blockers poker ryan fee doug polk

Doug Polk and Ryan Fee Explain How to Use Blockers Like a Pro

Whether it is picking 4-bet bluffs or selecting hands to hero-call with, the best players in the world use blockers to guide their decision-making.

For those in the dark, a blocker is when a player holds a specific card which ‘blocks’ their opponents from having combinations containing that same card. Knowing how to use blockers effectively allows us to bluff and call with a higher degree of success.

In the newest Upswing Lab module, Ryan and Doug cover blockers from all angles across 11 videos totaling more than 4 hours of content.

Below is an overview of what is covered in each section:

Preflop 3-Bet and 4-Bet Removal Examples (18:06)

Doug and Ryan look at some pre-flop examples with detailed combinatoric breakdowns. Understand how blockers function pre-flop, what removal is and how to use it to construct the best possible 3-bet and 4-bet bluffing ranges.

Barrelling Q High Board in 3-Bet Pot (11:49)

In this first example, Doug and Ryan analyse a BTN RFI vs SB 3-bet spot and illuminate how blockers impact the overall equity of ranges.

You’ll learn why barrelling with AK on a Q high board can be so effective and get an insight into how to optimally select triple-barrel bluffs.

Barrelling Monotone Flop in Single Raised Pot (15:58)

This video presents another example – this time featuring a BTN RFI vs a BB call – again with detailed range breakdowns for both players.

Ryan explains the effectiveness of a small c-bet size (~1/3 pot) on monotone flops and how to exploit weak ranges on such boards. Overbetting on the turn and river is also covered with a focus on how to balance these ranges effectively.

Doug vs Brian Rast with Aces on Poker After Dark (33:50)

aces vs brian rast blockers module

In this exclusive breakdown, Doug reviews one of the most talked-about hands he played on Poker After Dark featuring Brian Rast, pocket aces and a big river bluff. Hear the logic behind Doug’s play and how he uses blockers to structure his own ranges.

Doug’s Top Pair vs Jason Koon’s Big Triple Barrel on Poker After Dark (26:17)

Taken from one of the $300/$600/$1,200 cash game hands on Poker After Dark, Doug reviews a hand that features a wide defend of the straddle.

Learn how blockers can make calling down with top pair weak kicker better than calling down with a stronger kicker.

Brian Rast Faces a River Check/Raise From Ike Haxton on Poker After Dark (27:28)

The final hand reviewed from Doug’s appearance on Poker After Dark, this spot involves some UTG+1 vs straddle action.

Learn to identify when blockers negatively impact your ability to bluff so that you can avoid making any mistimed barrels. You’ll also see how to harness the power of blockers to maximise your fold equity and put your opponent in a rough situation.

Upswing Lab Member Hand Reviews (19:38)

Ryan and Doug go over hands submitted by Lab members that revolve around blocker play. These include a raise with 88 on a 6-7-T-Q board, and an interesting spot about whether to check/call or check/raise with blockers to the nuts and some showdown value.

PokerTracker Hand Reviews (4 videos)

The final four videos cover hand histories involving interesting blocker spots submitted by an Upswing member.

  • PokerTracker SRP Hand Review Part 1 (25:15)

  • PokerTracker SRP Hand Review Part 2 (25:36)

  • PokerTracker 3-Bet Pot Hand Review Part 1 (23:19)

  • PokerTracker 3-Bet Pot Hand Review Part 2 (25:05)

Taken from the Zoom games on PokerStars, these explore ideas such as how to use blockers in range advantage scenarios, and determining the overall significance of your blockers across different board textures and betting lines.

Gain access to this blockers module and 46 others when you join the Upswing Lab. Learn more now!


Home > Doug Polk and Ryan Fee Explain How to Use Blockers Like a Pro
Home > Doug Polk and Ryan Fee Explain How to Use Blockers Like a Pro
About the Author
Mike Brady

Mike Brady

I used to play a ton of poker. Now, I'm the Vice President of Upswing Poker and only play a decent amount of poker. Read my full bio here.

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