦ 6♥ and the big blind shows A♦ T♥.

who flat calls. it signifies some sort of draw or weak made hand.200.476): Unfortunately. I check behind. Turn (29.076): Lucky for me I hit a great flop! Even better. If he’s playing a 7 very tricky. In a case like this. but if my opponent has a 7. So with a virtual lock on the hand. everyone folds to the big blind. I could consider making a small bet here.Preflop (5. and I raise to 5. My opponent leads into me for a very weak bet of 9. Much to my dismay. . I will often face overcards on the flop that will make things tricky. Some of the more sophisticated players will also do this with a 7. The situation hasn’t changed much. With my stack size. or 88/99. the big blind starts by betting into me for 7.700): With a very strong hand and around 20 big blinds.200. but with such a huge hand I must raise. I call the 7. too. 22-66.476): Unfortunately. I must therefore concern myself only with the draws and weak made hands. most likely.600. when he does have a ten with a weak kicker. I might be costing myself chips by not betting. I’m going to get all my chips in the middle no matter what. it makes sense to just call behind him and hope he hits his draw so I can extract all of his chips. and. Flop (15. when players call out of the blinds preflop and then lead into you instead of checkraising.888. It appears he is trying to turn his missed draw into a bluff after I checked behind on the turn. My opponent folds. so it’s more important to extract maximum value from the draws. but that makes up a tiny part of his range. River (29. The action is folded to me. he’s still going to get all his chips in the middle before the end of this hand. and since I have two of the tens. it is very unlikely that he’s leading with a ten. he is probably leading out with a flush or straight draw. and my opponent checks. neither draw comes in. though. A weak made hand on this flop consists of a ten. the other big stacks. trying to entice him to call a small bet with some of his draws or maybe even push all-in as a bluff! If I had a read on the player that he was more aggressive. It is very unlikely that I will get paid off. it makes more sense to just push all-in than to make a smaller raise. and since many players are able to read through a small bet here as an obvious value bet with a big hand. as my remaining stack is smaller than the pot. this would be an attractive option. but I do not. I get to play the pot in position. I am more than prepared to get all my chips in the middle against the aggressive player on my left. all the draws missed. Most of the time. Most of the time. and I feel like I really couldn’t have gotten much more from the hand. but with TT.

The tournament is now down to two tables. Against many other opponents. so I don’t want to give a free card.600) Td 9s 6c: I flop top pair. I bet 4. and I do not want to give a free card. I limp in. with all the big stacks on my left. This will be the second time in a row I’m limping in this position. since it should scare my opponent. but I’ll have to assess what to do based on the action in front of me. since my straight draw would put a 4 straight on the board. Setup: In the last 6 hands. Seat 8 started the hand with just over 55K in chips. My hand is vulnerable.000 with a 400 ante. roughly 18 big blinds. but the flop is favorable. the action is folded to Seat 8. and his stack is too shallow to play for set value. Also. it does nothing to help me define his hand. to keep the tables balanced as players bust out. Also. After the TT hand. and he folds. Flop (6. so I could contemplate a raise. Sometimes they’ll be slow playing a monster and other times they’re simply trying to leave themselves room to fold. Preflop (6.000. and for the third time since I was moved here.500-3. I have a very good all-in player acting behind me who is quite capable of threebetting. Preflop (5. an inside straight draw. and a back door flush draw—a very good flop for me. and he checks behind. but the player in the big blind loves to shove all-in. putting me in an awkward spot. and I have taken down the blinds each time. the action is folded to me in the small blind. No one has played back at me so far.Setup: The last couple of hands have been taken down with a preflop raise. In fact. Seat 7 has been moved to a new table. I have more chips than before. but against this opponent I would rather just call and keep the pot small so he doesn’t feel inclined to reraise me. I would raise here.000. who opens with a minimum raise to 6. and I would really like to take a flop with this hand.900): Pocket sevens is a strong hand at this point in the tournament. I’ve won two pots raising with A-Jo and 7-2s preflop trying to take advantage of the overall tightness of the table. Smooth calling behind him is not a very good play. First. though. The blinds have increased to 1. it isn’t very likely I’ll be able to win a big pot if I hit. The table has been fairly passive. I now have around 25 big blinds and some breathing room.400): This is the type of hand in which I’d love to see a cheap flop. . Minimum raises from shorter stacks can be difficult to play against. I’m going to be in a very bad spot if he raises me. so the threat of my limp/reraising him is diminished. I am still in a very precarious table position.

There has been little action at the table and all pots have been won preflop.900): The action folds to Seat 6 who goes all-in for 24. but in the heat of the moment I push all-in for 87. this hand would play differently. I already have 1. I need to consider the possibility that the big blind will wake up with a premium hand. any pair.844. 97s+. Note that these stack sizes allow me to threebet without committing myself. although I would obviously be a big dog. . However. if Seat 6 is not versed in shortstack play and only pushing solid hands. however. I am unsure if Seat 6 has this same read.Making a small reraise here is by far the best play because of my previous read that this player is capable of minimum raising as a steal/ bluff. All of these factors combined means I probably should have folded. you have to play based on experience. My read on the player could have been wrong here. and I lose the pot to ace ten high. Seat 6 shows A♣ T♥. I still have some equity with my A-8. a small reraise accomplishes two goals: It forces Seat 8 to define his hand and it prevents me from having to make marginal decisions postflop when the small blind squeezes and I call. this is a very clear fold. Preflop (6. My read on the big blind is that he is a very good all-in player who would typically call with a wide range in this situation. any two broadway cards. however. or I could just be unlucky that he happened to have a hand closer to the top of his all-in range. If Seat 6 is a reasonably good player. then do work after the fact to see if you were correct. as I would now be forced to call an all-in fourbet from my opponent. and the pot is 31. K9o+.744. so this is a profitable situation against the all-in player.344 to call. I have to be roughly 42% against his all-in range to make this a break-even call. and everyone folds. I’ll keep watching the table to see if I get any more information in case I am presented with a similar situation against this player in the future. Additionally. the board runs out 7♠ 4♦ 2♠ 5♣ 9♠. anything above that starts to show a profit. A premium hand of TT+ and A-Q+ represents 3. is probably a bit too risky for the reward it presents. he should understand that with less than nine big blinds he should be pushing a very wide range. and the big blind folds. and in some cases just random cards.8% of all hands5. However. The button folds. Even if he does call. It turns my sevens into a bluff the vast majority of the time. 87s+.500 in the pot. and the action is on me. This is a risky play and one that in hindsight. If my opponent’s stack were a little smaller. Setup: This is five hands later.888.874 to isolate. This read makes me believe his range includes both super weak steal-type hands. as well as monsters (QQ+/A-K) that my 77 is in real trouble against. K7s+. I reraise to 16. It can be tricky to do all of these calculations at the table. A reasonably good player versed in shortstack play would probably push a range like any ace. I have roughly 50% equity against the range I’ve estimated. so it costs 23. especially if he or she viewed the big blind as a tight player.

and K-5s. though. and the button smooth calls the 12. but both players check the flop. I have managed to take down several pots preflop with a single raise and no callers with A-Jo. Most of the pots have been taken down with a single raise preflop. River (25. is that the button just calls behind on the river with the absolute nuts!!! Perhaps he misread the board or miss-clicked.000. knowing how passively he plays. but the big blind defends by calling. . who raises 2. K-9o. Now. A-K in a pretty standard all-in preflop situation. my read on both of these players now is that they are extremely passive. or even a queen. I will adjust my play in the future. The big blind shows A♠ 9♣ for a flopped pair of aces and the button shows K♥ J♥ for the nut flush and absolute nuts on that board. KK.000 with 500 ante.Setup: It is a few orbits later and the blinds have increased to 2. The action is folded to Seat 4 on the button. A-5s. but again both players check. Preflop (9. The most absurd part of this hand. The big blind bets out 12. they would try and protect their respective hands. The small blind folds. This one is a real head scratcher. Regardless. but I am including it more for the reads it gives us on the players who do go to showdown.000-4.5 times the big blind to 10. so I would think that if either player had an ace.000 chips. The big blind never tried to protect his top pair by betting.000): This completes the heart draw from the flop.000): This is the type of flop I would really expect the button to try and continuation bet even if he missed. I can safely say that my read was wrong and that call was a bad play. although Seat 6 did win another all-in when he had QQ vs.000): I obviously have a very weak hand. Note that the big blind in this hand is the same player I called with A-8 in a previous hand.000. Turn (25. and the button never bet his flush draw. just under half the pot. Flop (25. despite having taken the lead preflop and having a very favorable flop with both the heart draw and the straight draw.000): There are two flush draws out.

. Again. usually with a single raise. and the rest of the table folds to me. who uses his time bank for a while before eventually folding. with all pots being taken down preflop. Smooth calling here with these stacks could make my post flop play difficult. Preflop (11. nothing significant has happened since last time. as an ace or a king will flop around one third of the time. so I shove for 75.500 from under-the-gun. Between the last hand and this one I managed to win two pots preflop with A-Js and 7-2o when I raised and everyone else folded.Setup: This is shortly after the last hand. The table is shorthanded. The action is folded to Seat 5. Setup: We are now at the final table. The best play here is just to push all-in. Seat 5 raises to 12. nonetheless.730. The blinds have increased once again. Seat 5 has raised from a premium position and hasn’t shown the ability to be particularly tricky yet.100): I would never fold the third best hand in poker preflop with these stack sizes at this stage of the tournament.

Agood player in a similar situation would say nothing. but the more likely scenario is that he’s blowing hot air my way because he’ll let me steal from him any time I want until he actually picks up a hand. most of the time when someone goes out of their way to let me know they’re “gonna get [me]”. the other passive player from my previous table. Seat 9 reraises me to 32. and one of the two passive players from my last table will be in the big blind when I’m on the button. I can safely shut down unless I have a strong hand. They will often try to verbally dissuade you from stealing from them because they lack the courage to actually play back at you. he could very well be playing back at me light. Setup: This hand immediately follows the last. The action is folded to me. At this point. most of the stacks to my left are fairly small. I have the aggressive European player and the very good all-in player to my right. The table setup is fairly good for me. but would likely reraise the very next time I opened the pot. I can call or reraise in position against him. but especially in late position.900): A premium pair is always good. . I have Seat 6.000 from the button. Lastly. It’s certainly possible that he could follow through on his silly threat. and I make a small raise to 11. An added benefit is that it might make him think twice about playing back at me in the future. and may play back at me with light values. who won’t want to bust in ninth. I just push it all-in for 111. With the exception of Seat 2. Preflop (12.“IM GONNA GET YOU RIZEN” and “U WOKE UPWITH AHAND”.888. but I do know that since I raised from a common steal position.030 and Seat 9 folds. or have a relatively strong hand like TT or 99 that he easily thinks is the best hand. and the blinds fold.The payouts for the final table are as follows: The payout curve is very steep. much like the last hand. More importantly. meaning that there will be a lot of pressure on the shorter stacks. he typed two things into the chat box . there is no reason to be tricky and risk an A or K flopping. netting me a nice pot. on my right. This tells me that Seat 9 thinks I am playing very aggressively and may have been playing back at me somewhat light. it actually means I should be attacking them more often. It’s worth noting that when I fourbet Seat 9 all-in during the last hand. I know nothing about this opponent’s play at this point. but if I get any action at all from him. as my opponents are unlikely to give me very much credit for a decent hand. and therefore good candidates to potentially steal their blinds.

Turn (82.900): This is. which is probably understandable given their relative positions and Seat 6’s passive nature. Seat 7 shows J♥ J♦ for a flopped set and turned full house. he just called on a dry flop. you really should start considering tossing some of your poorer pocket pairs. Flop (42.900): This card really shouldn’t change much in terms of who is ahead and who is behind. as they typically love to slow play all their big hands. this hand finally gives us a good read on Seat 7. just under half the pot. and then bet not even one quarter of the pot on the river. I will often even open fold pairs as strong as 77 from early position once my stack is less than 30 big blinds. but it will frequently work against your poorer slowplaying opponents who don’t extract maximum value from their monster hands. a terrible hand. quite obviously. the implied odds value of flopping a set goes down drastically. River (82. The action folds to the very passive player in Seat 6 who raises to 15. The very passive player seems to overvalue pairs preflop. The very passive player continuation bets 20. . but once you get below 30 big blinds. I included this hand because it gives me some very important insight for future hands.900): Now there’s a potential back door flush. particularly in early position.000.Preflop (12.000. The very passive player checks and Seat 7 bets 20. and the very passive player calls.900): This is a fairly dry flop. Players like this can be very easy to play against. So in the future. checked when filling up on the turn. who played this hand like an extreme version of the classic slow player. Seat 7 calls and everyone else folds. Once you get below around 30 big blinds. and Seat 7 calls. or not even one quarter of the pot. This information could be critical in the future because it adds some value to hands like 77 and 88 when playing against his range. something many players do. I could use that opportunity to play back at him because he would often be slow playing a monster hand. More importantly though. They can be valuable as resteal hands and from late position. once he flopped a monster. while the very passive player shows 2♠ 2♦ for two pair. and the reason I’ve included it has more to do with the other players involved in the pot than with me. However. Obviously this doesn’t work against all players. Both players check.000. He called preflop with JJ. if Seat 7 raises me on the flop or makes a three quarters pot bet on a J-J-4 flop.

given that it’s about half of his remaining stack. However. there are some short stacks behind me who I’d have to call due to pot odds. although tricky to play in early position with only 25 big blinds.000 more. It appears as if he wants Seat 4 to fold. who cold calls 15. I fold. In addition. and two players see the flop. . and the action folds around to the small blind. I’ll almost certainly have to fold. as he played the last two hands in a fairly aggressive manner for a passive player. so I now have a 25 big blind stack. if they threebet all-in. I am in a precarious position. I would consider playing this pot in a later position. Seat 4 shows J♣ J♦ for an overpair. The turn and river are the K♣ and the 9♥ and Seat 6 is eliminated. very soon. Given the aggressive nature of some of the players to act behind me. My read on Seat 6 being a passive player may have been wrong. I will be calling off over 10% of my stack. The big blind folds. However Seat 4 goes all-in! Seat 6 quickly calls and shows A♥ T♣ for two overcards and a gutshot straight draw.750): 7-7 is a strong hand. this is an important consideration. the very passive player who overvalues pairs. Seat 6. he bet just under half the pot with 22 as a continuation bet. knowing that he could easily be on a lower pair or overcards.750): Without a 7. which leads me to believe that he has something stronger than an underpair this time. and Seat 6 folds. makes a standard raise for him to 18.000. his bet is also quite large. In the last hand.750. Since he is opening under-the-gun though. Worse yet.Setup: This is just two hands after the last. Seat 4 checks and the passive player in Seat 6 bets the full pot. I’d rather not be put in that situation. Now the good. Flop (48. If I flat call. The blinds have increased. if there’s a reraise behind me. If several more players call behind me. aggressive European player has a lot of chips and will be a very tough opponent from here onward. this would have been one of the better flops for my hand. Seat 4 was given a walk in one of the hands. I increase my chances of winning a big pot but have very little chance of winning without flopping a set. Preflop (15. or 48. Seats 1 and 3 are getting dangerously short and I expect Seat 5 to start exercising his all-in game very.

Additionally. . The very dangerous Seat 5 is out of the tournament. but with a hand like 99 versus his stack. He shows 8♥ 4♦ for a complete bluff. it is likely the player attempted to go all-in but did it too quickly and didn’t move the slider all the way over.750 leaving only 8. Seat 4 folds and Seat 5. raises to 62. I will be using this as a chance to go all-in over him. who added a little to their respective stacks during the last orbit. Preflop (14. and I have had very few opportunities to resteal against him. except for Seats 2 and 3. Most of the other players have been slowly bleeding chips. There is a good chance that if Seat 4 enters this pot. who calls the additional 8.250): Pocket nines is a very good hand. There was an all-in preflop confrontation that busted Seat 1 out of the tournament in a fairly standard pair-versus-overcards situation. I push all-in for 126. and the action is folded to the raiser. This will allow me to start selectively playing back at him in hope of slowing him down. making my life very difficult. Since we’re playing online. and I take down the pot. Seat 7 folds and the action is on me. then I will have more opportunities to raise before the flop. I have to think I’m way ahead despite the odd action. The aggressive European player in Seat 4 has been asserting his dominance over the table.980 to isolate. He is opening nearly every pot before I act. I went through the blinds twice without any playable hands or situations.Setup: About ten hands have passed since Hand 27. I’m really not sure if this is a misclick.143. Much to my dismay. I now have a healthy stack of chips and position on the chip leader. or somehow designed to look stronger than just going all-in. however.143 chips behind. If I can slow him down so that he folds more frequently preflop. During this time. who is the very good all-in player. especially on the button. The board runs out T♣ 7♠ 2♠ T♥ Q♣.

500. but my chances of winning the tournament have just increased exponentially. Seat 4 shows A♠ 8♠.Setup: The blinds have increased and about one orbit of play has gone by. I am now presented with an excellent table situation. so trying to wait for a premium hand is a mistake. I raise to 69. I took a long-term winning line based on the prize structure. this will put tremendous pressure on me. Seat 4 may think he has fold equity. and I’m left with a decision. Seat 4 has very successfully opened about half the pots over the last several orbits. when he does that and I win. and overall.000): Suited broadway cards make great restealing hands. If I want a chance to win this tournament. If he reraises all-in. Although I will rarely ever be ahead. I opt to use the “rule of 3”. my stack will be cut in half. as it forces him to fold much more often. I call for 130. I will have moved a gigantic chunk of his chip stack into my chip stack and given myself a huge boost. 56% of the time I will bust out in sixth place. The action folds to Seat 4. If he pushes all-in. Reraising here is higher variance. I could have played conservatively and probably guaranteed myself a third or fourth place finish. I may be third in chips. I will be in good shape to win the tournament with the chip lead and position on the better players at the table. if I raise to about one third of my stack preflop and he decides to flat call me. and. or 30 hands. The action folds back to Seat 4. I am actually in decent shape with 44% equity in the pot. it is highly unlikely that Seat 4 will call me. In this case. as feared. Seat 7 folds. he’ll probably have me crushed with a very good hand. because he is perfectly capable of going all-in with a wide range. If I just make a standard reraise. If I just push all-in here. restealing with suited broadway cards can be quite profitable. In only five orbits. . I’ll be getting better than 2-to1 odds to call with a hand that should have much more than 33% equity versus his shoving range. Preflop (18. The fact that he shows up with such a weak hand in this spot validates my read. When you combine the fold equity you get on a reraise with the equity value in a showdown. because he is also capable of calling me preflop with the intention of taking it away on the flop. Of course. however.500. Although you’re rarely ahead when called. as planned when I committed myself. Raising this amount. I’ll have a pot size bet left to shove in on the flop. but the blinds are coming around faster and faster at this point. This makes it impossible for him to try to take the pot away on the flop. The board runs out 6♣ 6♦ 3♠ K♥ 4♣ and I hit that beautiful king on the turn to win the pot and establish a position of dominance at the table. they’re seldom big dogs unless you are up against AA or KK. he pushes all-in. K-Qs is very likely ahead of Seat 4‘s range. when my opponent pushes. When he does. who makes his usual raise to 18. But the value in this play is that I am now in good shape to win. Going all-in here is the lower variance play. and occasionally he’ll even call and fold with Ace high on the flop—a big mistake since he’s ahead. One factor I often take into account when making marginal decisions is how the table conditions might change based on various outcomes of my play. also means I’m committed to the pot. If I decide not to push all-in. That is.123 more. I’m going to have to confront him at some point—otherwise he’ll run over the table. since his range is still wide. The actual play might have a negative expectation from a pure chip stand point as opposed to just going all-in preflop. This hand demonstrates a key concept: the value of moving chips from a good player’s stack to your own. I must size my raise carefully.

I am in a dream situation right now. . with both of those players acting before me on every pot.000): 6-6 is a solid hand at this point. Setup: Another hand has passed. Preflop (18. but due to the steep payout structure.000+ once another players busts out. so now is the time to take advantage of the tight play. In these situations. as I pointed out before. Seats 4 and 7 fold. everyone else folds. As I anticipated. With this in mind. or until the shortstacked Seat 7 is gone.888. Everyone is waiting for Seat 7 to bust. I will open with any two cards in any pot in which Seats 4 and 7 aren’t involved until one of the other players shows the willingness to play back at me. as they’ll earn another $1. everyone is reluctant to bust. and Seat 4 doubled up Seat 9. many players become too passive. my table image is becoming quite aggressive. and I make a small raise to 19. At this point. I can pretty much open any two cards every time the aggressive Seat 4 and shortstacked Seat 7 are not involved in a hand. However.Setup: One hand has passed. waiting for premium hands before putting their tournament life on the line.

all is not lost. Seat 7 then goes all-in from the big blind for his last 76. who is very aggressive. However.888. where I would flat call.500. Even though I would much rather have won this pot. Second. who cold calls my raise. it will be tough for him to just stick all his chips in the middle if he misses the flop. and I just move all-in to try to get Seat 2 to fold with all that dead money in the pot. When most of the players remaining have similar stack sizes with this type of price structure. and my play to reshove all-in with A-Ks is fairly obvious. given the fact that I’m getting better than 2-to-1 odds with all the dead money in the pot. and it’s my turn to act. but he certainly doesn’t need a super premium hand like AA or KK to make this move. so he might actually only call with a premium pair to try and trap. or perhaps with AA. no significant change in chip stacks or reads. my play with A-Ks is fairly standard. I expect Seat 7 will have a strong hand. as I’m probably ahead of my opponent’s opening range. I could reraise here. given that Seat 2 has called. he could have a wide range of hands. The board comes out J♥ 9♣ 3♦ 8♠ 4♥ and Seat 7 takes the pot. Seat 2 folds and Seat 7 shows Q♣ Q♥. I would still isolate almost 100% of the time. He has shown that he likes to slowplay. there’s a chance he could move up in the money by folding and hoping that Seat 2 busts. Given Seat 7’s short stack. First.394. The only exceptions would be if I were not paying attention to Seat 7’s stack and made a light under-the-gun steal. Given that the rest of the players behind me are quite passive and very unlikely to try to squeeze if I call. As it is. however. and I may play it a variety of ways depending on the action before me. Seat 4 is more than capable of four-betting all-in with a wide range of hands.000): A-Ks is a very strong hand at this point in the tournament. Preflop (18. I make my standard raise to 19. I think it’s worth evaluating this situation for the times where my hand is more marginal. reluctant to risk their tournament lives when they may move up in the prize pool just by letting others bust out. hoping to entice Seat 2 to come along as well. . Seat 7 is probably aware of the fact that he would rarely get us both to fold.Preflop (18. The one exception is Seat 4.000): K-Js is a reasonable hand sixhanded. Although my opponent is aggressive. Seat 7 should have a pretty good hand to move all-in in this precise spot. Seat 7 folds. taking a flop in position gives me the best chance of extracting value from my hand and simultaneously applying maximum pressure to my opponent. putting me in a very tricky spot. I can call and play postflop in position. With our respective stack sizes. many play too passively and tight. Setup: This is three hands after Hand 31. given the size of the pot and his stack size. who raises to 18. Even if I didn’t have A-K (as I do here). This situation presents me with many future stealing opportunities. All fold to Seat 4. The action is folded to Seat 2. I call and everyone else folds.

. checking is like waving the white flag. I can pretty comfortably bet any hand here.000): Hopefully. Preflop (18. There really are only three choices: either commit to the pot and hope to steal the blinds. and Seat 4 folds. Seat 3 raises to 24. as he most likely would have protected any sort of real hand on this flop with a bet. get lucky when called.000. you should either go all-in or raise with the full intention of calling all-in.000 and the action folds to me. Seat 3 has put nearly 25% of his chips in the middle preflop. You simply can’t afford to blow 25% of your stack on a steal attempt and then fold. There are only six players left in the tournament. This is the sign of a very weak player. my image at this point in the tournament will pay off and I can get a lesser hand to get a lot of chips in the middle against me. given the fact I’m holding A-Ks. he could just fold with the intention of moving all-in over the next two orbits. Seat 7 has been using his new-found chips to win several decent pots without showing anything down. however. but they don’t have the time to do so. or keep waiting for a better hand while the blinds and antes eat away at your stack. At any rate. but if I had a more marginal hand like A-J. With his stack size.000): This isn’t an ideal flop for me. and his stack will be cut in half by the blinds and antes over the next 18 hands. it is a fairly weak play. I have no particular reads on this player other than the fact that he has been fairly quiet up until now. but since my hand is only king high. I may have to use my position and chip advantage to slow him down a little and reassert my position at the table. He could be leaving himself room to fold. This is a pretty easy play. he may just have had a run of cards. but occasionally this also represents a big hand that wants some action. I go all-in and Seat 3 folds. and surprisingly. knowing that he’ll fold most of the time. These types of stack sizes often give weak players problems late in a tournament. On this sort of coordinated board with a flush draw. He checks. just over half the pot. it will be an easy fold for me. I bet 30. If he keeps acting aggressively. Setup: Three hands have passed. but the advantage of position is being able to see my opponent act first.Flop (55. when he could have pushed all-in. He may go for a checkraise all-in with some sort of draw. it would be much more difficult. and I’ll see if I can exploit his reluctance to play for the rest of his chips in the future. Alternatively. For now. They want to wait for a good hand. Why is that? Most players would just go allin.

I might well believe this represents a big hand. as I’m effectively telling my opponent that he’d better be prepared to play for his whole stack. which in hindsight is probably more than I needed to raise to accomplish the same task. . 6-2s. and J-5s by picking on Seat 3 and Seat 9’s big blinds. if this player remembers me calling Seat 4 in a similar situation with K-Qs versus his A-8s. When players make a smaller-than-normal raise against short stacks in the blinds.000. Despite Seat 4’s aggressiveness.Setup: Nearly three orbits have passed since the last hand. The beauty of this play is that I’m obviously not ready to play for stacks with 3-3. Also. and under different circumstances. A reraise gives me a ton of leverage. but we save over 6. I have enough chips to reraise and fold to him. Preflop (21. he is very unlikely to try and fourbet bluff me here because he should know I’m capable of calling pretty light. but he doesn’t know that.000): Pocket treys is not a great hand with these stacks.000 chips the times he goes all-in. notice that both blinds have very short stacks. This is a minimum raise at the new blind level. since many of my opponents are too short stacked to offer the proper odds. Seat 7 is a tricky/slow player. I did find a few spots to take down my own pots with Q-7o.500 probably gets the same result.888. I can apply tons more pressure with a reraise. However. The action folds to Seat 7. My stack is also too big to just push it all-in preflop. but he risks busting out in sixth place when he began this hand third in chips. who raises to 20. This is a great spot to reraise Seat 7. they could be leaving themselves room to fold should one of the blinds push. as we’re not really deep enough to try flopping sets. not only am I raising him. as he may have been leaving himself room to fold to those short stacks. Both blinds and Seat 7 fold. Seat 4 picked up nearly 50% of the last 18 hands with just a single raise preflop – a trend I cannot allow to continue for much longer. I raise to 58. If he’s playing tricky with a big hand. A raise to something like 52.

We are now five-handed with Seat 3 tripling up. with me having the chip lead. Seat 4 was obviously playing his stack and the payout jump.000. but the situation is more or less the same. Seat 2 knocked out Seat 9 in a blind-versus-blind confrontation. busting Seat 2 with a brutal river card. Seat 4 is reluctantly committed to calling 64. and the others playing passively except when they’re dealt a big hand. This will create a very interesting dynamic going forward. with JJ against K-T where they were all-in preflop. and the board comes 9♠ 7♠ 4♥ 7♣ 2♣. . getting better than 3-to-1 pot odds. which I think is a good play in many circumstances. Seat 2 raises to 27. There is a reason they run the five cards. as Seat 4 and I have roughly even chip stacks. and playing very aggressively. but becomes more questionable with Seat 2 only having 13 big blinds. Seat 7 folds and Seat 2 fourbets all-in for 130.771.771 more. while Seats 3 and 7 will both be reluctant to be the fourth-place finisher with the looming pay jump of nearly $2K. Seat 4 in second.000): I fold. Preflop (20. Seat 3 then doubled through Seat 2 with 77 versus A-6 in another blind-versus-blind all-in confrontation. My opponents’ stacks are slowly increasing. We are now fourhanded. Seat 2 shows A♣ K♥ and Seat 4 shows Q♦ 2♠.Setup: It has been a few orbits since the last hand.000 and the aggressive Seat 4 reraises to 66.

Note that my play in this hand is opponent specific. especially when there are two short stacks at the table. I can make a strong case for a reraise here. I decide my best opportunity is to see the flop. there is an interesting dynamic in that Seat 4 and I are the biggest stacks and Seats 3 and 7 are both relatively short and probably reluctant to bust before the other. and I might fold against players with whom I would be uncomfortable playing postflop if I wasn’t familiar with their playing style. Given the flush draws.000): This is a terrible flop for me. out of position. particularly this deep stacked against an aggressive opponent. or if he has a high-flush draw.000 from the button. I might threebet if he was rather tight. With Seat 4 and I across from one another. Seat 4 bets 32. Against other opponents. All fold to Seat 4. In this situation. particularly with a hand in which I’m going to be dominated most of the time if I get action. Preflop (19. but I know this is a very aggressive player who would be more than willing to fourbet me very light. I have picked up the blinds once raising with A-6o UTG as a steal. against players who are sophisticated enough to think I would do this with a dry A♥. Rather than turn my hand into a bluff where he will either fold or fourbet much of the time.000): A-9o is a reasonably strong starting hand when fourhanded. even out of position. I check. I am very comfortable playing postflop against this particular opponent. I don’t particularly like making a pure bluff on monotone boards. he is more likely to call a potential bluff down with a relatively weak pair. . who raises to 25. there will probably be a battle to see which one us can establish table dominance. This is much better than getting into a drawn out 3-and fourbet war with him preflop.Setup: Three hands have passed. Flop (59. Now that we are fourhanded. and I decide to give up on the small pot and fold.000. It is risky going to battle against another deepstacked opponent with a relatively weak hand out of position.

so I expect chips to start flying around a bit more. As he builds his chip lead. but not a big enough stack to truly threaten him. Preflop (19. simply to maintain pressure on the short stacks. Seat 4 and I are taking turns stealing from the shorter stacks.000): T-2s is obviously not the best hand in the world. but given the chip stacks. With the blinds up. I will no longer be able to threaten his stack and will be stuck in the awkward position of having too large a stack to want to risk busting in fourth. A-9o.000. I need to remain within striking distance to really be able to take advantage of the shorter stacks. I will be playing most every hand that I can when Seat 4 folds in front of me. and a few orbits have passed. Both Seats 4 and 7 fold. and the big blind folds. Setup: The blinds have risen again. I raise to 30.Setup: This immediately follows Hand 36. and Q-9o since the last hand. the pressure I can apply to him diminishes. Should Seat 4 pull away. Seat 4 is starting to pull away. . the short stacks are going to get desperate fairly soon. I have managed to pick up pots with K-Jo.

I raise to 28. Seat 3 is short enough that the call is automatic. Seat 7 folds. it becomes a threehanded contest. so he may play back at me often. but for now I plan on pushing the pace until I have a reason not to.888. I open to 28. and even bigger considering that Seat 4 should recognize how wide my range is here.500): This is a huge hand threehanded. Low pairs are pretty tough to play deep stacked against Seat 4. with me the chip leader. Seat 3 goes all-in. Preflop (22. before he gets the chance. It is worth noting that even though I feel this call is obvious with pocket sixes. .918 pot.888 and unfortunately. it will drastically alter the table/stack dynamics and put me in a position where I have to play far more defensively. If he does so. both players fold. Setup: This hand immediately follows Hand 38. Seat 4 is very aggressive. The small blind shows K♠ 9♠ for a race. However. I plan on opening a lot of pots.Preflop (24. but being in position helps. On the other hand. I will strongly consider four-betting him because I think he’ll be threebetting much lighter than normal.000): Any pair is a big hand fourhanded. With this table setup. if I win. I call 129. given the current tournament and stack dynamics.142 more into a 204. I will adjust. Should Seat 4 threebet me. if I call and lose. The board runs out A♦ Q♥ 7♣ 4♣ A♣ and the pocket sixes hold up.

I raise to 28. but QTo is more than strong enough. The big blind raises to 45. The big blind is down to less than five big blinds so he’s going to have to pick a spot soon. and I just look at Seat 8’s survival as an opportunity to chip away at Seat 4 as he will not want to bust out before Seat 7. He shows K♦ Q♥. but it demonstrates that his range was more than wide enough to justify putting him all-in for the rest of his chips. but his stack is so short that unless I can pin him down to only doing this with queens or better.Setup: I have won the last two pots uncontested with K-9s and A-6s. I might actually fold hands like 76s since he is likely going to call rather light. and thus far my plan of pushing the pace is working well. The board comes out A♠ 8♦ K♥ 8♣ 3♣ and I’m not fortunate enough to draw out on him. I will continue to be aggressive until the table dynamics change or we are heads up. This kind of minimum raise often indicates a lot of strength.776 which is an exact minimum raise. Given his short stack.500): Q-To is certainly strong enough to open threehanded.888 and Seat 4 folds. . I put him allin and he calls. It’s important to stay positive in a tournament. Preflop (22. the price is just too good to fold. which I don’t like to see because it dominates me.

8-7. Given that an 8 fell on the river. I could reraise here. since there are only two 8s left in the deck. so I can threebet him preflop with a wider range if I choose to. I think checkraising would make me vulnerable to reraises on this board. or an overpair. and there are plenty of turn cards that could scare my opponent giving me other potential opportunities to win the pot on a later street. Preflop (22. but the minimum raise is a bit unusual from this player. and could actually lead to greater chip accumulation. I call. I check. Flop (58. or if he is strong and trying to induce action. My opponent could easily have a flush draw. He bets 52. straight draw. but it’s not the end of the world. The button raises the minimum to 24. so I call. I don’t have to be quite as worried about him being tricky. This probably includes some flush and/or straight draws. Seeing that he made a rather small river value bet with a hand that is nearly the nuts in this situation is something I may be able to use later. I beat all his bluff hands and lose to all his made hands. but doing this once is not too bad. it is reasonable to expect bottom pair to be the best hand. He tables 9♦ 8♦ and I muck. The fact that my opponent didn’t bet the turn as I had expected indicates he holds a hand that he felt couldn’t stand a checkraise. Most likely I have the best hand. . He may mix his value bets and bluffs well. I check. as a bluff. I don’t know if he’s scared and looking to lose the minimum if I reraise. On this flop. I decide to check with the intention of checkraising.500): Any A-x is a potentially playable when threehanded. but that creates another dilemma altogether with just a pair of deuces). The bet is pretty small in relation to the pot. If I bet. Seat 7 folds.000. River (122. as it’s probably a scare card for my opponent. I decide to check and my opponent bets 32. and. Next time I’m faced with this. but many players fall into the trap of always betting small with big hands and betting big with more moderate hands. but given the flop texture and the aggressive nature of my opponent. I decide to call. note that he minraised the button preflop with a good suited connector. he checks. or less. 8-6 as well as 77-44 or even A-8 or A-3. vulnerable connectors (that paired) like 9-8.500): I only have a pair of deuces.Setup: I doubled up the short stack. I cannot really afford to double up Seat 7 again. I feel as if he could easily be bluffing a missed draw here one time in four. I could checkraise here. However. my opponent also knows it’s scary for me and may view my bet as defensive and raise me to try to take the pot away. This may allow me to make a better river decision later on. and I don’t really know what it means yet. I’ll only be called by those hands that beat me and he’ll fold his missed draws (although he may occasionally bluff-raise with them. Also. With just a pair of deuces. unfortunately. A king is a really good card for my opponent to be “two barrelling” with. Turn (122.500): I could lead at this card. having the short stack at the table potentially gives me more time to exploit the threehanded dynamics where Seat 4 does not want to bust before Seat 7. While I would rather be heads-up with a chip lead.000. it makes all of the combinations of hands with 8s in them less likely (but not impossible). figuring my opponent will be betting at this card often.000. Getting over 3-to-1 pot odds means that I only need the best hand here 25% of the time. with it missing him far more frequently than it helps him.500): I flop bottom pair.

Having an ace in my hand does make it a little tougher for him to have a big ace or aces through card removal. 25% of the time I will be all-in. the small blind reraises to 68. A2s+.229. the chip expectation for this play is as follows: (.706)) 62. 34. If I can take his 68.800 chips and move them into my stack it will create a much more favorable scenario if we stay threehanded.800 + (. Preflop (22.841 So the play has a positive expectation of 25.22% of that will show a net of +497.Setup: Four hands have passed with Seat 4 starting to pull back ahead of the pack by stealing three pots while I managed to pick up the fourth stealing with Q-4o.wide range and is playing the situation and his stack.388 expectation for folding. even if roughly 16. I believe the 56.206) + (.6578)(-483. He has been playing very aggressively now that he has the chip lead. ATs+.206 and 65. Given that I think Seat 4 is probably reraising with about 40% of his hands (which is roughly 44+.009 +25. The net difference is 56. If I push. if he threebets with narrower range or calls with a wider one. So not only does this play have a positive expectation in and of itself. and stop him from continually making plays against me until Seat 7 busts out. he’ll be folding 75% of the time. . my profit goes down significantly.144 – 318. J7s+.800 chips.888. and he folds rather quickly. I really feel like Seat 4 has a super . as Seat 4 and I will be just about even. ATo+. 97s+. certainly worthy of a button raise.75)83. 87s. Q8o+. The other 25% of the time. KQs. Q4s+.841 chips (if my read on his ranges is correct) versus a -30.8% of the 25% of the time he calls) I will be out of the tournament.78% of that will show a net of -483. I make it 28. If he threebets with a wider range or calls with narrower one. my profit would go up.25)((. K2s+. J8o+. T7s+.25)(-148. KQo).800. but it also serves the purpose of preventing Seat 4 from abusing the current situation. T9o) and can probably only call if I push allin with about 10% of his hands (roughly 44+. It is also important to observe that this play should slow my opponent in Seat 4 down. If you work out the mathematics.3422)(497.25)(170. 75% of the time I will net +83.22% equity versus his range. my A-8o will have 34.850 + (.038) 62.45% of the time (the 65.850 + (.850 – 37. A3o+. and Seat 7 still seems to be trying to wait things out.229 net difference here is too many chips to pass up.500): A-8o is pretty strong threehanded. At this point.182) 62.706. Conversely. K7o+. and Seat 7 folds. I push.

By raising the minimum.000. and that Seat 4 is a good enough player to recognize this.000 instead. Seat 7 does push. Seat 7 really shouldn’t be encouraging this type of action with just K♥ J♣. I feel like he is limping with a pretty big hand. Seat 7 has 34. Considering he’s a tricky/slow player. I do complete. I stole one set of blinds with Q-2o. then if Seat 7 went all-in I could flat call and Seat 4 would have to flat call as well. If I try and call. I thought my play from before might slow Seat 4 down but he’s kept his foot on the accelerator. Seat 4 calls.Setup: Four hands have passed. I fold. it will be a full raise if Seat 7 pushes. then we’ll be back to even and I can start to apply more pressure. If he were to raise to 36. and while my implied odds aren’t super deep. I’m getting really good pot odds. I am getting over 10:1 implied pot odds here provided I get to see the flop. making a straight on the river. with Seat 4 taking one pot and Seat 7 winning two of the others. If he busts Seat 7. . and Seat 7 shows K♥ J♣ and Seat 4 shows A♥ J♦. Seat 7 open limps with his short stack. Even though I got raised out of the pot. Seat 7’s play here with K♥ J♣ is a little out of character. Preflop (22. I’m only calling 6K with 34.500 in the pot. With that in mind I think I can complete without too much fear of Seat 4 raising me out of the pot unless he has a legitimately strong hand. the fact that Seat 4 shows up with A-Jo here confirms my read that he wouldn’t raise unless he had a legitimately strong hand. Since the rest will almost certainly be going in post flop. Now that Seat 7 is getting super low. since the raise wouldn’t be big enough to re-open the action. and should have open pushed. I’m perfectly comfortable going into heads-up play as a slight underdog in chip counts. The board runs out A♣ 6♣ Q♦ 9♥ T♣ and Seat 7 doubles through. given how short Seat 7 is. a confrontation is inevitable.352 remaining after posting the ante and limping. I really like the big blind’s minimum raise in this situation. but the big blind minraises to 24. given my read that he should really only be doing this with big hands. Seat 4 can then push over the top of me.500): 9-7o is a pretty weak hand. If Seat 4 doubles him up.

If I fold. KJs+.353 . (. for a net difference of 104. Preflop (22. Two hands have passed. loosened his calling range somewhat as well.147 + 67. A9o+.51)(-513. while I lose 37.203 So pushing here has a net chip increase of +67. This time his threebet is blind versus blind and not button versus small blind. So for the purposes of the math. and if he has adjusted correctly. but after having been shoved on before. he’s probably tightened his threebet range a little bit.350 + (. J9o+.888)) 70. T9o). 98s. and. J7s+. KQo) his top 12. K4s+.49)515.500): A-Js is very strong threehanded. my stack and Seat 4’s stack are much closer to even again. my net loss on this hand is -37. For calling a fourbet all-in.006 + (.67)105.350 + -3. A2s+.703 chips for pushing versus folding. When I push.006 49% of the time when my hand wins. as expected. I push. The other 33% of the time.8% of the time. and net -513. I will net +105.000.000 + (.500 when I fold. (roughly 44+. K8o+. Also.5% of hands. Seat 7 folds the button. I put him on a slightly wider range than before. Q6s+.506)) 70. A9s+. he should be threebetting a little wider in this situation. T8s+.Setup: After doubling up the short stack. I raise to 36. . hoping one of us busts before he does. A-Js will be a 49% underdog against that range when called.261.000 and the big blind raises to 102. Seat 4 won one set of blinds and Seat 7 won the other. I am assuming that Seat 7 will go back into his shell now that he has a few chips. A5o+. this is far too profitable a situation to pass up.33)((252. Q9o+.000 67% of the time when he folds.506 51% of the time when my hand loses. I assume that instead of threebetting 40% of his hands. Seat 4 folds.535) 70.33)((. he will now be threebetting the top 33% of his hands (or roughly 55+. and I’ve folded such gems at 9-2o and 9-3o. I net +515.33)(-9.203.350 + (. In theory.500. Even though I’ll be out of the tournament 16. after thinking for a while.

which Seat 4 won and I folded 8-4o. I feel he would fourbet me with an extremely wide range. One hand has passed. but given the current table dynamics. The only hand with which he’s minraised was a suited connector.000. . Preflop (30. I’m starting to pull away from Seat 4. but he checks behind. Flop (78. is a great one to checkraise. which theoretically increases the speed at which Seat 7 gets the rest of his chips in the middle.Setup: The blinds are up again. I decide to check again. where I can extract some value from lesser hands. making a pair on the river. This should enable me to increase the pressure and accumulate chips until Seat 7 decides to make his stand. just as I reasoned he would based upon my observation of his previous play. I could definitely threebet him here.000. If I am correct about his range. Also. but certainly nothing spectacular. I call the 16.000): Now I’m almost sure I have the best hand. he also checks behind. on the button. knowing that his range includes a lot of connectors. Unfortunately. I show my 9♣ and he mucks 7♠ 6♠. as he has before. Every time I’ve seen Seat 4 make a standard raise and it’s gone to showdown. should I miss.000 and he calls the 40.000): I have a medium-strength flush with my 9♣. Turn (78. At this point. so I decide to go ahead and make an approximately half-potsized value bet he can pay off with any hand with showdown value. Seat 4 makes a minimum raise to 32. I bet 40.000): This is precisely the type of flop I’m looking for. it is extremely unlikely he can continue with the hand unless he happens to have flopped the flush or a set of fives. hoping to induce a bluff from my opponent. with its two big cards. Since his range includes many mid-strength suited connectors and small-to-medium pocket pairs. He indeed held suited connectors preflop.000. I check with the intention of checkraising. River (78.000): T-9o is okay threehanded. I decide to call and use my knowledge of his preflop raising range (medium-strength hands like suited connectors) to potentially outplay him post flop. trying to outplay Seat 4 becomes less important than trying to get to showdown. this flop. he’s shown down hands like A-T and K-J.

but if there’s even a very small chance that Seat 7 might decide to fold somewhere in the hand. I have no intention of folding getting these odds but rather than move in preflop I decide to just call. Seat 4 folds and Seat 7 makes a minimum reraise to 48. .000. I would fold in this spot. The turn is the 3♠ and the river the Q♠.000): My cards are poor but irrelevant. However.Setup: I have really started to put some distance between myself and Seat 4. He goes all-in for his last 5. I stole two sets of blinds with A-6o and K-8o and Seat 4 stole the other two with me folding 9-4s and K-7o. However. so I plan on hitting the accelerator very hard until Seat 7 either busts or doubles up again. Preflop (30.000): This is a pretty poor flop for me. In the four hands since Hand 45. I might as well save the chips for that possibility. against solid opponents.000 leaving only 5. we’re all-in preflop here. Seat 4 would be making a big mistake to make a play at me before Seat 7 busts. given the tournament situation. and I double him up.704 behind. and Seat 7 is getting desperately low. There is still a chance that any 6 or 5 would give me the best hand and I also have backdoor straight opportunities. I probably still have some fold equity. as I expect that he will fold all of his trash hands. so my cards are actually fairly live. I’m not going to fold on a future street. and I call. He shows A♠ 9♥. this opponent has basically blinded his stack down to an M of 2 by trying to wait for a “good” hand. I would raise any two cards and decide to make a minimum raise to 32. and raise. but getting these odds I have to call any bet. Flop (110. I continue to apply pressure.5 -to-1 dog against a random hand. Asolid opponent who’s getting over 2-to-1 pot odds in the big blind would certainly call. and my hand is a 1. Essentially.704.

The dynamics of having a short stack (threehanded) remaining in the tournament are gone. and he shows J♠ J♣ for a threehanded cooler. but I will see how he . Also. and with a little luck someone will play back at me. his minimum raises when threehanded generally indicated suited connectors.Setup: Despite doubling up Seat 7 on the last hand. Preflop (30. Seat 4 folds and I expect Seat 7 to give me a walk here since he just doubled up. I will continue applying pressure to both players. there is often a bit of a feeling out process with neither player wanting to play big pots. Early on in heads-up play. This hand immediately follows hand 46. For example. but he might raise the minimum with all hands now that we’re heads up. The board runs out 9♥ 8♥ 7♣ A♠ 5♣ and Seat 7 is eliminated in third place. he shoves all-in! I quickly call. Setup: I am now heads up against the aggressive European pro! Things change a lot once you get to heads-up play. but much to my surprise.000): Pocket kings are a monster threehanded. some of the reads I was getting during threehanded play may no longer apply. I still have a sizable lead over Seat 4.

000. then getting a walk with QJo in the big blind. our situation will be reversed.000): Q-7o is not a strong hand.000. but my opponent is very aggressive and can easily represent a 5 also. if he doubles up just one time. or if my opponent will tend to attack when I limp.plays and attempt to adapt. . so I’m representing a somewhat weak range that might hit this board. and gave him a walk with 7-2o in the third. Since this player is very aggressive. Additionally.000): I check and Seat 4 bets 41. as I am getting such a good price to see a flop. I complete for 8. Two hands have passed since the Q-7o hand: I won both. Preflop (28. We are three hands into heads-up play. I often like to try limping into a pot early in heads-up play to see how my opponent will react. I picked up the blinds with A-Jo first hand on the button. rather than risk my opponent reraising. Preflop (28. I prefer to minimize the amount I am putting in the pot. I would often muck Q-7o against a standard raise. but hand values frequently change in heads-up play. Seat 4 makes a minimum raise to 32. Also.000): I will often play or raise any two suited cards heads up in position. but not quite two thirds the pot. Setup: It is still early in heads-up play and I haven’t had a chance to get any real reads yet beyond what I saw earlier in the final table. I decide to see how he will react if I limp. raising 8-7o on the button and stealing the blinds. so I make a mental note of his first bet size heads up and muck my hand. I limped.000): He can have any two cards here. a little over half.000 and Seat 4 checks. but I decide to make the call. Flop (68. Flop (36. Bet size tells are the most common online tell. got a walk in the big blind with 8-4o the next hand. I want to use the opportunity to get a feel for his postflop play. My 2-to-1 chip advantage is obviously a big help. This lets me know if I’ll be able to see a lot of small pots in position. there are many hands that he might play on this board. However.

Setup: Three hands have passed.000 into me. I lost the first with K-To in the big blind when Seat 4 minimumraised. and folded to a continuation bet on a Q-6-7 rainbow flop. That’s a really small bet giving me almost 6-to-1 pot odds to call. he shows 9♣ 4♦ for a counterfeited pair of 4s.such as straight and flush draws and even overcards. I suppose he could have a really weak ace. River (76. and I folded. I have a hand that flops very well. Thinking back. Since I’m getting almost 6 to 1 to call.000. Also. and I will have position throughout the hand. he bets 16. I raise to 46. I call 66. . He thinks for a bit and calls. as there are two aces on the board and I didn’t raise preflop. since I made no raise preflop.000. I call 16. He checks and I decide to go ahead and take a stab at the pot and bet 20.000 and Seat 4 reraises me to 112. he’d probably raise on the turn. which means my implied odds go up. The second I lost when I raised to 46. given the size the pot will be in relation to the stacks. although he could have a busted draw as well.222. Much to my surprise. since I can reasonably expect him to put more chips in postflop. What strong hands can he have here. In his mind. He knows that a lot of turn cards will scare me even if I do have a hand. I am fairly confident that he would have checkraised the turn given his aggressive nature.000. I really just need to find one scenario where he might be bluffing to justify a call. it is even less likely that I have an ace now.000): I didn’t really represent an ace. Seat 4 threebet me to 122. he did make a small river bet in an earlier hand when he had trip 8s after minraising the button with 8-7s. The most likely scenario is that he has a 4 in his hand that had showdown value on the turn but got counterfeited on the river.000 on the button with Q-7o. though? If he had a 5 or 44. but neither has he. but with only two left in the deck it’s not very likely. The third I lost with Q-6o when Seat 4 made a minimum raise on the button and I folded preflop. and I win the pot. I’m getting a pretty good price for a call here.000.000): This is an interesting river card. Preflop (28. I called.000): J-Ts is a strong hand heads up. and it seems quite plausible that he’s making a bluff with a counterfeited 4. Seat 4 will most likely be c-betting all or most of his remaining chips on the flop. He checks and I decide to check behind and reevaluate on the turn. If he had a 5 in his hand. Turn (36.

The larger your stack. I call and he flips over 8♣ 8♥.Flop (228.” I know from past experience that Seat 1 and Seat 2 are solid. which is why I call them “reshove stacks. Second. six-max event with a $100 buy-in.000): Wow! I flop two overcards. However.776. your opponent will be getting a very good price to call your reshove. and most probably means that he doesn’t really want a call. but they appear to be playing poorly. I’m actually a 57% favorite on this hand on the flop. and a flush draw. Seat 5 plays well. Also. and players are more likely to take a stand with marginal holdings as they are guaranteed to make some money. Typically.290. I’m the big stack at the table and have a very aggressive image. but even then I’m not in terrible shape (although if he showed me 99. This is because the bubble has burst. professional players. the remaining players are highly representative of the opponents you’ll face in most online tournaments. which gives me even more outs. The turn is the Q♥. I’ll be forced to play more tightly. I win the tournament! Setup: This tournament is a $30K guaranteed. more hands played. this tournament will show you how to adjust your game to defeat different playing styles. a player with a stack size of 15-30 big blinds is likelier to threebet-push with weaker holdings. Even so. and the river is the 2♠. but I’ll keep adjusting to the dynamics of the table as the tournament progresses. and the fact that my opponents at the table have relatively small stacks of between 20-30 big blinds (or 7-15 M). the more often your opponent needs to fold to make a resteal profitable since you’re risking more for the same amount of gain. . making my flush. and more chances to exploit weak opposition. and the tournament pays to 36 places. and your raise if you fold. antes. but can’t really bet and then fold. It is likely that he has some sort of made hand. I was raising around 30-35 percent of my hands preflop and threebetting frequently. Given my image. so I’m in the money. but is too tight-passive and calls too much. Therefore 15-30 big blind stacks are the optimal size for reraising all-in with a wide range. I am only in big trouble here if he has a bigger flush draw or a set. For now I’m playing pretty tight too. The winner gets $7. I’m discussing this particular tournament for three reasons: First. On the bubble. which takes away some of my gut shot straight outs. a gut shot straight draw. regardless of his hand strength. with fewer than 15 big blinds. Seats 3 and 6 are unknown. The bubble has recently burst. 6-max tournaments allow for more creativity. That’s quite an overbet to the pot. This is because he increases his stack significantly (between 10-25 percent) just by picking up the blinds. This is a monster flop for me and about as good as I can hope for postflop without actually having a made hand. I would have to fold here). and he will do so too often to make restealing light with 10-15 big blinds a consistently profitable play. Seat 4 goes all-in for 360.

I have also witnessed him raise to three times the big blind with a similar stack size (under 20 big blinds) and then fold to a threebet from another player. Given my aggressive image and the stack sizes. this is a straightforward call against almost anyone. K-Js+.5 percent equity against his hand range. you can use the following formula. I opt to reraise rather than fold. I might fold to Seat 5. and is a 52 percent favorite against his most probable range (given my loose image). Therefore. A-8o+.5 percent of the time. However. I feel slightly more comfortable bullying the table. then he’s folding around half the time. but I approximate it to be 55+. I win a 39. I’ve noticed this particular player makes some errors I can capitalize on. giving me roughly 1. I decide to raise to a little less than 2.875 and Seat 1 goes all-in for 19. I need him to fold only 41. J-Ts+. if not more. To find this figure. I call with 99 and win the race against A-K on a 4♦ 6♦ 7♠ 4♠ 6♥ board.400 on the button.3:1 pot odds. A-Jo+. With a huge chip stack. and K-Qo (which is 15. For this play to break even against the specified range. I have to call 17. he raises too often. I assume he’s going to go all-in with approximately 22+. which is my standard play versus a random player in this situation. A-Ts+. since bad players tend to overvalue aces and pairs.5 times the big blind.247 chips from the small blind. hoping to induce a light reshove from a player behind me. His raise is too large given his relatively small stack size in relation to the blinds.694 pot. .5 percent of all hands. A-To+. My PokerTracker stats have him raising 30 percent of his hands preflop—and he’s probably raising more than that on the button. If he’s raising over 30 percent of the time and only calling 15. This means I need approximately 43. depending on his raise size and timing. I’d rarely fold to a single opponent.5 percent of hands). 99 has 46 percent equity against even the tightest range. However. A-9s+. Usually Q-Jo isn’t that great of a hand when the pot has been raised. Setup: I’m currently the table chip leader and in the top 3 of the 34 players remaining in the tournament. I raise to 1. K-Qs+ or as loose as 22+. With this in mind. I am unsure of his exact range.272 for the 22. although he could be shoving as tight as 77+. A-x+. Q-Jo+.800): Seat 3 raises to 2. J-To+.422 chips in the pot. Preflop (1. but I plan on calling everyone else if they push all-in.800): I’m in the hijack seat and I hold a strong pocket pair. and maybe other suited connectors. A-5s+. First.Preflop (1.

A-Qo+.655. This way I can fold to Seat 5’s all-in and if Seat 3 just calls preflop. Due to pot odds I’m obviously calling if he goes all-in. Also. raising 2.000.400.However.000 total and both players fold. I obviously don’t do these calculations during actual play. when picking spots to resteal. I reraise to 5. so I need a higher success rate (which I have by a decent margin). The more you do the math. In summary. there will be 11.200 chips. you have to expect your opponent to fold a high percentage of the time and it’s best to choose hands that have a reasonable amount of equity versus their calling range rather than total junk.381 behind so I can jam every flop. I discuss detailed math in a lot of hands like this in my section. The best reraise size for me here would accomplish two things: (1) effectively put the original raiser all-in. leaving him a potsized flop bet behind if he calls and (2) allow me to fold if the big blind goes all-in for 27. I assume the big blind is willing to go all-in around 6 percent of the time with A-Js+. but doing the math afterwards on key hands enables me to make better estimates while playing. you must factor in the number of players behind you and their stack sizes when you resteal. the big blind does occasionally wake up with a hand and go all-in as well. I gain 4. the better you’ll be able to adjust the different parameters during actual play to make the best decisions. . even though I have 35-40 percent equity versus his range as explained above.400 in the pot while Seat 3 will have 10. I decide to reraise to 5. and 99+.600 more than his raise of 2.

I figure his opening range is around A-9s+. . Either way I’m committed to playing for all of Seat 1’s chips: If I make a small raise and he calls. I’m slightly behind that range.452. However.700.404 pot. 88+ or he may be even looser. given my current aggressive image. Play is now five-handed (Seat 5 was moved to balance tables). Despite my chip lead. because you can checkraise all-in over his bet on almost every board. Therefore.700): I’m in the small blind. Preflop (1. K-Ts. it will be difficult to play optimally postflop. and I have a dominant chip lead over the rest of the table. Although this is a tight opening range. A-To. He’ll probably go all-in preflop with A-Jo or A-Ts+. I’m playing relatively tight since everyone is so short and likely to take a stand. Calling with the intention of playing very aggressively postflop isn’t a terrible option if you know your opponent is the kind of player who makes continuation bets a lot. luck is on my side tonight and I spike an ace on a 6♣ 9♦ 2♥ A♦ 5♣ board winning a 33. I’ve been running extremely well so far but you need luck to win a MTT. the only real decision is whether to make a 5K-6K raise or just go all-in.Setup: I’ve folded for an entire orbit. and a seemingly tight player in Seat 1 (I don’t have many hands of his in PokerTracker) raises to 2. Raising will negate the positional disadvantage by giving me the postflop initiative or I may take down the pot preflop. and 55+. so I rule out folding. and if he goes all-in preflop I’m calling. Admittedly. as I’m out of position and don’t know his postflop tendencies. He goes all-in for his remaining chips and I call the remaining 10. K-Jo+. A-Qo still figures to be the best hand the majority of the time. However. I’m putting him all-in every flop. either being dealt junk hands or facing all-ins ahead of me. hoping to give an impression of fold equity to an inexperienced player. He tables K♠ K♣ and I’m a 72-to-28 dog.400 from the hijack seat. I choose to raise to 5. but he folds often enough to my threebet to make this a very profitable play.

and they only have 2 or 3 outs to improve to a better hand on the turn. Q-J. It’s more likely that my opponent either has a hand which is much better than mine. Preflop (1.050): The small blind checks. Flop (5. and have no reason to believe he’s (correctly) going to be reshoving a large range. either card gives me a straight draw. just because I’m ahead doesn’t mean I should bet. so I can eliminate those hands from his range. but those hands will probably only call one bet. Therefore. I make a small mistake by checking and giving him a free card to improve.875 from the cutoff. so now there might be some postflop play too. but my hand has a lot of value and is definitely strong enough to make a raise. and I’m in a very comfortable position with a big chip lead over the rest of the table. and 44 and this is a small part of his entire range. I believe my hand is likely to be better than my opponent’s. There. K-Ts. Against these hands it’s better to check the flop and either induce a bluff on later streets or give him a chance to improve to a hand with which he’ll call. The board is safe enough to check with my decent-but-vulnerable hand and reevaluate on the turn. It is possible that he has a hand like TT-55 or J-9s and would call a bet on the flop. T-9. This meant the key plays were all preflop. everyone was shortstacked. A-T. If my opponent has a draw like Q-T. K-J.050): I’ve flopped middle pair. The only hands that I think he would call with preflop that beat me are K-Q. Twenty-two players are left. It would be reasonable to assume that JJ+ or A-K would choose to reraise preflop the majority of the time. The table dynamics are now very different from those at my last table. The small blind calls and the big blind folds. The small blind checks. I’ve folded junk hands for one orbit. The purpose of a bet is to either make a worse hand call (betting for value) or a better hand fold (bluffing). I don’t know the player in the big blind. choosing not to get too out of line until I have a better understanding of how everyone plays. The big blind has a good-sized stack to reshove. but that’s still worse than mine. However. The turn doesn’t really change anything. there is only one short stack.. I don’t think a bet would accomplish either in this instance. etc. However there are no possible flush draws and only two overcards to my pair that can come. Turn (5. and anyway.Setup: I’ve been moved to a new table and I’m playing five-handed with opponents who are all unknown to me.700): I raise to 1. At this table. I don’t lose much value by waiting for the turn to bet. or missed the flop completely with a hand like A-9 or 8-7s. The only hands that were behind and improved to ahead .

none of which I expect him to have called with preflop. Preflop (1. Earlier.000. I made a smaller reraise.000 and my opponent folds. Apair of nines is way ahead of any reasonable button opening range and should be around break-even versus his estimated fourbet all-in range (55+. If Seat 2 folds and Seat 3 goes all-in it would be a tough decision. K-Q+. since I’m approximately 50/50 against his range. making me the tournament chip leader with a 119. and Seat 3 folds. My hand holds up on a 4♦ K♦ 7♠ 4♠ Q♥ board and I take down the 35. since he would almost certainly bet the turn with K-J. A-K and probably K-Q.700): Seat 2 raises to three times the big blind (2. When he checks. J-9s. if he was on a total bluff. I still don’t have reliable reads on my opponents other than Seat 3 fast-playing AA preflop with 20 big blinds and Seat 6 being aggressive and capable of bluffing.100 chips uncontested. I can narrow his range further. it’s pretty easy to see why this play is very profitable. This weights his range towards draws and made hands that I beat. but here I decide to make a larger raise. not much has changed. and hands that have completely missed the board and have little chance of improving to a hand better than mine. A-T+) with close to 20 big blinds. Seat 2 has pocket sixes. I’ve already seen Seat 3 reraise AA preflop with a short stack. I raise to 8. leaving a minimal number of hands that beat me. I’m able to play for stacks here against Seat 2. Are-raise is clearly best here. When you include the times both players will fold and I pick up 6. since his range is probably stubborn middle pairs and broadway hands rather than big pairs. 44. he would’ve interpreted my flop check as weakness and bet the turn.072 pot. Setup: Two hands later.400). and there’s already added money in the pot. and I have pocket nines in the big blind. I am fairly sure I have the best hand at this point.000 chip stack! . so I assume he’s rarely trapping with a big hand when he calls a short stack’s raise from the small blind.of me are 4-x hands. Seat 3 calls from the small blind. because the pot is bigger and I would rather not give Seat 3 the correct odds to call. drawing hands like Q-T. Contrary to my flop decision. I bet 3.086 total. such as mid pairs. making a bet for value the best choice. This leaves mid-strength made hands that are worse than mine. Also. Even ignoring the times they both fold preflop. Seat 2 goes all-in for 16. I feel it’s correct to bet in this situation. but his history of fast playing AA preflop makes calling best.

since most players (unless they hold the nut flush) would bet bigger to protect their hands on such a draw heavy board. shortening everyone’s stacks a bit. I believe he’s the kind of player who overvalues tournament life and doesn’t want to play for his whole stack. I don’t expect most players consider this small difference to be important. or a set of 4s or 8s and be goading me into a raise with a small bet.5 times the size of his bet. The blinds just increased. but still only twothirds of the pot.Setup: A couple of hands later. minimum bet is meant to accomplish. a small pair.662 pot. it would probably mean that I’m dominated by a higher flush draw or a made flush. since not many players threebet-jam light with over 30 big blinds. Isolating weak players in position is a key tactic in no-limit holdem – it lets me exploit a player’s weaknesses. when I raise after limpers. Preflop (2. I raise to 6. Flop (8. and I’m not totally sure what this off-tempo. making my riskversus-reward ratio low. Every fish plays a little bit differently. both blinds fold. I raise to 3. Nineteenth place plays $259 and eighteenth pays $324. but Seat 3 calls. My hand isn’t very strong. Seat 3 bets the minimum. There is more money in the pot because he limped. I still have a comfortable chip lead (around 60 M and 118 big blinds). However.331 from the button. I choose to raise his bet. I raise 6. and can reassess my hand strength based on his actions on the turn. but I find that less likely. Every player at the table is over 30 big blinds deep. Seat 3 is playing very loosely and passively – open-limping often and checkcalling or check-folding a lot of flops. or a flush draw/combo draw trying to see the turn cheaply.595 and he quickly folds. However. I raise whatever my standard raise is (2.000): Seat 3 limps. play is fourhanded.662): I flop a draw to the third best flush and an inside straight draw. This allows me to run over the table. . 1. There are 19 left. Generally. but I have position on a weak player who I feel I can outplay postflop. A tiny bet from a weak player usually indicates a weak made hand. If he goes all-in. and I can safely fold. If he calls. He also could have a flopped a flush. I have flush-draw outs and a gutshot versus pairs and sets.5 times) + 1 big blind for every caller in the pot. judging by his generally weak and passive play.662 pot.000 chips into a 8.2 times-3. so a larger raise than normal is necessary. I win a 10.

I think it might’ve been optimal to raise slightly less.000. when people go all-in over a raise. maybe to around 2. when players are much more likely to call multiple bets or raise flops with marginal holdings. and we’re fourhanded. the big blind has a stack of around 15M (30 big blinds) and my hand isn’t strong enough to play for his entire stack.800. is to raise. Even if he was calling 100 percent of hands preflop (he’s not) on this board.850. but fold to a reraise. My image is still very aggressive. Also. Not much has changed from the previous hand. All of these factors make for a straightforward checkand-fold-to-a-bet scenario. T-8. My plan here. since it plays very poorly against his approximate threebet range. The J and the T hit both high and middle straight draws. It gives me no pair and no draw. so it’s definitely worth considering a raise. your future continuation bets will have greater credibility. I fold. anything more than 10 times the raise is considered an over-shove.000 and the big blind calls. T-9. J-8. since the big blind is getting such a good price to call and has position for the remainder of the hand. and the flop hits many hands with which players would call a raise from the big blind.700 or 2. and against most players. I raise to 3. A-4o only has 46 percent equity against a random hand. Preflop (2. there’s a flush draw. etc. and he hits the flop with Q-J. it’s a good time to show my opponents I’m not betting everything. If you make a continuation bet every time. Asmaller raise would’ve made it awkward to resteal light given his stack size.250): This coordinated flop is one of the worst possible flops for my hand. Generally. Flop (6. It’s important to note that some players believe you should always be aggressive. They make the mistake of making a continuation bet on every flop after raising preflop. even if the board is quite coordinated. . especially blind-versus-blind. A-4o actually has around 57 percent equity against a random hand. I check and he quickly fires out 3. if your opponents see you check only one flop.Setup: There are still 19 left. I opt to raise three times the big blind to 3. but so far no one has played back at me. I generally make a bigger raise from the small blind than from other spots.000): The action is folded to me in the small blind with an ace rag hand. However. In retrospect. Thus. J-9. With all this in mind. your better opponents will exploit this tendency.

As a pure steal. which is also the size of the pot preflop. Two of the four players still to act have 27K stacks. I assume the table is fairly green and decide to continue playing an aggressive game until my opponents choose to fight back. but capable of making moves. with the intention of calling an all-in? His threebet call range is probably something like 77+ A-J+ (7. I decide to make my standard raise at this level.800. so it’s likely that he isn’t folding often enough for a shove to be profitable. 2. or 2.250 chips.250): I have a suited ace in the hijack seat and haven’t met much resistance. He probably knows who I am. Preflop (2. If I did feel that he would fold most of the time.750 pot. when fifteen players remain. 9-8s has more equity against that range (33 percent) than A-6s. in this instance).Setup: There are now 18 (three sixhanded tables) left in the tournament. this raise only has to work 50 percent of the time for it to be a break even play. I raise to 2. In fact. and he has put about one-fifth of his stack in the middle. he would have to be reraising in this spot over 15 percent of the time so as to be folding more than 50% of the time. Seat 6 wins the 6. Before making what seems like an obvious play (fold. but just how often is he folding compared to threebetting for value. losing my raise of 2. We’re all guaranteed $324. I like to weigh the merits of all my options before taking action. having only about 30 percent equity.25 times the big blind. so I decide the best play is to raise. I would rather shove as a bluff with a middle-suited connector rather than an A-x hand. He would need to fold around 46 percent of the time for a fourbet to break even when holding A-6s. which is always a good sign. My read on this player is that he is tight-aggressive.250. They could easily move allin over a raise of three times the big blind. I fold. A-6s plays terribly against such a tight range.250 and Seat 6 reraises from the button to 6. except for Seat 2. Therefore. and has noticed how often I open-raise preflop. with the intention of folding. and the next pay jump is $65 ($389 total). He could definitely be threebetting light in this spot. Therefore. leaving himself 26. His raise size is almost exactly three times my raise. I haven’t seen any well-known online pros at my table yet.155 behind.2 percent of hands). Nobody has made any awful plays. the inexperienced player whom I isolated earlier. . I have no reason to believe that he’s threebetting this frequently.

000): I miss the flop completely. I’m unsure of what he’s calling with preflop in this spot because I haven’t played many hands against him. so it is less probable he’ll threebet me without the goods so soon after his last threebet. the stats show that the only winning opponent at my table is Seat 6. and will call a small raise with any two cards from the big blind. the other players at the table are weak. From this information. I see no reason to alter my game plan of playing aggressively with the intention of gaining chips and avoiding showdowns. I make a smallish (around half the pot) bet of 4. Seat 2 is a small losing player with a high average buy-in and an average finish of 52/100 (52/100 means that. Seat 3 hasn’t played many tournaments. I can also infer that Seat 5. Seat 5 calls behind me.250 again. I will alter this strategy if my opponents begin to play back at me more often. Seat 5.250): I am dealt a suited ace under-thegun. Folding is probably the best play at a tough table. I opt to raise 2. Seat 4 doesn’t have a large sample size but has a very small average buy-in and an average finish of 47/100. that is not the case here. regardless of bet-sizing. Some players will threebet light multiple times in a row. Sure enough. but not many are at that level. Neither player is likely to continue without at least some piece of this board. It’s hard to gauge how each of these players will react to bet-sizing since I haven’t played with them . I decide to look up the players’ stats at my table to get a better idea of their tournament results 6. My opponents are weak and there are lots of chips I can win preflop.500. and plays well postflop. A winning player’s average finish is usually between 39/100 and 45/100. will probably be playing scared and be easy to run over.900 tournaments with an average finish of 54/100. with his low average buy-in. and Seat 3 calls from the big blind. since one good score—or lack thereof—can have a big impact on ROI. As I said earlier. Seat 1 is a small loser in over 1. but both my opponents probably have too. is probably scared money. as we mentioned earlier. By comparison. I figure Seat 3 is calling my small raise with about 70 to 80 percent of his hands. especially their ROI. if not 100 percent. With this in mind. I can infer that Seats 2 and 5 are probably both too loose early in tournaments (and possibly later) since their average finish is poor. this player beats out only 48% of the field in any given tournament). Preflop (2. He’s the type of player who overestimates his odds in a multiway pot preflop. Flop (8. I’m extremely happy about my table draw because I don’t recognize my opponents’ names. Uncovering information about your opponents is never a bad thing. Seat 6 has been the strongest player at the table as he uses selective aggression preflop. Seat 6 just threebet me. on average. but be sure not to infer too much from your opponents’ profitability stats.Setup: Eighteen players remain. Also. However. and his play shows his inexperience. or earlier in the tournament with deeper stacks and no antes.

Seat 5 raises.250): Seat 3 on the button limps and I’m in the small blind. and two pair. This is fairly basic preflop strategy. I’m getting more than 6 to 1 on a call preflop from the small blind. and the big blind will most likely check. but your opponent will not pay you off often enough for calling to be profitable. . Preflop (2. which also means that his raises may indicate more vulnerable hands. Yes. Setup: Acouple of hands later. Some may argue that a potsized bet has more fold equity against some players and may succeed in getting hands like J-T or 9-x to fold. I’m out of position and stacks are shallow. not much has changed.000 pot. folding here gives the impression of tightness.000 pot and both players fold. Optimal bet-sizing is very important in multi-table tournaments where stacks are shallow. Also. Seat 1 raised once to three times the big blind and everyone folded. There are still 18 players left. I note that Seat 3 will seemingly limp premium hands. However I believe that the average player is more likely to go all-in with those hands over a potsized bet from an aggressive player rather than call because there’s more money in the pot. I bet 4. and my hand looks even stronger when I bet into two opponents. and Seat 5 folds.500 into an 8. 3-2o is a very bad hand. and I estimate my true success rate is much higher than that. I like to make continuation bets into two opponents on a dry board because the likelihood of either of them making a play at me is low. as they both have to worry about the other player in the hand.000 might even accomplish the same objective. trips. A smaller bet of around 3. full houses. you’ll occasionally make straights. I fold preflop. Seat 3 shoves. I win an 8. I fold.much. and can only make one nut straight. A pot sized bet is totally unnecessary and would have to work 50 percent of the time to be profitable as a bluff. but I see plenty of decent players making the mistake of calling in this situation. This bet has to work a little less than one in three times to be profitable.

Seat 3 sarcastically remarked that I seemed to be getting a lot of hands. If I bet here. but at least I won’t have to call a river bluff. Regardless of whether or not this player considers me to be too aggressive. calls from the small blind. There are only two possible openended straight draws. . but a check seems preferable because I’ve seen him limp and reraise in the previous hand. although in hindsight. I check. he’s a level 1 player who isn’t thinking very deeply. so I’m going to alter my play for this hand in a small pot. there is value in inducing him to fold hands (like J-T) that have six outs. so I tend to bluff less in them and value bet more. he will fold if he has nothing. Flop (2. I opt to make a small bet and see how he reacts to it. a bet might have been better. while others do so with the hope that I’ll back off so they can resume their usual weak-passive game. and my opponent might checkraise with air if I bet. Also. a bet forces out hands that surely have some decent equity against my K-high. I win a 2. so a minimum bet is in order.750 pot. winning both pots preflop. I mainly think Seat 3 will be more likely to trap. since it’s very unlikely he has hit this board. Plus. I could raise here. Checking is also a good play. Preflop (2. People often go crazy in blind-versus-blind situations.250): Seat 3. and he’s clearly growing tired of my aggressive play. the least experienced player at the table. Seat 3 checks to me again.750): The Q♥ falling brings an overcard to the board and makes a heart flush draw possible. I’m not sure how I should interpret that. Seat 3 checks. I bet the minimum and Seat 3 folds.750): This is a dry and fairly uncoordinated board.Setup: There are still 18 players left in the tournament. a bet is probably the best play. so I’ll be wary of small raises and limp reraises. I assume he’ll call me light and play back frequently. I raised twice last orbit. even if my king high is best. If he folds. From what I’ve witnessed. Turn (2. Checking here in a small pot also helps create a tighter image so that I can take a big pot later. I probably already had the best hand. Some players verbalize their frustrations because they’re ready to take a stand. I opt to check. My king high could easily be the best hand.

158 in chips. Two players from my table were knocked out by Seat 2.Setup: There are 16 players left and play at my table is five-handed. I would guess something like TT+. around 2. A-Qo+ or perhaps as loose as 99+ and A-Js+.5 times the big blind (it also happens to be a raise size of one of every chip denomination from 1. with 54.812 rather than putting the rest of his chips in (he left 24. There is a $65 pay jump between sixteenth and fifteenth place.831.550): I’m in the hijack (under-the-gun in five-handed play) and have a premium starting hand. I haven’t been very active for the last two orbits because I just haven’t had any good opportunities. Also.812. but no looser than that. and everyone else has been getting hands. and I have no information on him. since he just called Seat 5s all-in of 29. but Seat 1’s range has to be very tight.005 pot. Seat 1. I fold. Seat 5 tables A-8o (a poor shove with 25 big blinds and an M over 11) and Seat 1 shows KK. Seat 5 was just moved to the table. I would’ve called Seat 5’s all-in. I raise to 2. then overcalls Seat 5’s all-in! This is a fairly easy decision as the action comes back to me.196 behind). Seat 1’s pocket kings hold up and he wins a 65. it looks to me like an inexperienced player with a monster hand trying to keep the first raiser in the pot. Seat 5 goes all-in for 29.000 to 1 – a stupid thing I do for fun). . Preflop (2.

he would expect to get action with these hands.350): I’ve flopped bottom two pair here on an extremely dangerous board. and I should bet 100 percent of the time to get value from draws and made hands I beat. 9-x. I opt to bet two-thirds of the pot which is consistent with my usual flop bets between a half and two-thirds of the pot. That being said. sets. I should have the best hand most of the time. because he only has a stack of 31. There’s a small possibility that he is slowplaying a straight or set. I will probably fold if there is a raise and reraise after I lead out on the flop. Q-T and T-7. Since we’ve both shown strength. I expect he would raise AA-QQ (they’re most likely in his button limping range). I call from the small blind.Setup: We’re five-handed and there are 15 players left . He also likely calls J-x as I don’t think he’s the type of player to fold top pair to one bet. However. In retrospect. and straights on the flop. Seat 3’s range should be a little tighter. I should have made a larger bet for value on the flop. pair and openended straight draw hands like J-T-T8. He’s played 3 of 5 hands since sitting down at the table and has bet-folded twice on the flop. My bet size is good.25 to 1 preflop. He could also be slow playing a hand like Q-T or T-7 and may even be slow playing a better two pair like J-9 and J-8. I put Seat 5 on a fairly loose range of 8-x. My hand isn’t strong enough to raise and isolate this player out of position. together. A new player with a big stack has moved directly to my left in Seat 5. and any spade draw. as well as a spade flush draw. There are two possible straights.we are all guaranteed $389 dollars. but I expect him to be the type of player to call with all pair and gutshot combinations like QJ-Q9 and even J7-97. . and I’m not thrilled about it. I’m not incredibly happy about getting two callers since.900 and both players call. I bet 2. they probably have a lot of outs. as I’m getting odds of 6. Preflop (2. Flop (4. J-x including combination draws. most players would opt to raise those more vulnerable holdings on such a drawheavy board. but 9-8o is a decent enough holding to call with from the small blind. Balancing my bet sizes is not an issue here. I will gladly move all-in against him. because I’m out of position in an unraised pot on a drawheavy board. and Seat 5 checks his option. If Seat 5 folds and Seat 3 raises. flush draws. since I’m never going to bluff in this type of situation. if not standard. If Seat 5 raises. but these are far less likely than some sort of combination draw or top pair.5 big blinds. I’ll call and reevaluate on the turn.550): Seat 3 again limps on the button. or even T-x hands.

Turn (13,050): A blank turn card for me! This card could not have improved either opponent’s hand unless Seat 5 has the unlikely J-3. I decide to keep betting for the same reasons I bet the flop. I bet 8,000 into 13,050 (a larger bet might have been better here, too) and Seat 5 raises 9,200 to 17,200 total! Seat 3 folds. This is slightly uncomfortable, as he could show up with Q-T or T-7 (especially if he had Q-Ts or T-7s). However, his range is really polarized: He either has a bluff or the nuts, since all two pair hands or sets would probably have raised on the flop. The only value hand other than straights that makes sense is J-3. That’s not very many hand combinations. I beat the majority of hands I put in his range. Yes, he could have the nuts, but he could also have a hand like 8-7 that he’s decided to turn into a bluff, a T-x hand, or a flush draw that’s he’s decided to get frisky with. I don’t know how to interpret his small raise size, but I’m inclined to think it might be weak. Why raise just a little bit more than the minimum, especially as deep as we are? I don’t know enough about this player to draw any conclusions. Some players make smaller raises when they’re strong, while others do so when they’re bluffing. Even though I think I probably have the best hand, calling is by far the best play here. Raising will only make him fold his bluffs and stick his chips in with straights. Against such a polarized range when deepstacked, and in an unraised pot, calling is clearly the best play. By calling, I induce him to continue bluffing, while maintaining pot control if I’m beaten. I call his 9,200 raise.

River (47,450): Many players would hate the sight of this red king, but it really isn’t an awful card. Much worse would be any spade or a Q, T or 7. The only hands that he could be holding that have improved to the winning hand are K-9 or K-8. Seat 5 would probably raise K-J on the flop, or continue calling on the turn. I continue my plan of letting him bluff (or investing as little as possible if I’m beat), so once again I check. He bets 14,400 into a 47,450 pot. A bet this size is usually a value bet and that worries me, but I’m getting 4.3 to 1 on a river call while holding two pair. I only have to win this pot less than 1 in 4 times to make this a profitable call. Calling is therefore obvious. I call and he shows down T-4o. I win a 76,250 pot.

Setup: We’re now fourhanded with 14 players left. Seat 5 knocked out Seat 3 with 88 against A-K. He’s played around 50 percent of his hands, opening four times the big blind preflop and making small bets postflop. He’s bet when checked to nearly 100 percent of the time so far. When he threebets, rather than make a standard 2.5 times to 3 times reraise, he has been going all-in for 65 big blinds or so over the top of raises. He is a loose cannon, and I can’t wait to get a hand to play against him.

Preflop (3,200): I have a suited three-gapper, a terrible hand. However, against weak opposition I can profitably raise the button with a wide range, (maybe even as wide as 60 to 70 percent of hands) especially as the stacks are deep. I’ve also played very tightly since this maniac has arrived at the table, so I think this is a good spot to raise. Seat 1 has mostly stayed in line, and Seat 5 usually just flat calls everything or goes all-in. I decide to make my standard raise at this level of 4,100. There are other approaches that work but I generally pick one raise size per level and stick to it. I raise to 4,100 and both Seat 5 and Seat 1 call.

Flop (13,100): Seat 5 bets 9,600 and Seat 1 folds. Seat 5 has been betting at every board, and this one is no exception. I sometimes play back at A-high boards, but if I’m going to make a bluff raise, I usually like to have some outs, and I have completely missed this board. As a rule, I rarely make pure bluffs without outs unless I have a very good read on my opponent, and in this spot, I can’t be sure my opponent doesn’t have an ace. I fold and Seat 5 wins a 13,100 pot.

Setup: There are now 12 players left and we’re sixhanded. There was a $97 pay jump from thirteenth to twelfth, and we’re all guaranteed $486. I have no reads so far on Seat 3 or Seat 6, but I’ve opened up the other table to observe the play there as well.

Preflop (3,200): Seat 5, the loose aggressive maniac, surprisingly limps under-the-gun, Seat 2 calls from the button, and Seat 3 calls from the small blind. There really isn’t any play here other than to check and only continue if I flop a set. Pocket deuces would be a terrible hand to raise and play a pot with out of position. I check my option.

Flop (7,600): I’ve flopped bottom set on a rainbow board. I almost certainly have the best hand, and my main objective is to figure out how I can get the most money in the middle.

Knowing what I know about Seat 5 and his betting tendencies, a check is clearly the best option. I check, Seat 5 bets 4,800 and Seat 2 calls 4,800. From what I’ve seen, Seat 5 could have anything, and I’d assume Seat 2 has T-x hands, 99-44, A-4, A-5, 5-4s, and 6-5s. I would raise here against most players, and expect to get action from someone. However, this seems like a good spot to slowplay, given Seat 5’s tendency to keep firing barrels until raised, combined with this really safe board. I call the 4,800.

Turn (22,000): I continue with my plan of letting Seat 5 bluff his stack away and I check. I believe I still almost certainly have the best hand. The K♥ means that both a flush draw and straight draw are possibilities, and I plan to checkraise if either player bets. Unfortunately, both players check and we go to the river.

River (22,000): Now two unlikely straights are possible, but I’m almost positive that I still have the best hand. Seat 2 cannot have either straight, and Seat 5 would have raised A-Q preflop. The best play for me would be a check. Seat 5 probably wouldn’t be able to stop himself from betting after being checked to three times, especially considering Seat 2 and I both look so weak and two obvious bluff cards have rolled off on the turn and river. Also, if Seat 5 were to bet, Seat 2 would probably call him light if he’s been paying any attention to his erratic behavior. If either player were to bet I would happily go all-in, over the top, hoping Seat 4 made an odd two pair with a hand like K-3s or that Seat 2 gets stubborn with J-T. Neither the J nor the K is likely to have helped either player, making a check the clear choice. Unfortunately, I decided to bet for value, hoping to get paid off by either player. I assumed Seat 5 had given up bluffing, but may have hit the turn or river and Seat 2 would check almost his entire range, but might call a bet on the river. I chose to bet around three quarters of the pot. In retrospect, I probably should have bet a little less against both players’ weak hand ranges. A bet of 6,000 to 10,000 would have gotten more crying calls from a T or J than a 16,000 bet and has the added benefit of possibly inducing bluff raises from the maniac. I bet 16,000 and both players fold. I win a 22,000 pot.

Setup: Two hands later, and there are still 12 players left. Seat 2 raised the previous hand and folded to a small threebet from Seat 3. As we near the final table, I plan on running over the rest of the table to forge a bigger chip lead, since I assume everyone else will be eager to make the final table and will therefore be playing tighter.

I think I’d rather take the initiative by reraising rather than calling. which appears to be his standard raise at this level. Conversely. there is value in showing that I’m reraising hands like TT with the intention of calling. and hands with which I cannot call a fourbet. I threebet a lot preflop with both my premium hands and suited connectors like 8-7s. 9-8s. which might force me to play TT in a multiway pot. I lose a 119. and against whom you don’t regularly play. Seat 2 shows pocket Jacks that hold up on a 5♦ 2♦ 5♠ 4♣ 3♦ board.111 to give him an impression of fourbet fold equity. so showing down a hand like TTin this pot will make the other players wary of four-betting me light. Given that we are close to the final table bubble. but I still have a strong stack. For instance. meaning good players will notice there are very few hand combinations in my threebet value range where I could call a fourbet and. This is because they will not correctly adapt to how you’re playing anyway. they will fourbet lighter against me. I am no longer the chip leader at the table. he plays way too many hands out of position and for a while. AJs+. I’ll probably be willing to call at least one bet on flops containing overcards in a heads-up pot. If I call.6x reraise of 11. If I flat call here with TT and show down the hand. Seat 2 has been fairly active and definitely has leaks. it probably consists of 88+. and you will thus be choosing suboptimal lines. If he goes all-in with the tight range above. Therefore. there might even be some random tilt all-ins with total junk in his range. that limits my threebet range to JJ+. and I have an aggressive image. in turn. but vulnerable.125. I prefer the more aggressive approach of threebetting to put maximum pressure on my opponents. He goes all-in for 57. Setup: This hand directly follows Hand 16. I’ll also threebet total garbage sometimes. I have a premium. . my plan will be to play for stacks with an overpair or a set. I’m unsure of his fourbet all-in range. but the maniac on the button will probably call behind with a very wide range. My dilemma here is whether to call or reraise to get it all-in. starting hand. but since he just raised and folded.Preflop (3. it could be argued that against inexperienced players who don’t really hand read well. A-Qo+.922 total from my stack. That’s exploitable. A-Ko. The players behind me are a little too deeply stacked to be threebet squeezing too often. He had just raised and then folded to Seat 3’s threebet. I plan on threebetting players often on this upcoming bubble. There are still 12 players left. Meta-game factors also go into this decision: Usually. he was raising more than 3 times the big blind. Also. balancing ranges to become non-exploitable will actually make you less money.044 pot and 57.922 total (about 36 big blinds) and I call. but threebetting is still profitable given that I will often take down the pot unchallenged.200): Seat 2 raises to 4. I make a 2. I’m a slight underdog7.

I’ve seen Seat 2 show down garbage hands (3-4s and A-7o) after calling a raise from the big blind. and with a heart draw. I’d rather stay away from low percentage plays. and I’ll probably have to continue betting a lot of turns and rivers if I bet the flop. so I decide just to check this board. I would probably call a 20-25 big blind all-in or less. Even if he has two pair. aggressive player. I will fold to any player’s reraise behind me because the stack sizes are awkward. I’m not sure what his betting range is here and how heavily it’s weighted towards air. I think most players would check all one-pair hands. Play has tightened up somewhat as we approach the final table – even the maniac in Seat 5 has calmed down since he lost most of his stack on a huge bluff to Seat 2. I raise to 4. There really isn’t any other play than to raise. with the intention of bluffing most river cards that do not pair the board if he just calls. and fold to any bet on a non-heart.200): The flop comes low. His two-thirds pot bet is relatively small compared to his previous bets. 4-x. I raise to 19. Turn (10. he’s not going to put another raise in on the turn. Flop (10. and if he does call. and may not even put in another raise with a straight. and I suspect if he had a straight.200): The turn brings me an A-high flush draw. If I was in his spot. Even though I have close to the top of my opening range here. he’ll call or raise most of the time. If I decide to bet. To be honest.Preflop (3. coordinated. I decide that raising is a superior play to calling. I’m fourth in chips and I have position on the table chip leader. Seat 2 bets 6.950 pot. I almost definitely have outs. a little less than two-thirds of the pot. so his call isn’t unexpected. possibly 2 pair and sets.000. Setup: Ten players remain in the tournament and we’re now guaranteed $648. he would bet bigger for protection. I infer that he usually has a hand that can’t continue if I raise here. and some would even check two-pair hands on a board with four to a straight and three to a flush. although calling is certainly okay.100 and Seat 2 calls. A.200): I have a strong starting hand in the hijack. capable of moves but with preflop leaks and errors in logic. The only drawback to raising is that if he reraises (depending on the amount of his raise). Seat 2 checks. but almost everyone at the table has more chips than that. or J turn. My impression of him is that he’s a thinking. Seat 2 quickly folds to my raise and I win a 22. I would be betting 9x. made flushes and any heart along with a decent number of my air hands. Seat 2 has hit this type of board a good percentage of the time. around three times the size of his bet.375. a $162 pay jump occurred between eleventh and tenth. Seat 2 then busted Seat 1 with A-K . I may be forced to fold.

Seat 5.125 on top to 20.250 pot. around two-thirds of the pot. I’ve played fairly tight during the last two orbits. 5-7 makes one unlikely openended straight draw (I expect he would fold 5-3 preflop) and 8-7 makes a double-belly-buster straight draw. Seat 2. Seat 6 probably won’t be reraising light out of position. I have no problem with players calling out of position against me when we are relatively deepstacked. is aware of Seat 5’s maniac tendencies. Checking will make it hard to react to bets on later streets. I raise to 5. being the recipient of Seat 5’s big bluff a few hands prior. but even when I’m ahead my hand is vulnerable. I have 65 big blinds and the one guy at the table who has me covered almost certainly has a strong . and weak draws to fold. I generally raise on the smaller side with shallower stacks and larger with deeper stacks.000 and Seat 2 calls from the big blind. the big stack. I decide to bet 8. I would rather bet. and if called. the maniac. With that in mind. raises under-the-gun to 6.5 times the big blind. since even a hand with no likely draw has six outs against me. This is a fairly tough situation.against Seat 1’s A-Q.000 and Seat 2. and some of the time I’ll bet my turned straight draws. and Seat 2 calls quite loosely from the big blind. Two pair combinations are highly unlikely. ace highs. reraises 14.125 total. Flop (12. I decide to make my standard raise at this level of exactly 2. and have taken down all my pots uncontested.250): This is a fairly uncoordinated board with flush draw possibilities. since I have little information about my opponent’s hand range. as I get a read on the new players. Seat 2 is calling with such a wide range from the big blind that he’ll fold to my bet most of the time in this situation. Seat 2 folds and I win a 12.250): I have a top-five starting hand. expecting low pairs. Preflop ( 4. I’ll probably fire another barrel at any overcard to the board that falls on the turn.000. I’d expect him to have a weak made hand or a draw. Preflop (4.250): I have an okay starting hand in the cutoff. The maniac has calmed down. My hand will be ahead a decent percent of the time. Setup: Acouple of hands later.

76 x 4. That means that he is only calling us 24 percent of the time.786 – 7. Mathematically. The maniac is in the big blind with around 25. Preflop (4. since he must have noticed that Seat 5 is raising more than 40 percent of hands preflop.3 times the opening raise).178 = 4.hand. He is almost definitely wider than usual here. the best play here is to go all-in. and ICM 9 considerations might dictate tighter play overall. We chop the pot on a Q♥ 8♠ 2♣ 7♦ T♦ board.489) 9 percent (. planning to go all-in over a raise. However. so the chances of him having a garbage hand are miniscule. I wager all of my chips.786) 3. Let’s look at the mathematics of this play.5 big blinds total. 22+) and I would still win chips in the long run.9 x 53.7 percent equity versus 22+. whether or not it’s dollar EV is debatable because of abstract arguments like tournament life and risk versus reward. Q-Jo+. Seat 5 folds and Seat 2 calls.230 + 4. I could be wrong here. Against most players I would make a small raise.250): Everyone folds to me in the small blind. but poker is a game of educated guesses and making the best decision you can based on the limited information you have. let us say he is calling as wide as (though he’s probably calling tighter than this) 22+.178 (. There are now nine players left. A-2o has 37. my expectation is actually higher because Seat 5 is almost definitely calling tighter than this range.489 = 527 In the long run. with the intention of folding to a threebet or even limping. I can turn my hand face up (meaning he only calls when he has A-2+.373 x 24) of the time I win 53. It’s also a mathematical fact that each chip decreases in value as you get deeper and deeper in tournaments.928 (. maybe 3. I estimate that Seat 2 has A-Jo+. Q-Jo+. but don’t want to get called by the big stack because tournament life actually is important from a dollar perspective.230) 15 percent (. There is a $192 pay increase to $841 for seventh and eighth places. Therefore8: 76 percent of the time I win 4. I make at least 527 chips of equity per shove. A player at the other table has been eliminated. For the sake of explanation. tabling A-Ko. In fact. He is committed to calling Seat 5’s all-in. Clearly. A-2+. This play definitely has a positive chip EV. However. I go all-in for 129. his reraise is rather large (around 3. A-Ts+ and JJ-77.250 (.622 x 24) of the time I lose 49. and I don’t want to call a big reshove with A-2o.15 x -49. A-2o doesn’t play well against even the loosest ranges. .250 = 3. but probably doesn’t have AA-QQ often. I think I’m ahead of both players’ranges. Setup: This hand directly follows Hand 19.3 is his standard size.848 total. which to me would indicate a strong but vulnerable hand. this guy is likely to go all-in with a really wide range.928 = -7.

but Seats 2 and 6 have stayed fairly aggressive. He’s been reraising a lot preflop and won the bulk of his stack by moving all in (and winning) with K-Q against A-J preflop. Most of the table has tightened up. However. since I have such a big edge over the rest of the field. . Limping with the intention of reraising in this instance is okay against some opponents who would raise and then fold to a shove frequently. Also. I think shoving is the best play. This is because most opponents will only push with this size stack with a tight range of hands. I showed I could play this way with my hand face up). my opponent in this situation is much looser. If he checks. the more profitable the play becomes. that doesn’t mean shoving is always the most profitable EV play. I can raise here to steal the blinds and safely fold if my opponent pushes. giving me a 4. my edge in the tournament isn’t going to disappear if I lose this pot. The above analysis looks at his loosest calling range. I go all-in and Seat 5 folds. Seat 5 might call tighter than he usually would. I look for plays that make money. but I consider this argument fallacious reasoning.Yes. I have an edge over the field partly because knowing almost all the math behind my actions. So he should know I’ll be playing aggressively on the bubble. because I will be out of position against an aggressive player who doesn’t like folding. Seat 6 appears to be a good. since I’m going to be all-in a higher percentage of the time. Against most opponents who play a standard straightforward game. I expect to lose most of the time when he does so. since it doesn’t flop very well. He’s a winning player. He might even fold hands like A7-A3.250 most of the time.250 pot. I don’t really want to have to play A-2o against an aggressive opponent out of position. Despite all counter arguments. so it is better to go ahead and make a play (like shoving) that cannot be exploited. as he’s either calling or going allin almost 100 percent of the time. Raising and folding against someone so aggressive and likely to bluff probably isn’t going to be profitable. Even though shoving against all players is positive EV (after all. due to his high frequency of overbet-jamming against a limped blind. making a stronger case for a shove. there just aren’t enough boards that I will be able to continue on when I have this hand. A-2o doesn’t flop well at all. Also. One final comment about this move: Earlier I indicated that I would raise and fold to a threebet against most opponents. Since I’m on a money bubble. on the surface it seems crazy to risk 51. and that still shows a positive expected value on the play. The tighter his calling range. but it’s actually lower variance than raising and calling. Setup: Nine players remain and the blinds and antes have increased. even against a range I beat. and he’ll end up taking the pot down most of the time. Another argument against raising and folding is that I could wait for a better spot.000 chips to win 4. as observed from previous hands. loose-aggressive player. This strategy wouldn’t be optimal against this specific maniac. and I’m confident that he knows who I am. I expect Seat 3 will call most of the time when I raise preflop.

However.000. I can then use my stack to dominate the rest of the table because the other big stacks will be less likely to make a stand.Preflop: (5. Though I think it’s a reasonable idea. By calling.100 and both players fold. because I’ll be able to exploit him postflop being deepstacked. I win a 206. Many players would opt to fold here.1 times the big blind. Nobody has tried to play back at me. But. I keep many of the hands I dominate in the pot. and folding could even be optimal. and we’re almost at the final table. I’ve won three of the last five pots preflop with A-Q. Calling has lower variance and is the safer route many players take with 42 effective big blinds. so I save chips when he shoves. A-J and T-8. many players have egos. and has been unafraid to get his chips in preflop. that’s not a problem. I decide to stick with the plan and raise. I think Seat 6 is aggressive enough to go all-in with worse hands.456 pot and am now the tournament chip leader. I’m inclined toward a threebet with the intention of calling. depending on Seat 5’s reshoving range. Even if I play aggressively on some of the boards I miss. and do the opposite. Still. I knock out a good player and have the dominant chip lead at my table. or 2. I’m still the tournament chip leader. Setup: There are eight players left and we’re all guaranteed $842. Seat 6 shows 6-4s. I plan on picking up a lot of pots without a showdown. I decide to raise to three times his opening raise of 5. This idea is obviously abstract and hard to quantify.000 to 15. but it seems best in this spot for strategic reasons. hasn’t played a pot. Second. with no pay jump between eighth and seventh places. Seat 5 is much less likely to reraise now.800 pot. It’s possible that Seat 2 is calling lighter from the big blind due to my smaller raise. especially Seat 2.800) I have a suited twogapper on the button.” as he wants to reach the final table. he should be playing tighter because two players with bigger stacks than his have position on him. Knowing this. In theory. and may end up conceding the pot when I have the best hand. it won’t make up for the positional disadvantage I face throughout the hand. With my stack and table position. Preflop: (4. and my A-Q holds up on a T♦ 7♦ 5♠ 2♥ T♥ board. I choose a smaller raise here because Seat 5 is usually going to fold or move all in. My hand is way ahead of Seat 6’s opening range and probably ahead of his fourbet range. First. I’ve won a lot of pots recently. if I win an all-in confrontation. I decide to raise to 5.000. and I call. since it involves the winning of future pots. I win a 4. play has tightened up as I expected it would. . If that happens. and even Seat 5.100. in position. the maniac. Despite this. I’m willing to take a big gamble when the bubble is near. if it will give me the biggest stack at the table.878 total. I raise to 5. and I’ll have free rein to take down pots. I intend to make life miserable for everyone at the table. giving me huge leverage against the big stack. He’s raised 20 percent of his hands at this table so far. even though he has “reshove stack. given my image. I think it’s better to stick with relentless aggression until my opponents show a willingness to fight back. I don’t always get A-Q all-in preflop for 42 big blinds.100) Seat 6 raises to 5. and on the final table bubble. Seat 6 goes all-in for 101. some may argue that situational factors do not make enough of a difference to justify the risks to get a big stack near a bubble. The disadvantages are that I’ll often miss the flop. but calling preflop also has some advantages.

Setup: Two hands later. and even then. Unfortunately. when checked to. . funnily enough. I call the 4. this play is extremely transparent—it indicates that I almost certainly have a premium hand. reraising preflop would show a profit. Despite the fact that my hand would. Seat 5. I’d either threebet or fold anything other than AA-QQ with these stack sizes. which happens to be twice the size of the pot. Also I’ve seen him do absurd things postflop. In fact. I win an 83.328. If I reraise. I’d be reraising with a very wide range here. If he were a stronger player. since he’s so likely to bluff away his stack with his entire range. I would probably still have to “stack-off” on an Ace-high flop against this opponent. My hand holds after the 5♥ on the turn and 3♠ on the river. and my only goal is to make as much money as I can from it. I have two options—reraise or call. bets nearly 100 percent of the time.200. be face-up against a strong player.800): I have a premium starting hand. I expect that Seat 5 will fold the majority of his opening range. the maniac. raises to 7.800 raise. Obviously. knocking Seat 5 out of the tournament. I check. Seat 5 goes all-in for his remaining 33. and little has changed. Clearly.800): This is an excellent flop— the only hands that beat me are A-J and J-9. Preflop (4. There’s certainly nothing wrong with reraising here.456 pot. calling is still the best play when your opponent is inexperienced. There’s no reason to needlessly balance my range here—the best play in this specific situation is the one that will exploit my opponent’s postflop weaknesses. I still have a strong draw to a full house. three times the big blind. effectively. I turbo-snap-call so fast I jam my index finger! Seat 5 tables A-2o for a gutshot and only 12 percent equity in the pot. he’d be suspicious of me calling a threetimes-the-big-blind raise preflop when he has less than 20 big blinds. Flop (16. and we see a flop. but I think I’ll make less money in the long run by reraising than by calling. I’m going to check to a bluff station who. but not nearly as much as allowing him to bluff his stack away.

both for the final table bonus and the four-figure score. Flop (15. Seat 2 calls. a hand that’s in the bottom 10 percent of the deck. I win a 15. I’m going to be more aggressive until we reach the final table. I decide to bet 9.000. Seat 2 could raise me when I bluff the flop. and is the difference between a three-figure and four-figure score. one advantage of a 6-max tournament is that late in the tournament. However. . We’re now threehanded. I’m holding the 9-3. and paired board. and I think I can play more hands for a profit than if I were playing with opponents who would threebet with a wide range or try to outplay me postflop.264. Preflop (4. If anything. This pay jump is quite large. both my opponents have played very tight. I raise to 7. and I’m out of position.000 and Seat 2 folds. To be honest. there will be situations where you are threehanded and fourhanded. Many players don’t adjust to this when big money is on the line.Setup: We’re on the final table bubble! The pay jump between seventh and sixth places is $422—sixth gets $1. a little more than half pot. but he hasn’t shown any inclination to do that without a hand. or three times the big blind (I always raise a little more than my normal raise from the small blind since the big blind has very good odds to call in position). uncoordinated. even on the bubble.300): I have missed the flop.500): Okay.300 pot. This is a dry. I bet 9. but Seat 2 usually misses this flop too. this might be a fold.200. He’s not going to continue with most hands in his range. I assume that everyone will play even tighter now. For better players.

5 times the big blind. K-T. and 3) a small flop bet allows for a smaller turn bet if I decide to continue barreling.100 pot.000. this smaller bet might induce Seat 3 to play back at me more often. however. connectors.2) most players don’t make plays on this sort of board with total air. Q-T. including hands like A-x. From what I’ve seen. I think my best decision may have been to check. Yes. but this player hasn’t played against me enough to know what it means. Both players have been playing nitty and straightforwardly so far. and small pairs.100) A terrible flop! Many of the Broadway hands (such as A-T. I can profitably raise 90 to 100 percent of my hands on the button. It’s a close decision between betting or checking here. in the moment. I can make him fold all his A-x hands. I stick to my plan— mercilessly running over the table. However. and with these stacks on the bubble. Flop: (14. stick with one standard size. I believe he has a wide calling range. changing bet sizes may give away too much information. I bet 6. I bet 6. T-9s.900—a smaller bet than I made last hand. 9-8s. but I doubt it. Q-J.900. so it accomplishes the same thing as a larger bet. Arguably. 2. Therefore. he probably wouldn’t bluff with those hands.) my opponent would call with preflop have hit this board. Seat 2 has 70 big blinds and Seat 3 has 33 big blinds. If I check. When in doubt. I feel that against these two opponents. I chose this smaller bet size for three reasons: 1) I have almost no equity if called. Remember that. Preflop: (4. K-Q.Setup: This hand immediately follows Hand 24. I’m clearly conceding the pot if he decides to bet the turn with his hands that missed.900 and Seat 3 folds. my bet size could be a tell. and small pairs on the turn with a delayed continuation bet just as easily as I could on the flop. . and Seat 3 calls. etc. against strong players. At the same time. Weighing my two options.500) I once again have a garbage hand on the button. I raise to 6. a little less than half the pot. J-T. K-J. I bet 6. It’s worth pointing out that this is very situational: I don’t recommend raising 100 percent of hands on the button versus all opponents. Seat 2 has shown no propensity to reraise preflop and Seat 3 has too awkward a stack to threebet light very often. I opt for the more aggressive option and bet the flop even though I have completely whiffed the board. I win a 14.

Even on the bubble. rather than reraise. he’ll probably fold less than 50 percent of the time. and knows I’m going to be threebetting often here. Preflop: (4. he isn’t going to fold very often.500) I’m holding a suited Q-rag hand and Seat 3 raises from the small blind to 7. and overestimated how often this player would fold to my all-in bet. I win a 145. Seat 3 calls my all-in quicklyand tables A-Ts. This is way off.200.Setup: This hand immediately follows Hand 25. he’d have to fold 66.348 pot. A-8o+. Calling with the intention of outplaying postflop is a much better option versus Seat 3’s passive playing style. but I think he’ll call my all-in bet with something like 55+. and K-Jo+—I have 33. he probably isn’t raising with a very wide range in this spot. eliminating Seat 3. This was faulty reasoning. a cutoff raise with A-Q and 35 big blinds on the button.6 percent equity against this range. you have to remember when to put the brakes on. of course I push all-in! In retrospect. Since he’s a thinking player. I thought since he’d played A-Q so cautiously in that previous hand. . especially against me. but nitty player who has been especially tight on the final table bubble. I should have realized that because he’s so cautious. Since his opening range is so strong. I made a huge error in judgment. being stupid and greedy pays off. he’d be unwilling to stack-off lightly. He then checked down all three streets on a low board and won the pot! I’ve won eight of the last twelve hands. A-6s+. Using my formula from Hand 2. So. I suck out on the river with a straight on a 7♠ 6♠ 3♦ 9♠ 5♠ board. Around two orbits ago.75 percent of the time for this play to be break-even. I’m really unsure of how frequently Seat 3 would raise. Sometimes. My impression of him is of a solid. rather than limp or fold. I saw Seat 3 call. I got too carried away with the bubble play.

or even reraising in general. with a 50/100 average finish. it would be to around 37. I raise to 25. I suspect he’d have moved all-in preflop with QQ-TT and A-K. unless you have a premium hand. and your opponent has a stack size of 1. or is slowplaying a monster hand like AA or KK. and I folded J-3s. Seat 3 raised my big blind from the button on the previous hand (there was no small blind). In retrospect. especially with Seat 5 so short stacked and Seat 2 not wanting to bust out before him. since they’re strong enough. Against a top player. Flop (56. I don’t know what he’d raise with and then call a reraise preflop with nearly 25 percent of his stack. and pairs from 22 to 99. Seats 2 and 3 are both losing players with low average finishes. I believe that an unknown player is much less likely to be on a pure steal the second raise in a row. but probably would have increased the frequency with which he’d call rather than fold preflop. It’s always difficult to play out of position in a reraised pot when you’ve missed the flop with A-K or A-Q. Reraising a smaller amount would’ve allowed me more maneuverability postflop.553 total. and perhaps better. I don’t hate my slightly-less-than-threetimes-the-bet reraise here.5 times the pot. but not that closely.106): I’ve missed the flop and am a little perplexed about how to proceed. this bet-sizing puts me in an awkward spot postflop. I think a flat call preflop might be the optimal play here. Seat 5 folds. fourth place gets $2.Setup: We’re at the final table. A-J. The blinds have increased.5 to 3 times the pot. and Seat 3 quickly calls. but also to give the impression of fold equity. There are a few unknowns in this situation. so he might not be aware of how aggressively I’ve been playing. Preflop (6. My image is almost definitely that of an aggressive maniac. Although I have no conclusive data to prove this. but are too vulnerable to trap . so I don’t know much about Seat 3. he was at the other table. and I’m not sure if I like it.500): Seat 3 again raises the button a full three times the big blind to 9. K-Q. Sixth place came to the table with only two big blinds and quickly busted when he was pot-committed with T-7o in the big blind and forced to call for his stack against Seat 1’s K-Jo. However.553. If I were to reraise a larger amount. especially with me behind him. though Seat 2 is the only player who was at the previous table. and I’m in the enviable position of being the chip leader.000. I know that he’s a slightly losing player. I was watching the other table.324 behind—around 1. and I have a very strong hand out of position.000. but I think the other options are easier to play. We’re all now guaranteed $1. as calling 25 percent of your stack is usually a mistake. Seats 1 and 5 have winning results. I choose to raise a little less than three times Seat 1’s raise to discourage him from calling preflop. but they don’t have a big enough sample size to allow me to draw any conclusions about their play. but I usually choose the more aggressive option in the moment. Seat 3 now has 87.657—a $778 pay jump. to leave him a pot sized bet so I could go all-in on any flop if he calls. I reraise to 25. First of all.879. warning signs would be going off in my head. I believe he either has an upper-middle-strength hand like A-T.

698(1-x) X = . That being said. if I plan on calling. I lose 45. and A-Js (and I certainlycan’t guarantee that). Now. the size that is most likely to induce bluffs is a small one. sets. If betting small means you don’t have the odds to call a shove.18 (18 percent of the time). your only concern is to bet a size where he’s either folding the most hands that beat you or where you’re inducing bluffs with the highest frequency. expecting him to fold his low pairs. are almost certainly going to move all-in or call. I find that I only have 28 percent equity—close. and I prefer a bet with the intention of folding if my opponent pushes all-in. A-Q has around 18 percent equity versus Seat 3’s hypothetical value range of 22. K-Q. To compensate for that. and 77-99. I’d lean towards calling. As I said earlier. I wouldn’t consider checkraising.000.7 percent of the time after betting. He might just be a stubborn.520 x . To find out how often he needs to fold. The most likely hands he’ll bet-fold are KJs-AJs and KJo-AJo.234 x . Since it’s obvious I’m not folding to a shove if I make a large bet. I expect that his value range after betting is approximately 77-99. but not close enough for a call. When he folds. since there’s more in the pot. so I think a check with the intention of folding is better than checking with the intention of checkraising all-in. around a quarter to a third of the pot.5 percent of hands. but I have no reason to think he is. In conclusion.324 more. Some players even go all-in here in a desperate attempt to get their opponents to fold. If I were to bet 15. If he were to bet more than 35. so I don’t have enough equity to call versus his strictly value range. When called. I’ll only put the suited versions of each hand into pokerstove. and a bet/fold is better.532 Overall. KK-AA. But. then betting big so that you can call an all-in just means you made a bad bet. If I thought my opponent was capable of bluffing more than 25 percent of the time here.699 chips. If he does just call. The next step is calculating how often he needs to be bluffing when I bet a smaller size to make bet/call a better option than bet/fold.000 chip bet from Seat 3 to be profitable. .with preflop. I don’t think his bluffing frequency will change nearly enough to warrant risking the extra 5k chips when I bet-fold. since these make up a much larger portion of his range (there are 18 hand combos of 33-55 and 40 hand combos of A-J/K-Q/K-J). For the sake of analysis. I’d need to have a more accurate read to checkraise over a bet here. I think he usually has sets or 33-55. and 33-55 a smaller percent of the time. My optimal bet size. your EV on the play is the same. In this instance.AT. 66-99. I don’t expect Seat 3 to ever show up with QQ-TT. but this isn’t guaranteed. when I’m called. I’d estimate that this opponent is jamming those hands only 25 percent of the time at most. around 2. This means he’d have to be betting his overcards instead of checking behind around 45 percent of the time—an assumption I can’t make. my equity jumps from 18 percent to 46 percent.347 or 34. and I’m unsure of whether or not he’d go all-in with 33-55. regardless of your bet size. I don’t have enough equity to call. because he has committed himself to the pot.19 to 1 on a call and would need around 31 percent equity against Seat 3’s shoving range for a call to have neutral EV. I would stubbornly bet around the size of the pot in these spots to “commit” myself to calling should he go all-in. All other hands that beat me such as AT. I win 86. I expect Seat 3 will check here most of the time when checked to. but it would be unwise to count on it. Therefore. Therefore. which equals an average of plus 25. In the past. which equals an average of minus 71.000 if I’m going to bet-fold. fishy player who would call a reraise with J-T.106 chips.7% For a checkraise all-in over a 30. In these situations. After checking.000 bet. I’ll either checkraise his bet all-in or check-fold. I’m only going to include 9 total combinations of 33-55 (meaning he only has them half the time) in this equity calculation. I: Win 143. thereby increasing your equity in the pot. around 3. the unlikely JJ+. I doubt he’s bluffing enough of the time for a bet/call to be profitable. but I’m more inclined to think hands like J-T and Q-J aren’t in his range. KK-AA.82 (82 percent of the time). is one that will induce a bluff from as many of his A-J/K-Q type hands as possible. K-Qs.000 and he were to go all-in for 72.000 chips— a little over half the pot. Even if he’s shoving K-Js. If I add all combinations of K-J. betting may not be the best course of action. he’d need to fold more frequently than 34.7 percent of hands. I don’t expect Seat 3 to be on a pure bluff with those hands anywhere near 100 percent of the time.106(x) = 45. and you are betting with the intention of calling that shove. let’s analyze my options if I check. and A-J. and A-T. a larger bet may cause a range such as 33-55 to fold. Some players do fold when getting very good odds. It could be argued that I should bet around 20. let’s assume I have the same equity of 18 percent against his bet/call value range and that he’s betting 30. However.834 and I Lose 87. if your opponent is going to shove with a certain range. Let’s first examine the merits of checkraising all-in over a bet. just solve for X in the following equation: 86. as it presumably reduces the chances of him going all-in with nothing. I’d be getting around 2. so I’ll shove any turn above a ten. some players might bluff more when facing a 20.

and reevaluate on the river if he calls. his stack value would increase by $995.444 and Seat 3 folds. Seat 2’s stack is worth $3. I’d lean toward bet-folding because I doubt my opponent will bluff very often. The funny thing is.827 because of the two short stacks! You can make these calculations online. First. for example. Cash games. CEV describes your expected value based purely on how many chips you gain in the long run. For example. it’s clear that one of the best tips I can offer is to study and write out your options in different situations. Seat 2’s stack is worth $1. Setup: A few hands later.” it’s much better to play tight. This is because of the Independent Chip Modeling (ICM) theory. If you make your own estimations about the ranges and frequencies of your opponent.953 more than fifth place. a loose player with 100 big blinds. and $1. By writing this book. In the moment. is two to my left and will probably reraise me very light.Checking doesn’t mean automatically conceding the pot. Seat 1 showed down Q-Jo after calling a threebet. especially if you’re a medium or short stack. we need to distinguish between chip EV (cEV) and dollar EV ($EV). even 77-99 occasionally.icmpoker. My plan is to fire a bet of around 15. I’d suspect his range to be 33-55. This conclusion would be drastically altered on a different board texture.aspx or just search “ICM calculator. I’d like to briefly explain ICM. are purely based on cEV since there’s no prize pool or pay-out structure. I think Seat 3’s pre-and postflop range is too tight for betting with the intention of calling or checkraising all-in over a bet to be the best options. since Seat 3 is likely to check behind most of the time. you can play around with this method for yourself to calculate the best options in different situations. Everyone has loosened up now that we’re at the final table. using the tool found at http://www. the table dynamic appears to have changed dramatically.776 for first place.” As of now.022 for second place. Without going into an extremely detailed explanation involving probabilities and confusing math. I bet 44. even though many people go nuts at final tables because they’re “playing for the win.832 in prize pool equity. There’s some chance he may bet his missed overcards and win the pot from me on the flop. but I consider that less likely than him checking those hands behind. but each time I do a calculation I become better at estimating the correct play in the moment. and my line is consistent with a big hand. If I bet the turn when any non A or Q falls and am raised. My conclusion is that checking with the intention of folding or betting small with the intention of folding to a raise are the two best options.106 pot. I’ll have no other option than to fold. He’d . sets and missed overcards. If he checks behind. If he doubled up. $EV indicates how much extra money you gain in prize pool equity.657 for fourth place. or if Seat 3 was known to bluff frequently. The benefit of checking is I might get to see a turn card and possibly win the pot. $3.879 for fifth place.629 for third place. Now I have a new play in my arsenal. $5. Of course I do not go through this precise math in my head during the hand. but out of nowhere just showed down K-Js after threebetting. with this relatively flat payout structure of $ I discovered a solution I didn’t think of in the moment and a mistake I had been making for years. Seat 2 didn’t threebet once on the bubble. My table position is awkward since Seat 1. his stack would only be worth $4.000 on any turn. After analyzing this hand. I stubbornly bet big with the intention of calling Seat 3’s all-in. But if he were to double up through Seat 1. $2. I win a 56.

A relatively strong hand usually worth opening becomes a fold under-the-gun with the current table dynamics. For example: if someone who has him covered is shoving any two cards. meaning he should only call an all-in for his tournament life if he has at least 66 percent equity. because everyone else is playing so incorrectly. though most experts agree it’s the best representation of prize pool equity. K-Js+. since it would probably have been near the top of my opening range on the bubble. Setup: There are still 5 players left. the only thing to do is tighten up. I’m the big stack. Luckily. K-Qo+. A-9s+. and would most likely opt to call his raise preflop. as very few people play this way at final tables. rather than reraise. and I raised once with A-T on the button to steal the blinds.500): I have a top-five premium hand that I’ll happily play for stacks with against all but Seat 1. A-To+. The more likely other people are to bust (either because their stacks are very short or they’re very crazy and throwing their chips around). Everyone folds to me. because you’re giving $EV to your opponents by risking getting knocked out yourself. so I don’t have to worry much about ICM and can abuse people if they’re playing too tightly. The stacks and playing style haven’t changed much. . ICM dictates very tight play at final tables (until heads up) in situations where a large proportion of your stack is at risk. total. However.450 under-thegun. I’d be very uncomfortable getting 100 big blinds in at this final table with the other big stack for the ICM reasons mentioned above. It would be a nightmare scenario for me to play a huge pot against the other chip leader with marginal holdings. and because of my loose image. I fold. Folding becomes +$EVin spots where calling would be +cEV (like calling an all-in with 55 percent equity with 8-8 versus A-K) because of the chance that other people will bust before you. he can only call with 77+ and can’t even call with A-K against a random hand profitably.888 behind—he started the hand with around 22 big blinds. Basically.953 to win $995. Preflop (6. ICM is only theory. the more +$EV it is to fold. This may shock many readers. being a decent player. Seat 3 gave me a walk last hand. and the more +cEV a play has to be before you make it. an even tighter range. Seat 5 raises to 7. This means that doubling his stack and risking elimination is only worth 51 percent of his chips. especially since he’s shown a willingness to gamble. I’m guessing his opening range is around 55+. Risking chips in marginal +cEV spots becomes a mistake. perhaps. and that he’d call all-in with 77+ and A-J+ or. The basic premise is that the shorter your stack. Preflop: (6. I thought I’d include this hand. and you’ll move up the pay ladder without risking anything. the more each chip is worth.500). I figure that Seat 5. has a somewhat tight opening range from early position and isn’t going to fold too often. leaving himself 58.essentially be risking $1. Folding is +$EV in itself because of the chance that other people will bust.

Setup: We’re fourhanded. earning $1. He doesn’t need to threebet bluff very much to make a fourbet bluff profitable.000 and Seat 1 folds. Calling preflop is bad because you miss the flop so often. I go all-in for (effectively) 58.100): My opponents fold to me. Preflop (6. I raise to 9.629. .176 pot. I’m holding a marginal hand in the small blind. I win a 7. The stack sizes of my opponents make this an ideal situation to increase the aggressiveness of my play. he’ll threebet with a very small number of hands that he’s also willing to play for his whole stack. The standard play here is to put Seat 5 all-in. I don’t expect him to reraise me that light here. I can make a smallish fourbet with the intention of folding to a five-bet. aggressive poker. I can open up my game a little bit at this point. and because A-K is a hand that you’d like to see all 5 board cards. but it’s a little too passive for my taste. is a very poor play. too. It’s small because the stack sizes of the remaining players mean that for Seat 1 to go all-in preflop. If Seat 1 threebets here. Therefore. and guaranteed $2. Even if one of the smaller stacks doubles through me.600 pot. facing elimination.657. Just because I have tightened up some doesn’t mean that I’ll play passively or not make moves when I think such moves are appropriate. even with a hand as good as A-Q. I’m in no danger. I expect him to call with most of the hands in his range. though. giving me a straight on the river! I win a 136. His tendency has been to play loose. This allows me to pick on both Seats 1 and 2 a little more than I normally would. I now have 161 big blinds and almost half the chips in play. Seat 3 is relatively shortstacked. while also trying to preserve my stack. This is a rare situation. Seat 1 should have noticed I have been playing pretty tightly for the last few orbits. and Seats 1 and 2 won’t want to bust out before Seat 3.A-Ks has 54 percent equity versus his approximate calling range. a $988 pay jump.888 more. I think the range that he’d threebet with the intention of five betting all-in is very. Seat 5 calls with TT and the board comes T♥ J♥ 4♠ 8♦ Q♠. Limping is probably okay here. making this an easy all-in preflop. especially since he reraised me last time I opened from the small blind. and Seat 5 is eliminated in fifth place.000—three times the big blind I raise to 9. very small. and I admit I have run very well so far. Third place gets $3.879.

I can’t raise-fold against this player now. from an ICM perspective. In fact. weak aces. but big pairs represent a very small part of his range. Raise approximately three times the big blind and fold if Seat 3 decides to limp-shove. or 3. even with Broadway hands and suited connectors. I have three options: 1. For example. .600 pot uncontested than to get my chips in the middle against a hand like 8-7s.100): Everyone folds to Seat 3. I’ve been abusing him. This makes shoving a plus EV play. Also. I’m reshoving a wide range. I’d expect a weak player like him to raise with a strong hand. since. Raisecalling may induce bluffs from worse hands. He’s playing scared. Preflop (6. Raise approximately three times the big blind and call if Seat 3 moves all-in. when I have only 54 percent equity. Seat 3’s stack size is 21 big blinds. I put Seat 3 all-in and he folds. He might limp with a big pair. since I threebet him a couple orbits ago. who completes the small blind. but A-2s only has about fifty percent equity against his limp-shove range of small pairs. given the effective stack sizes. hoping I’ll threebet him again. it’s usually better to make your opponents fold rather than gamble with small edges. I believe I have the best hand.600 pot. because I believe he’ll take a stand. He’d probably raise with middle pairs and bigger Broadway hands because these hands aren’t strong enough to trap with. and passive poker. and some suited connectors. I win a 7. sloppy. it’s better to take down the 7. 2. Also. Move all-in and try to take down the pot now. Broadway hands. most players raise with strong hands here. so I should raise. Seat 3 walked me once and I’ve reraised him once in the last two orbits (in Hand 27). so he may be itching to take a stand against me. I estimate he’s limping with 50 to 60 percent of his hands. I expect Seat 3 to call a shove only 10 to 20 percent of the time.Setup: There are still four players left.

I rarely limp. a better alternative may have been to limp-call with the intention of playing aggressively postflop. If his threebet range is quite wide (around 20 percent of hands) and his threebetting-for-value range is quite tight (less than 5 percent of hands). Basically. I haven’t been able to bully him as I’m usually out-of-position against a fearless opponent. Making an ICM calculation would be very tedious. Though I have him out-chipped. 3. From past observation. Fold. has been reckless and very aggressive.000. 2. I don’t know what his threebet range is. but I suspect it’s quite wide. Given current stack sizes.100): I’m in the small blind. Seat 1. Fourbet to about 70K and fold to an all-in bet. I have a dilemma. It would be hard to show a profit by calling. I grit my teeth and fold. I’m almost guaranteed second place at worst. his threebet range for value should be very narrow. Having ruled out the first two options.Setup: This is the very next hand in the tournament. though. I’d have to checkraise the flop with air sometimes in order to justify calling preflop. My opponent could be bullying me. I do not know how this particular opponent will react to a fourbet. because when I enter a pot I prefer to take the initiative. He might call or he might even decide to five-bet light. In retrospect. Unfortunately. I think he’ll probably flat-call my fourbet and play a bloated pot in position. and give up to Seat 1’s inevitable continuation bet.000 and he reraises to 27. Preflop (6. the equity value of the chips gained would not outweigh the dollar equity of losing the pot when the other two players are shortstacked and likely to bust soon. I have an above-average starting hand. When in doubt. Considering the stack sizes. but I’m not even sure how I’d proceed if I flopped top pair. but only if he folds all his bluffs to a fourbet. TT+ or possibly narrower. Therefore. I’m going to miss the flop too often. Also. four-betting is very profitable. I should avoid marginal spots. I raised from this exact position last orbit with J-T. even if a fourbet would be a positive cEV play. I don’t know how often Seat 1 will reraise with mediocre hands. according to the Independent Chip Model theory. If so. I aim to avoid complex and unclear decision-making scenarios. but this is not the right time to play back. Raising or limping is acceptable. it would probably not be a positive $EV play. especially with insufficient information. I raise to 9. I fold and Seat 1 wins a 19.600 pot. the other big stack at the table. A-Q+. Call and try to outplay him postflop. Calling and playing the pot out of position is just ugly. Let me assess each option: Four-betting to a little more than two and a half times his preflop reraise might be the most profitable play. and the action is folded to me. my best options are to: 1. . given his aggressive play so far.

but I’m behind his hypothetical fourbet range. against weaker opposition who won’t use their positional advantage postflop. If anything.125 and I’m in a tough spot. but I’d like to discuss the merits of a making a small reraise. he’s likely to fold all the hands I dominate like Q-T. Seat 2 has openraised about 30 percent of his hands.125. However. . most opponents won’t fold too often when they’re getting odds in position.100): Seat 2 raises to 8.125 and Seat 2 folds. since he should avoid busting before Seat 3. If I make a standard threebet. and T-9. Flat-calling is the standard play.225 pot.7 to 1 pot odds in position and still elected to fold. By reraising here. so KTs is ahead of. I win a 14. which is possible. I reraise to 15. you look very strong. there are stillfour players left. I’ll be getting good odds to call a fourbet.Setup: One orbit later. I’ll be willing to “stack-off” on a T-high or K-high board depending on my opponent’s action. Effectively. if I reraise. Also. Since we’ve been fourhanded. My opponent was getting 3. J-T etc. Also. Other times. this small raise may induce my opponent to fourbet all-in light. Conversely. First. I think this play might be best. since it creates a situation where you play a bloated pot out of position. Nothing significant has happened. but with the initiative. However. J-T. Also. my opponent will miss the flop and fold to a continuation bet. Many good players disagree with making small threebets in this spot with marginal holdings. and may even dominate. Usually. They’ll still call with worse hands like Q-T. Preflop (6. but I highly doubt that. This situation creates a common tournament problem. Most of the time. I make a small reraise to 15. his opening range. For all the above reasons. he’s raising on the button around 40 percent of the time. There are two solutions: I could call and see a flop out of position or make a very small reraise (maybe around twice the original raise or a little more than the minimum raise) with the intention of folding if my opponent moves all in. the short stack. position matters less when the stacks are shallow. Seat 2 will be worried that I hold a premium hand. I get to play the pot against their whole opening range. Seat 2 probably doesn’t want to risk early elimination with Seat 3 so shortstacked. I’d be reraising with a wide range to put pressure on Seat 2.

000): The action is folded to me in the small blind. Conversely. My opponent has probably missed the board and with the potential flush-draw. . Preflop (8. Last time I raised from the small blind into Seat 1’s big blind. If he does threebet again. since Seat 1 threebet last orbit. I’ll almost definitely fold. is less likely to make a play at the pot. I decide to make my standard raise (when I’m in the small blind) of three times the big blind. this is one of the better boards for a continuation bet.Setup: This hand directly follows Hand 33.019.000 to go. Seat 1 folds and I win a 26. around 60 percent of the pot. as in Hand 32. I make it 12. I’ll fold if he raises.000 pot. Seat 1 flat-calls. he reraised (Hand 32).000): Though I haven’t hit this flop. Many players would think it best to back off. Flop (26. and I’ll probably shut down on the turn unless I improve. I tend to think Seat 1 is much less likely to threebet wide the second time in a row. I bet 16. Most players lack the gusto to continue threebetting with marginal holdings.

sometimes when my opponent calls with those worse hands. K-Qs. I would make a smallish reraise and call a fourbet. With a stack of 12 big blinds. I’m also content to be selective. However. My two options are to either reraise to 24.Setup: For the last three orbits. jamming is the simplest and probably best play. he over-jammed all-in on a T♣ 9♣ 4♠ flop. but in the final analysis are about equal. Everyone at the table seems to be playing very loose poker. given my large stack. and I haven’t found many good spots. I’ll then be forced to fold on the flop if he leads out or checkraises. I may induce Seat 3 to call with his dominated hands when he’d fold to an all-in bet. very few players fourbet light with less than 30 big blinds. Preflop (8. With effective stacks of 28 big blinds. this specific opponent isn’t very aware of odds or fold equity and by making a small reraise. This entire play demonstrates his poor understanding of the game.000-36. the value of A-K increases significantly when you’re able to see all five board cards. First to act. A small reraise might induce a fourbet with a worse hand. although if he had more than 35 big blinds. or perhaps an even wider range in a blind-versus-blind situation. I’d be happy to get my chips in the middle with A-T+. or to simply go all-in. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.000 to give the impression of fold equity. Also. and 66+ here. because this gives opponents very good odds to call. I put Seat 3 all-in and he quickly calls with JJ. By jamming. I take the simplest option and put Seat 3 all-in.000): Seat 3 raises to 12. Though I’d like to pick up chips. Seat 3 has doubled up.196 pot. A-K is at the top of my range. . he called a raise preflop with T-9o from the big blind.000 from the small blind and my course of action is obvious. However. I’ve been relatively inactive. But. His jacks hold on a T♠ 9♠ 6♦ 7♣ 9♥ board and he wins a 225. I’ll sometimes miss the flop entirely. I eliminate these tough decisions.

For example. he’s less likely to bluff in the next few hands: He’s happy with his recent double-up and doesn’t want to risk his newly acquired stack too soon. and Seat 3 calls. and my opponents have relatively equal stacks of 36-43 big blinds. My opponents’ stack sizes make it unlikely that they’ll reraise with weak holdings. My plan is to fire at almost any flop. or 15 to 25 percent of my opponents’stacks.000. Seats 1 and 2 fold. but I’m fine with this. so a standard threebet would be between 30. as mentioned previously. Preflop (9. so they’ll probably play more conservatively now.122. I raise to 11.000. around 60 percent of the pot.900): I decide to raise my suited kingrag but I’ll obviously fold to a threebet. Seats 1. especially after recently doubling up. and I don’t expect him to make any moves against me. Seat 3.000 and 45.110 into 27. Flop (27. I expect Seat 3 to flat-call from the big blind quite often.111. since he’s getting a good price to see the flop.Setup: I’m still chip leader by a decent margin. For these reasons. with this even stack distribution. I bet 16. a standard raise would be about 13. as I only have an overcard and a backdoor flush-draw. I think I know how he plays. Seat 3 quickly folds and I win a 27. I’ve played somewhat tightly for the last 5-6 orbits and expect my image to be solid. Also. From my observations. given my assumptions about Seat 3’s emotional state and how he’s played the last few hands. I plan on widening my raising range a bit. 2. . I mean that because he’s just won a large pot.122 pot.122): This is not a good flop for me. and 3 don’t want to bust in fourth place. has been playing a loose-passive game—calling a lot preflop and playing his cards postflop without showing down any bluffs so far. as expected. By this. The hands I’ve shown down give me a tight and solid image—another reason to widen my raising range.

a straight or flush draw. Seat 3’s hand. Seat 3 keeps calling Seat 1’s raises preflop and folds when Seat 1 makes a continuation bet.Setup: Two orbits have passed since Hand 36. so far. I’ll gladly get all my chips in the middle.000. By checking. . Also. or some pair and draw combination. I’m not sure what his check means. he would likely fold to a turn bet but call on the river. his hand range is probably 7-x. a little more than half the pot. Even if I don’t have the best hand. If I bet. however. but very unlikely since. no matter what he’s holding. he’ll almost certainly call with worse pairs that also have flush and straight potential.25 to 1 to call in position with a strong suited connector against a weak player. Folding is way too tight.000 from the small blind. Seat 3 calls. since it completes the flush draw. but which he would only bet if those hands improved. I have eight to thirteen outs.400): My opponent checks. raises to 15. the weakest player at the table. but Seat 3 is passive enough to checkcall. but I remember that he made a continuation bet after raising preflop in a previous hand. most players bet flush draws on the flop.900): I have a suited connector in the big blind and Seat 3. there’s value in betting to protect my hand and thereby making him fold weak hands that may have outs. and reraising surrenders my postflop advantage.000 raise and we see a flop. In fact. since if he holds a lower pair. 6-x. It’s possible he’s trapping with T-9. I’ve raise-folded once to Seat 2’s threebet. This isn’t the best turn. With this flop. as a player like Seat 3 will always protect his hand on this sort of board. almost certainly has a lot of equity against me. he’d probably bet the flop even with a made straight. I give my opponent a free card to beat me and give up value when he misses. I may squeeze another bet out of him. I’m faced with a tough choice between betting or checking. he’s played all of his strong hands fast. Turn (66.400): Seat 3 checks again. Calling is the best option by far. Should I check or bet? Checking is safer. By checking. Seat 3 checks and I bet 17. I call Seat 3’s 10. I may lose a bet. In a blind-versus-blind situation. Seat 3 has played passively. Flop (32. I’m getting 2. He doesn’t have a set or two pair. Preflop (9. Also. but I’ve flopped top pair and an openended straight draw. After checkcalling the flop. as it allows me to play a small pot and call a bet on the river if no heart falls.

900): Holding pocket queens. fourhanded and with short stacks. KK. and indeed he does.000. a little less than 3. I raise to 17.000. when my hand is almost certainly best. I could call to induce him to continue bluffing (if he’s on a pure bluff). My queens hold up on a T♠ 7♥ 3♠ 6♠ 3♣ board. who limps. Flop (36. Given the small likelihood of a semibluff checkraise. a little less than 2/3 of the pot. so if I raise.400 pot. I expect him to be checkcalling most of his one pair and combo draw hands rather than try a semibluff checkraise. Seat 3 raises to 43. Checking here reeks of fancy play syndrome. . I’ve triumphed in every confrontation with Seat 3 (except for the race earlier in Hand 35) and he’s almost certainly tired of being pushed around. Setup: This hand occurs exactly one orbit later. he would probably give up on the turn anyway. I don’t think he’ll fold. The only truly bad flop in this situation would be one with an ace or king. No major pots have occurred. Preflop (9. for the reasons listed above. A-7 or A-9 with the A♥.021. leaving 69. 77. and 7-3. Everyone folds to Seat 3. if he checkraises I am likely against a flush already. T-3. I put Seat 3 all in.564 behind. I feel I can safely bet for value and protection with the intention of folding to a checkraise. Seat 3 is basically committed to the pot and the only hands that beat me are the implausible AA. 33 and the even more implausible T7. I’d like to get money in the pot now. so I might as well get the money in now. Calling also looks suspicious. I believe Seat 3’s range is more likely to include middle pairs. I bet 40.570 pot and eliminate Seat 3. If he’s bluffing.000 into 66. and pair and straight draw combos than made hands or flushes. and occasionally against better 8x hands or the unlikely turned set of deuces. A-6. straight draws. The only hands he might semibluff with are A-5. Seat 3 calls and tables 7♦ 4♦ for middle pair. my standard bet size in these situations.5 times the big blind.442): This is a good flop. Seat 3 checks and I bet 19. I’m happy to play a big pot. but I expect him to make a stubborn call. Seat 3 folds and I win a 66. No one likes to be bullied. a little more than half the pot. TT.400. Based on Seat 3’s previous play. but I believe he’s very unlikely to fold. This could be too much. I win a 261.After checkcalling the flop. By observing and analyzing his play.

but if anything. I’ve only shown down good hands at this final table so far and I should have a solid image. so it throws my opponents off. I don’t do this for any superstitious reason such as “riding the rush. Setup: This hand directly follows Hand 39. Seat 1 folds and I win a 10. and we’re guaranteed at least $3.329 pay jump. a $1.250 pot. If he reraises me.000.022. Preflop (10. but this hand is worth a raise. rather than after losing a hand. three times the big blind. but he defends his big blind with a wide range (my PokerTracker . I don’t follow a specific pattern. Second place pays $5. Seat 2 rarely threebets. I’ll sigh and fold with the intention of four-betting him light in the near future. I have a suited K-rag hand in the small blind. If my hand wasn’t suited I’d probably fold.Setup: There are only 3 players left. I like to raise and reraise after winning a hand. I’ve walked Seat 1 a number of times and he should give me credit for a hand. I raise to 18.” I just think most players do the opposite.629.250): Once again. I’ve walked Seat 1 a couple times and I just won a huge pot in the previous hand.

as his postflop play is weak. and I check behind.250 pot. Seat 2 indicates that his range is significantly weaker than I first thought and that a bet would now be a profitable play. and I win a 37. Turn (37.000. or flush draws. J-9 and 6-5. any suited connector up to twogappers. I would expect him to bet with any pair and most draws. Flop (37. suited kings.250): I don’t like this flop.250): Seat 2 checks again. my hand isn’t strong enough to allow me to call a reraise from either player. I expect Seat 2 to continue calling too much from the big blind.000. a little more than half the pot. I expect he will continue with any pair. I’ll probably bet again on the river unless a T♣ or J♣ falls. By checking again. I bet 21.statistics show that he only folds in the big blind to a raise from the button or small blind 54% of the time). From what I’ve seen Seat 2 show down in these spots. I have about 35 percent equity against this range on this flop. Setup: Seat 2 walked me in the previous orbit. Unfortunately. since I’ve completely missed. More specifically. Preflop (11. and I’m happy for him to do so. This range covers roughly 37 percent of his hands. Seat 2 checks. I expect his preflop calling range to include any pair. gutshots with two overcards. I raise to 16. I think it’s more likely that he would have bet them too. Though he may opt to checkcall or checkraise his flush draws and openended straight draws.000 and Seat 2 calls. My standard raise for this level has been 16.250): I have a medium-strength hand that’s worth a raise on the button. since these hands are too weak to call a bet with. openended straight draws. and Broadway hands. Therefore. . If I bet. any ace. This illustrates the importance of position! If I bet now and get called. since these cards hit almost every draw and I expect he’s more likely to be checkcalling with draws than he is with made hands on the turn. I don’t expect a continuation bet to work often enough to be profitable. I would expect him to semibluff his weaker draws like J-T. Seat 2 folds. and Seat 2’s calling range could easily hit this flop.

psychologically. As an aggressive player who doesn’t limp very often preflop. he’s probably raising more than 50 percent of the time and only calling around 15-16 percent of the time (roughly A-7o+. Also. But with the additional information that his raise size gives me. calling does give the big blind an opportunity to squeeze or call. since he just lost the previous hand and may be eager to win back some chips. Given that he folded on the previous orbit in this situation. straight draw. because my assumptions about Seat 2’s raising frequency from the small blind could be wrong. because I don’t want to give any impression of fold equity. A reraise is more profitable and easier to play. I’ll checkraise all-in if I flop any pair. preferring to raise smaller with his weaker holdings and larger with his big hands. PokerTracker shows that over 150 hands. Calling from the small blind isn’t as bad a play as it might first appear.350 on the button.250. I would expect him to raise a higher percentage of the time this orbit since he probably thinks I now view him as a tight player. 33+). Calling could be the better. However. lower variance play here. Seat 2 has raised the button 32 percent of the time. a reraise all-in is more appropriate. My hand is well ahead of his button-raising range.250): I have a middle Broadway hand in the big blind. and Seat 2 will fold often enough to make this a profitable shove. but A9 suited is too strong to fold to a wide button range with shallow stacks. or flush draw.5 times the big blind. I’ve seen him show down JJ after raising more than 3 times the big blind and A-5s when raising 2. most players don’t like to consecutively walk their opponents. he’s raised this amount several times before. Setup: I raised the button two hands ago with Q-Ts and took down the pot. I would usually just call with my hand since it flops decently and is behind a lot of hands preflop. If I just call. so I’m not going to go all-in on every flop. and it isn’t the most profitable option. it still indicates he has a wide raising range when on the button. and it’s probably his standard sizing. and he’s probably raising an even wider range than normal. I reraise all-in and my opponent quickly folds. A-5s+. Preflop (11. If my hand was off-suit I might fold. Though he varies his raise sizes.750 pot. It also appears he has preflop raise-sizing tells.Preflop (11. Seat 2 raises to 14. I don’t want to make a smaller reraise. since position is less of a factor when I intend to either checkraise or fold on the flop. Both calling and reraising are reasonable. lower than most players. K-Q. . I win a 30.250): Seat 2 raises to 17. QJ has around 38 percent equity against his hypothetical calling range. PokerTracker shows that Seat 2’s continuation bet frequency is only 55%. Though 150 hands is a small sample size.

Even though I’ll probably be behind. I reraise to 49. After winning so many pots in succession.950 pot. Setup: This is directly after Hand 42.250): I’m on the button and have a hand near the top of my range. I could have chosen a smaller reraise. Seat 1 has around 40 big blinds and is threebetting quite often. but I’m obviously not folding this one. and I win a 42. and Seat 2 only has 23 big blinds and is probably fed up with me too.In this situation. Every player has a breaking point. Seat 2 folds. Both players fold and I win a 17. he raise-folds often enough to make reraising here a profitable play. my standard raise at this level. In this situation. as it might convey the false impression of fold equity to Seat 2. and it may induce a fourbet bluff. when we’re threehanded and I’ve won nearly every pot in the last few orbits. my marginal hand increases in value. I’ll be getting sufficient odds to call. With this hand.250 pot. around 2. I would fold many hands I’d usually raise with.8 times his raise. and no one likes to be bullied constantly.000. and I also expect to be ahead of Seat 2’s all-in range— though not by much.996. I’ve won six of the last eight hands and expect to be played back at very soon. I’ll gladly put all my chips in the middle preflop. Preflop (11. but I want to leave Seat 2 with a potsized bet should he decide to call. If Seat 2 fourbets all-in. as I expect my opponents to loosen their ranges preflop to adjust. . I expect Seat 1 to threebet-and-fold often enough to make a fourbet profitable. I raise to 16. I prefer a smaller reraise size for two reasons: It still allows me to fold if Seat 1 goes all-in.

and 47 percent equity if my queen is live. since the preflop ranges of both players are relatively wide and the stacks so shallow. and expect he probably has straight draws (K-Q). Flop (51. and 8-7). In the moment. Preflop (11.450 on the button and Seat 2 calls. I don’t believe he would check a made hand twice in this situation.000 is one reasonable option.911. Seat 2 shows K-Q. I win a 309. I like playing flush draws aggressively because you have so much equity when called against almost any hand. Seat 1 folds. so I think he’ll fold after I bet most of the time. I’ve flopped a flush draw with an overcard. I can comfortably call preflop. At the least. and we’re now heads up! . effectively making my own price to draw quite low. I now have second pair in addition to my flush draw. yet not induce a raise with weaker holdings from Seat 1. I bet 31. I decide to check. I check and Seat 1 checks behind. 38 percent equity versus an overpair. Seat 1’s value hands can only be 9-8 and TT if he raises the turn.250): Seat 1 raises to 16. I call the 10. my flush draw has 27 percent equity versus a set. This option is good too. since I either get a free card or get to checkraise with fold equity if Seat 1 bets. 9-7.600): Seat 2 checks to me again. The disadvantage of betting is that I would hate to have to call an all in if one of my opponents shoved. but with both of my opponents’ stacks less than 35 big blinds. A small bet of around 14.Setup: Two hands have passed since Hand 43. The river is an off-suit deuce and my pair holds. because if I’m called I can draw cheaply. and other flush draws. Seats 1 and 2 played a pot where Seat 1 raised preflop and then check-folded the flop.906. and your opponents don’t have to fold very often to make your semibluffs very profitable. I will occasionally get in a hand here where I have a worse kicker. I’ll fold or call. and it sets me up to be able to go all-in over the top of a raise.234 pot. If Seat 1 raises. depending on his raise sizing. pair and straight draws (T9. T-8. as I’m confident I can make the correct decisions postflop. Turn (51. I’m also quite happy to take the pot down with no resistance. and Seat 2 quickly moves all-in.600): Seat 2 checks to me. I don’t consider my hand a trouble hand. this isn’t much of an issue.450 and we see a flop. I’m getting 4-to-1 odds in the big blind on a call with a suited medium-strength Broadway hand. I decide to bet with the intention of calling Seat 2’s all-in. I call the remaining 88. I decide to bet an amount that will induce Seat 2 to jam his draws.

or threebetting more preflop.Setup: We’re both guaranteed $5. I like to make the minimum raise my standard raise because I’m raising so much. or a better 7. depending on how often they reraise me and how well they play postflop.000. I bet 15. I decide that I’ll raise around 70 to 80 percent of my buttons to get a feel for my opponent and how he’ll react. a straight.776. Also. This being the first heads-up hand. . a little less than 60 percent of the pot.500): When playing heads up against most players. but my opponent has over 30 big blinds remaining. With shallower stacks. minraising makes his threebets difficult to size when he’s planning on threebet-folding. the minimum raise. and drawheavy board. 8-7o is in the top 70 percent of hands. Preflop (10. and because I prefer to play my larger pots in position. I have a big chip lead.500): I’ve flopped top pair on a low. so there’s plenty of play left. Heads up is a dynamic. Seat 1 folds and I win a 25. but a bet for value and protection is the clear choice.754. connected.500 pot. I raise the button between 65 and 100 percent of the time. I raise to 12. and first place gets $7. and he probably won’t go allin with garbage hands over my minraises. I’m not sure what Seat 1’s calling range is preflop. My opponents’ two options are either calling a lot out of position.022. We’re effectively playing heads up for $2. since he could have two pair. but there are enough draws and pair-plus-straightdraw combinations that I’ll be forced to go all-in if he raises. Flop (25. Neither option is very good. I’ll be unhappy if he checkraises the flop.000 total. Previous hands show that my opponent is aggressive preflop but passive postflop. and Seat 1 calls. It’s difficult to adjust your play against an opponent who often minraises heads up. fastpaced mind game where game flow and hand reading are very important. Right now we’re in the feeling-out stage.

. A fold here is the correct play against most players.500. Although I haven’t played with Seat 1 for very long heads up.000): I’ve completely missed the flop. therefore a call is best. Getting 2.000): Seat 1 raises to 19. pairing the board. and we see a flop. I suspect Seat 1 falls into this category. A typical player usually has a medium-strength hand with showdown value after checking back on this sort of board. his continuation bet frequency after raising preflop is only 44 percent—most players average 60 to 70 percent. and K-9o should be well ahead of that range. rather than make a continuation bet on every flop. and probably won’t fold if I flop any sort of draw or pair. I would guess he’s raising more than 50 to 60 percent of the time from the button heads up. I consider Seat 1 to be the type of opponent with a bell shaped aggression curve— meaning most of his betting occurs on the turn. against a range I’m probably ahead of. However. he has around 23 big blinds. aggressive players choose to delay their continuation bets. and Seat 1 checks behind. Flop (41. Preflop (14. He almost certainly does not have a queen.Setup: It’s two hands after Hand 45. After checking the flop. I check. From what I’ve seen so far. I’m too unsure of his raising range from the button to know whether a reraise would be profitable or not. Some tricky. PokerTracker shows that during the final table. and plan on checking to the raiser and folding to a bet. merits a call. or raise their opponents on the turn. 5 or 88-JJ when taking this line. as well as flush draws. around half the pot. middle pairs. I expect him to be betting almost all of his hands (with the exception of his ace-high hands that have showdown value) after being checked to twice. since they are most likely to be holding a 7. I plan on playing very aggressively postflop. However.000): A queen rolls off.5-to-1 preflop. I check to Seat 1 and he bets 24. and the occasional 8-6 or 6-4. Turn (41.000. Most players bet flush and straight draws after raising preflop. He folded his button and I folded 9-4o on my button. I did think he was one of my strongest competitors at the final table. and shallow stacks make position less of a factor.500 raise. and the blinds have increased. my opponent has not made continuation bets on the flop nearly as frequently as the average player. Also. I would put most opponents on a 5-x or 7-x hand. top pair sometimes. I call the 11. which means I may still have the best hand. Therefore.

A-7. I can profitably shove this hand face up for 25 big blinds with no ante in the middle. so the decision is rather easy10. and I want him to keep bluffing with worse hands. because my hand looks too much like a 7. The ace on the river effectively polarizes Seat 1’s betting range. making the possibility of him holding one of the two queens left in the deck very unlikely. A-5. since he’s betting all of his air and draws as well as his value hands. giving me the victory! I receive $7. River (89. If he were going to bet a 7 or 88-JJ for value. There aren’t very many combinations of value hands in his range. he cannot credibly represent an ace. but I get lucky and hit a K on the turn on a 6♠ 7♥ 8♦ K♠ 4♦ board. less-than-half-pot bet is a bluff often enough to justify a call. but overall most of the action will be push or fold preflop. This tournament went very smoothly.000. and Seat 1 calls. I wager all my chips. So if he bets. and hands I beat that have plenty of equity against my hand. the Ais very unlikely to improve Seat 1’s range.000): I have a premium hand for shortstacked.000 pot! Setup: This hand comes directly after Hand 46. as there were few ups and downs and most of my reads were . or a total bluff. I don’t think he holds a 5. I don’t think a checkraise would be credible. Seat 1 has a little more than 12 big blinds. In this instance. an unlikely 88-JJ. At this point. My hand reading pays off this time and I win a 173. heads-up play.Folding is best against most players. they are a small part of his range. I call his 42. Checkraising also has merit. but he might also check back those hands for showdown value rather than turn them into bluffs. I expect he isn’t a good enough player to extract small value with a 7 or 88-JJ. I think he either has a Q. In any event. thinking I’m slightly ahead of this particular opponent’s betting range. Seat 1 shows A-T. I might mix in limps and minraises. I assume he’ll be bluffing because he thinks the Ais a scary card for any opponent facing a river bet from the original raiser.776 for first place. I opt to call. and I suspect his quick. because I make him fold his better king highs. Most important.000): The fabled “ace on the river” is actually one of the best cards for me. In fact.000 bet and he shows T-8o for ten high. though I could conceivably have weak aces (I would have reraised all of my strong aces preflop) in myrange. but in this situation. and he quickly bets 42. The ace is usually a good bluff card when preflop hand ranges are narrower. and there are plenty of bluff combinations. But in this situation. Preflop (14. He might be bluffing with K-T or K-J. I also think he would bet a Q on the flop. I think he would’ve at least taken some time to think it through. After some thought. I have to have the best hand less than 25 percent of the time for a call to be profitable. I check to Seat 1.

. intelligent decisions. I won some races and sucked out a few times. which certainly isn’t always the case. you found my play and analysis instructive as well. but overall.correct. Hopefully. I feel I often made my own luck by applying pressure and making informed. It’s very satisfying to enter a final table as the chip leader and close out the tournament.

you have little fold equity as you don’t have enough chips to force players to fold. Counterfeit – When a card on the board diminishes the value of your hand. but the pot odds make it worth a call. First-in .The first player to put money in the pot (other than the blinds and antes). For example. Light . Fold Equity – Refers to your ability to get your opponents to fold. Look me up – When a player calls to make sure you have the hand that you are representing.Independent Chip Model. Freezeout tournament – A typical tournament where tables are combined as players are eliminated and there are no re-buys or addons. Backdoor – A hand completed by both the turn and river card (same as runner-runner). Complete . ICM . Broadway –Any card ten or higher. Double belly buster – A two-way inside (“gutshot”) straight. a float involves calling a flop bet with the intention of bluffing on the turn or river. Hijack –The position two seats to the right of the button (one seat to the right of the cutoff seat). Cold call – Calling when there has been a bet and another opponent is also in the pot. Jam . Limp Raise – Limping preflop with the intention of 3-betting should someone bet.A bluff bet. Barrel .Aforced bet a player puts into the pot before the cards are dealt.Calling the big blind preflop when first-in.Going all-in. When extremely shortstacked.Glossary A-x – A hand which contains an ace and an unspecified card. Float – A bluff which takes two streets to implement.Calling from the small blind when the pot has not been raised. Open-limping . EV The expected value or the value of a play on average. Probe bet – A bet or raise with the primary purpose of gaining information to see where you are in a hand. . Post oak bluff – A bluff where you bet a small amount in the hope that your opponents will perceive your bet as strong.Betting or raising with a weak hand. you hold bottom two pair and the board pairs the top pair. Abackdoor flush is a flush where you must use both the turn and river card to complete your flush. A-xs – A suited hand which contains an ace and an unspecified card. Generally refers to a sequence of bluffs on consecutive streets. Fourbet – Raising when there has already been a raise and reraise. Generally. and the associated value you have when they fold. Blind . price-setting bet used to discourage the opposition from making a bigger bet when playing out of position on the river. Crying call – Calling when you know your chance of winning is small. Continuation bet – Betting the flop after raising preflop. Bounty tournament –Atournament where an additional prize is given whenever you knock out certain players. Looks at chip values and prize distributions to help make decisions later in a tournament. Abroadway straight is an ace high straight. Cooler – Asituation where you have a very good hand but your opponent has an even better one. Blocking Bet – A small.

The likely distribution of hands a player may be holding. Reverse Implied Odds – Situations where your hand will either win a little or lose a lot. or the player two to the left of the big blind. Resteal .Reraising a preflop raiser who you suspect has a wide range. Satellite tournament – A tournament where entries to a larger tournament are awarded as prizes. Runner-runner – A hand completed by both the turn and river card (same as backdoor). Reshove – Pushing all in after an opponent has raised preflop.Range . Threebet-push – Reraising all in. Threebet – The same as a reraise. UTG+1 – The position after the player under-the-gun. . Re-buy tournament – A tournament where you are allowed to buy additional chips for a certain time period as long as you are under a certain stack level. Arunner-runner flush is a flush where you must use both the turn and river card to complete your flush.

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781)). 7 TT has 48% equity versus 88+.982)).com. I derived 2.END NOTES 1An odds simulator shows that A-J wins close to 60% of the time against this is an excellent site to see a player’s overall ROI and www.69235 x 46. It is generally used for sit-n-go tournament structures but has applications for multi-table tournaments. 5Note that this range is 4.InternetPokerRankings. A-Qo+.751 from ((. 3 I derived 14. A-To.300) – (.8%.35 x 14. but given that I already have an ace in my is a good source to see how players do in the major online tournaments of $100 buy-ins and higher.30765 x 56.A-2s+.K-6s+.7% of all hands.J-8s+.berkeley.65 x 12. A-7s.bluffmagazine. For more info. 9 ICM stands for Independent Chip Model which looks at chip values and prize distributions to help make decisions later in a tournament. 2 Q-Ts is 1.decf.7 to 1 against a range of and A-Js+. and K-Q. the percentage is reduced to 3. as well. 8 These percents are rounded for ease of comprehension. which is pretty close to the range I might expect from this opponent given the final table bubble.chillin411. particularly final tables.J-T is the Pokerstove representation I used. 10 For more information on what hands you can shove face up you can look at the sklansky-chubukov site at http://www2.982 from ((. 6www.Q-T+. 4 22+.T-8s+.K-9+.581) – (.Q-8s+. visit www.html .

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