Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chris Ferguson on Small and Medium Pairs

Chris Ferguson on Small and Medium Pairs

The following poker strategy advice comes from a book by Warwick Dunnett titled Poker Wizards. He interviewed the Super Stars in poker and packed all their strategic advice into one book with over 300 pages.

Here I am reviewing the advice from Chris Ferguson provided in the book.

Small Pairs
Pocket 2's to 6's

From early position, Chris folds.

Medium Pairs
Pocket 7's to 9's

Chris will put in a small raise from an early position, but will fold to a re-raise unless it is not a big re-raise.

In middle to late position, he raises first in the hand pre-flop. If there are limpers in front of him, he may call. But, if he has a big stack he will fold not wanting to risk losing a lot of his chips set over set.

It's interesting because he says he will not limp in with pocket 2's when he has 200x's the big blind, but he will limp in when he has 50x's the big blind. He finds the risk/reward ratio not as favorable when he has 200x's the big blind.

The more I review how the pros play the small and middle pairs, the more interesting I find it. First, I think that we have to realize they play in events with a lot more starting chips and a lot more time to play poker. Online, the structures are not as good in most cases.

Another thing I find interesting is that both Chris and Dan worry about set over set, while Daniel and Gus are willing to take that chance.

It was interesting that not many of the players discuss their opponent's chip stack when calling a raise after a limp with these pairs. Gus appears to be willing to call given the potential to win a big hand. While the other pros clearly are not.

I believe comparing the play of poker pros will help in your thinking about your tournament poker game. If nothing else, it will make you realize that not even the poker pros think alike.

The reason I selected Chris Ferguson is because he is leading in the poker poll. If you haven't voted, please consider taking part. Thanks!

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