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Why Travelling Players Are Easier To Beat? By Alex Fitzgerald Poker
Gutshot Editorial
Posted on 04 Mar, 2024
By Gutshot Editorial
On 04 Mar, 2024
By Gutshot Editorial
On 04 Mar, 2024

Why Travelling Players Are Easier To Beat? By Alex Fitzgerald

“I’m going to admit something to you guys. Whenever I see somebody travelled a long way for a poker tournament, I try to bluff them more,” says Poker Headrush coach and owner, Alex Fitzgerald. And on this page, we’re going to dive into why he thinks travelling players are a softer target.

He sent out an email to his Poker Headrush subscribers with the title ‘How To Play Better Poker When Travelling’, which outlines what happens to players who are on the road for a particular event. He then went on to explain what he means with a small example.

Recently, Fitzgerald found himself playing in the Czech Republic, facing off against a satellite winner from Canada. The board was coordinated, and his opponent check-called him. Analysing the situation, Fitzgerald assumed his opponent would have raised with strong hands like sets or two pairs to extract value and protect against the coordinated board. He then narrowed the Canadian’s range down to one pair and decided to apply pressure by triple-barrelling.

The opponent called on the turn but then reluctantly folded on the river, allowing the poker coach to scoop a nice pot. Now, consider a hypothetical scenario: The same player, but this time in an online $20 tournament. Here’s where things diverge. The stakes are different, and the dynamics shift. If he spots a missed flush draw and suspects Fitzgerald attempting to bully him, he might just call. After all, if he’s wrong, there’s no need to travel anywhere. He can fire up another tournament right from the comfort of his laptop, without losing much money.

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Here’s the key insight:

Game stakes aren’t solely determined by the buy-in. We must also account for the effort it took someone to reach the tournament venue. When players travel, they often harbour a desire not to bust out too quickly. Why? Because it feels disheartening. The journey—hours spent packing, flying, and navigating in an Uber—shouldn’t all be in vain.

Imagine investing significant time and energy only to bust out in the opening levels. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. As a consequence, many players adopt a cautious approach at the start of tournaments they’ve travelled for. They call more frequently, believing that seeing more flops is a safer route.

“Trust me. I get it. I have some high-variance plays I use all the time online. When I travel for a poker tournament, I don’t love having to use those plays. It feels gross to spend so much time and money on one tournament and then bust quickly. No one wants to walk away after getting caught bluffing in a big event.”

“But if you are not going to attack from hand one, you are not going to have a great chance to win. You must be prepared to play a big pot at any time. You do not want to be the player who can be taken advantage of due to how far they travelled. You need to be the one that they are worried about on the felt,” added Fitzgerald.

But here’s the catch:

Your game should remain consistent, whether you’re at home or on the road. Your offense must travel. If your natural inclination is to reraise and assert dominance, don’t abandon that style just because you’re in unfamiliar territory. Adapt, but stay true to your strategic core.

Do remember that in poker (as in life), the journey matters just as much as the eventual destination. So, whether you’re logging online hours or crossing continents, play your A-game. Your chips—and your reputation—depend on it. 🃏💼

Alex Fitzgerald is among the better poker coaches across the world, and you can also get some personal insights by joining his platform called Poker Headrush. For similar updates on poker news and training from around the world, stay tuned to GutshotMagazine.com.

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