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Playing With Strangers

Apply a good set of general guiding principles

by Barry Tanenbaum |  Published: Sep 17, 2010


During the World Series of Poker, it sometimes feels like every poker player in the universe has descended on Las Vegas. Across the town, cash games are plentiful and action-packed. For both Las Vegas regulars and visitors, this creates the challenge of playing with multiple strangers. When playing what is likely to be a single session with players you have never seen before and may never see again, you rarely have time to really size up each individual’s game. You should still try, of course, but for the most part, you have to rely on overall impressions and general principles of good play. A hand that I played in a cash game during the 2010 WSOP offers an example of this approach. Preflop: Early in a $30-$60 limit hold’em game with eight people I have not seen before, I pick up black pocket eights on the button. An early-position player ...

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