Playing Newbies Like Pros

angry-poker-620x400In the last couple of tournaments I’ve dealt, I’ve heard the same complaint by studied players:

“How can I play with these people, they’re playing the game all wrong”?!?

Generally, I cannot respond when I deal.  Which is why I’m writing this to you now, off the felt.

You’re being too rigid and your thinking is wrong.

Most folks that come into a tournament, particularly charity events, have either barely played the game, have no real concept of betting strategy, or are straight up newbies to the game, and if you asked why most people make the plays they do, they just wanted to be a part of the game, even if they had a dead hand.  It’s like giving a layman a surgical knife and making him do brain surgery.  He may have watched it done online or on television, and he may have played a few games of Operation (board game by Milton Bradley), but there’s no way on God’s green earth would you expect him to know how to do it for real, and if you did, it was nice knowing you.

So stop treating them as if they knew what the heck they were doing, because they don’t.

Bad-BeatThe way you can figure this out is if a player consistently does not get out of a hand.  They play as if they’re bullies, but really, they may not have anything at all in their hand.  Generally most overly educated players would fold when dealing with this kind of player.  These kinds of players are generally book smart rather than street smart.

In the rebuy rounds, after a few times, if after the showdown, the newbie consistently showed bad hands, then you’re going to have to start chipping away at their stack, even if you have a marginally good hand (bad beats be damned!).  To ensure you don’t get wiped out on a bad beat, unless you have enough bank to cover them several times over, don’t push them all-in.  Luck does play a factor sometimes, and let it not be the one time you put in half your stack out of frustration to take them out.  However the case, you cannot, under any circumstances, play them, or their behavior, like they knew what they were doing, otherwise you’ll get angry, hand after hand (and eventually go tilt).

Also note, that these players generally only come in with one buy-in with no intention to rebuy, so once they’re out, they’re gone.

Poker, like real life, is about how you play the hand you’re dealt.  If you get frustrated, change yourself, (how you act, how you’re playing it) because that’s the only way you’ll be able to change your situation.  Only a third of the game is about the cards you’re dealt, the rest of winning has to do with how you represent your position and how you play the table.  This is not baccarat, folks.

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