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Pulling the Trigger

by Casey Jarzabek |  Published: May 18, '10

You have a plan. Its time to execute that plan.

Uh oh maybe I should do this or that instead?”

I think we have all done it. Said to ourselves if this guy shoves on me again, I’m snap calling him. Oh, there it is, he shoved. Well, it is a lot of my chips. Am I really ahead of his range? Could he have AK here? I can probably find a better spot. I guess I will let him have this one. The next one, though, I’m calling that for sure.

Sometimes its hard to follow through on your plan. However, I am here to tell you that 95% of the time, your plan was the right play. Let me give you an example or two.

You’re in the big blind with 11BB. The button who has 29BB minraises. You look down at 78cc. With any hand there are always multiple options: fold, call, shove or raise. This is where creativity comes into the game. You decide shoving is not the way to go because you don’t have enough fold equity. You don’t want to fold because your hand flops pretty well and you’re short. You decide the stop and go is the best chance of you winning the pot.

The flop comes KhQs2d. Oh boy, could you have got a worse flop? Could he have missed that? Is he committed to the pot? Can I find a better spot? The answer to all these questions is it doesn’t matter. You decided the stop and go was the best way to play this pot. So hold your breath and shove your chips.

This play is not designed for you to flop a monster. It is designed for him to flop nothing. What if he opened 89ss? Seems like a logical open on the button. Obviously with any play there is the chance you look foolish.

It doesn’t matter if you decide to play a pot a certain way. Stay strong to your resolve and do it. This doesn’t just pertain to the stop and go. Ill give you another example just to get my point across.

You have 40BB in the big blind again, same blinds, 500/1000. You look down at AJcc. The button who has 21BB decides to minraise. The small blind folds. The action is on you. Thoughts go through your head: Should I shove? Should I flat?

You know you have been aggressive at this table opening and 3-betting a lot of pots and pretty much having your way. You decide to 3-bet/call here. You make it 5600 and he snap shoves. He beats you in the pot. Wow, he shoved that fast. Sigh, I guess he has me. Don’t really want to call off half my stack here if I am dominated. He probably has AK or QQ. Guess I should fold.

STOP. Pull the trigger.

In my experience it is always the best to follow through on your original plan. Now, obviously there are some exceptions. But a big key to my success is to stay strong to what I believe is the best play. Hope this has helped. See you on the felt.

Casey “bigdogpckt5s” Jarzabek is widely considered to be one of the best online players in the world. The Canadian pro got his start after an accident on the baseball field left him laid up in bed. With nothing else to do, Jarzabek deposited some money online and hasn’t looked back.

In the years since, Jarzabek has racked up over $2.5 million in tournament earnings and spent both 2009 and 2010 as a contender for Card Player Online Player of the Year honors. Jarzabek is also the lead pro at, which features poker training from some of the best minds in the game.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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