Playing blind man's poker

From winning the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event as an 18-year-old to starting her poker career through freerolls, Annette Obrestad has become one of poker’s living legends. But if there’s one act that truly defines Obrestad’s career more than anything else, it’s when she won a $4 online tournament with 120 players without looking at her cards except for one time on an all-in situation.

I thought this seemed impossible, but decided to give it a try to see if it could improve my game. I stuck three layers of athletic tape on my screen over where my cards would appear.

My tournament had 117 entrants and I was a bit nervous at first. It soon became obvious to me that the only way I could play would be to play out of the blinds and off the button. Either I could shove preflop, or else I could call in the blinds and then shove the flop if it seemed to have hit my range hard.

I was really surprised to find how easy it was to play this way and eventually finished in 25th place, 5 places out of the money. I might have gone a little deeper, but I made a risky shove on the flop in a large pot with (what turned out to be) J5o up against A9 on an ace-high flop I believe that if I had won that pot, I would have got into the money.

I did get lucky with a couple of pots hitting a 9 on the river one time, and doubling up with 33 against AA. Several other pots were folded preflop.

The biggest disadvantage was that it was impossible to play from early position or to call raises. I guess you could shove from UTG, but I did not try that.

I might try it again to see if I can improve, but 25th out of 117 was probably beginners luck.


Assuming she’s telling the truth, anything can happen in a single tournament. I wonder if she was able to repeat this success. I don’t see any way this could be done in a profitable way.

Personally I would go for Nightmare Mode and tape the entire screen except the bet/call/fold buttons.

There is some information about how she did it. It was some years ago, when players were generally weaker and much less knowledgeable about professional play. It was a very passive crowd in which most players would fold if the flop did not hit their hand.

What we don’t really know is if this was her hundredth attempt at the feat or her first. I find it hard to believe that it was her first, but I do believe it happened, as she did retain and publish hand histories.

Certainly from my own experiment, it appears to be possible to get into the money in a low buy-in tournament on RP without seeing your cards. However final table play would obviously be much more difficult to negotiate.

Yesterday I also tried playing in the Freeroll with unlimited rebuys for 500 chips for the first 24 minutes. The viable tactic here, which could also be played blind, is to shove every pot for the first 24 minutes until you get lucky and win a monster pot, then just shove your better hands. When you hit about 18000 to 20000, you can stop betting as the blinds are still fairly low, and wait for the interval at 24 minutes at which point rebuys end. You will find yourself against stacks of 70,000 or more, but the blinds are still relatively low and you can play proper poker from this point on. The downside is that the first prize is not much, and that you may lose more than you gain even if you win.

I’m reading this thread and I’m thinking to myself how this experiment or technique
would improve my poker game. Most of all I can’t wrap around my mind around why anyone would want to apply “ sticky athletic tape “ to a perfectly good computer screen unless the technique of removing the adhesive is the actual experiment here. :thinking: IMHO I don’t recommend it.

It just peels off like a label. The tape is really designed to stick to itself when wrapped, and only adheres mildly to glass. It is only one tiny spot on the screen as I always rotate my hand to the bottom of the screen.

You have not explained why it would damage the computer screen. It is explained above that the purpose was to cover up the cards, so that I did not know what I had. It was the first thing that I had to hand. Someone else might have something else.

Perhaps I should have issued a warning that covering your cards in online poker could damage your computer and make it explode and your house could be burned down and you could lose your whole family. But thanks for the input.

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It was a Rhetorical Question……but thanks for the effort….,