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The PokerSnowie Video Quiz series aims to answer the question: "what is the right play?" It is a set of poker coaching videos presented by French professional poker player Sharp. In each video, Sharp sets up an interesting hand in the "Scenarios" tool of PokerSnowie and explains how to analyse the situation and learn from PokerSnowie's advice, based on the Game Theory Optimal model.

Old vs New AI - Should we open with QJo from UTG?


In the hand: Hero and everybody else folded. The big blind got a walk.

Here we are looking at a very simple one, should hero open with QJo from UTG?


Evaluation from the old AI = Yes it is a Raise


Evaluation from the new AI = Not automatically, it should be folded 53%


I have to confess, the old AI fooled me on this one. Prior to PokerSnowie convincing me, this hand was not in my opening range from under the gun. For many reasons:

  • This hand doesn’t flop any monster. When it flops the nuts the board is AKT or KT9. Both textures smack the under range and it is not easy to get much value.
  • In the calling range of the opponents against an under the gun raise, there are too many hands which are dominating QJo. Namely AQ, AJ, KQ, KJs, pocket jacks and sometimes pocket queens. So when QJo flops top pair it is dicey to get value on several streets.  Bluff catching is not easy either since the hand is usually behind villain’s value betting range.
  • There are three times more combos of unsuited hands than suited hands. Including unsuited hands in the bottom of our range is weakening the range without much value. I rather prefer to include for the same price three suited combos, to have more deception and a better board coverage post flop.  

I developed these ideas in a quiz, explaining for the same reason, why is it correct to open from the cut-off with 98 suited and not to do so with 98 off. When PokerSnowie was released I thought it proved me wrong. According to the new AI, I was half right/half wrong. It still evaluates the hand strong enough to be opened from under the gun, but not all of the time. We should mix things up with this hand and Fold it 53% of the time, in order to not make our opening range too weak.


Article written by Sharp