Position. Hype or for real?

I don’t want to commit heresy but I’m going to say it… I don’t think position matters much at all. Tell me why you think it does?


Position gives you a big edge. You gain information with each action you can observe ahead of you. If you are last to act, you can fold ahead of strong action, or you can raise early actors off theirs. You can win bigger pots that way, as if you bet big from early positions, you may win if they fold, but you won’t get their bets.


Position is EVERYTHING. See this hand for explanation. See if you can figure it out without me explaining what position had to do with winning a vast pot that gave me the tournament lead in a 1-million buy-in last night.


  1. The deeper the stacks, the more position matters.
  2. The better your opponents, the more position matters.
  3. In passive games where people will pay-off your nutted hands no matter what, position matters less.
  4. You can manufacture relative position from the blinds by having a pure-checking strategy on the flop.

I just have to make sure @dayman, @love2eattacos and @WannabeCoder look at this hand. A 1 million chip buy-in? If you can get away with limping Q2o on the BTN and get paid by these hands/players, you can pretty much do anything. Nicely played by you but just WTF is going on in these games? You’d think there would be some basic level of competency at this level but this hand strongly suggests otherwise. I don’t like being overtly critical but this hand is so obscenely bad on every single level that I think its justified.


My exact reaction: https://www.youtube.com/embed/JqeDOPY64C0?start=54&end=68

@1Warlock, thanks for sharing. Still trying to figure out what the expletive I just witnessed in a 1M buy-in tournament. Sad.


LOL - Liv Boeree’s face at the end was even better. Get out the eye-bleach folks.


Looks like typical limp bingo play at a 5/10 ring game. @Comicguy has posted some hands like this that occurred at 500K/1M ring. I think one of them involved Q2o as well.

It does make me wonder sometimes, Warlock…


There is plenty of basic info online about poker strategy and how to play. Even the pros talk about position in poker etc. The pros win more bc they have a much better understanding/knowledge, skills and experience playing poker. Position isn’t just some conspiracy theory that the pros talk about bc they’re a little crazy. Its a basic fundamental theory in poker.

The hand posted by MekonKing is a good example of position in poker and also terribly played poker: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/578372498

I doubt it will mean much if you don’t understand position so let me break it down:

Firstly as an example of position importance and illustration the flop, turn & river play isn’t very significant. The pree flop play is most important.

First as MekonKing mentions this is a 1 Million buy in tourney, which isn’t cheap so we would presume the calibre of players is reasonably high. This is a presumption but its an accurate picture on average or in general. The higher stakes tourney/ring games the better the players than lower stakes and the less DONKS and bad players.

MekonKing calls a limp pot with Q2 offsuit on the BUTTON. This is a bad hand on a 9 player table, especially in a tourney. Because everyone folds/limps MekonKing calls hoping for a cheap flop & to get lucky. Keep in mind the SB (small blind) & BB (big blind) can still raise and should and would with decent cards. That is the small risk even in presumable passive game.

So the risk or gamble is crappy Q2o and only 2 players that might raise being the SB & BB. So the risk is low with 2 players and the reward is low - simply bc Q2o will rarely be a winning hand. Now think about playing Q2o from UTG (player after BB) position. Its now a much worse gamble or high risk with crappy cards. Calling/limping UTG means risking that 7 other players hopefully don’t raise. That’s a much bigger and worse gamble. It’s a much higher risk with Q2o BUT still the same rare/low reward.

Poker is risk/reward and it is also intelligent gambling. Amateur poker players are too result orientated and disillusioned by emotions.

Summary:over 100 000 hands playing Q2o on the BUTTON might not be EV+ or profitable. It might actually lose more chips than won BUT playing Q2o in early position WILL lose more guaranteed. Poker is a game of mathematics and although it is much much more than just mathematics, probability will always win long term.


:face_with_monocle: takes a look :thinking: , well uhhhh :rofl:

With so many folds, see’n a limp flop, with posistion postflop… is trappy.
We don’t know what the 4th player (bb) had , but he did set the tone perfectly.

The (2) hands that should’ve raised preflop deciced to “Trap” allowing Mekon to limp in under the radar… We will never know the context of the table up till now, but this is a classic example of the risk of “trapp’n”.

Sometimes the Chipleader has a hard time gett’n callers when they bet out, so thats 1 reason why AQ played so passively/trappy. Shortstack takes more risk trapp’n with 10s , while tryn to see the flop cheaply.

In sucession postflop the person with worst hand decided to bet.
BB, bets the flop then folds the turn
+1, shoves the turn
SB, bets the river, then calls the raise all in.
Mekon sits there laughing all the way… Ka’ching ( only losing to AA,QQ,66,A2 )

C-leader SB shouldda raised preflop,
causing +1 to shove, and Mekon to prolly fold.

Important non-folds were +1 when the Q turned with only 10s, and SB not folding to a big raise on the river, when 2pr might not be the nuts against any 2.

Everyone was vaulnurable to ANY random 2 once the flop came out. Only the blinds should’ve been play’n a 2, not Mekon. When you let ppl limp in tho, they just might have ANY (2) cards.

The chipleader couldda only spent 220+400+2000ish , so 2600ish, yet spent another 4 grand… instead of lett’n Mekon bet the river and having a choice if 2pr was good and save’n that 4 grand or maybe paying Mekon another grand to see the 2. Nor did he even bet the Q on the turn for perhaps 1k, possibly alowing 10s to fold, saving 1k.

Everyone was Trapp’n in this hand, no wonder 1 person who flop’d the nuts won big. AQ and 1010 both paid the price for not playing agressive from the start. Kharma jumped up and smack’d them down. BB was the only smart one. After noone folded to the small flop bet, he folded on the turn to the shove & x2 call.

2 questions I ask myself are :

  1. Is agression ( betting/raising ) strength or bluff/bully.
  2. Is passiveness ( checking/flatcalling ) a trap or to see another card.

Obviously those aren’t the only 2 questions, but very important ones.

MekonKing was allowed to limp in, while you can’t do that often … when you flop a monster AND everyone else bets it for you, HappyDays !!!

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Well, the point being that you can limp pretty much anything from the button.

And given the right flop, you may be able to take the pot with a bluff even if you flop nothing. Only very rarely will you flop a monster, as happened on this hand, and then turn a disguised megamonster but there was a lot of karma going on, clearly.

Note that the player who took the biggest beating on this hand is ranked #79 on RP.

Presumably he took me for a bluffer. Don’t know where he got that idea from.

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Although I read all the poker questions and replies I rarely comment as I simply play for fun and relaxation and claim no technical knowledge at all. However , certainly during MTT tournaments I have found the only ways to moderate success are the four “p”s. Position, namely the button where you can see what is going on, pot size and this determines your bet, players at the table and your knowledge of them, and most important, patience. Without these factors I rarely get to the final table. I am sure those with greater expertise will laugh at me. However felt for once I would add my twopenn’oth!


One of my all time favorite hands. Soooo so sick. MacPhee insta… “so I probably have the best hand” after Selbst shoves.

M: you think that’s a snap

V: snap fold, yeah

M: I don’t know, I’m not sure about that

:joy: :laughing: :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

I’m I wrong? I believe at the time MacPhee and Boeree were dating when this happened.

Work is in my way at the moment @1Warlock so I haven’t been on my computer to watch the hand in question. I’ve played the 1M a few times, it’s the equivalent of playing 100/200 or 200/400 ring games on Replay. Any decent player could crush them on a 10 buy in bankroll.


No you are right. I depend a lot on the 3 'B’s. Button, blinds, and bluffing.

Though I have never been in a game where limping Q2o on the BTN even crossed my mind, your point is definitely valid. You can have a huge overlimping range IP under the right circumstances. If you have no fear of the blinds squeezing at any frequency, go ahead and limp all sorts of stuff. I don’t think Q2o is profitable under any circumstances but hands down to T7o probably would be. I’d want some connectivity and I’d definitely want to stay away from hands where my pairs are likely dominated and I’ll have very little backup equity in the form of draws. Unsuited big card - little card hands are death most of the time when multiway.

Rank doesn’t impress me as a stand-alone metric. There’s really no excuse for this hand to have played out the way it did. In even a low stakes daily casino tournament the hand is going to have TT opening and AQ 3-betting from the SB. Both are very strong hands that want to be HU and clear out as much equity as possible from the other players.


I absolutely agree with what you say. Both opponents should have raised preflop. Tournaments are rather different from ring games, because of the escalating blinds. On a six-handed table, you need to win on average one out of six sets of blinds to stay competitive.

Limping with Q2o is extreme, but by carefully reading the timing and bet size of opponents, simple possession of the button enables the player to win a number of pots via bluffs. And of course, much more so than in ring games, consideration of effective stack size and pot odds is is paramount.

In the hand in question, with Q2o, I had to lob in 200 chips to get a look at a flop with 960 chips. Due to my psychic abilities, I knew that SB would complete and BB limp. Had the same flop come and I did NOT have a 2 in my hand, likely I would have taken a shot at the pot with a bluff on the flop.

The Q on the flop was the icing on the cake, the almost certainty that I had best hand, although I would actually have won the hand with the trip 2s anyway.

What is surprising is that AQ called at the end with a full house AND a flush on the board. I guess they just thought I was bluffing, because there was no way I would play an 2 on the button (though I could have had 22 or 66). I might easily have played something like A2 or 23 suited to see a flop, though.

Although 23s is obviously a very weak hand in terms of high card strength, it can sometimes win big pots when an Ace lands to complete the straight, giving Ace holders the belief that they are ahead, especially if they have a suited Ace that has just made 2 pairs with something like A5s.

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Maybe. I nearly always make the final table, and did recently win three 1-million tournaments in a row, but getting from final table to actually winning can be pretty tough, because a lot of it is preflop play, and just losing one or two pots through outrageous bad luck with a premium hand can be very costly.

I have played a few 2K/4K ring games and thought they were actually easier than the tournaments.

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If I ever have the honor to play against you, I shall make the assumption that you are unlikely to be holding Q2o. This could give me a key edge in the event of a flop coming with a Q and a 2.


This is just confusion between ease of play and variance. The reason these tournaments seem tougher on the surface is just the very small fields coupled with horrible structures.


Except that if it is checked around, you do not get your second chance to take the pot with a continuation bet.