Folding is a Weapon
by Damian M. Moorman, Predictem.com Staff
“I didn’t come here to watch,” grunts the loose-aggressive middle-aged man as he cold calls a raise pre-flop out of position. This man has been playing $3/$6 Limit hold ‘em at the same table for a little over two hours and has been forced to rebuy four times just to have enough chips to play. He wins the same amount of pots as everyone else, but he loses more. He does not have the patience or the discipline to fold. He does not want to miss out on the action. It is clear he did not come to the casino to watch, he came to lose.
Folding appears to be a passive and defensive play to the naked eye but in reality it is the opposite. Every time a player folds a hand pre-flop, he eliminates the chance to lose money. Every time a player lays down a hand correctly when other players would not have folded, he wins money. When a player folds pre-flop with a bad hand, he is not sitting out a hand but rather making the best play available to him.
Still this concept of eliminating a chance to lose does not excite many players. They see folding only as eliminating a chance to win. It is very unlikely that many people at the poker table minus the professional enjoy waiting for the right hand to get paid off. But at the same time, it is very unlikely that anyone besides the professional is consistently winning money. Coincidence? I don't think so.
How these people can continue to sit down at the table and play so poorly does not make any sense. Unless they have come to the casino in search for entertainment, they would have a hard time defending their play. “Nick the Greek” Dandalos may have summed it up best when he said “the next best thing to gambling and winning is gambling and losing.” Many of the players you encounter at the casino are only there to gamble. Do not fall into this trap. Go to the casinos not just with the goal to win, but also the patience and discipline to make the right plays.
The next time you play poker whether it is at the casino or online, use folding as a weapon. Just as if you would enjoy making the correct call with ace-high, or winning a big pot with a well-timed bluff, try to focus on thinking of folding not as a defensive play, but as an aggressive one. You will win the same pots with your good hands as everyone else at the table but you will save money by avoiding playing second-place hands, which as we know in poker do not pay too well.
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