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Poker Lessons with JWin: How to Play Full Houses

The newest member of the PokerCoaching.com team, vlogger and cash game crusher JWin took a trip to The Lodge Cardroom in Austin, Texas to take part in a live-streamed cash game. Playing with the likes of Doug Polk, JWin got involved in a massive pot while repping the PokerCoaching.com brand. Was our favorite poker vlogger able to bring home the nearly $25,000 pot?

The Game: $25/$50 NLH Cash Game
Effective Stack: 159 Big Blinds
Where: The Lodge Cardroom, Austin, Texas

This video comes from Jonathan Little’s YouTube Channel. If you would like to stay up to date with more video content such as this, including hand breakdowns from Hellmuth vs Dwan, Daniel Negreanu, Brad Owen and more, check out the channel!

Targeting Limpers Preflop

First to act holding J♠-9♣, Hai limped into the pot. Looking down at Q-J, JWin executed a raise for $400. It would fold back around to Hai, who would call making it heads-up heading to the flop.

JWin picked a quality spot to raise, as strong, suited connectors are great hands to attack limpers with. Often poker players limp with hands they do not think are good enough to raise, giving them a range that is usually dominated by hands like Q-J. Even if a limper decides to be tricky and three-bets in response to a raise, you can call and continue with a hand that has the potential to flop extremely well. 

JWIN Flops Top Two Pair

The Pot: $1,000
The Board: Q-J♣-2
Effective Stack: 151 Big Blinds

JWin: Q-J
Hai:
J♠-9♣

Flop Analysis

Flopping middle pair, Hai checked it over to JWin. Absolutely nailing the flop, JWin elected to make a continuation bet for a small sizing of $300, which Hai called.

While JWin was wise to bet the flop, considering his opponent’s limping range and the deep stack sizes they were playing with, he should have made a slightly larger bet. A lot of players’ limping ranges consist of middle-suited type hands, even though JWin was well ahead, his opponent’s range could connect well enough with the board to incentivize a bigger bet. Betting will cause some opponents to fold their junk, but that is not a big deal as they would not have added money to the pot anyway if they lacked a playable hand.

Betting for more than $300 was in JWin’s best interest, but not for more than half pot. A mistake many poker players make is betting big when they nail the flop in an attempt to “get paid”. Not only does this strategy scare off opponents who would have called a smaller bet with worse hands, but when you happen to be behind a hand like a set, you set yourself up to get torched!

Becoming a crusher at the table starts with crushing the fundamentals. Click here to see if you have what it takes.

JWin Stays Ahead On The Turn

The Pot: $2,500
The Board: Q-J♣-2-2♠
Effective Stack: 145 Big Blinds

JWin: Q-J
Hai:
J♠-9♣

Turn Analysis

With the 2♠ serving as a brick on the turn, Hai again checked to JWin who bet $900. Holding two pair on the turn, Hai made the call.

By checking and calling the flop, Hai’s range consisted of pairs as well as straight draws. Before deciding on a bet size, JWin should have considered whether or not Hai would call with a gutshot straight draw. If Hai is the kind of player to call with a gutshot straight draw, JWin should definitely have sized up his bet to pursue value. Even if Hai would have folded a gutshot to a larger bet, sizing up was likely still in JWin’s best interest since both players still had stacks over $10,000. 

When playing deep stacked, it is important to pursue as much value as possible when you have strong enough hands. Take your opponent’s range into consideration and utilize bet sizes that not only keep them in the hand, but also provide you with equity.

Full House Over Full House On The River

The Pot: $3,400
The Board: Q-J♣-2-2♠-J
Effective Stack: 127 Big Blinds

JWin: Q-J
Hai:
J♠-9♣

River Analysis

The J on the river provided Hai with a full house, but unfortunately for him JWin’s was better. Likely hoping for a bet, Hai checked to JWin who did just that, firing out for $1,500. 

Usually, when you have the nuts on the river you want to bet a bigger size to get as much value as you can. Although a bigger bet size would be preferred most of the time, JWin’s $1,500 was actually the perfect play. Wanting to draw value from a queen, $1,500 was a great size that Hai could have easily called if he happened to have top two pair. In this hand however, Hai had a jack and wanted to pursue value with it.

Not knowing just how behind he was, Hai raised JWin $4,500. Left with a very easy decision, JWin moved all-in for his remaining $12,000. In a terrible predicament, Hai went into the tank as he contemplated whether his full house was good, but was he able to find the fold?

Conclusion

In a terrible spot holding a hand some may say was too good to fold, Hai made the crying call and saw the bad news. Rewarded for his masterful play and proper bet sizing with the better full house, JWin took down a massive pot totaling $24,200. By attacking limpers and enticing his opponent to stay in the hand, JWin displayed his poker proficiency for the entire live stream to see.

PokerCoaching.com is excited to welcome JWin as its newest coach. Want to learn from JWin and crush your own cash games? Be sure to check out JWin’s new cash game course, where he not only covers how to beat loose cash games, but also how to navigate bomb pots.

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