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Why Play Pot Limit
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The Art of Bluffing
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All In Coups


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Pot-Limit & No-Limit
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A 5-10
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A 11-20
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Pot-Limit Omaha Q/A
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London Lowball Q/A
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High Low Split Q/A
Strip Deck Poker

  1. You are playing in the 1982 World Championship. It is the start of the third day, and you have about $22,000 in chips, which is a short stack for this late in the tournament. On your immediate right is Jack Straus, a highly aggressive poker player, and the eventual winner of the event. Jack has over quarter of a million in front of him, allowing his throttle to go full out. You are in the big blind and pick up A-8. The structure is $100 ante, $200 and $400 blind, so there is about 41,400 in the pot to start. Everybody folds around to Jack, who opens for a $4,000 bet. What do you do?
    Answer-  raise (10)    fold (2)    call (1)

Explanation- Raise him all your money. Jack does not need to have anything in this spot. He would likely raise on any two cards rather than just calling the blind or throwing his hand away. Although you don’t have any great shakes of a hand for an ordinary situation, it is fine holding for your present circumstance. Essentially, you are heads-up against a random hand and hold an ace, which is a through ticket for a short stack. It is clearly correct to raise all your money rather than a portion, because you are so committed to the pot that you

would have to call a reraise anyway. On the actual deal straus held K-9, which is a far stronger hand than average. Even so, he decided to fold. As it happens, a king was coming on the flop, and you would have lost the pot had you not run him out. (This was back in the days when rabbit-hunting was allowed in tournaments.)

  1. In this problem you are asked to play detective. Where did I go wrong? I was at the final table at the 1987 World Championship $10,000 buy-in event. There were three players remaining to fight it out for the title; myself, Frank Henderson, and Johnny Chan. I was the chip-leader with $665,000, Chan had $525,000, and Henderson the remainder, about a quarter million. The structure was now a $2,000 ante and blinds of $10,000 and $20,000. I was in the big blind and picked up A-4. John called on the button and Frank also called. I raised $85,000 more, and John surprised me by calling the raise. The flop came K-J-4, giving me only bottom pair. I made a sort of poker semi-bluff by betting $185,000. Chan moved all-in on me by making a $240,000 raise with the quickness of a pouncing tiger. I thought a long time. It seemed remote that he would be on a draw, but it certainly look like an ace or four would win the pot for me, and make me a huge favorite to become the World Champion. Since I was almost getting the right odds, and would still be in the hunt if I lost the pot, I called the raise. We faced out hands, and John showed a K-Q. I failed to draw out, and become the first player in poker history to lose a pot with over a million dollars in it. A short while later, I lost another pot and finished in third place. Johnny Chan went on to become the 1987 World Champion. Did I make a mistake, and it so, where was it?

Answer- betting flop (10)   calling raise (5)   preflop raise (1)

Explanation- I think my pre-flop raise was quite reasonable, as you can’t sit still in your chair at the price of $36,000 every three deals. My call on the end, though slightly unsound mathematically on the actual hands, was also reasonable. There was a remote chance my opponent was drawing, and there was the opportunity to get out of having to play heads-up against possibly the world’s best no-limit poker player if I got lucky and drew out. But my bet on the flop cannot be justified. What kind of hand limps in and then calls $85,000 more? I have played a lot of poker with John, and I feel sure he would have reraised me playing threehanded if he had a pocket pair. So he was very likely to have big cards that fit the flop of K-J-4. I should have checked that flop. I played my best poker in that event to get as far as I did, but it only takes one mistake to cost you a tournament- and the title of World Champion. Even so, my experiences at the final table were the greatest thrill in my life.

Scoring:             120 = perfect
                            110- 118 = very strong
                            100-109 = good player
                            99 = not bad
                            89 = need more study
                            less than    80 = bring lots of money   



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High-Low or Better