Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bug's Poker Tip #32

Ignore Kenny Rogers

In the otherwise truly excellent song The Gambler by Kenny Rogers, there is some bad poker advice bandied about in the chorus. Specifically, Rogers croons:

You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

While I do like the first two lines of this refrain, I have a problem with the third and fourth. Said another way: If you're not going to count your money while you're sittin' at the table, how do you know how large your stack is? Or the pot, for that matter? And if you don't know these two things, then how the hell are you going to calculate the proper bet sizes on the flop, turn, and river? How will you know how deep stacked you are? Further, how are you going to know what the SPR is on the flop, which in turn means how are you going to determine how pot committed you are? And let's not forget your opponent's money, too; if you're not counting the villains' stacks while "you're sittin' at the table," then how are you ever going to know what the effective stack size is? Or how pot committed they are? Or how stuck or ahead they are, and therefore what their mental state is? Or, or, or....

Kenny is unquestionably a country music legend.... but for the unaware, he's got some bad poker advice buried in what might otherwise be his greatest hit of all time. There is simply no excuse for not knowing an accurate count of the stacks and pot at all times.

All-in for now...
PS. I'm heading out for a big two-week European trip early this week, so posts may be sporadic. Or not. Who knows? Jet lag is an unpredictable bitch.

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