All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Poker Aggression
Poker Madness

How to tell the difference between aggressive poker play and just plain crazy mad play!

Poker aggression versus poker mAdNEss!

A good poker player knows the difference between poker aggression and poker madness. You’ll see lots of madness in evidence during the “play money” games online but aggression during “real money” games is a more controlled activity. The very best aggressive poker players are never shy about folding when they know the time is right.

You have to learn to “know” when you’re beaten and be prepared to fold even if you’re all the way down to the river. Why?

Because if all the signals are telling you your opponent really does have the goods, wasting that large final bet is bad poker in exactly the same way as not placing an extra large final bet at the river when you have a premium hand is bad poker. Know when to extract value and when you are chasing a lost cause.

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PROBLEM A: Imagine that you are on the button with a pair of jacks. The pot gets raised three times the big blind directly in front of you. With just ten times the big blind in chip value you are short stacked. Should you?
1) Call the raise.
2) Double the raise.
3) Toss away your cards.
4) Grit your teeth and go all-in.

PROBLEM B: You’re in a major tournament with a handful of players remaining and you’re the chip leader. You’re holding ace of spades and jack of spades. You decide to raise six times the big blind, causing everyone to fold except the big blind. He goes all-in with ten times the big blind bet. You have to decide: Do you call ten times the big blind to attempt to win twenty two times the big blind or do you fold? What’s the percentage play?


ANSWER A: The answer is D! You go all-in. You’re facing a raise and you’re short stacked. By going all-in your re-raise should be powerful enough to drive out all the less than stellar hands. Likely outcome is a heads up with the first raiser. It’s a value bet.

ANSWER B: The correct percentage play is to call. As the chip leader you are well placed to flush out opposing players in late tournament play. It’s likely your ace and jack of spades will hold up well unless a remaining opponent is holding, ace-queen, ace-king or ace-ace. Again it’s the value bet. The odds are with you at ten times the big blind.

Are you an aggressive poker player?
Or do YOU tilt into poker madness?

Find out at:

ALL THE ACES poker column:
Saturday, November
 5, 2005: 
Poker Aggression versus Poker Madness