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Studying Your Opponents

Relying on your observations

by Barry Tanenbaum |  Published: May 24, 2011


Just as nobody says, “I am going to the cardroom to fold,” no one says, “I am going to the cardroom to study.” There is a desire to play when you get to the cardroom, and an almost equal disposition not to care about what happens when you’re not playing, other than to wish you were. The times that you’re not in a hand are almost as important as the times that you are. This is when you should be watching your opponents play, and trying to decipher what they are doing and why, and how they might behave when you finally are in a hand against them. Recently, I played a couple of hands at Bellagio in a $40-$80 limit hold’em game that relied heavily on my opinions and observations of the players involved. The decisions I made were controversial, but they are interesting enough to share. Hand No. ...

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