Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Daniel Negreanu's Small Ball Strategy: River Play Part 6

River Play

Goal: To get to the river without investing too high a percentage of your chips, unless you have a monster. People will lean to calling you on the river, so don't bluff as often as if you were playing a more traditional style of play.

The river is the time to get full value for your strong hands, avoid losing more chips, and induce bluffs from opponents who think you are weak.

River bluffs: In general, if someone calls on the turn, they will call on the river with almost any kind of hand.

Value bets and river bets: Need to have the same size bet on river.

Value bet
: Key is to know the strength of your opponent's hand. The stronger your opponent's hand, the more you should bet. Also, consider how much pressure you are putting on your opponent.

Checking the River: You have a marginal or strong hand, but your opponent has a much better hand or missed his draw. Check the river.

When opponents see you checking a hand with a marginal hand on the river, they will also check more often--which means they will be missing their value bets.

Defensive Bets
: A small river bet that minimizes your losses where you are uncertain whether you have the best hand, but you'll have to call your opponent's bet if he bets the river. This allows you to see the hand through for less, and it takes the big-bluff weapon away from your opponent.

Caution: Don't Make Bad River Calls.
Some players use pot odds to justify a call. This is wrong when you know you are beat.
Look for physical tells of your opponent to make a decision on the river.

Questions in deciding to make a value bet with a marginal hand
1. Will your opponent call?
2. Is he capable of check-raising you on the river?
3. Will he check hands that have you beat?
4. Will he check-raise bluff on the river?
5. Is it worth it to bet? Do you really need the risk?

Best target: smarter players who think they have you figured out.
Needing to read your opponent's hand correctly is most important aspect of a successful bluff. Next is bet size--it should look like you want your opponent to call.

From the book:Daniel Negreanu's Power Hold'em Strategy

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