Category: Poker Hand Scenarios

Q♥Q♦ Facing a River All-In, what do you do here?

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DECISION POINT: In a Tournament a Middle Position player raises and it folds to you in the Big Blind. You 3-Bet with Q♥Q♦ and get a call. On the 8♠A♥J♣ flop you bet and MP2 calls. You check the 4♦ turn, MP2 bets, and you call. The river is 5♠ and you check. Your opponent goes all-in and action is on you. What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We are dealt pocket queens in the Big Blind. It is folded to MP2 who raises to 2.5 BBs. It folds to us and we reraise to 10 BBs and our opponent flat calls. The flop is 8sAhJc. With a stack to pot ratio (SPR) of just under 2 here it’s very difficult to get away from our hand. So the question is: how we can extract the most value out of our Pocket Queens?

A pure GTO solution to this situation involves a mixed strategy of checking to induce bluffs as well as betting extremely small (around 5.5 BBs). Both of these strategies keep our opponent’s range extremely wide and allow them to either bluff with much of their range (when we check) or call with worse hands than ours (when we bet small). In this situation we elect to make a small bet of 5.5 BBs and our opponent calls.

The turn is the 4d, which changes very little. Given our small bet on the flop we have encouraged our opponent to float (a float is when someone calls the flop to take the pot away on a later street) with a wide range. This means checking to them makes a lot of sense here to potentially encourage bets from many of the back door flush draws, weaker hands, and pure air that is in our opponent’s range. We check and our opponent bets 8 BBs.

Against tougher opponents who are capable of fighting for pots in this spot it is very important that we call here or else we have set our opponent up to be able to float us VERY profitably in this spot with their entire range. Against very straightforward opponents who are not capable of floating or bluffing with the correct frequencies we could make an exploitative fold here, but against tougher opponents we must call and we do.

Continued below...

The river is the 5s which changes very little given neither of our ranges rarely connect with it. We check and our opponent moves all-in. This is an extremely difficult spot versus a tough opponent. We’re getting nearly 3:1 on our money so before considering any other tournament factors, we need our opponent to be bluffing here around 25% of the time as we should only beat a bluff. If you use a GTO solver on this problem, it actually recommends a mixed strategy of calling and folding.

This is one of the real benefits of GTO solvers. It shows us how to optimally play against the very toughest opponents who are fighting hard for every last chip. Against the absolute toughest opponents who are capable of bluffing in this spot we should absolutely be calling some percentage of the time.

So the question we have to ask ourselves is: Is our opponent capable of floating and bluffing in this spot? In most regular tournaments where the field isn’t as tough and doesn’t play as optimally as the computer does in these spots, most players simply aren’t bluffing in these spots for all their chips often enough to justify calling here against all but the absolute toughest opponents.

Knowing the optimal way to play a situation and then adjusting for opponent tendencies is essential to adapting to the field in a post solver world.

Folding is the best play.

What would you do here?
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At the Final Table with T♠T♥, what do you do here?

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DECISION POINT:
At a 6-handed Tournament final table where blinds are 6,000/12,000 the Middle Position player limps and the Cutoff raises. It folds to you in the Small Blind with T♠T♥. Action is on you, what do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: At the final table of a daily local casino tournament the blinds are 6,000/12,000 with a 12,000 big blind ante we are dealt pocket tens in the Small Blind. The MP2 player limps and it folds to the Cutoff who raises to 35,000. The Button folds and action is on us.

Play has been a little tight and players have still been limping with some regularity. The first thing we need to do here is put our opponents on estimated hand ranges. Normally the open limper would be a bit concerning as they have only around 8 big blinds to begin the hand and most players are aware that with a short stack they should be either pushing all-in or folding a vast majority of the time. Given that limping is going on with some regularity, we can assign a range of some premium hands and some hands our opponents want to “see a flop” with such as mid pocket pairs and connectors or broadway hands such as QJo.

The Cutoff player, if they are aware of players limping fairly wide ranges, should be raising quite wide here. With the Hijack only having 65,000 chips and it being the final table, pay jumps should be fairly significant at this point. This means MP2 should be very wary of busting prior to the Hijack without a decent hand so they move up the pay scale.

Continued below...

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Given both of those factors, our pocket tens are likely well ahead of both ranges. Another factor to consider is how important is it for US to not bust before the shorter stacks and move up the pay scale. Certainly if our hand were a bit more marginal like pocket sevens we would have to seriously consider folding here.

Pocket tens is a premium hand and even though we are unlikely to generate a huge amount of fold equity when we move all-in, our chip stack does potentially hurt Villain and take away many of their opportunities to abuse the shorter stacks in this way. This means we will generate some folds which will give us an additional 77,000 chips. In other instances we will be playing a pot with a significant equity edge over our opponent’s range of hands that if we win, will make us the chip leader and give us opportunities to abuse these same concepts against the rest of the table.

While this decision is closer than it may seem on the surface, our hand is still far too strong versus our opponent’s ranges in this situation to fold.

Moving all-in is the best play.

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LearnWPT: Best of River Decisions

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Ahhhhh the River…

It’s only one card however it can drastically change the outcome of a hand, not to mention there’s usually a pretty sizable pot at stake.

The world’s best players know how powerful the River can be. They are masters at analyzing key factors, including preflop hand ranges, stack sizes, and how an opponent’s actions through the hand can help figure out what kind of story they are trying to tell us.

They have an arsenal of moves designed to maximize value and cause doubt in an opponent when there are no more outs to come.

Do YOU have trouble making raises, calling big bets, or folding big hands on the River?

Put your decision-making skills to the test against our Pros using the scenarios below and be ready to make the best decision possible the next time you are on the River:

Deliberate application of key concepts at the table and consistent practice of your decision-making skills is essential for success in No-Limit Hold’em.

Remember… Amateurs play, Pros practice!

That’s why we ask that you read these scenarios and keep practicing… even if you don’t always agree with our analysis.

See you online,
-LearnWPT

PS: a Membership with LearnWPT is the easiest and fastest way to add more levels of complexity and nuance to your game. Members have access to over 250+ scenarios like this to practice their decision-making skills!

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HOW CAN LEARNWPT HELP YOUR GAME?

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Think Like a Pro

When we created LearnWPT.com our goal was 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 minute instructional videos)
  • Providing a place where Members can send questions to receive answers and guidance with the Ask a Pro feature and LearnWPT Community Forums
  • Giving Members the ability to record, save, and send real hands they’ve played to receive expert analysis of their play using the Hand Input Tool


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Q♠T♦ Facing a Turn Bet, what do you do here?

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DECISION POINT:
Tournament final table where blinds are 25,000/50,000 and you are 6-handed, it folds to you on the Button. You raise to 110,000 and the Big Blind calls. BB checks the T♣7♦6♥ Flop, you c-bet and get called. Your opponent bets the 8♥ Turn and action is on you. What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: This is a tough spot on the turn. When our opponent check calls the flop, they have many 9x and 8x hands in their range. When the 8 comes on the turn, it improves the equity of Villian’s overall range quite a bit. It is simply a much better card for our opponent than it is for us.

Given that fact, Villain can very logically construct a turn leading range that includes many straights, some other made hands and some semi-bluffs. This puts us in a very difficult spot with a one pair hand with few outs to improve. With our particular hand, we should fold in this spot the majority of the time.

Continued below…

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However, we cannot simply fold all of our one pair hands to this bet or we would be very exploitable. Hands such as AT and overpairs like KK and AA should continue in this spot. Since there are so few remaining chips left in stacks we should shove with those hands.

In this scenario we should fold against a default opponent when we hold QT.

Folding is the best play.

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


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Think Like a Pro

When we created LearnWPT.com our goal was 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 minute instructional videos)
  • Providing a place where Members can send questions to receive answers and guidance with the Ask a Pro feature
  • Giving Members the ability to record, save, and send real hands they’ve played to receive expert analysis of their play using the Hand Input Tool

Not a Member? Click below to join and start improving your game today:

A♠J♠ Preflop 6-Handed, what do you do here?

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DECISION POINT:
In a Tournament you are 6-handed and blinds are 1000/2000. The MP2 player limps and Hijack raises. Action is on you from the Small Blind with A♠J♠. What do you do here?

PRO ANSWER: We have about 17 big blinds total and are facing a limp from a 16 big blind stack and a min-raise from a 5 big blind stack. The short stack’s range is too wide to ever fold our hand.

Given these stack size and range considerations shorthanded we must continue and we should move all-in over the minraise. This would deny equity to the remaining players in the hand, especially MP2, who would not be able to call with many hands in their range given the now worse pot odds we are giving them after a shove.

Continued below…

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Getting the pot heads-up against the short stack is the ideal outcome in this hand, so maximizing our fold equity with our range and shoving instead of raising smaller will be the most profitable line to take.

Moving all-in is the best play.

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


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When we created LearnWPT.com our goal was 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 minute instructional videos)
  • Providing a place where Members can send questions to receive answers and guidance with the Ask a Pro feature
  • Giving Members the ability to record, save, and send real hands they’ve played to receive expert analysis of their play using the Hand Input Tool


Not a Member?
Click below to join and start improving your game today:

Playing from the Blinds

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In No Limit Hold'em, players lose more money from the Blinds than any other position in poker.

Why? Most players are either playing too aggressively (they don't want to give up chips without a fight) or playing too passively (fearing a 3-bet or their raise getting called).

Whether you are defending from the Big Blind, completing from the Small Blind, raising limpers, or 3-Betting late position raisers, understanding how to play each position as profitably as possible (no matter what your cards) will help keep those chips in YOUR stack!

Put your decision-making skills from the Small Blind and Big Blind to the test using the scenarios below:

  1. Set of 9♠9♣ on the Flop
  2. K♥J♥ vs a Large Raise
  3. Q♠Q♦ on the Flop
  4. A♦K♦ vs a Raise and a Call
  5. A♠Q♦ on the Turn


Understanding and mastering the strategies delivered in the following LearnWPT Episodes will give you the opportunities to exert a skill edge against your opponents and play from the Blinds effectively:


Keep on practicing!
-LearnWPT


PS: a Membership with LearnWPT is the easiest and fastest way to add more levels of complexity and nuance to your game. Members have access to over 180+ scenarios like this to practice their decision-making skills!

How Do You Play Pocket Pairs?

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Pocket pairs can be tricky, and misplaying them can put your chips in serious trouble!

A pocket pair can look great preflop but how does the strength of your hand change on the Flop, Turn, or River?

Whether you have ducks, treys, walking sticks, snowmen, ladies, cowboys, or rockets, understanding what your pocket pair is worth on every street will give you a skill edge against your opponents.

Put your skills to the test in these decisions involving pocket pairs!

  1. 3♥3♠ with 17BB Stack
  2. 5♦5♣ in the Small Blind
  3. 6♠6♣ on the Flop
  4. J♠J♥ on the Turn
  5. T♣T♠ on the River

Understanding and mastering these strategies will give you the opportunities to exert a skill edge against your opponents and play your pocket pairs effectively:

Keep on practicing!
-LearnWPT

PS: a Membership with LearnWPT is the easiest and fastest way to add more levels of complexity and nuance to your game. Members have access to over 150+ scenarios like this to practice their decision-making skills!

How are these scenarios helping your game?
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LearnWPT Poker Hands of the Month - Playing Aces

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Ok, so you know Pocket Aces are the best hand you can be dealt preflop...

BUT do you know:

  • When to hold 'em?
  • When to fold 'em?
  • When to walk away?
  • When to run?

Practice your decision-making skills with everyone's favorite hand by reviewing this collection of Poker Hand examples featuring the illustrious "pocket rockets".

  1. A♠A♦ on the Turn
  2. A♠A♥ vs a Flop check-raise
  3. A♦A♥ on the River
  4. Trip Aces vs a River Bet
  5. Set of A♠A♣ vs a Check-Raise

Understanding and mastering strategies such as 1-Pair Betting Lines, Relative Hand Strength Postflop, and Pot Odds, will give you the opportunities to exert skill edge against your opponents and play your Aces effectively.

🗣️🎶 You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table. There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done 🎶

(Sorry we got carried away....)

Keep on practicing!
-LearnWPT

PS: a Membership with LearnWPT is the easiest and fastest way to add more levels of complexity and nuance to your game. Members have access to over 150+ scenarios like this to practice their decision-making skills!


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LearnWPT Poker Hands of the Month – Continuation Betting!

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Knowing how and when to C-Bet, Continuation Raise, Float, and Check-Raise are the keys to getting a hold of chips and protecting your stack.

Understanding and mastering strategies such as Continuation Betting, Floating, Protecting C-Bets, and Check-Raising will give you the opportunities to exert skill edge against your opponents.

Practice your Continuation Betting decision-making skills now by reviewing the following collection of Poker Hand examples on how to effectively use the LearnWPT C-Betting strategy.

  1. When You Miss the Flop: Missed the Flop in a Multiway Pot
  2. C-Bet and Get Check-Raised: T♠T♥ vs a Check-Raise
  3. 3-Bet and Get a Single Caller: 6♠6♣ on the Flop
  4. Continuation Raising: K♠K♥ vs a Flop Bet
  5. Calling in Position vs C-Betting: A♥K♠ vs a Donk Bet

An effective C-Betting strategy that accounts for board texture, number of opponents, stack sizes, and likely hand ranges is an essential tool that separates amateurs from the Pros.

Understanding these critical concepts and how to apply them will put you in a position to take down uncontested pots through aggression, and provide a balanced approach to your postflop game plan.

Keep on practicing!
-LearnWPT

PS: a Membership with LearnWPT is the easiest and fastest way to add more levels of complexity and nuance to your game.

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LearnWPT Poker Hands of the Month - Preflop Action!

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Knowing how and when to make moves Preflop is one of the keys to getting a hold of chips in a poker tournament.

Understanding and mastering strategies such as Preflop Calling, Preflop Raise Sizing, and Position will give you the opportunities to exert skill edge against your opponents.

Practice your preflop decision making skills now by reviewing the following collection of Poker Hand examples on how to increase the number of ways of to win hands (and not lose chips!) Preflop:

  1. T♠T♥ vs a Raise and a Reraise
  2. T♣9♣ vs a Raise and a Call
  3. A♠J♥ vs a Raise & Call
  4. Q♦Q♣ vs a Limp-Reraise

Preflop is where your toughest opponents will often give you the most trouble. Our purpose of the Poker Hand emails is to get YOU (our students) to become the player giving everyone else trouble.

Keep on practicing,
-LearnWPT

PS: a Membership with LearnWPT is the easiest and fastest way to add more levels of complexity and nuance to your game.

How are these scenarios helping your game?
Post your answers in the comments below.