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How to Think Like a Poker Pro (Turn Strategy Analysis)

How to Think Like a Poker Pro (Turn Strategy Analysis)

Last week we shared both a new blog post by poker pro Jason Koon and an application of the ideas Koon presented in that post by poker coach Gareth James of MTT Poker School.

The post by Koon was titled "It's the same game, but it isn't" and addressed the complex decision-making often demonstrated by players in high-stakes games. In his video James presented a specific no-limit hold'em hand, stopping on the flop to ask a number of the questions Koon recommends players ask when deciding which action is best to take.

Encouraged by viewers, James continued the discussion of the same hand to look at the turn decision, once again using Koon's advice as a guide to help us try to "think like a pro" about what to do.

To recap the hand, after Villain opens from the cutoff the Hero defends the big blind by calling with {k-Hearts}{7-Spades}, the flop comes {k-Spades}{2-Hearts}{7-Hearts} to give Hero two pair. Hero checks, Villain bets, and Hero calls. See the previous article and video to see how James discussed that flop decision.

The turn then brings the {a-Hearts}. Is it time to lead with a bet now? Should Hero check again? What's the plan?

In this case the Hero checks and Villain bets. Now what?

As James explains, here's a list of questions Hero wants to answer in order to make the best decision about what to do on the turn:

  • Who has the equity advantage now?
  • Which turn cards are better for my range?
  • Who has the most significant proportion of big hands now?
  • What is my opponent's strategy?
  • What range of hands do I continue here?

Again, this is a lot to consider in a short amount of time, but as James notes the more you study these types of situations, the quicker you can arrive at smart, informed decisions.

Take a look:

If you missed it before, here is Koon's original blog post for the partypoker blog: "It's the same game, but it isn't."

Gareth James coaches at MTT Poker School and is the co-author with Dr. Tricia Cardner of Purposeful Practice for Poker.

  • Taking Jason Koon's advice, Gareth James considers how to think like a pro when playing the turn.

  • Gareth James breaks down a tricky turn decision, doing so by asking questions suggested by Jason Koon.

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