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Way ahead or Way behind

The WA/WB (way ahead/way behind) concept is pretty simple and considered to be one of the most important in Texas Hold’em.

The concept is based on the fact, that in some situations you will either be way ahead with your rival having no chance to win, or way behind with your winning odds too low to come true.

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Such situations may happen when you have a strong hand, but the board structure and the rival’s play indicate that you might be beaten. To describe this concept let’s take an example of a situation where you could either be way ahead or way behind.

We are in middle position with , we make a 3BB raise and get called by a player in the button. The flop comes  giving us top pair with a ten-kicker. This hand is a good example of being way ahead or way behind. The rival has several favorite hands (AK, AQ, AJ or a nine), as well as high underdogs (TT +, KQ, KJ, QJ). In each of these situations, the player with the weakest hand has a minimum amount of outs to win.

So, in wa/wb pots you either have little chance to lose or little chance to win.

How to play in WA/WB pots

The main problem with WA/WB pots is that if you play them aggressively, you will either knock a rival with a weak hand or will “bet yourself for value”.
Therefore, in these situations, it’s better to play passively and allow your rival to proceed. You will offer weaker hands the opportunity to bluff and will minimize your losses against strong hands.
In fact, Way ahead/Way behind pots are the only ones that should be played passively rather than aggressively.

You should stick to the tactics of making a check when having position and when out of position. The key point is that you can’t bet for value, so you should try to induce a poor value bet from your rival.

Be sure of WA/WB situations

Before deciding on a passive play, make sure you’ve read the board correctly. Pay attention to hands that can provide your rival a flush or a flush draw. For example, if there are two cards of the same suit or two connecting cards on the board, it won’t be considered a way ahead/way behind situation.

On such boards, many drawing hands may appear which makes it not wa/wb situation. Your rival might easily have a draw, which he will bet with, and so the concept will be breached. In case of drawing hands presence on the board, playing a hand of medium strength passively can become a fateful mistake. Don't let your rival to get his draw cheap.

Poker is very aggressive today. And in most situations, the passive game will be loose in the long run. Yet, if you are confident about being WA/WB, then the passive play is the key.

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