Last week I did a post about zero-level thinking, and a hand that seemed to illustrate it. Last night I read the following story in Mike Caro's book, Caro's Most Profitable Hold'em Advice (p. 147). The man is certifiable, but he's crazy like a fox.
I get tremendous mileage out of one or two very blatant plays. I like to
spread hopeless hands. I want them to be so absurd that players will remember
them and giggle with me. If I just play a lot of semi-weak hands, that's not
advertising. That's just doing what they do. And they won't notice.
I've actually done this: I was the big blind at a no-limit table and got in
free with 3h-2h. The flop added two more hearts, so I had a flush draw. Nobody
bet until the river. The final board was 7c Kh 4h 9d 9s. Someone made a very
small bet on the river. Two other remaining players folded, leaving just me. I
called! The bettor showed Kd Jh--a pair of kings. I quickly spread my hand for
all to see--a hand that couldn't possibly beat anything! "I thought you had me
beat, but you just never know," I laughed, leaving everyone scratching their
heads. You see, that was very cheap advertising. It was a tiny bet. And I knew
my advertisement was getting a maximum audience, because all eyes were glued to
the showdown. And, yes, it turned out to be a very profitable session.
So when you see a play that makes no sense whatsoever, and you're inclined to conclude that the person involved has no idea what he is doing, is drunk, not paying attention, misreading his hand, or whatever--maybe, just maybe, he is actually thinking way ahead of you, and setting you up to make bad calls later, and he is in reality the craftiest player at the table, with you squarely in his crosshairs.
Or he's just a moron. One or the other.