Know your opponents; dominate your opponents

By Paul Wolfe

Paul WolfeI was in my first World Series of Poker in 2002, talking with a player who made the final table last year. He told me something I've never forgotten and which helped me since.

I had raisé preflop with A - K and it me calla of the button. The flop brought all of the small cards. I check and it bet the pot. I looked at him and said to him: 'you got to have a good hand. Reply me surprised: "it didn't matter whether or not I have good cards if I know what you.

At first, I thought that I had a tell. Maybe I hummed when I missed the flop or looking elsewhere than my chips. It was later that I realized that I had a tell, but that it had nothing to do with something physical. It was the way I was playing my cards.

Poker, the important thing is not always the maps you have, but your opponents cards have and the way that you know that they have to play. Keep in mind the cards they play and they raisent is an important part of the game.

In a live game, it is hard to remember exactly what cards your opponents have played, what cards they have raisé and if they are good players. Most players are creatures usually and play in a game with which they are comfortable and familiar. When you play online, you have no excuse for not having all this information at your fingertips.

While I play on Full Tilt Poker, I take notes on players and what is me a great help. I am very often to review these notes. The color code makes it easier to take decisions. I have a color code for players who gamble only as their big hands and another for players who cause the action.

When I see a player with a certain color, I know with certainty if it will overestimate his hand or not. If it is the kind of player against whom I am going a little lighter caller or against whom I'll run cards after the flop. Why? Because I know that if I hit the map I need, I will make me pay dearly; I have implied odds to caller. Against another player, I would play a little tighter because if it does not pay me my hand, that means that I do not have implied odds. This information will increase my profits and decrease my losses.

The consciousness of self is important in any discipline. But Poker, knowing his opponent is as important as knowing oneself.

Paul Wolfe