In general, there are two types of poker players. Some players enjoy the attention when they win a game, and some prefer to stay out of the limelight. The latter group often consists of players who choose a pseudonym when they place bets and make the most of poker promotions.
But is anonymity a good strategy when you play online poker? How does it affect your game? And what should you do when you meet such a player at the poker tables? Learn the answers to those questions in our Intertops guide!
The Pros and Cons of Playing Poker Anonymously
Keeping your identity a secret when playing poker can either lead to good results or bad ones – it all depends on who you're playing against.
Recreational players can benefit much more from anonymity than poker pros, and it's time to explain why.
There are various apps out there that collect information about every move a player makes. That means that your opponents can look your name up and check out your stats, what moves you tend to make, what type of player you are, etc.
Once a player knows all those details about you, he can easily create a winning strategy to take you down. If you're an inexperienced player, those stats will show your opponent your weaknesses, and that's never a good thing. Therefore, keeping your personal info a secret can help you enjoy the game without worrying about your past influencing your present.
In addition to that, anonymity can give you a confidence boost, thus having a positive impact on the outcome of the game.
But when it comes to poker pros, playing under a pseudonym has the exact opposite effect. With their reputation preceding them, great players rely on it to intimidate players and bluff with ease. If you can let your stats speak for you and help you win the game faster, anonymity can only hinder your efforts.
Tips for Dealing with an Anonymous Player
If you encounter an anonymous player at the table, you won't be able to use his past stats to figure out what kind of player stands in front of you. Building a strategy is not easy when you know nothing about your opponent, but it is not impossible.
Here are a few helpful tips you should use whenever you encounter such a player:
- Don't multi-table – Playing multiple games at once can be done properly only when you're in full control of the situation. But when you encounter anonymous players, there is no knowing what the outcome will be. Therefore, you should focus solely on the tricky opponent, which won't be an option if your attention is divided between multiple tables.
- Play a few quick hands – To better understand your opponent, you should profile him as fast as possible. That means you need to see how he reacts in different scenarios and try to understand what his game strategy is going to be. Is he a tight player? Is he aggressive or passive? Or is he prone to bluffing? Use the first few minutes of your game to figure all those things out.
- Write it down – Since you don't have any built-in tools that can tell you more about the player, write all your observations down. Note what he does when he's in or out of position, how he reacts to your bluffs, etc. Every little detail can help you win future hands.
Anonymous players aren't all that rare, and learning how to deal with them can help you increase your winning rates. Do you think you're up to the challenge?