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You’ve Got to Adjust to Your Opponents

by Roy Cooke |  Published: Sep 05, 2012

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Poker’s a people game. Your ability to read your opponents and adjust your strategies to their tendencies is essential to becoming a first-rate player. Learn to do it effectively and you’ll crush even the toughest of games. It was a tougher than average Tuesday afternoon $40-80 limit hold’em game at the Bellagio. The field folded to Tristan, a talented pro, who opened with a button raise on my big blind. The small blind folded and I peered down to the 9 9. I play this situation differently depending on my opponent and texture. Sometimes I flat call, knowing that my hand is highly likely to be stronger than the raiser’s. I make this play both as a trapping and deceptive strategy. Playing in this manner, I can often acquire greater value on later streets, particularly against aggressive opponents. If I three-bet, I’m giving an aware player information about the strength ...


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