What’s Your Image At The Poker Table?

Professional poker authors have often recommended to run a few hands that either make you appear like a complete idiot or at least a weak player that will give chips away at some point in the tourney. The idea behind this is that you’re kind of setting the stage for a deep pot at a later time when someone thinks you have zippo but in fact you have a very strong hand.

By establishing yourself as a clown at the poker table, it can pay off, because your antagonists will tend to play weaker cards versus you, allowing you to reap large pots because of their wrongdoings. There is nothing at all defective with that scheme for cash games and expensive buy-in tournaments, however most internet tournaments that start with only 1500 chips and that makes your image budget extremely tight.

You might even say on that point you have zero image budget in the early stages of a tournament and although this may sound a safe route, it is likely the most logical, so as to avoid spending chips where you actually don’t need.  One of the reasons you don’t need to build an image in online tournaments, is because there are so many stupid players who really wouldn’t be attentive to your strategies anyway.

Most internet playing poker bums will also think nothing of re-raising you to the place where pots are just too big to play to the river, and that is exaclty where you need to show your weak cards to build that image. Listen, there are so many weak players in the early stages, even if you are tighter than spandex you are very likely to still get activity on your winners.  It is not extraordinary to advance past the first hour of a tournament after running only a few rounds showing strong pairs each time.

It’s way more effective to become combative and show yourself as a gambler type of player in the middle and later stages of the tournament, when your chips stack can afford it, your opponents are really paying attention, and the participants that remain are actually fighting for some decent prize money.  Only at this stage should you throw in a few hands that will confuse your opponents.


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