Now comes the era of extraaggressive poker, when everyday players act recklessly in front of imaginary TV cameras. Games are lively. And one of the most profitable and misunderstood facets of poker is disrespected, unglamorous, underestimated, and infrequently analyzed. I’m talking about the art of the call. That’s today’s selfinterview topic.
Question 1: You termed it “the art of the call.” What kind of art or skill does it take to just agree to someone else’s wager?
by Mike Caro - The Mad Genius of Poker
Hi there, again! I noticed that you’re ready to take a seat in your next poker game. Before you do, there’s one thing I’d like you keep in mind as you compete - and as you follow the play-by- play action it’s simply this:
Whenever players wager in poker, they’re taking a chance. Clearly, you want to reduce risk by not betting, if checking will save you money. And you should increase risk by betting if the danger is worthwhile. Try to count how many violations you witness. By the way, that truth about making a bet is fundamental to living life successfully, also.
Making a bet should never be done at whim. You must have solid reasons to bet and solid reasons not to bet. That’s the topic of today’s self-interview.
Talk about “warm and fuzzy.” I never fully understood that terminology and I don’t experience that feeling often, but I did when I learned that Phyllis Caro was to be inducted into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame.
Today’s self-interview is about that September 3 happening. I was married to Phyllis for 20 years and most of my own proudest achievements happened because of her encouragement.
Question 1: Is Phyllis in the Hall of Fame because of her poker playing skills?
No. Phyllis probably could have been a great player, but she never pursued the game. Instead she did many things for our poker community that you might not know about.
by Mike 'the Mad Genius of Poker' Caro
It’s both illogical and unfair to criticize poker opponents for making plays that seem obviously stupid to you. Almost anything that seems obvious wasn’t that way a minute before you first understood it. For every dawn, there is a darkness that comes first.
That observation doesn’t just apply to poker. It is a fundamental life truth. So let’s make today’s self-interview about the earliest times I grasped things about poker and life. There’s today’s word—“earliest.”
This will cover my journey to discovering great truth, and hopefully it will parallel what other players and other people experienced, too. Go.
Question 1: When was the earliest time you realized it was possible to beat poker?
As we continue our series of self-interviews, I’d like to deal with a special request. The persona who usually interviews me has taken today off. His replacement has asked if he can ask questions seeking poker advice that applies strictly to him.
I said yes. I’m gambling that any advice applying to him will also help others. So let’s see. Here’s the interview…
Question 1: I have a $500 bankroll, which I’ve gradually built from $20 playing at 50-cent and $1 blinds, no-limit hold’em. Last night there was a game with $1 and $3 blinds that had very loose and weak players. Should I have sat in that game, instead?
Hey! Great to see you again! Today’s self-interview focuses on my reflections about poker tournaments in general, and about my participation in this year’s World Series of Poker main event in particular.
I guess we need to wait a minute for the interviewer to get ready. Here he comes now…
Question 1: Since today’s word is “reflection,” would you like to reflect on your experience at the 2011 WSOP main event?
There’s not much to say. There were almost 7,000 players participating, and thousands of them probably have more interesting stories to relay than mine.
In fact, I got eliminated on Day 3 of the action, which actually meant the eighth day of the event, when you consider that the tournament began on Thursday, July 7 and I was knocked out of the competition on Thursday, July 14, in the 25th hour of actual play.
In real-world poker games, tells can account for most of your profit. But in order to take advantage, you need to watch closely. And you need to know what to watch. Today’s self-interview provides some advice and some secrets.
Question 1: How can tells account for most of your profit? Isn’t that an exaggeration?
It would be an exaggeration and a falsehood had I said that tells will account for most of your profit. Instead, I said they can. But it’s sort of a parlor trick using words.
Here’s the deal. Let’s say you’re a fairly sophisticated player who can overcome the rake and break exactly even. You’ve overcome obstacles. And you should be proud.
It isn’t easy being a serious poker player. Scary creatures are hiding within poker’s jungles, waiting to devour your bankroll. Everywhere you walk, there are pythons and pitfalls.
I know the feeling. And if you’re not careful, a part of you will whisper secretly, urging you to give up the effort. That part of you isn’t your friend. It’s hard to build a bankroll and easy to destroy one. Let’s talk about that in today’s self-interview.
I couldn’t quite figure out what the topic for today’s self-interview should be. I thought about comparing the features of photo editing software and about my worst restaurant experiences. Those would probably be difficult to tie into poker in meaningful ways.
So, I thought and I thought. And then something brilliant blasted my brain. How about tips! Sometimes I explain poker concepts in great detail. And sometimes I just provide the essence of profitable poker advice, otherwise known as tips. Let’s do that. First question, please…