Revisiting Poker Position
A lot of you write us asking the same question: how do you not suck at poker? How do you stop looking like the biggest fish in the pond? Well, playing good poker based on position is pretty important. It’s not something that always gets through to new players, but it’s super important.
At its core, position is very simple: you’re the last person to act. It’s commonly referred to as being “on the button” or having the button. If the dealer button is the best place to act, then the blinds are the worst place to act. You have zero information from other players, which means that you just have to hope for the best. But if you’re the last to act, you can push out weaker hands with a raise if you’ve got the button. A lot of players will just limp in with marginal hands, hoping for a lucky flop. Making them pay that pot to look at the flop when you know they don’t have anything good makes a lot of sense.
Being the last to act can be tough, because it means that you have to cut hands that were great. If you’re not in position and you’re trying to play hands, you’re basically throwing good money down the drain. The best players aren’t very loose at all. Why play every single hand and drain your bankroll, when you can conserve your bankroll and wait for the good hands to come along?
The hard thing for newbies to realize is that yes, you will fold hands that could have taken the pot. You could have won but you have to think about the price of that win. You have to think about your ability to play the game appropriately with the stack that you’re given.
Playing out of position can be dangerous in a Sit N Go tournament, where there’s no second chance if you bust out. At least with ring games you can always buy your way back in. What if your risk taking actually cost you a chance at finishing in the money? If you end up getting to the final table, you need to keep your wits even sharper. The differences in prize money between 5th place and even 3rd place can be staggering. Of course, everyone wants to be number one at the table, so the pressure is definitely on.
Good luck, and remember: position brings power!