Sunday, January 28, 2007


Guys Like Me

Cool guys. Guys who rule. Dangerous fuckers who will take all your chips and do your bird in the break while you're still telling bad beat stories in the bar. Well maybe not :-). What I really mean is experienced Internet players. It is, if you like, the Scandinavian style of play.

Of course there is still plenty of variation within this group. The biggest common factor is that I'm talking about guys who understand the math. Guys like me will not put 40% of their chips in and pass to a reraise pre-flop. We will not put 2/3 of our chips in and then fold when there are still cards to come. We will make reraises that are primarily based on stack and pot sizes rather than hand strength. We don't value survival in poker tournaments because we're used to playing 4 at once online anyway. And another 4 an hour later. We read "The Mathematics Of Poker" and say "yes I knew that" a lot while reading it.

The variation comes in with deeper stacks. Some, like me, are on the tight side when it comes to committing a lot of chips. I don't make the big bluff very often when I'm not short-stacked. If ever, come to think of it, which is maybe something I should work on. I also don't place a lot of faith in "reading" opponents, while some others do, very much so. These are the guys who will sometimes pass after committing a lot of chips ; it's a good idea to work out if we are "read" guys or "math" guys before you try to make us put it down when we have good odds to call.

We do, of course, have our weaknesses. Personally I have a tendency towards nonbelief if I have top pair top kicker or an overpair in a decent sized pot, and this is shared by a lot of GLMs. While this isn't maybe as much of a weakness as you might think, it is still exploitable. But then again someone has to make a better hand to exploit it, which doesn't happen too often. I can mitigate this quite a lot by passing likely second-best hands like AQ and TT to a raise pre-flop, whereas some others aren't so circumspect. We can also get a bit too frisky with steal reraises. It's best not to put in 25% of your stack in late position with GLMs in the blinds, but if you actually find a hand this kind of raise makes very tempting bait. And of course, don't assume that a guy like me necessarily has a good hand when I move all in from late position. Then again, don't assume that I'm at it again when I suddenly move in from early position after a series of late steals :-)

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