5-31-04I know the WSOP is over, but if you're getting ready for next year, here are my tips for taking out the top pros -
1. They're better than you. That means if you can get all your chips in against a top pro with a 50/50 shot, that's not a bad thing. At the same time, they think they're much better than you, so they will be loathe to risk their chips in a 50/50 shot - they will want to save them for a better opportunity. Put these two together, and it means you should raise them all-in whenever you're pretty sure you're in a race. eg. if you have a low PP and you're pretty sure they're on AK or AQ, or if you have AK yourself. If you were playing against worse players, you would often fold these situations, just as they will often fold when you put all your chips in.
2. Let them push you around. One of the few mistakes that pros will make is that they will underestimate you. They are a bunch of egotistical pricks, and they will try to push you around. Let them think that you are a fish who can be easily pushed around (but don't lose too many chips doing that). You will make your most money by slow-playing, letting the very aggressive pros bet at you, and calling them down with the winning hand. They'll whine and say "how can you call with A-junk, you have no kicker, I could've had blah blah", you just smile and know you played their arrogance like a fiddle.
3. You know them, they don't know you. You've seen them on TV, you've read their blogs, they don't know anything about you. That scared them a little bit. Use your knowledge of them (Daniel and Gus like to play junk, Dan Harrington is very tight, etc.), and also try to stay unknown. Keep your play a little erratic so they can't pick up an easy pattern on you. Some pros don't like to get involved in pots with the "fish" unless they have very big hands, because they don't like playing against unknown factors. This is very good for you, it takes away all their advantages. Steal their blinds, and when they do play back, just get out.