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The Importance of Playing from Position with Calvin “cal42688” Anderson

Calvin Anderson

Among the many top players helping make up the fields in the 100-plus event 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure was Calvin Anderson. Anderson has made one final table in the festival so far, taking eighth in a $2,200 no-limit hold’em turbo event to add another cash to a career total that is now approaching $1.4 million.

Anderson also has a significant history of success playing online, where as “cal42688” he’s won six Spring Championship of Online Poker titles and another World Championship of Online Poker bracelet on PokerStars. According to PocketFives, his online tournament earnings total more than $5.95 million.

Anderson took part in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event this year where during a break in play yesterday he took time to discuss a somewhat unusual hand he played.

After raising with {q-Spades}{9-Spades} from early position, Anderson saw a player whom he had read as potentially “fishy” calling from the small blind. As the hand develops, the player’s decision to come along illustrates the importance of position in hold’em, and perhaps avoiding if possible spots where you must play from out of position, never mind against a player as skilled as Anderson.

The big blind called as well, and the trio saw a flop come {k-}{5-}{8-} with one spade. The small blind led with a bet which Anderson pegged as “weak” while also guessing this particular player might feel somewhat committed thereafter following his bet. The big blind stepped aside, but Anderson decided to raise with his backdoor flush draw, and the small blind called.

Anderson was then pleased to see a {q-} come on the turn to give him a pair. They both checked, and in the video below Anderson answers our Sasha Salinger’s question about what sort of range he put his opponent on at that point. The river then brings a blank — an offsuit {2-}. Watch and hear how the betting goes and how the hand ends, and take heed of the lesson to use discretion when calling raises from the small blind:

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  • When playing from position, you have more information and more options, as Calvin Anderson explains.

  • Calvin "cal42688" Anderson breaks down a PCA Main Event hand illustrating the power of position.

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