Building a Bankroll - Article 06 (June, 2008)
GOALS, BETS, BLUNDERS, and CALAMITIES - Part 2
[Number 6 in a series of 11 Articles; all to be posted in 2008]
copyright (c) June, 2008; all rights reserved by D.M.Vadnais
*****(THIS ARTICLE IS A CONTINUATION OF ARTICLE 05 (posted last month))*****
Second, the preponderance of betting mistakes that I have been witness to on this site (apart from the all-in bets discussed in Part 1 of this Article) would cause an entire herd of pasture-dwellers to revel in celebration....misery loves company. There are 'overbet' blunders, 'underbet' blunders, and 'defensive pot odds' blunders. Each of which is clear evidence of many NoPay members valid presence on the 'Farm Animal' list of names. And, each of the blunders should NOT be associated with your play....principally because you're current intent is to master the skills and assets that will bring goals 3 and 4 to a very rapid reality. Which, as we've all come to understand, is going to dramatically expand our individual account balances.
The 'overbet' blunder can be simply defined as betting more than the current situation merits. When a pot holds $100, why would anyone make a bet that is substantially more than the size of the pot? Any such bet carries with it a distinct negative....or, any one of multiple distinct negatives. Like what? Well, like telling everyone that you have a pocket overpair, or telling everyone that you have the high board pair, or telling everyone that you've flopped a set....and the list goes on. Additionally, the opposite could be true. You could be telling everyone that you've got squat; that you're bluffing. And, of even more importance, the really 'good' player is going to know your game. With that being so, the only time you're going to get a call from the 'good' player is when he or she has you beat. Thus, KILL the overbet....or, prepare yourself for full-time residence in the pasture.
The 'underbet' blunder can be simply defined as betting less than the current situation merits. When a pot holds $600, why would anyone make a bet that is substantially less than the size of the pot? Any such bet carries with it a distinct negative....or, any one of multiple distinct negatives. Like what? Well....like telling everyone that you have a pocket under-pair, or telling everyone that you have the board's middle pair, or telling everyone that you have the board's low pair....and the list goes on. Additionally, the opposite could be true. You could be telling everyone that you've got a made hand, the current 'nuts' hand, and, your 'underbet' is really no more than an attempt to extract as many chips as is possible from your competitors. Then, of even more importance, the really 'good' player, the player who knows your game, either gives you nothing, or, with a better hand than yours, takes you to the cleaners.
This leaves us with the 'defensive pot odds' blunder....which can be simply defined as giving your opponents the correct pot odds, such that they will call, and remain in the hand. How about an example? You hold pocket Ace/Jack unsuited in late position. The pot is currently holding $400 worth of chips. The flop showed an Ace, an Eight, and a Three. The Ace and the Eight are suited (they're diamonds). Two opponents are in the hand with you. Either of whom could be holding two diamonds in their pocket. They have both checked to you. And, while I am a major proponent of slow-play (holding what you believe to be the best hand, not betting, and allowing your opponent to bet), you best recognize that this is not a time to allow either of them a 'free' suckout; it's undeniably not a time to be slow-playing.
If you were to make a $100 bet, you would be giving each of your two opponents pot odds of 5 to 1. And, if one of them held two diamonds, he/she has been given pot odds that would mandate a call. Why? Do the arithmetic! Your opponent has 9 diamonds that are unseen; therefore 9 post-flop outs exist. That translates into approximately a 1 in 3 chance that a diamond will hit on the turn or flop. Big Mistake! He/she only needs pot odds of 2 to 1 for a long-term 'dead even' call, and the fact that you created pot odds of 5 to 1 suggests that your opponent has about a 150% long-term advantage in making the call. I can think of no reason to justify, at best, what could be labeled short-sightedness, and, at worst, what could be labeled complete stupidity.
On the other hand, had you made a pot size bet...a bet of $400, and your opponent were to call, he/she would be getting pot odds of 2 to 1 (a dead-even long-term play). In candor, not many 'good' players compete at the poker table to be 'dead even'....they compete to win money. Granted, the 'Farm Animals' at NoPay may never be attentive to anything as serious as getting the correct pot odds, yet, it is meaningful that you elevate your game play for the reasons (goals) listed at the beginning of this Article. Your goal is to wreak havoc upon the morale, emotions, and thoughts of the clowns in jackass costumes, and to propagate similar havoc in the minds of the limited number of 'good' NoPay players.
Now, with the hope that you have fully grasped the advisories in the last three paragraphs, this 'defensive pot odds' blunder should never be a mistake made by you. Oh....maybe it's not all that easy to figure out how the 'Farm Animal' 'defensive pot odds' mistake can be consistently avoided by you, so I'll just proceed directly to the rationale for your bets. Whenever possible, whenever practical, whenever betting, always make your bets the size of the pot. And, you just might take some comfort in knowing that a Pot Size bet is the preferred choice of the vast majority of Professional Poker Players. Surely, we're not at their 'quality of play' level, but, it is our goal to get there....or, get as close to there as is possible.
Third, the calamitous play related to 'premium cards', 'suited cards', 'tilt issues', 'ego posturing', and the 'lack of visual learning' is ample cause for the 'Farm Animal betting mistakes induced celebration' to evolve into a pre-lent, New Orleans, Mardi Gras type festival. They're not just having a small party at your expense in the pasture anymore, they've invoked a decadence dalliance that rivals Bourbon Street's nastiest days. And, if y'all have never experienced the raucous, raunchy, rebellious, and rancorous irreverence of the early morning hours in the French Quarter on Fat Tuesday, be assured that it ain't pleasant. Who Dat? It's the Farm Animals on the loose, and they're runnin' around The Big Easy without a clue as to why they're broke, and why they smell like rancid beer. And, it had better not be you or me....we ain't broke, and we don't mix alcohol with poker. Besides, whenever we visit the Crescent City, our interests rest exclusively in the really great restaurants.
We also don't marry once premium cards in the face of overwhelming evidence that they have turned to infidelity....NO, we toss those cards away, and we keep our chip stacks in tact. This, by the way, the ability to bury really good cards, when the realization hits that they have become useless, is one of the hallmarks of an outstanding player. It's something that takes an inner strength and mental courage to incorporate within ones' play....it's not easy to throw away Aces or Kings. Yet, when the board, and the betting, and the knowledge of your competitors playing style clearly tells you that you're once powerful cards have become worthless, have become a losing hand, the only person who benefits from your ability to dump the cards is you. Learn how to do it....learn when to do it; your account balance, if it could speak, will thank you for it.
Additionally, we don't proceed to the flop when we've been dealt suited paint/rag or rag/rag....NO, we toss the cards away, and we keep our chip stacks in tact. This play, the 2 suited garbage cards call of the Big Blind, or call of a raise to the Big Blind, is a classic 'Farm Animal' idiocy....you'll see it happen about once in every other hand here at NoPay. And, the pasture bozo's who share in this idiotic play have done nothing more than regularly set themselves up for just about every type of butt-violation possible. Holding Jack/Four suited when the flop shows Ace/Jack/Six (rainbow) has left them bent over the water trough with 9 bulls approaching from behind. Clearly, we all recognize the necessity to rid ourselves of the suited pockets that carry with them a Negative Expected Value (-EV). And, if the definition of Negative Expected Value (-EV) has slipped from the forefront of your thoughts, take a moment to review the Playable Pockets matrix once again.
Also, we don't take ourselves into the 'false hope' tilt environment just because we lost a hand....just because we got beat (and, you'll never hear me use the words 'bad beat'; there is no such thing....we're playing poker, #&@& happens). NO, we simply continue on with our learned play, using the skills and assets that we bring to every poker table. And, if you do have an Emotions Management (EM) problem, develop a method to deal with it. Try walking away from the game until you've calmed down. Or, take out a piece of paper, and draw a huge red 'X' on it. Then, lay that piece of paper on your keyboard. This will serve as both a literal and figurative reminder that you need to eliminate your emotional upset prior to continuing on with your play. I've done it myself many times; it works for me. Don't dare copy the post-beat, chip-flinging, all-in bet that seems to be the mandatory move on the part of the 'Farm Animals'. It's one of the reasons that they're 'Farm Animals' in the first place.
Beyond Emotions Management (EM), we need to address another form of mental posturing. This one relates to ego. And, we all have one....some are bigger than others; likely mine included. Not that there is anything wrong with the possession of a personal ego; everyday life somehow or another calls upon all of us to require its presence and use with a moderate degree of regularity. Yet, at a poker table, 'smack talk' aside, we have no ego....we dropped it at the door on our way into the game. If we didn't, Lord knows it could cost us dearly. Much like the way it costs and labels the pasture dwellers. You'll often watch them raise and re-raise each other....with rags. They fling chips into the pot, and sing a tune somewhat akin to "My mommy's smarter than your mommy. My daddy's bigger than your daddy". Well, while they've yet to grow up, each of you has. And, all of you are way too intelligent to allow an unnecessary ego to stand in the way of adding chips to your bankroll. Your ego was lost at the doorway....you'll pick it up on your way out.
Next, how many really good tournament players have you watched in the games here at NoPay? And, when you did watch, did you bother to pay enough attention to learn 'solid play' from any of them? Or, have you let the possibility of this learning experience simply slosh away into the muck and mire of the rain and urine filled pastures? Clearly, the 'Farm Animals' have totally ignored the potential lessons; I sincerely hope that you haven't. Earlier, albeit for a very fair reason, I chose to not identify a certain group of 'dumb and stagnate' players. However, in this instance, the identification of the 'talented' freeroll tournament players is a compliment. Plus, it would serve the goal of expanding your skill sets if you were to know the screen names of some of these individuals....and, once known, to intently study the ways in which they play the game.
So, take the time to learn from one or more of the following players; here's a list: 'trummy', 'BillBill32', 'Chips101', ''RayEllemar', 'marita234', 'dutchblond', 'thedon1978', 'grannie1mi', 'natasha1978', and 'CM_KajunSpice'. Plus, there are others....possibly in the area of an additional 4 dozen players. All of whom merit watching. And, of note, you'll find that many of these players all share some very familiar playing habits; they use the skills and assets that have been written about in these Articles. NOT because they read about them here, but because the skills and assets they each use were a part of their respective play methodologies long before I was given the privilege of writing for NoPayPoker.
Finally, when all three of the grouped corrective measures....as described above, Bets, Blunders, and Calamities....become a standardized part of your game play, you'll have expanded your skills and assets from the 77% area to the 80% area; you'll be four-fifths forward in accomplishing your goal of attaining a 100% skill set. Plus, you'll be making even greater additions to your bankroll, you'll be a major factor in sending the 'Farm Animals' to pasture, and, not surprisingly, you'll be tossing some 'good' players into the very same fields of failure. Other than satisfying our primal needs, I'm not at all sure anything could be better.
So, stay with me. Because, even though we've reached a level where 'not much could be better', Articles 6 through 11 will, beyond any personal doubt, actually make things MUCH better....our play will improve, our bankrolls will get bigger, and the 'Farm Animal' pastures will become overcrowded. As they should....you're not playing tiddly-winks in a mindless fashion, you're playing poker with a degree of skill unmatched by 99.9% of the NoPay members. And them? The 99.9% of the membership, they'll end up spastically playing Frisbee with the pasture's dung droppings? They'll be sniffing rumps, enduring stench, and swatting flies as a result of their delusional play. And, while they're stuck in the odorous confines of pasture based Frisbee Fantasia, you'll be moving forward with your mastery of the multi-dimensional aspects of this great game of poker. Stick around....it's gonna' be fun.
Best of Luck at the Tables.
[There are two principal international copyright conventions, the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (Berne Convention) and the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC). Although there is no international copyright, the United States has copyright treaties with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, each country respects the copyrights of the others. Currently, a U.S. copyright is honored in 190 countries around the world. The preceding Article has a U.S. copyright registration. Any unauthorized use will be fully prosecuted under all applicable laws. Please note, however, that permission to use part or all of the above Article is often granted by the author; any such permission must be given in writing and must be signed by the author (please use a 'pm' to D_M_Vadnais in this forum).