The Strategy of Training Your Opponents -No limit holdem tournament and cash games reward those players that can get their opponents to do what they want them to do at the exact right time. This is a strategy I like to call training my opponents. What I am doing in fact, is training them to give their complete stack to me. In sit and go tournaments this is especially critical a skill, as you have a limited time to pull it off. I would estimate that of all the sit and go tournaments that I place in the money, I have trained at least one of my opponents during that time, and captured his stack.To pull this strategy off, you essentially have to encourage your opponent’s lack of emotional control to the surface of his game, and especially when playing against you. You may think this inherently involves being aggressive with assertive pre and post flop betting. In many cases that may be true, but there is also opportunity for training your opponent by while acting passively.
It is rather a simple procedure to do this when you are chip leader. In position, you should be raising frequently. You don’t even have to make significant raises. When the blinds get juicy enough a minimum raise when the big blind is 100 may suffice. Depending on your stack, you should try for 300 chip raise in that spot though. However when the blinds get to 100 and 200, there are usually players on the bubble, so a minraise is just fine. The reason you do this twofold. Dewapoker You are looking to increase your chip lead while avoiding flops. If you feel your opponents are likely to fold it doesn’t matter what your cards are. Play it blind. If your opponents fold 2 of 3 times, your stack will grow and your aggressive index will be of the charts.The other reason you want to do this is that the move will disguise a quality hand when you have it. That is when the training comes in. If you have raised an opponent out of the pot preflop several times, he is bound to bounce back on at some time or another.What do you do then? Well depending on your stack size and hand strength, you could call based on pot odds. Let’s say you have 86s and it’s only another 450 to call into a pot of 800. To me that is an easy call.
If the odds simply are not constructive, then fold. Fold with dignity not anger. Fold with an understanding of the game, not frustration with it. You see, your opponent’s reraise all in is exactly what you want him to do, whether you win the pot, lose it, or concede it.You may also be in a short table position where you are the short stack. In this situation your big stack opponent is likely to be playing aggressive with you. Fold until you get a quality hand and just call his bets until the river, then reraise all in. He will soon be more cautious with you, and will mark his preflop betting to the point where you will get to see some cheap flops with low quality hands.The concept here is that you will take his stack, or double up at an opportune time – likely when he loses his cool and makes an abrasive reraise all in when you have the goods. You have then trained him effectively.Without a training strategy you are much more reliant on quality hands and more easily readable. You simply are not going to get paid off as often. And when you do get a quality hand, another player will have an equally strong hand (or at least competitive) and may very likely win a big pot from you.