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Friday, December 15, 2017
Article written by Marty Smith

When to Ignore Your Poker Calculator

Your online poker calculator is probably the best internet friend you could ever have, but as with most friends, sometimes you have to use your own better judgment. You see, the magic of using an online poker calculator keeps you in check more often than you can keep track of, but there are certain situations where your poker calculator MUST be vetoed. Yes, I wrote MUST! The main scenarios where this occurs are playing against a maniac, playing in late position, playing short stack in a tournament, and avoiding being categorized by other players.

We all know playing against a maniac can be frustrating but invigorating as well. This is one of those situations where my instincts guide me more than my poker calculator software, especially if you are seated near the maniac and you know you’re going to be heads up. Check the hand list below for hands that you can add to your tight-aggressive play. Holding most of these hands your poker calculator is going to be telling you to fold. Your strategy here should be to re-raise the maniac and get him heads up. Call down if you have to but let him know you won’t play dead, which is what your software will be suggesting.

A similar situation and hand selection occurs in late position, but especially when you know your opponents in the button/blind play are tight. Your poker calculator won’t take your position into account, so you have to override and use selected aggression here. Consider this aggression as an investment as well, because a tight player is eventually going to jump back at you. In that case, be prepared to coolly fold until you are holding some dynamite. I often use this strategy knowing that I am actually “training” my opponent to give me his whole stack!

I can practically turn my poker calculator off when I find myself in a tournament short-stacked. You are just not going to get pot odds when you need it, but you can’t wait until becoming so short that 3 other players will find it easy to call you. You need to get heads up, hoping to double up. And that means NOT waiting for your software to tell you to do so. Check that hand selection list and go for it!

Most players who use online poker calculators are naturally tight strategists. We all fit into the tight aggressive matrix rather snuggly. It’s simply part of our make-up – which is why, fundamentally we sought out the use of an odds calculator to begin with. However, being from that cozy, profitable matrix doesn’t mean you have to let everyone know it! In saying that, you basically need to get busted once in awhile with those marginal hands. The table has to know you can play J,10os or raise with 97suited, and call a raise with K10os. This way, anyone paying attention will denote you as unpredictable. This will help you gain control over them by encouraging them to play straight up against you. Remember THIS if anything, unpredictability = poker profits and poker calculators are NOT unpredictable.

Here is a selection of hands that I play occasionally and aggressively in situations described above to help disguise my truly tight image, battle maniacs, win tournaments and steal blinds. These are the hands your online poker odds calculator is going to be saying FOLD or CHECK. So be warned this may take a little practice at first, but will eventually lead to bigger pots when you win.

Hands you can ADD to your tight aggressive play;

Ace with a 10 or J or suited 9.

King with a 9, 10, J, Q

Queen with a J, 10, 9 or suited 8

Jack with 10, 9, 8 or suited 7

10 with 9 or suited 8

9 with 8 or suited 7

8 with 7 or suited 6

7 with 6 or suited 5

Any pocket pair
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