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You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression

Adjust to opponents’ emotions

by Roy Cooke |  Published: Feb 19, 2010


An opponent with whom I had never played before bought into my $30-$60 limit hold’em game at Bellagio for three dimes [$3,000]. I like to take control of new players’ impressions of me early in their sessions — especially new players with a bunch of money in play. First impressions tend to stick in people’s minds and override subsequent data. During his first lap, I raised with the 9 8 from early position. It is the kind of hand with which I like to make deception plays. If I hit my hand, my opponents will not read me for having it, and if I miss and big cards come, I have represented a big-card starting hand and can move on the pot with an increased likelihood that my opponents will fold. The new guy called my raise, as did the button and one of the blinds. We took the flop ...

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