To start with, check out the following.
In short, for the month of November, the Venetian in Las Vegas is holding daily deep stack (at least 10,000 starting chips) tournaments. My friends and I plan to travel to Vegas later in the month to play one or two, so if you can break away and join us, let me know.
Now on with today's show.
As the title suggests, today's topic is fear at the table. I see it all the time, and it is one of the easiest things to take advantage of in another player. The moment I see even a hint of hesitation, I press hard. The fear in your eyes tells me straight up that you are looking for a reason to fold your hand. And you can rest assured, I am going to give you that reason.
So what am I looking for? It certainly isn't for you to say "I'm scared". But I don't need the words. What I need is for you to reach for your chips, and then look back at your cards. I need for you to hesitate, even a little bit, before you call. I need for you to keep looking at how many chips I bet before you call. I need for you to ask me "How much is it?" (trust me, I'll hear it in your voice then).
So, if you don't really want to call, but you simply HOPE you are ahead, then how do you convince me otherwise? That is the simplest thing in the world: WAIT. Don't do anything. Not for a minute or two....like some of the dorks I play with. But just for a little bit. Get your act together. Then make your move to whatever decision you've come up with. And then....MAKE IT CONFIDENTLY.
Why? Because if you don't, I promise you that after the next card your decision is going to be three times as difficult. So you better hit whatever you are hoping for, otherwise you just wasted your chips. If you had acted confidently, I might check on the next card.
So why aren't we talking actual cards here? Don't the cards matter? For this discussion: NO. If you show hesitation, I'm betting without looking at my cards (although you'll think I did look) I don't need a hand when you tell me you have a marginal hand.
I play with two people that always shuffle their two cards when they're on a flush or a straight draw. That's an easy tell. I put the girl to the test every time, and most times she folds. I check down with the guy, because I know he'll call anyway, on any draw.
And I didn't learn this by waiting to see what they would do. The guy always calls earlier bets confidently, so I know he's calling the next one. The girl calls earlier bets with a great deal of hesitation in her voice. You can hear her saying "make it more so I don't have to make this decision", and I use that fear on the turn.....providing a straight or flush card doesn't hit. If it does hit...her fear goes away immediately, and you can hear it loud as day.
So anyway, in the hopes of keeping this short today, the lesson is simple. Look for fear in the other player. Don't show fear yourself. If people start raising you big on the turn, after you called with a chasing hand on the flop.....figure out where the leakage of your fear is coming from, and plug it.
When I look at you during any point of the game....this is all I should see: