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Slow Playing Poker to Maximize Value

Slow Playing Poker to Maximize Value I had the opportunity to take part in one of the most prestigious poker events in the world - the World Series of Poker. When I was at the World Series of Poker in 2004, I was pleased to uncover that Binion's Horseshoe was taken over by new owners. Happy that this had finally happened, this was still not the most obvious change I had the opportunity to observe. The biggest surprise I was able to witness was the extent to which individuals have become obsessed with poker. This is especially true of American poker players. Nowadays, everyone seems to be obsessed with the game. In fact, the main event at Bellagio had an impressive buy in of twenty-five thousand dollars. Would you like to know how many individuals were able to buy into this game despite the hefty price tag? Three hundred and forty three people. That number is just astonishing, especially when it is compared to last year. Compared to the three or four tables running last year, we not were faced with a staggering twenty-three or twenty-four. I felt like I had died and gone to poker heaven. America, the World Series of Poker, the Discovery Channel and Chris Moneymaker all contributed to the new and improved poker environment I was now experiencing.

I did eventually, after some exciting experiences with an attractive young lady who attempted to give me some tips, find myself holding a pair a Kings. After raising three times the big blind, I was discouraged by the fact that everyone else was passing. Here I was sitting on an awesome hand and no one else wanted to go in with me. The fact is, that just because everyone else passed did not make it the end of the world. It's important to note that as a player, I wasn't losing with them. Sometimes even the most cunning of plans do not go off as planned. For example, in my game, I wanted to call, have someone else raise and then eventually go all in. My plan simply did not work out as I had intended it to. Everyone in the game decided to pass around the blinds.

When it comes to Limit Hold'em, players do not have much incentive or justification when it comes to slow playing big hands. This is especially true when the hands are part of a lower limit game or tournament. As a result, when holding a pair of kings my recommendation would be that the player raise at every possible opportunity. The biggest reason behind this decision is to make the pot in the middle as big as possible. In turn this means that the player would win as much as possible at the end of that hand. However, there is another good reason behind this decision that most players would not initially consider. Players are much better off playing against limited opponents such as one or two other individuals at the table rather than everyone at the table. Players who are not as skilled will probably call two bets. It is important for players to stick to their guns and not get cute in the middle of a hand. Sometimes post flop betting can be scary. If you and your opponent are both scared after the flop the pot that is won is often much smaller. In this case obviously it can contradict with what I am saying above. To clarify, most of the time it does not pay to be too clever. It is important when playing to use common sense in order to size up each situation and make the most educated decision.

See also:

An Introduction to Position

3 Card Poker Strategy