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16/12/2007 No. 55
he Guardian G2 Poker Column
Victoria Coren
Sunday Dec 16, 2007

We've been talking lately about how to induce mistakes in your opponents. But what you should always do, at the same time, is look for the mistakes that players make already, and simply exploit them. It's a case of spotting patterns.

For example, a mistake I make in cash games is to see too many flops. I used to win more money when I played tighter before the flop, but now I get bored easily and don't want to be left out. That's a sign of my cash game style being damaged by "exciting" tournament action. Don't get me wrong: I'll be finishing the year in profit on the cash games (barring some kind of disaster in the next few days), but not as much as I should. Why? Because I have bled off money by seeing the flop with pretty much any two cards, then passing more often than I hit the flop or can be bothered to bluff.

If you're up against a player like me, who calls before the flop and then passes more often than not, you should make your pre-flop raises bigger. Simple as that. Get the money while you can! Thanks to this strategy, my old nemesis Freddie will be buying his wife a nice Christmas present with my money.

But if your opponents keep calling throughout the streets, make your pre-flop raises smaller. Against a real "calling station", there's no hurry to get the money in. You can't bluff them anyway, so build the pots gently until your hand is good, then raise the price.

In summary: look out for whether opponents fold most frequently on the flop, turn, river or never, and price your bets accordingly. If they turn out to fold most frequently before the flop, they're no value and you should look for a better game.

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