The Tsunami

Strategize. Optimize. Pulverize.


Induce Inattentive Players into Acting Prematurely

When playing online, it’s impossible for your opponents to act out of turn.¬†And it’s impossible for your opponents to reveal their intended actions. When playing live, things are a bit different. I recently played the following hand in a live $1-$2 no-limit hold’em cash game:


Action folds to CO who open limps. B folds. SB calls. I check my option in the big blind.

Flop (Pot = $6): ???

SB checks. I hesitate for a moment, as I ponder stabbing at the pot. During this hesitation, CO checks. I bet $3; CO and SB fold.

Even though this pot was only $6, it was very valuable because it reminded me of something that I had forgotten: when you’re out of position, you can sometimes induce opponents to act out of turn simply by pausing a second or two. Inducing premature actions from straightforward players is a great way to increase the $EV on your postflop steals.

When playing live, remember that you have more at your disposal besides strategy. Take advantage of every edge possible. For example, some players prematurely load chips in their hands only when intending on betting or calling. Against such players, you can abandon bluffs that won’t work, you can check/call with hands that you’d normally lead with, and you can go for occasional limp-reraises.

If you only think the way that you think when playing online, you’re missing out on way too many opportunities when playing live (and if you’re playing in a live cash game where opponents aren’t giving away nice gifts, then you should seriously be considering a table change). Strategically sound poker is sufficient for beating live games. However, add some alert hustling to the mix, and you’ll be adding some nice $$ to your hourly win rate.

May Your EV Always be Positive!

The Tsunami


Tags: ,

Comments are closed.

KillerEV Updates

Leave your email address here if you wish to receive updates when new content is added to

Tony's Books

Tony's Blog

Show By:

  • Category

  • Date