Category Archives: Beginner Poker Strategy

Folding Top Pair With AK?

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It really seems that Ace King creates more nightmares for players than any other hand. Today, we’ll explore a hand where AK flops top pair/top kicker that needs to decide whether or not to put it all-in. This spot was played in a live $1/$2 cash game and exemplifies how a results-oriented thought process can really lead players to second-guess SUPER +EV plays. Let’s check out the hand…

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AK Sucks

How To Play Ace King When It Misses?

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It’s little wonder that the biggest question players have regarding flop play with AK is “what to do when we miss?” As you already know, AK will have Ace-high a huge 67% of the time after the flop.

Many of the difficulties with AK occur in 3-bet pots for the following 2 simple reasons:

1. AK is often strong enough to 3-bet
2. AK is strong enough to call a 3-bet (assuming it doesn’t 4-bet)

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Playing Top Pair + A Gutshot

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In today’s video, we’re going to review a hand sent in by Dan. This is a hand from $1/$3 live and Dan goes pretty aggressive with 86os. So let’s check out the hand and see if it was any good. Continue reading

tournament bubbles

Optimizing Your Bubble Decisions In Poker Tournaments

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The bubble stage of a tournament presents the greatest opportunity for chip accumulation. However, it also often leads to the most costly blunders in a tournament.

Walking the bubble tight-rope can be tricky so let’s go through important points that will help you navigate through your next tournament bubble as profitably as possible. Giving yourself the best chance of cashing, and getting set-up for victory.

The bubble effect arises because of the non-linearity of chips value in tournaments due to the varying payouts. If you’re in a tournament where 36 get paid, with 37 players remaining, and with a relatively short stack, calling a preflop all-in without a very high likelihood of winning against an opponent is a disaster. Continue reading

Hero-Folding AK In A 3Bet Pot

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Ace King creates more issues for players than seemingly any other hand. Today, we’ll explore the question “can we fold top pair/top kicker with AK postflop?” And to spice it up, we’ll explore it through the lens of a 3bet pot. A special thank you to ‘M’ for sending in this 50NL hand history, and without further ado, let’s see if hero-folding AK makes sense here… Continue reading

Should I Check Or Bet Second Pair?

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Second pair is always tough. It’s pretty strong, it’s ahead quite often, but is it worth a bet? Should second pair always go into your check-behind and try to get to showdown range?

In this hand we’ll explore these questions through the lens of a single hand: King Queen on AQ3. Our hero, Alexander, ends up calling a 3bet and villain checks to him on this board. Much of the discussion is about the flop decision, since that sets the entire hand in motion. So let’s get into it and see what goes into making a strong decision with second pair…

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What Are The Most Common Poker Leaks?

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Every poker player has leaks. Some are more obvious than others – but we all have them. Yes, even Phil Ivey has leaks in his game. He just leaks in more refined ways than the fishy calling station at your local card room.

A leak is an area in a poker players game that consistently leaves money on the table. Leaks can be aggressive or passive, but ultimately they are -EV plays that negatively impact a player’s winrate.

Today I want to discuss three of the most common leaks that I see today. These are issues that you can see at just about every table you sit down at. It doesn’t matter if you play cash games or tournaments, live or online.

If you pay attention, you’ll spot these leaks.

But the honest truth is that 98% of players who read this will have some-all of these leaks in their game. Maybe slightly, but they are there.

While reading this, think about the last time you made one of the mistakes. Think about the pots you’ve been giving up on due to these mistakes. And focus on ‘The Fix’ at the end of each leak for a clear way to patch that leak using my new course The One Percent.

Let’s get patching… Continue reading

AJ Tips

Some Thoughts About Ace Jack (AJ)

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In poker, some hands look great on paper but are quite tricky in reality. They could cause you all sorts of troubles if you don’t have enough experience and one of them certainly is Ace-Jack, both suited and offsuit. Many beginners seem to believe the hand is premium, but that is not exactly the case.

While this hand is surely profitable to play, there are some traps you need to avoid. I will try to examine them and give you some ideas how to play Ace-Jack correctly both preflop and postflop.

Ace-Jack Preflop

Of course, there are a couple of different things you need to consider. For example, are we talking about tournaments or cash games? How deep is the game? What is your position? They will help you determine if Ace-Jack is playable and what is the best course. Therefore, let us start by looking into some different scenarios. Continue reading

Can I Fold A Straight? Or Is That Too Nitty?

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Can you ever correctly fold a straight? Sure the board is paired, but with no flushes possible it’s tough to make this tight of a fold. In this hand, we’ll review a hand sent in by Josh who played an interesting hand at $2/$5 live. After isolating from the button with 98o, Josh improves to a straight on the turn and ends up raise/folding on the river. Let’s see if that this fold was solid – or too nitty. Continue reading

Making Final Tables In HUGE Tournaments

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Winning a poker tournament with hundreds or thousands of opponents is not an easy task. Even if you’re a solid player, you will require some luck to reach the final table. In fact, tournaments have the highest variance in the game. The reason is simple – the money is spread across just a tiny group of players that reach the latest stages of the event.

This is why your goal should be to reach the final table as often as possible. Playing just to finish in the money is not a winning strategy and doesn’t work well in the long run. In this article, I will give you some tips how to improve your chance of reaching it. Of course, it does not guarantee success, but it will certainly help you to play for that big win more often. Continue reading