Many things about poker are temporary. Not everything. But transition governs the biggest aspects of poker that affect us emotionally. This self-interview is about dealing with transition, with change, and with the word “temporary.”
You see, all poker games are temporary. All streaks, good ones and bad ones, are temporary. Life is temporary. That’s important to understand. It’s important for reasons that beckon beyond philosophical or theoretical. It’s important because your bankroll depends on your grasp of temporary.
Question 1: You just said that not everything in poker is temporary. What could possibly be permanent?
Weather isn’t only rain and snow, thunder and sunshine. Weather is a concept that I teach students of poker and life. And we’ll explore it in today’s self-interview.
Question 1: What do you mean by saying weather is a concept?
Well, I use it conceptually when explaining an important attitude that builds poker bankrolls and makes life itself easier to manage. Sure, weather is still storms and droughts. I’m not arguing about that. But the concept surrounding this reality is that weather is something you can’t influence. It comes. It goes. You can react to it in meaningful ways. But you can’t choose what weather you want.
Question 2: Big deal. So what?
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.