In the exciting world of poker, success is an elusive prize that can only be won by those who have mastered the art of the game. To help you improve your poker skills and take your results to new levels, we turned to none other than Alexandre “Cavalito” Mantovania respected ambassador for 888poker.
With years of experience and an impressive track record in poker, Mantovani is ready to reveal the five must-have tricks that can transform your poker skills.
The only time you have to make a 100% decision in poker is preflop. Some decisions are automatic, such as raising pocket aces or folding seven-deuces. Preflop is a highly underrated area and you will see very experienced players make mistakes before the flop.
You’ll be amazed at the difference a solid preflop strategy can make to your game. It will give you even bigger stacks and deeper runs than you are used to. Study the opening ranges for different positions at the table for small, medium and deep stacks.
Poker becomes much easier to play with good starting hands and is an essential part of the game.
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Playing single-raised pots from the big blind
One of the most common decision situations in poker is when you are in the big blind and a raise has occurred.
If you fold everything except your strong hands, you become a target for all players who want to take your blinds. This can be difficult as you have to defend yourself and play aggressively with a wide range of hands.
Playing out of position with less premium hands is not something you want to do without knowing how to do it. This situation can have one of the biggest impacts on your winning percentage, so pay serious attention to the issue.
Play single raised pots as a preflop aggressor
In poker, it often happens that you raise before the flop, get called, and then have to decide what to do after the flop – for example, whether you should bet or not, what bet size you should choose due to different board conditions.
The advice for this scenario is that it is better to play a simple strategy that you can execute well 90% of the time than to learn a complex strategy that you can only execute well 70% of the time.
Of course, when playing at higher stakes you need to be thorough, but learning good, solid basic strategy for different flop textures at smaller stakes will have a very positive impact on your game and will take some of the pressure off your decisions.
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Bounty Tournament Adjustments
Bounty tournaments are very popular and fun these days. Due to the structure of the prize pool and the high value of the bounties, you cannot play this like any other poker tournament.
To maximize your profits, many adjustments need to be made. The best way to create them is to understand how the different bounty structures should impact your strategies.
Recognize that different structures require different strategies and practice them until they become more instinctive. Poker is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
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These three letters are very popular. The ICM (Independent Chip Model) is about how we adjust our strategies when different prices are in play.
When playing tournaments, you need to understand how ICM works and how your strategy should change when faced with big pay jumps.
If you have different stack sizes, you will need to follow very different strategies, and you will need to be aware of these and be well versed in how to adjust as your stack rises or falls.
When this topic became popular, many people thought it was just about playing aggressively as a big stack and playing conservatively as a short stack. There are many more layers to this and it simply cannot be explained in a short video, but it is definitely worth taking the time to study ICM.
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Calum joined the PokerNews team in September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum’s proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.