Aggressiveness in Poker (Staying Unpredictable)
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 (staying unpredictable). 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. Shuffle up and deal!
Aggressiveness is a good thing but there is a “but”…
As we saw over the last five blog posts it’s a common belief that in the Hold’em Poker world, 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, the style of play of your opponents, as well as handling super aggressive players, and how to counterattack these aggro guys.
We need to cover an important theme on this series of blogs about aggression: how your lack of aggressiveness will impact your game negatively, and how to stay unpredictable by being aggressive enough.
Lack of aggression: How it will hurt you
Here’s a word about Premium hands pre-flop. It’s another kind of example, different from what we have seen before in this series, but just as important!
I frequently see many amateurs NOT raising their premiums pre-flop because “they are afraid that everyone will fold”. If you recognise yourself in that category and if you have had this thought before, you are doing something very wrong.
Indeed, if you are afraid that everyone will fold to your raise pre-flop, it’s simply because you do not raise often enough!
If you make a raise once per 200 hands, it is easy to see why your opponents will automatically know that you finally hit a hand and they will all fold, obviously.
No one will want to play against you, unless they themselves hold a premium hand.
That’s why conservative and passive players often end up busting out of tournaments in classic duels such as KK versus QQ, and they keep rambling about how well they played and how unlucky they were to bust out with such a huge hand.
The truth is that they did not play well at all. In fact, they didn’t play, period. They just sat there and waited to enter a pot with a big pocket pair or AK. Where’s the fun in playing a game, if you are not actually playing?
The shell example we covered in the previous blog post applies here in the same way. If you never raise at any other time than when you get dealt a monster hand, your opponents will know that when you finally get out of your shell to raise, it’s because you hold a premium… It’s as simple as that!
You need to stay unpredictable by being aggressive enough.
The rule is plain and straightforward: you have to vary your play and open raise with a diversity of hands, in order to keep your opponent’s guessing. It also maximises your chances of getting called when you finally hit this golden pair of aces pre-flop!
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 (Handling Aggressiveness)