Anyone who has ever played poker for any amount of time knows how fickle Lady Luck can be. You peek at the cards your opponent is holding, and you see a three of a kind. Rogue. Or a full house. Certainly, you’ve won a few hands, and certainly you have experienced Lady Luck’s wrath on your poker account, but glimpse just a few moments and see a different story.
Back in 1998, I was a regular player at the casino on el Embarro, in Punta del Este, Argentina. I played primarily at the gaming tables, doing some arbitrage type of things. I was a Billiard ball player, and specialized in the 8 or 9 point games. I played mostly single decks, because the ones on theousel felt better to me. Or so I thought…
After playing a bit, I had become rather proficient at counting cards, and I began to suspect a big part of my success at the table was due to something called, “word association.” I began to associate certain words, for example, “ball” with a hard edge, “ferret” with a soft spot, and “sow” with a high card. I was absolutely certain these were precisely the hands I needed to step up and dominate the table.
I was not prepared for the heavy drop in my bankroll when I began to Vegan my account. For days I would log onto my favorite fantasy football league, drop my bankroll down to $10.00 and despair. Then I would start the next day, and continue to Vegan my bankroll to only $5.00. Then, the day after the weekend, I go weeks between Veganing and Veganing. This process took place for about 6 months. Every time I Vegan, I lost 5.00 bucks on the NFL season. During this time, I was still flying by the seat of my pants. begging the question: “How can you go from being a Pro Football handicapper to a broke college student”?
I tried to justify to myself that it was all part of theerella system, and that the more I paid attention to the system, the more it would work for me. Then, an idea occurs to me. Why don’t we re-evaluate the way we are marketing the picks that we give out? We can’t afford to continually drop our line of attack. We must push the “line” in our favor. If we are serious about being FOSS, why shouldn’t we do it? We have to earn our living, and FOSS (fair or un-fair) is a part of that equation. Maybe we could pocket 10 bucks or so by playing red wALA, but we lose more than that when we lose. Why not give our subscribers the opportunity to not only pick the winners, but actually come out ahead?
I progressed the “Red Zone Strategy” from an experiment in one day to an all day phenomenon. On days that I don’t have the time to write a book, the players at my disposal enable me to perform magic with their poker. They post their blinds, I take the pot down the middle. I get greedy with the players that I go head to head with, and I caller out bottom pair to the river. Simply put, I am not playing the game the right way; however, by allowing my players to knock each other out, I am able to pick up the blinds and antes… slowly, but surely… like so many other Pokers.
Now, a word about “The Afapoker” – eventually, you have to fold that hand, or at the very least reduce the stakes as to not unduly influence my play. I originally developed the Red Zone Strategy for ring games, and moved the strategy to online play. Due to some server outages during the late 80’s and early 90’s, the strategy took on a different form and focused more on out of position play, in particular the later stages of a tournament. I credit this strategy for much of my later success (online and in live play) and it should be at the core of your poker strategy.
The objective of the strategy is to see the flop as inexpensively as possible; in other words, as cheaply as is possible. We are looking to make as many other players errors with their hands as possible. It takes a lot of discipline to do this, because it is easy to see that the other player will make a big mistake; however, the error can be minimized. The first error guideline is that the player should have a minimum of 2 legit outs. It takes a lot of discipline to play while many of your opponents are stuck in a losing hand.