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Introduction to the Free-Showdown Play

Its strengths and weaknesses

by Ed Miller |  Published: Jun 11, 2009


Having position bestows an enormous advantage upon you. But to make the most of the advantage, you have to employ what I call tactics of ambiguous aggression. You make plenty of bets and raises in position. Sometimes those bets and raises imply a strong hand, and they signify more bets and raises to come. Other times, those bets and raises are bluffs or semibluffs. And still other times, the bets and raises represent posturing from a fundamentally weak hand. The free-showdown play is a terrific tool that falls into the third category; it’s mostly positional posturing. Here’s how it works: You are heads up, in position, on the turn. Your opponent bets. You raise, intending that money to be the last that you put in the pot. If your opponent reraises, you’ll fold. If he calls and checks, you’ll check behind. If he calls and bets the river, you intend ...

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