Poker Tools: Position, Chips & Cards

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Just what are your three main basic poker weapons around a poker table? Some may argue that it is your skill and with that I would have to agree. But what happens when your opponents are equally skilled or more so? Some people may argue that it is your discipline and mindset but once again, what if you are sitting with players who have these qualities in spades?

In many instances having good temperament and skill may get you an edge but in other instances it wont. But in poker, if you can take advantage of your three basic weapons and optimise them then you have a great chance.

1. POSITION

It never ceases to amaze me just how many people ignore the importance of position and certainly in cash games. If world class players cannot ignore positional difficulties then what chances have you got? Good position isn’t just something that is desirable, it is essential. So what if your opponents always see you raising from the steal seats or three betting apparent stealers.

You will always have your position as a weapon. Put yourself into your opponents shoes, you raise from the button. They suspect that you are raising with junk but they have junk too. If they re-raise and you call then they are in trouble as they have to make the first move after the flop and are doing so blindly.

Your position can induce fear and allow you to win pots in all kinds of different ways. So use it when you have it and respect the fact when you don’t.

2. CHIPS

Your chips are a weapon, but depending on your level of skill they can also be a handicap as well. This is why many players would argue that skill should be classed as a primary weapon. But yet it cannot be a basic weapon if skill is difficult to acquire. Position is something that all players have irrespective of skill level and chips also fit that category.

If you want to exploit mistakes from weak novice players then you need chips to do it and that means buying in for the biggest stack that you can.

3. CARDS

This may seem obvious but it still amazes me how so many players seem to think that they can take any old piece of cheese and use it to outplay someone. If your opponent has a hand then they are not going to lay it down and this accounts for if they are strong or weak in many cases. They could also have a hand that could hit the flop like AK. Your opponent raises with AK and you re-raise with 7-4 trying to be cute, the flop comes K-7-2, now look at the trouble that you are in. Respect your position, use your chips and don’t expand your range too wide, it’s as simple as that.

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