Episode 27: Olivier Busquet, Part 1

Olivier Busquet, AKA high-stakes heads up sit-and-go boss livb112, joins us from his poker refugee pad in Toronto. With remarkable candor, he talks about his frustrations and his strategy for staying on top of his chosen format. You can follow @OlivierBusquet on Twitter and read his website for insightful, if infrequent, blog posts.


We revisit last week’s hand to consider Justin’s play and just how, if at all, he could actually take advantage of Sylvain’s bet sizing.

Book Club

This week we discuss Parts II – V of Elements of Poker, p. 85 – 175Learning to Look Left is the article Andrew mentions about the challenge he gave himself.


1:25 Hello and Welcome; the joys of live poker
8:15 Strategy: Sylvain vs. Justin Bonomo, Part 2
33:50 Book Club: Parts II – V of Tommy Angelo’s Elements of Poker
1:04:20 Olivier Busquet, Part I

8 thoughts on “Episode 27: Olivier Busquet, Part 1

  1. Wow, pretty blown away by some of the stuff Olivier talked about regarding his own study. I’m not sure that I’ll be challenging him at the HUSNGs any time soon, but it’s pretty inspiring I think. The podcast is having some direct impacts on my game of late – Ed led me to start making spewy bluffs in spots where I think people are calling really narrowly, then last week led me to start thinking about my bet sizing related to what I hold _and_ what i don’t hold, much as discussed this week. Who knows what the future holds.

  2. Very interesting point about the “Kill Phil” mentality that many players may take against Justin. This leads to the conclusion that even OOP Justin should be 3-betting a polarized range. I agree with Andrew that I’m either calling or 3-betting with the intention of jamming.

    This idea of calling and then hoping to c/shove all flops seems a bit fanciful given an SPR of 2. Seems like you have the perfect stack to 5-bet shove given that the 4-bettor has committed just shy of his commitment threshold (i.e. you’re getting one of the best leverage spots). It would be far worse if the 4-bettor raised to like 15-18% of effective stacks making a 5-bet bluff impossible and forcing an OOP call or a very large shove. Here, the 5-bet shove is at a very comfortable ratio that doesn’t risk a ton and yet still clearly has fold equity.

  3. If we’re trying to find a rationale for flatting AT to a 4-bet, it occurred to me that my 4 bet range on the button probably looks like , and especially if Zeejustin thinks that the first half of that might be very tight, then AT might look ok.

  4. Yeah I agree with Ian. Like what if ZJ thinks AT has better equity against Sylvain’s four-betting range than it does against Sylvain’s opening range? And what if he also thinks AT’s equity is really bad against Sylvain’s calling range should he rip it? What if he thinks Sylvain’s four-betting range is A2s-A7s, K2s-K8s, K7o-KTo, A2o-A9o, AQ+, 88+? And we could add more garbage into that range as well. Could not ZJ then believe that calling will be of higher EV than shoving?

  5. Enjoyed the entire episode, including Tommy’s music (I’m closer to his age than most of your audience).
    Just read Andrew’s article “Learning to look left”. Tommy writing makes it seem seemless to keep the poker universe in balance, but as Andrew notes, it takes a lot of effort. And it strikes me that Andrew’s example of correcting the action (button position) is an underappreciated aspect of the game. Poker relies heavily on self-regulation. And that self-regulation requires folks to pay attention and to speak up appropriately. I’m not sure whether Tommy would agree, but I hope so.

    Pleasantly surprised by the interview with Olivier. I’ve found his intellect a little off-putting or intimidating in other interviews/writings. He seems not only smart but very self-aware in this episode. Good stuff all.

  6. Just want to say I really love the PodCast; I save listening to it for my commute so don’t comment as I’m usually behind but want to more often.

    I thought the discussion on if you should be saying if you have swapped action with someone else was interesting.

    I regularly play live MTTs with <200 runners with my boyfriend and feel a strong obligation for integrity of the game reasons to make it very clear when we are moved to the same table that we know each other and if anyone asks to be confirm we are together. We never let our relationship effect our play on the same table (we’ve coolered each other a few times now) but I’d hate for someone who has been busted in a hand involving us to later realise we are together and suggest that this affected the hand in any way. I think the same applies if you are close friends to make it clear you know someone when they come to the table and if people ask if you have swapped action etc. to be open about it.

    • Thanks, Eleanor. We’ll see comments any time you post them, so don’t feel like they’re going to disappear into the ether just because they’re on an old episode.

      Sounds like you handle the situation well when at the same table as your boyfriend. I imagine you saw or heard about Doc Sands and Erica Moulinho, now engaged or married, who were seated next to each other on Day 6 of the WSOP Main Event? There was plenty of talk about the issue then, and of course everyone at the table knew their relationship.

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