September 12, 2011

Poker Prop Strategy – Tournament Action (part 3)

One of the main problems that poker props are confronted with is manufactured winning streaks. Of course, while some poker props may venture onto the tournament tables, the majority of them will toil away at the cash tables. Having a massive rakeback deal backing them up, these guys are under quite a bit of pressure to perform, first and utmost, from their own selves. Being paid to play and finishing the month under the red line is not exactly a confidence-builder. Poker props will therefore resort to setting themselves a goal: to finish every session with a profit.

This approach is a faulty one though, and it will ultimately end up costing a lot of money. In order to ‘manufacture’ a winning streak, our poker prop will stick it out and play through hell or high water chasing his losses. Everyone has his/her moments when playing poker is just not a good idea. One may be preoccupied with something else, generally scattered and unable to focus. Playing poker at times like this is just plain stupid, yet that is exactly what a player who’s manufacturing a winning streak does.
 A large-scale MTT is always going to force players into spots where they have to gamble. Whenever you look at the winner of one such MTT, know that you’re not only looking at a skilled player but a giant luck-sack as well. In order to make it to the top, players need to win several coin-flips through the tournament. How is it then that some players seem to get lucky all the time, while others can never really catch a break?

The answer is simple: some people can handle the luck factor better than others: suppose you’re in a situation when you have to shove all-in on 60-40 odds in your favor, against an opponent. Would you rather make the move against a guy who only has you around two thirds of your stack covered or against a guy who has you completely covered? Weak players won’t think twice about this one: of course they would go for the two thirds guy, after all, even if they lose, at least they’d have some chips left over. That though is the wrong answer. A strong player knows that by barely surviving such an encounter, he’ll only set himself up for more problems. Therefore, he’ll shove all-in against a player who has him wholly covered, so that at least if he wins, he’ll stave off trouble for a while. It’s apparently tiny things like this that make or break a good tournament player.

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