Poker Strategy

Late Position Poker Strategy for Texas Holdem Table Positions

Late Position Poker Strategy for Texas Holdem Table Positions

Today we will be talking about the last Texas Holdem table positions, the late position. If you paid attention to our previous articles, you will see that during the middle position article we added another poker hand card, this is because there are possible that the early position might call again after the late position calls, so we needed to use a higher win rate hand card to deal with, so the range is limited.

Late Position Poker Strategy for Texas Holdem Game Introduction

This is the last article on Texas Holdem table positions and the relation between poker hands, today we will be talking about the last Texas Holdem table positions, the late position.

If you paid attention to our previous articles, you will see that during the middle position article, we added another poker hand card, this is because there are possible that the early position might call again after the late position calls, so we needed to use a higher win rate hand card to deal with, so the range is limited.

So, what’s the range for a late position in a poker regular’s mind? Let's talk about it.

Late Position Poker Strategy for Texas Holdem Table Positions

Late Texas Holdem Table Positions Poker Strategy

Texas holdem table positions can bring a certain range advantage to players, and those who can maximize this advantage, bluff when they are at late position, and extract value when ahead are considered the poker king and queen in our eyes.

Here is a real-life example from a live poker game held before the era of PokerStars:

Six-handed table, blinds 400/800. The game folded to Phil Hellmuth in the cutoff, who opened for 2000. Both the small blind and big blind defend.

  • Flop: 10/10/8, rainbow. Esfandiari at the small blind bets 4400, and the big blind folds. It's Hellmuth's turn, and he raises to 14400.

First, let's consider the perspective of the small blind. The small blind has pocket Jacks (JJ), and before the flop, chooses not to raise, keeping the range concealed, and leads out on the flop, getting re-raised by the cutoff.

Changes Texas Holdem Table Positions Can Make

Hellmuth's range can include A/10, but also combinations like 7/9, 9/J. However, because he holds JJ, he blocks many of the combinations of straight with 9/J.

So, what combinations from the late position could have hidden odds, and may fold to a re-raise, given the front position's likely strong hand? The most probable hands left are two high cards or suited Q9.

  • Leading range: 7/9, 9/J, 6/7, 7/7, 9/9, Q/9, A/K, A/Q, A/J, K/Q, K/J
  • Trailing range: A/10, K/10, Q/10, J/10, 10/10, 10/9, 10/8, 8/8, A/A, K/K, Q/Q

In this situation, re-raising might not be necessary with cards like 10/10, 10/8, 8/8, etc. The ratio of being ahead to being behind is roughly 1:1, so the small blind chooses to call. The current pot is 35400.

The turn is the black 3, introducing the possibility of a flush. The small blind checks, and Hellmuth bets half the pot, 17000. Now, the small blind, holding a black J, loses the potential flush draw from the late position.

Late Position Poker Strategy

Instead, the bet from the late position seems to be trying to extract value from the small blind's potential flush draws with a black J. However, the 3 doesn't change much. The small blind chooses to call. The current pot is 69400.

The river is the diamond 5. All potential straight and flush draws were missed. The small blind checks, and Hellmuth bets one-third of the pot, 22000. The current pot is 91400.

Here, the small blind only needs to put in a quarter of the pot to show down. If you were in their position, would you call?

On the journey to becoming a poker champion, we continuously face different opponents and scenarios. Constantly improving ourselves is the only way to progress. Whether it's online poker or live poker, every decision we make in each hand must be carefully considered.

In the outcome of today's case for Texas Holdem table positions, the small blind ultimately chose to fold, and Hellmuth successfully bluffed with an A/6.

In the final showdown, we can't be certain about the reasons behind the small blind's decision to fold, but we can try to understand.

If there hadn't been a raise before the flop, the small blind might have thought there was room for a successful bluff. However, the pre-flop raise by Hellmuth, seizing the advantage of position, made his subsequent bets appear to have the value of a 10. This led the small blind to believe that the chances of winning by calling were less than 1/4, prompting the decision to fold.

This concludes the hand we shared today from the Poker world, featuring a real-life poker event. Thank you for watching, and we'll see you next time.


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