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Reflection after FTP Espana Grand Finale

by Xuan Liu |  Published: Dec 03, '10

I have a bunch of notes on NAPT and EPT Barcelona, but that post will be pretty extensive and I had something in need of regurgitation after last night`s FTP Espana Grand Finale bust.

A circle of skilled players of various backgrounds had begun an e-mail thread discussing the advantages/disadvantages of min-raising from sb in bvb battles. The conversation evolved quite thoroughly and would qualify as premium content for any respectable poker column. I won't go into any detail on the arguments presented, but I will leave you with a reflective response on my end:

M: "You keep your opponent in more of a controlled environment, that can make him/her easy to read. Things just get way too complicated when you add that extra dynamic of how
they will react to that min-raise. It just seems to me that people will play more predictably when you 3x it in that spot."

When I read this initially I was in the middle of the tournament owning souls and was still pretty much on Derek's side. By the end of the day half the table formed a pact to take turns retaliating by doing some ridiculous stuff. I realize this thread began as a discussion of bvb battle and I've always discounted the advantages of making easier decisions, but I have to admit there is definitely some merit to staying under the radar (which includes not raising too small to instigate). I guess I had an epiphany of sorts after my bust last night. I can win 90% of pots I play vs. awful players, but as even the most unobservant players realize this, they will either play better, be more spewy, or at least take thinner edges to counter this - this phenomenon may even multiply exponentially if you are of the opposite gender. In tournaments where you have only one bullet, no matter how great the structure is there is an advantage to having players play predictably against you, or lead them to assume you're playing predictably against them.

I realize my statement probably makes most of you guys think, "well duhhhh", and although I call it an epiphany it's really more like a deja vu after bouts of amnesia. Perhaps D, this is why K and M have way better tournament results than you and I! We`re doing the meta all wrong and it`s much better to approach your table as a wolf in sheep`s clothing unless the competition is actually tough
[we prefer to play as many hands with bad players as often as possible w/o being shy about this.] I`m definitely not contributing anything original again, but I thought I'd like to share my progress with you all anyway...
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