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How to be Patient at the Poker Table

February 10, 2023
by Lex Veldhuis

Poker can require high levels of patience; when should you hold, fold or call? In this video, PokerStars Team Pro player Lex Veldhuis provides a masterclass in how to be patient at the poker table, using the Bounty Builder tournament as an example.

Scout the Table and Your Opponents

The key to patience is diligent table scouting. Pay close attention to stack sizes, playing styles and previous hands to determine how your opponents are playing and whether they’re making speculative plays. Use this information to your advantage when making decisions. You can even use the ‘notes’ feature to label your opponents with pointers.

Adjust Your Hand Ranges When Short-Stacked

When short-stacked in a tournament, tighten your range for all-in hands. Opponents are more likely to call, so choose hands that can dominate speculative holdings. Pocket pairs decrease in value while suited Kings and Ace-King gain value. Keep patient as the game moves on and only play hands that can withstand multiple callers.

Speculate to Accumulate When the Odds Are Right

While generally a tight, aggressive approach is best for some tournaments, there are times when speculation and therefore patience is warranted. Pay close attention for situations where you can gamble for a big pay-out. Look for short-stacked opponents targeting you, dead money in the pot, and other incentives beyond just your raw equity. The video example hand shows how all these factors combined to make a hero call correct, despite the raw odds.

In summary, the keys to mastering patience at the poker tables are; understanding how to gather information, adjust your strategy based on stack depth, remember the bubble is less important and look for big pay-out opportunities. Using these techniques and holding on to your nerve you’ll find yourself on the right side of luck more often all events.

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