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Introduction to Advertising: Tricking Your Opponents

Introduction to Advertising: Tricking Your Opponents
By Loki Luchs of

When Absolute vodka was first introduced into the American industry in 1979, it was a colossal flop. First, Sweden was not known to be a competitive producer of vodka at the time; this image was not actually incorrect, because itís only a hair better than the regular well vodka, a 3 out of 5 rating. Furthermore, itís got an awkward bottle for bartenders to handle, so sales in taverns were non-existent. Finally, vodka on the whole was not a huge seller in American bars until the mid 1980's. So how exactly did this struggling company turn into the largest distributor of vodka in the world? The answer is simple: Advertising. The ďAbsolute PerfectionĒ ad campaign is one of the single most productive in history. Despite the national alcohol sales dropping over the course of the next decade, Absolute sales rose from 12,000 crates to 2.7 million. A strong advertising campaign made it a global powerhouse almost overnight.

When youíre playing poker, you need to find a way to sell yourself. The fact of the matter is, no matter how much we want them to be, our opponents arenít (always) stupid. They are thinking, breathing individuals that show a reluctance to give us their money. If your game becomes predictable, they will always know what youíre doing. Sometimes when a deer is standing in the road they wonít move because they donít know what the lights areÖ If the deer figures out what they are, however, all he has to do is step out of the one-dimensional path of the car.


The best way to advertise in poker is to convince your opponents that you play in a manner that you donít. For a LAG (loose aggressive), this is easy because every hand you play, your opponents will think youíre bluffing. Youíre not only going to get plenty of action when you do actually have a hand, youíre going to break rocks when your crap hands flop hard. This isnít always the case when youíre a tight player. When a table is adapting to the fact that you only play high valued hands, youíre generally not going to get much action from the table when you have those hands. Players will fold unless they have ways to beat you. Too often, a TAG (tight aggressive) either plays too tight or doesnít adapt to the fact that the players around him are playing the exact same way. The only way to fix this problem is to sell them the fact that you arenít, in fact, a good player. This is advertising a false image of yourself, so that in future confrontations, the players around you will not have a clue where youíre at in the hand.

As the saying goes, youíve gotta spend money to make money. One easy way is to raise with rags a few times in a row from late position. At a tight table, you wonít make much money and you might even lose a little if you get re-raised, but when you show 6/3 off-suit a couple times and laugh at their expense, your opponents will be out to get you. This ISNíT a bad thing! You will certainly get more action from their medium strength hands when youíre making big raises at them later in the game.

Another way that you can advertise is by making a few cheap, moronic calls. This will stick out in your opponents minds that youíre going to call them with anything, so they wonít be afraid of you when youíre in the pot. One or two cheap showdowns can sell you as a minnow, when youíre actually just setting the bait for the real fish.

Keep in mind that your opponents will be spending time trying to fit you into a general category of player. This helps them react so they donít fall into traps. If you can convince them that you play differently than you do, you stand a very good chance of tricking them into making mistakes at critical times.


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