I played Texas Holdem at Winstar casino last night. In 3 hours, I profited $136 per hour. My starting chip stack was $200 and I ended at $609. This was by far the best night I've ever had playing poker. I had middle position, directly in front of the dealer, a spot I've come accustomed to from all of my nights at Friday Night Poker. It took me about 20 minutes to semi-"figure" the other players at the table out and the better part of the next 2 hours getting them all in tune with me.
In tune with me? My goal was to get my opponents to do things that I wanted them to do, but be glad to do it. Eventually, I had the table checking in front and behind me when I wanted cheap flops and calling me when I wanted some action. It was very surreal. I had action junkies settling for smooth calls and strong players folding to my bluffs. I slowed down the action with strategic smaller-sized bets giving me more flops to see. Unlike past nights in the poker rooms, instead of avoiding big pots with strong players, I was creating and taking them down.
As every good player knows, it certainly helps to catch cards. I got a very nice range of acceptable to strong starting hands, hung around cheap pots for winning (weak) river cards, and took full advantage of every situation with aggressive raises. And aggression was a great equalizer. Aggressive betting on the flop, turn, and river was the key to taking down big pots with absolute air.
All of this was possible because I made "friends" with nearly everyone at the table. That's actually not so hard for me since I generally like people. Anyways, it's better for people to feel OK to lose to you than to feel contempt, which will just make them play harder and take more chances against you. I've never seen so many people who were so at ease with losing their money. That's simply not a quality I will ever have.
I've learned a lot of new poker skills and philosophies lately and they paid off huge last night. I tripled by money in 3 hours. I just hope there's not a disclaimer somewhere that says, "results not typical".