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In the past, if a poker player told you “I’m going to jump in the pool”, it often meant they were off for a quick five-minute swim on break from a SCOOP event.

Not any more. Now the pool in question is a revolving cast of poker players grinding in PokerStars Zoom cash games, a fast-paced cash format where your opponents change every hand.

But why would you want to play Zoom over regular cash games?

That’s one thing PokerStars School looks at in this update.


  • 6 reasons to play Zoom over regular cash games
  • How to play 3-bet pots as the caller
  • ‘Now or never’ folding
  • More from PokerStars School

6 reasons to play Zoom over regular cash games

Everyone has their favourite format of cash games, but for PokerStars School’s Pete Clarke, there’s no contest.

“In Zoom cash games, you do not choose your own seat with a permanent selection of opponents, instead you join a pool where you are randomly dealt into a hand with five other players,” says Clarke. “Each time you fold, you are instantly placed on a new table. Here are some reasons why I personally love Zoom cash games and would choose them all day long over regular cash tables.”

Read Clarke’s 6 reasons to play Zoom over regular cash games here.

How to play 3-bet pots as the caller

The tougher the line-up you’re playing against, the more three-betting you’ll see. Lex Veldhuis often says that in High Rollers every single hand is at least a three-bet pot.

“Three-bet pots often seem a lot trickier than two-bet pots since they are rarer and therefore less familiar,” writes Clarke in this article. “On top of this, it can also be more difficult to think clearly in three-bet pots due to there being more money at stake.

“Let’s explore how to handle these situations in the role of the defender.”

Find out how to play 3-bet pots as the caller here.

‘Now or never’ folding

When you watch your favourite Twitch poker streamers, you’ll notice they often make plans for certain hands, making their intentions known on early streets. This might be to check-raise flop and keep barreling turn and river, or to go into check-call mode on all three streets.

In this article, Clarke takes a look at ‘now or never folding’, formed from a game theory concept called gradual range filtering.

“This means that as each street goes by and as more money goes into the pot, ranges slowly become narrower, or more filtered,” Clarke explains. “Entailed within the gradual range narrowing of game theory is the idea that for some hands, the correct action will be to fold immediately to aggression. For others, it will be to call once and then fold. For a third group, the right action might be to call the flop and turn and then eventually fold the river if need be. For a fourth group, calling down might be the only option.”

Clarke explores two exploitative situations where he can choose right away whether to call none or all remaining streets or to make a ‘now or never’ fold.

Learn about ‘Now or never’ folding here.

More from PokerStars School:

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