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MBee's House of Waffle

/Nov/2010

The Power of Position

By: wwwMBeecouk @ 12:42 (EST) / 519 / Comment ( 1 )
Poker table  and position
 
Whether we like it or not we all have our position. In fact we all have multiple positions at any one time or instant. We have a position:
  • behind the wheel of our vehicle (that never changes, unless one is hurtling through the windscreen of course),
  •  at work (I appreciate that not everyone works; but we can’t all be poker pros – well not just yet anyway)
  • in a shopping queue (have you ever noticed the peculiarity that no matter how long or short the queue is we ALWAYS start at the back of it!! One of life's mysteries I suppose)
  • at the dining table
  • standing but 2 inches further away could mean the difference between a close shave and being the star of your own funeral.
Life is like that. Position counts and I am sure you can come up with many more instances.

Numbers have position and we all strive for position No1. Let’s look at one particular number - 69. Notice how the two numbers together are almost circular? They can even represent the Chinese symbol of Yin Yang - perfect balance and harmony.

Now let’s look at Position at the Poker Table and translate some of the above for use in poker.

I will be specifically noting a 9 seat table.
 
The positions starting from the first to act after the flop and moving in a clockwise direction:
·         Seat 1 – Small Blind (SB) (like it or not, half of the Big Blind bet has been invested in the pot before the cards are dealt)
  • Seat 2 – Big Blind
  • Seat 3 – Under the Gun (UTG) (Early position)
  • Seat 4 – UTG+1 (Early position)
  • Seat 5 – UTG+2 (Mid position)
  • Seat 6 – Mid position
  • Seat 7 – Late position
  • Seat 8 – Cut off  - also known as the hijack position (Late position)
  • Seat 9 – Button (‘Dealer’ and LAST to act from the flop onward).
 
 
Where one is positioned in the current hand is important.
 
If you have a weak set of hole cards would you prefer to make your decisions at seat 6 or seat 9? (hmmm the answer is actually Seat 9. Why? Because in seat 9, apart from pre-flop play, everyone has to act BEFORE you. You therefore have the most information on betting and potentially ‘reading’ some of the other players at that particular stage of the hand before you have to make your decisions. From this position you can see how many of the gladiators fold and how many decide to continue and what bets are made.

Everyone else has to be aware of YOU and what YOU might do. All of the others will have to make their decisions depending on factors like your table image, stack and their own cards and stack. So playing in the Button position is a pretty powerful seat to occupy. Because of this you are also able to play a wider range of hands than in any other position. You have fewer decisions to make in this position: and we males like it when there are fewer decisions to make.
 
At the other end of the table as it were, is the SB. If you are in the SB, you are the first to act once the flop is dealt: everyone plays after you and therefore you need to be playing a STRONG hand (or know your opponents and the types of hands they play in comparison to what you are holding) so that you do not have to worry so much if someone else raises or even goes all in. Do you really want to play say a 10 & J off-suit (two different suits) here? Newbies, Nutters, Donks, Maniacs, Shove Monkeys and Loose Aggressive types often do: but should YOU? (Undoubtedly there are times when the answer is yes; but that is beyond the scope of this article.) With, say, AA and a ‘dry board’ you will WANT people to put chips in the pot; with 10 J off-suit the last thing you want to see is others loading chips into the pot like they were going out of fashion – even a pair of the lowly 2s will beat you!
 
So position is important. Use it wisely.
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