Recently I read a Tom Dwan poker strategy article. The writer seems to be a very smart guy and the information he offers is clear and helpful. Nevertheless, I found some things that bothered me about his strategy.
First, there are phrases like, “crashing through pots with loaded blinds,” “cheating your way to the top,” and “poorly disguised racism.” I am not going to rant about them; you will be able to do that for yourself in my article, which I will put up shortly. Instead, I want to talk about this phrase in particular: “crashing through pots with loaded blinds.” What does this mean?
A player who crashes through pots with loaded blinds is, quite simply, doing what they want to do, at whatever times, to get an edge. If the intention is to make more money, then that is what the player is doing. If the intention is to “break” an opponent, then that is what the player is doing.
In recent hard times, many people have been going for quick results over consistent money. There is a lot of value in having your blinds loaded. If you are winning a lot, you can see if you need to dump them. If you have a habit of playing with a big stack at the beginning of the game, then you will see what I mean.
When I read the Tom Dwan poker strategy article, I really did see what he was talking about, when he said, “To smash through pots with loaded blinds is to break your opponents.” But, then he goes on to say, “It doesn’t mean that you have to play aggressively and randomly.”
He didn’t mention any specific instances. But, from what I’ve seen, the best players and the best hands are obviously aggressive, random players. I don’t think it is fair to say that such a player who consistently makes good hands and consistently wins, is breaking anybody. It just isn’t fair.
Tom Dwan’s piece talks about playing in the big blind, the medium bet, and the small blind. That is all fine and good. I’d like to add one other thing. Why is this:
Tom Dwan has defined what his term “crashing through pots with loaded blinds” means. This, of course, is a subjective definition.
For myself, I define it as “playing aggressively, in my own head and without regard to whether the cards are in my hand or not.” The term does not mean I am breaking anyone. It means that I am “attacking” and, therefore, that I am generating the kind of hand I am after.
If you want to learn how to beat me, if you want to attack me, then Tom Dwan’s article would not help you much. I am not going to give you the word game theory, let alone how to use it to your advantage.
Playing aggressively is about position, when you are on the button, or on the flop, or on the river. It is about playing with purpose. It is about playing in your head.
It is about playing with intent. You can not play the Tom Dwan poker strategy and get much out of it, without an awareness of position, and playing with intent.