Poker Agression. Managing Agression For Real Money Poker
Without doubt, being an aggressive player can be one of the most profitable ways to make money as a poker player. Throughout this article we will look at poker aggression examples, using aggression in position, building an aggressive image, gaining value from our aggression, before looking at some key points.
Poker Aggression Example
So you find yourself in a hand holding Ac Kd on a Ks Th 7h flop. Obviously we have a pretty strong hand in the form of top pair top kicker, however the board is less than desirable as not only does it have two straight draws, but also a flush draw.
It’s important that early in the hand we take an aggressive line, mainly for two reasons:
1. As the board is so draw heavy there is a good chance that we could get all of our money in versus a draw. Now as we hold top pair top kicker, if the money does go in, no matter how strong our opponents draw, we will be a minimum of a 50% favourite to win the hand.
2. If our opponent decides to play their drawing hand slightly differently and attempt to get a cheap turn card, then we can charge them the maximum to do so, again betting when we have the best hand.
Now conversely, if we were in a flip situation to the one above and it was us who were holding the draw, raising would still be a very viable option. Being aggressive with our draws means we give ourselves more opportunities to take down the pot by either getting them to fold (thus increasing our fold equity) or putting them under pressure whilst we still hold equity with our hand.
Using Aggression in Position
As with a lot of aspects of poker, position is king, and being aggressive in position is no different.
By acting last in position we can look to exploit our opponent’s weak plays by merely bullying them off marginal hands. We know that we will be in position throughout the hand meaning that if for whatever reason we happen to walk into a strong hand then we can get away cheaply and easily. It will also give us more opportunities to asses our opponents hand and adjust accordingly.
The higher limits you play the more aggression will play a part in the games. A good tip is go and watch some of the higher stakes games online and look at how some of the best players in the world will up their aggression when they are in position. The reason behind this is they know that being aggressive in position will give them more opportunities to win the hand and put considerable pressure on their opponents.
Building an Aggressive Image
Having an aggressive table image can be a great way to get your opponents to give you free cards and ultimately live in fear of you re-raising them with minimal holdings.
More often than not a mediocre player will often just check lesser hands due to fact you have been so active and aggressive at the table, resulting in us getting to see cheap turn or river cards with any drawing hands we might hold.
Weak players will repeatedly fail to adjust to an aggressive player and look to only get value with their higher value hands in the hope that their opponent will play back at them to get paid.
It’s imperative to spot these players quickly at a table and adjust accordingly with another key note to point being that sometimes players just have a hand and we can’t always get them to fold.
Gaining Value from Poker Aggression
After developing our aggressive table image there comes a time to settle down (just a little) and look to get paid off with our premium hands.
Over time players will get sick of you constantly 3betting or re-raising flops and just say ‘enough is enough’ before going all in with a mediocre hand. We need to spot when a player is starting (or about) to make these plays and look to take advantage of this.
With an aggressive image you must play your weaker hands with aggression alongside your premium hands to create a balance. It’s important due to the fact that you will get played back at eventually so having a strong hand when you’ve made another aggressive play will bode well.
• Aggression is much, much better than being passive
• Be aggressive with both our strong and marginal hands
• Look to target weak players that fail to adjust to our aggression
• Establish an aggressive table image before looking to take advantage of this by getting paid off with our premium hands
• Don’t overkill how aggressive we are. By poker aggression we don’t mean simply raise every hand and every pot as this will not be a positive expectation strategy
• Try and be aggressive with hands that will have some equity
• Don’t spew!!