EMAIL FROM DANIEL NEGREANU
This is an e-mails I sent Daniel Negreanu last year. Not sure if it is really him
replying, but it contains some solid advice. X
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2008 12:26 PM
Subject: Why Do Sharks Eat Other Sharks?
Why Do Sharks Eat Other Sharks? BY: DANIEL NEGREANU.
Dear Daniel, I read this article the other day and it answered a lot of
questions for me about where I would like to go with my poker career. I am
unemployed right now, which gives me a lot of time to play online and live
tourneys. I have read many books and I have learned a lot from them. For
example; position, size of your bet, pot odds
, pot size, all these things
meant nothing to me when I first started. I played the cards and not the
people. I only played premium hands and lasted to the final table of many
tourneys with only 10-15 big blinds, but did not cash. Well with the
strategies I have learned, I have a higher understanding of no-limit texas
holdem and omaha. Well down to the question. With limited income, what
would be a great way to become a amateur pro poker player? Before you
answer this question, let me tell you a little about myself.
I am a 44 year old female residing in North Carolina. No casinos
state and the closest is New Jersey. So not much chance of playing a big
tourney. I LOVE the game of poker so much and maybe take it a little to
serious, seeing that the buy in for the tourneys in my area is only $5. With
a buy in so low people play sloppy and crazy. Most of the players at the
tourney never learned about position, betting and pot odds
. My last resort
maybe to move to another state that may offer me a better poker outlet.
Another option is online. Online it is very hard to make a final table that
can lead to a WSOP
seat. If I had as much luck as you have in skill it
would be easy. Online poker is very grinding. One day I'm up, the next day
down, then I have to take a break. Live tourney league I play in, I had top
points in the last three quarterly tourneys. I play a solid game, only to
get sucked out on with a lesser hand. My play is tight-aggressive, playing
premium hands and following the position and top ten poker hands rules. I
play with opponents that limp with pocket Aces in big blind at a 10 person
table. I'm in BB with AK suited so I raise. They just call, still not sure
what to put the person on. The flop comes A,K,2. The player checks, I bet
the size of the pot, they just call. Turn is a king and I am still not sure
what to make of the limper. River is a blank, so I go all-in and is
immediately called. The player turns over AA and I am floored. She only
plays once in a while and she never raises, only calls raises. I could have
but her on 22, but not AA. So what can you do? LOL. Well any advice that
you can offer would be great. I know you are a very busy man, so if it
takes a while to send me a response, that is fine. Thank you in advance.
Frances Hinton aka X.
Watching other players at the table making some wild plays that often pay
off big, can sometimes tempt you to try similar plays despite the fact that
these plays may completely contradict the style of play that makes you a
winner. Even to this day I need to remind myself to be have faith in my
system and am always tempted to try new things.
I'm not against the idea that you should add new weapons to your
repertoire, as long as you are aware of what you are doing and just
experimenting. What you should be careful of, though, is picking up bad
habits from your opponents that appear to work for them.
I watch Tiger Woods golf on television and his swing is a thing of beauty,
but I can't do that. No golf teacher in the world would ever dream of
telling me that I should set up like he does and swing the club like he
does. His upper body is extremely strong, and mine is, well, maybe not
quite so developed! I simply wouldn't be capable of being successful using
a swing similar to Tiger's.
Poker is similar in that you should focus on your strengths, develop a
game plan that you know works for you and doesn't cause you to do things out
of your comfort zone. The most consistent approach to playing tournament
poker is to avoid playing large pots in marginal situations, emphasis the
importance of position, and bluff sparingly.
However, when you watch poker tournaments on ESPN from time to time you
will see a wild and crazy player have great success with that strategy. One
prominent player in particular, 2006 World Series of Poker champion, Jamie
Gold, used a very erratic style to win top prize and $12 million. That, in
itself is an amazing accomplishment, but with the approach that Jamie used
for that particular event, duplicating such a feat, even in a much smaller
tournament would be a long shot.
Luckily for Jamie he is a smart player and has adjusted his play and while
a leopard can't change his spots, in that, he is still a big time bluffer
all the way, he had added a little more texture to his game and is playing
closer to what I'd call optimally.
Poker is a long term game that seems very unfair at times when bad play is
continually rewarded, and your fundamentally sound play seems to leave you
losing hand after hand. Well, when asked how you gauge a player's skill
level, invariably the key factor in deciding how good or bad a player is at
poker, is decided by how well they handle adversity or bad luck. A great
player has faith in his system and fights through it never veering from he
knows to be the right approach. Most other players would go on tilt. The
losing causing them to start playing erratically, making long shot plays
that are out of character for them, and essentially chasing hands to the
river rather than making calculated decisions based on their fundamental
understanding of the game.
Have you ever heard some one say, "Well, I had to try something, waiting
for good cards isn't working so I figured I'd play the 9-2." That statement
right there is basically an admission that the player has lost his cool and
no longer has his wits about him. The player has watched the other players
in the game win with trash hands, so now he all of a sudden feels justified
in playing poorly because everyone else is doing. If that sounds at all
like you, wake up and smell the coffee!
There is no rhyme or reason to the distribution of the cards. If a player
with a pair of Aces loses three times in a row, he is no more or less likely
to lose with them the fourth time, Past luck has no relevance on the
current situation. So, just because there was a 9 on the last three flops,
that shouldn't make you decide that playing a hand like 9-4 is a good idea
since 9's are hot!
The best way to play poker successfully is to approach it as a science.
Develop your strategy, stick with it, and if you question whether or not you
are playing optimally, make changes in between plays and not during a game.
Hope that helps,