Monday, January 12, 2009

Ever Made A Poker Bet Purely On Principal?

Usually have several books 'on the go' at any one time, with 3 currently open by my bedside... among them 'The Poker Mindset' which I'm enjoying a second (slower) reading of very much.

Something stood out yesterday in the section on 'Woolly Thinking'... it concerned acting on principal - that is to say making a bet or call because it is about time someone did for XYZ reason (the example given is to look up an overly aggressive player). After a think about this I realised that there are several areas where I act on principal alone, including:

- In limit games (rarely play Limit Holdem so talking HORSE / 8-Game)... if I continuation bet, another player raises and someone cold calls 2 bets while the betting is not closed I almost always re-raise - out of principle that there are so few situations in which it is correct to call 2 bets cold that this player needs to be shown how stupid this action is. Of course, at the lower levels they will just call 2 extra bets when the other guy caps, creating a big pot which gives perfect odds to stick around come the turn... doh!

- In no limit games my 'on principal' behaviour usually manifests in Blind vs Blind situations. I do not believe the small blind (or button) on principal... and often overplay hands when really they could have been mucked pre flop.

- In SNG tournaments... (cringing to write this one, but it is true so here goes)... I have a decent understanding of ICM and push / fold ranges - yet will often call regulars far to light 'on principal', the erronous point being to show them that I know they are pushing any-2, sure there are weak arguments about meta-game (or even future walks in the same game). However, on the whole this is just principals gone awry... just because I can spew my equity and theirs does not mean this is profitable in the long run!

Anyway - idea was to get readers thinking about whether there are any situations in which you act on principal rather than making the 'best possible' decision based on the current situation. If you can think of any examples then feel free to let me know!

Gl at the tables, Mark

1 comment:

TiocfaidhArLa said...

Occassionally I'll be at the micro micro stakes where I really don't care about the money and have some other reason for being there.

I'm always amazed to see the shortstackers there with their $1 waiting orbits to shove it all in. I'll often call with any two cards if I'm in the blinds - on principal.

Not really principal, the 30-40% of times that I win it feels really good :-).

Three cheers for 50BB min tables saving me from myself.