Harrington on Hold'em Vol. 1 discussion: Part 2

ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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Playing Styles and Starting Requirements

Introduction
: What is the key sentence in this section?

Conservative style: What makes a conservative player? How do these characteristics and aspects of his/her game affect his/her play in poker? What kind of player would this style suit best?

Aggressive style: What makes an aggressive player? There are positives and negatives involved in a more aggressive style - what are they? What kind of player would this style suit best?

Super-aggressive style: What makes a super-aggressive (s/a) player? How is it that an s/a player wins his pots?

The art of defence: What are the two techniques mentioned for defending versus an aggressive player? How do they work?

Showing hands: Under what circumstances, and for what purpose does the book suggest you show your hands?

Managing the tournament: What is the ideal style for tournaments?

The tournaments types: What are the five main types of tournaments mentioned? What are the main aspects of these tourneys that should affect your general style of play in each?

I'm just asking the questions about the parts I found to be most important; obviously if there's anything you thought I missed or that I didn't emphasize, then feel free to mention it and let us know what you thought about it.

NOTE: Please do not quote the book. This thread is to help broaden the understanding of the book, not rip off the copyright of it. Feel free to discuss, but try doing so without infringing on Dan Harrington's, Bill Robertie's or 2+2 publishing's intellectual property rights. Thank you.
 
Beriac

Beriac

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ChuckTs said:
Introduction: What is the key sentence in this section?

Well, without quoting anything, I'd say when he refers to poker as a game of misdirection. Increasingly I am understanding this concept, that changing gears is basically the key to playing high level NLHE.

ChuckTs said:
Conservative style: What makes a conservative player? How do these characteristics and aspects of his/her game affect his/her play in poker? What kind of player would this style suit best?

Play less hands but make your life easier by seeing the flop with higher quality cards. Fittingly, the conservative style is good for conservative people.

ChuckTs said:
Aggressive style: What makes an aggressive player? There are positives and negatives involved in a more aggressive style - what are they? What kind of player would this style suit best?

The reverse of the above, play lots of hands and bet aggressively. Positives are stealing and concealing your strong hands, negatives are difficult post-flop decisions and more volatile swings.

ChuckTs said:
Super-aggressive style: What makes a super-aggressive (s/a) player? How is it that an s/a player wins his pots?

Any 2 cards! They can win by inducing a fold pre-flop, inducing a fold with a bluff post-flop, or winning with the best hand.

ChuckTs said:
The art of defence: What are the two techniques mentioned for defending versus an aggressive player? How do they work?

You can use the Hammer (come over the top with a big raise versus a s/a player) or the Rope-a-Dope (just call with really strong hands, let the s/a player get himself into trouble).

ChuckTs said:
Showing hands: Under what circumstances, and for what purpose does the book suggest you show your hands?

Basically for misdirection, if you're a conservative player and you want to show a bluff to get action or an aggressive player and you want to show your good cards to earn respect for your raises. But, don't do it without good reason. Personally, I never show online. Offline, I will show occasionally, and often switch gears when I do.

ChuckTs said:
Managing the tournament: What is the ideal style for tournaments?

Balanced strategy -- neither totally conservative nor totally aggressive, lest your opponents peg you for what you're playing and take advantage.

ChuckTs said:
The tournaments types: What are the five main types of tournaments mentioned? What are the main aspects of these tourneys that should affect your general style of play in each?

- Major live events: Basically people are paying big bucks, so the action will be slower and more conservative to start.
- Small stakes online: Lots of people seeing the flop, not very much sophistication -- don't bluff!
- High stakes online: Similar to "Major live events".
- Single table SNG: Basically consensus strategy here: play only with really strong hands early, start to steal when the blinds go up and a few people are out.
- Live single table satellites: Like the SNG but everyone's fighting for 1st place and tells come into play again.

Great chapter, nice (series of) post(s) Chuck.
 
t1riel

t1riel

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Whoa Chuck! You're breezing right along!

Introduction: Basically, what I get from this is mixed up your play because the moves you make that you don't normally do will add up to big rewards, like a bigger chip stack.

Conservative style: I know a lot about this style since this probably fits me to a T. I usually only play good to excellent hands unless certain situations present themselves to play marginal hands. Like Harrington points out, I can be bluffed very easily. I usually don't like to make moves unless I have a decent hand. This is probably the reason I'm almost always the shortstack in the later stages of a tournament.

Aggressive style: There are aspects of this style that I should work into my game play. I thnk this style is the way to go. You bluff to steal pots and blinds and bet large on any piece of the flop or a drawing hand. Like Harrington pointed out, you'll have to make those idfficult decisions more often than a conservative player. Knowing the right decision is the key to being a great poker player.

Super-aggressive style: I think this is the worst style of the three. I know a player that plays like this. Raises and plays with any two cards. It's effective to an extent. Players that play like this usually wins small pots but can be gone in a matter of minutes. You can spot of these players quickly. You need a premium hand to cripple the chipstack of a super aggressive player. Watch out! They could have the nut hand because they play any two cards at anytime. You have to be really good at reading players to be successful with this style.

The art of defense: As Harrington pointed out, putting on a defense against a conservative player is difficult, almost impossible. That's probabyl one of the reasons I play conservatively. I think the only defense against a conservatively player is having a better hand than he/she does or bluff them out of the pot.

Two methods of defense:

"The Hammer" is basically re-raising a super aggresive player's raise. This is something I need to work on. I don't like to re-raise unless I'm holding KK or AA. The theory is super aggressive players don't want to invest a lot of chips on a marginal hand, especially if one of the players probably has a great hand. I don't think this is ENTIRELY true. I guess it depends how much you reraise. I think they want to call to see the flop. I know alot of players that do this. Usually superagggressive players have a big chipstack so calling the reraise is a great possibility. Besides, they want to represent a strong hand because they do get them after all.

"The Rope-a-Dope" is basically calling the super aggressive player's bets or raises. Then, raise on the river. It think I'm more apt to do this. If I have top pair, chances are I'm ahead. If my hand improves or I think I have him/her beat, raising on the river is what I'd probably do. This is a risky move because you're allowing the super aggressive player to chaisng straights, flushes, or catch a lucky two pair. In my opinion, the best thing to do is raise when you see a possible straight or flush. I would raise big because super aggressive players LOVE to chase straights or flushes.

Showing hands: Showing hands is merely a ploy to set the other players up for a downfall later. It's pretty simple. If you show them your monster hand, the players are going to think you are a tight, conserative player. With future hands, you can get make bluffs more easily because of the table image you established. If you show them a bluff, they are going to think you are a loose, aggressive player. With future hands, you're monster hands are going to rake a lot of chips.

Managing the tournament: To put it simply, play conservative for the early stages and observe the action on the table. Mix up your playing styles from conservative to aggressive. The style you should use should be the opposite of what the majority of the players at your table are using. If they are a lot of folds and limpers, play aggressive. If they are a lot of raises and reraises, play conservatively.
 
medeiros13

medeiros13

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Showing Hands: It's been awhile since I've read Vol 1 but I thought Harrington never shows his cards. The idea is to keep your opponent off balance by never allowing them to know if you bluffed them or had a real hand. Let your play be a mystery to them. That is how I read this and basically my philosophy on this.

Managing the tournament: There were two major suggestions that I recall. The first is to play a style opposite of the table. So if the table is loose, be TAG and vice versa. As you get closer to the money, it is suggested that you become more aggressive because most people become TAG until they hit the money. This bit of advice has helped me emmensely in my SnG's in particular.

One question to everyone because I'm posting this at work and (obviously) don't have the book in front of me. Is this the section where Dan begins to discuss table image or is that the next one? If this is it, let me know because that was a real eye opening portion of the book for me and I'd like to discuss.
 
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