Friday, February 22, 2008

Dear Robert,

(Actual Viewer Email)

Obviously you have made peace at the table with other players not understanding your play, and either (1) thinking you’re the donkey at the table, or (2) sitting there thinking how great they are having no idea they just horribly sucked out on a low percentage play (like a gut shot straight draw). How do you find the strength to smother your pride and let that continue? I know its mostly due to the fact that you plan on smothering the pride all the way to the bank, but I would think instincts would want to put that person in their place. My cousin is struggling with this. He loses his mind when he gets sucked out on, and the other player has no idea that they just got lucky. It makes him not want to play any more. His pride is winning this battle. He no longer goes Helmuth anymore, but the frustration eats him up. Any suggestions or advice I can give him?

Uh...don't play poker?

There's no pride at the poker table. You can't will yourself to win pots.

No hand is that big of a favorite. If I went to the doctor and was told I had a 20% chance of not surviving some disease I'd be scared of the 20%! So why should I be shocked when the same math does or doesn't happen at the poker table? All we are doing is betting on probability and sometimes the worst hand wins. If the worse hand never won, people wouldn't gamble.

But the biggest thing to discuss/correct here is what you wrote about your cousin losing his mind because the other player has no idea that they just got lucky. Tell your Cousin that he does not want the other player thinking they just got lucky! Your Cousin should want his opponents to keep playing exactly like they are playing.

If my opponent knows he made a mistake, if I teach him that he made a mistake, he might play future hands better. I don't want that. I want my opponents to chase gutshots. To need to get lucky to win. That's my job. That's the game. Getting my money in with the best of it. Whatever happens after that really doesn't matter. Further anger is just wasted energy.

At the poker table, you, me, and your cousin need to pretend we're the house. It's how they keep building new casinos here in Vegas. It's not like you see Steve Wynn running downstairs all angry anytime someone hits a number on his roulette table.

Well, except for that madness I saw Wednesday night.

1 comment:

Check Raise Chin said...

Nice Post Rob!

Glad that you're the Dear Abby of poker

Any advice for a donk like me?

Keep up the good work!