We have all been there. You make a magnificent bluff and a player calls you with bottom pair. You may have even muttered under your breath “can’t bluff bad players”.
I have come to realize here that the inclination to call players “bad”, “inexperienced” or “less skilled” carries its own consequences.
The first of which is when you label a player as one of these adjectives you make assumptions that are not always accurate. Wouldn’t it be much more useful to label this player as a player that is capable of calling you with bottom pair no matter what your story is in a hand? This is a player I should value target when I have a decent hand because they will call light. When taking this reframe we take all the emotionality out of the equation and look at that evidence before us. And like most things we can equate this in life with a person who has characteristics that are predictable. Human behavior is predictable whether it be at poker or just in general.
The second reason it is a detriment to our game to label these players by emotional terms is because we miss the value of what actions they take to get maximum value (whether it be accidental value or not). For instance this player will call anyone with bottom pair which just happens to be very profitable against bluffy players. I have watched many a time a player who will call lighter repeatedly own the “skilled” aggressive player at the table. Wouldn’t it be great if you could morph this type of players attribute and take the “skilled” aggressive players money as well?
The final reason it’s a bad idea to label players as terrible or no good is because it gives you an excuse to ignore the mistakes you are making. I remember in the past asking myself, if this player is so bad why am I mad and haven’t adjusted? How if he is so bad have I not taken advantage of this. This was after hours of huffing and puffing about it.
I have spent decades honing my craft and I still can feel a twinge of instinct to berate a player when they call me light on a bluff or suck out trips because they wouldn’t fold bottom pair. I know it’s hard, however here at Possible Poker that is what we do, we train our brain to expect these situations and use them to our advantage. Just as you can use these similar situations in real life to your advantage. You can quickly identify and strategize against a person who has the same behavior patterns and teach yourself to be emotionally numb to their behavior.