Playing heads-up is the closest you’ll ever get to feeling like you’re playing Russian roulette with Christopher Walken in The Deer Hunter. There might not be a gun to your head, but going toe to toe at the poker table is a high pressure situation.
And if you can’t conquer this aspect of the game then there’s no chance that you’ll be able to pull off your dream win, like American Chris Moneymaker.
Moneymaker busted opposition out through a number of online satellite tournament events on his way to winning the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas in 2003, scooping more than $3.5 million when he knocked out his last opponent on the final table. Neither Moneymaker nor this year’s winner, Australian Joe Hachem, had played in major US tournaments before but both proved that as well as playing the cards they were skilled at bullying an opponent in single combat.
Heads-up is much like a game of 7meter – you don’t need the fastest car or, in this case, the best hand. The nerves to stay on target and not deviate from the line once the pedal has hit the metal are far more important qualities. This kamikaze attitude could get you into trouble if you crash your Route 66 racer into a King Kong pick-up truck, but without it you may as well walk away from the poker table before you even lay down your first blind.
The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need the best hand to win; it doesn’t matter what cards you get dealt if the other person folds. If they toss in their 10-8 and you’re sitting there with an 8-6 you still pick up chips. In heads-up you can justifiably contest any pot with just a single court card and almost any pair is worth pumping.
Show some aggression F**k the flop
When the big blind is called and the flop hits the baize you can’t afford to look at the community cards in the same way as you would during normal play. If you hit a middle pair with a poor kicker you may still get a few punts at the pot, especially if your opponent has placed a bet. However, if they’ve picked up a pair, or any cards that suggest they’re strong, then it’s time to get out of there and have another go. It’s so easy to let your emotions get the better of you when you’re in a brief battle with a micro-stakes opponent, that’s why a lot of first-time poker players lose money such as poker setter.
Playing online poker as if you’re playing live money is a different situation and you need to adjust the way you think. In live play you have a human opponent to read and react to, however, online you only have a computer to beat. Loosing a f**ked kicker to a computer rock is one thing, but how about losing to a computer full of clay poker chips? That hits really close to home and I’d be reaching for the bottle again if I were you. Learn to become a poker guru and leave the game of poker in the hands of the professionals so that you don’t emulate what they do. Check out more poker tips by visiting TitanPoker.com.