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Table Selection - No Limit Holdem

This article is going to cover the basics of table selection and the importance of position in no limit texas holdem when playing a tag style of poker (tight aggressive).

It's amazing just how many poker players sit down at a poker table either online or live with no consideration to where they're sat in relation to other players.

I'm going to aim this article at beginner poker players playing online that are just learning the tight aggressive style of play and want to explore other ways to increase their win rate.

There are so many tools available today that can help you choose the best tables to play at and what you are looking for are essentially fish (bad poker players) to be sat down and throwing money around.

Fish come in many forms which will be discussed more in depth in a whole separate article but for the sake of simplicity lets just start by looking for loose players. Now if you are using software like Poker Tracker or Holdem Manager, you can data mine tables before you sit down and play. A loose player could be considered anyone who plays between 30-100% of their hands (the higher the percentage the better) and you'll be surprised how many players I've found that play between 70-80% even at moderate stakes, you just need to search a little for them.

Now why does it matter so much to have such loose players in your game? Well these guys play so many hands that they will often find themselves in dominated situations against a tight/aggressive player. For example these players often limp most hands and call raises, as a rule they love to play suited cards such as A7 even out of position. Now if you are playing a hand such as AK and you both flop top pair, you can expect to extract a lot of value from these guys as another big weakness of theirs is that when they do hit the flop, they simply can't fold. Ironically these players tend to either bust out quickly and leave or they will be sat with a huge stack because they will flop well with their dominated hands or hit a three outter on the river when they were dominated. Don't be intimidated by the size of their stack as these guys keep playing the same way mainly because they remember the time when they did double up with A3 vs AK and so keep doing the same thing. This will be great for you in the long run just

don't get upset when your AA gets cracked by their QJ after they flop top pair and river two pair, you are just printing money against them in the long run.

So now we know what we are looking for how will we recognise them? Well if you are using tracking software then you will have a statistic called VPIP. VPIP stands for voluntarily put money in pot and essentially tells you what percentage of hands the guys are playing. High VPIP is loose and on the other end of the spectrum anywhere between 0 - 18% would be considered tight.

Now the last thing to consider in the table selection process is your position in relation to the fish. You want the fish sat directly on your right or on your right plus one. The reason for this is simple, you will have position on the loose/weaker player most of the time and will be able to make better decisions post flop when if comes to creating a big pot or keeping it small.

Whilst we are talking about ideal table positions, if we manage to find a fish and get them sat on our right what we would really like is a tight player sat on our left that just loves to fold. Why is this? Simply put we can become a blind thief. If the two players to your left fold all of the time and are super tight, when we are sat on the button, we can raise lots of hands knowing that they fold so often that once again we're simply printing money.

So in short lets find a table with a loose fish on our right and two tight players on our left and do not be afraid to quit the table when the dynamics change (the fish gets busted) as this is where a lot of your profit will be coming from. Once you do quit the table, if you want to keep playing poker, simply open some more tables and start the table selection process over again. You will see your poker results improve dramatically if you follow this simple advice.

As well as great table selection, working on your game is also very important. Here are some free poker training videos which will help micro stake and beginner players develop into stronger players.

Good luck at the tables

Tagpoker Team

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