Gambling has always been dominated by intimidators.
Whether the game is poker, dice or even blackjack, someone has stepped up to the plate with an I AM BOSS attitude, and ready to back that attitude with his chips.
So here you are, in a new casino. You have been studying the poker books and you're ready for some action. The question is, where to start?
You can pretty much figure out who the local leaders are by the way they treat each other. Some will wear face masks like toothpicks jutting from the corner of their mouths. Others will have heaping piles of chips stacked in front of them, with an unprinted sign I AM NOT TO BE INTIMIDATED.
You will smile as you take your seat. You are about to become that person's intimidator.
Now there are many paths to intimidation. Check raising a raiser with a nut hand is one effective way to tell that person there is a new boss in the territory. Allowing a raiser to go all the way with a suspected best hand is another.
In the past, I have played in poker games dominated by raisers and re-raisers ad nausum. I love the game. All you need to do to change the direction of the game is to catch a hand and check raise the raisers.
The real fun is to watch the confidence of the intimidator melt away like a Swiss glacier beneath a tropic sun. I have even had players leave the table in exasperation when they realized they had been dominated.
When we were children, there were always bullies in the neighborhood who tried to dominate us. The same condition exists in poker. It will continue to exist until you become the dominator.
Practice your moves. Practice at home by dealing cards around a table and determining which hands dominate.
It's amazing how effective a little counter-dominance can become when properly exercised. In fact, now that I have myself talked into it, I believe I will head out to the casino for a little practice at intimidating people. Wish me luck.
Author: Geno Lawrenzi Jr.
(Geno Lawrenzi Jr. is an international journalist, magazine author and ghostwriter and poker player who lives in Phoenx, AZ. He has published 2,000 articles in 50 magazines and 125 newspapers. If you want to share a gambling story or book idea with him, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org ).
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