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The Art of Re-Isolating Weak Players

As certain styles of play become fashionable and well known in poker, so successful players have to start adapting to the current status quo and find ways to exploit the new accepted style of 'good' play. This is particularly pronounced in the world of how modern players deal with limping/weak players, and to give yourself the best chance at winning the dead money you often have to start thinking about how best to not only exploit the fish, but also other good players reactions to the fish. Most good players in the current era habitually try and isolate weak players whenever they enter a pot. They are trying to get into a heads up pot against the fish, and use their greater post flop skill to pound away at any opportunity they can. This is generally bad news for you on the face of it (particularly if such a player has position on the fish and constantly gets to act before you), as it makes it harder for you to enter pots with the fish, but is also a set up that can allow you to make plays that exploit both the fish and the good player. Fish play too many hands, and they generally play them too passively. Good players know this, and try and isolate with a very wide range of hands as a result. This means that both players will tend to be very wary of a raise over both of them, as both will frequently be making such plays with marginal hands. Playing a weak hand into one re-raise is one thing, but playing into a raise and a re-raise either requires a big hand or an even bigger pair of balls. Such a re-isolation play from you can be extremely rewarding, as you pick up not only the blinds and the weak players initial call/raise, but also the good players re-raise. It only requires a few of these a session to give you a sizeable edge over the field, and despite it's risk, is a necessary play if you want to stay afloat of the blinds and get the best chance of winning the money - particularly in short handed games where the blind pressure is so immense. Although a high risk play that makes you look very stupid when one of the players turns up with a hand, the re-isolate is actually an extremely important play in modern Hold'em, and one that can mean the difference between winning and losing in games full of sound players and just one or two fish. You have to be prepared to die in order to live in poker, and moves such as this very quickly separate good players from bad in any game, but particularly in tough short handed ones. Join Betfair Poker Now

Playing a weak hand into one re-raise is one thing, but playing into a raise and a re-raise either requires a big hand or an even bigger pair of balls.

Dave Allan,

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