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OTB #027: The 6 Single Raised Pots Every Tournament Poker Player Needs to Master


It's impossible to master every single postflop spot in tournament poker.


To start with, there are single raised pots, 3-bet pots, 4-bet pots, HU pots, multiway pots etc.


Then there are the numerous pairings like CO vs BB, LJ vs HJ, EP vs SB and so on.


And then there are 1,755 strategically different flops.


If you sit down and think you're going to learn them all, you're going to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume and enormity of the task.


There are just too many spots, situations and scenarios.



Today I want to share with you my top 6 spots that you need to focus on that will have the biggest impact on your tournament poker game, broken down as:


  1. In Position (IP) versus the Big Blind

  2. Out of Position (OOP) as the Preflop Raiser

  3. Blind vs Blind


IP versus the Big Blind


This is the bread-and-butter spot that every serious student of the game should work on.


Choose a stack size, let's say 30bb or 40bb, then focus on:


1. LJ vs BB

2. BTN vs BB



Don't get bogged down in trying to train CO vs BB or HJ vs BB as well.


Go with the tightest ranges (LJ vs BB, or EP vs BB if your software allows) and then the widest ranges (BTN vs BB).


If you can understand and execute the strategies in these spots well, filling in the blanks should be easy.


You should c-bet a lot in position against the big blind, so it can be useful to identify the spots where you start checking.


Also, focus on whether it's a big bet or a small bet spot, and why.


And always work out what you're trying to achieve with a bet.


OOP as the Preflop Raiser


One of the biggest leaks I see is players c-betting too much out of position as the preflop raiser.


Let's say you open from the CO and just the BTN calls. You should check on the flop a lot more than you bet.



And yet I see players c-bet, sometimes, as much as they do in position.


Choose a stack size then focus on:


3. LJ vs BTN

4. CO vs BTN


Once again, don't worry about LJ vs HJ or HJ vs BTN.


You should do a lot more c-betting LJ vs BTN than you do CO vs BTN, so focus your attention there.


Remember, you have limited time available and you can't drill every single spot.


Use these core spots to develop an intuition for the other scenarios.


Blind versus Blind


Playing in and out of position, blind versus blind, is very tough. The ranges are wide and the strategies can be very different from any of the other situations and scenarios.


But this is another key area you should focus on.


Choose a stack size then focus on:


5. SB raise, BB calls

6. BB raises SB limp, SB calls


What's the best way to study and train these spots?


Use something like DTO Poker Trainer.


Study the aggregate reports and break the strategies down like I do in OTB #005: How to Quickly Identify the Heuristics Using Aggregate Reports.


Then drill the spots.

 

Use code "10COACHGAZ" for 10% off all DTO Poker products. Disclaimer: If you choose to use my affiliate code, I do receive a little kickback.

 

Once you've finished your training session, be sure to review your mistakes and blunders.


  • What mistakes did you make?

  • Why do you think the solver wants to do something different?

  • Did you make an exploit that would work in your games, but the solver doesn't like?


Today's action:


  • Commit now to a manageable number of hands you can drill every day.

  • Play those hands.

  • Review your mistakes and blunders.

  • Add notes & write down common heuristics.


The beauty of drilling all of these spots is that you can double your learning and understanding by playing from both in position and out of position regardless of the spot.


For example, for IP versus the Big Blind, even though it's LJ vs BB, you should play from IP (in the LJ's shoes) and OOP (in the BB's).


That way you start to understand the 'why' because you're seeing it from both players' perspectives rather than just the one you're currently playing.


Summary


Here are the 6 core single raised spots every tournament poker player needs to master:


1. LJ vs BB

2. BTN vs BB

3. LJ vs BTN

4. CO vs BTN

5. SB raise, BB calls

6. BB raises SB limp, SB calls


If you can understand and execute the strategies in these spots well, you should develop intuition for the other scenarios.


That's it for this week.

See you next Saturday.


 

Whenever you're ready, here's how I can help you:


The Final Table: Play your best poker when the most is at stake. Detailed analysis of over 100 hand examples at different stages of play. Learn how to make great decisions every time and set yourself up for daily progress.


Poker On The Mind: Listen to my podcast with Dr Tricia Cardner as we discuss peak poker performance and tournament poker strategy.


Train & Play Like The Pros: Join the next cohort of my flagship program that will take you from amateur to training and playing like the pros in the next 8 weeks. There are only 12 spots for each cohort, and when they're gone, they're gone and I close enrolment until the next one.


Purposeful Practice for Poker: Gain a clear theoretical understanding of the science of purposeful practice and how you can apply it to your poker study & training. Includes specific exercises designed to create an infallible plan for poker improvement.

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