Tuesday, May 13, 2008

He who hesitates

The more you play poker tournaments, the more comfortable you become playing hands. You will probably start playing hands the same way every time they are dealt. This isn't good. You aren't mixing up your play, but then you don't want to mix up your play so much so that you fold pocket kings just because it is out of character. Regardless, this post isn't about changing up your style, it is about tells.

When you are on poker cruise control, you probably don't have any clear tells. Tells haunt me most when I am in debatable situations. These situations come with the most frequency short-handed, when I'm betting with weaker starting hands than I would like. I'm not a computer, which means I need time to think about the best decision. Which means I hesitate.

The obvious solution to said problem is to simply not deliberate. However, there is a way to throw off you eagle-eyed competitors while still allowing yourself some headspace: misdirection. You need to put the breaks on your no-brainers. The next time you are faced with a clear call, don't make it clear. Pretend to consider a fold, or a raise for the matter. Burn a little time off the clock. You aren't acting for the benefit of that hand, but for future hands. The next time you truly must take a moment, your opponents will read you based on misinformation. And that is always a good thing.

He who hesitates cannot play in a real casino. Online blackjack is not comparable to the real game. This holds true for poker as well.

1 comment:

  1. I fully agree with throwing in the odd reverse timing tell, especially if it seems the table is taking notice of the play. I do this sometimes but more recently I have added more tables and I'm finding it easy to act the same every time, obviously this is hurting my game long term.