The Chip Leader is on Your Left - Now What?

GTO Wizard
28 Jun 2024

In this video, Kevin Rabichow dives into strategies for playing against the chip leader when they are seated to your left. He explains how to adjust your opening range, handle three-bets, and navigate the complexities of stack sizes and bubble factors at the final table. Learn how to adapt your play and make strategic decisions to improve your chances of success in poker tournaments.


  • Introduction to the challenges of having the chip leader on your left.
  • Adjusting your opening range based on table configuration.
  • Understanding the impact of light three-bets from the chip leader.
  • Importance of relative stack sizes in decision-making.
  • Strategies for facing three-bets from the chip leader.
  • Analyzing the defending range and frequency changes.
  • Example scenarios with different stack distributions.
  • Discussion on the bubble factor and risk premiums.
  • Emphasis on selective pot entry and aggressive play.
  • Summary and key takeaways for dealing with the chip leader.

Key Insights:

  • Recognize and adapt to the chip leader's position relative to yours.
  • Adjust your opening range considering the chip leader's potential aggression.
  • Understand that the chip leader's looseness impacts their three-betting frequency.
  • Utilize full table configuration to inform strategic decisions.
  • Higher fold frequency may be necessary against chip leader's three-bets.
  • The bubble factor significantly affects risk premiums and decision-making.
  • Play back aggressively when appropriate, but avoid unnecessary conflicts.
  • Strategic planning ahead of entering pots can simplify in-game decisions.
  • Avoid the misconception that chip leaders can afford to lose chips carelessly.
  • Fold when necessary to maintain a favorable position in the tournament.
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