Source: Tom “durrrr” Dwan via Facebook
One of the best ways of improving your poker game is to watch how the pros do it on TV. The regulars who make it on to shows like Poker After Dark and the latter stages of the World Series of Poker have all made it to the top of the charts in the poker world by mastering the game and knowing what to do in every single situation. Here, we take a look at some of the best in the business and work out how they have made so much money from the popular card game.
For those plying their trade at online poker sites, one of the greatest people to emulate is Tom Dwan. The American made a name for himself playing in high-stakes online poker cash games and tournaments, and became one of the most exciting players to watch on television thanks to his highly aggressive style of play. The beauty of Dwan’s game is the fact that he would play an 8/6 off suit in the same way as he would play pocket aces.
This unpredictability has led players to fold winning hands against Dwan because they can’t read his play. Of course, most of the time he will only look to pull off these bluffs when he is in a strong position on the table. It would be unwise, say, to do it when on the big or small blinds. These are, in fact, statistically the worst positions to be in on a hand. Anyone looking to raise their game in poker should focus on playing the strong positions on the table, and only invest in pots on the blinds with particularly strong hands.
While all poker pros know that playing position is key, they do also draw upon some other skills that help them to prevail more often than not. These include trying to get reads on their opponents so that they can work out the strength of the hands they are up against. One of the best in the business at putting people on hands by reading their body language and betting strategies is Daniel Negreanu. The Canadian winner of six WSOP bracelets is renowned for calling out what other players have, putting him at a serious advantage in whatever hand he is in.
When you have someone at the table who is so in tune with picking up body language tells, you have to be a master of your own movements and subtle cues in order to stop the read. Phil Ivey is generally considered as one of the best in the business when it comes to this, and many professional poker players have failed to second guess the 2008 World Poker Tour title winner.
Watching these poker experts in action will almost certainly help you to improve your game. Some other notable mentions of players to emulate include Phil Helmuth and Patrik Antonius, who are also up there with the best around.