I have played poker now for a long time and nearly ten years as a pro or semi-pro. However in all that time then although I have read up on an awful lot of poker theory then I have still more or less designed my own poker style. Where I play at PokerStars then I see a wide range of styles from many different players. But you need to remember that not all styles will be conducive to you. One such area is in your risk profile and attitude to risk. Each and every style of play will have a certain level of variance attached to it and that will become apparent the longer that you play.
So if you learn a certain tactic or strategy then you need to be certain that it suits you. For example I have read many players expound on the fact that multi-barrel bluffing is good strong and aggressive poker. This is true but you have to remember that unless you get your timing right here then you are in fact risking far more money playing like this than you stand to gain. So you may end up stacking off and you may end up winning the pot but that doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do.
Sophisticated players will deduce that your range is polarised if you do this too often and weak players will be calling stations and find a reason to call you down. So you can easily end up shipping 100bb in situations where your normal style and preference would have been to go into pot control. However if your normal pot control game is being bullied then either leave the game or adjust. One thing is certain though and this is that you shouldn’t automatically play poker in a certain way just because other people are doing the same. Do what you feel comfortable with at the end of the day.
Carl “The Dean” Sampson
Carl “The Dean” Sampson is an online poker pro, coach and poker writer with many years experience in the poker and gambling industry. Carl has three published books and has written for many leading poker magazines like the WPT and Poker Pro Europe.
Carl plays poker online at PokerStars not only the largest online poker room, but also the best!