En Challenge

One of the hardest things to do in poker is to stand up and walk away whilst a game is still in full swing. Some days it pays to realise that today just isn’t going to be your day. The great thing about poker is that there will always be another game and if it’s not going your way today, taking a bow and living to fight another day is often the best course of action.


I’m not a huge fan of shades at the poker table, but they are not without their uses. The big international tournaments can play 12-hour days for up to a week and I’ve yet to meet a player who can relentlessly focus for 100 per cent of that time. Sunglasses and iPods afford you the opportunity to sit back a little and tune everybody out.


So you made the final table. Congratulations. Now the hard work really begins. It is essential that you make it to short-handed play; that is the last three or four players. This is where the serious money kicks in. My normal strategy at any final table is to try and sit fairly quiet, avoiding any unnecessarily risky plays until I reach this short-handed stage. Once there, you can hopefully exploit that solid image you have been nurturing and bring out the more aggressive plays.