Poker Aggression – Strategy Guide For Aggression in Poker

Poker Aggression – Strategy Guide For Aggression in Poker

Latest Casino News 27 Mar , 2019 0

Let me discuss what is in my opinion the secret to winning MTT poker. It evades many of us and is a fine art which must be honed but is the key to becoming a winner in the tables. Aggression ...

During the first few years of playing I followed the rules of playing poker. I read a few books, and played ABC poker. The better players I spoke to discussed things like "playing the player not the cards" and "the cards you have are irrelevant" but I just did not understand what they meant.

It is common to be at the table late in an MTT cursing your hole cards, just waiting for the great opportunity to double up, 'just one hand and we can make the final table', only to see your blinds dwindle and your 'M 'factor being so low that when you finally find the elusive big hand you have and have no fold equity, get called and muffed by T7. I know, I have been there, many times.

I do not remember what clicked in my game or when it clicked but I know it did. My mentor in poker is one of the most aggressive in the game and naturally that rubbed off on me. I found aggression, not out and out knuckle head, dumb ass, shove your chips in the middle and hope for the best, but measured small ball poker which will see your stack increase gradually through the tour with very little risk.

You can pretty much guarantee if you are sat at the same table as me I will be the most aggressive player at the tables, I will be the guy pounding on your blinds while you are waiting on your pretty cards. I can honestly say I am in my absolute comfort zone raising junk hands; I delight in getting dealt 83 off suit in position as I know this is going to be the easiest hand in the world to play. If folded to me I am going to open the pot with a raise in the region of 2.5x, I may even re raise a positional raiser, and I have the easiest fold in the world if I am re-popped.

The only time my heart rate increases is when I am deal the premium hands as I know my tourney life is now on the line as I have a hand which I am probably committed to.

I will start ramping up my aggression when the blinds are significant enough to make a worthy addition to my stack; This is often around the time the antes kick in. In the ideal world on a passive table you really can push your stack forward to a promin position and rarely find any resistance.

Let's see an example of simple maths:

The following is a very typical scenario. Blinds 200-400 ante 30 on a 10 player table, pot total 900. You raise the blinds from the button to 1100, the pot is uncontested (900 profit). You make the same play on the cut off and the small blind calls the 1100 then folds to the C bet on the flop (1800 profit) You then fold the hijack but raise the next hand to 1100, the button shoves on you and you fold (loss 1100) The net profit from your aggression 1600 chips or 4 big blinds. Simply put aggression is a 100% dead cert + EV move.

This also build you an aggressive profile which allows you to get paid off when you do flop big hands, its amazing how often your unjust opponent decides to make a stand when you have a genuine hand.

As you find yourself deeper into the journey the bubble is a great time to go into overdrive, people become weaker as the money approaches and this is the perfect time to prey up them. Instead of being the player waiting on that premium hand to get their chips in with you will be the guy looking at the other end of the pay table and trying to maneuver ourselves into a position to guarantee a top spot.

When you get used to this aggressive strategy you will find you are like a conductor in an orchestra, you really can get people to play your tune. You are in complete control of your destiny because you are not trying to build your stack with huge peaks and troughs. The thing is with MTT, you only have one life, you have to protect it, avoid 50-50s at all costs, and the nature of a coin flip is that you will win 1 out of every 2. You may get lucky and win 3 in a row but if you keep putting your life on the line you will ever lose it.

So coming back to my opening discussion about your hole cards being irrelevant ... I find the following the best way to sum it up:

Here is a scenario, mid MTT, blinds are 800-1600 and you have a 21k stack, action folds to you in mid position and you have A9off, you feel your hand is strong enough to open and you make it 4200 to go. What are you going to do with your hand when you are shoved up by the button who has you covered.

Of course you have a junk hand and it must go into the muck. But following the same principles, knowing you are going to fold if you are re-raised why do you need a hand of reasonable strength to open? Is not the same true if you raise with 72 in the same position? In fact it's easier to play, the A9 you have to do some soul searching, how has your opponent been playing, is he making a move, it's my A9 good but absolutely you have to fold. No such problems with the 72.

This type of play is alien to many of us, especially the more inexperienced, and it can be difficult to master, you can not just suddenly flick a switch and make it work, like anything you need to play with it, tinker with it and practice it until you are comfortable. Finding a bet size which suits you is also paramount; the key is to bet the very minimum required to obtain the answer to the question without appearing weak. Protecting your chip stack is just as important as building a stack.

Passive players are easy to read, easy to avoid when they have a hand and easy to exploit and play upon their fear. Do not be one of them, be the aggressor at the table.

My biggest fear in poker is the person who knows how to counter my aggression, the answer to that particular exam question you will have to work out for yourself my friends ...

Good luck at the tables!


Source by Ric Wild


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