This month Harry shares his thoughts on playing in tournaments...
Be prepared to back your judgment and never be scared to take on anyone even the main well known faces of the game and in a similar vein be prepared to make those tough calls on the river. You may be wrong some of the time but you will be pleasantly surprised when you find that you have the winning hand on more numerous occasions than you think. All opponents are beatable and pay close attention to them as they will tell you with their betting when they have anything. A lot of information is there and you need to take your time to analyze it.
Also be prepared to take a stab from time to time at picking up a pot with nothing because if your opponents keep checking they are basically telling you take the pot away from them. In general if they don’t show strength they have no strength.
99% of players play a straightforward game where when they bet or raise they are strong, and when they are weak check or call. Very few have the ability to push large stacks of chips in when they have nothing and in general you should let them have it if they are capable of making such a play. Pushing chips into the pot is a powerful play and instills fear into opponents because hands such as over pairs to the board suddenly appear very fragile.
Play your own game and be confident in your abilities because we all make mistakes but if your opponent makes the bigger ones then you will end up with the chips. If they suck out on you then it’s just tough luck but you should rejoice that you have made someone stick their stack in with an inferior hand. Long term probability and mathematics dictates that you will get the money in the long run.
Every one has their own distinctive style of play and what is right for one person may be very wrong for another however one thing all successful players have in common is their ability to be selectively aggressive and play appropriately for each and every opponent at their table. The player that makes the best adjustments is the player that usually ends up on top of the heap.
You can do nothing about a bad beat so when you don’t get them you should make the most of the opportunities you do get. Don’t give yourself a bad beat by making big mistakes. Small ones can’t be helped but by their own definition they don’t cost you too much.
Charidimos (Harry) Demetriou
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