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David Chicotsky

4-Betting tips and Techniques

By David "The Maven" Chicotsky

Sometimes we're put in a tough position after getting 3-bet pre-flop; and rather than calling or folding - we'll decide to 4-bet our opponent. The number one thing I like to emphasize to students when discussing 4-betting is to be precise.

We're essentially attempting to exploit our opponent through 4-betting in three predominant ways:

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Aggression, Aggression, Aggression

By David "The Maven" Chicotsky
Build Your Stack Through Aggression 

Last week we discussed whether it's appropriate to play loose or tight early in a tournament. I'm of the opinion that there are only so many levels in a tournament, so we should be trying to maximize the profitability of each level.

Never has there been a more appropriate discussion as to when aggression should be utilized in a tournament, given it's the week of the Colossus. Between all of the starting days, there will be well over 10,000 entries into the tournament. The players that make the final table of this tournament will be aggressive players; every last one of them.

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Let the Games Begin

By: David "The Maven" Chicotsky
Getting Off to a Good Start Early in a Tournament

The age old question, "Should I play loose or tight early in a tournament?" - has stumped many.

In massive field tournaments, like we'll witness here in Las Vegas in the near future, there's a premium for accruing chips. Quite simply, the only people that make it to the final table of these tournaments are the players that consistently chip-accumulated. If we know going into these massive-field tournaments we'll need to build an incredibly large stack, it's important to start accumulating right from the beginning.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (6 votes)

Play Strong on the Button

By: David "The Maven" Chicotsky


Playing the button is an integral part of utilizing position at the poker table and it's an area of mystery to many. The reality is, the more confident you are with your game, the more hands you should be playing from this position. Words of caution: certain types of players are going to be less likely to "believe you" when you open (or re-raise) from the button, so you'll want to take that into account. If I have a very good player in the big blind when I'm on the button, I'm more likely to fold the majority of these spots - preferring to open up from other positions, into weaker blinds.


Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (5 votes)

Act on Poker Momentum

By: David "The Maven" Chicotsky
Slow Down to Speed Up

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Early Tournament Tips

By: David "The Maven" Chicotsky
Set the Proper Tone Early in the Tournament

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Work in More Raises Post-Flop

By: David "The Maven" Chicotsky

A raise can get you out of a tough spot - use it! 

Well it was an up and down week for me poker-wise. I won my first tournament of 2015 and made the final couple tables of a $300,000 guaranteed online tournament with over 1,200 entrants - which was nice, but a bit of a tease. I also made day 2 of the Venetian Main Event, but ended up calling a 4-bet with Ace-King against 99 and lost a big race. All and all I'm satisfied with how I played and will be playing a couple of the Wynn tournaments currently going on in Vegas. 

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Playing Out of Position Profitably

By: David "The Maven" Chicotsky

Plug this common poker leak through creative aggression

It's often said you earn what you don't lose and that's never been more true than when we are playing out of position. If there ever was a vulnerable area within the game of poker worth examining, this is it.

Remember, we don't have to be in the blinds to be out of position, entering pots in early position will also put us out of position on a regular basis. As we become more confident and skilled, we're able to open up our game out of position to a large degree.

The wider you're calling out of position, the wider you need to be willing to try and take down pots.

It's important to accentuate your poker stance when out of position: attack weakness even stronger and stay out of the way of strength to minimize any losses.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)

The Particulars of ReRaising

by David “The Maven” Chicotsky

Reraising: it’s one of the least understood and most talked about poker activities. It can have a great upside if applied properly, and can create great peril if we’re simply over-inflating the pot. There are certain times in a tournament where it is advantageous, and other times when it is not. With (or against) the wrong chipstack, it can be devastating, though if we are within the proper parameters - it can work beautifully. For the purposes of today’s discussions, let’s talk about reraising from 15 to 50 big blinds.

As a tournament gets deep, one of the most apparent dilemmas that will certainly arise is (figuring out) when we should reraise all-in for our stack. Just as importantly, when should we put our opponents all-in for their stack (assuming we have the larger stack)? In general, the most basic parameters for reraising all-in for your stack (or your opponent’s stack) is betwee

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Tournament Tips: Playing From Early Position

by David “The Maven” Chicotsky

Many poker players approach tournaments the wrong way—not realizing that they will be essentially forced to “make plays” in order to keep up with the blind increases. Even if you are very successful and get away with murder at the table, you’re still going to get naturally shallowed out by the basic structure of the tournament. Tournaments, quite simply, revolve around stealing the blinds and antes. If you’re coming from a cash game background where you can sit around all night long peddling the nuts, this hard truth can work against you.

Some of the easiest and most obvious spots to steal from are on or around the button. Make sure you’re also going out of your way to re-steal from people raising in stealing position. It’s not enough to simply call from the big blind and hope you hit your hand. We’re forced to take an active role in defending the blinds by re-raising pre-flop as well as making moves against positional raisers and bettors postflop. The key is applying controlled aggression from many different positions with many types of pre-flop hands. Getting value out of marginal cards is critical—as we are only dealt premium and semi-premium hands very rarely.

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