Saturday, July 10, 2004


First off I’d like to give a hearty Thank You to JD over at Cheap Thrills. JD offered a workaround to the Absolute Poker software problems. Fortunately I didn’t have to use it last night but the software seems to have a memory leak that grinds it down to a slow crawl at times. Speaking of grind (nice seguay there) last night was a big success.

I titled this post Evolution because I realized this morning that I have evolved. Evolved as a poker player that is. I mentioned in the last post that the players at Absolute seemed to be weak/tight and last night I found more of the same. The difference for me though was that I knew how to exploit it. Now I know that I’ve exploited table tendencies before but last night was different. I actually played some hands “incorrectly” to help foster my image and maintain control over the table.

I’ll try to elaborate and well see how this translates. I sat down and started playing my normal tight/aggressive game. It didn’t take long to figure the tendencies of each player at the table out. For the most part any opening raise in the late position would win the blinds. Also a raise would limit the field and often produce heads up or three way action to the flop. Now this is a pretty big departure from Party Poker and the “No Fold’em Hold’em” we hear about and experience. Also it became evident that several players at the table were paying attention to the action.

Comments began between two players in particular that I was on a good run and that I was getting good cards. To foster this table image I began showing my strong hands when everyone would fold to me on the flop or the blinds would fold to a raise from me when I had a big pair. I’ve never done this before and I wouldn’t do this every time but often enough so that those who were paying some attention would believe that I “only” played premium hands. This allowed players to lay down their hands to me and feel confident that I had the best of it. Knowing this, I was able to bluff at several pots at the right time and do an extraordinary amount of blind stealing.

As it inevitably happens though I was caught with “my hand in the cookie jar” when I bet into a player who I knew would lay down a marginal hand when I had second pair. He had the top pair though and I was forced to show the hand. It was then that I changed up a little bit. I was able to select about three hands where I would raise in late position with nothing and if I was called I would fold to the flop bet. It sounds stupid but at this table, with these people, I was able to reassert that I was only playing solid hands and would lay down anything marginal.

The average pot size I won last night was around $8. Definitely a small number but I was able to foster an image that allowed me to steal so many blinds and pots on the flop that I doubled my buy-in in two hours winning $59.75. This night was certainly a light bulb night and I feel better and more confident for it. I deliberately molded others to my will last night and it was good. I know it’s not something I can do all the time or even very often, but now I believe I can recognize when the opportunity presents itself.