Friday, June 22, 2007

Winning By Not Playing

As a joke I started a new strategy in online poker. And to my surprise, it is working. What I do is not play. By not playing I get more chips.

Specifically, I enter single table tournaments then mark the "away next hand" box. I sit there and get blinded out, but otherwise I lose nothing. Well, I gain nothing as well. But surprisingly, I end up winning more chips on average than I pay in buy-ins.

So what makes this happen? At first I jokingly came up with the idea that If I did not play, and play badly so as to lose chips, I would have more chips if I just came to the table late. One way to achieve this online is to start the tourney, then walk away. In fact right now I am (not) playing in a STT while I type this message. The game runs in the background. I saw my hand get dealt AQ, so I quickly hit the "I am back" button and went on to win 4,000 in chips in one hand. Then I left the table again.

There is no way to win first place using this strategy, unless I actually play in the game. But it seems I almost always make it to the money. STT's pay the top three and since I have essentially no time invested in this any win is a good win. On the abandoned game I am playing right now I am the chip leader of five payers based on the one hand I won. With the big blind at $30, my $4,320 in chips will not be blinded out anytime soon.

I have foudn that once it gets to two or thress players, I am in the money and can then go on to actually play and often win if I want. Since I have already made my goal of being in the money I can play very agressive against tight players who think they were there to win. I'm just there to get in the bubble.

So why does this work? A friend suggested that maybe online players are just bad poker players. I don't think so. I think online players are agressive. Too agressive for their own good. So an ultra passive player will tend to beat the average online player. How much more passive can you get than "away from the table"?

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