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/Sep/26

Positioning yourself

By: baud2death @ 08:58 (EDT) / 85 / Comment ( 0 )

Position is important. We all know this however today I had to remind myself why because today I got stuck on the wrong end of a bad result and the error was down to having poor position and misreading where I was in the hand.

I often like to think of Poker as a race. You are either neck and neck with close hands (top pair vs middle pair or Ace + Ace King vs Ace + Ace Queen) or we are far behind and judging this enables us to make the right decision. It is far easier to make this judgement if you have the right position.

Take this cash game hand where I got quite a bad result.

I had , few limps, I raise and get one caller.

Flop comes , I am out of position and I continue with a raise of 66% the pot and get called. At this point I put my opp on any connected pair, judging the turn to see where I am.

Turn comes , continue with a pot bet, get called again. I feel I am ahead in this race since anything strong likely raises me here however the call is suspect a little. What could he think he is beating me with? Still putting on a pair but to call that bet I think top pair, AT perhaps

River comes , SPR for me now is almost 1:1 so I shove and he calls

Opp has and he turned the nut straight. Tough hand right?

So now, lets look at the same hand if I had position from the flop

Flop comes again, opponent only has a gutshot here so would likely check, I then put my c-bet in and again would still likely call

Turn comes , before I gave the opponent a pot sized bet and he was happy with it but at this point the opponent doesn't have that luxury. It is upto him and since I didn't see a bet/raise from him, i'd be surprised to see a check-raise, so it's either a check-call or a bet. Does he bet here? Not knowing if I will bet or not? The 8s isn't scary so he could well expect I continue my aggression.. either way following what he does here is useful information. This is information we wouldn't have had out of position

River then makes an which now presents him with a chance I don't bet. If I had a pair, does the Ace scare me off? Is he sure I will bet into the Ace as he no longer has any more streets to improve his value and with the nuts, not betting here is difficult.

If he does bet however he tips his hand. He was perhaps playing a check-call game up until now but if he suddenly comes out and bets he is either representing Aces (which could hurt me if I think he caught) or he was trapping with a monster hand. Either way it gives me a big chance to get away from my hand.

And what do I do if he bets? Can I believe the Ace here - perhaps, perhaps not but again this information I get which was hidden from me out of position.


Chances are, up until the turn I am putting him on a pair, the Ace doesn't really change much for me because the only hand he suddenly wakes up with there is AT, everything else comes across as either a bluff, or getting value on a better hand.

I would like to think I have the sense to get away from the hand there, if I do or I don't, again it is making a judgement using the information.

And what if he does check - am I strong enough to check?

You can't judge anything without evidence.


In that spot again, without position, earlier in the hand I need to realize that the opponent is happy to play a big pot. Something that I can't really judge from the flop call but definetely can judge from the turn call. If he is happy to play a big pot, is he doing that with just top pair?

Such a harder decision to make, in the moment and without any good information.


I still don't want to believe I am always beat there, thats too nitty but without position, perhaps I don't want to be playing for such a big pot?

So, when out of position, even with a massive hand, be wary that without the information you need to know if you are still ahead, use caution.

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