BLOG - Bluff Europe feature preview: Playing LAG at microstakes

BLOG - Bluff Europe feature preview: Playing LAG at microstakes

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

If you were to read an item of poker strategy before 2003, or even as
little as four years ago, you would find a plethora of what can now only be described as "Hellmuth-esque" tactics for beating the game: play super-tight, value bet well and time your - rare - bluffs wisely.

Then a certain Tennessee accountant named Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker and that all changed. People like Tom "durrrr" Dwan and Patrik Antonius championed a loose-aggressive style that exploited the tendencies of opponents no longer thought of as solid but now derogatively called nits.

The rising popularity of 6-max and heads-up games has also contributed to the world's best players playing more hands than the average - just look at old school players like Mike Matusow and Antonio Esfandiari who wait for premium hands and big implied odds on high stakes cash game shows like GSN's High Stakes Poker. They get mauled by the LAG (loose-aggressive) players on every single episode.

The fact is that poker has evolved; the tight-aggressive player of 2001 is outclassed by 21-year-old online players who open half their hands from the button and fire bets on all three streets to win as many pots as possible. It's up to you to keep up - take, for example, Phil Hellmuth's claims that Tom Dwan is simply lucky and won't be around in five years. Hellmuth is a great player in his own right, which I feel is a necessary justification to make when I say that Dwan plays at a level so over Hellmuth's head that the 11-time WSOP bracelet-winner has no idea what he is talking about.

Of course, Hellmuth really shouldn't be complaining - in general, but
especially about Dwan. Because he is such a popular poker personality,
thousands try to emulate his style by spewing off chips with poor, ill-
timed bluffs.

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