The Rock: How To Raise Your Game
Top Tips From Professional Poker Players
Expert Poker Player: Bruno Politano
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An immovable object of the home poker table, the Rock is a force to be reckoned with - but taking such a stubborn, inflexible approach can cause trouble, suggests professional poker ace Bruno Politano.

How To Dominate The Home Poker Table

If your natural approach to poker is to keep your cards close and your risks low, don’t be afraid to make a virtue of that approach - it can be the key to ruling the home poker roost. Bruno Politano has won in excess of $1.2 million over a distinguished career - an expert in making the most of your inherent strengths during gameplay. “Play tight!” he says, “Choose your plays deliberately, and take fewer risks - you can then use your tight image when you go for a big bluff.”

Indeed, if you deliberately foster your image as a focused, single-minded home poker player, it can really work to your advantage when needed. The last thing your competitors will suspect would be a bold, daring move - one atypical to your every game behaviours. This approach can work in many different ways; ”Let people try their bluffs on you,” suggests Bruno, “Check and call a lot and make traps whenever possible.”

As well as taking a self-aware approach to poker, Bruno believes the best way for the Rock to raise their game is to dedicate themselves to study, play and improve their game; “The more knowledge you acquire, the less you will depend on luck and variance.”

The Rock: Understanding Poker Psychology

Winning big at your home poker table demands a tried and tested knowledge of home poker psychology. If you’re the Rock, playing against a similar player can be a shot in the dark. “Explore their approach with big bets” advises Bruno, “But take care - look out for their traps and endless checks and calling.” He identifies the Maniac as the type of player to pose a real threat to the Rock - their unpredictability can make any raise a risky business. The predatory instinct of the Shark can also cause trouble, “Be aware” warns Bruno, “The Shark can be creative when you don’t expect it. The Maniac is really dangerous, too - be careful, and open your range of value hands.”

Other players pose less of a threat. Resist Bullies by keeping calm and check calling them when confident in your own hand. And Fish? “Enjoy their dead money” he suggests, smiling, “Maximise your winnings against them on every hand, and don’t be afraid to value bet as much as possible.”

Top Tips To Raise Your Game

  1. Adapt your range depending on whoever you are playing against - a studied, understated flexibility is key to winning regularly.
  2. Focus on playing in position. This will help you to take the best decisions and bluff against weak opponents.
  3. Try to breath really slow, without moving and speaking - within reason, obviously. Avoid looking directly at your opponent during key moments - find a spot in the room and just stare at it.

Learn more about the different personas at the home poker table - explore the guide and discover expert tips for raising your game.