(THIS ARTICLE IS A CONTINUATION OF THE PREVIOUS MONTH’S POST Article 8 of 11)
You find yourself in very diverse company. The crowd is composed of all types of people…all of whom possess all kinds of reasons for taking their respective games to the free poker tables here at NoPay, and elsewhere.
Some are present to be social, others are present for entertainment, many are around for ‘poker promiscuity’….they’d be the chipflingers and imbecilic donkeys….and, countless players participate solely to flirt with Lady Luck; never realizing that their thoughtless play parallels their potentially biggest real-life problem.
Yet, you’ve opted to join because of a dual interest; you want to learn as much as you can about the game, and, you want to win….not pride, not ego, just money. Aside from your quest for a 100% command of the multi-dimensional aspects of the game, winning money has been the sole purpose for your read of these free poker training Articles….’Building a Bankroll’. And, you’re not flirting with Lady Luck….you don’t have a gambling problem, you play with an advantage. Or, you should be playing with an advantage; this is Article 09.
Yet, as highlighted above, many of the others who have chosen to participate in your games are not at all aligned with your duality; their involvement at the felt is founded in reasons that you likely have little understanding of.
Nor, in the absence of a very ‘good read’ on your part, you’ll never have an understanding of their wanton rationale for participation in any poker gaming environment.
Please note, however, that my reference to a ‘good read’ is not about an astute observation you’ve made at the table…it’s not figurative, it’s actually literal. There exists a book that I believe to be a must read for everyone involved with poker.
The book is so good that It has been made into a ‘knock-off’ screen play on more than a half-dozen occasions, and each of the films were fairly well done. One of the knock-offs used the same title as the book. And, once you’ve read the book, assuming you’re a movie buff, you’ll quickly identify all of the film titles; including ‘Rounders’.
So, by whatever means possible, find the time to get the book into your hands, then find the time to read and comprehend the constant subtlety presented by the manuscript. You will spend no more than a 5 to 6 hour period of time to finish this pleasurable read.
Yet, you’ll spend the balance of your lifetime benefiting from the singular lesson presented by the author: Fyodor Dostoevsky (long ago, and to this day, considered to be a major contributor to what has been for years described as classic Russian literature).
The books’ title is ‘The Gambler’. It is one of the least known books that were penned by Mr. Dostoevsky.
However, it was the only book he wrote that has any bearing on your world of poker. More specifically, it’s the only book that will immerse you into the mindset of the vast majority of participants who join you at the tables. The manuscript is a novel where gambling is the central theme to the story line.
Yet, what the book is going to teach you has as much value as almost all of the poker books you’ve ever read combined. The lesson lies in the gamblers mind set…how he thinks, why he thinks it, and what his goal is; yes, goal (singular). Get the Gambler on Amazon
Granted, the goal will never become an open admission on the part of the gambler….ever; unless the gambler is in the private confines of a psychiatric practitioners’ office.
However, no matter how difficult it may be for you to come to believe the truth of the goal, the fact is that the vast majority of gamblers all share this common goal: A GAMBLER GAMBLES TO LOSE (with but one caveat: a minority of gamblers do share a less self-destructive goal; they gamble for entertainment).
Clearly, while I recognize that the five capitalized words above may have come across as a complete shock, the reality of those words are going to add a rather large amount of money to your respective bankrolls. Also, not one of you should be a gambler…not in this series of free poker training Articles, not if you’ve paid attention to my written words, not ever. Your money should only enter the pot when you’re in an advantaged position. It’s not your goal to lose; it’s their goal….the gamblers goal.
Yet, in order to extract money from the game, you’ll need to apply all of the lessons you’ve learned from the previously posted Articles, from the quality poker books you’ve read, from the poker forums you’ve participated in, from your poker playing experiences, from your personal poker practice sessions, and from this newest lesson; the gamblers’ mindset.
But, how do we use this lesson such that it presents us with a clearly defined advantage? I believe the answer lies within your Consistency of Focus (COF)…the constant attention you give to all that is happening at the tables during your games. And, I have complete confidence that each of you holds the ability to identify the gambler, or gamblers, at any poker table.
I believe that they each display an imaginary ‘sign’ which tells most of you that their real names are Bozo….or Dumbo….or ChipFlinger….or MeatHead. They also regularly put forth ‘literal’ plays that quickly let you know about their thirst for action, their quest for excitement, and their lust for Lady Luck.
In the end….with their action, excitement, and fantasies aside….since a gambler is playing to lose, and since you’re playing to win, I need you to visit a Library, I need you to borrow the book, I need you to read the book, I need you to learn the gamblers mindset, and then I want you to use the newly acquired knowledge to your advantage.
Go ahead….ask! “Why read the book?”. “Why spend 5 hours absorbing Mr. Dostoevsky’s words?”.
The answer to both of these questions resides in a very simple premise. One that should be easily understood. YOU DON’T GAMBLE…MANY OTHERS DO. Not everyone, but countless players that you’ll end up competing against do gamble.
And, as long as these players remain a constant at your tables, and they will, you’re going to regularly strip them of their cash. Plus, you’ll have assisted them in attaining their subconscious goal of losing….in some ways, you’re doing them a favor.
Now, let’s identify the types of actions these gambler players routinely include in their game play; actions that are not only the rudiments to their gambling-based, and problematic, constant involvement in the game, but are also the fundamental cause for their money to rapidly become your money.
First, and foremost, they’ll play pocket cards that possess a Negative Expected Value (-EV); they possess ‘zero’ patience, and they want to participate in almost every hand.
Think for a moment about how many times you’ve seen them play Ace/Rag from any position at the table. Think for a moment about how many times you’ve seen them play unsuited connectors from any position at the table. Think for a moment about how many times you’ve seen them play King/Rag suited, or Queen/Rag suited, from any position at the table. And, think for a moment about how many times you’ve seen them play Rag/Rag suited, be they connectors or not, from any position at the table.
Truthfully, the number is so high, y’all can’t count the times you’ve seen these plays made by others. And, since all of the plays carried with them a Negative Expected Value (-EV), you also can’t count the number of times these plays have significantly reduced the stack sizes of Mr. and Mrs. Gambler; their money has gone to one or more of the players whose ‘Style of Play’ is similar to the ‘Style of Play’ you bring to the table.
Next, focus briefly on a Gambler’s propensity to overplay pocket paint. Whether it be Ten/Jack offsuit, or Ace/King suited. And, everything in between. Does pocket King/Jack offsuit carry with it a Positive Expected Value (+EV) from Early Position?
No, it doesn’t. Does pocket Queen/Ten suited carry with it a Positive Expected Value (+EV) from Early Position? No, it doesn’t. Does pocket Ace/Queen unsuited carry with it a Positive Expected Value (+EV) from Early Position? No, it doesn’t.
And, if you were using the ‘print out’ of your PPM (Playable Pockets Matrix), or using the section of your brain where you’ve committed the Matrix to memory, the "No" answers given to all three of the above questions should have been shouted aloud by all of you.
Yet, the Gamblers at the table are completely unaware of the long-term negative consequences associated with the way they all play these pockets. And, play them they will…with a recurrent benefit to you that is something of a ‘Christmas in July’.
Plus, they’ll perform the very same ‘Insanity Dance’ regarding the Middle Position pocket cards that carry a Negative Expected Value (-EV). Additionally, they’ll regularly participate in ‘Dung Tossing’ regarding the Late Position pocket cards that carry a Negative Expected Value (-EV). It’s nothing more than their way of playing.
Hey, they’re gamblers; they don’t know how to win. And, they’re not going to put themselves through any tutorial where they could learn to win.
Furthermore, they’ll just about always put money into the pot without any regard for the Pot Odds they’re receiving…why would they care, they’re gambling. Plus, they’ll initiate betting into a pot with a dollar amount that allows the good players to call because they fail to recognize that the pot odds their bet created justify calls by players with legitimate draws.
Again, why would they care…they quite literally have no idea that Pot Odds are a tool used by good players.
Of even greater negative consequence to the gambler, is their ignorance of the semi-complicated method used by the good players to factor Implied Odds into possible ‘calling’ situations.
Many gamblers wouldn’t be able to give you a single hint as to an accurate description of Implied Odds; and, most of the remaining gamblers, those who could describe Implied Odds, almost never allow Implied Odds to enter into their thinking while they’re playing and betting. Why would they care? They’re gambling.
And, while the gambler overtly believes that he’s playing to win, he has no cognizance of the covert, or subconscious, goal he truly brings to the table. Let’s all remember Dostoevsky’s accurate insight regarding a gambler’s mindset. He is gambling with the unknown goal, intent, purpose, and desire to lose.
There’s more…so much more. The gambler is almost always an aggressive player; with a complete absence of any ability to lay down premium cards. The gambler has little, or no, patience; he’s at the table to play as many hands as he can.
The gambler has little, if any, regard for money; he simply views it as disposable, or replaceable. And, the gambler possesses an extraordinarily quick ’tilt’ mechanism; he just got beat, and he now thinks it’s his turn to win.
Does any of this remind you of people you’ve played with at free online poker sites such as NoPay….at Home Games….at Card Rooms….at B&M’s….at Internet real money venues? It should…these types of players fill many of the seats in all the games you’ve opted to join. They’ve done so in the past, they do it now, and they’ll do it in the future.
The gambler plays only his cards; he’ll rarely, if ever, bother to hypothesize what may, or may not, be held as pocket cards by others.
Frankly, he doesn’t really care what cards are held by others. If he/she is holding premium cards, or near-premium cards, or Ace/Rag cards, he/she is generally in the pot through, and including, the post-river betting.
The gambler always overbets AA, KK, QQ, any A/K, any A/Q, and any Ace/rag…plus, he’s so aggressive that he most often does likewise with pocket JJ and Pocket TT….together with all of the low pocket pairs.
And, he has more tells than the young man who has just been invited to an ‘introductory carnal knowledge’ experience. All you need to do is maintain your Consistency of Focus (COF); the gamblers plethora of tells will become patently obvious to you.
Of profound importance, keep in mind that the gambler requires lots of encouragement. You don’t want him ‘sulking’ off with a feeling of despair. You want him leaving the table with a sense that he simply got unlucky, and that he should look forward to tomorrow.
His presence, on any one day, adds to the potential amount of money you can win…you want him around; you’ll need to openly verbalize sentiments that boost his ego, sentiments that give him a sense of pride, and sentiments that create the false belief that he’s a good player.
Clearly, you don’t ever want to present him with any advice on how to play the game. That would be akin to telling the young male with the ‘initial carnal knowledge’ invitation that he needs to stay away from the willing and forward female who made the offer because his Mom told him “Don’t talk to strangers”.
Also, you can never engage in any type of ‘smack’ talk with the gambler; you’ll simply need to leave him alone.
If you suffer any loss to him because of a Lady Luck induced turn or river ‘suck-out’, you actually need to do the exact opposite of ‘smack’ talk…you need to go out of your way to congratulate him. You want him believing that he’s got your number; you want him around. He’ll eventually be the source of a whole bunch of money flowing in your direction.
He’s got the problem, you’ve got Dostoevsky’s book, and you now own about 90% of all the poker knowledge you’ll ever need to become a consistent winning player.
Best of Luck at the Tables
(c) copyright 2008; no reproduction, all rights reserved by D. M. Vadnais
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