World Series of Poker Europe

Igor Kurganov Explains How to Play Against Your Friends

Igor Kurganov

The PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final festival is well underway this week in beautiful Monaco. With many side events already playing out, the €10,600 Main Event kicks off today at noon local time with the first of two Day 1 flights, while the final table of the €100,000 Super High Roller gets started a half-hour after that.

Among the star-studded final eight left in the Super High Roller is Igor Kurganov, currently second in chips and eyeing along with the others the €2,015,000 prize awaiting today’s winner.

While most of us probably can’t identify with playing tournaments with six-figure buy-ins, we all can relate to the situation of playing against friends or facing the same players over and over again in home games. As often happens in these big buy-in events, the players are very familiar with each other, and in many cases are friends, too. Our Remko Rinkema caught up with Kurganov during a break yesterday to ask him a few questions about how playing with opponents with whom he’s played many times before might affect his approach.

As Kurganov points out at the start, he doesn’t necessarily change his overall strategy too greatly when playing against friends, but the fact that they have played so many hands before with one another does affect his decision-making.

Other topics discussed in this short video include:

  • Are dynamics more important than hand ranges when playing against friends?
  • What are some tips for changing your game so as to become less readable by players who are very familiar with you?
  • How do tells and fake-tells come into play?

Be sure to follow coverage of the €100,000 Super High Roller final table today to see how Kurganov fares against friends like Max Altergott and other familiar foes including Erik Seidel and the new Global Poker Index No. 1 Scott Seiver.

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