Sports & Gaming

Mixed Strategy: Hand Review

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 04:53 min

Using footage from a hand between three-time WSOP winner Antonio Esfandiari and pro player Tony G, Daniel demonstrates how a mixed strategy could have saved one poker legend a lot of money.

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Topics include: Avoid Making Yourself Easily Read: Tony G. vs. Antonio Esfandiari


So we're going to take a look at a real-life example between two of the more famous players in poker, Antonio Esfandiari and Tony G. ANNOUNCER 1: Ace, jack for Antonio, who raises. King, deuce for Tony G. Calls. Ike folds. - I'll take one. ANNOUNCER 1: Mercier's out. - Take one. ANNOUNCER 1: So two to the flop. ANNOUNCER 2: Oh, I'm glad the hole cams are back. I felt like Alex Trebek when he's not on the set of "Jeopardy." ANNOUNCER 1: The answer is five, deuce, nine. The question is what is the flop? ANNOUNCER 2: We'll see if Antonio continues here. ANNOUNCER 1: He does, betting $3,200. Tony G, with bottom pair, calls. ANNOUNCER 2: Pretty rare to see Tony fold any pair on the flop. ANNOUNCER 1: The turn, the three of clubs. ANNOUNCER 2: And he's right not to. He's still got the best hand. Antonio's picked up a gutshot. ANNOUNCER 1: And checks. ANNOUNCER 2: That three isn't exactly a scary card for Tony, even though it is an overcard, technically. ANNOUNCER 1: Tony bets $7,000. ANNOUNCER 2: Looks like Antonio might think Tony's got air-- and he's not that far off. ANNOUNCER 1: Esfandiari calls. Board pairs on the river. Antonio checks. ANNOUNCER 2: Tony's trying to decide if he'd ever get called by a worse hand if he bets his pair of deuces. ANNOUNCER 1: Tony checks and wins. - No, I should have bet. Ah! - I was calling you too. You should have bet. - I know, I know, I know. I'm not in the zone. I know you're calling. It's so sick. - Now, this is from the big game. And this hand-- what you're going to see happen here is Antonio raises it up with ace, jack-- pretty standard, next to the button. Tony G, a little loosey-goosey, but we know that's Tony G. He likes to play a lot of hands, especially in position. And he calls with the king, deuce of diamonds. #Don'tTryThisAtHome. So he does. Now the flop comes, nine, five, deuce. And Antonio's in a situation where he decides to continuation bet. He does a C-bet. Now, the question is, how often should he be doing this, and what factors should he be thinking about in this type of situation? Well, it is a pretty dry board, right? He will have the best hand a decent amount of the time. Problem is, who is his opponent here? His opponent we know to be a very sticky player. He plays a lot of hands pre-flop. He hits a lot of boards, and he also even sometimes when he doesn't hit boards, he still calls to try to take the pots away later with position and just the bluff on the turn. So it's very important here that Antonio does choose to bet-- and that's OK as long as you're doing it some of the time, right? You want to be betting sometimes, you also want to be checking as well, especially against a player like Tony. Now the turn card comes, and it's a three. And Antonio realizes now, OK, well, the jig is up. I'm just going to check because Tony G's wild, and I don't have anything and I'm go...

About the Instructor

Put yourself across the felt from Daniel Negreanu, the biggest live tournament poker winner of all time. The six-time World Series of Poker champion teaches poker strategy, advanced theory, and practice through hand-reviews of his winning games. Learn how to sharpen your mental game through demos on reading opponents and spotting tells. Join Daniel at the table to increase your win rate, grow your ROI, and get your game “in the money.”

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