Reflection after FTP Espana Grand Finale

I have a bunch of notes on NAPT and EPT Barcelona, but that post will be pretty extensive and I desperately need to regurgitate 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 for 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 against me 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. I have to admit now that 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 the majority of pots I play vs. weak 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 – their defense may even be exponential if you are of the opposite gender. In most types of tournaments there is an advantage to having players play predictably against you, and allowing others 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!) It’s better to approach most fields as a wolf in sheep’s clothing rather than someone who is clearly antagonizing.

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