The Best Kind of Player
In the past two months we told you how to recognize the various types of loose and tight players. The truth of course is that not everyone plays the same way all the time and that in any case many players fall into a category somewhere between loose and tight. These are the in-between players who, in many ways can be your most dangerous opponents.
A tricky and intelligent player who is capable of adjusting his game according to circumstances. Most good players fall more or less into this category and if you recognise a mixer at your table pay particular attention to how you think they are categorising you. You may find opportunities to out play him which would not work against a lesser opponent. If you identify a mixer at the table, study their game. This is the kind of player you want to be.
You will often see a player representing the characteristics of one type for a while and then gradually or suddenly reverting to their natural type. A loose player may attempt to play tight for a while because they know it’s ‘the right thing to do’, because they have a false self image, because they want to impress others as being a strong player. Follow how their game changes and pick them off as they start to loosen up. Your advantage may lie in spotting the change before other do.
Alternatively a more dangerous and self aware type of Turncoat may deliberately create a table image which they aim to exploit later.
A strong-tight player or a mixer may ‘advertise’ early in a game betting marginal hands and showing cheap bluffs in order to create action for themselves later on. Always be prepared to re-categorise a player and never underestimate anyone.
Knowing yourself and being honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses are crucial skills. Surprisingly it can be a lot harder to be aware of what you are doing than to be aware of other people. You are the most important person at the table. No-one can put your money in the pot but you and it is more important that you watch yourself than any other player.