Snipers versus “One Man Armies:” Be THE Threat in Poker
I don’t like using analogies much as they can be confusing but in this case, think of playing poker as being a specialist in an army – let’s say a sniper. Work with me here, and it will make sense.
Give our sniper his rifle of choice, and tell him the target and odds are he will hit it 99% of the time. Give that same sniper a .50 Calibre Browning Machine gun and he’s in trouble. Some players are like that sniper: They can only handle certain kinds of situations. They specialize in playing one style, one type of hand, and these players are one dimensional and vulnerable to those who can play all styles. The best poker players can play any hand, and occasionally sweep the pot with bad cards or fold because it’s the right thing to do.
If you can’t sweep that pot with bad cards, it’s a sign you’ve become that sniper: Unless you get that small range of hands – the sniper rifle – you are not a threat, because you got the machine gun, meaning you are an easy target. If the enemy knows there is a sniper out there, they will take steps to counter. You are a predictable, weak, sitting duck even if you have good cards (AA or KK) because they’ll be waiting with the counter sniper: To fold or come after you out of the big blind with a speculative holding where they can win if they hit and fold if they don’t.
This is why people who only play one game, such as $15/30 hold’em are weak players. They are a consistent known quantity. They are the snipers who stick to what they know best and miss out on everything else, because to them the rest of the game does not exist.
Now imagine that same sniper, who shoots great with his sniper rifle but also knows how to use the aforementioned .50 caliber machine gun. You enemy now has doubts in his head: He doesn’t know what he faces. What he faces is neither a sniper nor soldier but the feared “One Man Army.”
Let’s be clear. I am not suggesting that you should go from playing what you play to playing mediocre cards under the gun, playing different limits or try every other game in the casino. My point is that the sniper is one dimensional. He does only one thing well. The “One-Man-Army” Commando type knows rifles, shotguns; he can snipe when necessary, defuse mines and man that machine gun when needed.
The greats of poker are feared at every session and in every hand because they can play every hand. They have watched, learned and worked to be the threat at every table and in every game they play because they know how to play to win.
Are you the sniper with counter-snipers waiting to take you out or that “One-Man-Army” that everyone fears because you can take on and wing, whatever they throw at you?