Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Architecture of Aggression

I can't quite decide who was the most comically naive poster on the Mob Forum this week. The guy who thought that Donald Trump posted under the name MadYank, or the guy who thought Jac Arama would "dominate the poker world over the next five years".

Apologies to either poster if they were joking, but if I were to list all the reasons why Jac Arama will not dominate the poker world over the next five years we'd be here all night. Jac isn't the worst player you'll ever see ; against typical fields in medium-size tournaments he will run over a lot of the players who are simply trying to occupy a seat for as long as possible. What our poster is missing is that so much of what makes a top-notch player has nothing at all to do with how he plays at the table. Just two of the attributes required are excellent emotional control and brutally honest self-appraisal. There is the odd exception (Hellmuth perhaps, though I think he's going off the rails), but Jac doesn't have these attributes (or several others) and he isn't the exception, I can assure you.

Nonetheless, what we are hearing is good news. There are a lot of people out there who see Gus Hansen terrorising the field in the WPT and think that's all there is to it. Just raise with 47 off and keep betting. Now, IMO the jury is out on Hansen until he shows us what he does now that his game has been "outed" to such an extent. But I believe that he is a very clever guy who has won more than his share by knowing when NOT to make these plays. Selective aggression gets the cake, but indiscriminate aggression does not, in the long run, and that's what people fail to realise.

Coincidentally, I am thinking very hard about mixing up my game, taking chances, getting chips or getting gone. But hopefully I'm thinking harder than the people who watch a couple of heavily edited TV shows and think they know what's what. As ever, time will tell.


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