In this self-interview, I’ve instructed the interviewer to ask questions about poker that can be responded to briefly. So, we’re focusing on short answers and more questions today.
Question 1: How do you personally prepare to win before you enter a poker game?
I don’t. I expect to win, but I don’t prepare. My preparation is in all the research and analysis I’ve done in previous years. For most players, it would be a good idea to take a few minutes to remind themselves of their goals and to consider what they know about the opponents they’re about to face. Personally, I don’t do that, but maybe I should.
Question 2: Name the biggest destroyer of poker bankrolls?
Poker tactics can be complex. But usually, they don’t need to be. I’ll tell you why in today’s self-interview.
Question 1: You’ve talked a lot about tricking opponents in poker? Can you do that using simple tactics?
Sure. Whenever you bet strong hands and opponents doubt that you really hold them, they call. The deception is in the doubt.
If opponents always called, then there would be no reason to trick them. You wouldn’t bluff, and you’d always bet your big hands the maximum amount. Poker would be easy. Sadly, it’s not. But the better you can maneuver your poker opponents into acting in predictable ways, the more money you’ll earn.
Here’s something that you should know for certain: Poker is about cost. In fact, cost is the foundation of every poker decision. So, I’ll talk about that in today’s self interview. I want you to think about poker in a new and profitable way.
Question 1: You’ve previously explained, at various times, that poker is about strategy or about discipline or about finding weak games or even about understanding opponents. So now you’re telling us that poker is about cost. Which is it?
You’ve probably spent many fitful nights pondering the theoretical difference between limit and no-limit poker. We all do that.
Well, the important differences aren’t obvious to everyone. Clearly, in limit poker, the size of each bet is established by rule. In no-limit, you must decide how much to wager. Fine. Finding the right no-limit bet size is both science and art form. The amount you can bet is limitless (today’s word) – up to the total amount of chips you own or the total amount that an opponent owns, whichever is smaller.
Sure, we all know that. But the repercussions of that truth leaves no-limit play largely misunderstood. So, let’s clear it up in today’s self-interview.
About 1985. The conversation goes something like this: “If you want to win at poker, stay out of the spotlight,” a friend named Jackson tells me.
“How come?” I probe.
“When you draw attention to yourself,” he explains, “you’re inviting disaster. Players will watch you more closely and spot tells. The right way to win is to be invisible and strike when they least expect it.”
Let’s examine Jackson’s advice in today’s self-interview.
Question 1: So, was Jackson right in stating that being invisible is the right way to win?
The more you know about poker and the more you master the game, the easier it is to play fancy and still win. Playing fancy is fun. But there are things you need to ponder about choosing unusual tactics in poker. And that’s the subject of today’s self-interview.
Question 1: Do you play fancy?
by Mike Caro
Did you know that you can win many extra chips, just by identifying the direction an opponent is looking? Are they staring at you? Are they looking away from you – in accordance with today’s word, “away”? Are they staring at the flop? At their cards?
It greatly matters. And that’s the subject of this self-interview...
Question 1: Okay. It always unnerves me when an opponent is looking at me. Should I be concerned?
Should you ever ignore your opponents in poker? Oddly, yes. What about players who ignore you? There’s a lot of extra money to be made if you understand why they’re doing it and how to respond. We’ll talk about that, too, in today’s self interview.
Question 1: I don’t get it. Why should I ever ignore opponents? Won’t I win more by focusing on them?
In most cases, you will. Make a habit of focusing on your opponents.
A great deal of your poker success depends upon control. Its importance is greater and its meaning broader than most players think.
So, let’s make “Control” today’s word and feature it in this self-interview...
Question 1: I’m not really sure what you mean by “control” as it applies to poker. Are you talking about emotional control, bankroll control, or what?
All of it – especially the “or what.” You need to control yourself and stick to your best game all the time. And if you fail to play your best always, at least recognize that failure and steer back on course.
Don’t get upset. Don’t let others prod you into playing poorly. And be reasonable about how much of your bankroll to risk and where to risk it. That’s also control.
Why won’t they fix poker tournaments?
At least the World Series of Poker–the pinnacle poker showcase–has a few shootout and heads-up events that are logically structured. But the great majority of public poker events are silly. Stupid, in fact.
They don’t test poker skills and they prove nothing. Today’s self-interview explores that undeniable truth.
Question 1: Okay, so we get it–you don’t like poker tournaments. You seldom play in them. You’re annoyed because your results keep getting compared to people who do play. We’ve heard all that from you before. But is it fair to belittle poker tournaments, just because you personally don’t like them?