Home on the Range

This week you will see a crystal clear opportunity to go all-in. The spot presents itself in Phase #2 – Pre-Flop, before any community cards show on the board. Many players like to wait until Phase #3 – Flop and view the community cards before putting their tournament life at risk. This way of thinking will not lead to profitability in the long run because it requires your hand to improve for you to gain the confidence to move all-in.

For example, if you are worried about going all-in Pre-Flop with K-K because an opponent may have A-A, then you should also be worried about going all-in Post-Flop on a board with all unders for the very same reason. This worry will lead to bad folds and over thinking the hand, ultimately taking away your edge. With cards like A-K, A-A, and K-K, work to get your chips in Pre-Flop.


Blinds have just raised to $100/$200 and I’m holding Ah-Kd on the Button (TB). I have $2,775 chips in my stack and the big blind amount is $200. This means that I have about 13 big blinds in my stack (my chips/big blind amount = my # of big blinds). A-K is a premium hand, so with 13 big blinds I’m looking to get all-in in Phase #2 – Pre-Flop. I have an awareness that the action in front of me (previous action) will usually determine my next move, but with A-K, I’ll be all-in here every time with this stack size. With a larger stack, I’d make a 3-bet.


The action folds around one seat to the right of me on the Button (TB) named the Cutoff (TC) where Player 233 raises 2.5x the big blind amount. Using the same calculation for my stack earlier, I can determine how many big blinds are in Player 233’s stack. To start the hand, Player 233 had $4,444 chips and the big blind amount is $200. This means that Player 233 has about 22 big blinds (Player 233’s chips/big blind amount = Player 233’s # of big blinds).

The Poker Model tells you that when action folds to the Cutoff (TC) with no previous action in front and a stack of this size, to raise with any two cards over 7, any ace, any suited connectors, any suited one offs over 4, any suited two offs over 4, and any pocket pair. A-K is such a strong hand from this position because it dominates the majority of the hands that Player 233 could be raising with. My hand dominates his range.


I move all-in for 13 big blinds. I don’t have enough chips to make a raise less than all-in because I’d be left with an amount that is too small.

In order to call two or more raises in front, Players 239 and 171 will need A-K, A-A, or K-K. I expect both of them to fold because I’m holding an Ace and a King, which lowers the chances of that happening. When the action moves back around to Player 233, I expect a fold if the raise was on the weaker end of the range and a call if it was on the stronger end of the range. I’ll be 70/30 against A-X or K-X, 60/40 against two unders, 50/50 against 22-QQ, 30/70 against K-K, and 10/90 against A-A.  


Player 233 calls with Ac-10c. This is one of the best spots I can be in in the game of No Limit Texas Hold’em. I’ve made the correct play and was called by a hand that I will beat 7 out of 10 times.

To test if you are using The Poker Model correctly, be sure to track your results. With strong execution, you should be making the money in at least 1 out of 6 events. You can see in this example that I’ve done everything right and will still lose 3 out of 10 times.


The run out doesn’t help Player 233 and I double up. The Poker Model will tell you the ranges of hands that your opponents will raise with depending of their seat at the table, previous action, and stack size. This information is valuable because you can match up your hand to that range and decide what move to make. If you hand beats most of the range, call. If you hand does not beat most of the range, fold.

Know that we are working hard to simplify the game of No Limit Texas Hold’em for you. Continue to follow the blog as we put out new information and resources to help improve your game.


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