Opponent Styles and Position
The following discussion will not only help you identify the strengths and weakness of having certain styled players near you, but can also help as a guide toward seat selection for players who like to observe all the tables before they sit down.
For beginning and intermediate players, a good suggestion is to have tight, passive players on your left and aggressive, loose players on your right. The main reasons for that are:
- With the loose guy on your right, you are always evaluating the hand AFTER s/he makes their call, as opposed to deciding whether to check or bet and anticipate what the loose player will do
- With tight players on your left it will be much easier to steal blinds, and if they call you have the knowledge that the think they have a good hand
- With very loose on your right, you can reraise their bets to force other players to call two bets at once, which is nice because the other players will more likely call a bet than reraise even though they might have a decent hand
- With tight players on your left, you can more easily scare them into thinking you have a great hand even though you might just be buying a free card
- Since players on your left have a positional advantage on you, you'd rather they be more predictable than unpredictable
There is a flip side to that logic which more aggressive players utilize, where they'd rather have loose, aggressive players on their left and tight, passive players on their right. The reasons for that being:
- With the tight player on your right, you know they have a good hand when they raise preflop, so you can let go your questionable hands more easily
- With aggressive players on your left, you can raise, hoping they will reraise to limit the hand to just you two
- With a really tight player calling or raising on your right, when you reraise them it looks like you must have a real powerhouse
- If any player is going to have a positional advantage on you, it might as well be a loose player because you can better anticipate when a check-raise or slowplay will work.
There are great discussions about position in poker by some renowned players and authors.
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