LearnWPT Members Team Roberts Roll Up Big Finishes!

LearnWPT Students Scott and Lisa Roberts have been on a tear at the poker tables in recent months adding on to their impressive combined $125,000 in tournament winnings.

The World Poker Tour recently interviewed and featured Team Roberts in an article highlighting their phenomenal summer.

Click here or read more about Scott and Lisa's poker journey below

Students - Scott and Lisa.jpg

By Sean Chaffin

The couple that plays together, stays together. At least that’s the case for Scott and Lisa Roberts. This poker-playing pair have been married 37 years and is affectionately known as Team Roberts. The recreational players from Atlanta, Georgia, have been on a tear at the poker tables in recent months – and credit much of their success to strategies and techniques they’ve learned attending several LearnWPT events.

The Roberts have apparently been good students. Scott, 62, works as a real estate investor and has more than $89,000 in live tournament winnings. Lisa, 63, is a retired personal trainer and has $35,000 in tournament winnings.

For Scott and Lisa, working with LearnWPT has definitely transferred to the tables. They now hope to keep that mojo going.

Poker Power Couple

It was an especially nice September for Team Roberts at the WSOP Circuit stop at Seminole Coconut Creek in Florida where Scott won a $400 event for $6,994. Lisa notched a runner-up finish in a $250 seniors event for $5,284 and took sixth in a $600 turbo for $2,100.

Scott Lisa - FB (4) adjusted.jpg

“It was very frustrating coming in second,” she says laughing. “But I was very happy.”

At the turbo final table, Lisa was also joined by Scott and he took runner-up for $8,096. He followed up the runner-up finish with yet another second-place finish in a $250 DeepStack event for $4,486.

In total, Scott finished with four cashes for $20,182 and was named the player of the series. His background as a LearnWPT student certainly helped, he says, and everything seemed to come together.

“It was one of those times where I was using moves to make moves and running well too,” he says. “When those two go together you can be unstoppable. It was just a really good trip.”

The couple, who have two grown children and a grandchild on the way, have family in the area and spent some time with them during the trip. Scott didn’t even realize he was in contention to be casino champion.

“We didn’t play a lot of the events just because we were seeing family,” he says. “We skipped several events, but if I had known I was in contention I definitely would have played a few more.”

Scott began playing poker in 2005 with some friends and online. He cashed in smaller tournaments and then won a $235 event in Las Vegas in 2017 for $20,108 followed by another big win a year later for $11,348.

Lisa wasn’t into the game like her husband however, and it took her a while to appreciate poker.

“I’d sit behind him when I was done playing Blackjack after losing money,” she says. “The TV was always on the poker channel [the WPT included], and I wasn’t really watching him play, but I started knowing all the players because of all the little vignettes they ran about them. Scott would come over while he was playing online and say, ‘Look I have such and such hand. What do you think the nuts would be right now?’”

Lisa would answer and often would be correct. She didn’t have much interest in the game but seemed to be picking it up. To her, the game just looked boring with the people looking “all serious and unfriendly.”

One night at a casino, Lisa planned to play Blackjack but her husband convinced her to take a seat at the tables. That first night she played Limit Hold’em holding a card with the ranking of hands.

“I won four hands in a row at one point,” she says. “I couldn’t even stack them fast enough because I didn’t know how to handle chips. I was so excited.”

She left the tables with some winnings, and some confidence. Her poker life took off from there – and that hand ranking card hasn’t been needed since.

Hitting the Books and Crushing the Tables

The Roberts figured out early that working on their game with some outside help would be a good idea. Team Roberts has attended several LearnWPT events, spending many hours with instructors Nick Binger and Andrew Lichtenberger.

Bellagio - May Class photo.jpg

“I took a couple classes and realized how much I didn’t know,” Scott says. “Then we took one together with Nick and it just kind of opened our eyes up. It was just incredible how different the pros play from how we were playing.”

“After the first day, I was thinking, ‘This guy’s nuts. This is not going to work. Why did we take this class?’”

However, they stuck it out for the second day of training. The concepts Binger was presenting began making more sense. They headed to the Venetian that night and used some strategies they’d been taught at the tables. One thing Binger told the couple to practice in a tournament or two was raising on the button every time action folded to them, no matter what cards they had. If one of the blinds three-bet, he told them to four-bet. This overly aggressive strategy would take them out of their comfort zone of passive play.

“I told him I was going to need a few drinks before I played the tournament,” he says.

The coaching worked and Lisa made the final table that night and they won $10,000 playing tournaments that week.

Scott Lisa - FB (2) adjusted.jpg

“I was very unaggressive,” Lisa says of her play before attending LearnWPT events. “I didn’t know what to do with anything. I’d limp, call, and maybe I’d raise. For me, I learned when to be aggressive and when to feel okay with being aggressive in the right situation regardless of your cards sometimes. I didn’t have any of that in my arsenal – I had no arsenal.”

For Scott, opening hand ranges was an idea he had never much considered. He may have put a player on a certain hand but had trouble adjusting his game to those kinds of scenarios.

The new concepts made his game more complex. Team Roberts also learned more about playing in position to maximize profits. They’ve gone on to take more advanced classes with each session building on others. The lab days are a particular favorite of theirs, where a group plays at a table and break down hands played with instructors.

“It ties everything together from what you learned the two days before in the class,” Scott says.

Would they recommend LearnWPT to other players?

“If they’re people we play against, definitely not,” Scott says laughing.

Scott Lisa - FB (3).jpg

Lisa adds: “I think it is the best poker money that we’ve ever spent. I know we were hesitant the first time, but it made major changes for us as far as winning. It’s an incredible class. You don’t really know what you don’t know until you take it.”

As recreational players, they try to find events that fit in Scott’s schedule running his real estate business. He plans to retire within the next five years and then the Roberts will play even more including some WPT tournaments. In the meantime, they plan on keeping their recent success going, and continue working on their game with LearnWPT sessions.

As Lisa notes: “There’s always more to learn.”

Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas, and his work appears in numerous websites and publications. He also writes feature stories and tournament coverage for WPT.com. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions. For story assignments, email [email protected]

Live Event collage-optmzd.png

Whether you are a tournament or cash game player, looking to advance your move arsenal, or ready to master the game, attending a LearnWPT Live Strategy Workshop is the quickest and most effective way to expand your No-Limit Hold’em game plan and get you on a path to success.

See the current schedule below including:

  • LearnWPT Live at Commerce Advanced Tournament Workshop this February 15-16, 2020 in Los Angeles with Nick Binger and Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger which features a freeroll satellite with a $3500 WPT Main Event seat as 1st prize. This event is limited to only 32 Students!

If you are ready for better results at the tables it’s time for you to take action and get a proven winning game plan to help get you there.

Hey, maybe you’ll be our next success story just like Scott and Lisa 😉.

Questions? Contact the Support Team (888) 600-5593 or [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help.

WPT GTO Trainer: Get Started

GTO Header - optmzd.png

With the WPT GTO Trainer!

There have been many poker “trainers” in the past that allowed you to play poker hands for practice. However, these have been powered by people’s opinions of what is good play and not true Game Theory Optimal (GTO) strategy.

What makes WPT’s GTO Trainer different?

  • The WPT GTO Trainer allows you to play through true Nash equilibrium solutions to various No-Limit Hold'em poker Scenarios (over 4 BILLION solved spots and counting!)
  • Get instant feedback on the precise EV (Expected Value) Loss of every move you make
  • Rapidly plug leaks and learn the GTO strategies that have dominated the highest stakes games in the world

OK, time to get started...


To play the WPT GTO Trainer without the need for screen adjustment between hands, simply add LearnWPT.com as a shortcut to your iOS and Android mobile device.

Trainer - Mobile - Seamlessly - Android Chrome.png

Click below for a few simple steps to train optimally using the GTO Trainer from a mobile device:


Using the WPT GTO Trainer is fast and easy! Members can click TRAINER in the top navigation bar or mobile menu.

Navigation Bar - Trainer Highlighted.png


Members must be logged in to your LearnWPT.com Membership to start Training.

GTO Trainer - Refine Search.png

1) Select the Specific Spot you want to train from the available list of Scenarios (ex: MP2 Open vs Button Call).

  • Spots will be either a Cash Game or Tournament Scenario (labeled as Cash, MTT - Tournament, FT - Final Table, SMALL - Small Stakes, or HU - Heads Up)
  • Click the drop down box to select the specific Game Type, Situation, and Stack Size you would like to train
  • You can select multiple options in the drop down menu to narrow your search

Hint: Any Scenarios with a green PLAY NOW button are packs available to your current membership that you have not trained with yet

2) When selecting the Spot to train, take note of the Effective Stack size in Big Blinds and Pot Size information to consider when making your decision (see image below for example). These factors will remain constant at the start of each new hand based on the specific Scenario you’ve selected.

Here are some additional tips for choosing which spot to train:

  • Your Position and Action (Hero) is always listed first in the Scenario name
  • Each Scenario will have you training from either In Position or Out of Position (noted in the description of Scenario action)
    • Cash Game Scenarios use a green table
    • Tournament Scenarios use a blue table
    • Final Table Scenarios use a purple table
    • Small Stakes Scenarios use an orange table
    • Heads Up Scenarios use a burgundy table

GTO - Dashboard Training Pack -  New Logo.png

3) The description of Scenario explains the Preflop action.

  • Example - MP2 Open vs Button Call Scenario:
    • Hero (you) are the MP2 player and Open to 2.5BBs preflop
    • The Button player (Villain) calls and everyone else folds
    • Action starts with the flop and 7.5BBs in the pot

4) View the Hand Range Charts per Position for this Scenario.

  • The hand range charts for Hero and Villain show respective ranges going to the flop (after their last preflop action)
  • Percentages listed for specific hand combos indicate the frequency with which those specific hands are in the overall range for the given scenario
  • Hand ranges are also color coded based on order of action preflop (lighter or darker shades of each color visually indicate the frequency for these hands):
    • The LAST preflop aggressor's hand range is shown in red
    • The preflop caller's hand range is shown in green

Select the image of the hand range charts per position (ie MP2 or Button) to expand to a larger view


After selecting the Scenario you wish to train, simply click or tap on the START NEW SESSION button to start!

GTO - New Session - New Logo.png

Reminder: When training you should be solely focused minimizing EV Loss, instead of whether or not you win any one particular hand.

This allows you to have a long term mindset towards poker that focuses on the quality of decisions and not short term results.


Click START NEW SESSION and you will instantly be faced with a postflop decision based on the Scenario you select from the menu.

GTO Trainer - Show Stats Button - optmzd.png

1) Customize the WPT GTO Trainer to change how you get instant feedback while training!

  • Click the SHOW STATS % button and choose between the following:
    • Specific EV Loss and % Played Percentage Stats for each action (green)
    • Simplified response that indicates if the action you chose is correct or not recommended (orange)
    • The simplified feature is perfect for players who are just starting to study Game Theory Optimal Strategy

2) You'll immediately be faced with your first decision.

  • Choose Fold, Call, Check, Bet, or Raise by clicking the button
  • Bet sizing options are those commonly recommended by GTO Play
  • Villain’s responses to your decisions are GTO - you’ll often face multiple decisions in a hand

3) After each decision, you'll see the EV Loss and Played % for your action directly on the table.

  • EV (Expected Value) Loss - This shows the number of big blinds you would lose against a GTO player if you took this action
  • Played % - This shows how often a GTO Player would take the same action you took

Remember - EV Loss of 0.00 does not mean the GTO Player would take that action 100% of the time (the difference is due to balancing hand ranges through mixed strategies and maximizing EV for your overall range)

Trainer - All Streets - optmzd.gif

4) Your goal is to select the action for each individual hand that is as close to 0.00 EV as possible.

  • EV Loss of 0.00 is the same action a GTO Player would take
  • 0.00 EV Loss means you broke even against a GTO Player

5) The Ideal GTO Action is noted in the top center of the table.

  • A green check-mark next to your action means it is GTO
  • Next is the action a GTO Player would take and how often they would take that specific action
  • Ideal Action and Frequency are displayed so you know the GTO play for each action immediately

GTO Ideal Action and Freq Played - optmzd.png

6) Multiple actions in a given spot are often "correct" according to GTO Play.

  • GTO Play has many mixed strategies, where plays are made a specific percentage of the time
  • You will often see actions with a very low EV Loss (e.g. -0.01) and a reasonable Played % (e.g. 35%)
    • These actions are not "wrong" and are part of a balanced overall GTO strategy
    • If a play results in high EV Loss (color coded in red), you should generally avoid that play unless you have compelling exploitative reasons to make it against a specific opponent

GTO Percentage Played - optmzd.png

  • If the Percentage Played for an action is 1% or less, then that action is rarely taken by a GTO Player and you should generally avoid that play
    • If you select an action that results in a Played % of 1% or less, all subsequent decisions for that specific hand will display "N/A" in red, since that entire line should be avoided

EV Loss Color Coding Hint:
Green = Near GTO Play, Orange = Take Caution, Red = Probable Leak in Your Game


GTO Hints and Tips - optmzd.png

  • Toggle the AUTO ADVANCE button to advance to the next hand decision automatically (green - default) or manually (red)
    • For new users we recommend leaving the Auto Advance button in the off position so that you can take your time and review the real time feedback
  • Click the FULL SCREEN button for a large view
  • Review these instructions anytime by clicking the HOW TO PLAY button
  • Toggle the SHOW STATS% button switch between specific EV Loss and % Played Percentage Stats for each action (green) to a simplified response that indicates if the action you chose is correct or not recommended (orange)
  • Click the EXIT SESSION button to complete your Training Session and review your stats on the Session Summary Page

Trainer Hand Range charts icon v2 - resized (1).png

  • View the hand ranges during a session by clicking the green ℹ️ information icon button to review the charts during play
  • The hand range charts are labeled by position name

Trainer Hand Range charts - resized (1).png

View the charts when facing a difficult spot and examine the possible hand combinations to help train your decisions closer to 0.0 EV Loss.


Your overall EV Loss and Total Hands played are accessible right from the WPT GTO Trainer Dashboard.

Trainer - Total EV loss stat.png

Remember, the WPT GTO Trainer puts you up against an unbeatable (i.e. perfect) opponent. There is no winning in the long-term against it. The most we can ever hope for is to break-even. This is great for us, since this perfect opponent is also the perfect teacher.

Over time, the closer you come to break-even play against the Trainer, the tougher player you’ll become and the harder it will be for your opponents to outplay you.

And if you have high EV loss don’t get discouraged. It’s normal to feel challenged when you are learning new concepts. After all, the WPT GTO Trainer is literally a perfect opponent.


The way we measure our performance against the Trainer is by tracking "EV Loss" or Expected Value Loss.

The best possible result after you pick an action is an EV Loss of 0. This means the action you chose breaks even against a perfect player.

  • When EV Loss isn’t 0, the number shown is the amount of big blinds that we would lose taking a specific action in the long run
  • It's possible to make a poor play (high EV Loss) that results in winning a specific hand

You’ve all seen players make bad plays and win the pot or make the right play and lose the pot. Over time EV Loss will track closer and closer to actual losses.


You’ve put in the work, now you can start to see where your specific leaks are for each Scenario. Your Session Summary will break down your hand compared to GTO Play.

GTO Trainer - Session Summary Dashboard.png

Reading and Interpreting the Data:


1) Overall EV Loss in big blinds Per 100 hands played.

  • Goal is to get as close to 0.00 as you can
  • 0.00 EV Loss is impossible for humans to attain in the long run
  • Do your best and focus on spots giving you the most trouble
    • Do not be discouraged by a high EV Loss in the beginning. When new to GTO Trainer, it's very common for players to have an EV Loss of -50.00BBs/100 or more

2) Number of Hands Played in your Session

  • Sample size is important when considering relevant statistics
  • A minimum of 200 hands is the recommended sample size to start seeing stats for your play
  • Schedule a set number of hands each day to practice a specific Scenario and keep track of your progress

GTO - Aggression Key Stats -  New Logo.png


3) AGGRESSION gives an instant snapshot of the key actions You (shown in Red) are taking across all hands played vs what actions a GTO Player (shown in Blue) would take

  • Don't Worry, if you initially have a huge gap in one direction vs GTO - this is not uncommon

Hover over the bar graph to see the number of hands in that session each action was taken by you vs a GTO Player


GTO - Types of Hands - New Logo.png

1) HAND TYPES compare your play to GTO Play divided by the different categories of hands (i.e. pairs, flushes, trips, etc).

  • Your Action is on the top bar and GTO Play is the bottom bar

Green (aggressive action) = Bet or Raise, Yellow (passive action) = Check or Call, Red = Fold. A color key to be implemented shortly!

2) How to read your results - in this example from the dashboard image for the PAIR hand category shown above:

  • You chose to either Bet/Raise 17% of the time, Check or Call 72% of the time, and Fold 10% of the time when you had a 1-Pair hand in this given scenario (top line of the bar graph)
  • GTO Strategy is to Bet/Raise 24% of the time, Check/Call 62% of the time, and Fold 14% of the time (bottom line of the bar graph)

3) If the top line results are very different from bottom line results (after a large number of hands played) then you know you are playing those hand types differently than how a GTO Player would play them. These are the spots you want to study first.

Don’t get intimidated by stats listed or if there are big differences between your play and GTO Play. Keep training the same Scenario and focus on your biggest leak before you play each Session. Before you know it you’ll be closer to 0.00 EV Loss (and GTO Play!).


GTO Hand Breakdown 11-12.png

1) HAND BREAKDOWN displays all of the hands you've played in a session listed by hand type, position, board summary, and EV Loss.

  • Click the REPLAYER button next to a specific hand played to show the action unfold and review for study later
  • Have questions about that hand? After replaying the hand click the ASK A PRO button to send your hand the LearnWPT Pros for analysis using the Ask a Pro Feature

GTO Trainer - Replayer Button.png

2) Select a specific hand played to see these details:

  • BOARD - Shows the specific rank and suit for each street dealt (flop, turn, river)
  • ACTION - The action Hero (you) chose on that street (bet/raise, call/check, fold)
  • GTO PLAY % - Percentage of time a GTO Player would take a specific action if faced with the same decision
  • EV LOSS - The number of big blinds your action would lose against a GTO player
    • Evaluate EV Loss in Proportion to Pot size
    • An EV Loss of -1.00 is significant in a 6.5BB pot. It is far less significant in a 100BB pot
    • The color coding of EV Loss on the Trainer table takes into account pot size

3) Each street of action is broken down with a color coded bar graph noting the specific actions a GTO player would take if faced with the same decision as HERO, including the percentage of time a GTO player would take those specific actions.

GTO Trainer - Color Coded Bar Graph.png

  • In the above example our decision to bet 2.50 on the flop you will see that a GTO Player:
    • Checks 56% of the time
    • Bets small 15% of the time
    • Bets large 28% of the time
    • Green = Bet or Raise, Yellow = Check or Call, Red = Fold

4) In some instances you will see gradient shading (lightest to darkest moving left to right) representing the bet-sizing that a GTO Player would choose in a given spot.

GTO Trainer Hand Breakdown - Shading 11-12.png

  • In the example above:
    • Bet/Raise small amount (lightest green)
    • Bet/Raise larger amount (darker green)
    • Bet/Raise largest amount (darkest green)


Review any previous Sessions from the main GTO Trainer Dashboard!

GTO Trainer - Session Review - New Logo.png

1) Select the Spot you would like to review from the list of available Scenarios.

  • The total number of hands played as well as your total EV Loss overall for the specific Scenario are listed for quick reference

2) Click the REVIEW SESSIONS button.

3) Select a Session you played from the list.

  • Overall EV Loss, Session Date, and Total Hands played are listed for each Session within each specific Scenario
  • For best results and rapid improvement start by studying your largest EV Loss Spots
GTO Trainer - Review Session Select.png

4) Click the Blue REVIEW SESSIONS button to get the specific statistics for the individual Session within a Scenario. A session review window will open.

For a detailed video walkthrough of what’s covered here make sure you’re logged in to your LearnWPT Membership and watch Nick introduce the WPT GTO Trainer and guide you through using the Trainer here.

Need help interpreting the results and strategy on adjusting your game? Use the LearnWPT Ask a Pro Feature and the Community Forums to get answers and guidance from Nick, Eric, and Chewy. We know you’ll have a lot of questions about GTO Strategy and we’re here to help!

Nick and the LearnWPT Instructors will be showing you plenty of specific ways to use the WPT GTO Trainer to improve your poker game in future Strategy Episodes.


Now that you’ve had a chance to walk through the WPT GTO Trainer it’s time to Play!

Whether you need practice postflop after defending your Big Blind in a Tournament, or you want to drill 3-bet defense from middle position with deep stacks in a Cash Game, it’s just one click away.

Train as often as you like. Get real time feedback on trouble Spots and Ask the LearnWPT Pros with one click.

Play Real GTO Hands Online
Now Part of Your LearnWPT.com Membership

We Want Your Feedback! While using the WPT GTO Trainer you can click the blue feedback widget or email [email protected] with any questions or suggestions.

Facing a Raise with A♥A♠, what do you do here?


In a $2-5 cash game with 100BB stacks the Button opens to $15 and you raise to $60 from the Big Blind with A♥A♠. The Button calls and the flop comes 8♠A♣Q♥. You bet $30 and Villain raises to $130. Action is on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are dealt A♥A♠ in the Big Blind in a 100BB deep cash game. Action folds to the Button who makes a standard raise to $15 and we reraise to $60. The Button calls and we’re off to see the flop.

We hit the flop hard with top set on the 8♠A♣Q♥ board. With $122 in the pot and $440 effective stack, there is some potential consideration for slow playing. If we take a closer look at this flop and how it interacts with both ranges we'll see that it interacts with the Button’s range somewhat frequently. This spot is really close.

If we use a solver and choose 3 possible actions of checking, betting $30, and betting $90, betting $30 is preferred 54% of the time and checking is preferred 46% of the time. If the flop is slightly less coordinated, checking will become favored at a higher frequency.

Adding hands like top set and top two pair that block a significant portion of our opponent’s big hands into our checking range can help protect the times we want to check in a similar spot with hands such as pocket tens. We elect to bet $30 in this instance and our opponent raises to $130.

This is a spot where many players lose patience and are tempted to just go all-in, especially given they have the best possible hand at the moment and their opponent is raised. Defaulting to all-in in these spots leaves a lot of potential money on the table. Opponents who are aggressive will be raising with some bluffs, and when we just go all-in here we let all those hands off the hook.

Continued below...

Ask a Pro Static - 300x250.png

Sometimes our opponent does have draws in their range and if we just call some of those draws may get there when they would have otherwise folded to our raise. However those instances make up a very small overall percentage of their range. Even if the opponent is raising with a hand like JTs has 8 outs that could hit on the turn, we still have 10 outs to a full house (or quads) on the river.

Good opponents will usually just call here with JTs because they often have to fold if they get shoved on. As the in position player the opponent has a ton of float equity when they miss, meaning it is more likely against solid opponents that they are raising here with around 4 outs at best when they have draws.

Unlike our flop decisions, the recommended actions by the solver are not even close and calling here is by far the best play. When our opponent has a huge hand like 88/A8s we usually get all the chips no matter what, so keeping bluffs in their range here allows us to maximize our overall profit versus their entire range.

Calling is the best play.

How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!

The Fastest Way to Learn GTO Strategy

The WPT GTO Trainer allows you to Play and Train against True GTO Opponents and get real-time Feedback and Analysis on Your Actions.

Choose from Cash Game and Tournament scenarios (including Small Stakes cash games) and receive immediate feedback on YOUR play compared to GTO including EV (expected value) Loss, Percentage Played, and the Ideal Action.

Click the button below and play the WPT GTO Trainer for free....

Join LearnWPT.com for just $5 your First Month of Membership and play through hundreds of solved hands per hour (anytime, anywhere, and as many hands as you want) on the WPT GTO Trainer!

A♣K♣ in a Multiway Flop, what do you do here?

AK in a Multiway Flop-resized.gif

In the middle stages of a Tournament with 150/300 blinds and a 30 ante, the MP2 player raises to 660 and you reraise to 1,950 with A♣K♣ from the Hijack. The Cutoff and Button both fold, the Small Blind calls, the Big Blind folds and the original raiser in MP2 calls. The flop comes 3♥5♠5♥ and the Small Blind and MP2 player check. Action is on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are playing the middle stages of a multi-table tournament with 150/300 blinds with a 30 ante at a 6 handed table. We are dealt A♣K♣ in the Hijack seat. The first player to act raises to 660 and action is on us.

If the standard raise size at this table is this small MP2 should be opening a fairly wide range of hands given this risk vs reward on their raise. With this raise size you’re risking 660 to win 600 when you open. So even without one of the best five starting hands in poker we should be 3-betting here wider than we would if the blinds were 50/100 with an opening raise to 300.

AKs is extremely strong in this spot and it is far ahead of MP2’s opening range, so we reraise to 1,950. Action folds to the Small Blind who flat calls. The Big Blind folds, the original raiser calls and we’re off to the flop.

The flop is 3♥5♠5♥ and both players check to us. This flop is better for our range than our opponents as no one is likely to have a 5 in their hand and we should have all the bigger over pairs that aren’t likely to be in our opponent’s range. That being said there are a couple of factors really working against us here.

Continued below...

Digital Lab Animated 300x250.gif

First, the Small Blind is representing a very narrow, condensed range when they cold call the preflop 3-bet here. This means that while they are unlikely to have AA/KK here, the Small Blind's range is often narrowed to something like TT-QQ/AK/AQs as they called a raise and a reraise without closing the action. Since we block many of their AK/AQs hands the Small Blind is very likely to have a significant overpair in this spot.

Second, the stack to pot ratio (SPR) here is around 2. This means even if we make a relatively small continuation bet like 2,100 and get called by a single player the pot will be 10,500 on the turn with an effective stack of 10,150. We are unlikely to be able to leverage our stack into generating folds against hands like TT that are in our opponent’s range.

If the stacks were much deeper and we could use our stack to apply leverage vs hands like TT/JJ in this spot then a continuation bet along with a multi-street bluff on certain runouts would make a lot of sense. However, with a relatively low SPR, against multiple opponents with narrow ranges that are unlikely to both fold this flop a continuation bet, a c-bet is unlikely to accomplish much other than moving more of our chips into one of our opponent’s stacks.

This is a very sharp contrast from the AK hand discussed a few weeks ago, where we had AK in the Small Blind vs a single opponent in a 3-bet pot with much deeper stacks and much wider ranges where we continuation bet on a similar flop.

Checking is the best play.

How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!

The Fastest Way to Learn GTO Strategy

The WPT GTO Trainer allows you to Play and Train against True GTO Opponents and get real-time Feedback and Analysis on Your Actions.

Choose from Cash Game and Tournament scenarios (including Small Stakes cash games) and receive immediate feedback on YOUR play compared to GTO including EV (expected value) Loss, Percentage Played, and the Ideal Action.

Click the button below and play the WPT GTO Trainer for free....

Join LearnWPT.com for just $5 your First Month of Membership and play through hundreds of solved hands per hour (anytime, anywhere, and as many hands as you want) on the WPT GTO Trainer!

Chip Leader with K♠T♦, what do you do here?

Chip Leader with KT-optmzd.gif

You are in the money and the table chip leader in a multi-table Tournament where blinds are 5,000/10,000 with a 10,000 big blind ante. It folds to you on the Button with K♠T♦ and action is on you. What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are playing a tournament where we just got in the money and we are the table chip leader with 1.6 million chips (160 big blinds) at 5,000/10,000 blinds with a 10,000 big blind ante. We are dealt KsTd on the Button and it folds around to us.

We are now in a very interesting tournament spot that can come up quite often, especially if we have a decent stack and there are a lot of players left in the tournament who have what is referred to as "reshove stacks". A Reshove stack is between 15-20 big blinds. The best move for players with this stack size is to look for spots where opponents have a wide opening hand range and then shove all-in over the top when the opponent raises first into the pot. This move is used to induce a fold and leverage their stack to pick up chips.

In this spot, we are on the Button with a hand that we would normally raise first-in with. The potential problem here is if we open, our opponents have great stacks to reshove with. If an opponent reshoves we will be in a very precarious spot because against aggressive players they will likely have hands like JTs and A4s here in their range of which we either dominate or have great equity against. However, we don’t really want to play a 30+ big blind pot with these hands.

Traditional poker logic often says that with and against reshove stacks we shouldn’t raise any hands we wouldn’t call a shove with, but that logic is flawed. If we only raise hands we will call with then we miss out on a lot of opportunities to utilize our big stack here to accumulate chips. We do have another option though.

Continued below...

Vanessa $5 v2.png

Against players who resteal aggressively with these stacks (which is often appropriate) we can also move all-in. At first glance it may seems like a large overbet.

However, sometimes when we hold certain hands that we may have to call versus a shove we actually reduce our overall variance by just shoving first. This way we make them fold some hands with which they may have shoved against a small open-raise.

Our opponents will still call with the hands that dominate us, but they would have shoved with those hands anyway, and we may have had to call those shoves.

Against more passive players who don’t reshove appropriately, making a minimum raise and folding here is definitely the superior play. When facing players who are capable of reshoving a very wide range in this spot, open-shoving into these two stacks is slightly higher EV and lower variance than both raise/folding and raise/calling.

Moving all-in is the best play.

How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!

Transforming your game with immersive training from LearnWPT is now easier with our brand-new 2-Day and 3-Day Digital Training Events all from the comfort of your home on your favorite device! Check out our newest events...

2-Day Digital Lab

Digital Lab Day Replayer.png

  • Day 1: You'll start off with a private single table tournament on ClubWPT.com with great prizes for top performers
  • Day 2: Tournament action will be recorded and Nick will analyze the action for students with all cards face up on a Zoom call

Due to the hands-on nature of this event tickets are limited to a Single Table Tournament.

3-Day Digital Strategy Workshop

Nick and Tony v1.png

  • Day 1: Learn advanced tournament concepts as part of a brand-new curriculum with Nick Binger via Zoom
  • Day 2: Play an online tournament on ClubWPT.com with great prizes for top performers
  • Day 3: Join Nick Binger and Tony Dunst via Zoom for real-time analysis of your ClubWPT tournament play with cards face up

This is your chance to get professional feedback from 2x Bracelet Winners and a
WPT Champions Club Member!

Start upgrading your game now ...

Have Questions about our Digital Events? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help!

9♠9♣ on the Bubble, what do you do here?

99 on Bubble - new - optmzd.gif

You are seven-handed on the Tournament bubble with blinds at 5,000/10,000 and no ante. It folds to the Cutoff who goes all-in for 115,000 and both the Button and Small Blind fold. Action is on you in the Big Blind with 9♠9♣, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are seven-handed on the exact bubble of a smaller multi-table tournament. The payout structure is $980 for first and $130 for sixth with a fairly standard escalating structure in between. The blinds are currently 5,000/10,000 with no ante and we are dealt pocket nines in the Big Blind. It folds around to the Cutoff who shoves all in for 115,000 chips. All other opponents fold and action is on us.

At first glance having pocket nines with 4 big blinds behind seems like a very standard call. However, looking around the table there are 4 other players with 4BBs or less which puts tremendous ICM pressure on us.

If we were to fold here it is highly likely we make the money but very unlikely we face a situation where we have this much of a chip equity edge again. Folding in this spot sacrifices what is likely one of our best chances to build a stack much more capable of a top finish.

Continued below...

Digital Lab Animated 300x250.gif

When we run this spot in a computer simulation assuming optimal play from all players, we find that the Cutoff should be shoving 100% of hands in this spot with these stacks. The ICM pressure on the three remaining shorter stacks is very strong meaning a vast majority of the time the Cutoff just wins the money in the middle.

This same computer simulation suggests our calling range should consist of 66+ A8s+ ATo+ KTs+. In the real world you will run into many players who won’t shove 100% of hands in the Cutoff’s position and against this player type your calling range is likely to start shrinking very fast depending on how narrow their shoving range becomes.

If the Cutoff were only shoving 50-60% of hands then pocket nines could easily become a fold, that’s how powerful the ICM pressure is in this spot. Assuming our opponent is able to recognize the situation at hand, they should be shoving more than enough hands to make this too good of a spot to pass up even if some percentage of the time we bust out on the bubble.

Calling is the best play.

How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!

LearnWPT Pros Winning Big!

CONGRATULATIONS to not 1, but 2 LearnWPT Instructors for each taking home their 2nd illustrious Gold Bracelet in the past week!

Nick and Tony v1.png

LearnWPT Lead Instructor, Nick Binger won his 2nd gold bracelet by outlasting a massive 2,408 entry field and scored a $133,412 1st prize during the WSOP Event# 24 8-Hand No-Limit Hold'em Tournament.

LearnWPT Instructor and WPT Commentator, Tony Dunst grabbed his 2nd gold bracelet outlasting another massive 1,361 entry field and scored a $168,342 1st prize during the WSOP Event# 21 $777 buy-in 6-Hand No-Limit Hold'em Tournament.

Let Nick and Tony help improve your game! Click the button below and join for just $5 your 1st month...

Have Questions about LearnWPT?
Email us at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help!

5♣5♦ on the Flop, what do you do here?

55 on the Flop-optmz.gif

DECISION POINT: In a Tournament where blinds are 500/1,000 with a 1,000 Big Blind Ante the Under the Gun player folds and you raise to 2,500 from Early Position with 5♣5♦. The Button is the only caller. The flop comes 9♦8♥T♣ and action is on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are playing the middle stages of a tournament with a 50BB effective stack size and a 1BB big blind ante. It is folded to us UTG+1 and we raise to 2,500 with pocket fives. This is a fairly standard open at an unknown table given these stack sizes. Action folds around to the Button who flat calls. The Blinds fold and we’re off to the flop.

The flop is 9d8hTc and action is on us. One of the first things we want to analyze on the flop is who has the range advantage and who has the nut advantage. In this spot our opening range is slightly narrower than the Button and includes more overpairs. That said, the Button's range can include 76s and it is very unlikely that our range does.

Our opponent may reraise with pocket tens preflop, however they still have slightly more nutted hands than we do. While we have a slight range advantage, our opponent likely has a slight nut advantage on this particular board.

Continued below...

EP290 Nut and Equity Advantage - 300x250.png

Next we want to evaluate if our hand would benefit from equity denial. While we could potentially get a hand like pocket sixes to fold here, we benefit most by getting folds from hands in our opponent’s range that contain overcards and at least a gutshot draw such as hands like KJs/AQs.

Against good players we are unlikely to get these hands to fold with just a single bet. Aside from a five or perhaps an ace we can represent on the turn, there are very few good cards for us to turn barrel here.

Since we are out of position and at a slight nut disadvantage, we are unlikely to get folds through aggression and deny equity to the overcard plus gutshot combos in our opponent's range. We are also unlikely to be able to fire again on many of the turn cards with any degree of confidence, so this is a spot where we can just check.

Against an opponent who plays extremely fit or fold or would call with a much wider range than is standard preflop, we could make a case for a different line. It feels bad to open in early position and then just check the flop, however this is one of the spots where doing so against a tough player makes sense.

Checking is the best play.

How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!

“Did I play that hand right?”

AAP - question marks - shutterstock - optmzd.png

It’s that fundamental question that, as poker players, we all ask ourselves on a regular basis…

Get clear answers to all of your questions with the popular LearnWPT Ask a Pro Feature!

  • Members can ask poker questions to get in-depth answers from our LearnWPT Pros
  • Discuss poker strategy with our Pros and LearnWPT Members
  • Submit YOUR poker hands to get expert analysis and feedback by real poker coaches!

Find out what’s it like to have a professional poker coach help you improve your game by trying out your first month of Membership at LearnWPT for just $5.

[FREE VIDEO] LuckyChewy Vs Daniel Negreanu


[UPDATE: This LearnWPT Strategy Episode is no longer available for free to non-members]

We hope you enjoyed this special access to a full Strategy Episode from LearnWPT!

Strategy Episodes like this are included as part of a Membership to LearnWPT.com. Click below to learn more about our Membership Tiers.

Watch this FREE Strategy Episode from LearnWPT Instructor Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger as he reviews a hand he played vs Daniel Negreanu in the $300,000 buy-in Super High Roller Bowl.

Tune in as LuckyChewy describes exactly what he was thinking after flopping a huge hand with millions of dollars at stake, and provides some insights you can apply in the games you play.

This video is part of our High Stakes with LuckyChewy Strategy Episode series where Chewy takes a deep dive into his most interesting and useful hands from real WPT and WSOP Final tables and teaches strategies and concepts you can use in your game.

LuckyChewy Episodes Filter-optmzd.png

Click here to learn more about LuckyChewy, his accomplishments, and more importantly... how he can help improve your game.

FYI... this exclusive access will only be available to non-members of LearnWPT for a limited time (access expires May 16, 2020) so make sure to check it out!

We'll see you online,

Improve Your Game Today!
Join LearnWPT and Get:

Logo-Stacked black on white cropped.jpg

Think Like a Pro

To join (just $5 your first month) click the white JOIN NOW button in the top corner of your screen or the button below and start improving your game!

Have Questions about LearnWPT?
Email us at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help!

Q♣Q♥ From the Cutoff, what do you do here?

QQ from the Cutoff-optmzd.gif

You are in a 100 BB deep cash game against tough opponents. The action folds to you in the Cutoff with Q♣Q♥ and you raise to 3 big blinds. The Button and Small Blind both fold and the Big Blind calls. Your opponent checks the K♠8♣J♠ flop and action is on you. What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: This hand comes from the WPT GTO Trainer and involves a cash game scenario where we are 100 BBs deep and it folds to us in the Cutoff with pocket queens. We raise to 3 BBs and it is folds to the Big Blind who flat calls and we’re off to the flop.

The flop is Ks8cJs and the Big Blind checks to us. Since this is a GTO opponent (all opponents in the WPT GTO trainer play game theory optimal ”perfect” poker) we know that they will be appropriately defending against what is a very wide Cutoff opening hand range.

One of the first questions we want to ask when deciding if we should bet the flop with a made hand is “how many streets of value is our hand worth?” In this particular case even with us opening a wide hand range and our opponent defending with a very wide range, if money goes into the pot on all three streets it is very unlikely that second pair to the board is the best hand.

Another question we want to ask is “does our hand benefit from equity denial here?”. While there are some obvious draws on this board, we are unlikely to fold out any flush draws and we block all the straight draws with our queens even if we choose to bet.

Continued below...

We would potentially fold out some ace high hands that could improve on the turn, however in this spot a GTO opponent may continue with even ace high. In this situation our particular holding doesn’t benefit much from equity denial and it is not strong enough to bet, so we really don’t want to start building a huge pot.

This hand is an excellent candidate to balance our checking range and induce some value from hands like Jx or 98s or even induce bluffs from a GTO opponent. Keep in mind that against some “real world” opponents who are either very loose/passive or extremely fit or fold postflop, taking a more exploitative line here by betting the flop may be more profitable than checking.

However, against a GTO tough opponent though who may be capable of check-raising us with a variety of bluffs and backdoor draws, checking here to keep the pot small and get to a controlled showdown versus a wide range is the most profitable play.

Checking is the best play.

How would you play it?
Share your answer in the comments below!

The Fastest Way to Learn GTO Strategy

The WPT GTO Trainer allows you to Play and Train against True GTO Opponents and get real-time Feedback and Analysis on Your Actions.

Choose from Cash Game and Tournament scenarios and receive immediate feedback on YOUR play compared to GTO including EV (expected value) Loss, Percentage Played, and the Ideal Action.

Click the button below and play the WPT GTO Trainer for free....

Join LearnWPT.com for just $5 your First Month of Membership and play through hundreds of solved hands per hour (anytime, anywhere, and as many hands as you want) on the WPT GTO Trainer!

WPT GTO Trainer: Practice Final Table Play

All of the big prizes and money in a Tournament are at the Final Table. Whether it is your local daily or a WPT Main Event, understanding the unique strategy adjustments for Final Table play is vital to finishing strong.

Tony Dunst TOC.png

Are you prepared
to put pressure on a short stack and do you know how to respond when the pressure is on you?

Do you consider ICM (the estimated dollar worth of a stack size) and how to adjust when there are pay jumps?

We are excited to announce the brand-new WPT GTO Final Table Play scenarios to help better prepare you to make the most of your next Final Table!

GTO Trainer - Final Table Pack Select-resized.png

Members can click "What you would like to train today?", select the Final Table Play filter, and choose from the list of available scenarios to start training.

Review the payout structure before you begin by clicking the Payouts link. These numbers represent the percentage of the prize pool for each place.

GTO Trainer - FT Payouts - resized.png

Click START NEW SESSION and begin! Practice these new simulated Final Table situations to gain valuable experience, be better prepared, and have the advantage the next time you are in position to win.

Play through 5 FREE solved random hands from the WPT GTO Trainer Final Table Packs by clicking below and see how close you are to GTO play...

Not a Member?
Join LearnWPT.com for just $5 your first month of Membership to play more GTO hands (and as often as you like) to find YOUR leaks and start seeing true stats for YOUR play!

Get real time feedback on trouble Spots and Ask the LearnWPT Pros with one click.

Logo-Stacked black on white cropped.jpg

Think Like a Pro