Finding Your Killer Instinct

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Some people are just born with a killer instinct, whether is was the smallest guy on the football field smashing all of the bigger meat heads or the ugly friend that will hit on any hot chick and not give a *$#&%. A lot of the same qualities carry over onto the felt and can create one dangerous player.

I myself am trying to find that killer instinct again. I used to not give a crap when playing poker. I’d make some reckless plays, and if it payed off, then great. If not, then I’d go on to the next game. I’m not saying I was a maniac every hand, but if I entered a pot, I wasnt giving my chips away without a fight. Now I’ve became a better player and understand a lot of aspects of the game that most amateurs don’t get.

Example: I let my buddy try out a $5 sit and go because he was bored. The guy just didn’t know anything about poker, and I didn’t help him out much unless he asked for advice. To make a long story short, he ended up winning the sit and go. Why? Well he always had that killer instinct. He was making plays that didn’t make much sense, but he was winning, and most of the time he was the favorite. I would tell him, “You have nothing invested, why would you call his all in with a pair of 3’s?” He’d answer, “because I’m going to win the hand.” Simply put, he did.

While you don’t want to play a grueling 1000+ man MTT this way, certain situations can justify these kinds of plays. I had just busted out of a tournament, and this was this is how it went down. Blinds were 300/600, and I was stitting at 22k. Top 9 were to be paid, and there were only 16 left. I was 3rd in chips. Middle position raised to 1800 and button calls. I looked down at A4 off. I thought, “Oh god, I can’t play this crap in bad position. If an ace falls, then what do I do?”

Then sure enough, the flop came 235 RAINBOW. Awesome, we got a bet, a call, and an all in. If I find my KILLER INSTINCT that hand, I’m at about 60k and probably going on to finish at worst top 3. I out thought myself. You can say what you want, but sometimes you just gotta want it, and I didnt. 3 hands later I was out because of a tough beat. Yeah shit happens, but if I win that first pot I’m still sitting with about 40k.

Everytime I’m watching a good player (not necessarily a ranked player), you would literally have to bomb their house to get them to fold some hands. They don’t want to leave their chips in the middle. They’ll do anything possible to get those chips. Under some circumstances it’s ok to get away from the pot and not be a moron. What I’m saying is think of the glass as half full. If you have a decent read on an opponent, then go with your gut, whether or not pot odds are in your favor. I’d rather go down swinging, knowing I trusted my read, than go down folding like a pansy.

If you raise a pot with junk and get a caller, don’t be afraid to bet and raise and claw at that pot. You’d be surprised how many chippies you’ll end up with. I’m not saying play like a maniac; just don’t give in to anyone no matter who they are. Don’t be afraid to raise on the button just because theres a chance one of the blinds might play back at you. WHO CARES? Play right back at them, and even if you get called, you’re usually not that bad of a dog.

My point is, don’t let yourself get to the point where you’re expecting to get sucked out or get reraised with a marginal hand. You gotta not only believe, but know your gonna win every damn pot you enter. You want people to fear you. So who gives a crap if you make a dumb play? You want ALL the chips and will be willing to do whatever it takes to get them. If you have to talk smack, then go ahead. If you have to show a few bluffs, then go ahead. If someone in a casino is Mr. bling bling, dont be intimidated. Play your game with a killer instinct.

*** Just remember, Nice guys finish last!