Beware of the Chips your poker opponents face – We often read about the passing of famous poker celebrities. Rarely do we learn about the deaths of recreational players. So, I dedicate this column to a very special person.
Michel Tawfik Mikael died of a heart attack on September 2. He is 69 years old, leaving behind his wife and two sons. He was tall and handsome, quiet and modest, and always had a pleasant smile for everyone.
Michel was born in Egypt and immigrated here at an early age. His close friend, Majid Mmx, told me that Michel’s favorite words were “You shut up!” – but he never meant it that way; the players took it as a joke.
Like me, he often enjoys $4-$8 limit hold’em at the Hustler Casino in Gardena, California, where I met him years ago. Always polite, quiet and polite, taking bad beats without anger, together with the winners, fun playing at his table; he helped make it a great experience for all.
May he rest in peace, and find a game of poker in heaven. . .
After waiting for a seat to play $4-$8 limit hold’em, you are finally called to the table. When you buy chips, you impulsively look around the table. You have eight opponents at the table. Approximately how many chips each has in front of it? That’s the information you want to keep. Suggestion: make a written note of it – don’t rely on memory. For that, a 4×6 inch piece of paper is enough. That information can be very helpful as the game progresses.
In $4-$8 limit games bonus138, the minimum buy-in is $40. Players often start with as much as a full rack – $100 in chips. As the game progresses, if they lose those chips or have only a few left, players usually buy more chips – buybacks. They are not ready to stop.
A player is allowed to buy back for less than $40. The dealer places a “Buy Short” button in front of him. In case he urgently needs another buyback, it should be at least $40.
What does that mean for us? A player with less than $40 in chips loses, and can be skewed, affecting the way he plays his hand. He may be very conservative (tight) – only play the best hands.
Or, he can be very loose, often playing with insane aggressiveness to get back to break even. Observe the hand he is pointing to decide which way he is leaning. Then. use that information to your advantage when he is in your hands.
What if you observed a player with two racks of chips?
Doesn’t this show that he is a winner? And, indeed, he may be way ahead; but not necessarily. Before you get to the table, he may have bought that amount – or even more. I’ve seen several players in $4-$8 limit hold’em games with as many as three full racks – $300 in chips. That’s huge support for $4-$8 games.
Why did he buy in bulk? He wanted his opponents, especially those who later joined the game, to believe he was the big winner – “to put the fear of God on them.”
Along these same lines, the occasional cheating player will arrive at the table carrying two or three racks full of chips. He wants his opponents to think that he is turning the tables, and is in front. But, unbeknownst to them, he had come from the cage where he had just bought the chips. He wanted his opponents to think of him as a big winner – to frighten him. They hesitated to fight him. And, it was easier for him to bluff if necessary.
The bottom line is that it pays to get as much information as possible about your opponent. There is so much available, but few players take advantage of this opportunity. It is best not to rely on memory; make notes that you can look at to make the best decisions.