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The Angel Strategy to Theft

Hi folks! Just popping in for a quick one. I'm really feeling comfortable with my game lately, whether it be tournaments, SNGs or cash games, so I thought I'd take a moment to mention something that I've found very useful (and natural) to my game.

You may know me as a loose action player, and you'd be right for the most part. But lately, earlier in tournaments (before blinds reach 50/100), I'm more likely to simply fold (or call from the SB) when it is folded to me in the SB, CO or Button. Now, this might not be such a big deal to some of you, but for a player such as myself, it might seem a bit odd. However, it is all calculated.

I steal from time to time (cough cough), but it really is only useful when the blinds are large. Sometimes, I see an opportunity that is just begging for a steal. But if its early, I fold, not because I think the steal would be unsuccessful. Rather, its because I'm more interested in making my opponents think that I'm not the type of player to steal.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, "But Jordan, didn't you say that most of these online players don't even really pay attention?" And I might be saying back, "Indeed, and thank you for reading." But let's not stop the hypothetical conversation there. Even if a player is not staring intently at their screen trying to analyze and memorize how long you take to act and what that means for your strategy, the players nearest to you will have a sort of latent memory. They may not realize that you folded in a situation that begged for a steal, but when you make the steal later, they also will think that you are not a stealing player. They are more likely to respect that raise from position, often even when you were playing loose against other players. Basically, they are conditioned (and I use that term a lot at HoP) to believe that if you are betting into them in position, it is NOT a steal, since you didn't do it earlier.

I can already tell I'm not making myself clear. All I'm saying is that a player will subconsciously realize that he has faced a lot of raises from you when he is in the blinds. He'll subconsciously start to look you up. On the flipside, when you don't take advantage early, you create that subconcious impression in that player's mind that you are a timid player from the button, and your raise means something, regardless of the obvious stealing situation occurring.

And there it is. I'm just saying to wait until later to steal. It's a relatively obvious concept, but for an action player like me, its not usually my way of thinking. And with that, I bid you adieu.

Until next time when I come up with a random thought on poker, make mine, well, poker!

posted by Jordan @ 4:40 PM,


At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah. In an MTT, it's usually immaterial to steal before the Antes kick in. The extra chips you earn with early level steals have no impact on your chances to win the tournament. Conversely, you stand a chance at losing % points if your steal attempts are met with resistance.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Littleacornman said...

I think that tactic can work at 6 max nl cash games too.Last night for example I had several chances to try and steal the bb from the sb pos when it was folded to me but I folded to create exactly the image you wrote about.A few hands later I was able to use my image to steal a couple of pots that were worth far more than 1bb.

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To a lesser extent, yes. It's still not a highly profitable play in cash games, though.


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