Listen to your Gut When at the Tables
by Loki Luchs of Predictem.com
I have something to confess; I have a voice in my head. The fact of the matter is that I think a lot more people do than admit it. My problem with this is that, without exception, for all of the major mistakes that I've made in my life, he’s been there chiding me with warnings of danger and demise. He’s a snide, mocking, condescending, little-prick, but the problem is that he’s always been right. He was right when he told me that “that potato-salad has been sitting out for a couple of days...” He wasn’t lying when he told me that “red-heads are great to look at, but not to date...” He was Johnny-on-the-spot with the sage advice: “You're pouring gasoline on the inside of a burning pit…” It’s a shame that I've never been the type to listen.
Some call it a gut-feeling, others a 6th sense; I’ve come to believe that it’s a self-defense mechanism that developed over the millennia to promote survival. It warns me when I'm in danger. The voice gives me a perspective that is honest and objective. It really wants what’s best for me, because its got a vested interest in me.
When was the last time that you were talking to someone and you suddenly got that feeling that something wasn't right? Something about the situation made you uncomfortable but you couldn't quite put your finger on it. This will happen in poker all of the time. If you're not used to watching for “tells” or betting patterns, you might still be able to figure out what to do by listening to your gut. When I began playing poker, I found that my intuition suddenly had a lot to say. Whenever I have found myself weighing the options in a difficult situation, I find that he likes to chime in. While we may not all have a gut feeling that is as vocal as mine, its important to get into touch with yours.
Many of the great players talk to themselves at the table. I won't speak for any of the top professionals (who would likely sue me for accusing them of schizophrenic tendencies), but personally, I'm having a dialogue with my gut when I vocalize my thoughts. Here are a few recent ones that I've had.
1. Me: “That’s a weird raise.” Him: “He probably missed his draw and he’s trying to buy the pot. You're a moron.”
2. Me: “Check-call twice, and a check-raise on the river.” Him: “He might have slow-played the whole way… it’s possible he was making crying-calls and hit a third deuce on the river. You should have checked behind on the river. You're fish-food.”
3. Me: “You raised early position pre-flop, bet the Ace-high monotone flop, checked the four-flush, bet a quarter of the pot on the river.” Him: “She had a premium opening, hit the flop’s ace or had the K of Clubs for the nut draw, or maybe both, either checked the turn because she was afraid she was beaten or because she was looking to check-raise and is either begging for a call or is afraid of the raise. Make a flat value-call with your pathetic deuce of clubs and you'll win about a third of the time and pray that I don’t give you an aneurysm while you sleep.”
From a psychological standpoint, the reasoning for this would be that our brains process so much information, somewhere in our multi-layered consciousness we may have interpreted information that is important to our decision making, but hasn't been made aware to us at a conscious level. We've got so many visual, auditory, and tactile information to process, that many of the important pieces of information get filtered out with all of the nonsense. That primitive 6th sense that used to tell us that there was a lion waiting in the Serengeti grasses is still trying to tell us that there are predators stalking us on the felt.
Check out all the guaranteed tournaments, SnG's, satellites and qualifiers Bovada Poker has to offer! They are truly a one stop shop for everything you could possibly need in an online poker room!
Party Poker - The PartyPoker "Monthly Milion" plays on the 1st Sunday of every month. The tourney starts at 12:45EST. (Note: Party does not accept USA players)
Bovada Poker - Sign up, deposit and get an instant 10% bonus. Get a 100% bonus up to $500 which is released as you earn points. If done right, this could equate to a 110% bonus!
The Difference Between Limit and No Limit Texas Hold'em - Cash games, tournaments, no limit, pot limit, fixed limit and more. Loki breaks it down!!
Tilt - It's a classless way to play online poker, but this article is a good read if you'd like to learn how to put other players "on tilt."
Satellite Poker Tournaments - What are they? How do they work? Jason explains.
Famous Poker Players - Short bios about some of the greatest poker players ever to take a seat at the tables!
Female Poker Players - Biographies of all the best women poker players in the world.
Legends of the Game - Bio pages of legendary poker players, many of which have died and gone on to leave their mark on the poker world.
Poker Hall of Fame - Inductees along with their feats listed in chronological order.
Poker Players Alliance - This advocacy group is fighting for YOUR right to legally play online poker. Join today!
Home Poker Games - Everything you need to know about hosting your own game.
What is Rake? - This is how card rooms earn their money off of poker games. K. Swope talks about this fee in detail.
Perspectives Weekly - Check APCW.org's Jay Todd each week as he brings us all the current news in the online gambling industry.
Poker Quotes - Famous and funny poker sayings from around the internet.
Famous Poker Hands - Sure, you know that "AA" is often times dubbed "bullets" or "american airlines" but what about other hands such as "JJ" and "88"? Chad tells all!
Poker Questions - Burn cards, clubs, spaces, diamonds, hearts, the deck, community cards etc. You've got a question? We've got an answer!