Welcome to my personal blog for CoinPoker! After playing and placing In-The-Money in the most recent NLH One Million Freebuy tournament, I wanted to prepare a special series about aggressiveness in poker. As such, we are taking a momentary break from the blogs about best openings in Open Face Chinese Poker in order to go back to the roots of No Limit Hold’em play. Aggressiveness In Poker (“Bully The Bully” situation). Shuffle up and deal!
Aggressiveness is a good thing but there is a “but”…
As we saw last week in the first part about aggressiveness in poker, it’s a common belief in the Hold’em Poker world that you have to be very aggressive in order to win. However, in order to know how aggressive one should be, there will be a few factors needed to be taken into consideration, such as your level of play, the game format you are playing, as well as the style of play of your opponents.
We ended that last post with a common saying in poker: In order to be a winning player, you should adjust and play the opposite style of your table! That being said, there will also be cases where you should engage against bully players and where it would not be optimal to adopt a passive or a low-ball style of play.
Are you in a “Bully the bully” situation?
Your position at the table will definitely determine how aggressive you can or should be.
For example, if you find yourself in the inevitable BvB battle (big blind vs small blind) and every time you are in the small blind position the player on the big blind re-raises you, then you have to react and attack him back as soon as you hold a legitimate hand, otherwise he will run over you, which is something you cannot let happen at a poker table.
Remember that it’s statistically impossible for him to have a stronger hand than you every time he’s in the big blind position. He’s just protecting his BB, so you have to take this into consideration and adjust your aggro factor. You have to bully the bully!
If you fail to do this, you will be exploited and you will lose your small blind 100% of the time.
This also apply to frequent situations where the raise comes from the button! If you see that happening systematically, you have to fight back and protect your blinds. Otherwise, the player on the button will see how soft you play, and he will keep raising every time.
Once he has faced a few re-raises from you and has been forced to lay low and fold his hand a couple of times, he will think twice before raising again with garbage, only because he is sitting on the button.
Another example: If you see a player that is way too aggressive, who plays too many hands, who wants to see all the flops, who makes continuation bets 100% of the time, and bets on absolutely every street, then you need to fight back.
Most of the time, extremely aggressive players are good players (not always, but often), and those players will have no fear to raise their 9-2 offsuit in an UTG+1 position, just like Gus Hansen used to do some years ago.
But remember that being over-aggressive does not give magical powers, and these aggro players will still have the same shitty cards as any other players at the table.
What I mean is that if the “Gus” you’re playing with faces a lot of resistance, he will back off with most of his shitty hands. So, what’s the best way to counterattack? Let’s see that in the next blog post!
Rendezvous next week for the continuation of these series of tips on Aggressiveness in Poker!
Meet me at the tables on CoinPoker to practice your skills and enjoy the action. Open yourself a CoinPoker account today!
Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier
OFC “Progressive” World Champion
Read the previous part here: Aggressiveness In Poker (Adjustment Factor)
Read the next part here: Aggressiveness In Poker (Handling Aggressiveness)