Casino Player December 2022




Kamikaze Style W hat would be the absolute worst strategy for a poker tournament?You might think it would be to go all-in on every hand. But actually the opposite tactic of folding every hand is an even bigger mistake.When you employ a kamikaze style with every hand, you at least have a chance of winning. But by folding, you have no chance of raking in the pot.Now it is true that normally you will survive longer than the crazy all-in fanatic by being conservative, but you will never make it into the money if you fold every hand.This is another example of why it is better to err on the side of aggression in poker. Bad Play T ypically there are two ways you bust out of a tournament—either from a bad beat or a bad play. If it was a bad beat, at least you can be encouraged by the fact that you got your money in as a favorite. But if it was a bad play that sent you home early, that is the best time to do some soul searching.Only those players who can honestly admit their mistakes will ever improve their games.Otherwise,we are caught in the trap of blaming others for our failures rather than taking the necessary steps to change our own play. Smaller is Better G igantic poker tournaments with their million dollar prize pools typically grab the headlines, but there are some excellent reasons to try smaller tournaments.One advantage is that with fewer players, there are more chances for a skilled pro to take advantage of his opponents, such as being aggressive on the money bubble. Another advantage is that you will reach the end stages of a tournament more often in smaller events, giving you valuable exposure to short handed and final table play.This experience can give you a big edge the next time you face players who rarely have reached those stages in bigger tournaments.


Z ach Elwood is the author of Reading Poker Tells and Exploiting Poker Tells . He also hosts the Reading Poker Tells Video Series and People Who Read People podcast. This month, he offers some tips regarding the time it takes a player to act and other timing issues that can give players some real insight into an opponent’s hand strength. Quick action is one of the most critical online poker tells.As with most

Poker Pro Zach Elwood

poker tells, it’s important to have some sense of a player’s baseline.For example, if a player is always betting immediately just due to being a very experienced player, their immediate actions won’t be meaningful. And this means that, as is the case for poker tells in general, most of the value you’ll get from these patterns is when playing more recreational players who are more likely to have timing imbalances. “One big thing is timing,”poker pro Bryan Rast

notes.“The amount of time a player takes in certain spots can be important. At the end of the hand, someone betting abnormally fast, whatever that means for the spot, I think for most players that’s more likely to be a bluff than a value bet. “This tell is probably more true for amateur

players than pro players.With amateur players, for the most part, they’re unwilling to go into the tank and then bluff. Because of the idea that, if you start thinking too long, you’re not confident about your hand.” For some quick and large bets, changes in the board texture can help in picking off a bluff.When the board changes dramatically and a bettor doesn’t seem to be thoughtful about that change, it can be a clue that he’s bluffing.

Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer and senior writer for Casino Player and Strictly Slots magazines. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions or email him at for story assignments.

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