Let’s take an example that shouldn’t be described as luck, but rather as a skill: the flop. Anyone can probably tell you that the best hand wins most of the time at showdown, and you’ll be right. Sometimes your cards will just not trust you, though. In this case, you need to apply your poker strategy in a way that’s most beneficial to your hand.
As an example, let’s say you have a 6-7 and shows, to you and to the table a pair of aces. It’s a very risky hand, which might even be cancelled out by a small flush. What you’re risking is the reputation of having two aces. The idea of “slowplaying it” is just to play it slowly. You want to arrive to a deal where you can have some control on the outcome. You don’t want to force your opponent to fold the hand just because you’ve got two aces. What’s important is that the table respect your decision. They can guess that you have two aces, but not all the other hands. They won’t believe you when you’re betting aggressively, because a flush is a kind of hand that demands respect. In this case, they’ll have to wait for their two aces to have the best hand, and you’ll know when they’re bluffing or not.
They haven’t made their hand yet. If they have, they’ll raise, but will be out of the hand soon. They may therefore make a profit to protect their hand, or they may just be waiting for the “so what?” call from you, or any of the other unwritten signals that you can hopefully misread.
You do this same bit of thinking with any of the other hands, and you will soon start spotting the “give them hell” signs – the kinds of plays that could obviously backfire, but will actually work in the favor of the player. They may seem to be saying “give me a reason to make a play,” but in fact their thinking is, “I already have the best hand so why make a play?” type of play.
Reggie Tajone – Professional Poker Player
When Reggie Tajone joined Gambling Times Magazine’s November 2004 Poker Forum, he opened up about a little known fact about himself. According to him, he is an only child of Indian decent. How did he come to play poker? He said his father loved the game so much that when he was young, he would let him sit in on father’s games.
He revealed that he really didn’t like the game much before fatherhood. When his father would win a pot, the tables would turn, and his father would win big, although Reggie would end up losing. But through the years, he learned how to control himself, and became a really good player. His father was disappointed, but would have none of Reggie’s poker games. When Reggie decided to tell his father about his new poker venture, the father simply said, “Kid, poker’s a game of skill, not a game of luck.”
Reggie started off with $1,000 in his account. He played in tournaments, but would eventually get moved up to the $2,500 NL limit table. Here is where the real interesting part of the story began. Poker is a game of patience. Reggie would wait for the right cards to play, and when he was dealt good cards, he was going to play very aggressively. But you have to pay attention on how your opponent is playing, and Reggie was no exception. His father was a man who loved to lead, and get others to follow along. If one loved the game of poker, you had to be prepared to lose. Reggie didn’t. He would get ahead, and then get out. That’s what any good poker player does.
Reggie was learning from someone who had been there. He studied under the pressure, and made some of his own mistakes along the way. On the page, you can see that his educational process was quite lengthy. It helps one think of ways to improve the game, even when you are ahead. Personally, I believe that it is important to always be learning. Though the various gambling games are different, the fundamentals you learn to master are common to all of them.
Hopefully, you can see the light going out from under a gummed up ceiling in aCalifornia3232105 Of cellaneous at the dewalive at Hollywood Park, in West Reading, Massachusetts. You can ronic watch Reggie play big stack poker today. He is serving as the president of the Youngstown, Ohio Poker River Strategy Group, which is featuring amateur players in the RPT Clover Rollover in November. You may see him in the news reel at the end of the series.