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How Faraz Jaka Exploited Scared Players in the WSOP Main Event

Faraz Jaka

In this PokerNews strategy column, I look at a very interesting spot from the $10,000 World Series Of Poker (WSOP) Main Event that PokerCoaching coach Faraz Jaka played and how to exploit scared players.

During the WSOP Main Event players will overvalue their tournament life which can sometimes turn them into scared players. It is important to recognize who these players are and find ways to exploit them in your poker game!

We discuss how to use speech play by talking to your opponents to gather information. Remember that in poker the more information that you have the better informed your decisions will be. We also talk about how the deeper stacks favor the professional players as more decisions have to be made.

The hand begins with blinds at 300/600/600 and an early position player raised to 1,300. From the next seat, Faraz three-bet to 4,000 holding {8-Spades}{8-Hearts}. While I would normally call in this situation, Faraz recommended mixing medium pairs into three-betting ranges when deep-stacked, both to increase board coverage and to buy position by preventing players yet to act from entering the pot.

The action then folded to the big blind, who four-bet to 11,500. The initial raiser folded and Faraz called. Faraz said he likes calling because he will have position in the hand and is ahead of hands like ace-king or bluffs like king-queen suited.

Jonathan Little
Jonathan Little and Faraz Jaka discuss a hand from the WSOP Main Event

The flop landed {7-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}{6-Spades} and the big blind bet 7,000. What would you do in this scenario with pocket eights?

  • Fold
  • Call
  • Raise to 14,000
  • Raise to 42,500 (all in)

Folding would be ridiculous because this flop does not hit the opponent's range and they will be c-betting with a lot of their overcards. In addition to having an overpair, Jaraz has a backdoor straight draw, making his hand a clear continue. He decided to call.

The turn brought the {9-Diamonds} to give Faraz an open-ended straight draw and his opponent checked. If the opponent had jammed, Faraz said he would chat up the opponent and try to get some information.

When the opponent checked, Faraz decided to bet 8,000. He said he would normally check back in this scenario but had a read that his opponent overvalued his tournament life, and therefore would be unlikely to check-shove and blow Faraz off his equity.

The opponent went in the tank for around ten minutes and then folded, later telling Faraz that he had pocket jacks. While it ended up being the wrong move, I can understand the opponent's fold because there are very few hands they beat given the action of this hand.

I think Faraz played the hand well. His read allowed him to exploit his opponent and get them to fold the better hand.

For more on this hand check out my breakdown in the following video:

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $7,000,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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