Friday, April 6, 2007

Prepping for WSOP

I’ve been watching all episodes of season 3 of High Stakes Poker. What have I learned? In general terms, I’ve learned how the best no limit cash game players deal with marginal situations. Usually, it’s the player who bets first who wins the pot. This happens all the time, but the best players disguise the fact that they’re doing this. They wait for ideal situations with which to make plays. Usually when it’s heads up, there can be some real fireworks going. Bluffs happen occasionally preflop, but most of the time on the turn. Not so much on the river. Most of the time players just check and fold when they feel they are beat. In fact, I can’t think of a situation in which a player moved all in on the river with the stone cold bluff. It simply does not happen that much. I plan to pay more attention to that.

When a good player moves all in, 90% of the time he/she has the stone cold nuts.
I can take advantage of the pros by appearing to know less than I know about poker. I can make simple rookie mistakes to camouflage how much I know about poker. Most players do not do this. They want everyone to know how good they are. I do this as well, but it doesn’t help my longterm profits. I should think about Mike Caro and the table image he likes to present. If I come across as knowing less than what I know, other players will be more willing to shoot for me. Then I can set them up and make them pay when I have a good hand that’s nicely disguised.

I’m ready to take my no limit skills to the next level. It’s a very difficult game that requires lots of patience and stamina. My class room is the Casino San Pablo, known for its loose action. I think there is a lot of money to be made there. If I can get over my fear of getting sucked out all the time I think I would stand a very good chance of making some serious money at San Pablo. The players are not that good. They are loose, take way too many chances and make horrible calls. That’s one thing I notice with the not-so-good players. They make bad calls.
What improvements do I need to make?
  1. Think through the entire story of a hand. I sometimes get a little panicky, and don’t think clearly. I should work on this.
  2. Study betting patterns from every player at the table. Do they bet out with made hands, do they check raise? Do they call a lot. How do they bet?
  3. Continue to put pressure on players. No free cards, but also trap the tricky players.
  4. Identify who the dangerous players are.
  5. Set session goals that go beyond bank roll issues (i.e., focus, decision making, etc.)
  6. Work on staying focused longer. Play in the poker zone.
  7. Don’t let tilt affect your game. Stay positive. The Tao of Poker.
  8. Keep track of the big winners and loose players. Watch out for them. Set traps for people to walk into.