If you have ever spent a lot of time at a live poker table you will quickly realize that a lot of players like to gossip. And one of the most common things that is gossiped about is the financial situation of other people. Who is backing who, who’s running good, bad, about to go broke, etc. etc. Just like some other intangibles in the live poker world we can actually use some of this information to our advantage.
If you are playing professionally or at least as a serious recreational player for profit you will learn that even for some of the best players their monetary situation will dictate the way that they may play hands in certain situations. The sheer fact of the matter is if someone has a larger bankroll he may be more willing to leverage bluffs or make hero calls. This might not be the case for everyone but when someone is certainty short on their bankroll they tend to shy away from high variance situations. I mean, put yourself in the spot of a poker professional whose sole income comes from playing cards. This player has had a bad run over the last few months and has seen his bankroll diminish down and he barley has any living expenses saved up. Do you think that this player is going to wither under the pressure when facing a lot of heat? Most guys would especially if they have no means of borrowing money or cannot secure financial backing for the future. It may seem a little brutal but we should use this information to our advantage.
You really need to look for any edge that can help you to maximize your advantage in poker (within the rules). If you know of someone that is low on cash you can represent a lot of things that come out on the board as your “short” opponents are actually playing quite a bit of scared money. One of my favorite things to do against these types of players is to get to their left, call them with a wide range preflop and on the flop and literally raise almost any turn. I’ve seen this move successfully made at $10-$20 and $5-$10. The higher the stakes the better and the more desperate your opponent is the more that it may work. One of the other very useful bluffs I see work is representing front door flush draws. You will almost never see a guy, even if he was a calling station in the past, check call a large bet on the river from up front when his bankroll is short.
You will also see these players start to tighten up in their games and they are very easy to play when they are out of position especially when you are attacking their blinds. The less hands that they get involved with the greater the chance that their bleeding will stop they think. The next time you see a guy who has been on a consistent bad run play close attention to the way he changes his play and find a way to exploit his new found weakness.