Thursday Poker Blog! Heads Up Play Part 1

Welcome back to your Thursday Poker Blog!  After getting to see a few flops last night at the Isle Casino in Pompano Beach, I am a little more in the mood to discuss some in-game tactics!  While I was not nearly so fortunate to make the final two in my tournament last night, I thought I would use the opportunity to discuss heads-up play. 

Unless you are playing your friend in a simple heads up match or, back in the good old days when you could play online poker in this country, you were playing heads up sit-n-go’s, heads-up play usually comes at the end of a tournament.  At this point, your confidence is high because you have come this far.  Also, however, the blind levels are typically high because the tournament has been going on for hours or even days. 

With this backdrop, let’s disuss a few tips for successful heads-up play:

1) Don’t be overconfident with a chip advantage or discouraged by a chip disadvantage.  With the barrage of poker coverage on television in the past 10 years, any half-interested poker fan has probably viewed multiple matches where sizable chip advantages were overcome in a matter of moments.  Consider even a 9:1 chip advantage.  One double-up and it’s 8:2; another double-up and it’s 6:4 and now anyone’s match.  Even a 2:1 match completely flips with one all-in.  Don’t celebrate or give up too early when it comes to heads up play.

2) Hand selection.  Having said my peace about needing the will to keep fighting in heads up play, it also should go without saying, however, that hand selection changes considerably against a single opponent.  A-4 offsuit is suddenly a stronger hand than a substantial majority of anything your opponent is holding.  Pocket pairs, even babies like 4-4 and 5-5, are premium holdings.  You should not be hesitating, especially in lopsided chip situations or shortstacked situations (because of high blinds) to be shoving or even making big calls with midling kings or aces or any pocket pair. 

We’ll be back with several more tips of hands-up play next week!

Explore posts in the same categories: Poker Tips and Tales

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