Shawn's Turn: How to beat the bingo players

Screen shot 2012-04-05 at 2.23.51 PMThe three most important thing about poker are: position, position, position. Being able to act last as the button lets you get a slew of information.

As many poker professionals have said, poker is a game about making decision on incomplete information. If you are the first to take action, you're acting with less information than your opponents.

Shawn_1PRE-FLOP: In this particular example I am playing a $10k/$20k regular table with eight other players. As the button, I get the luxury of seeing callers before me. I'm face with AK suited, and that's a really strong hand. I want to lead and raise six times the big blind because I had 2 players limp in before me. This was a big bet, but it wasn't a bingo play (shoving all-in).

Honestly, I love playing against bingo players. It can be very frustrating for you to get in the best of it with a bingo player. You need to continue playing good solid poker and wait for a premium hand. Chances are you're going to beat bingo players on average more than they are going to beat you because they typically go all-in with a less than a premium hand.

Now back to my hand! My $120,000 chip bet forces the blinds who limped in to make a $100,000 chip bet in order to stick around and play with me. If they're making that sort of call, I'm happy to play with my AK suited.

Four players are going in.

FLOP:  This flop - a rainbow 6-7-K - is a really sad flop for me. It's time to turn those lemons into lemonade.

There's a standard move when you make a raise pre-flop. You want to follow up with a bet after the flop, also known as a continuation bet. What you're doing is continuing the story that you have the best hand.

Now there are 2 things you’re going to see here in action. I can see that all three of my opponents checked. So that tells me one of two things. They are waiting to see what I am going to do or they didn’t necessarily hit the board. I make a raise of $260,000 chips because I'm making a claim to the pot.

Telling the story is very important. When you make your actions, you are trying to sell the players at the table on something. Here I'm saying, 'I have this pot right now. Are you guys going to stick around? You want to punish your opponent for trying to draw.


I'm making a big bet that I'm representing that I have the king. It's very helpful in this instance to make a continuation bet onto a board that has a big card like that – the king. (Lemonade!) The big raise I did pre-flop makes people think I have pocket kings, king/queen, or ace/king. Definitely king something.

Because the players at the table haven’t played with me that long, when they see a bet like that, they have to make the assumption that I have the best hand at the table.

If you start disbelieving all the betting actions of every one that you play against, you’re going to be out of the chips really quickly. You’re going to consistently lose because nine times out of ten in Zynga Poker when someone makes a substantitve bet, chances are they have that. And that’s thepower of the continuation bet.