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Nosebleed-Stakes Psychology

Players’ motives … and more

by Alan Schoonmaker |  Published: Feb 19, 2010


Poker players all over the world have been fascinated by the ultra-high-stakes battles at A handful of young wizards have played heads-up no-limit hold’em and PLO [pot-limit Omaha] with blinds as high as $1,000-$2,000. Pots have exceeded $1 million, and there have been several multimillion-dollar wins and losses. You can get the facts from Julio Rodriguez’s reports at and the Card Player Dec. 30, 2009, cover story. I’ll just answer four questions: • How talented are they? • What are their motives? • How realistically do they perceive their situation? • What should you learn from them? How Talented Are They? They are exceptionally gifted. Players of their ages have never been so highly regarded. Despite being only 23, Tom Dwan was nominated for the Poker Hall of Fame, an honor that usually comes after decades of notable accomplishments. Phil Ivey just turned 34, and many top players ...

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