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Position in online poker
In recent years online poker has attracted many new players due to the popularity of televised events such as the WSOP or "Poker After Dark". Most new players do not immediately understand the importance of poker.
The power of position
In poker, when you are first to play it is called early position, and if you are one of the last to play, this is late position.
For example at a ten-seated full ring table, the first three players to play post flop starting with "under the gun" are in early position. The nest three players are in middle position. The following two players (the cutoff and the button) are in late position, which are the best positions. Finally there is the small blind and the big blind.
It is routine for all online poker players to use a poker tracker to analyze your game and your opponent games. For example a very handy platform is pokeredge, which provides a poker HUD with information about your opponents (information you should not have).
It has been shown that the early the position, the less the profit on average. For example a player with a winning rate of 2BB/100 may have a winning rate of 7BB/100 from the cutoff and a losing rate of -9BB/100 from the big blind. This is a scientific fact, based on probability.
If you are the last to act like in the dealer's position, this gives you a great advantage because you already know the actions of all your opponents. So you can make an optimal decision of the best course of action. If you had A-rag on an unremarkable board with an ace and everyone checks to you, you can bet your pair of aces, and if everyone folds, you just took the pot.
But let's say you are first to act from the big blind. Opening with such a weak hand is a very bad move, so you check. The last player bet, what do you do? He could be bluffing based on his positional advantage, or he could have a stronger ace or better. If you call, then he may keep on betting at the turn and river and calling twice will make you invest many chips.
It is not reasonable to call all the way with such a weak hand. You could raise to test him, but here again this is a rather risky play to consider with caution. So the best course of action is to fold. So in one case you take the pot, in the other you lose it, all with the same hand.
Position represents the power of aggression and bluffing. By betting in late position when the other players before you have demonstrated weakness by checking, you force them to a difficult decision, to call with a weak hand. This is ideal for bluffing, as your opponents know that if they want to call your bluff, they may have to pay a high price for that.
This is why the later your position pre flop, the wider the range of starting hands you can use. Because even with a mediocre hand, you can win the hand post flop if you know how to use your position.
Position is a key concept in poker, practice and learn to use it to your advantage.
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