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Panicky on Passive Players

By: PanickyPoker @ 16:34 (EST) / 516 / Comment ( 0 )

Just a few of my thoughts that I threw together.  I hope they enlighten the minds of blog readers everywhere and create a brighter future for the poker playing generation of tomorrow.

Passive players are abundant in the micros.  People say that they suck, but they still frustrate the living shiznats out of just about everybody at one point or another.  "WTF would anybody call with that?!"  "OMG DONK!!!!!"  Yup, I see it all the time.  People may try to hide their frustration when they bust out, but the hurtful inner thoughts still break loose. 

So, after suffering one such beat of my own, I travelled the world in search of the information necessary to defeat the passive player once and for all.  I have collected nuggets of poker wisdom that I wish to share with you all now.  The five rules I am about to disclose will teach you all you need to know to defeat the passive players in your life.  Be warned, some viewers may find this blog life-changing, so listen up, because it's about to get all informative up in here.

It all begins with:

The Fundamental Theorem of Passive Play

Passive players don't know how to play.

Yup.  It's true.  Pot odds?  They've never heard of 'em.  Hand selection?  That's when they decide whether they'll read it Q5 or 5Q.  TAG strategy?  That's just a bunch of kids in the yard figuring out clever ways of running away from the one who's 'it'.  Equity?  That's what they keep losing from their home because of their bad gambling habits.  Now, this rule may not seem to have any real application, but you just wait.  My secondary theorem explains all.

The Secondary Fundamental Theorem of Passive Play

Passive players will call your bets with hands that are behind your value betting range.

What does this mean?  It means that if you have KQ on a K52 board and you bet out, they will call you with K3!  If you have TT on an 852 board and raise all-in, they'll call you with A8!  If you have a set and they have a jack-high flush draw, they'll chase it!  It should be obvious that you have a hand and that they're behind your range, so why are they calling you?  It all goes back to the fundamental theorem, grasshopper.  They don't know how to play; they're not ranging you.

So how does this apply?  Easy.  Whenever you bet at a passive player, make sure you're in your value range.  If you're not, they won't know it.  They'll call anyway.  It's not their fault; it's just what they do.  If you'd normally bet here because you'd think you have the best hand, then go for it.  If you're bluffing, then stop it.  Seriously.  Why bluff when you know you're getting called?  Think about it. 

But wait!  Don't go yet!  You may think you're prepared to face the passive players on the battlefield of cards again, but you're not ready!  You must complete your training.  There's still much to learn...

The Tertiary Fundamental Theorem of Passive Play

Passive players will hit the flop just as often as you do.

What?  How the heck is that possible?!  But they play crappy cards!!!!  POKER ISN'T FAIR!!!!!  You may be screaming these things at your computer screen right now, but I assure you, it's mathematically proven to be sort of more-or-less true.  So deal with it.  When the loosey-goosey massively-passive villains out there play 72, they'll hit that 7 or that 2 about one time in three, just like you'll hit your A or your K one time in three.  What's the point?  Well, when you c-bet on a board of 732 thinking, "There's no way they hit this, because those are all crappy cards," and they raise you, and you think, "I dun BEE LEEVE you!!!" and you reraise all-in, you're going to get lol'd at.  So don't do it.  Never believe that they can't have hit their hand.  Because they'll play anything with any kind of meaning to them whatsoever.  69 of hearts?  Oh, yeah.

The Assistant Tertiary Fundamental Theorem of Passive Play

Just because they check doesn't mean they don't have a hand.

Yup.  It's true.  You think checking shows weakness?  Not really.  If they never bet, that means they never bet without a hand, but it also means they never bet with a hand.  So don't go value betting bottom pair on the river just because they checked twice.  

Alright, we're almost done.  You have done well in your training so far, but there is one more rule to learn.  Are you ready for my last fundamental theorem...?

The Ultimate Fundamental Theorem of Passive Play

Passive players are yummy delicious and you should always want them on your tables more than you want bacon, beer, or a flat-screen TV on your bedroom ceiling so you can watch sports in bed.

'Nuff said.  Stack 'em high. 


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