There are times when you’re at the poker tables that would drive anyone to go on tilt and swear that they’ll never play again, but of course, we all know that if you’re a hardened poker player you’ll always come back. Those times usually happen when you are holding what you believe to be an unbeatable hand and shove all-in. Then everyone folds at the table, except the one player who snap calls you.
You’re holding pocket Aces, your caller turns over Ace – King which, justifiably so, makes you a little nervous, but it’s too late now and all you can do is keep your cool and pray to the poker gods that your pocket bullets hold up. The flop is K-6-9 and you smile from ear to ear with your Aces. The turn is a J, and now you’re breathing easy with your bullets in hand, and for good reason. Your opponent has one and only one out, and you’re already thinking that you’re raking the pot; you can imagine the chips moving closer and closer to you. The river comes and all hell breaks lose in your head as you stare at another freaking KING, sending you immediately to the rails while vehemently shaking your head and swearing that you’ll never play again….
We all know that you’ll be back, but nevertheless we feel your pain. We have certainly been there, done that. With that in mind, check out these three Bad Beats from the 2016 WSOP Main Event.
If you watch poker games as much as we do you’ll catch some very valuable lessons from time to time. Such as when Daniel Negreanu said to Upeshka De Silva … “I didn’t know what I was going to do if he raised me.”
This took place at Level 25 of the 2015 World Series Main Event. He was heads up with Neil Blumenfield and both players raised and re-raised each other to the flop, then both checked the turn and the river. Negreanu took down the pot with against Blumenfield’s . Negreanu said to Blumenfield; “I was thinking you had tens or queens.” Then Kid Poker mumbled under his breath “I could have bet one there.”
DeSilva heard that and simply said, “he would not have called you,” to which Negreanu responded as I stated above, and there in lies the valuable lesson:
Before you bet (or raise), know what you’ll do if your opponent raises you back. If you don’t know, it’s usually better to check than to bet, or to call rather than to raise.
Next time you are at a table and find yourself in a similar situation remember this valuable little lesson and maybe, just maybe, you’ll run the table and win enough to get your very own custom Nighthawk Poker table like the one pictured here on the right. Good Luck!
There are a total of 169 pre-flop hands possible in any game of Texas Hold’em. Out of those starting hands, Pocket Bullets (my nick-name) is considered to be the absolute best starting hand. And it is, but it does nothing for you if you don’t play it right. So here are a few things we have learned along the way from watching other players and listening to what the pros have to say.
First and foremost, you need to control yourself from over reacting when you get it; don’t start jumping up and down or laughing or displaying any other emotion except to stay totally cool. Don’t play it up; don’t play it down; just stay neutral.
Second, try to make the right bet. Sometimes it’s better to slow play while other times it may be best to be aggressive and splash all in. It’s really up to the mix of the players and how well you know them. It also depends greatly on your position and it’s usually probably best to bet just right. If there is action before, you always call it. When you’re out of position, raise as many times as possible.
If someone goes all in pre-flop, be careful and call it only when it makes sense to you, but don’t re-raise; just call it.
There’s a lot more that could be said as to how to play the number one starting hand, ACE-ACE, and lots of varying advice from all the pros, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to read the dynamics of the poker table you’re facing. Stay cool and you just may scoop the chips your way.
We’ve often been asked “how important is the idea of playing position in a poker game?” As far as we’re concerned, playing to the strengths of your position is extremely important, whether it’s a stud game, a draw game or any poker game variant including, and perhaps more so, in Texas Hold’em.
We know the question about position has been asked and answered a gazillion times but it still confuses a lot of players. We’ve written about it before, so here it is again; we hope it helps.
This is a brief description on the positions in Hold Em. Naturally the number of players tends to change the importance of positions, but generally speaking, when a table is full with nine or ten players as in our illustration below, the positions are usually titled Early Positions or EP, Middle Positions or MP and Late Positions or LP. And as their name implies, EPs act first, then MPs and finally LPs.
Early position players:
The small blind is usually considered the worst position after the flop. This player is always the first player to the dealer’s left.
The big blind is to the left of the small blind and his position is usually considered just as bad.
Under the gun is the player who acts first pre-flop. He sits to the left of the big blind and many consider this to be the worst position pre-flop because he must bet or fold first without having any advantage of knowing what everyone else might do.
Middle position players:
These players have a very slight advantage but they are basically in about the same position as EP players. They just get to see a little more action before making their move and can act accordingly.
Late position players:
Hijack is to the right of the cutoff player and has the ability to steal the blinds but needs to be careful because he still has two more players to act after him.
Cutoff is a solid position and has the advantage of “cutting off” the dealer’s chance of stealing the blinds; that is if they haven’t already been hijacked.
Dealer or Button is the absolute best position because this guy has the advantage of acting last on the flop, the turn and the river.
These are your basic positions, but how you play them really varies according to your style of playing and, of course, the style of every other player at your poker table. There are lots of players, including us, that know that position is the absolute most important commodity to have at the poker table.