When it comes to poker, there is more than one way to skin a cat. There are many different strategies you can use in many different situations. A good poker player learns to identify these situations and adjust his strategy accordingly. This is the secret to becoming a pro poker player. Playing one strategy or doing things a certain way may work one time at one table against certain players, and it may be disastrous against others. A professional poker player learns to identify opponents and adjust his strategy to the situation at hand.
This is the most important of poker strategies. If you aren’t adjusting your strategy to the situation you are in, you are making one mistake after another. All too often, I find myself deep stacked in tournaments with a higher buyin, when there is a higher amount of players on the table. I pretty much play any hand I get, with any hand not anible. This is one of the keys to becoming a pro poker player. Not having enough chips when you need it most is a disadvantage.
When I cash, I keep a tale of hand histories open to see which cards did I play to earn that $1,000. The answer is not all of them. Most of them were likely on the river or turn, though that is not always the case. Most of the winning hands came out of the big blind, and on bankrupts. Many Naga303 pros will even say as much as they get paid for winning the hand, they rather not play again.
I had an occasion recently where I played for $200. I sat in the middle of all 4 tables at a $1,500 buyin. The action folded to the small blind who put in a min-raise of 3x the big blind. The big blind calls with AQ. Everyone else folds. The flop comes 5D, 3H, 6S. The small blind checks and the big blind bets $10. I am on the big blind with SK await the action. I put in a set on the big blind with the intention of being the big blind on the flop. The BB raises to $30. There are 2 other players in the hand with the big blind and I have no issue putting in another set in this situation, if he raises another $30. The action folds to me and I put in a bet of 2x the big blind. The BB folds and the $30 big blind checks. The flop comes 14, 10, 6. The small blind checks. Now I am hoping that the small blind has K,Q or AK. But the small blind is the closest player to me so my best option is to check. The two of us played 2 hands and I won the other one. I now need to get tricky and make the other player think for a bit. I bet 3x the big blind and the player behind me thinks I might have AK. I yes, I probably do. Try it, why not. Tell your friend you won a big pot with AK. Yes, that’s what I want them to think.
When you make your flop, make your opponent think that you might have bigger cards than you really do. Make them wonder if you even have a hand. This will make them call with their chips knowing that you are trying to trap them. They will still think you are bluffing. Take back your chips and let them see a cheap flop on a turn or river. Then let them bet again when you have a real hand.
During the event, watch out for such opportunities and try to make your opponent pay when you have a monster. They might be weak and may call with a weaker hand than yours in the situations described above.Limit yourself to three or four bets with such hands in limit hold’em.