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The Pain Barrier - Manipulating Your Opponent
Joe Beevers
Feb 9, 2007

Finding the Low Cards in Omaha Hi/Lo
Mike Matusow
Jan 15, 2007

Looking at the Long-Term
Erik Seidel
Jan 6, 2007

Playing Small and Medium Pairs in Seven-Card Stud
Perry Friedman
Dec 29, 2006

Playing Aces in PLO
Andrew Black
Dec 21, 2006

Playing in Australia
Mark Vos
Dec 15, 2006

Playing Mixed Games
Jennifer Harman
Dec 7, 2006

Pot-Size Manipulation
Gavin Smith
Nov 30, 2006

Betting out of Position
Gus Hansen
Nov 20, 2006

How a Pro Thinks Through a Hand
Team Full Tilt
Nov 13, 2006

Cash Equity at the Final Table
Rafe Furst
Nov 6, 2006

Getting Beyond Your Cards
Perry Friedman
Oct 30, 2006

The Mindset of a Winner
Kristy Gazes
Oct 23, 2006

Balancing Poker and Life
Clonie Gowen
Oct 16, 2006

Play More Pots
Erick Lindgren
Oct 9, 2006

Heads-Up vs Multi-Way Hands in Omaha Hi/Lo
Andy Bloch
Oct 3, 2006

Playing Big Slick in Deep Stack Tournaments
Paul Wolfe
Sept 25, 2006

Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone
Ben Roberts
Sept 18, 2006

Playing Cap Games
Howard Lederer
Sept 11, 2006

From No-Limit to Limit
Richard Brodie
Sept 4, 2006

Check-Raising on Draws
Steve Brecher
August 28, 2006

Betting the River with Marginal Hands
Andy Bloch
August 21, 2006

Learning from Allen Cunningham
Jay Greenspan
August 14, 2006

Acknowledging Mistakes
Team Full Tilt
August 7, 2006

Playing the Main Event
Gus Hansen
July 31, 2006

Managing the Short Stack
Mark Vos
July 24, 2006

Red for a Day
Brian Koppelman
July 10, 2006

A Big Stack Mistake at the 2006 WSOP
Phil Gordon
July 3, 2006

Winning Poker - It's About More Than Money
Ben Roberts
June 26, 2006

Seventh Street Decisions in Seven-Stud
Keith Sexton
June 19, 2006

Big Blind Play in Limit Hold 'em
Jennifer Harman
June 12, 2006

Firing the Second Bullet
Greg "FBT" Mueller
June 5, 2006

Fourth Street Decisions in Seven Stud
Keith Sexton
May 29, 2006

Finding Your Inner Maniac
Greg "FBT" Mueller
May 22, 2006

Beware the Min Raise
Phil Gordon
May 15, 2006

Playing Bottom Two Pair
Rafe Furst
May 8, 2006

The Other Danger in Slow Playing
Howard Lederer
May 1, 2006

Why I Prefer Cash Games to Tournaments
Huckleberry Seed
April 24, 2006

Early Tournament Play
David Grey
April 17, 2006

Bad Position, Decent Cards
Howard Lederer
April 3, 2006

Inducing a Bluff
Layne Flack
March 27, 2006

Back to Basics
David Grey
March 20, 2006

Representing a Bluff
Huckleberry Seed
March 13, 2006

Viewer Beware
Howard Lederer
March 6, 2006

When Passive Plays
Chris Ferguson
February 27, 2006

Book Smarts vs. Table Smarts
Erik Seidel
February 20, 2006

Playing with John D'Agostino
Jay Greenspan
February 13, 2006

On Cavemen and Poker Players
Ben Roberts
February 6, 2006

Small-Pot Poker
Gavin Smith
January 30, 2006

Tips From Tunica
Andy Bloch
January 23, 2006

How Big a Bankroll?
Team Full Tilt
January 16, 2006

Thoughts on Omaha-8
Jennifer Harman
January 09, 2006

In Defense of the Call
Gavin Smith
January 02, 2006

Stepping Up, Stepping Down
Kristy Gazes
December 26, 2005

Playing a Big Draw in Limit Hold 'em
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson
December 19, 2005

Know Your (Table) Limits
Paul Wolfe
December 12, 2005

Getting Started in Stud-8
Jennifer Harman
December 05, 2005

What's Your Starting Hand Really Worth?
Steve Brecher
November 28, 2005

Big Slick: A Slippery Hand
Rafe Furst
November 21, 2005

Bad Cards or Bad Plays?
Team Full Tilt
November 14, 2005

Strategies for Short-Handed Limit Hold 'em
John D'Agostino
November 7, 2005

Taking on a Short-Handed No-Limit Game
John D'Agostino
October 31, 2005

What I learned at the WSOP
Jay Greenspan
October 24, 2005

Back to the Drawing Board
Perry Friedman
October 17, 2005

It's Not Easy Being Green. Or Is It?
Team Full Tilt
October 10, 2005

Texture Isn't Just For Fabric
Phil Gordon
October 3, 2005

Know Your Opponent; Own Your Opponent
Paul Wolfe
September 26, 2005

How Bad are the Beats?
Steve Brecher
September 19, 2005

Third Street in Seven Stud
Perry Friedman
September 12, 2005

Flopping a Monster
Richard Brodie
September 6, 2005

Our Favorite Poker Books
Team Full Tilt
August 30, 2005

Holding On To Your Winnings
Aaron "GambleAB" Bartley
August 22, 2005

No-limit by the Numbers
Andy Bloch
August 15, 2005

Chip Sandwich
Phil Gordon
August 8, 2005

Sizing Up Your Opening Bet
Chris Ferguson
August 1, 2005

So You Wanna Go Pro
Rafe Furst
July 25, 2005

Dealer, Leave the Bets in Front of the Players.
Greg Mascio
July 18, 2005

Not Playing By The Book
Phil Gordon
July 11, 2005

Playing Two or More Tables at Once
Erick Lindgren
July 4, 2005

How To Win At Tournament Poker, Part 2
Chris Ferguson
June 27, 2005

How To Win At Tournament Poker, Part 1
Chris Ferguson
June 20, 2005

Specialize At Your Peril
Howard Lederer
June 13, 2005

Common Mistakes
Phil Gordon
June 6, 2005

Don't Play a Big Pot Unless You Have a Big Hand
John Juanda
May 30, 2005

Ask And Ye Shall Receive Part II
Erick Lindgren
May 23, 2005

Ask And Ye Shall Receive Part 1
Erick Lindgren
May 16, 2005

Should I Stay Or Should I Go
Jennifer Harman
May 9, 2005

Keep Your Toolbox Well Stocked
Chris Ferguson
May 2, 2005

Why I Leave My Sunglasses And iPod At Home
Howard Lederer
April 25, 2005

In Pot Limit...
Clonie Gowen
April 11, 2005

The Script
Phil Gordon
April 4, 2005

Just A Few Things When Playing Razz
Jennifer Harman
March 28, 2005

A Way To Approximate The Odds
Clonie Gowen
March 21, 2005

Sit N Goes Made Easy
Howard Lederer
March 14, 2005







POKER TIP: 69
Playing Pot-Limit Tournaments

Rafe Furst
July 17, 2006

I had the good fortune of winning my first World Series of Poker bracelet earlier this month in a $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Hold 'em event. It was an incredible thrill. For this tip, I thought I'd share some points of strategy that are specific to Pot-Limit Hold 'em tournaments. If you're looking to play any Pot-Limit events, either at the WSOP or elsewhere, you'll want to keep these things in mind. Note that my advice is specific to tournaments. In Pot-Limit Hold 'em ring games, there are other adjustments you'll want to make, but there isn't enough room to cover them here.

There are two major differences between Pot-Limit and No-Limit Hold 'em tournaments. The first is that simply declaring "all-in" usually isn't an option. You can only bet the amount that's in the pot. (For an open-raise, the pot size is seven times the small blind.) In No-Limit tournaments, when a player is on a short stack, he will often move all-in. This puts pressure on the other players; in order to call, someone has to find a strong hand. However, in Pot-Limit tournaments, unless you're on an extremely short stack, after you open-raise, you'll still have chips in front of you. This gives other players a chance to re-raise and move you off your hand.

In Pot-Limit tournaments, I prefer to be the player re-raising the open-raise. Usually, this is enough to put anyone all-in, so it's the point where you can apply the maximum pressure to your opponents.

The second major difference between Pot-Limit and No-Limit Hold 'em tournaments is that, in Pot-Limit, there are never antes whereas, in No-Limit, antes are added to the pot pretty early on (Level 5 of the WSOP structure).

To understand why this is so important, consider the math. In Level 12 of the WSOP No-Limit Hold 'em structure, the blinds are $600 and $1,200 and the ante is $200, making a total pot of $3,800 prior to any action (assuming a 10-handed table). If a player can steal a pot by open-raising to three times the big blind, he'll be getting some nice value; the $3,600 bet can win him $3,800. Stealing blinds and antes is so important in No-Limit that a player like Phil Hellmuth, Jr. can attribute much of his success to his ability to steal pots once the antes kick in.

In Pot-Limit, however, when the blinds are $600 and $1,200, the same open-raise to $3,600 can claim only $1,800 in profit. The risk-reward ratio isn't nearly as favorable. For this reason, I believe it's proper to play tighter in Pot-Limit events than in No-Limit events. It also provides another reason why you want to be the player re-raising rather than open-raising. The pot that you'd win by open raising and stealing the blinds isn't nearly as valuable as the one you can pick up by re-raising the open-raise.

In the WSOP event that I won, a few of my opponents didn't adjust to the Pot-Limit structure especially well and opened too many pots. My strategy was to let my opponents have many of these small pots. I was waiting for occasions where I could come over the top of an open raise with a big re-raise. I had crafted such a tight image that when I did re-raise, my opponents had to give me credit for a pretty big hand. When I took down these pots, I gathered a significant number of chips. This worked especially well late in the tournament, when each decision could cost a player his tournament life.

So, if you're heading to the WSOP, your favorite card room or online in order to play a Pot-Limit event, remember to play tighter pre-flop and look for spots to re-raise - that's where the best opportunities lie.

Rafe Furst
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