"but i was 75% preflop, how could you call?"

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As poker players, we hear that a lot, don't we? Especially online, where we have plenty of time and resources to crunch the numbers.

Usually these words are uttered in the context of complaining and whining. I am here to tell you... and the whiners, what you already really know... deep down. Just like having a static, one style approach to poker, this line of thinking is flawed.

My buddy Gerg (Greg backwards, pronounced as it sits) and I were talking poker last night. Of which, the whining part came up. It occured to me that I hear entirely too much "didn't he know that I had (insert hand such as pocket 4's, 7s, Kings, AKs here)? And then they follow up with "how could he call, I was 70%?"

For starters, maybe the "caller" thinks you're a donkey... and hopefully if he thinks that, it's wrongfully so. But maybe, just maybe he thinks you have a weak hand or are bluffing. As poker players, we do sometimes like people to think we're bluffing when we are not, right? Don't we also sometimes want players to call with weak hands - or at least hands weaker than ours?

Also, what's this 70% stuff you're talking about preflop? If you're playing against a good player, he's probably got you on a hand range preflop... If you're not playing against a good player, he has no clue you even have a hand. He's not thinking past his own foxhole.

Additionally, pondering how they could have called THERE is flawed. Put yourself in their head. Understanding who they are and what motivates them will help you to better understand how to defeat them. You can't think that you'd never call there with ace king, because to them, Ace king is a made hand! Know this, understand this, embrace and accept this, because it is EXACTLY how it is... People play their style, not yours. Be flexable, think like they do... figure out what mistakes they make, and why they make them. Commit to making adjustments to your game to best exploit their errors, which can also include PURPOSELY MAKING MISTAKES TO GET THEM TO SCREW UP.

The point is... and I know I've made this same point before... First off, know how other players view you RIGHT NOW. Second, have an idea what level thinker you're up against. Do they even know you have a hand or do they think you think that they think they have exactly AK?

Third, don't fall into the "but i was 70% preflop" trap. If it's me, I'm AT LEAST a cointoss on your range, and probably a favorite. If it's a bad player, they don't even know what you mean by incorrectly stating you're 70%.

And finally, don't assume that your opposition thinks just like you... Get into their heads, don't place your head into their situation. Exploit their mistakes...

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