With poker being highly competitive and players seeking to find ways to expand their edge, angle shooting can sometimes surface during a live game. However, these tactics do nothing to improve the reputation of the game, or the players involved. There is little tolerance in the modern poker world for shady techniques used to gain an edge.
Angle shooting is classified as anything which is not clearly outside the rules in a way where punishment could be enforced but does take unfair advantage of an opponent by underhanded means.
There is a blurred line between angle shooting and cheating, and many consider them to be the same thing. Angle shooters use grey legal areas in the rules of the game to do things which are unethical, immoral and against the spirit of the game.
Here are three televised examples of what you should not be doing.
Quan Zhou’s bluff-fold from EPT Barcelona 2019
In this hand we see why there is a rule in place in poker with regards to forward motion. If you clearly push your chips forward, it’s a bet/raise. If you clearly push your cards forward, it’s a fold. The reason we have rules like this is because it prevents players from making fake motions to get a reaction from their opponent. If we don’t have a definitive rule on this then we can end up with players, throwing their cards in the muck then attempting to retrieve them or pushing chips into the pot then pulling them back once they see they are behind. This hand was discussed extensively on social media and the consensus is that Zhou was angle-shooting.
In this instance, there is a clear forward motion and Zhou is watching his opponent as he does it, which is why this looks so much like an angle-shoot. Watch the video and see for yourself.
Sam Soverel and the “accidental” fold out of turn – WSOP 2019
The pay jumps are critical in this hand, as without them, there is far less motive for anyone to do this intentionally unless the tournament is on the bubble. Here we see a player who has opened and faces a shove. The next player is tanking, and with some huge pay jumps to consider, the initial raiser clearly has a motive for wanting to see one of the other players crippled or busted. Soverel folds his hand, making it an easier call for the player who is already thinking about a call anyway. There was plenty of discussion about the hand afterwards, with Ike Haxton feeling that Soverel should be disqualified for what he thought was a clear angle-shoot. Check out the video above and see if you agree.
Armenian Mike tries to walk back his all-in bet
In this example, a player makes an attempt to change his action based on the fact that he got called. The rules are, if you push a bet into the middle and get called, saying that you were making the bet as joke will not allow you to have your money back.
Did Alec Torelli ANGLESHOOT An Amateur On Television?
This next example shows that you should always make sure that your bigger value chips are not tucked away behind your smaller ones. This is a mistake a beginner could unknowingly make, but when an experienced player does this, it sets alarm bells ringing.
Ivan Freitez – biggest angle shooter on the EPT circuit?
In our third example, a player attempts to use the excuse of language difficulties to mislead his opponent into thinking he raised by accident. Of course, every player knows that if you verbally announce a raise you have to make a raise, so in this instance, the raiser is attempting to trick his opponent into thinking it was accidental.
Article by Craig Bradshaw
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