Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Poker Commandments #7 and #8

Going to speed up with Reuben and Ciaffone's 10 Commandments Of Big Bet Poker this week to finish them off... link to the original post here (with a breakdown of the 10 liberally sprinkled over the interviening month!) http://plan3tgongpoker.blogspot.com/2008/08/reuben-and-ciaffones-10-commandments-of.html

As a quick aside I got a Battle of The Planets bonus from Stars yesterday... just a small one! Had been playing a few low level SNGs to clear the WCOOP bonus (yeah, still doing it - just not enough hours in the day to get the damn thing cleared!!)... anyway a small but nice surprise.

Right then, commandments #7 and #8 are....

- Don't give or receive aggravation and don't get tricky against a weak player....

Number #7 is very familiar to any online player... the anonymity of the chat box meaning that some scawny, spotty 18 year old suddenly turns into a 'tough guy' (incidentally my favourite these days is when some kid says 'lucky boy'... since I am closer to 40 than 30 I take this as a compliment to my youthfull good looks, oh wait a moment, its online... doh).

For me the question to ask is does this aggro chat affect you - STOP - before you say 'of course not', think for a minute or two about any situations in which chat has made you want to 'teach a lesson' or 'take that idiots stack', where some comment has made you call a big bet suspecting a bluff when you might not have done otherwise... if you have changed in any way in this situation then the chat has affected you...

Hey, the idea of this blog is to make you think rather than suggest remedies... but moving table / switching off chat / using the ignore button are all viable if you find your behaviour changes.... if you are anything like me then 99% of the time the aggro-chat will be nothing more than an amusing sideshow - and 1% it will get under your skin... and strangely that 1% need not be when you are a target of the chat (some idiot 'table professor' for example)... anyway, move if possible, no need to let it cost you bets.

Giving aggro is a given for most of us. For those few who find it fun my observation is that the aggro given actually results in the negative effects rather than any benefits... every time I see some young chronic-masterbator berating the table 'fish' I physically cringe - STOP - think about this one... why the hell would you insult someone who is donating money to the table and make them leave... oh my.

Long Post Alert!

Oh well, want to get these commandments done... so onto number #8 'Don't Get Tricky Against A Weak Player'.

Like all of these points this one seems obvious, but seeming obvious alone does not mean that we are not guilty of this 'sin' at some point or other. We all know how to beat weak players right? You keep the pot small until you have a hand and then build it as fast as the individual opponent will allow... you bluff less (smallish c-bets are fine) and you take them to value city.

The great thing about playing a weaky is that they will tend to slowplay monsters, call with a range from top pair down plus draws and fold junk. The slowplaying is a huge advantage to a thinking player... a weaky will be so scared of losing their opponents with those aces that they will give you a great cheap shot to outdraw them... and then whine that online poker is rigged of course.

Level 2+ thinking is pointless against many players, whatever hand you think you have convincingly represented throughout the betting rounds is meaningless against someone only playing their own cards... next time you say 'how could you call with just XYZ there' ask yourself this question instead - what evidence was previously available to tell me that this player was not going to fold this hand... it will help. Same in SNGs, next time someone calls your all-in on the bubble with K3 off do not blame them for a 'bad play' try to work out how you could have predicted this for similar situations in the future (ok, not always that easy but the main point is about taking responsibility for your actions rather than blaming a weak opponent for your losses).

Anyway, hopefully a couple of things to think about... time for me to get back to focusing on the poker business!

Cheers, Mark

1 comment:

Online Poker Nut said...

Great advise. I usually let the chat go by and don't read it much at all. I do use it to tell lucky donks that they played a good hand when they get lucky and suckout though.