Sports & Gaming

Understanding Position

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 12:30 min

Learn how to immediately improve your game by playing the right cards at the right time. Daniel evaluates early, middle, and late position strategies and provides tips on how to capitalize on the opportunities that each position affords.

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Topics include: Out of Position = Defense; In Position = Offense • Playing Hands in Early Position • Playing Hands in Middle Position • Playing Hands in Late Position • Playing Hands in the Blinds • Set a Baseline and Adjust According to Player Tendencies • Capitalize on Position to Win Pots • Quiz: Winning Pots Based on Position


So if you ever watch poker on TV, you hear them talk about position a lot and position being super important. And I think one of the easiest ways to explain the importance of position, is to use, actually, a blackjack analogy. Right? So many of you, I imagine, have played 21, blackjack, and when you do go to Las Vegas and play, you know, there are situations sometimes that come up where you've got 14. Right? And the dealer is showing a four. So the best the dealer could have is 14. The problem is, you have to go first. Right? So you go first, and you're going to hit on the 14, some of the time and bust. So the dealer doesn't even have to draw a card-- automatically wins. Now, using that analogy in terms of how it works with poker is, when you're the button and you get to go last and your opponent goes first on every street, you gain so much more information. Right? And most flops that you're going to see come out, are going to be flops that both players miss. Like, when you have a hand, like king-queen, you're not a favorite to make a pair on the flop. Usually, you're going to flop not such a great hand. So what that means is, the player who wins the pot, is typically the one that's going to take the initiative, be more aggressive. And it's easier to do that in position because you get the information first of your opponent checking or betting before you. So being in position is simply just a position of like, you get to control the game a lot more easily than you can when you have to act without having any idea how your opponent feels about the flop, turn, or the river. There's two positions you can be in, in a pot. You're either in position, or you're out of position. When you're in position, that means you get to go last. When you're out of position, you know, you don't know what's going to happen behind you. You might get raised. You know, you might get bluffed. A whole bunch of bad things could happen. So think of it like-- imagine it was boxing, right-- so when you're out of position, you want to keep your guard up. Right? You want to be very defensive and you want to be careful, because you're at a disadvantage. Right? You can play possum sometimes with strong hands, as well, because you want to keep a balance. And then, you know, conversely, if you are the player in position, you want to be the one throwing the punches. Right? You want to be the aggressor. You're the one who has control of the situation. You're the one in position that's looking to maximize profit, whereas typically, your train of thought out of position is minimize and protect. When you're in early position, like, really the best defense against people that are overly aggressive is to fold more. OK. So that's just the way it is. Unfortunately, that is the number one best way to do that. Now, that's not to say, you know, when you get a really good hand, you're not going be able to profit, because you know that your opponent is supposed to...

About the Instructor

Put yourself across the felt from Daniel Negreanu, the biggest live tournament poker winner of all time. The six-time World Series of Poker champion teaches poker strategy, advanced theory, and practice through hand-reviews of his winning games. Learn how to sharpen your mental game through demos on reading opponents and spotting tells. Join Daniel at the table to increase your win rate, grow your ROI, and get your game “in the money.”

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Daniel Negreanu

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