Seeking Opinions

dj11

dj11

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Recently, I have been mulling over the intangible things I do while playing mostly sng's and MTT's.

I know how to play the cards, and I believe most of us do.
When I got monsters I do well. Who doesn't?

The particular intangible I am seeking opinions on are a Willingness to Cowardice, or a Willingness to Wimp.

What I am hoping to convey here is that in order to survive one has to be able to lay down big hands, to wimp out. To show cowardice, which will probably be exactly what your particular villian at the time will think.

Personally I do not think it is a bad thing. Usually. I am learning to exploit its meta game implications a bit. i.e. If villian sees me wimp out a time or 2 or 3 or more, he will start exploiting my 'weakness' every chance he can. This often leads him to get sloppy.

This obviously will not be an early tourney strategy. It will pertain mostly to a stable table, in the middle to late stages where for the most part we would be stacked ok.

Yesterday I was more than willing to laydown big hands to a bigger bet. I did better yesterday than I have done in several days of challenging the big bet. Certainly makes me think that My EGO must be checked at the door.

We hear over and over about how good it is to be agressive, and little about how being wimpy can save our colective butts.

Interested in what you have to add to the thought.
 
calibanboy

calibanboy

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Two regular peices of advice we are often told are

a) be patient

b) Be aggresive.

I Guess, assuming you play good poker, that if you Get the balance right you are a winner. ( or have a better chance to win ) .

I often know when I am playing if I am being too passive/Patient or if I am pushing my luck. (pushing/trying too hard).

Ok - so now we come to the question of what stats are the ideal stats ( eg preflop raise % etc etc ). The thing is this can be different depending on the people at the table and the situation.

I guess what I am saying is that the balance between Patience and agression changes table by table and/or depending upon the stage of the MTT.

All we can do is learn from experience and play situational poker.

PS - I like your Post, especially your part about EGO. Its one hard thing to control.
 
bubbasbestbabe

bubbasbestbabe

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I have found that the best way to get to the final table is not to challenge the big bets. If by calling a big bet puts your stack at jeopardy, you would be better to fold until you have the nutz. For example, say you have 2 pair. Villian bets a large enough bet to put you with les than 5X BB. Even though there is a good chance here that he has TPTK, I am not going to take the tourney chance and call him. If he did have a set I would have just lost my chance to move further on in the tourney. I would rather wait till it is on my terms and bet.
 
Irexes

Irexes

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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.
 
M

MAX101

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I'm no wsop bracelet holder but I think bubba hit it on the golden nail, I would rather wait till it is on my terms and bet, but its good to go against the grain sometimes, on a hunch and win;)
 
crancko

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I've taken the advice of another thread and disabled chat again. Now I can fold endlessly till i feel certain i have the goods. Have improved my MTT play immensely. This includes folding strong hands when the board goes against me. Folding KK / QQ with a board showing an A feels like a win although i loose some chips.

Best part is that patience improves as well and it often results in some big take downs when you finally move in (i'm a big fan of moving in slowly as not to scare the potential targets too much - which is another discussion totally).
 
dj11

dj11

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Today I realized that very closely related is a refusal to engage.

You know the scenario, another player is playing very loosly, and everytime you limp in, he raises, or he knows you want to enter and raises uncomfortably. I have taken of late a refusal to engage stand. Rather than get upset at LAG, I quietly silently thank him for making me wait.
Refusal to engage sounds a bit more aggressive than a willingness to wimp. Bottom line is that it will be me who is in control when I want it to happen. Major caveat to this is someone else betting big into my AA or KK.

Control. Self control, pot control, table control. Self control.

Did I mention self control???????
 
NineLions

NineLions

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I'm with you there, dj.

There's all kinds of subtly different ways of explaining or looking at essentially the same thing, and I think mulling it over and coming up with different perspectives/definitions is an exercise that has value because it helps to define it better in one's own mind.

I'm struggling with the same kind of discipline/self control issues (as related to poker, at least), and right now am trying to reconcile that with maintaining table image and aggression

Table image is different than ego, but oh, it's easy for the ego to jump in and take over.
 
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