Make ‘Em Sweat With Late Position Poker Starts
Looking for the holy grail of poker? Let some people tell it, it’s late position. Of course, we would definitely be in that crowd. Late position allows you to do a lot of things that the other positions just don’t. You have the most information and the most chance of pushing people out of a pot and taking it for yourself. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t slow play and limp.
Yes, we said it: limping. There is a time and a place to limp, even though aggressive players don’t want to hear that. Pushing in all the time gives you a type, and the purpose of poker image is to mix things up once in a while to mask what you really are. If you always bulldoze your way into every hand, people are going to typecast you that way and even bluff in order to steal your chips.
Limping, however, has one strong benefit: it throws people off guard. By sneaking into the pot, you make it clear that you don’t have anything. Most people will assume you’re the weakest link, since you could have raised in late position. Naturally, not everyone will draw the correct assumptions. But if you’ve got a decent hand in late position, limping in also keeps the pot from getting astronomical. It also makes it much more risky for other players to go all in, because there isn’t the same draw. If you push big and then get shoved back, you will naturally want to push more of your chips into the pot. That’s why the all in feature is so powerful, because you can snag chips that you wouldn’t otherwise get. By going all in with a small pot, you’re basically only getting the blinds if everyone folds.
So by sneaking in and then calling raises, you downplay the value of your hand. There are multiple scenarios where this is very beneficial, if you’re willing to think it through.
If you revisit your hand histories, you can probably tell there are many times where you could have benefited from playing a bit more slowly. Remember that when it comes to preserving expected value, it’s all about extending the length of play, rather than just assuming that it’s all about the few hands that you’re dealing with. In other words, don’t be afraid to look long term even when you’re losing.
Give yourself a chance to think about how everything is going to impact your game. Sure, you could chase a few pots and probably come up a winner for that session. But pros will look long term and veteran players will do so as well. Follow their example and think a little deeper.