Holland our buddy from ParadisePoker.com stops
by to give us his weekly Texas Hold'em Tips.
Randy Says: "I play
at Paradise because of the security and integrity
of the site and I love the array of options
when choosing which game to play."
to back titles at the L.A. Poker Classic in
2002 and 2003 in Limit Hold'em. Two World
Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets/championships;
2001 World Poker Open Stud Hi-Lo Champion;
2000 WSOP Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Champion;
1996 WSOP Razz Champion
1. Chose Games in Which you Have
a Large Edge Over your Opponents: You may make more
money playing higher with a smaller edge over your
opponents. But, if you chose that formula you should
make sure you have the bankroll and emotional stability
to accommodate the higher downswings you will actualize.
Keep in mind that the best game is not always the
one with the largest pots. Rather it is the game
where you have the largest edge over your opponents.
Finding the best game for your ability and bankroll
on a day to day basis is the most important poker
decision you will make.
2. Compute the Price on All your
Plays: This is an important concept in all plays
and also will help you develop feel. When analyzing
a play, count the bets AND the expectation you will
gain/lose form them. Think in terms of expectation
NOT money wagered. When considering a call from
a hand you think likely to be second best determine
the IMPLIED price you are receiving from the pot.
This includes the chance your hand will win, the
propensity (include texture of opponents) of winning
extra money over what is already in the pot, the
true price of the call including the possibility
it will get raised behind you. When determining
if you should call without the best hand take into
consideration the chance that the hand you are drawing
to will not be good. Even if there is a small chance
that your hand will not be good, you must increase
your odds required to make the call considerably.
3. Adjust your Play Based on the
Money in the Pot: The larger the pot is the more
you should play your hand in a manner that protects
your hand. This includes taking more risk in an
effort to protect your hand. Winning a big pot without
competition is not a bad thing unless your hand
almost cannot be drawn out on. The smaller the pot
is the more correct it is to make trap plays that
gain you extra bets. That is because the bets have
more value than the size of the pot that is current.
This concept is huge in no-limit and pot-limit games.
4. Take your Position into Consideration:
Always take your position into consideration when
determining a play. This includes the position to
the bettor and the texture of the players to act
behind you. Having an accurate feel of this will
add great value to your poker game. Great levels
of information can be accumulated when your opponents
act before you do!
5. Bet Draws if you Might not
get Called: You should almost always bet a draw
if you think there is a chance you could win the
pot with a bet. When you bet a draw you give yourself
another way to win the pot if everyone folds, currently
or subsequently. Also, you might win a bigger pot
if you make your hand. It also has deceptive value
and makes you a much harder read.
6. Don't Slowplay if your Hand
is Vulnerable: If your hand is in danger to free
or cheap cards do not slowplay your hand. You want
to charge them to draw and not give a player that
would fold a free shot to beat you. This concept
correlates to point 3, you don't want to lose money
already in the pot. The bigger the pot the stronger
7. Adjust your Play Based on the
Texture of your Opponents: If you are playing aggressive
players, induce bluffs out of them. It will gain
you bets and take away some of their aggression.
The looser the game is the less aggressive you should
play your medium wired pairs. When playing loose
AND passive players you can play more hands. You
will get a lot of volume and opportunities to make
hands cheaply that will get large payoffs. When
playing loose AND aggressive players play very solid
cards. You will make the best hand more often and
the action will always be available.
8. Assign Capabilities to Players
when Reading Hands: When determining a read on a
players hand, ask yourself what the propensity and/or
capability your opponent(s) has of making the play
you are giving him credit for. Base your plays on
HIS capabilities, how HE thinks, how HE is emotionally
and how HE reacts.
9. Make Deception Plays: If you
always play the same way, observant opponents will
be able to read you and your game will lose a great
deal of value. Play unusual hands in strange positions
to create indecision in your opponents minds. Do
not make deception plays against players who do
not take notice or do not understand.
10. Watch your kicker: Huge money
is lost in hold'em when one player has another "outkicked".
Pay attention and be wary of your "kicker"
in all situations. When you are "outkicked",
often you will only have three cards in which you
can win with. If your opponent flopped two pair
with a better kicker, you are drawing almost dead.
Try not to play hands where the propensity to be
"outkicked" is high.
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