Using Angles to Gain an Edge in Poker


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Poker Player Tossing Card in AirEverybody remembers the 2004 World Series of Poker final table.  Which of the 9 opponents stuck out to you the most? Which one made you ponder what he was thinking, why he was dressed the way he was, or what his next move would be? I will tell you exactly who that person is. It is the ever so popular Greg “Fossilman” Raymer, who finished 1st place in 2004 and placed about 20th this year in the 2005 World Series of Poker.

What is it that he does that screws up his opponents the most? First and foremost, it’s those funny glasses, but that’s not all he does to throw others off of their game. Have you ever listened to what he has to say at the poker table? Have you heard how he responds to people and why he says what he does? Or have you noticed that he is a generally quiet person, but will say something at the oddest times? All of these things start to mix together and begin to create a sort of an essence of mystery around our famous character Greg Raymer. The way he sits, the way he talks, the way he says things, and why he does all of those things are all part of his poker psychology scheme to give him an angle at the table.

All of the pros use angles to get an edge over the other players. Sometimes they even use the rules in an unorthodox fashion to get somebody off of there game. For example, a professional player may say “call” and actually make a raise, then say that they meant to raise. The rules in most casinos state that verbalizing your plays takes a stand over your action, so the player was forced to take back their chips.

What good does this do you may ask?  It gets all of the other players at the table (or at least most of them) to think that he really wanted to raise and may have a powerful hand, convincing them to fold their mediocre hands. The pro could have any hand from 23o to AA, but when using this kind of an angle against average players, the professional’s hand is usually a weak one.

Another angle that may be used is when a player says “raise” in a limit game, but puts far too many chips in as if they don’t know that they are playing a limit game. This makes the others at the table think that the pro has a strong hand again, but the image that the pro is portraying is that of a weak player who simply doesn’t know the rules of the game.

Players can also make themselves appear as if they are weak and their hand can easily be beat by using angles when playing live poker.   Let’s say our pro has a very strong hand and is in the position to make a raise.  He can simply put the chips into the pot across the line on the table and after the action moves, he can say “I call”.   Because of his timing and the fact that the chips had passed the line on the table, the action of a raise will still remain and the pro can get more people to call his strong hand when he “accidentally” puts extra chips in the pot.   He can also add in something else and start talking like “Oh come on guys, you don’t have to reraise me, I just made a mistake you are punishing me for it or what?”   This works very well in lower limit games against hardly amateur players.

So you might be asking yourself, “What does this all have to do with Greg Raymer?”  Well folks, Greg has a few signature angles that he has been known to use and the number one thing on his list are those insane looking sunglasses that he wears that have hologram eyes in them. They get people to focus and concentrate on his glasses more than they are concentrating on the type of player he is or the game that they are playing. His opponents can’t help but to stare at his glasses in the face, while Greg can see them clear as daylight. Nobody can see a reflection from Raymer’s glasses, and they also can’t see his eyes through them and if nobody can see his eye movements, how can they get a proper read on him?

The pros at big tournaments know that eyes can’t lie and they watch subtle movements such as a glance at chips, or a vein throbbing in the neck.  Some pros will wait up to 20 minutes pondering a move while studying their opponents.

Another thing that Greg Raymer does, or should I say does not do, is move around a lot.  He sits there at the poker table and stares forward in a much disciplined, controlled manner.   The other players at the table do not know what to do when they are at a decision.  They see him sitting there still as a statue and can’t pick up on even the way he blinks his eyes or the way his heart beats because he wears those holographic glasses and his “thick skin” and clothing cover up his veins as well.

All of the pros use angles to deceive their opponents when they play poker.  Be it live, online, Texas Holdem, Seven Card Stud, Limit, or No limit, there is always a way to get the other players to do what you want them to do.

“When dealing with people, you just have to think about how you can get them to do what you want them to do without telling them what you want them to do.”  –  Dale Carnigie

Do these things and I guarantee that you will have a much more profitable poker career.  My last work of advice is that you pick the right tables to play at.   This is the biggest and most profitable angle that you can get when it comes to playing poker.  If you are the 10th best player in the world, but play against the top 9 players, you will lose, but if you are the 10,000 th best player in the world and play against the 20,000th best players, then you are a winning poker player.  Good luck and may all your aces hold up


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