Do you feel lucky, punk?

by ~ June 8th, 2009. Filed under: Fold equity, aggression and bluffing, Poker aggression.


Ah, Clint Eastwood. Tough guy. Man’s man. “Dirty Harry”. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”. In the spaghetti western, poker is as much a part of the lore as the Clint Eastwood stereotype character shows up as a part of poker. Just as Bogart in Casablanca never actually says “Play it again Sam”, the actual line from “Dirty Harry” is: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?“, but the line as I used in the title fits most situations better.

In poker maybe we are holding a gun, like shoving over a raise. Someone at the table raises, challenging us and/or the rest of the table, and we put then all-in. We might be asking, “Do you feel lucky, punk?

For me, my style of play, this is not common. My style is to 3 bet AK, looking to take the pot down preflop, re-evaluating if 4 bet or if called. If it’s a tournament and I’m short I’ll shove over raises but I’m not asking; “Do you feel lucky, punk?“, I’m thinking about chips, survival, fold equity, hand ranges. But I’m not everyplayer. I really get the impression that some people are saying this, “Do you feel lucky, punk?“, in their own mind, or to the computer monitor as they make their play.

It’s funny to imagine short stackers at the cash tables thinking this, but they very may well be. Good short stackers play tend toward rather extreme tight/aggressive and mostly they’re prepared to get all in when they raise. But it’s amusing to imagine them thinking, “Do you feel lucky, punk?” with their stack size. Kinda like an eight year old with a water balloon.

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