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Why Play Pot Limit
Comparing Pot-Limit
Poker's Ten
You Playing Style
How Deep Are You
Taking The Initiative
Drawing Hand's
Reading The Opponent
The Art of Bluffing
Betting The Bully
No Limit Play
All In Coups


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Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A 5-10
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High Low Split Q/A
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  1. You pick up J-10 in the big blind. Three people call a quarter and the button raises to $125 straight. The little blind folds; what do you do?

Answer- fold (10)    Call (3)    Raise (1)

Explanation - Your position will be bad throughout the deal, but especially so on the flop poker betting round, where a bet by the preflop raiser would come through you with the field yet to act. You have a reasonable hand, but the jack-ten suited is basically a drawing hand. A drawing hand needs good position, particularly at pot-limit.

  1. You pick up A-K in late position and open for a raise to $100 straight. The big blind is the only caller. He is a very aggressive and tricky poker player named Hurley. The flop comes nice for you; A-9-3. You have top pair with top kicker. Hurley checks and you bet $200. He calls. The next card is an innocuous 8. He checks, you bet $400, and he calls again. The last card is the 2. To your surprise, the opponent now springs to life with an Obviously, he is either bluffing or can easily beat one pair. What should you do?

Answer- fold (10)    call (0)    

Explanation- Your opponent almost surely has a hand that is better than yours. The flop did not offer any drawing prospects. By his call on the flop and on fourth street, your opponent showed that he had made a hand. He has little need to bluff. If his hand were something like A-Q or A-J, it would be natural for him to check after the final card, and certainly not to make a big bet. Your hand belongs in the muck. I folded this hand, and my opponent told me later that he had flopped a set of nines. There are two lessons to be learned here. The first is that an opened with a made hand is not likely to try and win the pot by representi8ng a bigger hand than actually held. The normal action is to simply show it down and hope for the best. The second is when an opponent whose betting late in a poker hand is inconsistent with his betting early in a hand, the later information is likely to be the truth.

  1. You hold A-10. The flop comes 10-7-3. Three of you stayed for the flop in an unraised pot, so there is about a hundred dollars in the pot. The first player bets $100, the second player folds, and you call. On fourth street comes the 2, which makes you a four-flush. Your opponent bets $250. You call, making $800 now in the pot. The last card is the pleasant J, giving you the nut flush. Your opponent checks. How much do you bet?

Answer- $1000 (10)    $800 (8)    $500 (5)

Explanation- I think in these situations the best things to do is overbet the pot. An even grand looks like a good figure. When a backdoor flush gets completed on the last card, and you either have the flush, or have nothing and wish to bluffing in poker game, the right thing to do is overbet the pot. This makes it crystal clear that you are representing a flush, and it shouldn’t make any difference to the opponent whether he has one pair, two pair, a set, or even a straight. Either you have him beaten by holding a flush, or you busted out and are bluffing. At least there is no misunderstanding about what you are representing.

  1. It is early in the second day of the 1987 World Championship. You and Jay Heimowitz, a wily and aggressive veteran from New York, are tournament co-leaders at this point, each with just over a hundred thousand dollars in chips. As fate would have it, you’re at the same table. Jay is in the big blind and you are on the button. The hand you are dealt is a rare and pretty sight; a pair of aces. Everyone folds and you make a small raise. Jay is your only caller. There is about eight grand in the pot. The flop comes 10-6-4. Jay checks. How do you pay the hand?

Answer- check (10)    bet (6)

Explanation- In a poker tournament, when you have a big stack of chips, you should avoid major confrontations with another big stack. How far out of your way you should go is a course a matter of debate. I will say this; if you get all-in with this kind of flop against Jay Heimowitz for a hundred grand apices when there was only eight thousand in the pot, those aces will not be the best hand. My plan was to make some money in the likely event my aces were still boss, and not get broke if they weren’t. I checked on the flop. On fourth street Jay bet $6,000 and I just called. On the end Jay bet $12,000 and I simply called again. His hand was a pair of queens. As there were small card on the board, I won the pot, picking up just over twenty grand from a dangerous opponent. Note that the way this hand was played, I was never in danger of getting broke or bluffed. If I had bet on the flop and continued betting, I probably would have made about the same amount of money., because he likely would have called both on the flop and fourth street, and released the hand on the end. Or course, aces are the best starting hand to play in the fashion I described, as the free card you give will not be an overcard. 

  1. This hand is from the 1982 World Championship. You are in the big blind and have A-Q. Three-time World Champion Johnny Moss opens under the gun for 700 and Sam Moon calls. Since it was only $500 more to you, you decide to call. The flop cames Q-7-2, giving you top pair with an ace kicker. You lead at the pot for $1,000, Moss calls, and Moon folds. The next card is the 3, making a three –flush on board. You lead at the pot again, this time for $4, 000, and Moss calls. The last card is the 6, a blank. John has about another nine grand in front of him (you have bit more than that). What does Moss hold, and should you check or put him all-in?

Answer- check (10)    bet (5)

Explanation- Moss’s hand is almost certainly a big pair, either aces or kings, likely with a heart that could have made a flush on the last card. You obviously do not hold the winning hand, so if you bet, it would be a bluff. Whether to bluff is a difficult question. I decided it was not good poker to try and run a World Champion off a big pair, and checked the hand. Moss checked it back and showed down two red kings. Would he have called $9,000 bet on the end? I asked him that question at dinner that night. His reply was an honest-sounding “I don’t know.” Then he added, “Probably, but I wouldn’t have liked it.” My feeling to this day has been that I did the right thing, but of course there is no way to know for sure. My opinion is you should save your bluffs for situations where you think the opponent is weak, and not be trying to induce a big laydown.


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