“When you look to the right, you look into the past. To see your future, look left.” − me
Among my recurring targets as a poker player is to look left as the action gets to me, so that I might get a feel for my opponents’ intentions.
Is he going to fold? Is he going to raise? He looks disinterested, which could mean he is folding, or it could be an act and actually he is raising, but this time it looks legit. I think he is folding. In that case, I will…
Usually, when I look left, I gain nothing. And sometimes I am rewarded with money, when what I see causes me to play better than I would have, had I not looked. I say “play better” because I’m not talking about merely making better betting decisions. It’s also about subtle, important, instant upgrades to my tempo and movements, like the way any athlete reacts. If the situation demands that I raise no matter what I see on my left, then I will raise. But the way I raise might change.
After looking left hundreds of thousands of times, the most important thing I’ve learned is that even after all these years and all this effort, I still don’t look left often enough. And if I’m right in my belief that all poker players can play better by looking left more often, then that means I have some work to do on my game that I know will make me money. I like that.
I know I’m on solid ground with all this looking left business. I know so because of what I saw in England, where they’ve had legal poker rooms dating back to the 20th century. Yes, there is a whole generation of knowledgeable poker Brits over there, and apparently some of them work for the Department of Transport, in the signage division. For if you walk the streets of London, and you actually look at the streets of London, you’ll see this everywhere: