C8C #7 – Basic Factors

Welcome to Cre8ive Coaching Newsletter #07! It has almost been exactly a year since my last e-mail (one day away.) What a good time to start this Newsletter again and be more diligent with providing advice, strategy, and content to poker enthusiasts and friends who have subscribed to this list. I have spent the last year working on me, my poker game, and reflecting how I want to operate within the community. I have struggled with putting myself and my knowledge out there, but I enjoy helping people, writing, and giving back… so we are back and better than ever!!!

I ask my readers, if you have poker questions about hands, general strategy, or anything else poker you’d like answered, send me an e-mail and I will incorporate those inquiries into future newsletters. I look forward to the responses.

Today’s Poker Advice:

It all starts with your starting hand! The basic factors for determining which hands you should first enter the pot with:

1) Table position
2) Hand value
3) Stack size
4) Opponents left to act

The top 10% of hands can usually always be played (regardless of stack size) if you are the first one in with a raise. These hands consist of pairs 77-AA, AQo+, ATs+, other suited broadways like JTs+ and T9s+. This range is your solid baseline and can be played from under the gun forward. With fewer players left to act, this range can widen to include all suited aces, suited direct connectors (67s, 78s, 89s, J9s, Q9s, K9s), and a couple additional pairs 44-66.

When we get to the cutoff, we should be playing a much wider range since we will often have position in the hand and there are only a few players remaining. That range looks like all pairs 22-AA, all broadway hands JTo+, even more suited direct connectors like 45s+, 56s+, and with the occasional connected suited hand 86s, 97s.

When it folds to us on the button, our range should be close to 50% of hands which would include any ace, A2o+, A2s+, K2s+, Q6s+, J6s+, even more gapped suited connectors T6s+, 96s+, 85s+, and as low as 34s.

How we play these hands might differ depending on our stack size. If we have chips, then we should mostly be operating within our range listed above. It might be beneficial to deviate slightly away from the range if we have good, aggressive opponents left to act, or play a bit looser if we have weak opponents remaining. Become more comfortable playing postflop by widening your late position ranges and defining the range of your opponents. If we are short on chips, then we must change our complete strategy and going all in with a specific range might be the most profitable play instead of raising and playing flops. This usually happens with ~15bbs or less. I would refer to M theory and M charts/short stack shove charts for more information on this.

The premise for choosing a starting hand is: the earlier the position, the stronger the hand. The later the position, with fewer opponents, our range can increase tremendously. Don’t be too wide preflop to avoid trouble!


Thank you for taking part in the Cre8ive Coaching Newsletter! Head over to www.Cre8iveCoaching.com for more information regarding one-on-one coaching, or connecting with me. Also use the social media links below. Best of luck! -Tristan