In his second video for the Paul Phua Poker School, Dan “Jungleman” Cates reveals why aggression pays. Paul Phua picks the interview highlights.
If you have been playing poker for as long as I have, you will have noticed that playing styles have become more aggressive over the years. The aggressor is the one able to take initiative, and aggressive raising also gives you “fold equity”, forcing a fold from a stronger hand. These days there are many expert players who 3-bet pre-flop with hands that others might not even call with.
It makes them unpredictable and hard to play against. They might have Ace-King, Ace-Queen or a big pair… but they might also have just suited connectors!
Why Dan Cates 3-bets with 5-3 suited
In his previous video interview for the Paul Phua Poker School, Dan “Jungleman” Cates talked about the aggression that has made him one of the world’s best heads-up players – “I just try to win all the pots I can!” In this second “In Conversation With Paul Phua” video for the Paul Phua Poker School, Dan “Jungleman” Cates talks in greater detail about the hands he likes to 3-bet with.
“If we’re playing in our game,” says Jungleman, “the deep game [high-stakes cash], l’d 3-bet the biggest hands, obviously, but also, like, the bluffs that play the best post-flop, the ‘best bluffs’ so to speak. Like 6-5 suited, 5-3 suited, obviously.”
It may not be obvious to less experienced players that one could raise with 5-3 suited! But that’s what makes Jungleman one of the most successful poker pros around. Dan Cates made more than $10 million profit on the Full Tilt poker site before transitioning to live games, and has since racked up more than $5 million in tournament cashes.
Why 3-bets depend on player and position
As with everything in poker strategy, how you 3-bet will depend on who you are playing against. Jungleman explains: “If someone plays either like tight or aggressive or whatever, l would rather not 3-bet something like AJ offsuit. But if they play passive, and like, just call down or don’t have too many moves, l’d rather 3-bet AJ offsuit a lot.”
And of course it also depends on your position. Jungleman continues: “Or maybe some players I might want to 3-bet more than others, like, if l want to play more in position with them or whatever.”
Why size matters in bluffing
One strategy I have noticed some aggressive poker pros adopt is to deliberately bet more with their bluffs to create a bigger pot. By the time the river comes, the pot is so large that many amateur players will not dare to call with anything much less than the nuts.
In this new Paul Phua Poker School video interview, I ask Jungleman about that. “l think it can make sense to do that,” he agrees. “l mean, l think at least in theory things are quite a bit more complicated, for various reasons.
“l mean, you can manipulate pot stack size if you just know, like, how much they’re going to call on the turn and then fold on the river, if someone just always calls and folds on the river or something. But l think that’s kind of a complicated subject.”
What he means is, this is not something you should try unless you genuinely are an expert player!
How often should you bluff?
Jungleman also talks about when and how to bluff: “The one thing l think about more is how many bluffs do l want to turn up with. In pretty much every situation, basically, you can kind of, like, weight the value of various different bluffs in a lot of the spots and, like, how strong ranges players have. l think about stuff like that…”
And then Jungleman shows that, however aggressive the pro players can be, for the most part they still follow the most simple and fundamental poker advice of all: “But mostly l try to play big pots with big hands
Who is Daniel “Jungleman” Cates? Poker player profile
- Dan Cates, 27, from the United States, is one of the world’s leading heads-up poker players.
- He plays online under the names “Jungleman12” and “w00ki3z”.
- He has made more than $10 million profit on the Full Tilt poker site.
- He has nearly $5 million in live tournament cashes.
- He often plays cash poker for high stakes in “the Big Game” in Macau and Manila.
- He is known for his aggressive style of play.