Betting or raising in a hand is going to change the dynamics and pot size. It’s critical you keep this in mind because a bulk of the confrontations that you are involved in likely require pot size management on your part. The point is to avoid getting engaged in large pots, unless you are sure you are strongest in the hand.
It is important therefore to look at your actions during a hand and have the foresight to understand what the prospective result may be. To clarify, even though you might have the best cards when you bet, you may very well be behind when on fifth street. It may take some expereince to keep pot size under control, because there are also ofther factors like profiling, draws, and the community cards themeselves.
Reckon also if you are going to make a raise or re-raise, that the class of opponent you are playing actually has the ability to fold – when they really should be laying it down. I’ve seen many players in online tournaments look at a fair strength draw on the flop, and resolve to just go for it. Of course, that’s going to be a big pot and even though you’re ahead, you will often get drawn out and find yourself losing a big hand, or even worse. You really want to avoid this, particularly in the early tournament levels when there is no reason to become short stacked save for a huge suck out, when the blinds are so low.
When the pots are small, your opposition also tend to become easier to read because they are also thinking about what you may have. The simple reality of your opponent wanting to be in a hand gives more credibility to a narrow range of hole cards he may be holding. When your opponent also shows concern about the pot getting out of control you have more opportunity to turn a losing hand into a winner by taking the pot down with a bluff bet.
Now that leads to the most significant advantage of controlling the size of the pot, which is that you get to see all the community cards before you really resolve what to do in terms of your hand strength and your opponent’s propensity to make an error. Prospective draws or paired boards reveal themselves to critical spots but could either turn into monster for you or help you slow down and save you some tournament chips.
Managing the pot size needs emotional discipline, good profiling, and an experienced view of community card texture. Conversely, it is one of the biggest misplays your adversaries will be making, and represents an economic opportunity for you to double up.