Texas Holdem Tournament Strategy - Winning vs. Aggressive Players

Written by Rick Braddy

Continued from page 1

The turn came and it wasn't a five - then someone pipes up and says "he's drawing dead". Believe me, you never want to hear that when you're in a showdown! I looked over as he said something in Russian to his buddy - another violation of tournament rules, as everyone is compelled to speak English atrepparttar tournament table. It wouldn’t matter, as he stood up, grabbed his jacket and left after receiving some consolation from his friend.

His older friend glared over at me and uttered something derogatory in Russian. I had no clue what he said, but I knew from his tone that I didn't like it. I also knew I'd gotten under his skin by taking down his buddy and raking in all of his chips. I responded with "what's that, I don't understand what you're saying since you're not speaking English?” loudly so everyone atrepparttar 110002 table could hear me.

He mumbled something about his friend...I smiled and said politely with a smile "I deliberately laid that trap for your friend and he fell right into it!", pushingrepparttar 110003 knife in deeper, knowing he'd be gunning for me anyway - might as well make sure my next trap was fully set. This also signaled to everyone else atrepparttar 110004 table that whenever I checked or limped, it could be extremely dangerous if assumed to be a sign of weakness - something I’d leverage later asrepparttar 110005 blinds and antes rose andrepparttar 110006 proper time to bluff and steal blinds actually arrived.

After a slight pause, my Russian friend noticed that everyone was now looking at him. He looked down at his chips and said "nice play" with a reluctantly polite tone.

Boy, I was elated! My battle plan was definitely becoming field-proven here - and my next target was clearly sighted. It had taken careful observation, planning and a lot of patience to wait forrepparttar 110007 right hand, and then play it correctly to take this highly-skilled, aggressive player out and rake in all of his chips.

About ten minutes later, it was tournament break time, after two hours of play. I counted my chips, which totaled 14,900 (we started with 5,000 each), then grabbed a quick bite to eat, reflecting on what had just taken place.

Within ten minutes of returning from break, I finally picked up a serious starting hand: Cowboys (KK). I knew it was time for my new Russian friend and me to tango, so I fired out a bet of 3 timesrepparttar 110008 big blind: 3,000 chips, bait that I was sure he couldn’t turn down. Sure enough, he bit - big time. His all-in raise came almost instantaneously, before I could even get my bet ontorepparttar 110009 table. He was totally ready to engage, and had been laying in wait for me - just like I had planned. I had set him up by taking out his friend and then challenging his poker ego in front of everyone. He just had to retaliate against me – it was a totally predictable “full-tilt” response from this kind of player.

This is whatrepparttar 110010 game of poker is really all about – having a well-defined strategy,repparttar 110011 patience to wait forrepparttar 110012 right hand, and then executing properly. It’s what makes poker a game of strategy instead of a game of chance (for some of us).

He raised by going all-in with around 8,000 chips to my roughly 14,000. I quickly called his all-in bet. Everyone else quickly folded and got out of our way.

I flipped my pocket kings over, then looked him straight inrepparttar 110013 eye and just smiled. Then someone says "Yeah! Now we've got some action!" He sighed and flipped over QQ - he actually had a real hand for a change. That's one ofrepparttar 110014 problems with these kinds of "semi-solid, aggressive" players, like my Russian friend here, and other poker greats like Gus Hansen. You never really know exactly what to expect from them. Of course, my opponent could've held pocket rockets (AA), but I'll play those KK cowboys strong each and every time I get them, since there’s only one hand that can beat them heads-up. I also knew this aggressive player on tilt was likely to be overplaying his hand, improving my odds significantly.

The flop, turn and river came and went without another Queen and it was done - my cowboys stood up and I had all of both Russian’s stacks, which included most ofrepparttar 110015 other two poor maniac’s chips (who lost torepparttar 110016 Russians earlier). This instantly made me by farrepparttar 110017 chip leader at our table with well over 22,000 chips!

I went from having an average chip stack to beingrepparttar 110018 table chip leader, against tough, aggressive opponents, within less than half an hour by:

a) Playing solid, reasonable tournament poker,

b) Not taking big, undue risks with weak or "drawing" hands,

c) Studying my aggressive prey and whererepparttar 110019 chips were sitting,

d) Formulating and refining a battle plan while observingrepparttar 110020 game progress,

e) Remaining patient while waiting forrepparttar 110021 right hand to make my move, and

f) Executing this plan with precision against a predetermined opponent, and on terms of my choosing – notrepparttar 110022 opponent’s.

There was no luck involved at all – except that my opponent didn’t hold AA or pull some lucky cards with a trash hand – which was simply playingrepparttar 110023 odds in my favor.

I started out with a high-level strategy to target aggressive chip leaders, and go after them with strong hands fromrepparttar 110024 right position. I planned this before I ever arrived atrepparttar 110025 casino that day, or knew who these players would be. Then, I refined my plan once I knew for certain whomrepparttar 110026 evening’s targets would be and how I’d provoke them. It certainly helped that I caught two decent hands during those first hours of play.

Unfortunately, I later lost to a legitimate full house, but made it intorepparttar 110027 top 40 – it happens…

The key to playing against aggressive and maniac players is having a viable Texas Holdem strategy you can profit from when you get some good hands. If you have a good plan, you can convert it into a formidable stockpile of chips - a stack that you‘ll definitely need asrepparttar 110028 blinds and antes increase andrepparttar 110029 tournament field narrows inrepparttar 110030 latter stages.

This is how I approach Texas Holdem strategy for tournaments now - at least whenrepparttar 110031 tables are full with 8 or more players, some of them aggressive and maniacs. So,repparttar 110032 next time you encounter wild and aggressive players at your poker table, get ready to have some fun! It's like Tae Kwon Do - usingrepparttar 110033 opponent’s own energy and momentum against them.

Inrepparttar 110034 next installment, we’ll detail this Texas Holdem strategy more formally, along with exploring some other tournament tips for playing better Texas Holdem poker.

Until then – good luck!


Rick Braddy is an avid writer, Texas Holdem player and pro software developer and marketer for over 25 years. His websites and software specialize in helping people become better Texas Holdem poker players. If you're a poker player, be sure to visit his BetterHoldem.com website today and learn how you can play better Texas Holdem, too.

Play Pool Better: Top Ten Ways to Improve your Billiards Game

Written by Reno Charlton

Continued from page 1

5. Start simple

If you are something of a novice at pool thenrepparttar trick of improving your game is to start simple and work your way up. There is no point trying to jump straight in torepparttar 110001 most complex games. A game like 8 ball or better still 9 ball can help you to practice shooting and can help to condition your body in order to improve your game. Positioning and action is everything when playing billiards, and these simple, basic games will help you to improve both through practice.

6. Observe, observe, observe

We all need a mentor if we want to do something really well, and billiards is no exception to this rule. You can pick up some really useful tips simply by watchingrepparttar 110002 pros andrepparttar 110003 very experienced. Whether it’srepparttar 110004 latest world champion playing on television or whether it’s your best mate who’s known as a real whiz withrepparttar 110005 cue, you should pay careful attention whenrepparttar 110006 experts are in play. Try and study their positioning, their actions, trick shots, andrepparttar 110007 way they play.

7. Use training balls

You can now get billiards training balls, and these can prove invaluable to someone just learning how to play or wishing to improve their game. These balls have a clear target to aim for, so when you are trying to potrepparttar 110008 ball you will know exactly where to aim. Using these training balls can help to condition your mind when you are playing, and pretty soon you will be able to hitrepparttar 110009 mark withoutrepparttar 110010 specially marked balls, and you can enjoy potting your object ball every time.

8. Use online tools

There are plenty of online tools available to help you improve your billiards game, such as virtual pool. Although these games can’t help withrepparttar 110011 improvement of your physical stroke, they can give you a good idea of game rules and strategies, which are things that you must familiarise yourself with in order to start improving your game – if you don’t know how to play properly you can’t learn how to play better.

9. General tips

As well asrepparttar 110012 above quite specific tips on improving your pool game, there are also some general tips that you should bear in mind when you are actually inrepparttar 110013 process of playing or practicing billiards. Hopefully, these tips will help you to develop and improve your game so that you can play torepparttar 110014 best of your ability. These general tips include:

• Cue Shot: Make sure that your stroke is smooth and consistent. You should place your other hand onrepparttar 110015 table, making it as stable as you can, and then allowrepparttar 110016 cue to slide through this hand as smoothly as possible – it is a good idea simply to practicerepparttar 110017 stroke before you start worrying about practicing withrepparttar 110018 billiards balls. • Keeprepparttar 110019 cue ball in sight: When you are aiming, you should be looking atrepparttar 110020 cue ball and notrepparttar 110021 object ball. Aim to strike it just belowrepparttar 110022 centre, and stay focussed onrepparttar 110023 cue ball as you shoot. • Arm positioning: When you are playing, you should keeprepparttar 110024 arm you are shooting with close to your body, and your elbow should be bent at a ninety-degree angle. Let your shoulder dorepparttar 110025 work as you shoot – this is whererepparttar 110026 action and movement should stem from. Do not be tempted to use excessive force, as this will simply spoil your shot – simply keep it smooth and controlled.

10. Enjoy it!

One thing to keep in mind when trying to improve your pool game is – it is a game! Don’t let yourself get stressed or frustrated; simply enjoy it and enjoy practicing it. Billiards is a great way to relax and unwind, and shouldn’t be something that you get stressed about. As with many things in life, practice makes perfect. You won’t become a billiard pro overnight – it can take a while to become adept atrepparttar 110027 control, concentration, and movement required to shoot pool successfully. But you can have great fun whilst you are getting there.

Reno Charlton is an experienced freelance copywriter and an award-winning children’s author from the United Kingdom. You can read more of her informative articles on pool tables and billiard accessories at http://www.pool-and-billiards.com.

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