re: Poker & Seeking Opinions
Good post, I'm going to ramble a bit on this...
I keep mentioning it, but it's because I think it has great value. "Zen and the Art of Poker" focusses heavily on removing emotional involvement in the game and by association the role the ego plays in causing mistakes.
Being aggressive is often associated with and I think confused with plays of the ego. The person who get's a feeling of superiority when they make a bluff and then show it, or who raises because they like to be the table bully, or who see making a continuation bet as an obligation when they raise their AK preflop regardless of the flop that follows.
Bluffing and bullying and continuation betting are all important and part of aggression but they should be done because it is the correct time to do so not because it feels good to do so and appeals to the ego.
The flip-side is of course the player who can't lay a hand down when they are clearly beat with KK and an Ace hits the flop or they have 99 and the board reads 9TJQ all of the same suit. It causes players to hold personal vendettas against the player who sucked out against them or who they feel is a "fish" because they are not as aggressive.
Removal of ego allows the correct play to be made because it doesn't matter what the other players think of you all that matters is making the correct play that results in the best return in the long run.
This means as appropriate being turn tight or loose preflop and at the same time being capable of extreme aggression and betting hard with nothing one minute and laying down decent hands to the slightest resistance the next. This has the effect of fighting most battles on your own terms, you seize the initiative when you feel you have the advantage and you let the hand go when your opponent tells
you that they have it.
Now of course this is as DJ said talking about a particular type of situation, there are plenty of times where it is necessary to get involved in big pots where the other guy shows stregth, but it is often the marginals that can wreck a stack if you allow your ego to convince you that you have the odds
to chase the set on the flop, or that,
"the only hand that beats me is KJ and even though his bets indicate he has it I'm calling anyway because he's clearly a fish." (followed by that sinking feeling when he turns KJ).
I raise and bet a lot in tournies when the opportunities present themselves (I mean a lot) but I also fold a lot. It's easy to classify the aggression using PT or other tools, but it is hard to quantify the Willingness to Wimp (I like that) because it is by definition hidden.
Raising and folding are polar opposites, they are expressions of aggression and passivity "I have the best hand", "You have me beat", I would suggest that successful tournament play in the long run is dependant on doing both more often than the norm.