Casino play: do you admit to being a strong or weak player?

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wreckoning

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I play in casinos a lot and am often asked how long I have been playing, what my job is etc. Sometimes it is just curious tourists making conversation. But sometimes it's pros or semi-pros scoping me out to see how much experience I have and how much my money is worth to me.

So question is, what do I want them to think? Seems like I should tell the weak players that I am inexperienced like them so they feel more comfortable around me. But how about the ones who I feel are better players than me? Do I act weaker than I am so that they will set traps that I can at least see through? Or should I try to act more experienced than I am so they will somewhat respect me and maybe not make me a target?

What should I say about my job? I am a website designer which allows me to make my own schedule and can show up at the casino late at night and stay as long as the game is good without interrupting anything. Should I admit to this or should I pretend I'm a 9-5 schmuck like everyone else, an irresponsible type staying at the casino til 3am?
 
roundcat

roundcat

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You could say you're a secret agent, or an explorer fresh from the Himalayas. I think website designer is fine, though. ;) If you play with the pros and/or semipros regularly enough you'll all figure each other out eventually anyway, at least to a point... I'm not sure there's much to be gained by misleading anyone about what you do away from the poker table. Unless, of course, it would be fun to concoct a glamorous secret life. :)

In any case I wouldn't try to act weak among regular players. Just play your game and if it's a good one, they'll get the message.
 
J

jeffred1111

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I've never played in casinos, but I've played with far better players than me (people who do play in casinos and make money at this) and whatever you tell them, they'll know once they've played a few orbits with you how to trap you and if you deserve respect or not. Jim Buss has played (or folded) countless hands against the top players and he still doesn't get any respect, even if he's rich and has a job that is much more prestigeous and glamorous than poker pro. On season 1 of poker after dark, you can see that everytimes he enters a pot, wich ever pro is on the button limps or raise and will just fire at the pot to get Jim to fold without even thinking about it. And 95% of the time, it works. The other 5%, he gets no action on the turn unless the pro wakes up with a monster.

So be truthfull and play your a-game at all times. Don't try to appear weak or make donkish plays unless you know that the people with whom you play with will fall for it and pay you off (wich is usually never, unless you're up against total fishes, and even then, you could be a moss-covered rock and they'll bet into your boat with top pair). The only thing I would suggest is to take your edges and hammer them hard (shoving, putting pressure): slowplaying against better opponents is deadly since your risk being outplayed on subsequent rivers.
 
MrDaMan

MrDaMan

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Come to the dark side Wreckoning! :eek:

Be true to yourself is some of the best advice I've ever been given. With table talk they can get tells from you if your not careful, but they give off tells too just by actively seeking out information be attentive to that.

I myself do not like lying and making up elaborate stories it just complicates things. When you find someone at your table who does exaggerate and lie making stuff up they are usually bluffers. People who are loud and boisterous are usually maniacs or borderline maniacs with little patience.

I come to a table and size it up, be myself and play to the best of my ability. If I am uncomfortable with the other players and/or I'm losing just because they are lucky or because they are outplaying me I will either leave or ask for a table change.

Life is full of the good, bad and all in between, some people are good at grifting but that don't make it honest. To me poker isn't an excuse to be dishonest, bluffing is part of the game, sometimes even a bluff in real life may be necessary for survival, but over all I try to cultivate the good in my character rather than encourage the darker side of my nature.

Eduacte yourself in the game, stick with your bankroll management, play your best game at all times, bluff in the game when you can get away with it but above all be true to your self. That was some of the best advice ever given to me and I pass it on now to anyone reading this.

Let your game do the real talking, there is truth to the addage; "Action speaks louder than words." Be true to yourself, know your limitations, in the end you are what you do ..... not what you say.

The truth is, winning or losing, the most dangerous person at the table, is you. Like Kenny Rogers likes to say; "Know when to hold'em and when to fold'em."
 
joosebuck

joosebuck

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there is nothing wrong with a little poetic license. if he wants a reason to underestimate you, i say give it to him. that's the best thing a player better than you can do is underestimate you.
 
W

wreckoning

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I've had a guy ask which poker books I've read. I'm not giving that information to anyone I'm going to be playing against. We wouldn't give our opponent a free card so why would we give free information about our playstyle? I have no qualms lying, it's true to myself by being true to the spirit of poker. :D Now there is a difference between saying I'm not a gungho player and saying this is my first time at a card table.

I hear pros admitting all the time that they're pros. That seems wrong to me. If I was pro, sure you can't hide it long against other pros, but I wouldn't be advertising it to fish and wannabes like myself.
 
vanquish

vanquish

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I would just do some sign language signs and pretend I was deaf.
 
roundcat

roundcat

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Here's a timely article that came through my email today from Full Tilt. It's about how Gavin Smith plays against players he perceives as inexperienced vs. how he plays against experienced players.

Online Poker at Full Tilt Poker - Tips from the Pros

Basically, he'll push around the inexperienced players and not give them action when they make big bets (not giving them credit for making bluffs), and will be more conservative with experienced players.
 
Egon Towst

Egon Towst

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Non-committal does it for me.

If people ask me if I play much, I`ll say "A bit, not as much as I`d like".

If they ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I`m in Retail, which could mean anything from I`m a millionaire and I own a chain of stores to I stack shelves at the supermarket.

I discourage further questions by giving similar short and evasive answers (though without being rude or confrontational) or by turning the question back, as in "Why, what do you do, friend ? Maybe I`ve seen you around."

They`ll give up pretty soon and, although they will get an idea about your game as you play, you haven`t given them a free pointer.
 
Schatzdog

Schatzdog

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I also just keep it pretty vague and that includes information about what I do for a living as well as any poker related stuff.

The guys will suss you out very quickly on the felt anyway. I also try not to say anything revealing while I'm at the table too and I wont really comment or discuss anything about any of the hands that have been played. I just talk a bit of sport and general rubbish.
 
drgilbert4

drgilbert4

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I just don't like to give any info to other players at the table. For example, if I tell them I'm a day trader, they should assume that I'm a gambler. If I'm a real estate attorney, they may see me as a conservative player. I just make small talk or try to gather info from them instead of allowing them to ask all the questions.
 
W

wreckoning

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Hey thanks for linking that article roundcat. Very helpful.

Thanks for other answers guys. :)
 
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