Establishing an Aggressive Image Early in Tournaments

Establishing an Aggressive Image Early in Tournaments

Today I have a fun hand to share from early in the $10,000 buy-in Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open event

If you've been watching my other videos you know I'm a pretty big fan of getting involved as much as possible early in a tournament when it's reasonable to do so. One benefit of being aggressive and playing a number of hands during the early stages is that it generally helps you get your strong hands paid off later in the tournament.

This early hand happened when the blinds were 100/200 with a 25 ante and I'd built up a stack of nearly 60,000. It folded to me on the button where I had {k-Spades}{10-Diamonds}, then a loose-aggressive young player in the small blind with about 32,000 to start reraised to 1,800.

I then chose to reraise myself to 4,550, and in the video I explain why calling is a losing play in this position, meaning it is better either to fold or four-bet. The small blind called, the flop came {j-Spades}{5-Hearts}{4-Clubs}, and my opponent checked.

I continued with a bet of 3,600 (a little over a third of the pot), and my opponent called. The turn then brought the {2-Diamonds}, he checked again, and I bet 5,000 (a little less than a third of the pot this time).

Take a look and hear my discussion of hand ranges and the reasoning behind these postflop bets, and see what happens in the hand:

Here was an example of me deciding to apply relentless aggression early on Day 1. While these plays often do work out and give you an aggressive image, be aware that sometimes they epically fail, resulting in substantial losses.

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,500,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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