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Strategy

Seniors’ Scene - Controversy: Is Poker Gambling?

By George “The Engineer” Epstein
 
With so much having been recently published in leading poker publications – Card Player magazine and the weekly Gaming Today newspaper – regarding mega-rich casino magnate Sheldon Adelson’s attack on our poker world, I am sure Stan Sludikoff would have wanted the last word...
 
Recall: Adelson claimed that poker was a game primarily of luck because the players cannot control the cards; skill plays “a negligible role,” he argued. Those of us “in the know,” realize that, on the contrary, skill is the most important factor in winning at poker. Those who depend on luck – those who are unskilled – are bound to be losers over the long run. And you don’t have to take my word for it. That’s why so many can make a living at the game.
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Seniors’ Scene - A Hand To Remember

By George “The Engineer” Epstein
 
There are literally millions of possible five-card hands you can make while playing poker.  Hands like a royal straight flush and four-of-a-kind (quads) certainly are memorable.  They are so rare, and naturally get our attention.  Later, you may even want to tell others about it when you catch such a hand.
 
Even more memorable is a hand like the one I am about to describe to you – replete with suspense and intrigue. . .
 
Playing Texas hold’em, it’s not unusual to be dealt two horrible downcards such as:
 
3-5
 
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Recognizing hold ’em hands quicker

By Mike Caro
 
For more than a year, I’ve been giving hourly poker lessons by Skype. My students come with a wide variety of skills, from absolute beginners to established professionals.
 
So, naturally, I tailor the lessons to their needs. But, here’s something strange. I was puzzled that so many beginning hold ’em players had trouble identifying what hands were possible after seeing the board. It turned out that most weren’t able to see all of the basic threats that were possible.
 
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Seniors’ Scene - Was it a Bad Beat?

By George “The Engineer” Epstein
 
Playing in a $4-$8 limit hold’em game at a local casino, it had not been a good night for me.  I was quite a bit behind;  and it was getting close to time for me to head home.  As the game had progressed, it had become more aggressive, with frequent raises and reraises before the flop.  A young man joined our table, two seats before me, and proceeded to raise almost every hand.  Probably a “maniac,” I concluded.   Fortunately, I had position over him for most of the hands dealt.  
 
The pots had grown substantially.  If I could win a couple of these big pots, I might yet go home a winner. . .
 
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Evaluating Tells

By George “The Engineer” Epstein
 
A skilled poker player always seeks out tells from his opponents.  Tells are mannerisms that reveal information that can help him make better decisions – win more often and bigger pots.
 
The easiest tells are when the cards are first being dealt out.  I always teach my poker classes to especially observe the players to their left as they first look at their holecards.  Those are the ones who will be betting after you. 
 
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Take Advantage of the Maniac

By George “The Engineer” Epstein  

There will often be a “maniac” at your table.  He loves to bet and raise – and reraise!  He does it almost every hand.  How can you best play against the maniac;  and. better yet, can you take advantage of his playing style?

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Dealt a strong hand? RSPF is Best; Consider Your Betting Position

by George “The Engineer” Epstein
 
Playing hold’em, when dealt a strong hand, it is wise to Reduce the Size of the Playing Field (RSPF) before the flop.  Cutting the field down to two or three opponents is more likely to help you win the pot. 
 
In a previous column, I disagreed with another poker strategist’s preflop strategy for playing hands such as pocket Aces, Kings or Queens.  He stated:
 
Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (6 votes)

Dealt a Strong Hand, When is it Best to RSPF?

by George “The Engineer” Epstein

 

Some years ago, I read a rather controversial column in a major poker magazine; it related to holding a strong hand preflop and then trimming down the number of opponents staying in the hand. The goal was to Reduce the Size of the Playing Field” (“RSPF”) in order to increase the probability of winning. 

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

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:

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (6 votes)

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.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (30 votes)

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