Friday, August 01, 2008

Into The Mind Of A Donk - Part #4 - Better Understanding Opponents.

As mentioned yesterday a couple of hands from the Carbon $50k freeroll stuck in my mind (well, mostly!). Will outline them below - but first a small caveat - the purpose of this post is not to mock the play or poker knowledge of these guys... or even to chuckle at their expense (!). The idea is to provide some 'food for thought' about the mentality of a lot of opponents, even deep in tournaments, and to get those grey cells working on coming up with ways of adjusting our own strategy to beat them - after all, we are only in control of our own actions.

So, the hands.

Hand #1. Down to maybe 40 out of 2000... a weak player who had limped and limped and limped and limped (I had raised him off his limps 3 times in a row in the last orbit - and was called a 'moron' for my troubles...) anyway, blinds are 2000 / 1000 with 200 antes and he has less than 4000 left UTG+1.... and....... yep he limps.

So, 1 caller, SB competes and BB checks -pot = 10,000. Flop comes down 8-9-10 rainbow... SB checks, BB bets his last 6000 or so and the original limper calls for his last 1800 chips with AJ.

Now, weak limping is horrible and what got the guy short-stacked in the first place, but that is not the main point. The BB turned over Q8 for bottom pair + gutshot and the limper called with AJ for 2 overs + oo straight draw getting 6/1 on his money. He hit (the ace I think) and won a nice pot which he limped away over the next couple of rounds.

The psychological interest came from the BB, who was very upset, "calling all-in on just a draw" was his main theme in a tirade of abuse which could (and to be honest probably should) have resulted in a chat-ban.

Interesting, no understanding of pot-odds, the value of position or the winning chances of an 2-overs + a decent draw.

Hand #2 - A little simpler, we are down to 2 tables, blinds something like 5000 / 10000 (ante 1000?) and a shorty pushed for 18000 chips or so, the BB called with rags and was... erm, we should say 'grilled' about his play by another player... who unknown to himself was making it clear to all that he did not have the slightest clue about pot odds!

Anyway, longer descriptions than anticipated. The thought is this, on many occasions we are looking at the pot-odds, our opponents possible holdings, our winning chances if called and so on. Many many opponents are not - and I personally believe that giving every opponent credit for some kind of structured thought process in the hands we play is actually -ev for us. Why? Because by giving them credit for advanced strategic thinking we are missing a fundamental point.... that their bets and calls usually mean 'exactly what they say on the tin'.

GL at the tables, Mark

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