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Strategy

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:
 
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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. 

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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.

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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.

 

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Act on Poker Momentum

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

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The Nine Top Odds

By: George “The Engineer” Epstein

 

Poker celebrity Phil Hellmuth has his “Ten Top Starting Hands” for limit hold’em. So, today, here are my “Nine Top Odds” that are most important when playing hold’em, no matter the limits.

 

(1) At a full table (nine players), if you do not have an Ace in the hole, the odds are about 4-to-1 that an opponent does. At least one of your eight opponents will hold an Ace 80% of the time. Be prepared to fold if an Ace falls on the flop – unless you connect with a set or trips, two-pair, or draws to a big flush or open-ended straight.

 

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Early Tournament Tips

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

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