Friday, August 04, 2006

Armchair psychology and Tournament poker – wrap up

Final Thoughts:

1. How does one control aggression so that a player can be aggressive without getting into trouble?

Well, I think that is all about POT selection, not hand selection. You need to be opportunistic and keep up appearances.

2. You must have a goal for a hand (risk reward formula). And your goal should /should not be predictable depending on your holding.

I play TT from MP (3xBB raise) and flop a set on a SAFE board. I had 3 callers from LP, BUTTON and BB. Now what? Do I BET or CHECK? Assuming that your opponents do NOT expect you would check a big hand, then you check. If they have witnessed a pattern of you checking big hands, then you must play it backwards and bet. But you make this decision not on the fact that you have a set and are second to act (this is not limit), but rather which bet will extract the most money based on psychology.

3. A table develops a profile personality which should change your play in the final stages. Once you get to the end game, each player will make a decision to play certain hands. But overall the TABLE now develops a profile. You can gain an edge by playing the opposite of the table profile. i.e. playing against the grain.

4. If I do all this and do it correctly, what can I assume about an opponent’s raises?

Well, if you have the proper image, it can be weighed against the following 4 possibles:
a. They want to Take-it-down now because hey are worried, i.e. feel unsafe.
b. They raise a Pot size bet because they are ahead, but at risk.
c. They are attempting to ‘go for your stack’. (they are WAY ahead or have a BIG draw)
d. They are making a mistake or a bluff. And you have to read which one.

When d. occurs, you should think back to this question: “Based on how *I* played the hand, does he think he is ahead or behind.” This "level 3 thinking" will let you pick off a bluff.

Well, that's my brain dump. Now I have to implement...

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