Playing a pocket pair where there is no improvement on the flop

You look down to see a small pocket pair. You have gone to the flop and hit one of your two outs, and there is no flush or straight draw on the board and there is betting, that is one of the dream situations in poker.

However, 90% of the time your initial pair will not improve to a set on the flop, and in this situation, you are left with a few options. Here, we will explore what to do in more detail.

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Playing as a high stack in a tournament

Looking at your computer and seeing a number by your avatar that is vastly superior to anybody else on your table will make you feel like a king.

In every tournament, having a deep stack means you have the freedom to play differently, but this does not mean it becomes OK to play loose or to make poor calls because you can afford it. So what exactly is the right way to play a big stack?

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What Percentage of Hands Should I Play?

One of the most common questions in poker is what percentage of hands should I be playing? Unfortunately there is no right or wrong answer.

As there is no real answer to this question, this is more of a suggestion. If you study poker, gain experience playing poker and work hard on your game, you will find the level of play that is right for you and your percentage of playable hands.

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Creating a Table Image

A table image is the image other players at your table see of you. As you can well imagine, it is of vital importance.

Hiding who you are and what you have is a successful tactic employed by some of the greatest players in the world. Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson, Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan are pros who say barely anything at the table and barely move.

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Bankroll Management

Keeping your finances under control is of vital importance in all aspects of life, and poker is no different. Once your money is down on the table you must accept that it can go as quickly as it can come.

Never play at a level where you cannot afford to lose. ‘Scared money’, as it is known, can be smelt out by players – if you are playing as if you cannot afford to lose, you will tighten up and your opponent will attack.

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Going Deep In a Tournament

As the payouts in poker don’t start to get interesting until you have got deep into the money (rather than scraping into the cash), there really is no point in trying to beat the bubble.

Going deep in a tournament is usually termed as making the money. These days more and more people are classifying ‘going deep’ as doing a bit better and making the last few rounds of prizes.

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