Mannipulating Opponents

Brian GBrian G Red Chipper Posts: 3 ✭✭
I am trying to improve on this aspect of my game. Poker is a very emotional game and players can be manipulated by table talk of the lack there of. I am wondering if anyone has written material on this subject. I know questions like,"Will you show if I fold?" can help you gain information. Being friendly to some players may help you win their money by either preventing them from betting or putting them on tilt when you bet against them heads-up. Other players can play worse against you if you are gruff towards them since they might lower their hand standards to try and get you. Does anyone have an opinion on this subject. Is it worth trying to get better at or no?
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Comments

  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,756 -
    Elwood has videos here on tells and a trilogy of books on tells. One is specifically on verbal tells.

    For the most part, I just play mum poker. I will throw body language miscues for minor manipulation. I don't do any of this "talk to them to get something out of them" stuff.

    First, when people chat me up for information, they pretend it is friendly banter, but it is not, it is an act of social aggression. I find it distasteful, just play your hand.

    Second, I find it a little insulting that they think they are going to get anything from me in the first place.

    Third, most of them would not know what to do with the "information" that they think they are getting anyways. So all they are doing is this slow, annoying kabuki dance that I have seen too many times.

    There are enough irritating people at the table naturally that trying to irritate people for some perceived gain is just making the table more unpleasant.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,983 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,756 -
    He won't bite but he will growl. Mostly harmless.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • MidnightFoxMidnightFox Red Chipper Posts: 321 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    People do pay you off if you seem stupid or like a tough guy. I’m not great at pretending to be different than I am at the table and I’m not willing to change my appearance. I play with all the same players anyway.

    I seem like a nice/sweet guy, but serious, as someone that takes the game seriously/plays better than them, doesn’t talk at all, and I think someone they just don’t want to mess with at all. They have a fold-early policy against me. My 3-bets are feared. If I C-bet for the millionth time, no one calls. I generally can only get stacked or get folds when I have a big pair at most stack depths. They know I bluff, but they don’t want to find out in which hands(nearly all of them).

    Don’t know why I have a personal distaste for begging for information, but I do.
    I should probably get over it and experiment with some stuff. I’m convinced it does make money. One reason I don’t do it is because I’m often thinking of the logic of the hand and don’t want to be unnecessarily influenced by something I will misinterpret. I find my live reads to be more accurate if my opponent’s behavior is not artificially modified.

    I think as my game grows, I will use live verbal manipulations; As it is, they play no part in my game.
    :Jd :Tc
  • MidnightFoxMidnightFox Red Chipper Posts: 321 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    Doug Hull wrote: »
    Elwood has videos here on tells and a trilogy of books on tells. One is specifically on verbal tells.

    For the most part, I just play mum poker. I will throw body language miscues for minor manipulation. I don't do any of this "talk to them to get something out of them" stuff.

    First, when people chat me up for information, they pretend it is friendly banter, but it is not, it is an act of social aggression. I find it distasteful, just play your hand.

    Second, I find it a little insulting that they think they are going to get anything from me in the first place.

    Third, most of them would not know what to do with the "information" that they think they are getting anyways. So all they are doing is this slow, annoying kabuki dance that I have seen too many times.

    There are enough irritating people at the table naturally that trying to irritate people for some perceived gain is just making the table more unpleasant.
    I love it when players start talking to me after I bet. It means as long as I give nothing off, they will fold. And they do.
    When players probe me for information after the hand, I act very sweet/friendly but at the same time give them the cold shoulder, pretending they don’t exist/I can’t hear them.
    On occasion, after a hand, I give unsuspecting players the exact answer they are looking for to keep them playing the exact predictable game they are playing.
    With certain guys I know, I say, “feel free to call anytime; I didn’t bet much”. That doesn’t tell them if I was bluffing or not, and seems to confirm to them that I have 0% fear of them, and whatever action they may take in the future, confirming to them that I am the last guy they should mess with in any way.

    I used to hate thier fishy nonsense, but am learning to love their expressions of weakness. Music to my ears.
    :Jd :Tc
  • Cereal KillerCereal Killer Red Chipper Posts: 76 ✭✭
    People do pay you off if you seem stupid or like a tough guy. I’m not great at pretending to be different than I am at the table and I’m not willing to change my appearance. I play with all the same players anyway.

    I seem like a nice/sweet guy, but serious, as someone that takes the game seriously/plays better than them, doesn’t talk at all, and I think someone they just don’t want to mess with at all. They have a fold-early policy against me. My 3-bets are feared. If I C-bet for the millionth time, no one calls. I generally can only get stacked or get folds when I have a big pair at most stack depths. They know I bluff, but they don’t want to find out in which hands(nearly all of them).

    Don’t know why I have a personal distaste for begging for information, but I do.
    I should probably get over it and experiment with some stuff. I’m convinced it does make money. One reason I don’t do it is because I’m often thinking of the logic of the hand and don’t want to be unnecessarily influenced by something I will misinterpret. I find my live reads to be more accurate if my opponent’s behavior is not artificially modified.

    I think as my game grows, I will use live verbal manipulations; As it is, they play no part in my game.
    :Jd :Tc

    We all have a different life experience that shapes our response at the table. Do some have more value than others at the table? Maybe. I worked in a "tough guy" field for 12 years and default to that attitude when I'm challenged, but I'm far enough removed from that life and intelligent enough to understand the ramifications of my responses. I'm more likely at this time in my life to experience a beat down than to deliver one and I think the realization shapes my responses at the table, for good or bad. Then there's that voice in my head telling me it's all about the math. I need to listen to that voice.
  • Brendan RBrendan R Red Chipper Posts: 101 ✭✭
    People do pay you off if you seem stupid or like a tough guy. I’m not great at pretending to be different than I am at the table and I’m not willing to change my appearance. I play with all the same players anyway.

    I seem like a nice/sweet guy, but serious, as someone that takes the game seriously/plays better than them, doesn’t talk at all, and I think someone they just don’t want to mess with at all. They have a fold-early policy against me. My 3-bets are feared. If I C-bet for the millionth time, no one calls. I generally can only get stacked or get folds when I have a big pair at most stack depths. They know I bluff, but they don’t want to find out in which hands(nearly all of them)

    This is the table image you want to have. The guy who's running over the table but who's game is respected.

    Manipulating opponents by talking to them is sometimes called speech play. It can and does work but it usually turns you into public enemy #1 and agitates everyone at the table.

    Personally I'd rather keep them relatively happy as I take their money.
  • MidnightFoxMidnightFox Red Chipper Posts: 321 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    Octavian I wrote: »
    Ask or talk about something with one or two opponents when you are not the hand. Ask something you have in common, ask some nonaccusatory fact-finding question. Tell him you are divorced, or you just got married. Ask if he's got kids. Boys?... Girls? .., How many? .., 1-2-3? .. Watch their physical reaction and verbal response to understand how they respond to a question that you would expect them to answer truthfully. This is important because it helps you to establish a baseline to compare against when soft accusations are made by you against them when they bet into you. Now, compare that with the baseline.
    Interesting. I may try this. Thanks.
  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 1,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Octavian I wrote: »
    I have a lot of "plays" in my head. I mean, a lot of nasty plays. All legal and legitimate but very deadly against some specific opponents when you will take their entire stack in one single "play". But I'm not sure if we should talk about this detail on an open forum. I really don't know how many people have open access here. So, I will hesitate for the moment but I may come back and talk about this subject.
    Well, you've got my attention.

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  • SliverOverlordSliverOverlord Red Chipper Posts: 323 ✭✭✭
    100% worth trying to get better at. However it’s probably more in your interest to work on plugging your own leaks in your gameplay (I say this assuming you are not a 5/10 Vegas live pro or 200NL live player). That’s not an insult to your gameplay, but understanding theory, exploits... etc about the game itself will yield a high return on your time, IMO.

    As for different ways of manipulating opponents, I prefer to let my play do the talking rather than my mouth. Noticing a table is too tight and adjusting with more aggression... which then causes some players to feel like they have to adjust to your adjustment, which they usually do kinda poorly which lets you adjust to their poor adjustment and run them over. That’s coming from a my live 1-2 games, results may vary.

    A few other psychological leaks I’ve found in certain player types. Some guys really can’t take losing in a pot, or folding to a float bet. Against those guys, peppering then where they’re weak works well, when they fight back you have the option to barrel/fold.

    Another one, there are some people that find asking for their chip count as intimidating. I choose to intimidate them whenever possible, just get in their head. They will probably not react well to it.
  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 1,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Hmmm, I hope you’re pulling our chains on this one. You’re not actually pulling this stunt are you?
  • MidnightFoxMidnightFox Red Chipper Posts: 321 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    And I thought MY plays were fancy!
    I think I get what you are saying, however, I think when you break someone’s concentration he will be more likely to do whatever is most natural to him; If he is a folder, he will err on the side of folding, if he is a suspicous player he will call. Sorta what happens when someone tilts: they revert to whatever is most instinctive to them, without regard to nuanced contextual matters sorted-out by higher-level brian function.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Players that are willing to talk during the hand are generally TP or better in their range. Someone who doesn't talk. Can mean either or. If they struggle to talk its usually towards the bluffy side.

    I 2nd Doug on the Elwood videos. Very informative. I dont think asking questions is distasteful though, unless a player has already told you, he doesn't talk in a hand. Once warned then go ahead and back off. Socializing is part of the game.

    @Octavian I a competent player will think you are strong when you do that. Watch Elwood and you will see why.
  • ragin_cajunragin_cajun Red Chipper Posts: 47 ✭✭
    I think stuff like this is what's wrong with live poker. I despise trash talking, angle shooting, head games, etc. I play my hand, I do it with class and style, and I do nothing that could detract from the fun of playing poker in a casino.

    There's more to poker than just money...and life.

    And if you really think you're gonna change anything with tactics like this...then .you're playing at a table with a bunch of half-wits. Find another game.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think stuff like this is what's wrong with live poker. I despise trash talking, angle shooting, head games, etc. I play my hand, I do it with class and style, and I do nothing that could detract from the fun of playing poker in a casino.

    There's more to poker than just money...and life.

    And if you really think you're gonna change anything with tactics like this...then .you're playing at a table with a bunch of half-wits. Find another game.

    Some of the best games have lots of talking going on. Usually a sign of inexperienced players.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Octavian I wrote: »
    Austin wrote: »
    ....
    Some of the best games have lots of talking going on. Usually a sign of inexperienced players.

    Well, let me give you an example,

    Game 5-10, stacks 1500
    The villain(V2) in question has his wife behind him. I think they chat about the game and other stuff. I may be wrong, I’m not sure. ... ha ha haha,

    You raise 50 with TT in position. V1 and V2 call. 3-way 150 pot.
    Flop Q, T, 3. They all check, you c-bet 2/3 pot for 100. Both villains call. Pot=450.
    Turn Q, T, 3, 2. V1 checks, V2 checks, you barrel for 300, V1 folds and V2 calls. Pot=1050 with 1050 stacks left. SPR=1
    River 2. The final board looks like this: Q, T, 3, 2, 2. V2 checks and you bet 750.

    V2 goes into the tank and is undecided what to do. It looks like to me, I'm not sure but maybe, I don't know. Anyway, him and his wife are whispering something, he lifts the corner of his cards so she can see them, I guess, I’m not sure wtf's going on,.. haha. He’s thinking and looks undecided. Keep looking at his wife like "wtf I suppose to do now? ..", I suspect he’s got at the minimum AQ or even better. I raised preflop. He limped and called my raise. So, I eliminate AA, KK, QQ, AK

    Now, what are you going to do? - Nothing? - Are you not going to do anything to con him into calling? - If you tell me that you would just play mum poker, .., well, you are making a monumental mistake. You got him by the balls. If you are a “player”, you just have to encourage him a little to make the mistake and fall over the cliff.

    I let the talking part to your imagination. If you are a “player” you must know or at least figure out how you manipulate this guy into saving his face in front of his woman. Even if the scene where I described him whispering something to her may not be true. Just the fact his wife is behind and paying attention to the action, I have a good reason to pull a "play" on him to get my call.

    I just took you by the hand and point you into the right direction. Now, you find out what is to be done. This is your job.

    Please communicate the result. Did you got the call?

    You don't have to say anything here, if he had AQ he is likely at the top of his range. If you begin to talk it looks like hollywood and hes more likely to fold. You have close to zero bluffs on this run out and bet sizing. Best thing you can do is faint body language tells @Doug Hull but more than that you are asking him to fold. Maybe you will barrel AK and try and get QJ+ to fold but you would have to be a little crazy and against the right player.
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    talking to players has allowed me to make correct laydowns and calls...

    anyone who chooses not to talk - AND considers talking to be distasteful has forgotten that this is a social game played by humans not robots. I'm not saying you need to be like Tony G or Kassouf... but refusing to utter a word is beyond silly...

    there are many tactics you can use such as: "show me one" or "if you fold, I'll show" or "I'll pay you $X if you show a X"... "can you beat a pair of jacks?" "

    friendly table banter, even competitive banter can help you with your made hands and bluffs.

    not using table talk to your advantage is like refusing to ask for directions when you're lost.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,392 ✭✭✭✭
    Octavian I wrote: »
    Well, Tony G is a great player and a great actor that can put people on tilt.

    NOT

  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,392 ✭✭✭✭
    I thin we would all make more money by manipulating ourselves into less tilt and more A-game poker.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,670 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Brian G wrote: »
    I am wondering if anyone has written material on this subject.

    Not much that I'm aware of, but it certainly sounds like a good book topic, if only to understand what other people are trying to do. "Taunts, Barbs and Angles: How Poker Players Use Verbal Skills to Win"

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,670 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Octavian I wrote: »
    For example:
    By the turn you have a nut straight to the Ace. You also suspect opponent has the same hand. Opponent bets into you. Now, what's the point to raise or even just call without trying to mislead him? - What's the point to just call and spit the pot?

    OK, you call and ask the dealer: "Pair the board!" - "Pair that goddamned board baby, .., one time only"!
    If the board pairs at the end, you move in a mountain of chips in the middle. He may fold or he may call. You have a free-roll. Nothing to lose.

    You mean like if you did the exact same thing, but without speaking?

    Your words have about as much chance of working against you as for you.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    How about you take the same line with AK on your QT223 run out and when he folds you show him ace high. Now that hand will be embedded in his head and the next two or 3 times you do it, you do it for value. There is a reason why we discuss balance in this forum. If you only have value in your range then i guess you have to try and manipulate then. If you have balance they will always be on the fence as to call or fold and forever guessing.

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