World Series of Poker Europe

From the Big Screen to the Final Table: Breakfast Club

From the Big Screen to the Final Table: Breakfast Club 0001

Modern cinema is a great tool for teaching poker because it crosses cultural barriers in a way that few teaching elements can. All one needs to do is listen to the advice that can be found in the lines of a variety of films and then remember their relationship to playing poker. Now, this doesn’t mean you can repeatedly use a line from "Goodfellas" in conversation while playing, but it does mean you should keep in mind the concepts that go with the line.

The John Hughes flick "Breakfast Club" is considered a classic coming-of-age story that became one of the 1980's biggest hits thanks to its hilarious take on teenage life. Although there are a number of hilarious nuggets of wisdom in the film, none top this quick line from the movie's leading bad boy, Bender, played brilliantly by Judd Nelson.

"Being bad feels pretty good, huh?"

Sometimes you have to take risks to get paid.

Poker is not a sport for the meek. You have to be able to risk your stack on a coin flip and you have to be able to wager your tournament life without remorse. This doesn't mean that you want to make a habit of making bad plays, but it does mean you have to be able to take calculated risks if you want to see the finish line. In essence, it is impossible to win a tournament without putting your stack at risk, so learn how to do it and feel confident in your actions before you throw away hard-earned cash at the tables.

Some people may think your play is poor if you hit crazy hands early on, but that works to your advantage over the long run if you mix it up with solid tactics.

It is all right to occasionally play hands that might make others' jaws drop just as long as you don't do it too much. Letting people know you have a little gamble in you early on is a good thing because it makes it harder to put you on a hand. Again, this doesn't mean you do this all of the time because stronger players will pick up on your act and eventually nail you to the wall. If you pick your spots, using this kind of tactic can generate a big pot if you manage to crack a big hand, and it will help establish your image as a maniac player. Don't worry if players tilt and they start abusing you. This means your move has worked, and you can shift gears to less-risky play.

Being bad is being good.

There are times at the poker table when you need to show your dominance because it is crucial to take chips whenever opportunities occur. In other words, this is one of the few times in life when being a bully is a good thing. Use your stacks like Donkey Kong uses his barrels to stop Mario. Throw chip bombs that will intimidate your opponents and you will find, more often than not, that players will stay away from you. The toughest player to stop is an aggressive player with a big stack, so wield yours well.

For more game improvement tips check out our strategy section, and be sure to follow us on Twitter too.

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