Poker Wisdom of Paula Abdul – Tournament Strategy

mcskatkatFollowing up on my post regarding Paula Abdul’s poker wisdom in the song “Rush, Rush” I thought I would present some of her theories on poker tournament strategy which she so eloquently expressed in “Knocked Out.”

Of course, Paula is mostly known for her strong limit cash game skills and most of her work was done in this area, but she is an accomplished NL tournament player who is to be feared.

Knocked Out

I was in love the moment that I saw you
I followed you thru the crowd and I almost lost you
I was dying to tell you but scared of your reaction
But I can’t hold back because I’m rushed
with this thing called passion

Here, Paula discusses the importance of identifying the donkeys at the table. She’ll even go so far as to follow players around trying to pick up little things on them. Here, it’s obvious she’s spotted a big fish headed towards her table. When that big of a fish sits down at the table you want to say something but Paula reminds us that tapping on the glass is -EV.

You’ve got me knocked out turn me inside out
It’s you that makes my heart beat
You’ve got me knocked out
Baby there’s no doubt
You swept me off my feet

Unfortunately for Paula, sometimes fish do suck out and this is exactly what this fish she so eagerly waited for did to her. She’s obviously steaming but she’s been knocked out and needs to leave the table.

I walked your way hoping that
Maybe you noticed
I don’t want to move so fast
I don’t want to blow it
Never did I think love could be so amazing
But the things that you’re making me do
It’s driving me crazy

As she’s leaving the table, she’s obviously beside herself knowing how many chips she could have taken off this donkey. She’s struggling with her conflicting emotions to race off in a huff or leave in a manner that doesn’t let the fish know that she’s on to him which gives her future opportunities to skin him. You’ll notice that in this year’s WSOP, Jennifer Harman picked the opposite approach and got very testy with her personal donkey. While a world class player, Jennifer would have been better suited taking Paula’s advice to just hold it in.

Repeat chorus twice

I want us to be closer, boy I wanna be
Startin’ somethin with you baby
My heart is steady knockin boy you’ve got my body rockin,
caught blow-by-blow, love T.K.O.

Repeat chorus twice and fade

Instead of letting herself get too upset she’s learned to re-frame these disappointements into positives. Much in the way a salesman tells himself that every “No” gets him one step closer to a “Yes,” Paula understands that this is a numbers game and that for every bad beat she takes from a donkey she will win 8 other times. She’s now got a read on this guy and will do anything she can to get him into a cash game or in a hand at a future tournament where she can clean his clock (love T.K.O.).