I gots Mail

also, the guy whose regular tourney I play in is hosting his annual heads up tournament next sunday. any advice for heads up play besides pressure, pressure, pressure?

I consider myself a good heads up player, maybe not as good as Gene D but for a while I was doing alright online HU.

Number 1, like all poker be flexible and number 2 like all poker use selective agression. Obvious huh, not very helpful either?

Per #1 flexibility: If you feel your opponent tighten up to match your style (which is tight correct?)--open it up.

If you feel outmatched be willing to take gambles and push with overcards preflop (or draws post-flop). If the player is better it is to your detriment to play a lot of hands with him. Keep getting your chips to the middle any time you feel 50% or better. You'll win a lot of pots from the guy if he's any good cause he'll bide his time, course he wakes up to a big pocket pair--you'll get snapped.

If you feel superior avoid the coin flips. See flops for cheap and gradually out play your opponent. Don't be willing to bluff off your chips with nothing. Inverse of the above. Play small ball and keep the pots small except when you are positve you are ahead.

Barry Greenstein is better than 99% of his opponents heads up. Heard he'll call just about any preflop bet (I'm guessing selective all-ins withstanding) to beat the guy on later streets.

Per #2: If the blind structure is slow--take your time. Playing every hand, you'll be surprised just how quickly an opponent will get impatient.

If you get a lead on a better player, slow down the agression that got you that lead. Start playing more premium hands and don't settle for coin-flips when you are up.

Other quick hitters...
-Second pair is best hand a lot of times. Third pair on a flop is good a lot too.
-Sometimes a guy will push a lot preflop, if so wait for a hand. If it doesn't come and you are pissing chips away, try and snap off a push bluff with A high or K high even. You'll be surprised given little resistance how wide a range these fools will start shoving with.

I'll put this on my blog and seek out advice from other better players...

www.gulfcoastpoker.net


Comments

Don't really agree with slowing down if u get a lead on a better player. If the guy is a better player it is all the more reason to get really aggressive b/c he will try to slow the tempo to give himself a chance and not have to gamble. Although you may not be looking to gamble just appearing to be willing to gamble by raising almost every hand (definitely every hand from the button) will usually cause him to become frustrated and give you complete control to play however you want to close out the game.
C.S. said…
We'll have to disagree here. If you got a big lead on a better player, I do think you should tighten up (if you've used large bet aggression to get there).

He's now in a spot he's going to have call somewhere along the line, so why not try and force that call to be against a narrower, better range of your hands. You have the luxury if the blinds aren't a factor.

Protect your lead a little bit and pick and choose the hands to close out the game. I'm certainly not, nor would ever advocate passivity, but if you got the guy 4,5 or 6 to 1 why let a better player back into the game the game by overplaying hands in situations he may be forced to call.

Any hand you play should be aggressive but you got time and hand selection on your side now.
Well if the aggression got me the chip lead then I couldn't see myself letting up b/c that play got my opponent on his heels in the first place. If the player is a better player like we've estb. here then once you turn down the aggression that would allow him to see some cheap flops and maybe gain the upper hand as for as applying pressure. If I'm down in chips to a person who is a solid player and I feel them go into a less aggressive mode of play then that gives me full reign to push a lot more to pick up small pots and hopefully chip up. Of course I'm hoping that I don't run into a monster but after all I'm not going to play scared b/c I have to do something to get chips.

Even if the blinds aren't a factor then I think your method plays into the hands of the better player. By tightening up you truly only accomplish one thing: Allowing the better player to play more hands no matter what. If he chooses to be passive then he gets more hands to pick a better spot for himself, after all there's a really really good chance you both won't catch good hands at the same time.

There is one thing that I think is extremely understated in heads up play and that's momentum. A lot is to be said for it while playing so many hands that would normally be folded in multiway action. The short stack picks up 5 out 7 pots and now your A,8 holding is looking more like a limp instead of a raise b/c the short stack has assumed the role of the raiser and now you're being reactive instead proactive and in heads up that can make things more difficult.

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