Making a hero call for a large portion of your stack on a poker final table is not an easy feat. This is why Brock Wilson is widely considered to be one of the best poker players in the world.
Learning to master a short stack is vitally important to becoming a well-rounded professional poker player. Any poker player will know that your stack will ebb and flow throughout a tournament and it’s important to be able to master changes in your poker strategy depending on your effective stack and opponents.
This hand took place during a $10,000 Poker Masters event in the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. Wilson started the hand as the shortest stack at the table with five players remaining. His opponent, Elio Fox, was one of the larger stacks at the table.
Fox is actually in an awkward spot preflop as he has some large stacks in the blinds still to act. If the blinds were shorter stacked then Fox could shove as they would have to fold a large majority of their range due to Wilson being the shortest stack at the table. Payout implications and ICM should mean your poker strategy adapts.
I discuss the strategy you should be using when you are out of position on low boards (it’s a lot of checking!). These boards connect well with your opponent’s range. I also discuss how you should construct a range to hero call with on the river. It is important to recognize which cards are good to have and which are not.
It was five-handed final table of the Poker Masters $10K. Wilson min-raised from the cutoff with the as the short stack off 16bb. Fox called with the on the button.
The flop fell and both players check.
From out of position, you want to do a ton of checking on low and medium card boards. Wilson went with the check and Fox can go either way between checking and betting. These hands with two overs and some backdoor equity really don’t want to get check-raised off of their equity, so they’ll want to check mostly and just start bluffing every once in a while.
The turn brought and both players checked once again.
Wilson wants to be pretty polarized here, betting lots of strong hands and bluffs that lack showdown value, like suited for example. offsuit isn’t worth bluffing because it can win at showdown, so checking seems like the best play.
However, Fox can mix it up here again, sometimes checking back and sometimes betting with a medium to large size to try to get Wilson’s ace-high to fold.
As it was, the river was the and Wilson checked for the third time. Fox then bet 300,000 into the pot of 325,000, which Wilson hero called.
Wilson has an easy check here for the same reasons on the turn. Fox now had a pretty reasonable bluffing hand and went for about a pot-sized bet.
Wilson’s hand blocks the suited and the suited hands that could both bet for value, but the also blocks some amount of bluffs like the and , so this is a really tough spot. If Wilson never calls with ace-high hands, he’s going to be easily exploited in this spot, so it’s very reasonable to find some calls here with this hand.
This call started the momentum for Wilson as he came back to win the tournament for $189k!
Wilson Joins PokerCoaching.com
I am extremely pleased to announce that Brock Wilson is joining the PokerCoaching.com coaching team and will be here to bring you extremely high-level poker coaching for premium members.
Wilson has amassed almost $5,000,000 in live tournament winnings and is a regular in high-stakes tournaments. His coaching content will help understand what it takes to get to the highest stakes in poker and help you take your game to the next level!
His first four-part series is called Crushing High Stakes Poker where he goes through high-level GTO principles and shows you key player pool adjustments to help you crush tournaments!
- Part 1: Intro to Pio Reviews & IP vs BB Strategy
- Part 2: High Roller BTN vs CO Strategy
- Part 3: Defense Frequencies & Why They’re Important
- Part 4: 3-Bet Pots in Softer Fields