Did I ever tell you about the first time I saw legendary proto-grinder Annette (“Annette_15”) Obrestad play online? It was at a big poker festival in the Caribbean – I was walking through a lounge area at the hotel, and there sat Annette, along with a couple dozen other young people. They were parked on couches, floors – wherever they could find a few square feet of real estate – grinding away the “Situs Poker Online”.
I stopped to watch Annette because, well, because she was a legend and I was eager to see her in action. Her massive laptop was covered in online tables, overlapped and stacked in such a way that I couldn’t even tell how many she had open. What I could see, though, was her focus in managing all of them.
My first glimpse of this was when the first time she went all-in. She slammed the slider to the far right, clicked the button, and…
Moved to another table.
“Wait…” I thought – “I want to see what happened at that table.” But the key point was that it didn’t matter. Annette had shoved all of her chips in the middle, and now it was the other guy’s problem. He could fold, and she’d get another hand. He could call, she could win, and she’d get another hand. Of course, one possible outcome was that she busted out of the tournament. She’d go back to the table and see:
The next step was obvious – bring up the tournament lobby, click until she found the one she wanted, register, and get back to work.
I watched, fascinated, for half an hour. Not so much by her tournament tactics – the truth is that I couldn’t really keep up with the action – but by the absolute mono-focus on what needed attention right now.
Have you ever watched a chess “simul” where a grandmaster walks around a circle of tables, playing a dozen or more opponents simultaneously? The expert (I have in my mind chess/poker star Jennifer Shahade) makes her move and then immediately steps along to the next game. The opponent and a new board texture will be waiting when she completes an orbit.
So it was with Annette_15. Make a bet and move. Fold and move. Jam and move. Somewhere there was another tournament that needed her to do something.
And you know… as I was writing this article, I took a break and was perusing a hand history group I belong to. One of our members, I’ll call him Bob, posted a hand where he had pocket aces, raised, and flopped a set. He turned the top full house. It went check, check. Then on a blank river, Bob bet, and the opponent jammed for about half a pot more.
As is our preferred policy, he didn’t say what his final action was, or what the outcome of the hand was.
Another member wrote, “If I read this correctly, you lose to exactly one hand – quads – so you snap call.”
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