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Poker is a fight, and you need to fight for the win.

Poker is a fight, and you need to fight for the win. - Tue Feb 08, 2011, 07:34 AM
zacduh's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 45
Until recently I trained in martial arts, Several of the concepts I learned can be adapted to poker (poker itself is in essence a battle between the players).

1. The 1st thing I was taught is the right over left move. The move is pretty simple, you turn around and put right foot in front of your left and then your left foot in front of your right foot. While running away isn't always the best option in poker you should never forget that there is no harm in folding your hand and living to fight another day. (This is true even if you make some strange 4 bet bluff and someone shoves all in on top. If you don't have it get out of it.)

Another point on this topic was that my trainer always said before you get into the fight you have no idea whether the person in front you is a complete idiot or has been training for years. Even though the player across from you may seem to be a donkey or have gotten really lucky that is not always the case, they can be a very skilled player and just because they got lucky one hand that does not mean they can't have a monster this hand. Never underestimate your opponent or their hand.

2. A very powerful concept but one that is very difficult to master is called "flow". Flow allows you to minimize the energy used while giving maximum power and when used correctly it allows you to (this is the important part) use your opponent power against them. Part of "flow" is that you need to move with your opponent, if your opponent strikes you, you can't meet them head on, instead you need to go with it which allows you to gain control. Similarly in poker you need to "flow" with your opponent. Your bets should be based on how your opponent reacts to situations and to get him to take the action you want him to take to get the outcome you want. You can't always bet the same against every opponent. To get one opponent to fold you may need to bet very large, but against another a small bet may get the fold and the same is true for getting an opponent to call or raise.

3. Another concept that may seem surprising is that in a fight a punch is only a means to an end and should not be overused. There are many uses for a punch; it shocks your opponent giving you time to move or take some sort of action, it can damage them, it can force them to move in such a way that you can deliver a much more effective strike, or it can scare them into giving up. In poker a bet is your punch and follows the same guidelines. A bet should not be just a bet. You must have a reason for that specific bet. What is it that you want your opponent to do? Just like a punch a bet can cause the other player to slow down and give you free or cheap cards, it can get them to call when you have them beat, it can get them to reraise so that you can take a lot more chips, or it can scare them completely and get them to fold. However before you bet you need to decide what it is that you want your opponent to do, how much to bet and decide whether that bet will effectively accomplish what you want.
Tue Feb 22, 2011, 12:42 AM
tc1228's Avatar
Since: Dec 2010
Posts: 29
Hi, Zacduh;

I liked this! It.. made sense!

It would have been fun if you had carried the humor down into points 2 and 3, but, I liked it.

Thanks for the perspective!

Very good analogy - Sun Mar 13, 2011, 09:36 AM
OneRedCent's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 28
I think your analogy is excellent. We think of poker as a game that we "play", but actually poker is a competition. Poker is a fight. You have to train and prepare for both competitions (poker and karate). In order to be successful, you need a set of tools some of which will be used under certain circumstances and other tools that will be used under different circumstances. Proper tool selection and use will often depend on your opponent and their style of playing/fighting.

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