THE ART OF COUNTERPUNCHING (3/25/10)
The Art of Counter Punching
Intimidating your opponents is a big part of poker. But not letting them intimidate you is equally important.
Let me show you what I mean. While playing a $20-40 limit game session at the Borgatta, a tight player raised in middle position with everyone after the blinds having folded to him. I re-raised him with 5-6 of clubs. I 3-bet because I wanted to play the hand after isolating him in position. I also wanted control of the hand. I knew he would re-raise only with a monster like Aces or Kings - hands he had also maybe mentally given me (if he as most likely had a lesser hand), so I'd win if we both 'wiffed' the board.
We go to the flop heads-up. The board comes 8-5-2. He checks, I bet, he calls. Another blank on the turn. He checks, I bet, he calls. Still another blank on the river. He checks, I bet and he calls me down with A-K. I drag a nice pot.
Of course, I really won this hand pre-flop, by showing I wouldn't be intimidated by his raise. No weak, speculative call for me. Just aggression that froze him in place.
You don't always need a big hand to counter-punch.
- E. Mark the "e-Shark" Gross