Betting out of position - Gus Hansen

Bombjack

Bombjack

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This is the latest Full Tilt article received on email. Will have to try this a bit more. Useful insight in how to be a good LAG player.

Betting out of position - by Gus Hansen

Every Hold 'em strategy guide talks about the importance of positional advantage. The standard thinking is that the player who acts last has more information than his opponents, so he'll have a better sense of where he stands in a hand and can, therefore, make better decisions. There's no doubt that this is true, but it's important to understand that the power that comes with position is often granted to the late-position player by the early-position player.

To see what I mean, consider a pretty typical No-Limit hold 'em hand. Say that I'm in the big blind with 7s-8s - a nice, flop-worthy hand. The player on the button raises to three times the big blind and I decide to call. Many players would check the flop under almost any circumstances. But, by checking, you give control to the late-position player. He can bet whether or not he has a hand, putting you in a tough spot if you don't get a piece of the flop.

In a hand like this, I believe it's best to look at the flop and ask, "Is it likely that these cards helped my opponent?" Once I have an answer to that question, I can decide how to proceed.

If the flop is Ah-Kd-9c, I'd probably just check and fold to a bet, as my opponent was likely raising with big cards and caught a piece of the flop. However, if the flop is 9c-5h-2d, I'd probably be more skeptical. I know that in Hold 'em, two unpaired hole cards will fail to make a pair on the flop about 66 percent of the time, and this seems to be a flop that the pre-flop raiser might have missed.

If I suspect my opponent didn't connect, I'm going to take the initiative and bet out about half the size of the pot. Betting here with my gutshot draw offers several advantages. First, I might take the pot down right here, and I'm always happy when a semi-bluff forces a fold. But even if I get a call from my opponent, I've forced him to react. That gives me a chance to pick up a read. If my opponent seems uneasy, I might continue with my semi-bluff on the turn and try again to pick up the pot. Or, if I feel my opponent is strong, I can check and fold to any bet on the turn if I fail to make my hand.

Stabbing at pots when out of position can be very lucrative. In tournaments, I'll open-raise out of position fairly frequently because I think there's a lot of power in being the first one to fire at the pot on the flop. I pick up a lot of small pots that way.

As you work on your Hold 'em game, remember that you don't have to give the advantage in the hand to the player in late position. Look for opportunities to bet out and seize the initiative.

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ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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I love these pro tips emails. I was actually going to link this one - kudos for doin it :)
 
talkpkr2me

talkpkr2me

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I get these emails too...This is something to think about..Its drilled into our heads about betting out of position etc...this takes a different look at it..Although I might "practice" this on a lower limit table than I usually play...Might be harder to do though since on low limit tables there are nearly 4-6 or 7-10 to the river...Nice article he wrote.Food for thought.
 
Marklar

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I do that sometimes since people in position get a good read on their opponents I will bet in early position as I think it's a great way to bluff, probably the best way to bluff. If you get called or raised then you simply have to stop unless you catch something good. I prefer to be in position with drawing hands.

For instance you have the 10 8 of hearts, I will always see a flop with that hand unless there's some heavy raising ahead of me. And I flop an open ended straight draw and flush draw, I'm not leaving anytime soon. Say my opponent flops a set or two pair and is betting hard. I really really want to make my straight. If I make my flush I dont get paid off. But if I make my straight I can go all-in and my opponent will likely call because he has a good hand and he thinks I am selling a busted draw.
 
Bombjack

Bombjack

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I wonder if Gus only does it when he has ours like a gutshot straight?
 
joosebuck

joosebuck

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bluffs are really convincing from early position when betting into the preflop raisor. i bet all lonely looking flops. this is something daniel negraneau does a lot, too.
 
Arjonius

Arjonius

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One thing to keep in mind is that the kind of major tournaments Gus plays tend to have larger starting stacks than the online ones most online players are used to. Having more chips allows for more play. In particular it helps those who like to play a lot of relatively small pots.
 
G

Guin36

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This article by Gus shows why he is so tough to play against. He knows that by checking he is most likely going to face a cbet so instead he leads out and puts the pressure on the other guy. Combine that with the hands he is willing to play and it becomes tougher to call with A high.

Always probing for information seems to work well for him. This move is sort of a mini stop and go but with more chips behind is tough to call.
 
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