“Tight is Right” said the Rock!
by APT Featured Coach Kenna James
In tournaments and larger stakes money games, oftentimes we need to adjust our typical baseline approach and play the player. This psychological approach to the game is what offers us a significant edge and can make the distinction among cashing a tournament and winning it. Among a break-even player and one who crushes the larger stakes cash games.
Playing the player indicates to exploit their biases and weaknesses. We do this by making use of what we know about them to defeat them. For instance, if a player has a bias against playing weak beginning hands, we will use weak beginning hands to defeat them. This will generally leave them in aggravation and questioning “how can you play those cards?!” Any opponent who is playing in aggravation is already defeated. The end is inevitable, you just need to stick around extended adequate to witness it.
What is a tight player?
Very first let me define what I mean by a “tight” player. This is somebody who’s playing much less than their fair share of hands. Which begs the question, what’s your fair share of hands? Well, if you are at an eight handed table, that would be one particular out of each and every 8 hands. On a 6 handed table, playing 1 of each and every six hands would be your fair share, and so on. This commonsense principle escapes overly tight players.
Any player playing Much less than one hand per orbit is fairly tight. If a player is playing only one hand every two rounds, they are a tight player. Some players play only one particular hand every single hour or more! These sorts of players have a particular name – we contact them rocks!
The counter-method in dealing with a rock in poker is just the identical as it would be in life. Stay away from them! WHEN they lastly get in motion – like an individual throwing one at you – get out of the way! Otherwise just ignore them as if they’re not there and move about them – as if it was an empty seat.
Exploiting Tight Players
Let’s appear at the typical method of tight players and build our counter-technique. When playing against tight players, we initial want to understand their mentality, which is “tight is correct.” They incorrectly believe that their cards are going to save them. If you have played poker for any length of time you’ve learned by now that the deck is not your buddy – nor your enemy. It couldn’t care significantly less about you. So, the concept that playing “good” hands or cards will save you is a myth.
They may also feel that discipline and patience is their salvation. Whilst these are admirable and important traits to create in playing poker, overly utilized will leave one exploitable. Their method then is to use their patience and discipline to wait for high quality starting cards to play. For example, they may only play 99’s or much better or AQ+ in early position. What they do not see is how limiting this method is and how dependent they are on the cards they are dealt. “I was so card dead. No 1 could win with the cards I was dealt,” is what an overly tight player may possibly say.
Several player’s counter-strategy against this opponent is to attempt to play tighter and stay ahead of their range. This, in my humble opinion, is a mistake! As I said earlier, use what you know about them to defeat them. In this case their over-dependency on their cards. Does that imply you must be raising them when they come into the pot with a worse hand? Not necessarily, but that wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do. Here’s a handful of distinct much more practical things you can do.
1. Give them no action and keep out of their pots. two. Liberally raise their blinds. 3. When they come into a pot in later position, they are a lot more probably to have a marginal hand and are outside their comfort zone. This is when you would 3-bet them and force them to play out of position with marginal sort hands in an inflated pot. This point would force them into confronting their fear (of playing with no a premium hand) and into their resistance. Oftentimes this will outcome in the player generating mistakes like over-folding, playing too passive by not four-betting typically adequate, verify-folding also numerous flops with no range coverage, etc. All mistakes that you can exploit in these tight players.
You can also use advanced techniques like floating and board leveraging against tight players.
We want to let danger cards roll off the deck and then use bet sizing to place our tight opponents into polarizing positions and into ironically speaking, uncomfortable “tight spots.”
So don’t be afraid of tight players, but do not get into a pre-flop raising war with them either. Be prepared to take flops, extend the hand, leverage the board, and use polarizing bet sizes. All of these will enable you to exploit their fear of loss. You will also pick up the further share of hands that they’re throwing away.
At times if I’m against a tight player, I may joke with them saying “Man, I wish I could play your discards!”.
If you really feel you are one particular of these kinds of players who plays also tight, do not despair. Just bear in mind to uncover the appropriate balance in your personal game, you are going to have to open up and take some risks. Consider of it as an adventure and don’t forget that we are all entitled to our piece of the pie. But if you grew up in a household like mine, you should understand to fight for it. Some take as well significantly, and other individuals take also small. The ones that take too little, we pick up the share they leave behind and profit from it.
In my next weblog post I’ll go over the proper approach in playing the player who plays also loose and is taking up a lot more than their fair share of the pie and what we can do to defeat them. Till then – appreciate the journey and I hope to play with you on the poker felt someday quickly.