Owner and Lead Pro
Professional Cash game trainer Bart Hanson has been producing strategy content for over fifteen years. He first started on Live at the Bike! back in 2005, then moved on to host "Cash Plays" on Poker Road, then "Deuce Plays" on Deuces Cracked and then to CrushLivePoker in 2012.
In his career as a professional poker player, Bart Hanson has:
-6 WSOP Final Tables
-Over 15 years of experience at the table
-Over $1,000,000 in tournament earnings
-Multiple appearances on ESPN and Poker Night in America
-4th place finish in 2019 WSOP Monster Stack
We all know how enticing pot odds can be. And there isn’t a better example of “getting a great price” then when completing in the small blind after several people have limped in. Sometimes you can be getting as much as 10-1 in this spot and a lot of people feel like they are forced to complete especially when the big blind is the type of player that would not raise without a premium hand. However, I have seen a lot of people make mistakes in this particular situation.
I remember a long time ago reading something from Phil Hellmuth discussing which hands he completes in the small blind in limit Holdem. He said that after several people have entered the pot for a limp, you should complete with any two suited cards. As much flack as Hellmuth gets for his cash game pointers I actually think that this good advice. When more than three people have come into the pot but have not raised I will complete with any two gapper such as 96 or Q9 or any two suited cards. I will fold everything else except for weak aces. The fact of the matter is that position is paramount in big bet games and when you complete from the small blind you are first to act for the rest of the hand.
I cannot find good reasons to play hands like 93os and K6os, but I see people do it all the time. You actually have reverse implied odds when you hit top pair, especially when you are uncomfortable playing post flop. Often times I will see players lose a fair bit of money with hands that they should never have even completed with. I have commentated on Live at the Bike at the Bicycle Casino for over five years and it is amazing to me that guys will fall into a check call shell with a hand like 84os on a board of 8♠ 3♠ 6♣. They have no idea where they are at and do not seem to realize that their equity against a field bettor’s hand is not good especially if there is a caller in between. The next time you are thinking about completing “any two“ in the small blind ask yourself “what do I really want to flop here”? If you cannot come up with a good answer there is nothing wrong with pitching your hand even if you think you are getting a good price.
In capped games, a large percentage of your winrate is directly correlated to preflop hand selection...
By Bart Hanson
Posted Oct 08, 2012
You have been there before. The game is tight and almost dead. You look around for a table change bu...
By Bart Hanson
Posted Nov 21, 2012