Poker pro Little's strategy debatable yet interesting – GamingTodaySlotsToday

October 24, 2017 3:00 AM

Jonathan Little is a highly regarded poker pro and writer/teacher; but that doesn’t mean he is always correct. In a recent publication, he described an interesting hand in a high-stakes no-limit hold’em tournament that cost him a substantial portion of his chip stacks.

The table was seven handed. In a late position Jonathan was dealt pocket Kings – a great starting-hand. This is a made hand preflop. It could win the pot without further improvement. Most likely, it will not improve, with only two outs to catch a set. The odds are about 8-to-1 against. Then, after the flop, the odds increase to about 11-to-1 against.

So, keeping that in mind, what is the best way to play this hand? Jonathan re-raised preflop from his hijack position after a raise from “a splashy player.” It would have been interesting to know how that opponent’s “splashy” playing style affected Jonathan’s decisions during that hand. And, I am curious as to how he decided on the amount of his reraise. Indeed, what was his strategy while playing his K-K in the hole?

In any case, I agree a re-raise was the right decision. Before the flop, Jonathan’s pocket Kings almost certainly was the top hand. Only pocket Aces would have been better, for which the odds were much against any of his six opponents holding that hand – almost 40-to-1.

Since he was not likely to improve his pocket Kings, he should protect it as much as possible. How? The amount of his re-raise is one way; the more chips he wagers, the less likely an opponent will call with a marginal drawing hand – like Q-10 offsuit.

A second tactic to thin the playing field is the Esther Bluff. As I have explained in

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