I guess with the World Cup being only days away now, I should explain how sometimes playing poker can be akin to many things in life.
I am affiliated with Pokerspace .com and play a lot of poker that has direct links to that site. The only real problem for me is that it is a North American site [Canada to be precise] and most of the members know jack about Football [Soccer to the uninitiated].
For me, playing poker is like a game of football, I should know, I have played plenty of both. Football games are split into two 45 minute halfs with a 10-15 minute break in between. So straight away you can see a resemblance to poker. Football is a very tactical game. Get them right and you should win. Again, resembles a poker game. Get your tactics wrong and it can be disastrous. The one thing that they don’t have in common is substitutes, unless you are playing a rebuy game, then, each rebuy becomes your substitute in a game of football. So the similarities build as we look closer at each game and its components.
To win a football match, you need stamina, a change of pace when the game dictates it and an understanding of your opponents and their tactics. All of these things are required in a poker game. The tactics of a football match are built around formations of your team. There are many formations to choose from. You have no idea until the day of the match what tactics your opponents might use. See where I am going with this? All you have to go on is what they have done before. When a football team plays at home, do they go with 4-4-2? or do they prefer 4-3-3? Maybe they go with one up front with a player in the hole behind, this would be more like a 4-5-1 line up. When they play away from home, maybe they like to counter attack and play 4-2-3-1 using wide players to exploit the space down each wing. Maybe they prefer the defensive game to try to take a point from the game. This could then relate to a 5-4-1 formation which is negative. All of these tactics in a game of football can be seen in a game of poker. What do you prefer to play? Tag? Lag? Passive? aggressive? A combination of two or more styles? What do you know of your opponents? Have you played them before and made notes? Does your tracking software have any information? What kind of game do they prefer to play? Do they raise, c bet frequently, 3 bet in position, the list goes on and on really. But, to get the upper hand in either game, you have to use the knowledge that you have from previous encounters to try to get the upper hand. You build a strategy from that, hoping that it will gain you an advantage and many times it will. Great football teams have managers who understand the game and its nuances. A great poker player displays the same traits.
So this year, not only do we have the WSOP to look forward to, there’s also the football World Cup in South Africa to look forward to as well. The Tournament starts on the 11th of June and runs for a full month..
This link will explain the schedule of the matches coming up in the World Cup for any who are interested.
This link will take you to a poker community full of good people, good players and loads of poker offers, you can even buy poker merchandise with your own avatar or poker name on them. It’s a great place, with a good tournament calendar.
Pop in sometime if you enjoy a game of poker. I’ll be there, but not if England are playing in the World Cup. Then I will be glued to the TV hoping that they have got their tactics right and they can put the ball in the back of the net and win their group. Then move into the knockout stages and take on all comers. Making the World Cup Final for me, would be greater than making the final table of the WSOP, but that’s just cos I know my 4-4-2 better than I know 3 betting light. So roll on next Friday and the opening games. The beer will be cooled, the flag will be flying and I will probably be hoarse after the event, which to some, may not be a bad thing.
Good luck on the poker tables, good luck in the upcoming World Cup, whatever team you support. I am sure both the World Cup and the WSOP will be great events that will be talked about and dissected one play at a time, by a great many people across the world.
If England could that again and an English play could win the WSOP Main Event, what a happy chappy I would be.