While the intent was for this to be a series of seven Articles, retrospective thought has identified a need for an eighth and ninth Article.
Keep in mind the fact that y’all are playing at NoPayPoker; a free poker site. And, even though the word ‘free’ can’t be transposed with the word ‘donk’, it’s likely that you fully understand the relationship between the two words.
Frankly, greater than 95% of the players you compete against at NoPay Poker are either new to the game, or, they’re devoid of any ability to learn practical lessons on ‘how to play the game’.
That said, there is a necessity to identify the mistakes made by these players, and the mistakes made by each of you.
And, just because many of you have been identified as qualified, competent, accomplished, and cash-winning players doesn’t mean that you don’t, every so often, fall into the ‘mistake pit‘….a dangerous place to be.
Primarily because the ‘pit’ is a portal to the domain of the ‘Alpha Bull’, and, it’s essentially the beginning of the application process for a WAFABA membership; something we ought not be interested in.
Now, as has been so frequently scribbled by me, the biggest of all mistakes is a lack of patience.
And, since it has been written about ‘ad nasuem’, there can be no compelling reason to further elaborate on the subject matter other than to render a reminder.
- In real estate it’s ‘location, location, location’ (the rule of 3).
- In business it’s ‘product, price, promotion, and placement’ (the four P’s of marketing).
- And, in ‘pppppoker’ it’s patience, patience, patience, patience, and patience (the 5 P’s of poker); enough said.
- You’re familiar with the drill….or you better be !!!!!! If not, you’ll be opening the door to the 6 levels of torment commonly found in the ‘Farm Animal’ pastures.
The second biggest mistake made by many good players is the failure to allow an ample amount of ‘game play’ time to settle under our belts and into our minds.
If we don’t develop a somewhat comprhensive command of how our opponents play the game, if we don’t develope an ability to ‘read’ their actions, how can we possibly destroy their stacks and truck them off to ‘DonkeyTown’.
Certainly, one of the major factors contained within our ‘advantaged’ play is the ‘consistency of focus’ that we apply to the game.
It produces the ‘reads’ we need to accumulate chips, and it produces the acquisition of the requisite social graces we need. Without which, we wouldn’t be able to introduce Bozo, Dumbo, and BananaHead to the WAFABA group and the Alpha Bull.
In the end, said introduction is likely a positive experience for them; it’s something they’ve earned. And, everyone likes recompense for their efforts.
Additionally, the process of ‘game play’ time expanding minute by minute, puts us in the position of avoiding the opening Multi Table Tournament hands dominated by ‘chip-flinging’. Where, the aforementioned Bozo, Dumbo, and BananaHead are basically playing Bingo to decide who ends up with the starting chips that each were allotted when the table opened.
Moreover, these initial minutes of play allow us to identify targets….and, when targets are available, it would be an enormous mistake to have not identified them.
Third, in our queue of mistakes, are the vast numbers of players at No Pay Poker who are completely enamoured with ace/rag pockets.
- The ace, in and of itself, provides liscense for them to believe that they’re half way home to a pair of aces….a hand they believe will win the pot.
- Yet, they always fail to realize that it’s a Negative Expected Value (-EV) pocket; destined to produce loses over the long-term.
Plus, these ‘Farm Animals’ will push bets onto the table with regularity; never once realizing that another player could easily be holding a pocket ace with a better kicker, or, other players could be holding any of approximately 30 pockets with a Positive Expected Value (+EV).
Next, and 4th on the list, is the common failure to respect the Big Blind (BB) position when only limpers have entered the pot.
- When a flop of K/9/4 hits the board, and Bozo has a pocket King, he’s absent any regard for the BB player….
- who, because it didn’t cost him anything additional to see the flop, could be holding pocket 4/9.
- Thus, Bozo does some ‘chip-flinging’, and the Big Blind happily raises.
Of note, the table position at the felt that wins the most hands is the Big Blind.
Importantly, for each of you, since you’re the better players, it’s okay to bet out so that the waters can be tested….but, the bet should be moderate in size.
Then, if the BB comes over the top, allow your player notes to dictate your actions….and, as learned, it’s perfectly acceptable to lay down a once powerful hand (Article 4).
Fifth, none of us can count the times when we’ve been witness to Dumbo and his WAFABA co-members play hands completely oblivious to Pot Odds, Implied Odds, or both; neither are a part of their thought or sight capacities; donkeys have limited intellect and don’t see too well.
Plus, none of them would be able provide you with a definition of either. And, as a result, they often bet irrational amounts….frequently yielding acceptable Pot Odds to the other players currently in the hand.
Unquestionably, not one of you would ever have an excuse for this type of action.
- Y’all learned long ago that you are principally a pot size bettor.
- And, you learned the lesson for a very good reason….a pot size bet rarely gives your opponent playable Pot Odds.
- They’re gonna’ fold, or, if they’re dumb enough to accept undervalued Pot Odds, it creates all the more justification for their claim to residency in the pastures, and their intimate relationship with the Alpha Bull.
Moving on, we get to an ignorance associated with overcards….it’s sixth on our list of mistakes.
- And, Article 4 of this series, “Folding: Laying Down a Once Powerful Hand”, recently ‘bookmarked’ by one of NoPayPoker’s best players (KajunSpice), brought you all of the information you need to avoid the blunder.
- However, since Bozo, Dumbo, and BananaHead didn’t read Article 4, be prepared for them to often carry a pair of Tens through the process of betting post-river….even though the board contains an Ace, a King, and 3 suited cards.
Seventh, and always fascinating to me, is the remarkably stupid action of Overbetting.
- In truth, even when the WAFABA member holds a pair of pocket Aces the insanity is present.
- It’s either a 10 to 50 times the Big Blind bet, or an all-in bet.
- They’ve no knowledge of the ‘money-winning’ strategy associated with the holding of the current nuts hand….yet, we all know that the strategy is called ‘slow-play’.
- And, we all know how much profit the ‘slow-play’ strategy puts into our bankrolls.
Importantly, we also know that there is an acceptable time for us to actually initiate an overbet. It’s almost always an action we use when we want to protect what appears to be a current nuts hand, and we don’t want any callers.
An example would be when we hold pocket Jacks, and the flop showed 2/6/T rainbow. If there was $600 in the pot, a $1,000 bet would be more than acceptable….because such a bet gives no one acceptable Pot Odds.
Then, there are the ever present all-in bets that are made by PinBrain when he holds a low pocket pair….this would be 8th on the list.
Of course, I’m not considering the opening few hands in any MTT; there we’re seeing a ‘chip-flinging’ fiasco of monumental ignorance.
No, I’m talking about middle and late game action. Pocket Sixes, not the low stack, all-in? Come on! For the most part, the only callers are going to be players with paint pocket pairs or Big Slick….and, combined, those callers make the pocket Sixes an underdog.
Ninth, and my favorite in terms of observing stupidity in game play, is the degree to which ‘suited rags’ are played by the ‘Farm Animals’.
- Anything from 2/3 suited to 4/J suited is worthy of a bet or raise from the critters who reside in the pastures.
- Somehow, they believe that the flop is going to yield 2 or 3 cards that match their suit….not realizing there is only a 13% probability that 2 cards will appear, or only a 2% probability that 3 cards will appear.
At intermittent points in time they must marvel at what they would describe as ‘bad luck’. It’s certain that they don’t use those ‘points in time’ to marvel at their inability to play the game with any level of skill.
Speculatively, I imagine that most of these Dumbo’s believe that the game of poker is a game of chance.…never could they think of the game as a skill event.
The latter would require that they both read and learn. And, remembering that a donkey has both poor eyesight (hard to read) and limited intelligence (hard to learn), they are forever relegated to the dung heaps that surround them.
Tenth has to do with game play out of the 3 early table positions.…
- The Small Blind (SB)
- The Big Blind (BB)
- The Under The Gun (UG) seats.
Each of us understands that the pockets with a Positive Expected Value (+EV) are limited to AA, KK, QQ, AK, and AQ suited.
However, the WAFABA group teaches an alltogether different approach. Their belief is centered around the idea that you can’t get lucky if you’re not in the hand….so, play any pockets. And, I will admit that sometimes it works to their advantage.
Such is true because every once in a while a flop fits with the rags they’ve chosen to play. Yet, we know to be extra careful when we’re playing against only limpers and the Small Blind, Big Blind, or either one of them.
Perhaps, the occassional win delivered to the WAFABA member who plays garbage out of early position, generates the motivation to continue pursuing their extraordinary level of ‘dumb’. In the end though, when day is done, you go home with money, and they go home with empty wallets.
Next, since the reason for playing poker is to win money (with a bit of social interaction added), we know that we need to outlast the ‘bubble’, get to the final table, and then look to win the tourney. Thus, eleventh on the list is about money….and the absence of ego.
But, the near opposite is true for the WAFABA pinheads. Sure, they’d like to win money; yet, how often have you seen 2 or more of them fling chips at each other while playing with terrible cards….hand after hand, one right after the other. And, rarely with exception, they’re doing that because of ego. “Nah na nah, nah na”, “I’m better than you”.
Twelfth, at the final table, all but you and one other player eliminated, Heads-Up (HU) play commences.
- And, for even some of the really good players at NoPay, the mistakes that can be observed are numerous.
- The biggest of all is the failure to recognize that aggression rules in Heads-Up action.
- And, while I’ll not do more in this Article than impart the last sentence, I do expect to post a future article or blog on the details related to game play requirements once you’ve gotten to the point of just you and one other competitor. [Please look for this post in the near future.]
Last, in the 13th spot, is ‘Style of Play’.
But, not as you might immediately think of it. I’m not talking about ‘passive’ versus ‘aggressive’, or ‘tight’ versus ‘loose’.
I’m, oddly enough, talking about geography. Because players in different parts of the world address the game with one very profound distinction….’decision making’ on a pocket cards analysis basis versus ‘decision making’ on a post-flop basis.
- Players from the United States are most often making the decision to play the hand or not play the hand based on the pocket cards they were dealt.
- Players from Eastern European countries are most often making the decision to play the hand or not play the hand based on the 5 cards available to them post-flop.
- Players from Western Europe and Australia can do either.
- Thus, the need for a little social-interaction….or ‘info’ seeking interaction is necessary. It’s not difficult to ask a player who is new to you “Where are you from”.
Interestingly, or coincidentally, we’ve ended up with 13 mistakes….the unlucky number. And, if any of you fall into the pit by playing with, or into, any one or more of these mistakes, you’re on a road that could easily open some very negative doorways.
The 1st is a door that could start the WAFABA application process, the 2nd is door that could find you in the company of the Alpha Bull, and the 3rd is a door that introduces you to a ATM….where a stream of withdrawals by Bozo and his co-horts could decimate your bankroll. None of which should be placed before you, and none of the doors should be opened.
Best of Luck at the Tables,
by D. M. Vadnais
(c) copyright; March, 2010; no reproduction, all rights reserved by D. M. Vadnais