Friday, February 17, 2006

What is a precipice?

And how do I know if I am standing at one? Well, when you can play decent poker, know what your doing, and still the big wins elude you... but you look back over the last 60 days and think you are still improving...

How? Not sure... Or am I? I have started to absorb things at the tables that are required for winning.

#1. Attitude. You have to be willing to pull the trigger on a move that is right MOST of the time, even knowing that this might be "the wrong move at the right time". That includes understanding when to take a 55%/45% advantage to the freaking wall.

#2. Understanding when its right to win a hand, and when its right to "lead your opponent" down the primrose path. (Very difficult)

#3. Knowing that you play VASTLY different at the beginning of an SnG vs.a large field tournament. So many people say they know the difference, but their play demonstrates otherwise.

#4. Appreciating your play when you get your money in ahead, AS THE AGGRESSOR, Regardless of the outcome.

These are have down pat. Now I have to add the most important one of them all.

5 thru infinity. Every decision you make is for a reason and has long standing ramifications. There are no arbitrary decisions for a winning player.

I can talk about points 5a-5whatever because this is the next level of poker. What should I do? What does my opponent WANT me to do? Am I doing the opposite of what my opponent wishes me to do? Am I playing the opposite style of what the table is comfortable with? If I am, then I am winning the war regardless of the battle results. (If he wants me to call and I fold, chances are I am better off for it. there are always exceptions, your millage may vary).

But decisions do not come from a book, nor do they come from experience, they come from a comprehensive understanding of the current state of affairs. From the simple (my cards) to the abstract (I lost 3 big hands to this guy when we last played 6 months ago, does he remember that? Is he playing this hand based on that recollection?) Then making a decision based on winning the WAR. The War, not the battle. Winning the battle is good. Sure. But no one wins a war without losing battles. And when you lose a battle, USE that and its circumstances to impove you edge in the stratgic arena.

So I undertstand all of this, why is it not working? Its simple, but ellusive. Its easy to think about it after the fact. But while you are sitting down at a table (online or not) for 3-4 long hours, 80% of which is long stretches of nothings (sic), its hard to understand that the current hand is yet another peice of the puzzle -and you need the peices. Desperately. And when you are short stacked and in 500th place, its hard to focus on anything but "I am all in next big hand". But even so, you have to think about how you got there, how you can repair what leaks got you there, and that someone will have to pry the last chip out of your cold dead hand AS A DOG, because I got my money in while I was ahead again! Because that is what I do. See #1.

Questions we need to ask ourselves DURING a hand before we act:
1. Am I ahead? (I dont mean we have to BE ahead, but we must KNOW)
2. Is this the "pressure point"?
3. Do any other circumstances dictate how I should play this hand?

then we need to act:
1. does my act heed me an advantage?
2. Do I act in full understanding of risk/reward?
3. Am I acting the way I would recommend someone else act if I was watching and not worried about my chips?

1 comment:

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