Once you master all of the intricacies of poker, only then have you reached the position of attempting Mike Caro’s method of strategic poker advertising.
The style of advertising that Mike applies isn’t necessarily for the faint of heart. Most players initially find it difficult to purposely throw money away, although if it’s going to help them acquire profit in the long run, it doesn’t take very much persuading.
Atmosphere: The Mad Genius finessed his image so that his wild actions appear to be for entertainment, when his purpose is to earn a profit. This technique is usually for very skilled poker players and should be applied infrequently, and only if the atmosphere at the table is right.
Plopping himself down at the table, the Mad Genius proceeds to quickly dump approximately $600 to chosen opponents who have no clue that battle lines have been drawn. There is a knack to pulling this off successfully. You must carefully select your unwitting accomplices, so you receive the appropriate reactions. Those who are most likely to enjoy the action and later talk about it are the best targets. They’ll provide free advertising after the hand.
Temporary: Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and win during your opening money giveaway. But that’s fine, because often you get even more psychological credit for winning in bizarre ways than you will from losing. Usually though, you’ll be generating a short-term windfall for your selected victims. Remember, this is only temporary—merely a loan, which you’ll receive back with interest in due time.
I’ve witnessed the Mad Genius apply this technique and it’s awesome. Time and again he appears to throw money recklessly into the pot, calling and raising sometimes without even looking at his cards. Of course, he’s chatting amiably while totally confusing his opponents. Camaraderie and laughter abound as players rake in his money. Ah, but they are unaware that in the very near future, they’ll be parting with those chips.
Wizard: To successfully accomplish this method of profiting from tossing money away, one must immediately become the focus of attention at the table. You’re the wizard! Once you have everyone’s attention, you have power. You own the table! You’ll be able to play hands you normally would have folded and your opponents will call with even weaker hands, because your skill enables you to manipulate them. Your loose, reckless image encourages your opponents to call more, but be less aggressive with quality hands. Your advertising succeeds because those opponents are the easiest to beat.
But you should avoid advertising if you aren’t planning on remaining at the table very long; it’s not cost effective to toss away money you might not have time to reclaim.
If players are likely to be leaving it won’t be profitable to perform either, and if there are only three or four players at the table, wait for others to join the game. You need a larger audience to execute your magic act. If there is discourse among the players, you aren’t going to have everyone’s full attention, which is necessary to succeed. Remember, you want to be the main act.
Pretend: OK, so maybe you’re saying this just isn’t an image you feel you can pull off. But wait, do you act the same around your Aunt Betty as you do with your best friend, Sally? Nope, I’m betting you don’t. Everyone puts on an act, even my sister. Her actions in a room full of people differ when her husband is around than when he isn’t. So, you can’t tell me that you’ve never pretended to be someone you aren’t.
So it is with poker players. They’re on the poker stage, misleading their opponents about the power of their cards. This is why they broadcast tells.
In life as in poker we learn to make our personality fit the circumstances and notice when others appear uncomfortable. These observations, as well as selective advertising, can be used to our benefit.
Diane McHaffie is Director of Operations at Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy. She has traveled the world coordinating events and seminars in the interest of honest poker. You can write her online at firstname.lastname@example.org.