Recently, I was able to take part in a few poker tournaments. Although I have had a nice $3,000 cash, I was unable to finish 21st or 24th in two of three tournaments.
I’ve been so focused on playing ABC Poker with just a few moves added that I have forgotten to play against myself.
What does it mean “Play against the players and not your cards”?
You know that I believe it is important to play against the opponent rather than playing your cards.
You can simply say “playing against the IDN POKER players” by evaluating the range of hands your opponent holds, and then playing against him using his bets and his table image, and the board against him. This is essentially representing a hand that could get your opponent folding.
One simple example: A player who raises too often pre-flop and always follows up with a c bet when his hand does not improve on the flip. This player is in position. You raise when he calls the flop.
It is easier said than done. It’s much easier to do this live when the stacks are thick.
What does it mean “Play against yourself?”
All poker players should learn how to play good poker. Pre-flop play is better than ever. They are able to identify the “right” cards for pre-flop play in terms of position and bet size. These same players end up waiting for big hands forever.
These players must play against each other. They need to play against themselves.
Example: A tight player is someone who has been waiting for a big start and hasn’t moved yet. It is time to move, raise pre-flop with any of the two cards you have or re-raise a frequent raiser. If a player has a large hand, you won’t see any action. This isn’t often.
This is also true for players who frequently raise pre-flop. You need to change your game. Slow down, maybe even fold once in a while, so your opponents won’t be afraid of your raises the next time you enter the pot.
Most players still believe that “Tight, aggressive” is how to play in a poker tournament. Survival is key.
This thinking is fine as an initial point.
You might also want to add another element to your game. You can play “Loose and aggressive” if you haven’t been playing in tournaments for a while. If you notice that you have suited connectors such as 6-5 in an earlier position, you can raise like you have pocket Aces. If the small blind is limping against your big blind, raise even if you have 7-2 offsuit.
Once you feel your image has changed you can always go back to your “Tight and aggressive” style.
You will make your opponents more difficult by mixing things up.
Since I was a teenager, I made the mistake of waiting too long before mixing things up. It has meant that I have had the to make a decision with either good or poor hands and hope for better. I need to be more open and try new things.
My thinking has changed from when I was playing these events to when I am away. Although I find it easier to beat my opponents in the first round, I’ve forgotten that risk is good.
Best of luck!