How Not to Play a Hand with Jason Wheeler


When it comes to learning poker strategy and improving our games, the hands we play incorrectly — or just plain badly — are often the ones from which we can learn the most. If we can recognize where we went wrong and learn from those mistakes, that is.

On his way to a 30th-place finish in the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event, poker pro Jason Wheeler took a moment to discuss an interesting hand he played on Day 2 of the event — one which he himself insists he made bad decisions throughout, even if his read on his opponent in the hand was correct.

With nearly $3 million in live tournament cashes and a string of online successes — including multiple victories in the $1,050 buy-in Super Tuesday on PokerStars — Wheeler is obviously someone who knows how to play hands well. That makes his discussion of a hand in which he doesn’t think he made the right decisions all the more intriguing.

The hand took place early on Day 2 when the blinds had just gone up to 600/1,200 with a 200 ante. Having been dealt {7-Clubs}{6-Clubs}, Wheeler opened with a raise, then an opponent in the small blind three-bet him to 8,700.

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As he explains in the video below, Wheeler knew he didn’t have the odds to call the three-bet — not implied odds, either, as the opponent was on the short side — but he called, anyway.

The flop came {A-Clubs}{K-Hearts}{3-Hearts}, completely missing Wheeler’s hand. But when his opponent led for 7,000, Wheeler called again.

The {5-Clubs} then fell on the turn, giving Wheeler a flush draw plus a gutshot to a straight, and he hoped his opponent would check so he could take the initative in the hand. But his opponent shoved all in. Again, even with his draws, the odds weren’t right for Wheeler to call with just one card to come… but he did.

Watch and find out how the hand turned out, and hear the (several) reasons why Wheeler thinks his play of the hand better illustrates how not to play a hand than how to play a hand correctly.

Both the PokerStars Championship Panama Main Event and the High Roller are down to final tables today. Be sure to follow all of the action from both events here on PokerNews.