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Old 01-05-07, 02:35 AM
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Aggression versus profit

for about the last month, I’ve been playing much more aggressively in both ring and SNG games with good results.

"aggression" meaning, if I’m going to play a hand, I generally:

- raise preflop 3 - 6 X BB (depending on position, table, players, etc)
- if I miss the flop, hit 2nd or low pair, or have a str/flush draw, AND I’m first in or it's checked around to me, I bet the pot
- rarely limp in, or check the flop

the result has been:

- finding myself with more chips in an SNG when it gets down to 3 or 4 (even with bad cards - e.g. % flops seen < 10%)
- not having a showdown in an SNG until it's down to 3 or 4 (the showdown that knocked me out FTR II in 4th place was the only showdown I saw)
- winning many more hands on the flop and turn
- generally, if it's the kind of flop that looks "missed" by most people that would call my preflop raise, betting first on the flop gets me the pot probably 5 out of 7 times. if they do bet, it's usually a call, and a little more aggression on the turn will frequently fold them
- I’m getting outdrawn a lot less
- putting people on the defensive right away, which can get me a free turn or river card to improve my hand

overall, I’ve been very happy with the results. I’m winning in ring games, which is definitely an improvement.

so my question: in the "one long session" of poker that I play, am I decreasing my overall profits by being aggressive and not letting more hands go to showdown?

now obviously, if I flop a monster, I slow it down a bit to build the pot. but if I’m working with top pair/strong kicker, and I see a draw on the board, I work hard to shut the hand down before I get outdrawn.

Old 01-06-07, 08:08 AM
alexander_670 alexander_670 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 7
Aggression versus profit

Sounds like you've learned how to play winning poker.

So here's the rub. Most Hold'em hands miss the flop horribly, or catch a little something scary. By raising pre-flop you often get heads-up as the aggressor. Hence, you have the best chance of taking down an unloved pot. Use a good Calculator like Poker Pro 2006 to predict and analysis.
As a nice side effect, since you're raising and betting so much you don't have to slow play medium-strong positions like AA-JJ, bottom 2 or TPTK. Your aggression forces them to give you action. It's their problem to pick the right hand to play back at you with.

Now you've learned to be aggressive, the next step is to learn when and who not to be aggressive against. Otherwise, it's easy to throw chips at some guy that will happily call you down with bottom pair. Also, be very careful with the double pump pure bluff, particularly out of position.

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