Poker Pro's Corner: Playing too aggressively can have its downside
Apr 20,2007 00:00 by Padraig Parkinson

Q: I am continually getting wasted when I have A-K. I play the hand aggressively in most positions but the more aggressive I get, the more I seem to lose out. What am I doing wrong?

Fed Up


PADRAIG PARKINSON - Padraig Parkinson is known as a very dangerous and clever player. He has won more than $1.3 million in tournament play. CNS Photo. 
Maybe you're just being unlucky, but I doubt it. If you play it too aggressively, you're liable to only get action when it's a coin-flip or you're smoked preflop. Long term, the prospects aren't good.

Q: I make a little money at cash games and have made final tables in tournaments at my local card room. How do you know when you're good enough?

Ready for the Big Time

Los Angeles

A: There are lots of kinds of good enough. If everybody could see no farther than getting to the very top, there would be a lot of sad and frustrated people around, and nobody would be having a good time playing a great game. Maybe the important thing is to be good enough at the level you reach to be able to enjoy yourself.

Q: I always try to get ahead early in tournaments so I can play more hands, figuring that if I see more flops I am in a better position. Should I just be cooler?


Columbus, Ohio

A: No. I like the plan.

Q: What's the worst hand you should play?

Loose Goose

Montclair, Va.

A: Sometimes you've got to play what they give you, and sometimes that isn't very much. The situation is often a lot more important than what you're holding. You've only got to look at the records of "any two will do" tournament players like Gavin Smith or Alan Goehring to appreciate that.

Padraig Parkinson is known among his fellow pros as a very dangerous player with or without cards - or even sleep. Aggressive and clever, Parkinson has won more than $1.3 million in tournament play. Highlights include a third-place finish in the 1999 World Series of Poker Main Event, which netted him nearly $500,000, and a third place in a $1,500 no-limit hold'em event.

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