Thursday, June 21, 2007


Permission To Exploit

I'm reading an interesting book, "Beyond Tells" by James McKenna. It goes into some detail about the psychology of poker players and gamblers in general. So far, it talks a lot about "permission" and "scripts". Sometimes I think I need to give myself permission to exploit people, within the spirit of the game. Here's a good example from yesterday.

I get heads up with this guy in a satellite, after the usual donktastic antics which I'll spare you. I have a 9K-6K chip lead heads up, when he suggests saving a chip each and playing for the rest. Instead of just saying "No" and playing on, I follow the Camel's advice and make him a counter-offer whereby I save two chips, he saves one and then we play on (it's a $325, so there are 6 chips up for grabs). While I only do this to make sure we are kind of psychologically even (both having made an offer that the other rejected), to my surprise he accepts. He takes a blind or two, then traps me nicely with KQs and I'm left with 600 chips. I make an exciting comeback to 10K-5K up but then back to 9K-6K down. Now he suggests "how about a chop". I think he means chop the rest while maintaining the original save and agree. However it transpires that he meant just chop everything 3 chips each. Once this disconnect is apparent I have to turn it down. Now credit to him, he takes this professionally and we get on with the game, which I eventually win.

While we're waiting for the paperwork I catch myself thinking "I feel bad about this. I made an exploitative deal, lucked out from 600 chips and then refused a deal that was basically the same deal I made but the other way round. Maybe I should give him the $120 cash". And I have to give myself a mental talking to. I don't owe him anything. No one's ever given me extra because they feel sorry for me, I wouldn't expect them to and I wouldn't even want them to, it would be embarrassing. So I give him his $500, we shake hands and game over. I have no reason to feel guilty about turning down deals I don't want or offering deals that are in my favour. It's up to them whether they want to accept. I hereby give myself permission to exploit people, providing it's within the spirit of the game and in a professional manner. There's nothing wrong with that.

After Sunday's megamegasatellite to the Main Event on Stars I sent $5 to the bubble boy.
Nice rubdown :-)

You missed a trick.

When he offered to "chop" at 9-6 you should have offered to take another chip each and play on for one chip and the cash.

You still have much to learn :)
I'm a bit surprised, Andy. I thought as a live donkaments player originally you would have been very comfortable with deal making. When it was 3 winners only deal making was hugely important.


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