When talking strategy, the No. 1 topic players will talk about is the power of position. What we don’t mention often is what happens most often: You’re stuck at a table with excellent loose-aggressive players to your left and only one to two hands per round where you’re going to have position on them.
So instead of giving up and hoping for the table to break, learn how to deal with the situation as it will arise more often than not.
• Don’t act intimidated. The last thing you want to do is say “Oh no, not you again!” to a good player coming to sit to your left. Confidence is everything at the table. The more you show him you’re worried, the more you will get picked on.
• Don’t play too many hands vs. players you know are amazing postflop.
• Pick your spots. When you play a hand, be in the driver’s seat. Take control of the hand from beginning to end.
• Three-bet sizes: When out of position, 3.2 is a good three-bet size as you still want to get some folds preflop from opponents. Three-bet between 2.7-2.8 times the big blind if you’re in position.
• Don’t get too creative with marginal hands. Good players have the ability to read a hand and will make correct decisions most of the time.
• Don’t limp, ever. If your hand is not good enough to open with then fold.
• Four-betting as a bluff once in a while is a profitable move vs. LAGs. They will fold a lot preflop to your four-bet as their three-bet range is huge.
• Don’t defend blinds recklessly. If you don’t have it, fold. Don’t try to see a flop with a hand that’s just going to need a near miracle.
• Slow-playing big hands can be profitable. Flatting a top-five hand preflop vs. LAGs is usually going to be profitable as they tend to put a lot of money in the pot.
• Your opponent isn’t always bluffing, so don’t hero-call a river bomb as LAGs are aware of their image and will have it in that spot more often than not.
— Natasha is a pro who lives in Tampa, Fla.. You can follow her on Twitter @natashabarbour.