Johnny Chan Believes You Should Always Look at Every Opportunity
In one of the columns that Johnny Chan wrote for Trader Daily Magazine, he talks about the effect that a winning streak can have on a person’s judgment. The fact that you are winning, and satisfied with your position, might be the reason that you miss out on even better and bigger opportunities.
Johnny Chan says that in his career as a professional poker player, he has seen many players finish with the game earlier than they should.
Johnny Chan is not just referring to a poker player physically leaving the table, but also to a player who stops taking chances, because he is a certain amount ahead. Johnny Chan believes that to be successful in anything you do, you need to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. Playing it safe isn’t always the best choice in all situations. He feels that players who don’t do this are not only cutting their chances to win bigger, but also allowing themselves to become easily bluffed marks.
In his column, The Card Shark, Johnny Chan tells us about one of his many first-hand experiences with players who mentally quit playing the game too early because they are winning. He goes on to explain that he wins a lot of money by knowing when another player has reached that point. He finds this is especially true when he is playing no limit games.
Johnny Chan, in an article titled “Stay Hungry” recounted this personal experience, which is paraphrased here. Chan was playing in a No Limit poker game and was doing pretty well. At the time he was ahead about $50,000, and one of his opponents was up more than $100,000. Johnny Chan knew that the to the other player that would be a very good win. A hand was dealt and the player that was ahead by more than $100,000 was in fourth position and raised. Chan figured that the other player had been dealt an ace - king or a high pair. Having a six and seven of hearts, Johnny Chan called hoping to make to pair or trips. If that didn’t happen, Johnny Chan was prepared to bluff at the pot.
None of the other players called and it was time for the flop. The flop produced an ace of hearts, five of diamonds and the nine of clubs, Johnny Chan knew it was time to bluff. Without hesitation, the other player bet $6,000. Johnny Chan knew that if the other player had a pair of aces he would lose. For effect, Chan hesitated for a moment and raised the pot by $20,000.
By making that bet Johnny Chan sent a signal to the other player. That signal told the other player that if he wanted to play further in this hand it was probably going to take all of his chips. The $20,000 raise also told the other player that Johnny Chan either had a very good hand or he was bluffing. The other player looked at Johnny Chan, for about 30 seconds, looked at his cards one more time, and tossed his cards into the muck. The other player wasn’t willing to risk his profit by going further. Johnny Chan had successfully bluffed because of the other players mind set. Instead of risking the $20,000 to go one step further, he quit early. He was satisfied with his winnings and most likely would have won that pot if he had played the hand.
Johnny Chan believes in always looking for the best opportunity in everything you do.