Winning in Tough Hold 'em Games: Short-Handed and High Stakes Concepts and Theory


The recent boom of Texas hold 'em has forever changed the way the game is played. Many more people know how to play this game well. Even the "loose" players who come to gamble have become far more aggressive, making them more difficult to play against. So a basic tight and patient strategy will no longer guarantee that you can make a significant amount of money in games at the higher stakes. This is especially true short-handed, which have become increasingly popular in the ...
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The recent boom of Texas hold 'em has forever changed the way the game is played. Many more people know how to play this game well. Even the "loose" players who come to gamble have become far more aggressive, making them more difficult to play against. So a basic tight and patient strategy will no longer guarantee that you can make a significant amount of money in games at the higher stakes. This is especially true short-handed, which have become increasingly popular in the online poker rooms.

This text is the first to tackle the complex issues presented when playing short-handed and high-stakes limit hold 'em. But even if you happen to only play in softer games, many of the key concepts presented will still help you against the other good players in your game.

Winning in Tough Hold 'em Games includes an examination of pre-flop play, covering issues at a depth of sophistication which have never appeared in print before including discussions of blind stealing, re-stealing, isolating a loose player, big blind and small blind defense, and blind versus blind play. Also covered are thorough sections on playing heads-up post flop and semi-bluffing. In addition, over 50 hands, taken from high stakes online games which were played by "Stoxtrader," are presented along with appropriate discussion of the strategy involved.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781880685389
  • Publisher: Two Plus Two Pub
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Pages: 347
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

About Nick "Stoxtrader" Grudzien     v
About Geoff "Zobags" Herzog     vii
Acknowledgments     ix
Why This Book?     1
Typical Opponents by Limits     3
Low Limits ({dollar}3-{dollar}6 and Below)     3
Middle Limits ({dollar}5-{dollar}10 to {dollar}20-{dollar}40)     4
Upper Limits ({dollar}25-{dollar}50 to {dollar}100-{dollar}200)     4
Sky-High Limits ({dollar}150-{dollar}300 and Up)     5
Pre-Flop Play     7
Introduction     8
The Importance of Guidelines     9
Opening the Pot for a Raise     10
Playing in a Steal Situation     34
Stealing from the Small Blind     36
Notes About the Ranges     69
Isolating a Loose Player     70
Re-Stealing     72
Adjusting to Your Opponent's Post-Flop Tendencies     77
A Note on Post-Flop Play     79
Limping     80
Terminology     80
Discussion     80
Playing when Someone has Three-Bet Before You Act     86
Playing From the Big Blind in Multi-Way Pots     88
Blind Versus Blind     89
Playing in the Small Blind     89
Playing Against an Opponent Who Three-Bets Frequently Pre-Flop     91
A Note on Post-Flop Play     93
Playing in the Big Blind     93
Blind Defense     97
Introduction     98
Defending From the Big Blind     99
A Note on Post-Flop Play     125
Defending When The Small Blind Calls     127
When to Three-Bet From the Big Blind Versus a Steal and Small Blind Cold-Call     128
When the Small Blind Has a Big Hand     130
Defending the Big Blind When the Small Blind Three-Bets     131
When to Four-Bet     132
When Holding a Pocket Pair     132
When the Small Blind is Passive     132
When the Small Blind is Very Aggressive     133
Defending with Pocket Pairs     134
Why It Is Better to Defend with Queen-Seven Offsuit than King-Deuce Offsuit     138
Defending From the Small Blind     142
A Note on Post-Flop Play     144
Playing Heads-Up Post-Flop     147
Introduction     148
The Bet-Bet Line     149
Responding to Check-Raises on the Flop     150
Responding to Check-Raises on the Turn     151
Betting The River as a Pure Bluff      154
The Turn Value Check     155
The Lead Check-Raise Line     158
The Check-Raise Lead Line     161
The Check-Call Lead Line     164
As a Semi-Bluff     164
With a Made Hand     165
The Check-Call/Check-Raise Line     167
As a Semi-Bluff     167
With a Made Hand     169
The Check-Raise/Check-Call Line     171
Playing Fast On The Flop Versus Waiting for The Turn     173
With a Strong Made Hand     173
With a Very Strong Draw     174
Why the "Free Card" Play May Have Negative Expectation in Tight-Aggressive Games     176
The Free Showdown Play     181
Counters to the Free Showdown Play     185
The Turn Three-Bet Semi-Bluff     185
Strong Draw     185
Tight-Aggressive Opponent     186
Playing When You Are Way Ahead or Way Behind (But Don't Know Which)     188
Discussion     188
When to Raise     189
Knowing When Ace-High Is No Good     191
Making Thin Value Bets     193
Calling Down With Outs     195
Semi-Bluffing     197
Introduction      198
Semi-Bluffing Heads-Up Post-Flop     199
Deciding Whether to Semi-Bluff with Showdown Value     202
Semi-Bluffing a Loose Player     205
Semi-Bluffing Multi-Way     208
Betting and Raising for Value with Strong Draws     210
Miscellaneous Topics     211
Introduction     212
Playing Multi-Way     213
Implied Fold Equity     214
Weighted Implied Odds     216
Bankroll Management and Risk of Ruin Considerations     219
Going Pro     221
Being a Student of the Game     224
Hands with Stox     227
Introduction     228
Stealing Hands     229
Big Blind Defense Hands     243
Small Blind Defense Hands     287
Miscellaneous Hands     299
Quizzes     307
Introduction     308
Big Blind Defense Quiz     309
Pre-Flop Play     317
Post-Flop Play     329
Summary     337
Table and Seat Selection     337
Bankroll Management     338
Psychological and Tilt Control     339
Lifestyle and Happiness Factors      340
Index     341
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2007

    Very Helpful

    This book is not for the beginner, but for those that are serious about poker, applying these principles will up their game significantly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2007

    A Waste of Money

    Don't spend your money or time on this POS. I'd give it 0 stars if I was allowed. The book is in dire need of an editor and the bulk of the content is charts with not nearly enough analysis to put the charts in context. Beginning to intermediate players will get smoked if they follow this advice. Save money on the book with the added bonus of saving money at the poker table.

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