"I'm trying not to play too many interesting hands in the Main Event," poker pro Patrick Leonard told us, characterizing his approach toward the early levels of the 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event.
"I'm just trying to chip up — go slowly up, rather than up and down."
That said, Leonard did find himself in an interesting hand during Day 1, and he skillfully broke down the situation for us in the video below.
Leonard begins by referring to his own, mostly tight starting hand selection early in the deep-stacked, slow-structured Main Event. He also talks about how noticing other players' frequency of hands played can help you estimate their ranges and how to play against them when you do get involved.
From there the British pro moves into discussing the Day 1 hand, one that started with a good player opening with a raise from under the gun and an amateur calling.
It folded to Leonard who had -offsuit in the big blind. He explains how many players would three-bet in that situation, but he chose just to call, offering many reasons for doing so.
The flop came and Leonard checked. The good player continued with a bet and the amateur called, and Leonard chose to call as well although he does break down why raising could have been a good option given the particular three-way dynamic involving these two particular players.
The turn brought the to put a second club on the board. Leonard notes he had the in his hand, explaining its significance going forward. He checked again, the good player bet 2,200 into a pot of about 6,000, and the amateur folded. Leonard called, then the river brought the , bringing a third club while pairing the board.
Leonard checked once more, and this time his opponent made a big bet of 6,500 — "quite a large bet for this stage of the tournament," points out Leonard.
Leonard goes through all three of his options — folding, calling, or check-raising — offering a fantastic analysis that illustrates how to use an opponent's actions, blockers, bet sizes and other factors to narrow hand ranges.
Take a look to hear what Leonard chose to do and how it turned out, but mainly watch to learn more about how to go about analyzing the hands you play.