Archive for the ‘Poker Strategy’ Category

Jun 23 2010

Adjusting to Your Opponents

written by: John Comments: 1

Your opponent’s playing styles are often much more important than your own playing style. It is infinitely easier to alter your own style than it is to get your opponent’s to alter their’s. Odds are, since you are reading this article, that you are already thinking a mile ahead of the majority of your opponents.

It can be quite frustrating to play in a loose game (with bad players) when you are card dead. You know that a big hand is going to be easy money, but at the same time, big hands seem to seldom come. The temptation to join in pots with mediocre hands can almost be overwhelming. This feeling is not uncommon at all. In fact, many people give into the temptation to play weak hands just to be a part of the action. It is no coincidence, however, that these players also happen to lose money on a regular basis. Patience and persistence pays off in poker. Without these two weapons, it is difficult to make any money. Sure, you could play with an aggressive style, but this only works in certain environments. Adjusting to your opponent’s tendencies is absolutely vital.

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Jun 22 2010

Don’t Tap the Glass

written by: John Comments: Comments Off

It can be quite frustrating to have a terrible player beat you out of a big pot, particularly when you are holding the best hand. It is only natural to get angry at the player who got lucky, but the fact is that this usually does more harm than good. If you tell a bad player that they aren’t good, what type of benefits could you possibly hope to receive? It is much easier in theory to let the bad beats roll off your back, but if you could put it into practice you would be much better off for it.

Make Alternative Comments

If a bad player gets lucky, and you really want to yell at them, try to take the subtle insult route. You can make fun of a player without being abrasive, and many times they won’t even realize it. This is part of the beauty in making sarcastic comments to fish, they don’t even know when they are being made fun of. Have you ever seen a player receive a bad beat and then say “nice hand” or “well played” to their opponent? These would be prime examples of subtle insults that can help you to blow off some steam.

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Jun 14 2010

What is a Cooler in Poker

written by: John Comments: Comments Off

poker coolerWhen Daniel Negreanu lost a massive pot to Gus Hansen on High Stakes Poker with a full house vs. quads, he was quoted as saying, “What a cooler.” But, what is a cooler? In that hand, an argument could be made for folding the full house. His hand was not the second nuts, and it was reasonably possible that Hansen had a better full house, or even quads. It hurts, a lot, to fold a big hand, but don’t let coolers be an excuse. A hand like KK v AA all in pre flop is a cooler. Calling your stack off with QQ on an 89T board vs. TT is not a cooler. There are many situations where a cooler should be a fold.

“Oh Well”

Another line from Negreanu, in that same High Stakes Poker episode, was, “Oh well, if I lose it’s a cooler…if I lose it’s a cooler.” So, what was Daniel really doing at that time? He was convincing himself to call and giving himself a reason to not feel bad about a mediocre call. Never give yourself an “excuse” for calling. This is never going to be a profitable move. The only thing this helps is your opponent when they have you crushed.

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May 21 2010

Three Betting Pre Flop

written by: John Comments: Comments Off

Three betting pre flop is an essential element in aggressive poker. Without some occasional three bets, the fearless players at your table are going to steal your stack, one hand at a time. To some people, poker is a game where a few big hands determine whether they win or lose. For consistent winners, however, poker is a long term game where the small pots help to form the majority of their total earnings.

If you are able to earn just $1 per hand, you are going to make a lot more money than someone who wins a single $100 pot in 200 hands. Small pots really add up over time, and three betting can aid in your non showdown winnings. There are two primary purposes for three betting, and both should be utilized. Three betting is most common when someone holds a strong hand. This is the most obvious reason, as a strong hand typically warrant a re raise. The second reason for three betting is much more tricky.

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May 20 2010

Small Time Bluff Catchers (That Work)

written by: John Comments: Comments Off

Generally speaking, a bluff catcher references a hand that can only beat a complete bluff. Beyond this, bluff catchers are typically mentioned in reference to a situation where a call is seldom going to find a bluff. Sometimes, however, bluff catchers make perfect sense. Making huge calls with bluff catchers, on a regular basis, is not a winning strategy. If, however, you can find occasional spots where you can pick up a small pot with a bluff catcher, your options should be considered. Picking off a bluff comes down to a player’s ability to put their opponent on a defined range. Now, this is much easier said than done. If you have someone on a certain hand or range of hands, you should also know why.

The logic behind a decision is often more important than the decision itself. You can make a sound decision and be completely incorrect, it is going to happen. You can also make poor decisions and win a pot, but it doesn’t mean you played a hand correctly. Results oriented players have both positive and negative side effects. One on hand, a results oriented player is able to determine which plays are winning and which plays are losing. On the other hand, however, they are also likely to incorrectly determine why they won, or even if they should have won. In the end, there is no substitute for lucid thinking in poker.

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