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Poker Players, Courage, and No Limit Holdem

Today’s Texas Hold’em Strategy is about one of the most important intangibles a poker player can have in their no limit holdem toobox; fearlessness. By now we all know what beats what in Texas Hold’em and most have a basic level knowledge of poker strategy. It is the ability to call bets that often separates the amateur from the poker pro.

There are a lot of poker players out there who have managed to make playing games like no limit holdem their day job. The people who do this have a sort of reckless fearlessness that makes them formidable opponents at the poker table. Most people and even some poker pros (usually those who favor tournament play) get nervous with huge amounts of cash on the table and only an iffy hand to call a big raise with. For example, a late position player has a pre-flop pair of Aces, they bet big but two players remain in the hand to see the flop. The cards that hit the table are a Qh-Kd-5d. One of the early players opens with a sizeable raise. There are a lot of things that are in play here. The player making the raise could be four cards into straight or a flush. The fact that they couldn’t be pushed out of the hand with pre-flop aggression means they could also be holding a pair of Queens or Kings. Of course they could also be bluffing, and using their early position to sell the lie. The player with Aces will often consider all their options. The player who cannot disconnect themselves from the money might his Aces. Considering how many things can go wrong, folding the Aces may be the prudent move. Poker isn’t always about prudence though, and risk does have its place. Many fearless players faced with this situation will either call the big bet, or raise to astronomical levels. They will lose occasionally in these situations, but the ability to call the big bet paired with good poker strategy will win more often than not.

Timid player, or players who have not put any real emotional distance between themselves and their bankroll can be pushed off a hand (even though they hold the best cards) by somebody willing to use his stack as a weapon and employ such tactics as the three barrel bluff.

Learn to be fearless, and be sure that courage is tempered with a sound approach to the game. If it is just courage for the sake of courage, you will be the bravest poker player living under a bridge.

That is the Texas Hold’em Strategy for today.