Julian is a poker player from Rochester, NY, who also studies Communications at SUNY Geneseo. He’s a fan of No Limit Hold’em and Omaha Hi-Lo.
Our friend Julian has submitted another couple of articles. I like changing things up because my posts are primarily stories and funny things, players on the other hand give their perspective about strategy and observations from the other side of the table. I will add my opinion at the end of each article.
Types of Personalities at the Poker TableThroughout my experience playing poker semi-professionally, I have come across various personalities at the poker table, and I don’t say that lightly. Every tournament and cash game, these different characters somehow often offer indescribably unique but invaluable perspectives on life. Now that I am done blabbering away at my introduction, here are the list of unique players I’ve witness in my entire poker career:
Cheap Tipper- He (or she) is the type of player who will spend boatloads of money on drinks and tipping cocktail waitresses, yet will refuse to the death giving the dealer at least a $1 tip. Either the player is otherworldly cheap, just doesn’t care, or is totally oblivious to the unwritten rules about playing poker in a casino. Or probably all of them.
The woman in 4th of July garb- This one speaks for itself. The only other thing I can say is that she is the one folding 99% of her hands until she finally picks up a pocket pair and donks out all her chips.
The (Loud & Obnoxious) Drunk- This is the person who you will never see at the poker table without a Miller Lite or Michelob Ultra in hand. This player will ultimately try to yell in your ear and get inside in your head, on top of consistently splashing pots. As an introvert, the yelling part gets to me.
The Self-Proclaimed Expert- This is the person that constantly berates other players about the way they play their hands since the “experts” know all of the percentages of getting certain outs, and exactly how much of the pot to be on certain hands. Often enough, they’re among the first to leave the tournament.
Chronic texters or callers- These people are a significant cause of holding up hands. All people care about is what you’re going to do with your hand, not about your drunken booze cruise in Cabo. There are many more individual types that grace poker tables all over the globe, but I will have to play more poker to get the full show.
There are many, many more personalities but this sums up just a few. I tend to notice more about people than players because you are engulfed into trying to beat these players, how they play and how to play your hands. While i’m sitting there trying to figure out what that is on their upper lip.
Importance of Tournament StrategyThe importance of any type of strategy in any tournament in the world of poker is crucial, and is often understated, and underrated. Throughout my experience playing tournament poker, whether it be in a tournament league home game, or any casino tournament, I have often found that some form of strategy was always helpful in determining how to play against a set of players, in addition to how to play certain hands depending on the situation, the number of players, and what position you’re in. Another thing about tournament strategy I’ve learned is how flexible you have to be in changing it up, whether it be a deepstack, turbo, bounty, or any other tournament type. This is because in various types of tournaments, what I mentioned before still applies, but you need to adjust it according to the starting amount of big blinds you have in your hand. Because of this flexibility, I’ve allowed myself to have an optimal way of playing my hands that has allowed me to be a part of many final tables.
Final table and tournament success says that you are above average. Now turning those cashes into bigger cashes is next in the progression. I think most players have a strategy but the biggest flaw from the average amateur is not changing that strategy up. I see a lot of the same players making the same mistakes, playing the same way every single tournament. This doesn’t allow you to learn to play better it also allows your opponents to know exactly how you play and read you like a book. From small tournaments to big buy in tournaments, these players continually do the same thing over and over and wonder why they can’t cash on any consistent basis. And when they do it’s a min-cash. Learn to play more hands you would never normally play, and vary up your betting patterns. Learn to play and not just wait for big hands that everyone will just fold to you. Gaining experience in heads up play and playing the player and not the cards is valuable for end tourney strategy when its short handed. If you just wait for top 10 or 15 hands you will blind out or down to where you have to win coin flips to stay alive. Bookies make their living on coin flips, you shouldn’t have to. If you can accumulate enough chips to absorb a couple of coin flip losses you will be alive a lot longer in the tourneys.