There is a whole load of people who play like me on the internet. Tight/aggressive/with a little BS mixed in. And here one thing we almost never do, reraise without the nuts or near nuts.

If you are playing with me and see a preflop checkraise or reraise, you can be fairly sure I am on AA or KK. I just don’t pump the pot with other hands, raise yes, reraise no. Why don’t I vary my game more? Because I don’t have to, they call me anyways.

I have always wondered why I can sit at table for 45 minutes, not win a hand, pump up a big pair and get called. Aren’t they paying attention, do they really think I would sit here this long and try to drive the Q-10 as my big hand? The answer is yes they do, probably 50% of players have as their poker operation plan, “catch the bluffers and spank their little behind.” It is a fetish to them to catch bluffers, a self defeating never ending poker quest.

So here’s the rub. If you are sitting at table and some rock, suddenly pumps the pot with checkraise or reraise, fold, fold, fold. In the long run this is winning poker, and I don’t even care if you would have flopped the set or he only had AK, blah, blah, blah. There is no better play in poker than escaping when you are beat, especially if it costs you nothing.


“Fair is foul and foul is fair,

Hover through the fog and filthy air.”

When trying to get reads on people, especially online, you often only have the table position, the size of the bet, and the action to that point to make a judgment.

Now most reads are fairly straightforward. A rarely benign 3X BB bet says, I have top pair here, or a standard raise of 3X BB before the flop says, I have a nice hand I want to play for more money. What Macbeth can teach us is, what if it doesn’t make sense?

For example, the flop checks around, and you bet the turn when another rag comes off and the button pumps it up. It doesn’t make sense. It stinks. Why didn’t he bet the flop if he had something? Well here is your foul and filthy air. He flopped a joint and is just waiting for you. But you say, there is nothing out there, no straights, no flushes, what could he have? He has a set, he probably had it on the flop and he is just waiting to shove it down your throat.

Another example, you have AQ on the button, a couple of callers, your raise 3x the BB, and the guy under the gun raises 9X the BB. Fair is foul my friend. You just ran into pocket rockets just waiting for you to pay him off. One might say, I have an ace, the odds of him having aces are minuscule. Rather like the statistician who drowns in the river with an average depth of 3 feet.

Here’s another, you flop 2 pair with a 3 flush on board, you bet, flat call, check the turn, and he checks behind you. You bet the river and bam, he goes all in. Now your faced with big decision. Does he really have the flush and would he be that patient? The answer is yes and yes, and yes you do it too. More than that it is the ace high flush, because he wouldn’t want to let you draw to the ace for free.

Another one, you are playing at a table, and suddenly someone puts in a huge preflop bet. He has not played a thing and all of a sudden, he acts like he has aces and doesn’t want action. Right on both accounts. He has aces and he is scared of another bad beat.

Conversely, it is pretty easy to figure out who is bluffing with their big bets. They play a lot of hands and show some of them down. Just don’t be the one they show down to when they finally get something. If every time a person plays a hand and you find yourself wishing you could play too, that is your bluffer.

When you go off to battle with a bluffer, make sure you at least take your .22 caliber. He may only have a sling shot, but that still beats a lot of hot air and insults. Many people make the mistake of joining in the party, with inferior hands just trying to get a piece of the pie.

Reading a bluffer is easier than one might think. They bet all their bad hands and will checkraise their good ones. So as long as they are betting you are safe, but once they slow down, watch out. The foul is now fair.

The essence of making good reads is recognizing when you deviate from the norms. Most hands are won by pairs, with small pots or preflop raises that go uncalled. When you get to the land of big bets, you got to use you head.


As I have gotten to know some of you, many of you have a huge whole in your game. A parasitic nematode just waiting to bite you in the butt. And what’s more, you feed and care for this little sucker like a friend. Many of you show him off like a badge of honor.

So how does our little pet pinworm flourish? He eats a steady diet of vocal bad beats. He drinks the poisonous attitudes of pessimism. He breathes the bad habits of promising poker players. He literally lives in shit up your ass. Each night our little pinworm, we’ll call him Tilt, comes out to be scratched and petted.

I hear you wail and moan, but it needs to be scratched, it is so itchy. I just can’t control it, I have to scratch my ass. And as is the case all over the world, you get some of that shit under your finger nails, stick your fingers in your buddies mouth, and our buddy tilt has a new home.

Now our mama’s taught us long ago to wash our hands and mind our manners. How can we be so gross?


In Summary

Point 1: Tight is right in the first hour of a MTT.
Point 2: Shut your pie hole unless you are eating pie.
Point 3: Play where you belong.
Point 4: Stop telling bad beat stories.
Point 5: Specialize
Point 6 Be a Big Picture Person.
Point 7: Have Some Guts With the Nuts.
Point 8: Two Special Situations to Tighten Up.
Point 9: Thou Shalt Not Steal From the Wounded.
Point 10: Give Yourself 2 Ways to Win Every Hand You Play.
Point 11: Count to 10 Then Begin.
Point 12: Consider the Blinds.
Point 13: Consider the Implications of an All-in Bet.
Point 14: Analysis of the Weak Lead.
Point 15: Thoughts on the Rebuy/Addon Tournaments
Point 16: Analysis of the Strong Lead
Point 17: Let the Biggest Hands Bring Home the Bacon.
Point 18: Ace on the Turn and Chips to Burn.
Point 19: You Got to Know When to Fold ’em.
Point 20 :Use the Chat Box to Your Advantage.
Point 21: Remember to Remember What They Remember.
Point 22: Trip Talk, Trip Talk
Point 23: You’re Not Invincible, Stupid.
Point 24: Celebrate Your Bad Beats
Point 25: Bankroll Management 101
Point 26: Consider Draws Carefully.
Point 27: A Common Mistake – Overbetting a Good Hand
Point 28: Like Offering Candy to a Baby.
Point 29: “In Order to Live, You Must be Willing to Die.” -rilla
Point 30: Artificial Intelligence Can Be Deadly
Point 31: What’s in your toolbox?
Point 32: Busted Flops
Point 33: The Biggest Lie in Poker
Point 34: Bizzaro Poker: Betting into Strength, Checking to Weakness
Point 35: One for the Mathoholics and Rippy
Point 36: A Really Big Secret, ssshhhhhhhhhh
Point 37: The Secret of Macbeth
Point 38: Do You Have Worms?

Next chapter:

Find all the chapters by soupie here.


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Win MTT Poker 12 - Poker Secrets and Tilt
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