by David “The Maven” Chicotsky
If you play any game or sport enough, you’ll develop patterns or traits that characterize you as a player. As humans, we’re creatures of habit that embrace the things that work for us and continually repeat that activity. If you really break us all down (as poker players), we tend to take on an identity of ourselves based around our most repetitive habits.
A player that identifies himself as overly tight is embracing his habit of avoiding risk and folding too often, at the expensive of profits. The player that identifies himself as overly loose identifies that he’s making too many plays and accepting too much overall risk at the expense of profits. If you’re too tight, you’re basically paying money to not have to play hands. If you’re too loose it’s like effectively paying money to make unnecessary plays. Try and make a play or not make a play based on what you think is the correct decision, regardless of your comfort level. Too often, poker players stay within their comfort zone and play the same way day in and day out.
by Diane McHaffie
Impulse is an abrupt, spontaneous urge to act, often with dire consequences in poker. How long would you survive if you allowed impulsive actions to govern your decision-making? Not very.
Moods. Don’t allow impulse to dictate decisions in poker. What sort of mood are you in? Upbeat is good. Depressed is bad. A negative attitude means you probably won’t play your best game. Go to the park instead. If you’re coming to the table to improve your mood, I’d reconsider. That doesn’t work. If you’re angry with someone, chances are your nasty mood will lead to impulsive decisions. Not good!
Observe the players prior to joining a game. Do they appear to be rookies? If so, expect them to act on impulse, and that’s money for you. If they’re meek players, calling frequently, but rarely raising, you’ll likely be rewarded. They’ll make impulsive calls when you hold big hands.
by Lou Krieger
[Read Part 1]
Players often find trouble when they use implied odds to justify weak calls. Here’s why. Suppose you call a $10 bet on the turn in a $30 pot. Your immediate odds are 3-to-1 plus whatever implied odds you assign to the final betting round on the river. But unless your adversary is completely transparent or you have a terrific read on him, it’s all too easy to be overly optimistic—and therefore self-deceptive— about how much more money your opponent will be willing to invest in the pot if you make your hand. You might complete your hand on the river and try for a check raise only to have your opponent check behind you. You’ll probably win the showdown, but you would have won more if you wagered an amount your opponent would have called.
by Barbara Connors
"Boy, I got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals" —Paul Newman in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”
Imagine a poker player who possesses infinite knowledge of the game. He knows all the plays and exactly when to use them, he has memorized the odds, and he can do complex calculations in the middle of a hand without missing a beat. But for all his vast expertise, this know-it-all player can still be undone by the most ignorant poker moron if said moron is impossible to read. When you find yourself up against opponents who don’t make the logical, thoughtful plays they “should” make — calling when they should fold, betting when they should check, raising when they should call — all the poker knowledge in the world won’t help you, unless you can find a way to read them. Problem is, the very fact you know so much more about the game than they do is precisely what makes these opponents so difficult to read.
by Ashley Adams
In my last article I posed a quiz about a $1-$2 no limit hold’em game, with players with effective stacks of $200, played against typically mediocre players. Here are the questions again with my answers and comments.
1. You have KsQd in late position. Three players call the large blind in front of you. You raise to $10. The two initial callers call your raise. Everyone else folds. The flop is AsJdTc. The first player bets $20. The second player calls. Which of the following statements is the most correct?
a) You should always make a small raise to induce your opponent to call you.
b) You should always call so you can exploit your opponent on the turn and river.
c) You should sometimes fold to make sure you’re not thought too aggressive.
d) You should always call, to encourage aggression on the turn.
e) You should sometimes stick your chest out, stare directly into each of their eyes, and boldly say “all in”, shoving out all your chips aggressively.
The conventional answers are probably some mixture of a), b), and d), but the best answer is e). Sometimes, especially with three mediocre players, this goading play will cause an opponent to take the bait, assume that your goading move is a bluff, and call you.
2. When playing against a maniac, which of the following statements is most correct?
by Debbie Burkhead
The Inaugural Operation Homefront Nevada Charity Poker Event was a Win-Win! The charity received 100 percent of the entry fee, and Joan Rousselle was the winner, taking home 1st place money. The charity supports our troops and provides help for the families left behind. The event was held at the VFW Post 10047 in Las Vegas.
There are things you don’t do if you want to maximize poker profit. In fact, what you don’t do often builds and protects bankrolls more powerfully than what you do.
Since that might sound confusing, I’ll explain it in today’s self-interview. And I’ll provide a selection of high-profit advice from poker’s “don’t” list. So, let’s get started.
Question 1: How am I supposed to ask you questions about poker strategy you don’t do?
It’s easy to ask for your advice about what to do, but how should I ask about what not to do? Can you give me some guidance, so I can conduct a better interview? Sure. Just ask me if there’s anything I recommend that players don’t do regarding a specific poker topic of your choice.
Question 2: Okay. So, what would you recommend that players don’t do regarding bluffing?
by George “The Engineer” Epstein
Reading the current (Dec. 3, 2012 [read the PDF]) issue of Poker Player Newspaper (PPN), I thought, “there is so much great info for poker players packed into 20 big pages.” Wendeen Eolis provides a timely review of the conflict between the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. online poker world. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has been unable to get the DOJ to return the players’ funds held by Full Tilt Poker. Suggestion: With millions of voters playing poker, perhaps the PPA could take advantage of this asset— use its “edge.”
Mike Caro’s advice for winning at poker is always top notch. In this issue, he focuses on “Choice.” Choose your opponents so that you are more skillful than they are. The greater the skill gap, the better. Avoid tables with stronger players. Sound advice, except I don’t agree that I should “try to master several forms of poker.” As I teach my poker classes, it is best to specialize in one variety of poker so you can become the most skilled at that game—rather than a “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
by Barbara Rogers
Big things will soon be happening at Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus, Minnesota. In case you like planning ahead, I’m going to give you the rundown for your own personal poker tour calendar! Surely you will see an event (or several) you could fit in. First up is the New Year’s Eve super structure Free Roll. Tournament Director, Tristan Wilberg said $10K will be added, with $5K guaranteed for 1st place. Two thousand chips for free, unlimited $10 add-on getting you up to 5K in chips until the first break. That should be fun! It is a two-day, half-hour blind structure, and a great way to launch yourself into the new year. Day 1A is Saturday December 29th at 10am. Day 1B is Sunday December 30th at 4pm, and Day 2 is Monday December 31st at 10am. There is a cash play bonus involved here. too. It will result in 25K chips to start the event if you play 15 hours from Dec. 1st-28th. Every hour over 15 will get you another 5K in chips, but it will cap at 100K. Next up is a two day $500 “Deep Stack Avalanche” tournament on January 26th and 27th. February 9th to the 17th, a $1,100 event is the popular Mid States Poker Tour. March 8-17th will be the Spring Poker Classic with a $500 and $1,100 event along with some other mixed events. I know this is a lot to give you at once, but some players do like to map it out. Don’t worry—I’ll be sure to remind you about these events when they get closer!
by Haley Hintze
CHARGES UNSUPPORTABLE BY EVIDENCE
Former Full Tilt owners and board members Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson have re-filed motions to dismiss civil-forfeiture proceedings connected to the US Department of Justice’s ongoing “Black Friday” crackdown against former US-facing poker companies. The DOJ seeks more than $40 million each from Lederer and Ferguson, and the two originally filed a motion to dismiss in July 2012. That motion was rendered moot by the DOJ’s filing of a “Second Amended Complaint,” which added allegations against several different defendants and spent dozens of paragraphs detailing expensive assets purchased by Lederer with funds distributed from Full Tilt. The latest motion reasserts that the evidence proffered to date does not warrant action against the two, who were among the founders of the site.
DOJ TO HIRE FULL TILT REMISSIONS ADMINISTRATOR BY JANUARY 2013