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Keeping up with the High Rollers: Two “pro moves” from ‘apestyles’

Keeping up with the High Rollers: Two “pro moves” from ‘apestyles’

In this series of articles, we’ll be taking a closer look at some poker trends we see cropping up in High Roller tournaments.

Today we’re focusing on why you should leave yourself with a chip and a chair in Progressive Knockout tournaments, and the best possible time for you to register in small-field online tournaments.

Chip and a chair

An interesting spot came up in a recent stream from BBZ coach and streamer Jon “apestyles” Van Fleet.

The online poker legend was grinding away in a Progressive Knockout (PKO) tournament when he chose to do something which is actually rather common at the high stakes but perhaps misunderstood in the lower levels of the game.

In a $1,050 High Roller Club PKO Turbo, Apestyles opens under the gun with the 89 and the big blind defends. The flop falls QJK, giving him a flush draw and a gutshot straight draw. He continuation bets and gets called.

The turn is a seemingly innocent 2 and apestyles bets again. He gets called.

The 4 hits the river, bricking all of apestyles’ draws. But he loads the gun anyway, his reasoning being that while it sucks to bluff with two diamonds in his hand (he’d rather his opponent had two diamonds) he also blocks hands like 9T.

He overbet shoves but chooses to leave himself with just 347 chips behind (the blinds are 350/700 with a 90 ante).

“Oh that’s the worst,” he laughs when his opponent snap-shoves, setting him all in.

Knowing he’s 100% beat, he quickly folds.

But what is the merit of leaving yourself with a few antes behind in a PKO tournament when you’re nowhere near the money bubble?

Luckily for us, apestyles goes on to explain his thought process.

“The reason I left money behind is so that you don’t price them in to call with all of their bluff catchers because of the bounty,” he says. “I never go all-in in these types of spots.”

What does he mean?

Well, let’s say his opponent had a hand like QT for second pair and a busted straight draw. When apestyles triple barrels, their hand essentially becomes a bluff catcher because they can’t beat any of his value hands (he’d probably play AT, 9T, and sets this way, for example) and they can only beat his bluffs (like the hand he actually has).

With a bounty in play, they are far more likely to call his shove with their bluff catchers than when the bounty hasn’t already been committed to the pot. It simply makes calling more appealing because bounties are so valuable in PKO tournaments.

By leaving a few chips behind and not committing his bounty, apestyles feels his opponents are more likely to let their bluff catchers go than make big hero calls.

And it’s always good to still have a chip and a chair.

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The right moment to register small field tournaments

Right after the hand that we just discussed, apestyles lets us in on another pro tip.

He checks the lobby of a tournament he’s planning to register and notices that of the three tables in action, one has seven players on it while the other two have six. So he knows if he registers at that moment he’ll be put on one of the tables with six players.

When you observe the tables in the PokerStars tournament lobby, you can see where the players are seated in terms of the button, and where you’re likely to be seated yourself should you click register right now.

“I don’t want to be seated under the gun,” says apestyles. “So I just wait for the under the gun to move.”

That way he avoids being forced immediately into the blinds and has an entire orbit before he has to put money into the pot.

“Now I’m going to register,” he says when he notices the button has moved past his likely seat. He gets seated exactly where he predicted.

“Boom! I’ve skipped the button. Pro-moves.”

Make sure you tune in to Twitch.TV/Apestyles to watch the man in action.

Stay tuned to the BBZ Poker Blog for more high roller tips.

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