October 10, 2011

Table Selection Tips for Poker Props (part 3)

In our last article we discussed how those who played without the auto-top-up option on were likely to be fish. The reasoning behind this conclusion is an obvious one: good players know that they can secure certain edges over their opponents and they're prepared to do whatever it takes to protect those edges. One of the most fundamental things that they do to protect those edges is to make sure they play with topped-up stacks.

Fish do not have such edges to protect, and they just don't care about how they play. Many of them only play for the sake of playing, and the objective of making money is only a secondary thought behind that for them.

The bottom line is that if you take a seat at the table where you see several players with 80-90bbs in their stacks, chances are you're dealing with fish, and therefore the table is a juicy one.

A little extra effort is all table selection is about. One needs to throw a couple of glances on the statistics in the lobby, and to take a little bit of time taking notes on opponents. Taking those extra few steps makes every sense, especially given how much time people spend studying the game and maximizing their edges.

If you study poker articles and actively participate in various poker forums, spending a lot of time chiseling the various aspects of your game, but you pay no attention to table selection, you may be undermining your own efforts.

Finding good tables is only one half of table selection. The other half is about recognizing bad tables and avoiding them. Identifying a bad table is a relatively straightforward task. Recognizing when a good table has gone bad is a different matter entirely. This is where discipline comes into the picture. One may be stuck at a table, and start chasing his losses. A player who values table selection has to be able to get away from a bad table despite being stuck.

Table dynamics are extremely mobile. One minute, you have 8 fish playing at your table, the next you have 5 regulars and all the value is lost. Players are free to come and go, and they do so indeed. Know this: if you stick around at the table after it goes bad, you're committing a giant mistake.

Those who are disciplined enough to bail out when the going gets too tough will be the most profitable players.

« Back to poker prop articles