Aggressive Players VS Tight PlayersWednesday, August 25, 2010 10:11 AM
For years and years in poker in the good old days, the more conservative tight players have been a dominant force in the business raking in some of the biggest tournaments and winnings to be seen in poker rooms. Nowadays, that momentum has been shifting to what seems to be a business more favorable to the almighty aggressive / loose players.
Perfect example is the all-time favorite Phil Hellmuth. (Phil's style: extremely tight and more passive) Phil has raked in 11 bracelets in his poker career and likes to self promote himself as the "Best Poker Player in the World". All bracelets considering, we will give you that one Phil! However, we do think that the tides are shifting and not in your favor Phil. His tight style of play, which is waiting for the all mighty hand ranges of AA, AK, AQ, AJ, KK, KQ, KJ, QQ, QJ, JJ and some suited connectors ...really leaves him with very few hands to play with and unfortunately getting crushed by smaller sets connecting on draws or sets.
Now let's look at one of the world's most aggressive and loose players, Tom Dwan. Tom is more of a newcomer in the poker industry but has been rising to poker stardom, thanks to a keen ability to take charge and be a very aggressive and somewhat loose player and take risk / chances, with unwarranted hands. Tom has been a fairly constant player in cash games and tournaments, including those on Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker, on NBC. The reasons why someone like Tom Dwan, stand a better chance of fairing off better, is that when players like Phil Hellmuth don't hit there magic starting hand, they are more easily to be pushed off their hand, even though they may be ahead in their hole cards. If Phil is holding a decent hand like:
and an aggressive player (like: Tom Dwan or Phil Ivey) holding:
If the aggressive player raises pre-flop with 6c 8s, Phil is about a 90% chance of folding his cards. Knowing that Phil is that tight, it shifts the odds so much higher to the aggressor's advantage. This is why you will notice Phil Hellmuth folding so many of his hands pre-flop and for us is a sure sign of danger that lies ahead for tight players and and uphill battle unless the player can change his style to adapt to a more aggressive style and counter with a re-raise action, against aggressive players.
As more players come into the poker scene, we are noticing that the biggest earners out there and the ones that excel the best and cash in big, tend to be the more aggressive players, such as Tom Dwan or Phil Ivey. Personally, we believe that Phil Hellmuth may need to re-adjust his poker strategy(ies) in considering that these are new times in poker to which change and the style of game will be more favorable to an aggressive type player. We keep noticing that Phil Hellmuth whether in cash games and even tournaments ....doesn't seem to be living up to his grand title of the "World's Best Poker Player. One exception lately has been Phil Hellmuth's 7th Place finish in the WPT World Championships ($25,000 Buy-in) at the Bellagio. Mind you only 300 players were entered, but still a very good placing and finish. At Poker Approved, we now believe that the felt tables will now be run and conquered by a new breed of poker players, which will no doubt lean in favor to the more aggressive players.
Long gone are the days to wait for Big-Slick (AK), in order to make a move and raise pre-flop. Read your opponents and try raising pre-flop with your 6,8 off suit and you will be surprised to see how many players you will push off their hand and pick up the blinds with 8 High. After all, how attractive is a pair of 4's to another player ...when you raise them big pre-flop!