ABC or Autopilot? Don’t Forget to Think
Of course there’s nothing wrong with playing good old so-called ABC, common sense poker, as long as we allow ourselves to actually think about what we’re doing.
If we get to a point where – even if we’re doing well – we’re making this or that play without being aware why, then, if nothing else, we certainly can’t be learning much.
It’s vital that we back up what we do with some kind of logical reasoning and purposeful thought, and there is a danger – thanks to the convenience of online poker – that we neglect this area of the game, either by being distracted (deliberately or otherwise) by TV, surfing the web and so on, or by what some see as an ‘obligation’ to increase output (and hopefully profit) by multi-tabling.
Again, opening up two or more tables definitely works for some, but not others, and there is something to be said (for the vast majority of players) for minimising the number of tables in order to maximise focus.
An immediate result from concentrating on just one table is no longer making automatic plays – a bad habit indeed. Even better, by forcing ourselves to appreciate that poker might well require a modicum of thought, we deny ourselves the ‘luxury’ of using the automatic ‘check’ and ‘check/fold’ facilities. A would-be convenient tool for the multi-tabler, this is usually a simple tell (not that multi-tablers are too bothered about who knows they don’t have much interest in a pot) but, with this in mind, and with enough time to analyse what’s happening, we can use the lazy button to our advantage.
The ‘check’ button is so ‘obvious’ a tell nowadays that it’s worth using occasionally when very strong (ideally with a big made hand) to induce action from elsewhere. It might sound like a rather simplistic tactic but, perhaps surprisingly, it can be an effective one!
Good luck at the tables!
Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador