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Tight Aggressive - psychological Point of View
In this article
- Different types of opponents
- Loose vs Tight
Poker is an internal struggle. As already mentioned, this implies self-management above all else. Dangers and challenges lurk everywhere, just waiting to put your character to the test. To become a better poker player, it's advisable to develop your character. Any weakness of character not only poses social and practical difficulties; it is also a leak through which your money will trickle away. Therefore we should pay a lot of attention to minimizing our weaknesses and gaining as much sovereignty over our actions as possible.
It is only recently that I have given much thought to the link between self-management and strategy. The tight-aggressive style is the epitome of perfect self-control. This is known to be the only lucrative style of poker.
If this is so, why doesn't everyone play in this style?
The answer is very simple: because it is unnatural. This style is unique, carefully crafted, and rarely found in your everyday game. It is necessary to invest a lot of time and energy into exercising this style successfully.All other styles correspond with a certain type of character:
Loose passive types are embraced by their contemporaries. They are very social and outgoing. Their greatest weakness is their desire for harmony. They want to be liked, and avoid coming across as unpleasant. For this reason they play many starting hands (due to their drive for social interaction), but raise very little. This (subconscious) action is aimed to avoid any kind of offense. Playing a part and being liked is their ultimate goal, which they do tend to reach as far as I'm concerned. I love calling stations at my table.
The LAG always wants to be the centre of attention, and makes manic, ego-fuelled moves. He uses the game as an opportunity to boast and show off. Everyone has met this type of player in real life.
The Rock is overly cautious and has a great need for safety and control. He will never master the game, because short-term control as well as security is non-existent in poker.All these present typical human character types. But where does the TAG come in?
The tight-aggressive style is contradictory. On the one hand, it is necessary to hold back, but behave decisively and aggressively when playing. I don't see any correlation to a specific character type. Of course there are some of us who remain quiet until a certain point is reached, and then explode into life. However, this is not tight-aggressive, because the pent up rage is a blind one. The TAG can always pull the emergency brakes on the turn or river when he realizes that he is defeated.
These traits find analogies in certain career types or hobbies. Good policemen and soldiers are tight-aggressive. They posses the ability to control themselves, yet can strike without warning when necessary. A kung-fu fighter is my favorite comparison. Like the policeman and the soldier, a kung-fu master becomes good through hard work and tough training. Letting yourself go forms the basis of the other three poker styles. You are who you are. By contrast, the tight-aggressive style is the product of strenuous work. Even if you are familiar with the theoretical foundations, you must resist impulses such as blind aggression or flight during the actual hand. The kung-fu master must spend years meditating in order to obtain strength of character and a high measure of self-control. He must also master the fighting techniques themselves (this is equivalent to the strategy in poker).
Oddly enough, the TAG acquires exactly the security and control in the long-term, which the rock seeks in the short-term. He plays a statistically accurate game, and therefore receives a long-term and continuous income. Practice is certainly not easy, but if you pass through this difficult school, you will become part of the elite. There is no inherent risk of the fish dying out for friends of poker who take the game seriously.While the fish make up the general case, the shark constitutes the exception.
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