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Poker Strategy with PartyPoker Pro Bodo Sbrzesny: Online Poker vs. Live Poker

Bodo Sbrzesny

PartyPoker pro Bodo Sbrzesny discusses poker strategy and what he thinks one of the biggest mistake online pros make when they sit down to play live poker.

Recently, I witnessed of one of the biggest problems I believe online players have in live poker: they let their egos get in the way. Sure, they are able to make some profits at the live table, but all too often they lose track just to strengthen their ego in certain situations. I see this quite frequently with younger players who are still fragile and prone to tilt.

In this instance, my table had to be closed because it lacked players. I was moved with the two remaining players to another table. There were three German players sitting at the table, two of whom seemed to know each other, and they were colluding, but that’s not my point. As usual, I was wearing my PartyPoker shirt with my name on it. When I wear my darker colored PartyPoker shirt, I like to wear my "cheap glitter bracelet," which I find quite stylish. After awhile I was asked by a guy at the table whether it was a poker bracelet. My answer was no, and, as always, I started telling my little funny story. "I won it in a head-to-head against my mum, of course I had to arrange a bad beat at the end, otherwise I would have had no chance against her." Granted, this story seems a bit clumsy and well-memorized but when players at the table hear it for the first time it raises some smiles. 
Thereupon he responded "no one would wear such an ugly bracelet, you better give it away as a present. I just rolled my eyes and didn’t pay any more attention to the conversation.

But that was only the prologue. 
We had a straddle at the table. I was in the cut-off and I open-raised {J-Clubs}{9-Clubs}. My "friend" reraised, and I knew instantly that he only wanted to flex his muscles because he had not made any three-bets so far. With the hand I had, I would always call for 100 big blinds when I’m in position, especially if I can put him on a relatively light three-bet range. In this case it was a very light one after the harsh comments he had given me before. Something to note, however, just because it was his first three-bet, does not necessarily mean that it was a strong one!

The flop came down {J-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{8-Clubs}, and I had flopped a monster. I was not going to fold to anything. He checked, and I had already seen him check-fold previously during play. With such a range on the board, I am almost always fully committed. I bet 60% of the pot and he went all-in. Before calling him, I checked my cards again just to reassure myself that I had not seen my hand wrong because of the poor lighting conditions in the room. It's hard to say what I expected, probably jacks plus, ten-nine, or something. After all, he had simply no fold equity after I made my bet, and he should have never played a sheer draw that way (e.g. ace-queen).

The river was the {Q-Diamonds} and I hit the straight, which of course made me very happy against his range. He showed {9-Spades}{2-Spades} and we split the pot. I had 90% hand equity and that’s enough for me, for a good feeling, regardless of the outcome. Poker should not be looked at result-oriented.

What was he doing with his {2-Spades}{9-Spades}? He most likely just wanted to strengthen his ego by showing me his hand as a bluff. But those things are mostly to happen to your own expense. So in case you get involved in an ego-war at the table, try to make good decisions and don’t get caught by your emotions.
 Best of luck and many successful decisions, regardless of the outcome.

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