Poker Quiz! Q♠T♠ Facing a Button 3-Bet, What Do You Do?

QT-Facing-Button-3Bet


DECISION POINT:
You are in the middle stages of a multi-table Tournament where blinds are 500/1,000 with a 1,000 big blind ante. Stacks at the table are between 30-50BBs and you have 50BBs. You’ve observed the players on the Button and in the Blinds to be solid opponents. Action folds to you in the Cutoff with Q♠T♠ and you raise to 2,300. The Button 3-Bets to 6,900 and both of the Blinds fold.

Action is back on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are playing the middle stages of a multi-table Tournament. The blinds are 500/1,000 with a 1,000 big blind ante. The Button, Small Blind, and Big Blind are solid players with a good understanding of poker theory. We have 50,000 chips and most of the other stacks around the table have between 30-50 big blinds.

We are dealt QsTs in the Cutoff and action folds to us. We make a standard opening raise to 2,300 and the Button to our immediate left reraises to 6,900. Both the Small Blind and Big Blind fold and action is back on us.

Against skilled and aggressive players it is very important that we are able defend reraises of our first-in opens with an appropriate frequency. In this scenario the Button 3-bet 6,900 to win our initial 2,300 raise amount plus the additional 2,500 in the pot. Since they risked 6,900 to win 4,800 if we defend any less than around 40% of the time (4800/6900) our opponent can profit by reraising with any two cards. Using our estimated equity in the pot as a shortcut to govern how often we need to continue against aggressive action in a specific scenario is often referred to as minimum defense frequency.

Continued below...

Tour Terms 3-Bet

The best combinations for us to defend against reraises include hands that realize their equity well out of position. This means that in addition to some of the more obvious candidates like big pairs , Ace-King, and Ace-Queen that will continue by calling or 4-betting, we need to fill out the rest of our range with other hands that don’t favor a 4-bet such as pairs and some of our best suited hands. Our specific hand QTs is one of the better candidates to defend in this spot, with GTO response charts recommending we continue against a Button 3-bet with as low as Q8s.

In game, if we have a read that our opponent is not 3-betting an appropriate range and is instead using a much narrower one, we could make an exploitative adjustment in this spot by folding. Against skilled and aggressive opponents we must defend a certain percentage of the time to avoid being exploited, and QTs falls firmly into the preferred 3-bet defense range in this spot.

Calling is the best play.

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


LearnWPT-Poker-Training

Train → Play → Think → Like a Pro

We created LearnWPT with the goal to provide a place that empowers players to ask questions, help get them focused, and provide a solid game-plan to bring to the table every time they sit down.

Some of the ways we accomplish this is by:

  • Teaching and presenting examples of proven, winning concepts through our Strategy Episodes (short 10-15 min videos)
  • Having Members Practice, Drill, and Play Hands using the WPT GTO Trainer for instant feedback on their decisions
  • Providing a place where Members can send questions to receive answers and guidance with the Ask a Pro Forums
  • Giving Members the ability to record and send hands they've played to receive expert analysis using the Hand Input Tool


Not a Member?
Click below to join (just $5 your first month) and start improving your game today!



What’s the Fastest Way to Learn No-Limit Hold'em Poker?

Wynn-WC-Study-Session-Preflop

If you’ve been looking for the fastest way to learn poker from the ground up in 2024 and have found this link, consider yourself fortunate. LearnWPT, The Official Poker Training Platform of the World Poker Tour®, has assembled a step-by-step guide to help you get started in no time. If you’re a more seasoned poker player and are looking for the next level strategies that have won more than $60 million dollars, 12 WSOP Bracelets, and 5 WPT Championship Titles, then you’re also in the right place.

We’ve got you covered with expert strategies from some of the most successful players in poker including Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger, Brian Altman, Tony Dunst, Eric “Rizen” Lynch, Michael “Gags30” Gagliano, Johan Schultz-Pedersen, and Nick Binger.

LearnWPT-Instrutors-Altman-Tony-Gags-Chewy

So no matter if you’re getting ready to play your first hand of No-Limit Hold'em, or sharpening your game to try and finally break through with a victory on the felt, your friends at LearnWPT are here with strategies and training tools that will immediately show results in your poker game.


Find Your Poker Learning Path

The most impactful poker lessons happen during actual game play, however it can take several hands to accurately assess what stage a player is at their development. LearnWPT has developed a short quiz that will pinpoint your specific level of knowledge and deliver only the content that you need to start improving your poker play fast.

Take the below Quiz and find out where to begin your study...

If you are new to No-Limit Hold'em watch LearnWPT Quick Start to learn the basic rules and see how a hand is played including the Blinds, Betting Rounds, Hand Rankings, and more!


Join LearnWPT.com for just $5 your 1st month of Membership and get started on your path to improvement!


Organize Your Poker Training

Now that you’ve discovered your starting point to learn and improve at poker, it’s time to organize your training assets and get on a study schedule. Depending on your goals as a player, you may want to study at least 3 days a week for a minimum of one hour per session when you first start learning a new poker strategy. The more ambitious your goal (for example, become a WPT Champion in 6 months), the more frequently you should study.

After you’ve identified your goals and outlined a general plan, it’s crucial to schedule your training sessions at times where it’s most convenient for you and any study partners. It’s often best to leave at least a few hours between poker study and play sessions to allow yourself a transition from study mode into execution mode.

If you’ve struggled with optimizing poker study sessions and maintaining momentum due to challenging personal schedules, you’ll also need a tool that helps organize and track your progress.

learnwpt-dashboard-learning-path

The LearnWPT online platform features a personalized and customizable training dashboard that delivers content from our strategy video library featuring 500+ Episodes, in a stream based on your specific Learning Path and current progress, plus offers an at a glance view of Ask A Pro forum activity and scoring history on the WPT GTO Trainer.

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The ability to organize and schedule your poker training on an easy to use platform with best in class technology is ideal for staying flexible and finding the time to fit in study sessions on busy days.


Get Your Poker Play Reviewed By An Expert

There are many factors to consider when analyzing a specific poker hand. A skilled poker coach has the proven fundamentals and decision making process to determine what is the most crucial to focus on when providing strategic feedback. The ability to consistently follow a process for reviewing play and recommending concrete steps for improvement based on proven strategy are desired traits when looking for a subject matter expert to accelerate your learning.

Unfortunately it’s not always easy to find trusted resources when it comes to getting direct feedback on poker strategy, and it’s often a challenge to receive timely responses to your poker questions given crazy schedules kept by many poker professionals.

learnwpt-ask-a-pro-forum

It can also be very cumbersome to track hand history details and capture all the necessary information from your poker play to accurately recount your trouble spots from a session. Often players struggle with recalling all of the specific details that are essential to correctly training and learning poker.

To make it easier for everyone to get strategy advice and direct feedback on their poker play, the Team at LearnWPT provides immediate access to experienced poker champions who are also expert teachers through a streamlined tool that helps you accurately record and store hands you play for analysis.

learnwpt-hit-what-happened-flop-blue

With the Ask a Pro Forums and the Hand Input Tool (HIT), you can quickly capture and share replays from hands you played directly to the Pros of Team LearnWPT and get timely and detailed strategic guidance to reinforce good habits while plugging your biggest leaks.

Join LearnWPT.com for $5 your 1st month of Membership to record hands and send them to our Pros for analysis!


Practice Playing Poker As Often As You Can

We’ve mentioned it a few times in this article already, but it’s crucial to understand that the only way to actually test new skills you are learning is to play hands of poker. The speed of growth in a poker player's learning curve is often directly correlated to their ability to test new theories rapidly through execution and get immediate feedback from opponents.

For the majority of poker players there is a huge challenge in playing enough volume to reinforce new concepts and develop the real time feeling of responding to an opponent with advanced plays. The size of your bankroll is also a big factor in the ability to play a large quantity of poker sessions in order to perfect new strategies.

wpt-gto-trainer-ideal-action-fp

In order to accelerate your learning and close the experience gap fast, it’s recommended to use one of the many programs that allow poker players to train simulated No-Limit Texas Hold'em hands for practice. One of the most comprehensive and advanced options on the market, The WPT GTO Trainer, is a specialized poker training tool that is exclusive to the LearnWPT platform.

WPT-GTO-Trainer-Refine-Search

With the WPT GTO Trainer you can practice cash game, tournament, 6-max, final table ICM, and heads up scenarios vs a computerized opponent who is programmed to respond with the correct strategy for each decision point.

As an added feature, LearnWPT.com Members can share hands directly from the WPT GTO Trainer session summary to the Ask A Pro forum for detailed analysis and strategic explanation of the specific spots they are practicing. Ready to give it a try?

1029-32-MP2-Open-vs-Big-Blind-Call-MTT

Decision Point: In a Tournament with 50 big blind stacks you open raise to 2.5BBs from Middle Position and the Big Blind calls.

Now it’s time to test your skills from this spot and play a FREE sample of 5 tournament hands in the WPT GTO Trainer.

LearnWPT Members can play more poker hands from this common MTT spot with the MP2 Open Vs Big Blind Call WPT GTO Trainer pack.

Here are some tips when practicing with the WPT GTO Trainer:

  • 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
  • EV Loss Color Coding Hint:
    • Green = Near GTO Play
    • Orange = Take Caution
    • Red = Probable Leak in Your Game
  • Questions on why a specific play was not preferred? Share the hand to the Pros for analysis directly from your Session Summary Dashboard!

Not a Member? Join for just $5 your first month to play more WPT GTO Trainer scenarios like this.


Train The Mental Game

Learning strategic maneuvers and the specific mathematics that govern optimal decision making in a hand of No-Limit Hold’em is only the starting point to training your poker game for peak performance. Due to the statistical variance in No-Limit Hold’em poker you will face your fair share of bad beats (when an underdog beats a favorite) and have to deal with the emotional swings that occur from frustration, disappointment, and anger related to losing.

mental-game-tune-up-tournament-poker-diego-ventura

The world’s best poker players recognize that knowledge is only half the battle. Without the ability to execute and make complex decisions in a short amount of time with real money on the line, knowledge is reduced to trivia. The process of training your Mental Game is not that much different than training poker strategy, and there are proven strategies for reducing the effects of strong emotions on your decision making during play.

LearnWPT Mental Game Coach Jared Tendler is both a pioneer and innovator in the study of Mental Game training for poker players. His video Strategy Episodes on LearnWPT outline the causes of Mental Game errors and provide step-by-step instructions for proactively nurturing your emotions and stress levels before play.

Mental-Game-Tune-Up-Course

If you are preparing to play a major tournament series it’s also essential to prepare your Mental Game for the rigors of long hours and less than favorable run outs.

Jared Tendler has used his expertise to create a proven process to prepare for these intense stretches of poker with his turnkey course Mental Game Up Tune Up for Tournament Poker.


Commit to A Cycle of Constant Improvement

Focusing your attention on a goal in poker requires an understanding of how poker results don’t always line up with your study efforts due to variance. Your edge as a poker player is based on statistical probability over the long-term, which essentially means millions of poker hands. To make big gains in your poker playing ability you’ll need to trust the process and commit to a cycle of constant improvement, pledging to get better by at least 1% every day.

Committing to a cycle of constant improvement has huge benefits for your poker game, as you’ll focus on improving your worst and enhancing your best a little bit at a time. You’ll also likely see more benefits in other areas of your life, as you strive to eliminate nagging errors and upgrade your overall decision-making skills.

WPT Commentator, WPT Champion, and LearnWPT Instructor Tony Dunst knows what it takes to battle and win against the best poker players on the planet. In his Strategy Episode on the difference between the Amateur and Pro mentality, he breaks down the key traits of a poker pro and illustrates how their mindset leads to breaking through for big gains at the table.


Conclusion

🎯 The fastest way to learn poker is to adopt a system used by proven winners who know how to accelerate your learning through targeting training and a continuous feedback loop. To make the most of your journey playing poker, and to have more fun at the table, it’s important to identify your goals and work towards them in a supportive community of subject matter experts.

Organizing your poker training content and scheduling study sessions can be challenging both for you and any study partners. Choosing a platform designed specifically to help you learn and grow as a poker player is ideal for improving your play fast. You don’t want to waste valuable time trying to plan your study sessions or figure out what content you should be watching.

Practice makes perfect, and it’s even more important to get in a large volume of hands when learning new concepts. You need a training tool that uses Game Theory Optimal Outputs and provides immediate feedback for your poker decisions, including for all different types of games and situations.

✅ Finally, it’s crucial to surround yourself with poker players and coaches who are knowledgeable in strategy and adept at teaching poker to students of all experience and skill levels. You need direct access to skilled poker players who have proven their worth at the table in order to really advance your poker education. It’s also essential to have tools built specifically for poker training that are designed to work together as a system and help you be as efficient as possible with our study time away from the felt.

We hope you enjoyed this handy guide to give the Fastest Way to Learn Poker, no matter if you are just finding the game or if you’ve played your fair share of No-Limit Texas Hold’em.

If you’re ready to take the next step and start your poker training program with a trusted ally, sign up for your first month of LearnWPT.com and train with the pros for just $5!


Have Questions? Contact our support team at [email protected] and we'll be happy to answer any of your questions.



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Train - Play - Think Like a Pro!

Poker Quiz! A♠3♠ in the Big Blind Vs the Button, What Do You Do?

A3 in the Big Blind Vs the Button


DECISION POINT:
You just sat down at a live $5/$10 cash game with $1000 effective stacks and are dealt A♠3♠ in the Big Blind. Everyone folds to the Button who raises to $25, the Small Blind folds, and you call. You check the 7♥3♦2♣ flop and your opponent c-bets $35.

Action is on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are playing a live $5/$10 cash game with $1000 effective stacks and have just recently sat down so we have no relevant reads on the table. Everyone folds to the Button who raises to $25, the Small Blind folds and action is on us with As3s in the Big Blind.

Reraising preflop is certainly valid as a part of a polarized 3-betting strategy, however this hand falls more firmly into the category of a call. The output from a Game Theory Optimal solver prefers to 3-bet A5s, and A4s a portion of the time, leaving A3s and A2s as the suited wheel combinations that prefer calling in this scenario. When analyzing this strategy it’s important to note that 3-betting these hands as a bluff too frequently would imbalance our range.

If we chose to include A3s as part of our overall 3-betting strategy in this instance it could be acceptable, as long as we used some sort of suit or clock randomization technique to maintain appropriate balance. In situations where we have specific reads on an opponent, such as they will call 3-bets frequently but often fold to aggression postflop, we could widen our 3-betting range to include A3s.

In this instance we elect to call and the flop is 7h3d2c. While leading on some low card boards that favor a calling range over the Button’s raising range is a valid play, the default play in this defense calling scenario from the Big Blind is check to the preflop raiser. We do check, and the Button continuation bets $35.

Continued below...

Our pair of 3s is likely to be the best hand on the flop a vast majority of the time and folding to a standard c-bet in spot would be a huge mistake against skilled opponents. Both check-raising and calling have a positive expectation. Right away we can see that check-raising is problematic as our range doesn’t contain many combos that can check-raise for value when we are deep stacked. If a pair of threes is in our check-raising range here, it’s very easy for our range to contain too many weak hands and allow a good opponent to counter by calling or 3-betting more frequently.

We don’t have a backdoor flush draw and our straight draw can only be completed if 4 cards to a straight are showing on the board, so it is not very well disguised. Considering the specific factors in this hand as a whole, calling is the preferred play in this scenario.

Taking this line will likely require some difficult turn decisions where we sometimes may need to call on the turn with 3rd pair, however we show a positive expectation in the long run, especially vs skilled and aggressive opponents.

Calling is the best play.

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


LearnWPT Launch Digital Strategy Workshop!

Join Team LearnWPT for the upcoming LearnWPT Launch Digital Tournament Strategy Workshop to get your game ready for the Summer Tournament Series - all from the comfort of home!

LearnWPT Launch - WPT Passport

LearnWPT Launch is an interactive Workshop that consists of 4 Digital Training Sessions conducted over a span of 2 Weeks (starting May 14th). Each Session is highly structured and designed to deliver the maximum impact to your game over 8 Immersive Hours of Instruction with Team LearnWPT.

PLUS attendees have a seat in a private Tournament hosted on ClubWPT.com* to win a $2,500 WPT Prime Championship Passport!

LearnWPT Launch Instructors - border

LearnWPT Launch is your chance to train directly with Tony Dunst, Eric "Rizen" Lynch, Michael "Gags30" Gagliano, and Johan Schultz-Pedersen on your time and from the comfort of your home.

With a combined resume including a WPT Championship, 5 World Series of Poker Bracelets, 3 WSOP Circuit rings, best selling author, over 3 decades of coaching experience, plus countless other high profile final tables and huge scores, Team LearnWPT has the tools and knowledge to make this your best summer on the felt yet.

Have Questions about LearnWPT? Send an email to our Support Team at [email protected] or click the red CONTACT US button.

On Tour With LearnWPT: 2024 WPT® Choctaw-Durant

WPT-Choctaw-Championship

If you’re a fan of nonstop poker action in an award winning hotel casino where you can split time between fine dining, line dancing, and some time at the pool, then you need to get to Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, OK right now. Join Team LearnWPT as we head back On Tour for the televised $3,800 World Poker Tour® Choctaw Championship Event featuring 50K in starting chips plus a massive $2 Million Guaranteed prize pool.

The 2023 WPT Choctaw Championship Event drew some of the best rounders on the planet and the prize pool swelled to over $2.1 Million. After a long final table battle, world-class player Jared Jaffe captured the $400,740 first prize and his 2nd WPT Main Tour Title

Jared-Jaffe-WPT-Chcotaw-2023

This year the Choctaw Festival returns featuring a huge slate of new exciting tournaments, epic schedule of satellites, and huge guarantees leading up to the highly anticipated WPT Main Tour Championship Event.

Do you have dreams of making the televised final table and sharing the stage with Vince, Lynn, and Tony but don’t quite have the bankroll? Good news - there are plenty of chances to parlay a small buy-in into a life changing score, and you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the Championship Event satellites starting as low as $130!

Get Championship Ready With LearnWPT

Team LearnWPT is here to give the tools and strategy you need to win your seat to the $3,800 WPT Choctaw Championship. Check out the strategies in this blog (and on site on May 2nd!) and you’ll be ready to jump in the action.

Get In on the Action
Win a FREE $500 Satellite Seat
Satellite Keys and Basics
Test Your Satellite Skills
Understanding ICM at the Final Table
Play Solved GTO Final Table Hands
Launch Your Poker Game This Summer!

Get an edge on your competition with poker strategies from proven winners and prepare to dominate the felt!

#TheCupAwaits 🏆


Get In on the Action ...

WPT-Choctaw-2024

The 2024 Choctaw Casino & Resort Durant festival kicked off on April 17th with the $300 Monster Stack $50K GTD opener and features some can't miss events including the $100K GTD $130 buy-in “Gargantuan“ on the 18th and the $400 buy-in $200K GTD “Choctaw Classic” event on the 25th.

In addition to the satellites to the $3,800 WPT Choctaw Championship even starting as low as $130, you can also potentially parlay a low buy-in of $250 into a $14,100 WPT package satellite that awards winners a seat to the $10,400 WPT World Championship in Vegas this December. There are also lower buy-in events scheduled nightly so you don’t have to stretch your poker bankroll to get to experience the fun and excitement of playing in a World Poker Tour event!

📅 Festival Dates:
Start: Wednesday, April 17, 2024
End: Monday, May 6, 2023
Click here for the full Festival schedule

WPT-Choctaw-Championship-Action

Day 2 of the Televised Championship Event begins Friday, May 3rd with two starting flights and allows for unlimited re-entry until the start of level 9 on Day 1A and Day 1B - Click here for the structure.

📅 WPT Championship Event Schedule:
➧ Day 1A: Friday, May 3, 2024 starting at 11 am CDT
➧ Day 1B: Saturday, May 4, 2024 starting at 11 am CDT
➧ Day 2: Sunday, May 5, 2024 starting at 11am CDT
➧ Day 3: Monday, May 6, 2024 starting at 11am CDT
➧ Final Table: Thursday, May 30, 2024*

The $3,800 Championship event offers 50K in starting chips and the player's favorite WPT structure providing plenty of chances to chip up and build a final table stack.

*The final table of 6 will be played and filmed for television by the World Poker Tour at the HyperX Las Vegas at Luxor on May 30, 2024.


Win a FREE $500 Satellite Seat and Train With Team LearnWPT - May 2nd!

Satellite poker tournaments are a great way to parlay a larger buy-in event at a lower price so you don’t need to have big bucks to be in contention for a game-changing score. Strategies for Satellites can be very different from a normal Tournament, and you’ll need to make some adjustments that may seem strange compared to standard tournament strategy.

To help get you ready for the WPT Choctaw Championship Event we're inviting you to join Team LearnWPT Instructors Eric "Rizen" Lynch and Adrian Naggy for a FREE 30 minute introduction to Satellite Strategy Workshop LIVE at 12PM CDT on May 2nd prior to the start of the Championship Event Satellites.

Team-LearnWPT-Adrian-Naggy-Eric-Lynch

You’ll get specific examples of how to change up your play to take advantage of the unique factors in a satellite, including how to adjust for each stage of the tournament, surviving as the shortstack, monitoring stacks and other tables, and navigating the bubble.

The Workshop is free to all and will be held in the Willow Room (located in the Conference Area next to The Grand Theater) on May 2nd at 12PM CDT - look for the LearnWPT banners!

Immediately following the FREE strategy session, we’ll go down to the tournament floor in the Grand Arena and play in an exclusive freeroll satellite for attendees with 1st prize awarding a $500 seat to the 4PM Mega Satellite to the WPT Choctaw Championship!*

Save your seat by registering below or clicking here


*
Entry limited to attendees of the Free LearnWPT Satellite Strategy Workshop on May 2, 2024 at 12PM CDT. Attendees must register prior to the start of Satellite. First Prize in the LearnWPT Freeroll Satellite awards one (1) seat to the $500 Mega Satellite to the WPT Choctaw Championship Event on May 2, 2024 at 4PM CDT. First Prize is only valid for the $500 Mega Satellite to the WPT Choctaw Championship Event on May 2, 2024 at 4PM CDT. First Prize non-transferable and not redeemable for cash value.

P.S. After the Workshop jump into the $500 Mega Satellite at 4 pm or the $250 Super Satellites at 6 pm and 9pm to win your seat into the $3,800 WPT Choctaw Championship Event.

WPT-Choctaw-Satellite-2024

Can't make the FREE Introduction to Satellite Workshop? Use the poker strategies below to sharpen your focus and who knows, maybe you’ll turn a few bucks into a huge payday.


Should You Play a 🛰️ Satellite Differently?

YES YOU SHOULD!

Approaching satellite play with the same strategy used in a regular poker tournament will often result in you busting when you would otherwise have a seat to the target tournament locked up.

Watch this Strategy Episode from LearnWPT Instructor Nick Binger as he discusses the key adjustments you need to make when playing Satellite Poker Tournaments.

Need Help Closing The Deal?

In this LearnWPT Strategy Episode get invaluable perspective from a Pro as Nick Binger reviews several key hands from a Satellite to highlight the unique adjustments during the endgame.

These strategy concepts could help you avoid busting on the bubble and secure your seat to the WPT Choctaw Championship!

The Keys 🗝️ to Satellite Play

  • Everyone gets paid the same prize
  • Make sure you know the rules of the Satellite you are playing and how to secure your seat
  • Satellites can be played a number of ways, from traditional freezeout, to milestone, to shootout format
  • No incentive to build a large stack once you are likely to win a seat
  • As the probability of winning a seat goes up, your ranges in all spots tighten up
  • There are times in a satellite poker tournament when players should never continue against an all-in
  • Satellites are the only form of poker where it can be correct to fold pocket Aces preflop
  • Pay very close attention to stack sizes and level changes!
  • Often in the satellite endgame 10BBs may be a big stack that is guaranteed to win a seat

Test Your Satellite Skills!

In a Satellite to the WPT World Championship with QQ-optmzd

You are playing a Mega Satellite to the $2 Million guaranteed WPT Choctaw Championship with blinds at 50/100 and a 100 big blind ante. You are in the Small Blind with Q♠Q♥ and 4,600 chips (46BBs). An Early Position player limps, a visibly frustrated player in the MP2 seat makes it 300, the Button flat calls, and action is on you.

What do you do here?

Click here to get detailed analysis of this hand from Team LearnWPT and learn more strategy behind the correct plays.


Final Table ICM Pressure on Preflop Ranges

Strategy adjustments for various tournament stages must consider the impact of ICM (Independent Chip Model) and the specific factors in play at your table. When there are different stack sizes and a huge gap in pay between 1st and 9th place, making the most profitable decisions can seem daunting.

When you are the chip leader at a Final Table it’s also crucial to understand how dramatic ICM will affect your opponent’s strategy, and when you can use ruthless aggression to punish your foes on the way to victory. In both cases, the key to making better decisions with ICM in play starts with adjusting first-in hand ranges.

Watch this LearnWPT.com Strategy Episode as Nick breaks down ranges and adjustments across stack sizes and describes how you should be approaching these spots at your next Final Table.

Playing Medium Pairs at A Final Table

Medium strength pocket pairs are a common source of frustration at the poker table for many players. Often with this hand category we are faced with difficult decisions to continue on many board textures, and can be challenged to make the right play when facing aggressive action.

At a Final Table when pay jumps are a big factor, it’s even more crucial to understand the correct strategy with medium pairs in order to avoid massive ICM blunders.

Here’s a breakdown from LearnWPT Instructor Johan Schultz-Pedersen featuring pocket 8s at a Final Table to illustrate just how much ICM should affect your decisions in these spots.

Are You GTO Final Table Ready?

Picture yourself as one of 6 remaining players at the Final Table of the $3,800 WPT Choctaw Championship event. How do you play your 30 Big Blind stack against a call from a tough chip leader with two short stacks in play and the Mike Sexton Champions Cup on the line?

1216-222-30BB-Button-Open-Vs-70BB-Big-Blind-Call
222-Hand Ranges

Payouts: 1st = 20%, 2nd = 14%, 3rd = 9%, 4th = 6.7%, 5th = 5%, 6th = 4%

Play FREE solved hands from the WPT GTO Trainer to see firsthand how preflop ranges affect your decisions at the Final Table.

Here are some tips when practicing with the WPT GTO Trainer:

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

Members can practice more hands from this scenario anytime by playing the 30BB Button Open Vs 70BB Big Blind Call WPT GTO Trainer Final Table pack!

Not a Member? Join for just $5 your first month to play more WPT GTO Trainer scenarios like this.

At the Final Table Remember To...

WPT-Choctaw-Championship-Final-Table

  • Play to avoid busting out to the chip leader
  • You will check and call more often than bet or raise
  • You still need some bluffs in your range to prevent the chip leader from exploiting you
  • Almost never lead out from the Big Blind after calling preflop
  • Don’t be afraid to fold marginal hands against big bets that could set up an all-in situation on a future street
  • When facing an aggressive chip leader, you should often trap by check-calling with your big made hands


Have FUN, Good Luck, and Good Playing!

Will we see you on the felt during the WPT Choctaw Festival? If you see Team LearnWPT stop and say Hi 👋!

Check the LearnWPT calendar to follow Team LearnWPT On Tour as we travel the globe to play WPT Events.

WPT-Choctaw-LuckyChewy-Vince-Van-Patten (1)

Let us know if you are in the action during the WPT Choctaw Championship Event or side events on the Festival schedule!

Follow and tag us on social media to share your pic with members of Team LearnWPT, show off your chip stack, or celebrate a deep run.

X @LearnWPT | Facebook @learnwpt | Instagram @learn_wpt

We love to hear how LearnWPT Students are doing and we can’t wait to share your success at the poker table!

Good luck and good playing,
-Team LearnWPT

We hope you enjoyed these free strategies and tips from Team LearnWPT! Subscribe for more FREE poker content.


LearnWPT Launch Digital Strategy Workshop!

Join Team LearnWPT for the upcoming LearnWPT Launch Digital Tournament Strategy Workshop to get your game ready for the Summer Tournament Series - all from the comfort of home!

LearnWPT Launch - WPT Passport

LearnWPT Launch is an interactive Workshop that consists of 4 Digital Training Sessions conducted over a span of 2 Weeks (starting May 14th). Each Session is highly structured and designed to deliver the maximum impact to your game over 8 Immersive Hours of Instruction with Team LearnWPT.

PLUS attendees have a seat in a private Tournament hosted on ClubWPT.com* to win a $2,500 WPT Prime Championship Passport!

LearnWPT Launch Instructors - border

LearnWPT Launch is your chance to train directly with Tony Dunst, Eric "Rizen" Lynch, Michael "Gags30" Gagliano, and Johan Schultz-Pedersen on your time and from the comfort of your home.

With a combined resume including a WPT Championship, 5 World Series of Poker Bracelets, 3 WSOP Circuit rings, best selling author, over 3 decades of coaching experience, plus countless other high profile final tables and huge scores, Team LearnWPT has the tools and knowledge to make this your best summer on the felt yet.

Have Questions about LearnWPT? Send an email to our Support Team at [email protected] or click the red CONTACT US button.




LearnWPT-Poker-Training

Train → Play → Think → Like a Pro

Building Mental Endurance in Poker With Jared Tendler

Written by Jared Tendler

Mental-Endurance-Jared-Blog (2)

Building Endurance for Your A-game

It’s easy to perform badly for a long time. Anyone can do that. Your A-game, however, is taxing. You’re utilizing recently learned skills and that requires more effort.

Even though performing at an A-game level feels, at times, natural and easy, I can assure you that experience doesn’t reflect the fact that your A-game uses a lot of mental energy and requires endurance to sustain.

While improving your mental endurance can be helpful in a variety of ways, with the World Series of Poker (WSOP) coming up, I want the poker players out there to pay special attention to this blog. Poker tournaments are intense and you need a reservoir of energy to be able to access the knowledge and skills you’ve worked on more recently, including progress in your mental game. This is especially true in the late stages of a tournament where the big money is on the line. The last thing you want is to falter down the stretch because you’re tired.

Of course, mental endurance is key in other fields. For many traders, endurance is a concept that isn’t discussed much but is still significant. This is especially true for newer traders who have yet to condition themselves to the intensity of the live market, which is very different from a typical 9-5 job. More experienced traders tend to underestimate the impact of burnout and don’t realize that strengthening endurance is key to minimizing or avoiding burnout altogether.

Jared Tendler - Golf - Mental Endurance (2)

The Author testing his skills on the course

Mental endurance is also relevant for golfers, including me, who are trying to improve their games. But the WSOP only comes once a year and I’m going to focus my examples and advice here on tournament poker.

A-game is Earned

One of the reasons mental endurance is key is because, for all of us, the only thing guaranteed every day is the C-game.

C-game relies mainly on your unconscious. Decisions come automatically and there is no deep thinking involved. Thinking is your mind working and if it’s working, it’s burning energy. If you have to think a lot and think deeply to perform well, it’s an indication of the lack of mastery or automation of knowledge and skills. I’m not saying that’s bad, I’m simply outlining the facts.

Your A-game, on the other hand, requires effort, preparation, and the right conditions. A-game is earned, not expected. Understanding the demands of what is actually required to be able to sustain your A-game for longer periods of time can help you unlock that performance more often.

To be at your best more often, you want to expand the amount of time where you are operating in that optimal state. You need endurance. You want to be capable of making high-level decisions when you need to or, at a minimum, solid ones that are part of your B-game and don’t fall into C-game.

Thinking Burns Energy

Decisions that require thinking burn more energy than standard decisions made automatically. Training knowledge to a deep level, on the other hand, not only builds capacity but preserves energy.

Habits and routines are energy-efficient. With a limit to how much you can think about at any one point in time, the more of your skills that are automated, or mastered to the level of Unconscious Competence, the better able you are to make quick, and accurate, decisions while burning less mental energy.

When your knowledge is part of your Unconscious Competence, performance becomes more instinctual. To be clear, I’m not saying to automate your decisions, I’m saying that by automating more of the knowledge that feeds into your decisions you preserve mental energy.

With that in mind, when preparing for the WSOP it’s important to know when to stop learning new things. There is often a tendency to want to do everything and check all the boxes, but you have to work/study with an eye towards the big moments. If you cram too much information in your head right before the series starts, you risk not having access to that knowledge readily available because of pressure, and you’ll burn more energy trying to get to it.

Cramming puts you in a compromised position from both an execution and endurance standpoint. While it can be hard to selectively choose to not try to improve areas of your game that you “theoretically” could, your ability to access that information is not guaranteed. So figure out when you’re going to stop actively learning new things, and hold yourself to it.

Of course, after that point and during the series, you can make small adjustments, because they can be easily integrated into your game. But you will play far better going in with a knowledge base that you know is solid and reliable vs. cramming for the WSOP like it’s a test in school. And let’s get real, you never took a test in school where the exam lasted 12 hours a day, and sometimes for several days in a row! So why would you approach the biggest tournament series of the year that way?

Training Your Capacity

Now is the perfect opportunity to build mental endurance for the WSOP and the process is similar to the process of increasing physical endurance. As an example, if you want to run a marathon, you are not going to just show up to the race without having built a capacity to run long distances. And you likely aren’t going to start your first training run at 20 miles and build from there.

While the analogy isn’t perfect, we can use the general framework of steadily ramping up your endurance to give us ideas on how to do it in poker. Here are a few ideas that have helped clients:

  • Make a realistic assessment of where you are today. For example, look at your average volume in a series like the WSOP or in years past, the prevalence and severity of mental game problems, and what your ideal WSOP schedule looks like.
  • Between now and a week or two before your WSOP starts, create a training plan where you look to steadily increase your volume or duration of play, either online or live. The idea is to understand where your limit is and then push it a little more.
  • To help you build endurance while playing well, use injecting logic statements and strategic reminders to help ensure you retain emotional stability and quality decision making as you push.
  • Increase steadily over time. While it’s hard to be exact about how much to increase your play, I think a reasonable goal is 10% at a time. Be wary of pushing too hard and burning out instead of increasing capacity.
  • We still have some time before WSOP and it’s a good opportunity to treat smaller poker events in the lead-up as a good tune-up for what’s been working tactically and an opportunity to build some mental endurance.


At the end of the day, if you want to perform at a high level, you have to fight for it. If it was easy, everyone would do it and there would be no reward.

I hope you final table a big event and that when you get there you have more energy than normal, and you can see how your opponents are tired and more vulnerable to tilt and mistakes from fatigue. This, of course, doesn’t mean you’re going to take down the title, but in a game like poker, you’ll take every advantage you can find.

If you want more content like this to help you prepare for the WSOP, including improving focus, reducing tilt, and getting in the zone more often, check out The Mental Game of Poker 2 and my video series The Mental Game Tune Up for Tournament Poker.

-Jared Tendler

For more insight and stories from Jared visit his blog at https://jaredtendler.com/blog/


Tune Up Your Mental Game

Analysis of Mental Game strategy is as important as any poker technique you can master which is why top poker players trust Jared Tendler to help maintain focus & bring their A-game to the table.

Jared's Mental Game Tune Up for Tournament Poker video series is a step-by-step guide to prepare your mental game for sustained success and get you ready for the WSOP, WPT® World Championships, or a series at your local card room.

mental-game-tune-up-tournament-poker-diego-ventura

This step-by-step guide to preparing your mental game for sustained success during a tournament series includes:

  • 8 specific training modules with 34 video lessons
  • Downloadable worksheets to personalize your training
  • A private community forum
  • Review quizzes to reinforce your learning!

Find out why the world’s best poker players trust Jared to help them maintain focus and bring their A-Game to the table more consistently. Unlock a hidden edge in your poker game, and start working towards unshakable confidence at the table today.

On Tour With LearnWPT: 2024 WPT® Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship

Hard-Rock-Hollywood-Hotel (1)

It’s time to head back to everyone’s favorite East Coast poker destination - the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL for the $3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship Event. Players from all over the planet are heading to sunny South Florida for a chance to make the TV Final Table and be crowned the next WPT Champion!

The Festival is known for constant poker action with some of the largest tournament fields on tour and features an epic schedule of satellites, huge guaranteed events, and is highlighted by the massive $3 Million Guaranteed prize pool Championship event. The action at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood never disappoints and it’s a certainty that this event will once again break records and generate life-changing first place prize money.

WPT-Seminole-Hard-Rock-Poker-Showdown-Bin-Weng

The 2023 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship Event drew some of the best rounders on the planet and the prize pool swelled to over $7.3 Million!

After a long Final Table battle, 2023 WPT Player of the Year Bin Weng captured the $1,128,250 first prize and had his name engraved onto the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup alongside a prestigious list of World Poker Tour Champions.


Want the Cup? Get Aggression!

Brian-Altman-Seminole-Hard-Rock-2022

What single trait is shared by almost every player whose name is etched on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup? If you guessed that they are willing to stay aggressive and put their opponents to tough decisions, you’d be right. These masters of the game know when to shift gears and exploit weaknesses and they don't need to have good cards to push the action

WPT-Seminole-Rock-Roll-Tony Dunst

Team LearnWPT is here to show you specific plays that will add aggression to your game and build a fierce presence at the table. Watch these free videos from proven crushers and you’ll learn to identify more spots to make aggressive moves that won't break your game. Get the insight on how these pros pull the trigger more often in close spots, and get on the path toward the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship!


Get In on the Action ...

WPT-Seminole-Hard-Rock-Showdown-2024

The 2024 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Festival kicks off on April 3rd with the $400 Deepstack $1,000,000 guaranteed opener. There are plenty of lower buy-in events and a ton of satellites into the Championship Event, so you don’t have to stretch your poker bankroll to join the fun!

📅 Poker Showdown Festival Dates:
Start: Wednesday, April 3, 2024
End: Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Click here for the full Festival schedule
Follow the live updates for action from all the events

WPT-Seminole-Hard-Rock-Poker-Showdown-Chips

The headlining WPT Poker Showdown Championship event begins Friday, April 19th with two starting flights and unlimited reentry through the start of level 9) - Click for the tournament structure.

📅 WPT Championship Event Schedule:
Day 1A: Friday, April 19, 2024
starting at 11 a.m. ET
Day 1B: Saturday, April 20, 2024 starting at 11 a.m. ET
Day 2: Sunday, April 21, 2024 starting at 12 p.m. ET
Day 3: Monday, April 22, 2024 starting at 12 p.m. ET
Day 4: Tuesday, April 23, 2024
starting at 12 p.m. ET
Day 5: The Final Table of 6 will be played and filmed for television at the HyperX Las Vegas at Luxor on Wednesday, May 29th

Starting May 29th Get 2 Days of WPT Final Table Live Streams!
WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship Final Table Live Stream - Wednesday, May 29th at 4:30 PM PT
WPT Choctaw Championship Final Table Live Stream - Thursday, May 30th at 4:30 PM PT
All live stream final tables are on a 30-minute delay

View ⚡ Live Streams on WPT Twitch, WPT YouTube or WPT.com


Meet Up With Brad and Vince!

WPT-Seminole-Hard-Rock-Poker-Showdown-Meet-Up-Game-Brad-Owen

Who’s ready for some bomb pots or a round of the Stand Up Game?

Brad Owen and Vince Van Patten bring the fun and excitement of the Meet Up Game (MUG) to South Florida to open the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Championship - and you're invited!

On April 18th beginning at 11 AM EDT the innovator of poker Meet Up Games and the legendary WPT Television host will kick off the $2/$5 cash game action in the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood Poker Room.

WPT- MUG-Andrew-Brad-Collage

If you’ve been following the action from the MUG’s on social media and you’ve been feeling the FOMO, this is your chance to jump into the fun! Join us for a unique poker experience with the WPT Family, and you might even show up in Brad'd next VLOG 🎥


AJo at the $10K WPT Final Table - Your Move?

Maintaining aggression in the face of big pay jumps under the bright lights of the World Poker Tour Final table can be a daunting task. Every decision is magnified and one wrong move could end your dream run.

In this Strategy Episode LearnWPT Instructor Nick Binger breaks down a pivotal hand from the $10K WPT Seminole Hard Rock finale. Learn how calculated aggression can frustrate a skilled opponent and create fold equity in a tough ICM spot vs the chip leader.

Fold Less, Float More!

Tired of playing vs THAT player who always seems to be dragging pots with preflop raises and constant continuation bets? Take away their equity advantage and turn aggression on its heels with the Float.

Tune in to this Strategy Episode as Nick gives you step by step guidelines to identify the best situations to float vs a frequent c-bettor. Utilize the power of position to turn aggression around on your opponents and add floating to your game plan.

Bluffing With LuckyChewy

To build huge stacks and be in contention for a WPT Title, you will almost certainly need to pull off a few bluffs along the way. You simply won't get enough good cards to keep up the pace with the rising blinds and antes, and when you do flop a big hand it won't always hold up.

In this Strategy Episode LearnWPT Instructor and poker legend Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger walks through his thought process when overbet bluffing the river in a $1,600 live tournament.


Be Ready for the Final Table

WPT-Seminole-Hard-Rock-Poker-Showdown-Trophy-Luxor

To make sure you are prepared to shine for the cameras and show off your skills, we’ve got some essential strategy adjustments to help you get ready. Final Table strategy can differ dramatically from the early stages of a tournament, especially with huge pay-jumps and the prestige that only comes with winning a World Poker Tour title.

WPT-Seminole-Hard-Rock-Poker-Showdown-FT

Most poker players aren’t prepared for the sudden increase in intensity caused by playing in front of an audience with life-changing money at stake. When you are facing the pressure of big pay jumps and the studio lights seem just a little too bright, it’s important to stay focused and make objective decisions.

Tips To Sharpen Up Your Game for Showtime

  • Be aware of stack sizes and pay jumps at all times, even the slightest changes in stack sizes can shift strategy dramatically
  • When short stacks exist, there is extra pressure on the bigger stacks to avoid busting out
  • The chip leaders can use this extra pressure to win many pots while the short stack is in play
  • As a medium stack vs larger stacks be cautious with any bets and raises and try to take marginal hands to showdown passively
  • Preflop ranges shift quite a bit at final tables due to this effect with big stacks playing much wider ranges and medium stacks much narrower ranges
  • Do not be afraid to ramp up your aggression against players that are playing tight in the hopes of laddering up

Not a LearnWPT Member? Join for just $5 your first month to get more Final Table strategy.

Can You Stay Aggressive at The Final Table?

1053-118 30BB Button Open Vs 50BB Big Blind Call-optimzd

Payouts: 1st = 20%, 2nd = 14%, 3rd = 9%, 4th = 6.7%, 5th = 5%, 6th = 4%

You are at the $3,500 WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Final Table. You min-raise 2BBs on the Button with a 30BB stack and the Big Blind with 50BBs calls. Click below to play a free Final Table sample pack of this spot from the WPT GTO Trainer to see firsthand how decisions change at the final table.

Here are some tips when practicing with the WPT GTO Trainer:

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

Members can practice more hands from this scenario and get expert feedback from the LearnWPT Pros on their play with the 30BB Button Open Vs 50BB Big Blind Call WPT GTO Trainer pack!

Not a LearnWPT Member? Join for just $5 your first month to play more hands using the WPT GTO Trainer.


Have FUN, Good Luck, and Good Playing!

Will we see you on the felt during the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown Festival? If you see Team LearnWPT stop and say Hi 👋!

Check the LearnWPT calendar to follow Team LearnWPT On Tour as we travel the globe to play WPT Events.

WPT-Lucky-Hearts-Poker-Open-Seminole-Winner-S18

Let us know if you are in the action during the WPT Poker Showdown Championship Event or side events on the Festival schedule!

Follow and tag us on social media to share your pic with members of Team LearnWPT, show off your chip stack, or celebrate a deep run.

Facebook @learnwpt | Instagram @learn_wpt | X @LearnWPT

We love to hear how LearnWPT Students are doing and we can’t wait to share your success at the poker table!

Good luck and good playing,
-Team LearnWPT

We hope you enjoyed these free strategies and tips from Team LearnWPT! Subscribe for more FREE poker content.



LearnWPT-Poker-Training

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Have Questions about LearnWPT? Send an email to our Support Team at [email protected] or click the red CONTACT US button.

LearnWPT Tour Terms: Floating

Tour-Terms-Floating

Hey Poker Fans!

Welcome to Tour Terms, where we break down key terms that poker pros use to talk strategy and give you helpful tips to use in your next poker tournament. Today's Tour Term is …

Floating: verb
float·​ing \ ˈflō-tiŋ \

1) To call a bet as the In Position player with the intention of taking away the pot on a later street using aggressive action. This is often done with a hand that has not connected with the board in any way.

Example of Floating in a Sentence:
Brian raises preflop to 1500 in Middle Position with A♥K♦ and Johan calls on the Button with J♣T♦. On the flop of 9♥7♥4♦ Brian c-bets 2200. Johan chooses to Float with two overcards that also have a backdoor flush draw plus gutshot straight draw and calls 2200.


Fold Less, Float More!

Tired of competing against THAT poker player who always seems to be dragging pots with preflop raises and constant continuation bets? Take away their equity advantage and turn aggression on its heels with the Float.

Tune in to this LearnWPT Strategy Episode as Instructor Nick Binger gives you step-by-step guidelines to identify the best situations to Float vs a frequent c-bettor and how to apply this move effectively.

Floating is an effective strategy to counter c-bet bluffs as a fair percentage of flops will not connect with the range of the preflop raiser. These weak hands are usually forced to give up and check on many turn cards, giving the Floater a prime opportunity to bluff.

Utilize the power of position to turn aggression around on your opponents and add Floating to your poker move-making toolkit.

Additional Episodes to review that Nick discusses:

Episode 91: Protecting C-Bets (countering a Floater)
Episode 72: Basic Linear Preflop Play
Download The Linear Preflop Decision Tree
Episode 3: Speculative Preflop Calling
Episode 150: Linear Vs Polarized 3-Betting

🖥️ Floating In Action at a WPT Final Table

Take a Closer Look at this pivotal hand from the WPT Bay 101 Shooting Star featuring a common situation where a player Floats on the flop with backdoor equity vs an opponent holding a 1-pair hand and watch as Nick demonstrates how this poker Pro puts theory into practice.

✍️ Tips for Pulling Off a Float in Poker:

Floating is essentially calling on the flop without a real hand with a plan to take away the pot on the turn using aggression
Float specific situations only, calling too often will result in profit loss
Limit Floating to spots where you are In Position (when you are last to act and someone has bet into you)
Float against a single opponent - avoid Floating in multiway pots

Floating Criteria


Target situations where you have a hand with good equity and can potentially create fold equity through aggressive action
Choose hands that can turn additional equity (backdoor draws, over cards on the flop)
Choose boards where the next card could be a scare card (draw on the flop that you can represent)
We often will be Floating with Speculative Hands


Put Your Floating Skills to the Test!

1005-45-Button-Call-Vs-MP2-Open-MTT

Decision Point: In a Tournament with 50 big blind stacks a Middle Position player open raises to 2.5BBs and you call from the Button. Play Game Theory Optimal solved hands In Position.

Now it’s time to test your skills from this spot and play a FREE sample of 5 tournament hands in the WPT GTO Trainer.

LearnWPT Members can play more poker hands from this common MTT spot with the Button Call Vs MP2 Open WPT GTO Trainer pack.

Here are some tips when practicing with the WPT GTO Trainer:

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

Regular play on the WPT GTO Trainer will help you adjust your poker decisions closer and closer to GTO strategy.

Not a Member? Join for just $5 your first month to play more WPT GTO Trainer scenarios like this.


Solver Study With Tony Dunst: Making Calls

It can be an uncomfortable feeling to continue against aggression in a poker hand with marginal holdings. If you aren’t careful in selecting when to peel off another card with bottom pair or a backdoor draw, you can easily bleed off chips and sabotage deep runs.


In this Strategy Episode LearnWPT Instructor Tony Dunst dissects lessons learned from solver study to show you spots where calling more often with a wider range of hands against standard aggression is preferred.


From the Felt: Floating and Turn Play

After learning clear guidelines for the ideal spots to Float the flop and take advantage of your position more skillfully, it’s time to examine how this strategy transitions to playing the turn in actual real-world game scenarios.

Tune into and watch this deep dive into two hands from a high stakes online event featuring Nick Binger including a flop Float with AQo and a tough spot with QQ vs a squeeze play from the Small Blind.


Poker Quiz Time! Would You Float the Turn?

QT-Vs-a-Loose-Aggressive-Player

DECISION POINT: In a Tournament where blinds are 100/200 a Middle Position player (who you’ve observed as being loose aggressive) raises to 600. You call from the Button with Q♣T♣. Heads-up on a J♥5♥7♣ flop Villain bets out 600 and action is on you. What would do you do?

Click here to get detailed analysis of this hand from Team LearnWPT and learn more strategy behind the correct plays.


Want More Tour Terms From LearnWPT?

LearnWPT Members have instant access to a comprehensive poker training database. Search for any poker term and get the correct definition plus complete results for all related video, written, and playable poker education content on LearnWPT.com.

Tour-Terms-Floating


With a massive library including 500+ on-demand video Strategy Episodes (from successful Pros including Tony Dunst, NIck Binger, Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger, Michael “Gags30” Gagliano, Eric "Rizen" Lynch, Johan Schultz-Pedersen, and Brian Altman!), dozens of downloadable charts and tools, direct access to the LearnWPT Pros, and the state of the art WPT GTO Trainer, you’re certain to find the answers to your most pressing poker questions.

Improve your No-Limit Texas Hold'em poker skills by joining LearnWPT for just $5 your 1st month. After your first month, choose the LearnWPT Membership Tier that best fits your budget, schedule, and stage in your development (upgrade or cancel at any time).



LearnWPT-Poker-Training

Train - Play - Think Like A Pro!

During your next tournament or session give these poker strategies for Floating In Position a try and you'll become tougher to play against while keeping your opponents on their heels more often.

Good Luck and Good Playing,
- Team LearnWPT

Have Questions? Email our Support Team at [email protected] or click the red Contact Us button and we'll be happy to help.

On Tour With LearnWPT: 2024 WPT® Rolling Thunder Festival

WPT-Rolling-Thunder-Champions-Cup

Team LearnWPT is back On Tour and ready to roll as we return to the incredible Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, CA (right outside of Sacramento) for the WPT Rolling Thunder Championship!

The excitement is building for a repeat of the 2023 WPT Rolling Thunder Championship which drew some of the best rounders on the planet and the prize pool swelled to over $1.8 Million. After a hard fought final table battle, featuring our own Tony Dunst, Scott Eskenazi captured the $361,600 first prize and added his name to the Mike Sexton Champions Cup.

Join Team LearnWPT for a festival full of exciting flops, turns, and rivers as grinders and shot takers descend on Thunder Valley to find out who will be crowned the next WPT Champion.

WPT-Rolling-Thunder-2023-Winner-Scott-Eskenazi

The friendly and skilled staff at the TV Poker Room are no strangers to hosting some of the most fun tournaments on the World Poker Tour. This year the Rolling Thunder Festival returns featuring a huge slate of new exciting tournaments, epic schedule of satellites, and huge guarantees leading up to the highly anticipated WPT Main Tour Championship Event.

LearnWPT Prepares You To Bring the Thunder!

Team LearnWPT is here to give the tools and strategy you need to win your seat to the $3,500 WPT Rolling Thunder Championship. Check out the strategies in this blog (and onsite on March 22nd!) and you’ll be ready to jump in the action.

🌩️ Get In on the Action
🌩️ FREE Satellite Intro Workshop
🌩️ Satellite Basics
🌩️ Keys to Satellite Play
🌩️ Get Inspired for Your WPT Final Table Moment
🌩️
Final Table Tips With Tony
🌩️ Tips To Sharpen Up Your Game for Showtime

Get an edge on your competition with poker strategies from proven winners and prepare to bring the Thunder and dominate the felt!

#TheCupAwaits 🏆


Get In on the Action ...

WPT-Rolling-Thunder-2024-schedule

The 2024 Rolling Thunder Festival kicked off on March 7th with the $300 Opening Night $50K GTD tournament and includes some can't miss events including a $1M GTD Deepstack Thunder Valley on the 14th and the inaugural $570 “Savage Average” event on the 17th

If you are looking to join the action and want to parlay a small buy-in into a life changing score, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of the Championship Event satellites starting as low as $165 plus a $700 Festival package satellite that awards winners buy-ins worth $5,100 including a seat to the $3,500 WPT Rolling Thunder Championship!

📅 Festival Dates:
Start: Thursday, March 7, 2024
End: Tuesday, March 26, 2024
Click here for the full Festival schedule

WPT-Rolling-Thunder-Champions-Table (2)

Day 1 of the Championship Event is Saturday, March 23rd and allows for unlimited re-entry until the start of level 11 on Day 2 (March 24th), when registration ends - Click for the tournament structure.

The $3,500 Championship Event features the player favorite WPT tournament structure giving you plenty of chances to chip up and build a final table stack.

📅 WPT Championship Event Schedule:
➧ Day 1: Saturday, March 23, 2024 starting at 11 am PT
➧ Day 2: Sunday, March 24, 2024 starting at 11 am PT
➧ Day 3: Monday, March 25, 2024 starting at 11am PT
➧ Final Table: Tuesday, March 26, 2024 starting at 11am PT*
*Final table will be live streamed with 30-min delay


View ⚡ Live Stream on WPT Twitch, WPT YouTube or WPT.com


FREE Intro to Satellite Strategy - LIVE With Team LearnWPT March 22nd!

Satellite poker tournaments are a great way to parlay a larger buy-in event at a lower price so you don’t need to have big bucks to be in contention for a game-changing score. Strategies for Satellites can be very different from a normal Tournament, and you’ll need to make some adjustments that may seem strange compared to standard tournament strategy.

To help get you ready for the Rolling Thunder Championship Event we're inviting you to join Team LearnWPT Instructors Eric "Rizen" Lynch and Adrian Naggy for a FREE 30 minute introduction to Satellite Strategy Workshop LIVE at 10 AM PDT on March 22nd prior to the start of the Championship Event Satellites.

learnwpt-instructors-rizen-adrian

You’ll get specific examples of how to change up your play to take advantage of the unique factors in a satellite, including how to adjust for each stage of the tournament, surviving as the shortstack, monitoring stacks and other tables, and navigating the bubble.

The Workshop is free to all and will be held in the poker room tournament area (near the large screen) on March 22nd at 10 AM PDT - look for the LearnWPT banners!

Thunder-Valley-Satellite-Day

P.S. After the Workshop jump into the $550 Shootout Satellites at 1pm and 6pm or the $100 Step Satellite at 3 pm to win a seat into the $3,500 WPT Rolling Thunder Championship Event.

Can't make the FREE Introduction to Satellite Workshop? Use the poker strategies below to sharpen your focus and who knows, maybe you’ll turn a few bucks into a huge payday.


Should You Play a 🛰️ Satellite Differently?

YES YOU SHOULD!

Approaching satellite play with the same strategy used in a regular poker tournament will often result in you busting when you would otherwise have a seat to the target tournament locked up.

Watch this Strategy Episode from LearnWPT Instructor Nick Binger as he discusses the key adjustments you need to make when playing Satellite Poker Tournaments.

Need Help Closing the Deal?

In this LearnWPT Strategy Episode watch and learn as Nick Binger reviews several key hands from a Satellite to highlight the unique adjustments during the endgame.

These strategy concepts could help you avoid busting on the bubble and secure your seat to the WPT Rolling Thunder Championship!

The Keys 🗝️ to Satellite Play

  • Everyone gets paid the same prize
  • Make sure you know the rules of the Satellite you are playing and how to secure your seat
  • Satellites can be played a number of ways, from traditional freezeout, to milestone, to shootout format
  • No incentive to build a large stack once you are likely to win a seat
  • As the probability of winning a seat goes up, your ranges in all spots tighten up
  • There are times in a satellite poker tournament when players should never continue against an all-in
  • Satellites are the only form of poker where it can be correct to fold pocket Aces preflop
  • Pay very close attention to stack sizes and level changes!
  • Often in the satellite endgame 10BBs may be a big stack that is guaranteed to win a seat

Quiz Time! Test Your Satellite Skills

At the Final Table with QJ

You are 4-handed at a winner-take-all Satellite Tournament for a seat to the WPT Rolling Thunder $3,500 Championship with blinds at 100/200. The player in the Cutoff folds and you raise to $600 with Q♦J♣. The Small Blind reraises to $1,110 and you call. Your opponent checks the A♠A♣J♦ flop.

Action is on you, what do you do here?

Poker-Hand-CTA-Check-Bet

Select your answer above to get insight from the LearnWPT Pros!


Get Inspired for Your WPT Final Table Moment!

WPT-Thunder-Valley-Tony-Fina-Table

WPT Tournament Director Matt Savage and WPT Champion Tyler Patterson called the Final table action of the 2023 WPT Rolling Thunder Championship Event as LearnWPT Instructor Tony Dunst went for his 2nd WPT Title!

Watch a WPT Championship in Action…

Are YOU Final Table Ready?

To make sure you are prepared to shine for the cameras and show off your skills, we’ve got some important strategies to share to help you get ready. Final Table Strategy can differ dramatically from the early stages of a tournament, especially with huge pay-jumps and the prestige that only comes with winning a World Poker Tour Title.

Often poker players are unprepared for the pressure that comes with playing in front of an audience with life-changing money at stake.

When you are facing the pressure of big pay jumps and the studio lights seem just a little too bright, it’s important to stay focused and make objective decisions.

Watch this breakdown of a high stakes final table from LearnWPT Instructor and WPT Commentator Tony Dunst to see how this dynamic plays out in real-time.

Can You Stay Aggressive at the Final Table?

Picture yourself as one of 6 remaining players at the WPT Rolling Thunder Championship Final Table with big money and a WPT title on the line. How do you play your 30 big blind stack from the Button against a call from a tough chip leader with two short stacks in play?

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Payouts: 1st = 20%, 2nd = 14%, 3rd = 9%, 4th = 6.7%, 5th = 5%, 6th = 4%

Play hands from a WPT GTO Trainer Final Table Pack to see firsthand how preflop ranges affect your decisions at the final table.

Here are some tips when practicing with the WPT GTO Trainer:

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

Members can practice more hands from this scenario and get expert feedback from the LearnWPT Pros on their play with the 30BB Button Open Vs 70BB Big Blind Call WPT GTO Trainer pack!

WPT-Rolling-Thunder-Champions-Tony Dunst

Tips To Sharpen Up Your Game for Showtime

  • Be aware of stack sizes and pay jumps at all times, even the slightest changes in stack sizes can shift strategy dramatically
  • When short stacks exist, there is extra pressure on the bigger stacks to avoid busting out
  • The chip leaders can use this extra pressure to win many pots while the short stack is in play
  • As a medium stack vs larger stacks be cautious with any bets and raises and try to take marginal hands to showdown passively
  • Preflop ranges shift quite a bit at final tables due to this effect with big stacks playing much wider ranges and medium stacks much narrower ranges
  • Do not be afraid to ramp up your aggression against players that are playing tight in the hopes of laddering up

Not a LearnWPT Member? Join for just $5 your first month to get more Final Table strategy.


Have FUN, Good Luck, and Good Playing!

Will we see you on the felt during the WPT Rolling Thunder Festival? If you see Team LearnWPT stop and say Hi 👋!

Check the LearnWPT calendar to follow Team LearnWPT On Tour as we travel the globe to play WPT Events.

WPTDeepStacks-Thunder-Valley-Team

Let us know if you are in the action during the WPT Rolling Thunder Championship Event or side events on the Festival schedule!

Follow and tag us on social media to share your pic with members of Team LearnWPT, show off your chip stack, or celebrate a deep run.

Facebook @learnwpt | Instagram @learn_wpt | X @LearnWPT |

We love to hear how LearnWPT Students are doing and we can’t wait to share your success at the poker table!

Good luck and good playing,
-Team LearnWPT

We hope you enjoyed these free strategies and tips from Team LearnWPT! Subscribe for more FREE poker content.



LearnWPT-Poker-Training

Train → Play → Think → Like a Pro

Have Questions about LearnWPT? Send an email to our Support Team at [email protected] or click the red CONTACT US button.

Poker Quiz! Trip Kings Facing a Check-Raise, What Do You Do?

Trip Kings Facing a Check-Raise

DECISION POINT: In a live $1/$2 game it folds to the Cutoff player who raises to $5. You reraise to $15 from the Button with K♣Q♣ and only the Cutoff calls. The flop is K♥T♣3♠ and your c-bet of $16 gets called. The turn is the K♦ and the Cutoff checks. You bet $32, your opponent check-raises to $96, and action is on you.

What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: In a $1/$2 cash game we are dealt KQs on the Button. Action folds around to the Cutoff who raises to $5. Our specific hand is an excellent candidate to reraise on the Button here, as it is ahead of Cutoff’s likely hand range and plays very well heads up in position. We reraise to $15 and the Cutoff is the only caller.

The flop is KhTc3s and the Cutoff checks. We flop top pair with a good kicker and a backdoor flush and straight draw. This flop also significantly favors the preflop raiser’s range over the preflop caller’s range so this is an excellent spot to continuation bet. Given our range advantage and our hand’s lack of vulnerability since we block QJ which is the most significant drawing hand here, a purely game theory optimal (GTO) strategy would have us c-betting closer to ⅓ pot. We elect to use a slightly larger sizing of $16, or closer to half pot, and our opponent flat calls.

The turn is the Kd giving us three of a kind and the Cutoff checks again. AK is likely not a significant part of Villain’s range here as most players would have reraised preflop, so we’re well ahead of many of their hands and really only behind KTs/TT/33 that they may have played the hand this way. We bet $32 and the Cutoff check-raises to $96.

Continued below ...

Now, realistically the most likely hands that beat us here are KTs (2 combinations remaining), plus TT and 33 (3 combinations each). Based on these assumptions that means we are currently behind 8 of the combinations in the Cutoff’s likely range. Our opponent could also be doing this with a hand like KJ (8 combinations).

Although realistically they may only play the suited versions here, slow played pocket AA (6 combinations), the remaining KQ hands we don’t hold (3 combinations), and the occasional bluff. We can discount some of the KJ combinations given the Cutoff is unlikely to play all the offsuit versions. Additionally we can discount some AA combinations as they would elect to reraise preflop with some frequency. This decision is actually much closer than it appears on the surface, even though we have 3 of a kind and a strong kicker.

Since our hand is very close when up against the Cutoff’s value raising range here, if we continue it is very important to allow our opponent to keep bluffing with AJ/AQ/QJ type hands in their range.

If we go all-in here the Cutoff may fold some bluffs that they would potentially shove the river with if we continue by calling the check-raise, costing us value. When we’re behind in this situation our opponent is unlikely to fold to aggression if we do take that round.

Trip Kings is too strong to fold in this spot, so proceeding in a way which allows our opponent to get the rest of their money in with the widest range possible is best.We should call this check-raise on the turn, with the plan of calling any bet on the river as well.

Calling is the best play.

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


LearnWPT-Poker-Training

Train → Play → Think → Like a Pro

We created LearnWPT with the goal to provide a place that empowers players to ask questions, help get them focused, and provide a solid game-plan to bring to the table every time they sit down.

Some of the ways we accomplish this is by:

  • Teaching and presenting examples of proven, winning concepts through our Strategy Episodes (short 10-15 min videos)
  • Having Members Practice, Drill, and Play Hands using the WPT GTO Trainer for instant feedback on their decisions
  • Providing a place where Members can send questions to receive answers and guidance with the Ask a Pro Forums
  • Giving Members the ability to record and send hands they've played to receive expert analysis using the Hand Input Tool


Not a Member?
Click below to join (just $5 your first month) and start improving your game today!


LearnWPT 2023 Year in Review

LearnWPT-Year-Review-2023


Our goal for 2023
was to create new ways to help LearnWPT Members improve their poker game, learn, and have fun!

We accomplished that goal by adding new game-elevating features, advanced content, additional ways to interact with our Pros, and more. All with the help of feedback from YOU.

Here’s a Recap of the Best From 2023:

NEW FEATURES RELEASED

LearnWPT-Personalized-Training-Dashboard

We changed the way LearnWPT Members learn, study, and analyze their stats... all from YOUR Personalized Training Dashboard!

Your LearnWPT Dashboard is designed to put you on a specific learning path and deliver content tailored to your current poker knowledge, track your recent poker training activity for quick reference, plus display your complete statistical history as a Member. Everything you need to review for efficient poker study is in 1 spot.

We added a new COURSES section! Jared Tendler's Mental Game Tune Up for Tournament Poker course is a step-by-step guide to prepare your mental game for sustained success and is ready for purchase. We are excited to announce new courses shortly including a MTT course from Andrew "LuckyChewy" Lichtenberger!


THE WORK YOU'VE PUT IN

We’ve loved seeing all the effort you put into becoming a better poker player in 2023. The LearnWPT Community is made up of poker players all across the world that share a love of this great game and we couldn’t be more proud of your dedication.

WPT-GTO-Trainer-Refine-Search

Here’s a look at some of the impressive training statistics for Members that you’ve contributed to this year. WAY TO GO!

  • Viewed Over 750,000 Minutes of Strategy Videos
  • Tested Your Skills With 50 New Poker Hand Quizzes
  • Voted 85,000+ Times to Fold, Call, Check, or Raise
  • Played Over Half a Million Solved WPT GTO Trainer Hands
  • Received Over 330 Answers to Ask a Pro Questions
  • Submitted 190+ HIT Hands for Analysis
  • Attended Over 850 Minutes of Study Sessions & Webinars

Not a Member but ready to put in the work to improve your game? Just today for just $5 your first month of Membership!


THE WORK WE'VE PUT IN

In 2023 we made it a mission to streamline your training and make learning more fun with live streams and structured Study Session Webinars exclusively for Members. Study Sessions are one of our favorite ways to help you prepare to play your best poker and get your A-Game ready for long series events.

WPT-World-Championship-Study-Session-Rizen-Gags

Study Sessions & Live Streams

Our team of Instructors conducted Member exclusive live Webinars focused on the essential strategies to crush the WSOP and dominate the record breaking WPT Prime Championship and WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas. In addition to teaching, several Instructors showed their poker knowledge and love for the game during live stream final table coverage of World Poker Tour Events.

It was truly an international year for Team LearnWPT and we love looking back to these exciting Streams & Sessions:

  • LearnWPT On Tour Series Open on ClubWPT Live Stream With Tony Dunst & Adrian Naggy
  • Live Study Session With LuckyChewy & Adrian Naggy
  • Live Mental Game Session With Jared Tendler & Adrian Naggy
  • WSOP Prep Live Webinar With Eric Lynch & Michael Gagliano
  • WPT® Prime Vietnam High Roller Final Table Live Stream With Adrian Naggy & Johan Shultz-Pedersen
  • WPT® Prime Vietnam Main Event Final Table Live Stream With Adrian Naggy & AJ Rudolph
  • 6 Live Study Sessions to Prepare for The WPT® World Championship With Team LearnWPT
  • WPT® Seminole Rock 'N' Roll Poker Open Championship Final Table Live Stream With Adrian Naggy & Matt Savage

Team LearnWPT On Tour With WPT

The action was truly record-breaking this year On Tour with the World Poker Tour once again creating incredible poker experiences at unparalleled destinations on the Main Tour schedule.

World-Poker-Tour-Family

From coast to coast Team LearnWPT was on the scene to take part in the poker action and share good times with everyone who joined us on and off the felt. We love every minute we get to spend at these award winning destinations and the amazing staff members who helped create memorable moments in 2023.

Be sure to keep up with where Team LearnWPT will be next by checking the LearnWPT Events page!


TEAM LEARNWPT 2023 SUCCESSES

The achievements and accolades earned by LearnWPT Students and Instructors on the felt were on full display in 2023 🏆

Whether it's outlasting over 10,000 players in the WPT Prime Championship, huge multi-million dollar scores, WSOP Bracelet wins, deep runs on the EPT, and multiple WPT Final tables, the LearnWPT Family has a lot to celebrate.

LearnWPT-Success-Tamar-Abraham-WSOP-Bracelet-Win


During the summer 7 week stretch in Vegas alone LearnWPT Students cashed for over $650,000 and we got to watch another LearnWPT Student take down their 1st Gold Bracelet and.

Here are some 2023 memorable moments for LearnWPT Students:

LearnWPT-Success-LuckyChewy-WPT-World-Championship-Final-Table

It’s no coincidence that the Instructors from Team LearnWPT have had a stellar 2023. Their love for poker and commitment to staying on top of the game shows in every Strategy Episode, Live Workshop, and response on the Ask A Pro Forum.

Some of the incredible accolades they achieved in 2023 include:

CONGRATULATIONS and continued success to everyone in 2024!


THE LEARNWPT TOP 5 OF 2023

LearnWPT-2023-Year-Review-Top5-gray


TRAINING LIVE WITH TEAM LEARNWPT

Once again Team LearnWPT was out in full force providing in-person poker education and training to Students of all skill levels!

LearnWPT-Live-Wynn-Class-2023

The LearnWPT Instructors traveled the country to conduct several Workshop events from free satellite strategy seminars to interactive multi-day training events with lab sessions to kick off the WPT World Championships at Wynn Poker.

We learn so much from interacting with Students and look forward to training with everyone in person in the new year.


WE APPRECIATE YOU!

We’ve been truly fortunate to have your support and look forward to sharing another year full of passion for poker with you.

To all of our current, former, and future Members - THANK YOU for a great 2023 and for being a part of LearnWPT!

The LearnWPT Development Team is hard at work on several Enhanced Features and we look forward to helping your game grow in 2024.

We'll see you online,
- Team LearnWPT


LearnWPT-Poker-Training

Train → Play → Think → Like a Pro

We created LearnWPT with the goal to provide a place that empowers players to ask questions, help get them focused, and provide a solid game-plan to bring to the table every time they sit down.

Some of the ways we accomplish this is by:

  • Teaching and presenting examples of proven, winning concepts through our Strategy Episodes (short 10-15 min videos)
  • Having Members Practice, Drill, and Play Hands using the WPT GTO Trainer for instant feedback on their decisions
  • Providing a place where Members can send questions to receive answers and guidance with the Ask a Pro Forums
  • Giving Members the ability to record and send hands they've played to receive expert analysis using the Hand Input Tool


Not a Member?
Click below to join (just $5 your first month) and start improving your game today!