Monday :: August 13, 2007
Didn't See That Coming
"OMG you donkey!"
" How in the Hell could you play that?"
" You're a tool and will lose all your money in the long run playing like that!"

These are some of the colorful quotes of the player usually exiting a tournament when their JJ was humbled by that MANIAC with the 38os.

"I didn't see that coming!" Well maybe you really should have. A lot of new players and even more better than average players fall into a dirty trap played by more experienced players playing the seemingly most awful hands even in the face of large preflop action and find themselves irritated to to the highest point of irritivity.

This is common in free rolls where you will see dumb luck crack aces so many times you wonder if the site is rigged. In free rolls it's hard to give the loose cannon too much credit for drawing that 2 out gutshot as if they knew it was going to hit like Kreskin calling bingo numbers after they already played from the hopper.

A lot of players are however baffled when this same type of situation presents itself in buy in and cash games. There is something that has to be considered though folks. Poker skill and experience takes some to an advanced level that 90 % of every player that has ever been dealt a hand just can't comprehend.

Sure you get expert analysis watching High Stakes while Gabe Kaplan comments on a players motivation when making plays. It's not exactly news to anyone that has tuned into a WPT event and heard Vince Van Patton stumble over himself asking "What is he thinking?"

I promise I'll get to the point soon, but I wanted to try and get your attention and build a little intrigue. At this point some of you are wondering just what the forking point is. Well the point is that when you want to amp your game to another level you need to be able to read situations.

Poker is a lot like chess. There are millions of players. There are 100's of 1000's in those millions of players that know just about everything that is necessary to know to play a fairly decent game. There are 1000's in the hundreds of thousands that know how to check raise, bluff, slow play, and even create a chip sandwich where some unfortunate mark is consumed like the creamy center of an oreo. There however are are only a few hundred or so in those 1000s that can really be called experts. Many of them have written books. Many of us have some of their books.

Now I'm sure there are a couple of you reading this wondering "whatever chipslapu, mister know-it-the-fudge-all, just exactly what book tells you to play a 38os in the face of a 10 bb preflop raise. The answer is most of them if you understand the points made by the author in a given situation. Of course 10bbs is a little extreme but without some "wow" factor this article would be complete drivel. Although some of the points I have expressed may seem that way let me give you a few examples.

I'll start with profiling a player. Jamie Gold annoys and yet amazes people with his hand selection. A lot of people forget that Jamie Gold was mentored by probably one of the greatest players ever. Don't get me wrong I am not calling Jamie Gold an expert by any means. I am however informing you that he has been trained by an expert. Johnny Chan is an EXPERT.

"Yeah, whatever dude! This article is bogus!" you may be saying. "What has Johnny Chan won recently?" The only person that knows that is the chump that pays the man millions a month to sit at a table with him. Jamie Gold is a little extreme in his approach and he tends to play too many loose hands. That is one difference between him and Chan. Gold uses the knowledge gained from Chan but doesn't always use it correctly. This is only due to the fact that Gold has only been playing for a few years.

I am going to continue this article in parts as it is going to be a long one and I will be trying to key on some points of advanced poker theory that I have been exposed to and am willing to share with those that are interested. Of course every bit of this is open for debate and I will answer every question I deem worthy, because well it's my time. In part two I will continue with the profile and then discuss a few hand situations. I want to give you a couple tricks to try out and see if by employing them your eyes open to strategy you probably never even thought of.

"There is a reason that a lot of the most successful people in all walks of life make reference to Sun Tzu."

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