Chip Sandwich

by Phil Gordon

Let’s say an early position opponent – preferably a loose opponent – raises and gets called by one or more players. Now there’s a lot of money in the pot. More importantly, the players who simply called are unlikely to have a hand that would merit calling a big re-raise. If they had such a hand, they probably would have raised instead of flat calling in the first place. Now it gets to me.

I “sandwich” the callers with a big raise.

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No-limit by the Numbers

by Andy Bloch

I get asked a lot of poker strategy questions, from beginner to advanced. Some are easy, but some involve the kind of math I can’t always do off the top of my head. When that happens, I rely on one of a number of free tools to calculate the probability of winning the hand.

Here’s an example based on a hand posted on a website I run …

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Holding On To Your Winnings

by Aaron “GambleAB” Bartley

One of the most important poker lessons has nothing to do with how to play Aces in late position or how to adjust for the maniac in seat three. It’s how to manage your money in a way that will make it grow as quickly as possible with minimal risk.

Some of the most highly skilled players in the game have gone broke (repeatedly) simply because they played too high, too fast, too often. How can we make sure this problem never happens to us? It isn’t a matter of smarts, but rather, one of discipline.

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Our Favorite Poker Books

by Team Full Tilt

In recent months, many of our players have asked for suggestions on what poker books provide the best insights into the game. Being curious ourselves, we put the question to our pros and the answers we got back included some long-time favorites, along with a few surprises.

While our pros all have poker books that they like, not all of them believe that reading about poker theory is essential to improving their play. In fact, a few of our pros expressed sentiments along these lines …

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Flopping a Monster

by Richard Brodie

When I started playing poker, I would get so excited when I flopped a big hand that I forgot my main goal: Win as many chips as possible. When I had marginal hands, I would think hard about what my opponent had and whether I could beat it. But when I had a big hand, I just wanted to get all my chips in the middle.

Big mistake.

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Third Street in Seven Stud

by Perry Friedman

For those of you who are unfamiliar with seven-card stud, there are some betting quirks in the game that you should understand. During the opening round of betting (also called “third street”), the player with the lowest up card is forced to act first. There are two choices: Bet the “bring-in” amount (which is usually one-third of the full bet) or “complete” the bet (make it a full bet). If the player chooses to bet the bring-in amount, another player has the option of completing the bet. Note that this is not considered a raise, because it is only increasing the initial bet to one full bet. This means there is still a bet and three remaining raises allowed during the opening round.

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How Bad are the Beats?

by Steve Brecher

While playing on Full Tilt Poker, I have said that there are three topics I won’t discuss in table chat; politics, religion, and whether online poker is rigged. That’s because many people’s opinions on those topics are hardened and not amenable to friendly or productive discussion.

Away from the table, I’ll venture a couple of comments about improbable events in poker. While not direct instruction in the tactics and strategy of play, these comments may help you take “bad beats” in stride — and that, in turn, is an essential part of poker maturity.

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Know Your Opponent; Own Your Opponent

by Paul Wolfe

I was at my first World Series of Poker in 2002, talking to a player who had made the final table the year before. He told me something I’ve never forgotten, and it’s helped me ever since.

I had raised pre-flop with A-K and he called from the button. The flop came all small cards. I checked and he fired a pot-sized bet. I looked at him and said, “You must have a good hand.” His reply caught me off guard; “It doesn’t matter what cards I have if I know what cards you have.”

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Texture Isn’t Just For Fabric

by Phil Gordon

When I’m thinking about my actions after the flop or turn, I look to the “texture” of the board – i.e., what cards are in play, and how might they interact with my opponent’s likely starting hands – to help determine if and how much I will bet.

My normal post-flop betting range is one third of the pot to the full size of the pot. The texture of the board dictates where in that range I choose to bet, and I determine that based on the following four factors …

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It’s Not Easy Being Green. Or Is It?

by Team Full Tilt

In the premier episode of our new show, “FullTiltPoker.Net Presents Learn from the Pros” broadcast on FOX Sports Net, five of our pros engaged in a roundtable discussion about stepping up in limits.

Everyone agreed that one of the best ways to improve your game is to play against better players. Jennifer Harman said she faced more tough decisions at her first table with Doyle Brunson than she’d faced in all her previous years of playing poker.

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