Have you ever seen Dr. Strangelove (Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb)? It’s a great movie, in no small part because of Peter Seller’s performance(s). The funniest parts happen when things are overly important, staunchly serious, and absolutely absurd (simultaneously). For example, near the end of the film, it has become apparent that a Soviet doomsday device will irradiate the whole world. Why is there a doomsday device in the first place? Simply, the Soviets were tired of a constant race and the impending ‘gaps’ between the US and the Soviets in various fields, such as the ‘Space Gap,’ the ‘Weapons Gap,’ and the ‘Peace Gap.’ So when the doomsday device is certain to go off and the best plan concocted by the resident ex-Nazi mad scientist is a subterranean refuge, the discussion turns to estimate the ‘Cave Gap.’

Call me Strangelove if you want (but only on Fridays, at The Wet Spot), but I think that acknowledging and defending against gaps inherent to Hold ‘em become part of a dominant strategy, no matter how superfluous they might be. The foremost example is Position Gap that I first came across on pkv qq.

With the tides and the moon, so too does your position change in cycles. The closer to the Dealer Button you are, the greater your advantage is, obviously, because you get to see what actions other people have taken before you. Of course, that means that when you’re in the Big Blind you’re completely hosed (early to act AND posting a blind, geez) and the first to act before the flop, the position so frequently and accurately called ‘under the gun,’ is hopeless! You should just fold everything blind! Right?

Well, no. The best defense to fight the Position Gap is to force a different type of pressure on those players in the back who have their turn with the little white puck. I recommend that you form a Quality Gap by playing only hands that have a high win percentage (none of this speculative garbage, thank you!) from the front positions. So when you do decide to bet out, the action for that sneaky, opportunistic son-of-a-gun with the Dealer Button only has one action: fold. If the quality of your hands is overwhelmingly great when you’re playing from early positions, then their reasonable options are hedged and so are their trickiness, resourcefulness, and ability to steal away with your valuables at the end of the night.

Did you consider also the long-term implications of playing only creamy, Grade A, choice cut cards in early positions? Just when opponents get used to you being a raw powerhouse under the gun and you’re not making a dime off of your pocket bullets and cowboys, you can start playing something more speculative-like suited connectors- with just the same sureness and aggression. After you show it down, a surprise like that can get your opponents steaming and indignant enough to playback at you when you’re holding premium hands again. And when they try to tack out their frustrations through mortal combat, plant your feet and say in your most authoritative voice, “There’ no fighting in here! This is the war room!”

About The Author

Erik Allaire is a master poker player who has won many professional poker events, wishes to represent his country at the world level.

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