Learning to play multi-way pots correctly is one of the toughest things to study in poker.
But BBZ Poker coach Jon “luckyfish89” Clark is simply one of the best at it. He’s got countless successful students and more than $3.85 million in online cashes to prove it.
It’s not surprising, then, that even a beast like Twitch legend Lex Veldhuis called upon luckyfish for some multi-way coaching when he was recording the Lex Bundle. In it, luckyfish introduces Lex to many interesting dynamics in three-way pots that Lex hadn’t previously considered.
“I have some really good takeaways from this, it’s really cool,” Lex says at the end of the 100-minute coaching session. “You really opened my eyes in a lot of spots today.”
Here, we’re going to cover just one of them. To learn along with Lex, make sure you check out the full Lex Bundle.
In the hand, the lojack opens to 2x and the hijack calls. It folds to Lex in the big blind who has 6 ♥ 7 ♥ and he defends.
The flop falls 7 ♣ 3 ♦ J ♥ .
It checks to the hijack who leads for 3.65x into 7.3x (roughly half pot). Lex calls, and the original raiser (lojack) folds. “You’re going to have close to a 100% call here,” says luckyfish as they begin to analyse the hand.
As the flop is quite dry, the in-position player should feel comfortable betting when it checks to them.
“They should have a pretty aggressive bet on this board,” says luckyfish. “Their range is going to be pocket pairs, suited aces, suited broadways, for the most part. The in-position player is the one who gets to bet more dishonestly. Out of position, you need to have backdoor equity. In position, you can bet with all sorts of nonsense.”
By calling, Lex also sets up potential raises from the original raiser, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“Because you’re calling here, the original raiser can raise with their really strong hands, but they can also bluff with A ♣ 8 ♣ , K Q -off, A ♣ 6 ♣ , any hand with some backdoor equity. But if you raise they’re going to fold all of it and you’re only going to get it in against their really good hands.”
Then the turn is the J ♠ , pairing the board.
“Your range is really strong on this turn, so this is the spot where you can probably lead,” says luckyfish. “The jack’s not quite as good as a lower card would be as they have some coverage of a jack, but anything under a jack here you can probably start leading 100% of the time in these situations.”
TIP: To learn more about multi-way pots, check out our series of articles with analysis from BBZ:
By flatting the flop bet with the original raiser still to act behind, Lex’s range increases in strength. “You get to lead so aggressively here, even on the jack, because your range on the turn after a half-pot bet consists of straight draws with backdoor flush draws, pairs, sets, trips, full houses even. This is a spot where I think you get to lead.”
According to luckyfish, it becomes easy for Lex to lead in this position because his opponent (the hijack) is more likely to have “dodgy bluffs”. “Hands like K 8 -suited and K 6 -suited come into the range, so you benefit more. They’re probably not going to have that much jack-x offsuit here, so their jack-x is limited from this position.”
But if Lex was to lead, what bet size should he go for?
“The sizing choices are typically quite small,” says luckyfish. “You can lead here for 10%, which the solver is probably going to do fairly frequently. Pick and choose a sizing you feel comfortable with. That could be 10%, it could be 25%.
“When you lead for 10% they’re going to start making more mistakes,” he continues. “They should probably not fold a single thing. In a theoretical world, they’re probably supposed to defend 95% or so, but in reality, they’re going to overfold.”
And if Lex can get his opponent to fold a hand like K Q , which has overcards, backdoor draws, and plenty of equity, it’s going to be a great result for the 6 ♥ 7 ♥ .
“Leading on the turn after the pre-flop raiser gets out, that’s such a cool mechanic that I didn’t think about,” says Lex. “It gives me a lot more pressure tools for the turn and puts up so many more possibilities in denying equity, getting value, being more range aware.
“You see how overwhelmingly often this theme comes into play and how important the situation is. This is something that comes back over and over and over again.”
You probably recognise being in this spot yourself. There are patterns in all of these situations.
“There are so many similarities where you can confidently expect this is going to happen on this board, that board,” says luckyfish. “But unless you see the sims, it’s difficult to come to a conclusion about how some of this stuff works and why it might happen.”
Make sure you check out the Lex Bundle for a poker training experience unlike any other, featuring exclusive 1-on-1 coaching sessions with Jordan “bigbluffzinc” Drummond, Jon “apestyles” Van Fleet, Jargo “bungakat” Alavali & Jon “luckyfish89” Clark.