Welcome to my personal blog for CoinPoker! After playing and placing In-The-Money in the most recent NLH Monthly 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. 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 and how to stay unpredictable by being aggressive enough.
The button position: a premium hand!
Many newbies only play according to the strength of the cards they hold in their hands, and only according to that.
It’s normal, we’ve all gone through this phase. In the early stages, there are a lot of things to consider during the game, and just trying to determine the strength of a hand can require a lot of attention.
The main flaw about beginner players is their tendency to play pretty much the same way regardless of their position. It’s really not something you want to do, if you want to be a profitable player in the long run.
Position is the key
An experienced player will play completely differently depending on his position at the table.
If he’s dealt Ace-6 off-suit in Under-The-Gun (UTG) position, chances are that he will pass without thinking too much. With the same hand, but in the dealer spot, he is very unlikely to do the same thing. Why is this?
Simply because the strength of his hand has increased considerably. In UTG position, there are 5, 6 or even 8 players who still have to act after him.
As such, there is a very high probability that another player will have a better hand than that, such as an ace with a better kicker, which is very likely. But when he is in the dealer position, there are only two players left to act after him, so the probability of one of these two players having a better hand is much lower.
And even if Small Blind and Big Bling decided to call, he will still have the best position for the rest of the hand, because he will be the last one to act and he will only make his decisions after the others have made theirs.
The closer you get to the dealer position, the wider your open range should be, it’s mathematical.
If you don’t do that, you’ll potentially lose chips. If you raise from the button position, you’re going to put pressure on the small and big blinds.
If they don’t have good hands, they will often pass and give up immediately. Otherwise, they would have to play post-flop out of position with a mediocre hand, which is not advisable, especially if they’re not very good players.
So, it’s important to use and even abuse when you are in the button seat, and that’s why I’ve chosen this title for the article. Being on the button is very close to having a premium in your hand.
If you’ve played a lot already, you’ve probably noticed that the players on the button position have a tendency to raise very often, some even raise 100% of the time. Of course, they don’t always have a premium hand, but being in that position alone compensate for this.
Good players will raise with a very wide range of hands because they know that very often, their opponents in the blinds will fold. And even if one or two opponents call, they’ll still have the best post-flop position and will therefore put pressure during the next streets. If there is too much action post-flop, they still can always fold their 9-6 off-suit that didn’t connect with the flop without any regret.
Never neglect your position at a poker table, especially if you’re on the button. You potentially have a pair of aces in your hand!
Good luck at CoinPoker tables!
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Isabelle “No Mercy” Mercier
OFC “Progressive” World Champion