You're always counting your stack and those of your opponents. Always calculating your M, or number of big blinds. You have to consider his range and what he thinks of yours. Should you check, fold, check-raise, bet - and, if so, how much?
I get it. You have a lot of information to take in and only so much room in the neural pathways. So let me help you out.
The little piece of paper that the dealer gives you when you start playing is really important. There is a clue in the title.
It means it’s a CARD FOR THE MEDIA. You see, you don’t really have to think about it that much at all.
Do You Want to Be a Secret?
“Should I put it in the bag, or leave it out of the bag?”
Even if you're Phil Ivey, put it in the bag.
I know … why do we put these things on you after a hard day's graft? A conundrum of epic proportions. A tough sonofabitch question if there ever was one.
I feel for you. I do.
So here are some tips to take the load off your mind when it comes to this part of the game. Actually… come to think about it there is only one tip.
Media Card Tip #1: Always leave the media card in a position on the table so the media can see it.
I have just asked my 12-year old son if he thinks he could manage that, and he laughed at me.
“An idiot can do that Dad,” he said in scorn. So why oh why do players find it so difficult to do this?
What goes through your head when you don’t do this? Do you refuse to do it out of principle? Do you believe that we are so far beneath you that we are not worthy of knowing your unique number?
Do you want to be a secret?
The media card does not contain an RFID microchip. So when you turn it upside down the table doesn’t magically tell me what your number is.
When you turn it upside down I then have to ask you to turn it back over, and you look at me like I have just tried to sell you a cock ring at your mother’s funeral.
I Feel Your Pain
It’s not a drink coaster either. When you place your drinks on it, I also can’t see your number. If I can’t see your number then guess what? I’m going to have to bother you again.
It’s not a paper airplane, or for the more crafty among you, it’s not part of an origami kit. I wouldn’t even mind - some of the planes are lovely - but you don’t even throw the things.
Do you know how annoying it is for me to break up your beautiful plane, or swan, just so I can see your number?
Why oh why do you hide it under your stack?
Is this a superstition or something? I see your pain when I ask to see it and you have to carefully pull it out from beneath 200 chips like a game of Jenga. Seriously, I feel your pain man. So once again I will give you some advice.
DON’T STICK IT UNDER THERE! For God sake people.
To Me, It's a Piece of Equipment
Leave the media card face up so I can see it. To you it’s a piece of paper, but to me it’s a piece of equipment.
You might know your name, but I don’t. I don’t care if you've won a billion dollars online or won a major live tournament.
In the immediate moment of the tournament you are a number, and I need that number so I can write quickly, count chips quickly and do my job quickly.
So, please. Help me out in the future. Have some respect for others, like we have respect for you. Show me your bloody number.
Lee Davy is a veteran poker writer from Ogmore Vale in South Wales. You can follow his views and opinions through his blog at www.needyhelper.com or on Twitter @Chingster23.