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April 26th, 2010
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Poker Lesson: Tight-Aggressive Is Always Chic
Author: Stephan Kalhamer
If a poker player wants an edge, he must move with the times. Today, a style which was successful only a year ago can already be outdated; tomorrow, he could be the sucker.
However, in the poker world (as in the fashion world), there are timeless classics: the little black dress for a woman; the pinstripe suit on a man; tight/aggressive play at the table. Admittedly, this type of player is less likely to knock somebody’s socks off, but he is also far less likely to be knocked out of the tournament himself.
Dan Harrington described this style in his tremendous book, “ Harrington On Hold ’em” and, as a result, it quickly became the worldwide standard. Today’s truly smart tournament players, however, were soon tearing up the rule book and, as a result, modern poker has no dominant strategy. Loose/aggressive is currently in fashion and playing out of position has become the Holy Grail. But again and again the strategies turn back to what poker is all about: bet on a good hand and give up a bad or hard-to-rate one.
As soon as one reflects on it, by focusing his own bets solely on “value” instead of bluffing, a good player wins again and again with safe, tight/aggressive play. Why ever not?
Good players do not make plays simply because they want to or to show that they can. They make plays because they represent the optimal decisions. Poker is ultimately a contest of decision-making; he who consistently makes the best decisions, wins - all the same in which outfit he enters the party.
Riskers gamble, experts calculate.
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