What elements to consider to understand how good our opponent is?
You already know how it ends no? Here, to avoid being in an unpleasant situation against some particularly prepared opponent, in addition to understanding who to bet on to make the chips, we must also beware of those who are stronger than us .
Who should we fear and why?
A trained player also knows when to fold and, paradoxically, when you engage in exaggerated bluffs it is easier to fold when you have a good player in front of you than another less good one.
This does not mean that the first professional who appears before you will have to throw them in his head as soon as you have the opportunity, but rather that a greater knowledge of the game corresponds to a greater depth of thought , with all the consequences that this implies.
To be a good player there are no fixed parameters and above all it has nothing to do with the style of play: you may find yourself a phenomenon in loose aggressive play as a champion who prefers a tighter strategy.
Beware of hasty judgments
Online, to immediately understand the goodness of the opponents, in most cases a short search on Sharkscope is sufficient .
Regardless of these tools , you can already guess within a few orbits what the players we have at the table are made of, even if it is appropriate to make some distinctions .
However, it can very well happen a favorable rush of cards or a series of joints that, in a small number of hands, tend to make us think something that does not correspond to reality .
Exactly, we are referring to that time when we all tried to show our 4-bet teeth by shoving on the umpteenth 3-bet of the one ” who surely wants to combine it ” only to find him with two Aces at the showdown, a nice cocktail in hand and a pair of slippers.
Going with the flow
Poker is a dynamic game and you can guess it even in a single game.
Not only that, in a certain sense it constitutes the race pace which, depending on the characteristics of the players, can vary considerably.
However, following the “flow” too much may not be the best choice, as well as being totally disinterested in what is happening and focusing only on the technical aspect .
For the purposes of our article, what we are interested in understanding is first of all whether the opponent on whom we want to have some information follows the progress of the game or not .
A player who is too impulsive , who lets himself be overwhelmed by the aforementioned “flow” could hide obvious weaknesses, just as acting disinterested in the dynamics at the table can be indicative.
Who to stay away from?
Although it is never advisable to make excessive generalizations, somehow we should get to the point, right?
So, if at the table you find a player who uses unorthodox opening sizes when the average stack is 30/40 big blind (openings x4 / x5 and so on), barring specific reasons, most likely he will not be a Texas professional. Hold’em.
Just as it will not be those who, out of habit, find themselves c-betting with sizes between pot and close to pot on absolutely anonymous textures, perhaps against the big blind range in a simple raisato.
Then there are those who, despite having excellent technical skills , want to win every pot at all costs and continue to hammer regardless of who is in front of them.
The best and most experienced players on the other hand, generally use smaller sizes in preflop, they know how to control even with valuable hands, they never bluff without a valid reason (and rarely without a shred of equity / backdoor equity and the like), they don’t freak out when they miss a beat and know how to play on timing.
A snap call from an amateur may not have the same meaning if made by a trained player, as there would be no rush to put the chips in except to fake tell the opponent.
In short, be wary of superficial judgments but be careful of many aspects that do not exclusively concern the technical side and always try to contextualize the various actions depending on the stage of the tournament and the stacks in play.