One of the best players to ever grace the 6-max cash game format, Andres "Educa-p0ker" Artinano, is here to drop some serious knowledge bombs.
If you’ve not heard of him and are curious about his credentials, just have a look at his cash game graph:
Today Andres will share valuable cash game insights through 3 videos (with readable content below each). These videos were taken straight out of Andres' new advanced training course for 6-max cash games: Elite Cash Game Mastery.
Later in this article, I’ll walk you through the rest of the course's content so you can decide if it's right for you. (You can also learn more about the course here.)
Educa-p0ker demonstrates the nuances of 4-bet sizing and stack depth
In this clip, Andres analyzes the second biggest pot of his career--a $212,815 pot against fellow 6-max sicko Trueteller.
Click CC in the bottom right corner to turn on captions.
Editor's note: "Farha" means overcalling a re-raise.
PokerStars $200/$400. 3-Handed.
Educa-p0ker (BTN): $99,966.73
Kanu7 (SB): $40,000
Trueteller (BB): $226,674.23
Hero is dealt A♥ A♠ on the BTN.
Hero raises to $1,148. SB raises to $5,192. BB calls. Hero raises to $12,882. SB calls. BB calls.
Flop ($38,646): K♦ 4♠ T♣
SB checks. BB bets $6,000. Hero calls. SB folds.
Turn ($50,646): Q♠
BB bets $81,084.73 (effective). Hero calls and is all-in.
River ($212,815): 6♠
BB mucks J♣ J♥ and Hero wins the pot.
At a glance, this hand might look pretty standard: a 4-bet with aces to get the money in post-flop. However, a couple of crucial details having to do with bet sizing and stack depth demonstrate the nuances of poker at this level of play.
The first is Andres’ 4-bet size. You’ll notice that it's relatively small given the situation. The small 4-bet size isn’t just to induce a call, however.
Notice that if Hero raises to a bigger size (around, say, $15,000), then he will be committing to calling any jam from the SB 3-bettor, whose effective stack is $34,808. And if he does this, his range will seem very strong (AK/JJ+). By using a smaller 4-bet size, Hero is able to include hands in his bluffing range that can fold to a 5-bet shove from the SB.
The second detail to notice in this hand is the BB’s small bet ($6,000 into $38,646) on the flop. While raising here is tempting versus such a small size on a semi-connected board, Hero has a good reason for not doing so: if he raises with the SB player left to act behind, who has a stack-to-pot ratio of less than 1, then he is representing a very strong range.
By calling instead, Hero’s range remains wider, which encourages the SB player to call and avoids revealing the strength of his range to the BB.
Hero’s call-off on the turn is interesting, and it's based specifically on reads that he had on the Trueteller's game. Hero can expect to be behind most of the time on this turn when facing an overbet. However, the reason for Andres’s call stems from how Villain tended to structure his value-betting range in this particular spot.
Let’s say Villain’s value range is predominantly made up of AJs, TT and KQs. In order to extract maximum value from hands like AK and AA, Villain would be inclined use a smaller bet size with the intention of jamming on the river. This is because these hands get a better price when facing small turn and river bets and are likely to call down on brick runouts.
Based on this read, Andres believed that Trueteller’s range was weighted toward bluffs when he overbet. In addition, having AA cuts Trueteller’s value combos of AJs in half, making it more likely that he holds a bluff.
Ultimately, Andres' reasoning was proved correct when Trueteller flipped over JJ, and he held on to win a $200,000+ pot!
You can watch Andres analyze the top 25 biggest pots he's ever played in the Play & Explain section of Elite Cash Game Mastery.
Three concepts crucial to profitable 3-betting
This clip is from the 3-Bet Strategy video in the Preflop section of the course.
Click CC in the bottom right corner to turn on captions.
1. The evolution of 3-betting ranges
Before solvers like PokerSnowie and PioSOLVER, there were two opposing schools of thought on 3-bet range construction. Some players would choose to 3-bet with a polarized range, like this one:
Other players would use a linear or "merged" range, containing strong-to-middling hands:
In tough high stakes cash-games nowadays, 3-betting with a merged range is preferred to 3-betting with a polarized range. This is largely due to the post-flop playability that a merged range offers.
However, there are situations where using a polarized range makes sense, barring reads:
- When you are playing with a shorter stack of around 30bb or less. Any 4-bet you face will likely be all-in, and when this happens a polarized range allows you to happily call with the strong hands at the top end of your range, and easily muck the weak ones at the bottom. Having a middling hand in such a spot is not ideal.
- Blind versus blind play, especially from the big blind, where positional advantage and wider ranges make navigating post-flop relatively easy, even with weak hands.
Here is one potential downside of using a merged 3-bet range: a lack of strong hands in single-raised pots. This weakness can be avoided by using a mixed strategy, where a portion of the range is sometimes played as a 3-bet, other times played as a call.
2. The importance of board coverage
Another takeaway from solver findings is understanding the importance of board coverage post-flop.
For example, consider a flop of 7-6-5. If your 3-bet range lacks low cards your opponent can apply exuberant pressure, particularly given that their 3-bet calling range likely contains only nutted hands on this texture.
However, this doesn’t mean we should 3-bet low suited connectors all the time; rather, just incorporate them--and other combos that allow for nutted hands--some of the time to avoid getting run over on certain boards.
3. Be fluid with your 3-betting ranges
To 3-bet effectively you must be dynamic with your ranges and sizes. Players respond to actions in different ways, and you should exploit this when you can.
Against a player who calls too frequently, pump up the bet size and narrow your range. Against a player who over-folds, widen that 3-betting range and lower the size. There’s no need to 3-bet large with our bluffs if a smaller bet will generate enough fold equity.
Check-Raising on the Flop: a Practical Example
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The flop check-raise is a powerful tool--and a nightmare to play against--when harnessed correctly. Here are some general guidelines for when to make the play:
- Against an opponent who c-bets too frequently (whether they are value-betting too wide, bluffing too often, or both).
- When your hand benefits greatly from equity denial (e.g., with 45 on a flop of 235).
- On boards that are favorable for your range (particularly when we hold blockers to the nuts).
- With hands lacking showdown value.
- With strong value hands that are vulnerable to being outdrawn on later streets.
Let’s dig into the hand Andres analyzes in the video:
PartyPoker $25 / $50. 3-Handed. 120bb Effective Stacks.
Hero is dealt Q♦ 5♦ in the BB. BTN raises to $115. SB folds. Hero calls.
Flop ($255): 8♣ 9♦ T♦
Hero checks. BTN bets $126. Hero raises to $506. BTN calls.
Turn ($1,267): 5♠
Hero bets $1690. BTN calls.
River ($4,647): J♦
*action not shown, but Hero shoves river and BTN folds.
Andres has the perfect hand to check-raise on the flop--it lacks showdown value, but improves to a very strong hand on any jack or diamond. Also, on this board texture he can feasibly have many value hands, which include straights (67, J7) and all two-pair combos (T9, T8, 98). It's crucial to have many possible strong hands in your range when check-raising as a bluff, or it won't be credible.
As for Andres' other options, he is obviously not folding, and calling is reasonable, but less than ideal out of position. Calling also means passing on a prime opportunity to check-raise bluff, which is no doubt leaving EV on the table.
When Andres takes the aggressive action and check-raises, the plan is to continue applying pressure on the turn and river when he get called.
And he does pick up a pair on the turn, but he's still behind all of his opponent’s flop value bets, and so the pair of 5's doesn't have the showdown value to justify checking. Importantly, there are scenarios where we should check on a turn that legitimately improves our showdown value, but not enough to justify continuing with a polarized line.
Another reason to continue betting bottom pair here is that should another 5 come on the river, Andres' hand is well-disguised and thus he can potentially stack his opponent’s two-pair combos consisting of over-pairs (JJ+).
When the flush comes in on the river Andres looks to get stacks all-in for maximum value.
Elite Cash Game Mastery Outline
One of the best players in the game today, Andres "Educa-p0ker" Artinano has created an extensive 6-max course exclusively for Upswing Poker. Elite Cash Game Mastery focuses on 6-max, and covers every aspect of preflop and postflop play.
Here's an outline of the material that's covered.
(Note that, in most of his coaching videos, Andres supplements his coaching with state-of-the-art poker software, including PokerSnowie and PioSOLVER. Don't worry if you lack experience with these tools--he’s done the solving for you!)
The course has four major sections:
- Preflop (11 videos)
- Postflop (37 videos)
- Play & Explains (13 videos, with more coming soon)
- Other Topics (11 videos)
Preflop (11 Videos)
- Preflop Introduction (4:12)
Playing in the Blinds:
- BB Defend Preflop and Minimum Defense Frequency (14:18)
- 3-Bet Strategy (15:53)
- 4-Bet Strategy & 5-Bet Counter-strategy (10:26)
- Squeeze/Cold 4-Bet Strategy (18:39)
Blind Vs Blind:
- Small Blind versus Big Blind (12:17)
- Big Blind versus Small Blind (10:23)
Out of the Blinds:
- Raise-First-In Strategy (10:35)
- Cold Call & 3-Bet In Position (07:28)
- Facing 3-Bet In Position & Out of Position (11:15)
- Facing 4-Bet In Position (11:42)
Postflop (37 Videos)
- Introduction (4:41)
Single-Raised Pots with Initiative:
- Flop CBet IP (22:01)
- How to Build IP CBet Range (13:21)
- Turn C-bet In Position (15:10)
- River C-bet In Position: Practical Examples (31:45)
- Delayed Continuation Bet and Facing Probe (15:04)
- Facing Probe: Practical Examples (11:06)
- Delayed Continuation Bet: Practical Examples (09:13)
- Check Down to River IP (07:21)
- Multi-way Pots: General Approach (06:17)
- Flop C-bet EP, MP, & CO Out of Position (09:35)
- Flop C-bet SB OOP: Practical Examples (29:06)
Single-Raised Pots Without Initiative:
- Defend versus C-bet Out of Position (18:29)
- Check-Raise Flop Strategy (coming soon)
- Check-Raise Flop Strategy: Practical Examples (24:29)
- Defend versus C-bet on the Turn (coming soon)
- Defend versus C-bet on the River: Practical Approach (14:45)
- Probe & versus Delayed C-bet (17:53)
- Probe & versus Delayed C-bet: Practical Examples (26:04)
- Check Down to River: Tips (08:44)
- Multi-way Pots: General Approach (12:43)
- Defend MP, CO & BTN In Position (11:51)
- Defend Blind versus Blind In Position (18:22)
- Defend Blind versus Blind In Position: Practical Examples (34:28)
3-Bet Pots with Initiative:
- Flop C-bet Out of Position (12:32)
- Turn C-bet Out of Position (11:20)
- Delayed Turn C-bet (03:54)
- Turn C-bet Out of Position & Delayed C-bet: Practical Examples (13:09)
- River Continuation Bet: Practical Examples (36:10)
- Flop C-bet In Position: MP, CO & BTN (10:35)
3-Bet Pots without Initiative:
- Facing Flop C-bet IP (15:08)
- BWM Flop (05:03)
- Facing Turn C-bet (08:16)
- BWM Turn (08:17)
- Play without Initiative (22:46)
- Play with Initiative (18:52)
- 4-Bet Pots: Practical Examples (24:00)
Play & Explains (13 Videos)
- $25/$50 Zoom part 1 (23:50)
- $25/$50 Zoom part 2 (17:40)
- $25/$50 Zoom part 3 (13:10)
- $25/$50 Zoom (25:54)
- $50/$100 Deep Stacked part 1 (33:08)
- $50/$100 Deep Stacked part 2 (23:40)
- 500NL Zoom part 1 (38:03)
- 500NL Zoom part 2 (35:13)
- Hand Review: Vegetto89 $100/$200 & $200/$400 (31:38)
- SinKarma Hand Review, PokerStars $10/$20 Part 1 (36:10)
- SinKarma Hand Review, PokerStars $10/$20 Part 2 (27:28)
- Educa-p0ker: My 25 Biggest Pots, Part 1 (30:24)
- Educa-p0ker: My 25 Biggest Pots, Part 2 (30:43)
More hours of Play & Explain videos will be added to the course in future updates.
Other Topics (11 Videos)
Doug Polk joins Andres for in-depth strategy discussions in this section.
Their first video covers overbetting, and the others are coming soon.
- Overbetting with Doug Polk (78:34)
- Multi-Way Pots with Doug Polk (~57:00)
- Deep Stack Intro with Doug Polk (36:50)
- Deep Stack Examples Part 1 (29:50)
- Deep Stack Examples Part 2 (42:00)
- Deep Stack Examples Part 3 (18:56)
- Rake Impact (05:38)
- Straddle and Ante Game (13:40)
- Values in the HUD Part 1 (28:27)
- Values in the HUD Part 2 (20:44)
- Preflop ranges for RFI, vs RFI, and vs 3-Bet (93 charts total)
- Andres' HUD (for Hold'em Manager 2 and Poker Tracker 4)
- Filters for studying in Hold'em Manager 2
- Reports for studying in Poker Tracker 4
- Notecaddy file for Hold'em Manager 2
As you can see, Andres covers a lot of ground in about 25 hours of material. If that wasn't enough, roughly 5 more hours of content will be added to the course in future updates.
On top of these 50+ videos, members of the course get exclusive access to a private Facebook group featuring Andres and other Upswing coaches. It’s the perfect place to analyze hands and discuss concepts with others.
The course costs $999 for lifetime access. Learn more about the course here or below.
The optional add-on course for is called Crush the Baron. This is a roughly 3 hour course featuring Educa-p0ker's breakdown of the legendary 6-max player OtB_RedBaron's strategy, especially the parts that differ from his own strategy.
Crush the Baron (10 videos)
- HUD Review part 1
- HUD Review part 2
- 3-Bet Pots OOP
- Big Pots from the OtB_RedBaron part 1
- Big Pots from the OtB_RedBaron part 2
- Probe and vs Delayed Cbet
- Bet When Missed Flop IP: BvB
- SB Unopened Single Raised Pots part 1
- SB Unopened Single Raised Pots part 2
- SB Unopened Limped Pots part 1
- SB Unopened Limped Pots part 2
- EP, MP, and CO Game (coming soon)
Ready to take your cash game skills to the highest level? Discover cutting edge strategies and advanced exploitative tactics when you join Elite Cash Game Mastery. Learn more now!