The "Esther Bluff" - What's that? Let me explain. . .
A year ago, I introduced you to my then 8-year-old granddaughter, Esther Fayla Epstein, and her almost incredible, innate talent for playing poker. She has an instinctive flair for the game; she's a natural winner. .
Well, Esther is now 9 years old and is away at overnight camp for two weeks - her first time away from home without her Mom. Before she left, she made a button for me with her picture on it, so I could remember her while she was away.
Last time I discussed the more structured type of bluffer. These are players who like to either dare you or sneak up on you. I also mentioned in Part I, that there are a whole set of players who are not so well planned in their bluffs. They are much looser players who bluff and keep the action going. Some of these unplanned bluffers I refer to as employing "Attack Bluffing." Other unstructured bluffers are less aggressive and seem to be playing hands they don't have but wish they did.
Poker is a game of decisions. We are constantly challenged with rendering decisions, most of them while possessing incomplete information in a relatively short period of time. Some of my colleagues would go as far as stating that those who win at poker are those who make the fewest mistakes while forcing their opponents to make more mistakes. There is substantive truth to that statement.
I couldn't seem to shake off the negative effects of the bad beats/bad luck I received. It was as if bad fortune was seeping into everything I did. I was seeing my whole existence through bad beat lenses. It all began when my pocket aces cracked, next, my pocket kings, and finally when the queens were cracked. How dare they crack the queens? Good cards were being cracked when I slow played, when I fast played, when I played poker, period. Oh, by the way "cracked" means beat, destroyed, nuked, annihilated, cracked means that Jennifer lost a whole lot of money and lost all her confidence.
Have you ever been watching an "Entertainment Tonight" type news/magazine/gossip/star-studded TV show and wondered, why don't they do something on the subject of poker, poker players, and what's happening in the poker world? I've got good news! "They" have and I want to tell you all about "them" and the new (upcoming) TV show, "PokerBeat."
Mike Green was born in Duluth, Minnesota in 1950 and graduated high school in 1968 from Duluth Cathedral. After graduation Mike joined the Coast Guard Reserves and spent six years in the reserve program.
In 1969 Mike took a position with the local auto parts warehouse as a truck driver. In 1971 he left his truck driving position for an inside sales job in one of their auto parts stores. In 1974 he left the auto parts business to work for the railroad as an oiler.
The other day I came across a useful piece of poker instruction in acronym form: FAR; Focus, Aggression and Reads. This simple shorthand reminds us what, exactly, we need to take into most ring games and most tournaments if we hope to have a chance to win. The next time I played poker, I applied the FAR strategy, and really liked the results... until I forgot that there's a little more to poker than just focus, aggression and reads. There's also, for example, hand selection, a little something I somehow overlooked in my zealous attention to FAR.
The European Poker Tour crowned it's first champion of their second season. Jan Boubli, a former dentist from France, ended up winning the largest tournament in the brief history of the EPT. He outlasted 325 other players in the $4,000 Euro buy-in event. They were all gunning for a prize pool that was worth over $1.3 million Euros. Jan Boubli won $416,000 Euros and a seat in the $10,000 Euro buy-in Grand Finale event that will be held in Monte Carlo in March of 2006. Along with Pascal Perrault, Jan Boubli is considered one of the best poker players of all time to come from France.
As we continue to ferret out obstacles to improved performance, let's discuss table image in this installment. Conscientious players work hard to evaluate their opponent's play. Observational skills and focus to the game are critical to begin to establish patterns of play in the several opponents you face in a full game. Who's loose, who's tight, who's weak, strong, a beginner, a seasoned pro or the resident maniac? This analysis is crucial in order for you to make informed decisions against your opponents.
I recently went to see impressionist/singer Gordie Brown at the Golden Nugget, where he performs every night except Wednesday and Thursday. Here's a guy with great talent and who puts 110 percent into every show. The night I was there, which was a weeknight, the joint was packed and he got a well-deserved five-minute standing ovation at the end of his performance. I had a chance to catch up with him after the show to find out a little bit more about him. Brown hails from Montreal and began his working career as a political cartoonist for an Ottawa newspaper.