Originally Posted by RI_ER_SA
u mean no coin flips early ?
If your opponent is better than you, take the coin flip. You want to get lucky, and you don't want him using his advantage on you over a long period of time.
If you have an advantage, you want as much opportunity as possible to exploit that advantage. Getting into coin flips robs you of using that advantage.
Keep in mind that in a $5.50 HU tournament if you win half your games you are losing money to the rake. So each time you're in a 50/50-for-your-tournament-life situation you are in the middle of a -EV hand.
Your 4/4 is 54.21% to beat A/K (which is 45.35% to win). And you're going to be on either side of that, and pocket pair will be up against a bigger pocket pair enough that it all comes down to the fact that it evens out and you'll be losing money to rake.
I guess what it comes down to is, if your all-in range is smaller than his all-in range and you both get all-in, you're going to be the winner most of the time. But if your range is too narrow, you'll get fold yourself to death. So it's finding that balance.
Early in the game you can fold A/K against a tight player because the blinds aren't worth the risk. But later in the game those blinds are significant and you will be blinded out quicker, so you need to stick your neck out more and be more aggressive to win/keep chips, because chips = power.
How do you see their tendencies and exploit them?
It's a matter of seeing what he does and when. It's fairly common to be up against people who always raise when they have a good hand, so if they don't raise I know I can probably chase them off a hand, especially if there's an Ace on the flop.
Or, if I start limping with weak hands because I found that I can chase him off post-flop, he might learn that I limp weak and start 3-betting me with his K/x hands. So I fold a few of those and then when I get A/A I limp and he bets into me and when I 4-bet he feels pot committed with his K/Ts or whatever.
It varies for different players, but it's basically getting a feel for how they play the game in various situations, understanding how they are probably viewing you, and then adapting to his game and making plays that you think he'll misinterpret to your advantage. It's all based on what you know of him, and what you think he knows about you.