Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Monday, January 15, 2007

Play the Player - The Pro

You've seen them. You know who they are the minute they roll into the poker room, with their sunglasses and hoodie, their Full Tilt cap on backwards and their WSOP card protector. They take this game seriously, and they want everybody to know it.

These are the guys who watch a lot of poker on TV, they play a lot of internet poker, and they troll the 2+2 forums looking for people to talk smack to. They've got a little bit of game, but the game they like to play is intimidation. These are the guys who like to flash a big roll when they sit down at the $1/2 No Limit Table, and they'll happily push all in on a bluff if they think they can intimidate you out of a pot. They love to stare you down, and heaven forbid you draw out on them, because then you're the world's biggest donkey.

So be the world's biggest donkey. These guys might be the type to throw a big raise in preflop with nothing, but not likely. More likely then not they're going to play ABC poker, and a little bit of crazy aggression, or passive/aggressive limp/jamming will turn their tilt-o-meter onto full steam, and result in a massive leakage of chips, as they bemoan their bad luck losing to such an inferior player. My best move ever against a hoodie-wearing doofus was last December's WPBT get-together, when I uttered the words "only $25 to draw to my gutshot? OK." When my 4 hit the river it was pretty obvious that I had hit, and silly boy paid me off, and then proceeded to pay off the rest of the table for an hour.

These guys have a high opinion of themselves in all areas, and a lot of it is linked their dicks. When you make a move on somebody like this, it's like you just whipped out your Bracelet-sized junk, slapped it on the table and said "back in the kiddie pool, junior." It's why stories like The Guarantee are so much fun to witness, because when it happens, it's not just profitable, it's a moral victory for everyone involved, like when the blonde guy with the sweater around his shoulders didn't get the girl at the end of the 80s movie. So don't be afraid to tangle with them, their whole self-image is based around being the poker table's answer to Shaft, so once you let them know that you don't consider them a bad mofo, they wilt.

The re-raise is a great preflop move against these goofballs, but you probably want to either have a top 10 hand, or a premium cracking hand to do that with. For my purposes, I consider premium cracking hands to be suited connectors 6/7 - J/10 and will call or reraise a shitload with those hands if my read on the player is that he only reraises with big pairs. Your preferences and results may vary. I'll also add suited one-gappers 6/8 - Q/10 in there if I'm feeling frisky.

I also really like a move I'm starting to just call the G-Rob, where you call a raise with trash, and hit the raggedy flop harder than Stallone punching a side of beef. The cries of "you played that crap?!?" are some of the sweetest sounds you can ever hear at the poker table, because it's usually the wail you hear over the sound of chips pushing your way.

You may note that most of my advice in this Play the Player series is based on how to knock your opponent emotionally or mentally off-base, rather than specific hand advice. That's because in No Limit, your cards are only of limited importance. If you're good enough to get someone to lay down Aces on an uncoordinated flop, then your cards don't matter, you're just playing good poker. Most of these folks can't get past their Level 1 thinking "what do I have?" So if you can make their holdings irrelevant by your play against them, then they're off their game and will send you more money. And really, that is how we keep score, right?

1 comment:

Special K said...

That is one funny link. It won't make sense to anyone else, but it's funny as hell.