Monday, October 06, 2008

HU16: Understanding Swings

Without a doubt, the swings in heads-up poker are bigger. You play more and more hands as there are fewer and fewer players, which increases hand ranges and volatility.

Realizing the swings are more dramatic, I tried to embrace them by pushing hands too hard and fast, bluffing too much, having a tough time making laydowns and expecting my time to come just around the corner.

Even heads-up, you can go hours or days without making big hands. Just because heads-up poker has larger swings, that doesn't mean those swings will happen this hand, next hand or the hand after that. Cards have no memory, and they don't care how long it's been since something went your way.

It's easy for me to think that I should overplay any random open-ended straight draw or flush draw on the flop because those draws can be powerful hands, especially HU where your opponent is less likely to have a hand himself.

But I still have to play poker, regardless of perceptions of a hand's inherent strength. I have to read hands, interpret bet sizes, weigh pot odds and play well. Thoughtlessly shoving it in is never a good play.

Video watched: Spaceman in a Cowboy Hat, Ep. 5

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