C8C #16 – Be A Good Salesperson

Hello there. Welcome to the Cre8ive Coaching Newsletter. Here is your weekly serving of poker related knowledge regarding on or off the table topics.

Have you ever bought a car? Relive your experience in this edition, and see how car buying and poker go hand in hand.

Tristan Wade’s Topic Today:

You walk through the automatic doors of a car dealership. Inside are luxury vehicles with different styles, options, and prices. It is a spacious setting that allows for the full visual of what you might purchase. There’s information to collect and opinions to be had. A person walks up to greet you, asking what you’re interested in, hoping that you will buy one of their expensive items. Welcome to the showroom. This scene is very similar to the “showdown” in a poker hand.

At the completion of a hand, we enter the showdown. This is where the contents of everyone’s cards are finally revealed. We have all been acting as a salesperson up until this point. It is time to see who is selling what.

If you hold a hand that is likely to win at showdown, then you want to try your best to actually get to the showdown! You can do this two ways:

1) Controlling the size of the pot.
Checking in spots with weak to medium strength hands.
Value betting marginal holdings on the river when confident they are good and won’t face aggression.

2) Building the size of the pot.
Betting along the way with very strong holdings (top of range) or hands with equity that can improve by the river.
Betting hands that can get value from your opponent often or always.


If you hold a hand that is unlikely to win at showdown, then you probably want to avoid the showdown. You also have two options:

1) Give up.

2) Bluff. This is most successful by telling a convincing story leading up to the showdown. One or two street bluffs don’t apply as much pressure as triple barrel bluffs, but can still be effective with proper strategy and bet sizing.

There happens to be a third option that blends the two spectrums. It is used rarely, but can be the right move for special occasions… turning a hand that has value into a bluff. This play should only be tried if you feel your hand doesn’t have enough value to call, or considering other factors, like a third player involved. The story of what you could possibly hold needs to be convincing. Blockers play a big role in some of these decisions on when to raise a river bet as well.

If you’re a good salesperson with a worthy product, you’ll find yourself at showdown often and happy about it. If you’re a good salesperson with a shitty product, you’ll find yourself winning before the showdown!

If you’re a bad salesperson with a bad product, you won’t win. If you’re a bad salesperson with a good product, you won’t win as much!

The point is… be a good salesperson! Plus, poker is a whole lot easier when you have the quality goods to back the betting.

“Timid salespeople have skinny kids.” – Zig Zigler