Advice from a THE Professional
Cane is a Professional Poker Player. He joined TexasHoldemAssociation earlier this year.
Among his other skills, Cat is a no limit hold em heads up specialist who generally plays at $215 buyins.
He is currently one of the most successful heads up players in online poker and has defeated many of the well known Pros including Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, Ray Rahme, Mike Mizrachi and Chris Moneymaker.
Like many of us, he started his online poker journey at the low buyins. A completely self-taught player, he learned his game through trials and tribulations on the felt and now sits with the best there is – and he beats them.
He currently has a 15% ROI on buyins from $200-$300 and a total profit of $150,000.
Some time ago cat5Cane posted a series of quick tips for members of the forum. We thought
These warranted a place of their own and with Cat’s permission, they have been written out
Thanks to Cane. Here’s what he had to say…
“Start becoming a better player every time you take a seat at the poker tables.”
I’m going to list here some helpful basic strategies. These will greatly improve your result.
The Cut-off, the Button, the Small Blind
Play these three spots at the table – when they are open. By ‘open’, I mean there is no raiser in front of you.
1. The Cut-off position, i.e. one to the right of the button.
2. The Button
3. The Small Blind
These are the best 3 places to play from in No Limit Texas Hold Em.
Cards do not matter in these situations.
From these positions, you can steal a lot of chips. If they are open, you can come in rising
.. I’m not saying you should always
raise from these spots. Mix things up, keep opponents off balance.
The opportunity to raise in these positions is a good one but not necessarily every time, every round.
A standard raise does the trick. Three times the amount of the Big Blind is what I often will
Let’s say you get a caller and they check the flop to you. You should be looking to bet
3/4 of the pot. This will take it down most of the time.
Start using these three positions at the table more often. Your result will improve
– I guarantee it.
Remember, your cards don’t matter, any two cards are fine – you are playing position here
and position, is a lot more important than the actual cards!
Another tactic you can use is to reraise out of the Big Blind.
Here, if you are raised by a player in the cut-off or a player on the button, many times,
the raiser is trying to steal the blinds/antes. You can reraise him and resteal his original steal attempt.
You can make about a pot sized reraise and will take down the pot there many times.
Sometimes he will call you. IF it does go to the flop, you must lead. Fire three-fourths of the
pot on the flop and the majority of the time, you will take it down right there.
I am not saying this is a play you want to use every single time, but if you do this say 1
out of 3 times, you will come out ahead – and now you are basically freerolling from the big blind.
A great move you can use.
Let’s say, there is a poor over-aggressive type at your table. He is raising every single round.
What I like to do is simply flat call his preflop raise and take a flop with him.
Most of the time an over-aggressive player will make a good sized continuation bet at you
on the flop. I will flat call him here and see what he does on the turn.
Now, if he checks the turn, which most of the time he will, this is the green light – take it down
right here with a nice size bet at him. The majority of the time you will win the pot.
Be sure to make this play in position, meaning you are last to act.
Start using these strategies and watch the $$$$$$’s pile up! If you ain’t first you’re last!
It is proven – the aggressor comes out ahead more often than the scared player.
Limp in with small and medium connectors. e.g 5h6h, 7d8d, 3c4c etc.
By limping, it allows you to be able to call a raise that comes behind you.
If you raise, rather than limp with these hands, and you are faced with a big re-raise,
you are forced to fold since you won’t have the proper odds to call.
Hands like these will not often hit…ah, but when they do – you can bust somebody.
You take all their chips.
What we are looking to flop here with these hands, are open enders and flush draws or both. Now how you play these hands, for instance, when you flop an open-ended straight draw or a flush draw is up to you but I generally like to play them aggressively. Most times you can take the pot down without the hand having to go to showdown.
Quit throwing these types of hands away every time – they can be very profitable at the table when they do it!
Pairs, 22 to 99 can be tricky hands to know how to play correctly.
If I am in early position with 55, most of the time I may limp into the pot.
Limping may allow me to be able to call a raise from an opponent in a later position.
If I come in raising with 55, and no-one reraises…yeah, I might take a small pot down.
But I would rather try to win a big pot.
That is the reason I often like to limp in with these small pairs. Now, we can easily
call a raise from late without it being too expensive. We will flop our set about 12% of the time
and when you do you will win a big pot.
If we miss our set, we can get out without too much harm being done to our chipstack.
Another thing to keep in mind with your small to medium pairs is that these moves need to be relative to your chip stack at the time.
30 big blinds or more from early and middle position; then limping in is great option
If your on the button or cut-off, I recommend coming in raising with these hands.
Now, say it’s late in a tournament and you’re shortstacked with 9 big blinds or less, I like to simply shove in and take my chances with any pair.
I see it all the time, but there is absolutely no reason to get knocked out early in a tournament when you’re dealt two nines or something.
Here is another weapon for you to put in your bag!
This move is best used when there are 3 or more limpers in a pot before the action gets around to you
Example: The blinds are 500 and 1000, Players A, B, C, D and E, all limp in for 1000.
Now the pot will be at 6500.
The small blind limps also and you are in the big blind last to act.
Here is the perfect opportunity to pounce on the pot and steal it with a squeeze play.
You must raise big enough to get everyone out and it does not matter what your cards are one bit. With the pot at 7000 I’d recommend a raise somewhere to 8000-12000.
If you find yourself in this situation, a lot of the time your raise will take down these pots and pick up all those dead chips. They will now be yours!!
This move can also be used from the cut-off , the button, and the small blind.
Remember if you see 3 or more limpers into the pot – and you have the proper position on the table – it is a perfect opportunity for this move.You are trying to take it down right there preflop, so make a big enough to drive the limpers out. Raise about 1.5 times the size of the pot. Most of the time the limpers will not challenge you as they were just trying to get in cheap with marginal hands to see if they could hit the flop. PUNISH THE LIMPERS.
The more weapons you put into your arsenal , the more dangerous you will become. I hope some of these moves will help somebody in winning a big tournament.
One other thing you can do is to look out for one of these above moves being put on you – and then counterattack.
Here’s an example: There are 5 limpers and you are one of them.
The big blind then raises big. Be alert and aware that he is most likely using the squeeze play on you – and reraise him to kill his squeeze play.
I cal this one “the resqueeze”
Always be aware of the situation.
Good luck at the tables and give em hell!!
Being able to fold a hand
You must learn to fold a hand to be a succesful player.
Lets say you raise preflop with one of these hands AQ, AJ, AT, KQ, QJ, QT, JT.
You make a standard raise and then get reraised by a player in later position.
I will generally fold all of these hands I have listed. All of these hands become marginal at best and if you call the reraise it will only get you in trouble after the flop.
Now if I ever see the original raise get reraised and then there is another raise behind that one preflop, the only two hands I would call with in this situation would be KK and AA, every other hand in the deck I will fold instantly.
SO think about it next time you open the pot with AJ and are facing a reraise behind you.
What can you really beat here? I mean, are we hoping that the player has AT? and even if he does, we are out of position for the rest of the hand in no-man’s land.
All of these hands I mentioned are good raising hands, but not good enough to be calling reraises. Become a smarter better player by applying this to your game. You will be even more dangerous. We are getting better now everybody.. almost there.
Never play tired and always have confidence in yourself
You must have confidence to become a winner. I cannot think of one good poker player who is scared and timid.
You don’t have to be cocky or arrogant like some you see on TV are, but have a little swagger to yourself whenever you play the game. Just believe in yourself and have confidence in your game.
I don’t know about you guys but I don’t ever do well when I play tired. I recommend not to play this game tired.
When you start to expect bad things to happen to you at the table – it sure seems like they do.
Other times, when you are confident, you feel that you are gonna win the race – and at those times it seems like you do. Now I know you could be exhausted and little confidence in yourself and you could still win a coin flip – but dam – it sure seems like you never do doesn’t it?
So remember..be confident, carry a little swagger to the table with you and be well rested when you go to war.
Handling your emotions
I know it is very hard sometimes , but you must be able to control your emotions at the table guys.
I see it all the time; somebody will lose a huge pot and still have chips to play with, yet they will go all in the very next hand and/or play terrible for the next several minutes and give away all their remaining chips – just because they have taken a bad beat.
This we know as TILT, and TILT can be a very big problem for many players.
I must admit it the TILT monster does get to me at least sometimes. I know poker can make you sick at times, it can be really disgusting to you… but you know what?… there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it.
You are going to get sucked out on and you’re going to take bad beats if you play this game.
A good thing to do after something bad happens at the table to you is..
Firstly, forget about it immediately, or try to anyway. Take a few hands off, sit out, take some deep breaths ,do a few push-ups of whatever to get your anger out. Find something that works for you. You absolutely must learn to control your emotions after something bad happens to you.
Getting this under control will greatly improve your results at the tables.”