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14/01/2012 PKR Taking the lead in heads-up cash

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Taking the lead in heads-up cash


Yo 'll need o pla o of po i ion a lo in head - p ca h, o i ' impo an o make ome ell- imed h ee-be B Ro Ja i on F ida 21 Ma 2010 10:00

Pa of he follo ing e ie : Head - p ma e cla 13Recommend

You re at a huge disadvantage playing out of position in heads-up cash games, but a simple tight-aggressive strategy can see you turn the heat back onto your opponents In head - p ca h game po i ion i o impo an ha almo all he p ofi o make ill come f om hand o pla on he b on. If o can b eak e en on he hand o pla o of po i ion o ill be a big inne . Wi h onl o pla e , o a e fo ced o pla a m ch eake ange of hand head - p han in a i -ma o f ll- ing ca h game. A hand eng h goe
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14/01/2012 PKR Taking the lead in heads-up cash

down, the importance of position goes up. So, while it s great to have the button heads-up, the reality is that you will be dealt 50% of your hands from the worst position at the table, and too many players make elementary mistakes from this spot that cost them lots of money. So, let s look at some of the best ways to combat your positional disadvantage both preflop and postflop.

Preflop pla
A competent heads-up opponent is going to be raising 80-90% of their hands on the button. While it s tempting to call and see a flop with a lot of hands, the harsh reality is that you should really just be folding much of the time from the big blind. Calling too often preflop is the chief reason why players lose so much money from the big blind. You want to adopt a tight but very aggressive strategy. Hands that are good to call and see a flop with are the likes of K-T, K-J, A-9 and A-T. While these are strong hands and merit a three-bet on hand strength alone, it is actually better just to call as you will keep your opponent s dominated Ace and King-high hands in the pot. That way if the flop comes Ace-high you may well be able to win a large pot, whereas if you reraise preflop with A-9 your opponent will most likely just fold smaller Aces such as A-3 and only call with the Aces that dominate you. Generally, if you are going to play a hand out of position it s better to think about three-betting because aggression really pays dividends heads-up. Three-betting puts you in a great spot to either win the pot preflop or take it down on many flops with an inflated continuation bet. Remember that all of this advice assumes that you are maintaining a balanced range of hands to threebet with, both for value and as semi-bluffs. Obviously, you need to have a very good reason not to three-bet all of your big pairs. With these hands you simply want to get as much money in the pot as possible and, against all but the tightest of opponents, getting it all-in preflop with T-T+ is going to show a positive expectation. Other hands that you want to be three-betting are A-K, A-Q and, depending on how loose and aggressive the game is playing, some weaker hands like K-Q suited and medium pairs. It s important to mix it up so that your three-betting range is not always heavily weighted towards premium hands. If you call with 50% and three-bet the other 50% of your suited connectors and suited one-gappers, it will quickly let your opponent know that your reraises could mean a wide range of hands, making you far more difficult to play against. The other advantage of these hands is that they play very well postflop if you do get called.
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14/01/2012 PKR Taking the lead in heads-up cash

If you can maintain this aggressive, unpredictable style, most opponents will be forced onto the back foot. They will become much more wary of raising and will be often be left guessing where they are in the hand, allowing you to take the initiative. Don t get carried away though. There s no point three-betting complete trash hands like J-5 or 7-3, as these are just complete bluffs and are almost never going to flop well if called.

Postflop pla
On the flop you have two options to lead out or to check. Often you are going to be checking to the preflop raiser, both when you hit the flop and when you don t. Let s say you have K-T and the flop is K-2-5 rainbow. You check, your opponent bets and now it s up to you. While you have a strong hand there s actually little reason to raise here on such a dry board, as you ll rarely get called by worse (unless you believe your opponent will make a big bluff). Just calling and giving your opponent a chance to bluff the turn/river is the best line to take. On the other hand, let s say it s the same flop but this time you hold 8-9 suited. Here, a check-raise is the best line. Your opponent is only really going to be able to continue in the hand with a King or a set, both of which are a tiny part of his range. Leading out is less widely used in heads-up play, but there are specific boards where it works really well, such as when you flop a straight or flush draw. If you check the flop and your opponent checks behind, you lose a ton of equity in the hand if your draw doesn t come in on the turn, so leading out and winning the pot there and then is often the best line. Playing a solid game postflop out of position comes with experience, but recognising simple spots to bluff-check-raise and less obvious ways to squeeze out value will be a great start. The real key to being solid heads-up from the big blind though is having great preflop fundamentals. A measured and aggressive game plan like the one described above will help alleviate some of the disadvantages of playing out of position. 13Recommend Share

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14/01/2012 PKR Taking the lead in heads-up cash

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14/01/2012 PKR Taking the lead in heads-up cash

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