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Posted: 2005/10/27 by: Bluff Magazine.
Dear Clonie, I have a question about moving up limits and the problem that arises when I try. I live in an area with very few places to play poker. I have a small bankroll, but I am slowly building it up. I currently play $5/$10 Limit Hold’em game and I can usually walk away from the table a winner (I buy in for about $300 and walk away with $150/$250 in profit after four or five hours).

The problem arises when I move up to the $10/$20 tables. It?s at that time when I truly understand why Limit Poker is called ?No Fold?em Hold?em?. NO ONE FOLDS! The problem seems to be worse at the higher limits. In most cases, at a table of ten or eleven players, three to four are there to gamble, two to three are better players than me and the rest will either be at the same skill level as me or below, but have more money. How do you play at a table that continuously likes to gamble? Is there any advice you can give on playing Limit Hold?em with a table full of maniacs?

John Miller


It seems strange that the looser action is occurring at the $10/$20 level. Normally the lower levels are where you find all of the loose action. Limit Hold?em is always going to be a game of suckouts and when you are playing with maniacs it will only be worse. In order to be successful at a table full of ?gamblers? you will have to adjust your play. Remember what hands play well in multi-way pots? Hands like J-10 suited and 7-8 suited are the hands you should be looking to play. If you play pocket aces in a five- or six-way pot in Limit Hold?em, you sometimes need to flop an ace to continue with the hand! Remember that in multiway pots, hands like A-K and A-Q offsuit are garbage. What is likely to happen is you will flop an ace and lose to two pair or a straight, costing you a lot of money. In a loose-aggressive game like that, play more small pairs and try to flop a set and suited connectors to flop a straight or two pair. When you do hit your hand, be sure to fire at the pot like a madman. It is more than likely that you will be paid off and will win a big pot, more than making up for the losses you will take trying to get there.

Good Luck!
Clonie Gowen

Dear Clonie, I was wondering if you could talk about the swings of the game. How do you overcome those times when it seems every move you make is the wrong move, and how can you stay focused during these swings?



Swings in poker are the norm, but if you are not prepared for them they can be devastating. Every poker player goes through periods where it seems like they just cannot win, and every decision they make is the wrong one. The key to surviving the swings is to recognize that you are on a downswing, and then concentrate on maintaining your focus. Think through your actions and decisions during your sessions and look for opportunities where you could have done things differently. Analyze your play and talk about it with people whose game you respect and who can help you. Above all, maintain a positive attitude. Understand that swings happen to all players and keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. One of the best ways to keep a positive attitude is to quit while you?re ahead the next time you play. Even if you have only been playing for 30 minutes and you may only be $50 ahead. Quit the game for the day. The win will help you feel better about yourself and will go a long way towards improving your mental attitude, thus pulling you out of the downward swing.

Best of luck,
Clonie Gowen

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