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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

heads up...

This maybe a more advanced topic, but all poker players will encounter a heads up situation in their poker careers... It is one of my favourite encounters in the game. During house games I can't wait to be heads up, because I have spent so much time analyzing heads up strategy.
Unlike full tables heads up is an action based session, there's only a big blind and a small blind competing in every hand. So there is a duel hand after hand. This requires you to attack and defend every pot in a slightly more aggressive manner.

In my arsenal I convert my strategy to loose-aggressive, I will see a flop with pretty much any hand. The simplest explanation would be YOU CANT WAIT FOR PREMIUM HANDS. I have a few hands like 7.2 off suit that I avoid playing with completely. (I just feel this hand has no value at all)...
*so LOOSEning up my play means I will be playing more than just premium hands, using more suited connectors, suited cards and pretty much any royal card will work! The AGGRESSIVE part is where my post comes into play:
As you can't wait for the best hands your mission is to put your opponent into pressure decisions, by raising pre-flop it camouflages the strength or weakness of your hand. MAKE HIM THINK! Opening up your range of hand still requires a lot of discipline - it doesn't mean bluff stone cold no matter the cards. I believe a raise pre-flop and then depending on how the flop comes down, a CONTINUATION BET.
Play more Draws... If there's a straight or flush draw don't check it - bet into it. Be as aggressive yet safe as you can be.

*Just this afternoon I played a heads up match, dealt J6 hearts, board comes[7h Ks Jd].
-the betting on the flop was pretty passive, the turn [2h]. I now have a flush draw... My opponent trys 2 put me under serious pressure, but regardless I make the call. I hit the flush on the river... And maximise with an All in. My opponent had K7. But because he wasn't aggressive enough he got nailed. Slowly lol!

Not many people practice HEADS UP, but my advice would be to take advantage of the online facility. Get use to being aggressive and making the occasional CONVINCING bluff. Whether you have a hand, hit the flop or not if your going to bluff your opponent even if you sense weakness make sure your bets make sense, and be ready for whatever he throws back at you.

* In summary be aggressive but not reckless. If the board misses you completely and your opponent fires strong. DO NOT CHASE MIRACLES!!!

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