Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gus Hansen's Winning Tournament Strategy Revealed

Learning from my analysis of Gus Hansen's Day 1 Play from his Aussie Millions victory!

1. Strategy: Be aggressive in tournament play. Play your position. Play your opponents. Be aware that an aggressive table image can get opponents to make big mistakes against you.


Cut-off is a good place to try to steal, but if get re-raised just fold.
Raise under the gun with K-Q offsuit.
Raise with a mediocre hand first in, when in late position.
Raise first in on the SB raise, even with suited connectors.
Look to steal on the button and cutoff.
Steal on the button with a standard sized raise (although this hand is worth a raise).
On button, raise more than the size of the pot to try to take down a pot with all limpers.
On paired flops, make a half pot sized bet against the blind limpers.
Raising with K-9 suited in early position is an acceptable move, especially when the table has shown a tendency to limp and fold to raises pre-flop.
If players are hesitant to enter pots--since they want to survive another day--you can also be more aggressive.

2. Strategy: Take small risks to win big pots.


Limp with pairs in early position.
Limp in with suited connectors in early rounds to risk few chips to win a big pot.
Limp in back position with suited connectors, and call a raise behind you if the pot odds are big enough (over 3 to 1).
Call a raise with pairs if the implied odds are favorable and you're taking little risk with your stack.
Calling a re-raise with medium pairs is an acceptable play given the implied odds.
Use a C-bet heads-up in position with more than half sized bet.
In BB, call a SB raise first in that gives you 2-1 odds with suited connectors.
Gus calls a lot of pre-flop raises in the BB with suited connectors given the implied odds.

3. Strategy: Avoid taking big risks with mediocre hands.


Fold if you may be drawing dead when three cards of the same suit flop and you have a mid-level card of that suit.
When hit a pair on flop, check raise to determine if you have best hand.
If c-bet gets called and turn is not a scare card, check your hand.
If someone makes a play at you heads-up before you can make your c-bet, analyze the upside and downside of calling the flop bet and evaluate your opponent's strength or weakness.

4. Strategy: Know the pot odds and your chances of winning.


Know your chance of winning given the bet size compared to the pot size, and then compare it to the number of cards you need to win compared to the number of the remaining cards. If actual odds are higher than the cards percentage, you should fold.
Call a raise HU if odds are right (over 3 to 1).
Call with suited connectors when the pot odds are right (2.5 to 1).
Calling a raise with a flush draw on the flop is a good play with over 4 to 1 odds. (1800 to win 7550)
You can stretch your calls when you have a huge chip stack if you think your
implied odds are excellent.
Don't give your opponent a free card on the flop if you know he will check a hand behind you like AK or AQ, and you have a big drawing hand.

5. Strategy: Avoid taking big risks with big but not premium hands against tight, early position raisers.


Just call A-J offsuit when there is an early position raise and one caller.
Don't risk everything when you only have 2nd pair, if an opponent bets out and you are going to have to guess if you are beat or not. Wait for a better opportunity.
Check the turn when you think you may be in trouble when middle card pairs or it completes flush draw. If opponent checks, than bet the river when a rag falls as a value bet--about half the pot.

6. Strategy: Look to surprise your opponents with an out-of-the normal play. Just realize it will be more difficult to play your hand since your opponent won't know the strength of your hand (you probably sent out a message you were weak and not strong).


Bet out rather than check when you hit the flush on the turn.
It's okay to mix up your game and check a hand you would raise with pre-flop and bet with on the flop.

7. Strategy: Make an over-sized bet on the turn when you know you are ahead and your opponent is drawing--you don't want to be drawn-out on the river.


If you put your opponent on a draw, make an over-sized bet to get him to fold on the turn (putting him all-in if necessary).

8. Strategy: Know when to bluff--especially when you know your opponent is weak. There are chips in the pot waiting for you to grab.


Bluff on river if opponent checks twice after you call his c-bet and scare cards come on turn and river.
When it is two checks to you, make a stab at the pot.

9. Strategy: Attack late position by re-raising with hands that are usually calling hands.


If you think your opponent is making a play on the button, raise with A-x. And make the raise about three times the button raise.
Attack late position raisers in the big blind with even K7 offsuit.

10. Strategy: Know your opponent stack sizes at all times as it can help you to size your bets--that is, to get your opponent to fold.


Put your opponent all-in on the flop when the flop is favorable and a call on a pot sized bet on the flop will naturally mean he must also be all-in on the turn.

11. Strategy: Slow-play the nuts on turn.

When you hit the nuts on the turn, check to allow your opponents to catch something or bluff the river.

12. Strategy: When you spot weakness, re-raise your opponent off his hand.

13. Strategy: Bet sizing: Bet your premium hands the same amount as your steals.

14. Strategy: Miscellaneous

Call if opponent is desperate for chips, you have a strong hand, and it won't cost you more than 20% of your stack.
When antes increase (especially a 4:1 ratio between SB and ante) be more aggressive. Also figure out the cost of a round when blinds and antes go up. The average stack compared to your stack.
Sometimes you will fold the best hand.
You don't always have to make a c-bet--especially if your opponent has been playing very tight. In general, Gus aims at making a c-bet about 80% of the time.

This is the winning strategy and tactics used by Gus Hansen. If you want to buy his book "Every Hand Revealed," please go to this page.

No comments:

What's Your Poker IQ?