Daniel Negreanu – Poker Articles
Beating Up On A BuddyPoker article written by Daniel Negreanu and published in Card Player Magazine
Playing poker for a living with the same faces over and over again can create some very awkward situations. Inevitably, you will create friendships with the other players at the table, some will be other working pros, while others may be with the live ones. That''s just a given. Now dealing with these situations can be tricky.
When I started playing poker for a living back in Toronto about 8 years ago, I developed many great friendships with other fellow poker players. We''d usually play poker from noon to eight, Monday to Friday, then get together to watch the game, or what have you. It was a fun time in my life.
In total there were approximately eight of us working the same game. The game was 10-20 and they played it 11 handed in Toronto. There were usually at least five of us in the game, and sometimes all eight of us were there at noon. It was a great game with lots of action, then strange things started happening.
Obviously the game had tightened up a little bit but that was to be expected, and that wasn''t the real problem. Far too often the pots were played head up after the flop, and nobody would bet anymore! That just destroyed the flow of the game, not to mention how it must have looked to the other players. I could see this becoming a major problem, and I knew I had to put a stop to it, or at least not take part in it.
One night, I spoke to everyone about what was happening to the game. I told them from now on to play me hard and to expect the same from me. They respected my decision, and it helped the game a great deal. Of course, the soft-playing didn''t stop entirely, but it wasn''t as often, nor nearly as disruptive.
Now this didn''t come without some negatives though. We were all FRIENDS first and co-workers second after a while. It became hard for me to check-raise bluff my friend who was stuck $1200 in the game. Especially because I knew that none of us were exactly rich! Oh and by the way, $1200 wasn''t a huge number to be stuck in this game, it became pretty wild by 3pm.
Anyway, I found myself still ''taking it easy'' on people in certain situations, and it upset me. I KNEW it was costing me money, but man, this was my buddy! Eventually though I got over it. I can still remember check-raising my girlfriend with nothing on the river. She must have been stuck over $2000 at the time in a 10-20 game. When she saw my hand...we''ll let''s just say it wasn''t a pleasant taxi ride home:-) Yet still, I had to do what I had to do.
These days in the games I play in, you see very little of that, yet you''ll still see it. Obviously I think it''s bad for poker, but there is very little you can do about it, it''ll always be part of the game. Just prepare yourself and be aware of it. If you know that two people don''t play hard against each other, there are actually many ways you can capitalize on that information.
For example, if you are in a pot with both of them, you can assume that they likely won''t try to bluff each other out, therefore a bet by either player usually means they''ll have something. Or say you are sandwiched between them. If Buddy A raises on the button with Buddy B in the big blind, you can assume he is less likely to be on a straight steal. Also, he''ll likely show his hand whether he is called or not.
In a perfect world this wouldn''t be a concern, but of course there is no such thing as a perfect world. Before I finish I''d like to clarify one thing. People soft-playing each other in a live game isn''t exactly cheating. People generally do it as a kind gesture to one another, and you shouldn''t be overly paranoid about it. They have no ill intentions, when they check the nuts on the river to a buddy. Heck, these days I check the nuts to my buddies all the time... that way I can squash em'' for two bets instead of one.
« Back to Daniel Negreanu's
Card Player Poker Articles
Card Player Poker Articles
With over one hundred poker articles spanning the last five years and a new poker article written every two weeks and published in Card Player magazine, Daniel Negreanu brings the world of poker to the tables of countless poker enthusiasts and poker players alike.
As a regular Card Player columnist, Daniel's poker articles have helped many readers learn the game of poker from the early days of an upcoming professional poker player to the realization of a true poker champion last year as Daniel became the 2004 Card Player Player of the Year, as well as, one of the most successful tournament players in history with 36+ worldwide wins and bragging rights as the WPT All-Time Top Money Winner.
Articles by Year
- Poker articles, 2006
- Poker articles, 2005
- Poker articles, 2004
- Poker articles, 2003
- Poker articles, 2002
- Poker articles, 2001
Poker Article Discussion
Had your fair share of reading? Check out the poker articles forum to share your viewpoints on Daniel's Card Player articles with other members in FullContactPoker's poker forums.