As we continue our attempt to ferret out possible nuances of our game which can be improved upon, today let's delve into when it might be appropriate to entice several overcalls instead of raising with our very best hands. An overcall is when a player calls after a player in front of him has already called the initial bettor.
Experienced players realize that to overcall requires a better hand than just calling. Obviously, the difference is that you now need to beat more than one hand. The bettor could be bluffing but the caller in front of you sure isn't.
Two nights before Matthew Gilsdorf found out he was headed to Las Vegas, local Van Rowin Manlambus from Temecula, CA took his chances in the $10,000 No Limit Hold 'Em "Last Chance" Tournament. Played on the last Thursday night of every month at 6:30pm, players in first through 30th place receive cash winnings, but Van Rowin said he definitely would not have traded places with any of those other players since he came away with $5,405.00 in prize money and posed excitedly for his tournament winner's photo.
In just the last year, no-limit Texas hold'em has emerged with a vengeance, establishing itself as the game of choice for a whole eager horde of new poker players. From home games to cardrooms and casinos and all across the internet, people who have never played poker before are losing their poker cherry, so to speak, to the Cadillac of poker. Television is to blame, of course.
Continuing to hunt out weaknesses that occur with surprising frequency in many a player's game, let's examine what is almost an obsession with some players- always defending their blinds. Some players feel that they will be regarded as wimps if they allow themselves to be pushed off their blinds. Many of them also feel that they are part way in anyway and know that any two cards can win in Hold'em. Therefore, their caveat seems to be "What the hay--always defend!" What utter nonsense this approach is to handling your blinds.
Do you remember the television commercial, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature"? This last week, it kept echoing through my mind as we experienced the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.
Returning from the WSOP Circuit Event in Tunica, we stopped for the weekend at the Pearl River Resort in Philadelphia, Mississippi, about 200 miles north of the Gulf Coast. We decided to stay and play in a World Poker Showdown satellite that Sunday for a December tournament and cruise package.
Poker is a contest in which justice is coincidence and fairness is folly. Interestingly, some of the foremost poker players in Washington D.C. have been members of the United States Supreme Court.
President Taft, the only President to become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court after his years in the White House, considered the Court to be the higher honor.
As we continue to look at what makes for a successful strategy in low buy-in tournaments, always remember that if the blinds have not caught up to you yet, they soon will. For this reason, it is important that you understand how to bet effectively.
I learned the importance of betting your big hands properly in one of my early tournaments. There were six limpers who saw a flop of J-9-3. The player who initially limped under-thegun fired a big bet at the pot, was called by a middle position player, then the button minimum-raised.
Sometimes I like to call people idiots. Not to their face, because that might make them mad. Not behind their backs, because that would be beneath my dignity. So, I settle for calling them idiots in my imagination.
I'm usually angry when this happens, but I get over it quickly, and then I regret hurting their imaginary feelings. Like today. Right now I'm mad because some otherwise- intelligent experts keep diminishing the importance of psychology in poker. They say image doesn't matter much.
I have been asked many times to teach poker players how to play poker and how to win poker tournaments. Well, I would like first to tell you folks that today I teach poker-a lot better than I play poker.
I have been playing poker for over 70 years and that's a long period of time to do most anything. In my long lifetime, I have done most everything, seen most everything, heard most everything, been most everywhere, had my foot caught in a lot of traps, got out of the traps and snares of life with a few scars of the battles...
...And have played in a lot of poker games.
World Series of Poker Champion Doyle Brunson's Online Poker and Charlie Shoten's No- Limit Life are new arrivals in poker literature and both have value for those who are serious about improving their game.