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Brock Wilson joins PokerCoaching.com; Shows short stack proficiency

Brock Wilson

Calling on a hero for a big chunk of your stack at a poker final table is no small feat. That is why Brock Wilson is widely regarded as one of the best poker players in the world.

Learning to master a short stack is vitally important to becoming a complete professional poker player. Any poker player will know that your stack will fluctuate throughout a tournament and it is important to master the changes in your poker strategy depending on your effective stack and your opponents.

This hand took place during a $10,000 Poker Masters event in the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. Wilson started the hand as the shortest stack at the table with five players remaining. His opponent, Elio Fox, was one of the biggest stacks on the table.

Fox is actually in a tricky position pre-flop as he still has big stacks in the blinds to act. If the blinds were less stacked Fox could go all in as he would have to fold a large majority of his range as Wilson was the shortest stack on the table. The payout implications and ICM should mean your poker strategy fits.

I discuss the strategy you should use when out of position on low boards (that’s a lot of checking!). These boards connect well with your opponent’s range. I also discuss how you should build a range to call the hero with on the river. It is important to recognize which cards are good to have and which are not.

Hand details

It was the five-handed final table of the $10K Poker Masters. Wilson min-raised from the cutoff with the {a-Clubs}{10-Diamonds} as a 16bb short stack. Fox called with the {k-Clubs}{10-Clubs} on the button.

The flop fell {9-Hearts}{7-Clubs}{3-Diamonds} and both players check.

Out of position, you want to do a ton of checking on low and mid cards. Wilson went with the check and Fox can go back and forth between the check and the bet. Those hands with two overs and some backdoor equity really don’t want to be check-raised on their equity, so they’ll want to check most of the time and start bluffing occasionally.

The turn brought {2-Spades} and both players check again.

Wilson wants to be pretty polarized here, betting a lot of strong hands and bluffs that lack showdown value, like {j-}{ten-} suitable for example. {a-}{ten-} Offsuit isn’t worth bluffing because he can win at showdown, so checking seems like the best play.

However, Fox can mix it up again here, sometimes backtracking and sometimes betting with a size medium to large to try and fold Wilson’s ace.

Elio Fox
Elio Fox

As it was, the river was the {8-Diamonds} and Wilson checks for the third time. Fox then bet 300,000 into the 325,000 pot, which Wilson Hero called.

Wilson has an easy check here for the same reasons on the turn. Fox now had a fairly reasonable bluffing hand and went for a pot-sized bet.

Wilson’s hand blocks the {j-}{ten-} adapted and the {a-}{8-} suited hands that could both bet for value, but the {ten-} also blocks a certain amount of bluffs like the {q-}{ten-} and {k-}{ten-}, so it’s a really difficult place. If Wilson never calls with ace-high hands, he’s going to be easily exploited there, so it’s very reasonable to find calls here with this hand.

That call started the momentum for Wilson as he came back to win the tournament for $189,000!

Learn more about Brock Wilson here!

Wilson joins PokerCoaching.com

I’m extremely happy to announce that Brock Wilson is joining the PokerCoaching.com coaching team and will be here to bring you top level poker coaching for premium members.

Wilson has amassed nearly $5,000,000 in live tournament winnings and is a regular at high-stakes tournaments. His coaching content will help you understand what it takes to reach the highest stakes in poker and help you take your game to the next level!

His first four-part series is called Crushing High Stakes Poker, where he reviews high-level GTO principles and shows you key player pool adjustments to help you crush tournaments!

  • Part 1: Introduction to Pio Reviews and IP vs BB Strategy
  • Part 2: BTN vs. CO High Roller Strategy
  • Part 3: Defense frequencies and why they are important
  • Part 4: 3-Bet Pots in Softer Fields