What is the most powerful move in poker?

I’ve won lots of tournaments by making good folds at the critical time. I’ve also lost many times by making bad calls when I should have folded. Calling bad is a much bigger mistake than folding, even if you end up folding the best hand sometimes.


very good summary!

No, you haven’t. The only hand you can win a tournament with, is a winning hand. Folding a hand means you are no longer in the hand, and therefore are not in a position to win it. You misrepresent what I have said - I don’t deny that folding is an important part of the game, just as a steering wheel in a car is as important as having tyres. Making calls is part of the game, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose - many factors contribute to whether it is a “mistake” however. This is what professional poker players work on in their game, cutting down their mistakes. Having a set of kings after the turn on a rainbow board, then pushing all in against a weak player heads-up, isn’t a mistake if they call and turn over pocket aces. You have a 95% chance of winning the hand, and if they happen to then hit a set of aces on the river, you didn’t make a mistake, they simply got lucky against all the odds by hitting the 5% outer. It’s poker, you win some hands, you’ll lose some hands. Sometimes you’ll win hands you shouldn’t, through good play, (bluffing, for instance) and sometimes you’ll lose hands you should have, perhaps through pure dumb luck, as in the example I’ve given above. To reduce poker to a single measure, “folding” is complete nonsense.


Which is probably why nobody suggested reducing anything to a single measure. Straw man much?

Not sitting at a table/convincing someone to sit at your table

I just discovered a powerful move. For weeks I had been subject to brutal beatdowns. Only made a handful of final tables finishing no higher than third. I took the day off and watched YouTube poker study vids for about 5 hours. First time I really studied. Just won two MTT out of four played today and in the money in the other two. Deal was it was without much drama staying in the top 5-10 from the jump.

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You’ve been VERY selective in a feeble attempt to misrepresent what I have said, in order to try and make yourself feel superior. You’ve failed, badly. So, err “congrats” on trying to win an argument with yourself,and yet still, somehow, losing.

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Great results, but remember this hand. You had JJ and raised to 3 BB from the SB and was called by 4 limpers, so your raise pushed no one out of the hand, so this now was a 5-way hand.

The flop came 55Q and you were first to act. You shoved with second pair (actually 2 pairs, but one pair was community property). Unfortunately one player had A5 and another had QQ, and they both called you, but actually any Q or 5 had you beaten. Another player also called the shove with AJ, not sure why.

What is your powerful move?

If by “powerful move” you mean the one having the biggest impact on profitability, table/game selection stands alone at the top. Poker is a game of edges and unless you select tables/games where your edges are significant enough to exploit, you’ve lost before you’ve played a hand.


I am overcome that the MekonKing with the big head would take time to critic a mere peon. Not one of my better plays but seeing as it was a reboot bingo MTT I rebounded within seconds. I would have gone all in pre-flop on a mulligan. In your infinite wisdom maybe you can tell all your subjects how you would have played my hand your Majesty and nix the condescending attitude. At the end of the day our chips are worth exactly the same, nothing. Better yet I will go research your hands to gain greater insight and report back shortly.

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Here’s your power move MekonKing. Your last MTT. Impressive. Don’t throw stones from that glass castle.


LOL! This was not a MTT, it was a low stakes ring game. I almost never play ring games, but I just had about 10 minutes to kill and felt like playing a couple of hands and did not want to get into a sit’n’go as I was waiting for someone to arrive at my house. In the hand in question I hit two pairs on the river (I would never have limped in here with this hand in a tournament, but in ring games, everyone just limps with everything), but the protagonist make a straight with his 9-5 offsuit. Actually I thought he had probably made a flush and just called to see what he had, as I suspected I was beaten. There was no tournament at stake.

Peon who? I have been playing on the site about 4 months more than you and started with 0 chips like everyone else. I have never won two MTTs in one day, just winning one, or even going close, exhausts all my mental energy, and you have won 2 in one day and made the money in two others, so I would guess about 7 or 8 hours of intense play.

Anyway, I still want to know about the great power move.

[Your JJ hand was a tough one, as you were going to be beaten anway and the QQ hand was not going to fold before the flop. I would have checked the flop to see what the other players were going to do. If it was minbetted all the way around, I would have slapped in a decent raise, and then if called, which obviously I would be, I would definitely give it up when another Q came on the turn, because even if a J came on the river giving you a full house, you were still beaten by anyone holding a queen, because of the pair of 5s on the board, so why fall in love with your hand and pay to see the river when that train had already left the station?

You may have just hit the nail on the head MK. Maybe I’m wrong or maybe it’s just too obvious, but isn’t the real “power move” winning?
Whether a hand or a tournament nothing gets your head buzzing more than a win. How did I do that? Can I do it again? Will that work every time or just more times than not? Is it applicable in every situation, every position against every opponent?
The answers to those questions are a resounding NO, but the thought process is the beginning of the learning process, no matter how long you have been playing. The truth is, as I am finding, that one win often leads to another.
Of course a good, sound spanking will make you think also. :wink:

Now that is a power move I would like the King to elaborate further. You have 12M chips in 7 months here claiming to start with zero. That’s averaging over 1.7M per month from zero. Please explain the impressive progression without exhausting all your mental energy. It is almost too hard to believe.

Really? I started out playing in minimum entry sit n’ go’s, and when I had won enough chips, I started to play in MTTs as well as 10K and 25K sit’n’go’s. I liked to play the Hijack tournament which starts at 7:30 p.m. Eastern US time each day of the week and costs 25K to enter and usually attracts about 60 player and is usually finished by 10:00 pm.

After winning this a few times, I gradually passed landmarks like 1m, 2m, 3m.

I then entered a tournament called Ruthie’s Roundup which is 250, 000 chips to enter, and was fortunate to win at the first attempt, and doubled up my chips to about 6m. Fairly recently I entered a tournament that was 1m chips to enter, and finished 3rd, thus doubling up my total chips again to about 12m.

Here are screenshots of recent results.

The vast majority of tournaments I enter, I don’t win, or simply don’t have the time to properly concentrate, so many tournaments I play are just for fun or experiment with plays. I tend to get better results in the higher entry tournaments, because I don’t enter them unless I am likely to be able to play to the death, and not be cooking meals for the children while playing.

So there is no mystery! You just have to parlay your winnings at lower levels into higher value tournaments and find the types of tournament that you like. For example I prefer tournaments with six players at the table to nine player tournaments, but will play both. Look for MTTs with a guaranteed prize money and few entrants, as they may offer a better return on chip outlay.

Actually winning tournaments, as you may have found already, requires a combination of patience and luck. For exampe in my last foray in the Hijack tournament, I got all in with AQ against AT on an A hight flop, he called my shove, and the turn gave him 2 pairs–and I was out. I don’t regret the hand, because I was all in against a hand that I dominated,and if I had won, would have be well placed to make a run at winning the tournament. But it was not to be.

In many ways the higher entry tournaments may be easier to win, as the players tend to be a bit more rational and will fold when they are behind.

So if you go below 10BB, it is best to be first into the pot and shove to win the blinds, double up, or be eliminated. Sometimes you may even get lucky and treble up and you are right back in the tournament.

Now what is your winning power move?

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One of the most powerful moves in poker is the ability to get your opponents to go on tilt.

If - by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


A lot of “ifs” there.

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Kipling also was extremely enthusiastic that his very short-sighted only son, John, age 18 should join the army in World War I to make a man of him. John was turned down by the navy and by the army because he was so short sighted. However Kipling was able to use his fame and influence to get his son a commission in the Irish Guards and he joined up at the age of 17.

Unfortunately a couple weeks after being sent to Belgium his head was blown off and his body was never recovered.

If you read that poem while thinking about poker, it more or less all fits.

If Kipling’s son had read and understood dad’s poem, he wouldn’t have joined the army just to please his father. Be true to yourself and you will be a man. Unless you’re a woman, in which case you will be a woman, I guess.

I like that you refuse to let yourself be baited when people attack you online. To me, this is the sign of a man, or the big green headed alien equivalent.

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Apparently he joined the army to get away from his domineering father. Anyway, a sad story, all told, but then millions died in that conflict, probably many in similar situations. This is why I always say that the best way to support our military is to keep them out of pointless wars.