A Brunson Move When Beat by Bad Poker Players

Among embarrassing and very unexpected game results is when we're beat by players we deemed as bad poker players. It turns out the bad players have the strong hands.

Bad players are easily identified not just by their starting hands. Of course, we wouldn't know what starting hands other players have pre-flop, unless we play from a late position. Late positions always have a good idea of what other players have by the time the late player's turn comes. Then the late player can easily see who most likely has a bad hand and who is a bad player. However, bad players can also be spotted by their play.

Playing from other positions with different vantage points, we often think that less than strong hands—or even poor hands—give us no reason to raise or even pursue the play. We think that the hand decides the player's options. But a good poker play is one where the player is in complete control of the hand. Second or even third best hands are no reasons for us to have a poor poker play.

So a worthy saying here could be that we should not judge a book by its cover. But many times, players judge the cover by its book—the "cover" here being the starting hand of the opponent, and the "book" here is what we see in the play of players. More often than not, we think the player who bullies players around has the best starting hand. We forget that even bad hands are played good by strong players. In poker, it's not always an AA that wins.

Just look at the 2 and 7 hand. What else can we do with such hand? With some luck, bad players get better hands and we fold. But risks are important in poker. The key here is to "know thy enemy," as the old Chinese proverb goes. When we know that we're up against bad poker players, we may wait for a two-pair hit. Slim chance?

Don't forget Doyle Brunson's 2-10 hand. But we'd probably say that we're not Brunson. Well, we could be if we're surrounded by weak players and we're loaded with good playing experience. This is not to say, however, that we should play such hand against good players. We're talking of bad players here.

Before letting fate take charge and bow to bad poker players, why not try a Brunson risk once in a while?