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High Stakes Poker

April 11, 2008

I’ve been watching some back episodes of High Stakes Poker lately. If you’re not familiar, it pits some of the best poker pros against each other, with one or two experienced amateurs getting a chance to sit in as well. Some very nice plays, some very aggressive plays, some very loose preflop calls.

What I want to note here is the loose preflop calls. What the casual audience might not pay attention to is the fact that even though this is a cash or ring game and not a tournament, in the early seasons there is an ante as well as the blinds, and in the fourth season there are three blinds plus an optional straddle or fourth blind, all posted before any cards are dealt. In other words, these pots are bigger than normal pots even before the cards are received.

This altered structure is intentional. It makes each pot worth more, meaning that each player has more reason to stay in the pot at least preflop. This is what the producers want; more players playing, more action to telecast.

In other words, don’t do this at home, kids.

But, I think some do, which of course explains more of the loose aggressive play of some people at the learning stake levels.

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