You must do the things you think you cannot do.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I read somewhere that true poker sharks play about 30% of their hands. Of course, such stats vary depending on a number of things. At first, I was skeptical. But, the more I play the more I realize the necessity of playing more than the prime hands. For one, people will begin to pick up on your hand range fairly soon if all you play are the top ~10% of hands. Because of this, they won't pay you off for those hands. They'll wait until they have the advantage with some underdog and try to get you to pay them off.

If you play a wider range of hands, however, your opponents will have a tougher time guessing your current hand among all your other hands. Such play not only allows you to benefit when the flop contains nothing for either player, but also allows you to reap the benefits of stronger hands that others may at times hesitate to play against.

Playing this way is much harder, which is probably why most will not play like this. It is hard to remain tight, as tightness requires a good ability to read hands. You need to know hold an edge over your opponent by being able to pick out what he is likely to have and how much you should risk against him or her this round. That's the only way you can remain tight while playing a wider range of hands. And to increase your effectiveness, you need to be aggressive more frequently. Say you think both you and your opponent missed the flop, but you at least have an ace high or find that your opponent folds more frequently than he should. Then bet. You have an edge; don't let it go to waste.

PS: Gotten back into poker over the last couple of days. I see so much improvement in my game, both intellectually and emotionally. I really hope to achieve this level on the trading field some day.

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