Monday, December 05, 2005


Secrets Against The Amateurs

Tony Cascarino won the pro-am in St. Kitts for a tasty $100K. He might even have taken away all the money, which I expect wouldn't have been the case if any of the pros had scooped it. Cascarino was the first to admit that he'd never won a trophy playing football, and now he'd won one playing poker !

I played against him in a Sit and Go a couple of days before. He was OK, obviously had a reasonable idea and certainly wasn't a muppet. As is common though with players who have more poker experience than tournament experience, he didn't adjust properly for his stack size. If he liked his hand, he called. If he really liked it, he raised. And if he really really liked it, he slow-played. His standards were pretty much the same however many chips he had in front of him and whatever the blinds were.

There are a few ways to beat players like this. You can trap them when the blinds are small, and you don't need a monster - top pair Ace kicker is plenty. When the blinds are large, you can steal their blind freely and also share the profit with everybody else because they're too tight as the first raiser. What you do not do against these players is move a lot of chips in trying to knock them off the best hand. You only make a big bet against these guys with a big hand. At least that's what you should do. According to Pokerpages, two of Cascarino's pro-am opponents moved in all their chips against him on a bluff ; he called them down with second pair and a flush draw respectively, was a mile in front in each case, and duly doubled up twice.

It's like I said before here (4th paragraph). You have to know when to slow down. Aggression Aggression Aggression only gets you so far. That might be a fair way, with a following wind in terms of luck, but the really good players know when not to do it. And that's the difference.

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