My latest poker strategy article, When to Chase, is now appearing in the September 2015 issue of Two Plus Two Magazine. Here’s a taste:
Though popular, the strategy of checking and calling with a hand that can’t win unless it improves, in the hopes of getting paid off big when you do improve, is a poor one. Practitioners of this strategy tend to underestimate the value of betting and raising with draws and overestimate the amount they can win when they improve. The problem is that your opponents can see when a flush or straight draw gets there, which makes them unlikely to put money into the pot with lesser holdings.
All of that said, I did recently encounter a situation where I deliberately played a draw passively even though I believed I had a good chance of winning the pot immediately with a bluff. The point of this article is most emphatically not to encourage you to play draws passively in general, but rather to emphasize just how much the stars had to align to make this strategy the best.
Neil Blumenfield is third in chips at the final table of the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event. At 61, he is also the second-oldest player ever to final table this event (the oldest, Pierre Neuville, will be competing against him this year).
Neil talks to us about this dubious honor as well as the other challenges facing him as an amateur, albeit a serious and accomplished one, among professionals.
You can root for Neil in November when ESPN airs the final table of the WSOP Main Event. If you’re in San Francisco, check out his girlfriend’s store.
Our strategy hand comes to us from the author of A Main Event Rookie Lives the Dream.
:30 – hello and welcome
12:40 – strat
54:30 – interview
Blinds 2000/4000/300. UTG2 (80K) limps. Hero has JJ in the HJ and raises to 12,000. BB calls and the limper folds.
Flop (34.5K in pot) Q-6-8r. BB checks, Hero bets 20K, BB calls.
Turn (75K in pot) Q86Jr. BB checks, Hero bets 65K, BB calls.
River (205K) Q-6-8-J-10. BB shoves 70K.
Carlos Welch is on the show with his most aggressive cost-cutting idea yet: living in a van! Find out how he’s managing it and how his first few weeks have been, then be sure to watch him on Twitch and read his new blog for the latest updates.
0:30 Hello & Welcome
$5/$10 NLHE, $3000 effective stacks. UTG opens to $50, Hero calls 9d 7d UTG1, SB and BB call.
Flop ($200) 6h 5s 4c. Check, check, UTG bets $100, everyone calls.
Turn ($600) 8h. Three checks, Hero bets $300, SB raises to $1000, two folds, Hero shoves, SB calls.
Ron Upshaw hosts the Don and Ron Show on KIRO radio in Seattle, and is one of the people behind The Poker Academy. We talk to him about the radio game, the poker training game, and even the beekeeping game.
0;30 hello & welcome
34:54 ron upshaw
Three limps, I make it 30 on the button with JxJx, BB calls, two limpers call.
120 in the pot: Qx6d4d. k/k/k/60/snap-c/f/f
240 in the pot. Kx. k/k
240 in the pot. 6x. 190 / ?
Jamie Kerstetter is a lawyer-turned-poker-pro with a long and colorful career. She talks about her decision to go pro, her first experiences playing live poker, moving to Mexico after Black Friday, the East Coast poker scene, the New Jersey online poker scene (she represents Party Poker), and sexism in poker.
You can follow Jamie on Twitter at @jamiekerstetter, and on Twitch at http://www.twitch.tv/jamiekerstetter. If you’re in New Jersey, you can play with her on Party Poker. Watch her videos on Tournament Poker Edge! You can read Barry Hutter’s comments about female players here. And most importantly, be nice to each other!
0:30 Hello and welcome
7:35 Strategy: A PLO hand
33:00 Interview: Jamie Kerstetter
$5/$5 PLO home game w $10 button straddle, I have $1350 (all villains cover), I oeld AcKc8h7h on the button (&straddle). Both blinds call, good aggressive player raises to $50 UTG, 2 players call, I call, blinds fold.
Pot is $210. Flop is Jc9c4h. UTG bets $200, one of the two interim players calls, I call.
Turn is 6h. UTG bets $400. Interim player fold. I call.
River is the Kd. UTG bets $800. I fold.
This is actually a question that was posed on the Tournament Poker Edge forums, so I’m paraphrasing it a bit here. It began with me arguing against checking KQ on a Q72r for “pot control” because there are plenty of run-outs where you can bet three streets for value (more than just the obvious ones where you improve your hand). I did say, though, that checking Q9 (or whatever are the weakest Queens you would have in your range) made sense.
Q: Hero raises from late position with Q9s and is called by the button. The flop is Q72r. Being out of position with a one-pair hand, shouldn’t I frontload my value? Sure, top pair is a good hand now, but the board will get scary later, and it will get harder to get paid off. I can see check-calling hands like JJ, but Q9 seems good enough to value bet. Basically you’re saying its important to put hands like top pair (sets/2pair for balance) in our check/call range so that we can strengthen our check/call range as we will be folding too much to 2-3 barrels. Basically it allows us to get to showdown for cheaper with our marginal hand if we’re capable of taking the same line with our monsters/marginal hands? If Villain knows we’re capable of check/calling with monsters, they won’t bluff as much.
Alex Weldon is a game designer and a writer for Part Time Poker. In this interview, we discuss what makes poker unique among games, how to strategize for unfamiliar poker variants, the art and business of game design, and how computers have changed the nature of gaming.
You can find Alex’s digital games and more information about his tabletop games at www.benefactum.ca. This is the article about journalistic integrity mentioned in the interview, and this is his post about Courchevel strategy (discussed in greater detail on Episode 48 of the Thinking Poker Podcast). The game designer Alex recommended is Vlaada Chvátil.
0:30 hello & welcome
6:13 strategy: constructing ranges
20:25 interview: Alex Weldon
Before Julie Anna Cornelius became a professional poker player, she was a ballet dancer and a flight attendant working in the fleet of one of the poker world’s most notorious characters. In this interview, she shares her story and reflects on the nature of dedication, competition, talent. and hard work.
You can follow Julie Annie on Twitter @LuckyJadeJules.
:30 – hello
20:55 – strat
45:42 – interview
Hero: 89.00 Villain: 86.00, Effective Stacks 170bb
Folds to Villain on BTN
Villain (BTN) raises to 1.50
Hero (sb) 3 bets to 5.50 with Jc10c
Flop: 2c7h8c pot: 11.50
Hero bets 5.75
Turn comes 9s, board is 2c7h8c9s pot: 23
Hero bets 11.50
River comes 9h board is 2c7h8c9s9h pot 46
about 65 behind
Hero bets 19.50
Villain shoves 65