During WCOOP my sister deposited £7 on PartyPoker to have some fun at the poker tables. She did ask me about which games to play so I simply told her to play the lowest stakes she could find and expect to lose. This was the first time she was ever going to play for money!
She is a total beginner and is at the stage where she knows the rules but no more. Being WCOOP madness I couldn't spare the time to give her any real advice or anything but simply suggested she enjoyed going all in and just clicking buttons! She definitely understood that she was going to lose overall. It was quite refreshing to hear that someone was going to play poker with the sole purpose of having fun. Don't misunderstand me - I love poker and always immensely enjoy it. However, I don't take specific lines because they are fun.
With this in mind, I asked to her do me a favour. I realised that after 10 years of trying to win at poker and thinking in terms of winning or losing lines that I had no idea what it must be like to play just for fun. What goes through the head of someone who knows the rules but no more? I wanted to know how she perceived the actions of other players at the table.
I realised she was something of a blank slate in regards to poker and poker strategy. She has no bias whatsoever and no-one has ever told her, "how to play a hand". How many of you can say that? So It fascinated me to imagine being dealt a hand whilst having absolutely no pre conditioning as to what was "good" or "bad" or "+EV" or even what was aggressive or passive - or anything like that. A total fresh outlook.
I asked to her to be observant and if she could, to let me know about anything she considered interesting at the table. Anything at all! If she felt like she observed any sort of pattern or "tell" to note it down. It would also be incredibly interesting to see how she thought it best to accumulate chips. What might a total beginner think is the best way to win a pot?
A few days later she sent me a picture of a list of bullet points. I will directly quote some of them here:
I think these are incredible observations! I was totally mind blown when I received these bullet points. These are notes from someone who barely knows the rules and has hardly played any poker at all.
I think most of you will be able to relate to some of these points and I also believe that there are some top players which if they read this, will also be quite stunned at the level of intuition here.
From what I can see the main concepts of checking have already been understood and strategies facing checks have been developed. The concept of balance has miraculously been realised in the quote, "I sometimes kept my bets equal when I wasn't sure...". This is probably something a lot of professionals could learn from!
As soon as I received these bullet points I knew I had to write about this because I thought it was not only a really interesting idea but I genuinely felt her observations were incredible and very insightful. In addition, I think it can be useful for players to spend a bit more time putting themselves inside the head of a recreational player. This is something my mate Luke and former housemate explained to me and when he did I felt like an idiot for not really giving it the consideration it deserved!
I hope this was an interesting read and gives you a little food for thought. The next blog post will be an update of my MTT grind.
Good luck everyone and of course to luck to my sister and she continues to put pressure on capped ranges at the 25c SNGs and 1c MTTs!