Watch the interview below!
Sorry about the audio quality in the last 4-5 minutes. Not sure what caused it, but some parts are impossible to hear. See below for a written transcript of the last five or so minutes.
26:36 (givememyleg): a500lbgorilla asks, “Which one skill or technique do you think you possess over your standard opposition?”
26:51 (Max Steinberg): I mean I would just say I understand strategy better than most people that I play with. And I just think that at any table I’ll be the most strategically sound player there and that can go a long way. Someone can have more of a talent and ability to read someone but if my strategy is superior to theirs there’s really not a lot they can do.
27:30 (givememyleg): You talked about this a little bit earlier but Fielmann asks, “Approximately how often is a physical tell a factor when you make a decision?”
27:38 (Max Steinberg): Sometimes I think it’s too much of a factor for me. It sort of almost overwhelms me like taking so much information and sometimes I sort of get lost in the hand thinking about ranges and I just sort of get infatuated with whether someone is physically doing something that makes me think they’re strong or weak. But it can be really big, I’d say it changes my decision 25-30% of the time when I’m playing.
28:13 (givememyleg): That is a pretty big percentage.
28:16 (Max Steinberg): Well I mean I thought about it a lot and I mean I’ve read books on psychology. I really think it’s incredibly important so I value it a lot. Here’s one live read that I use a lot and I think is a really really good read, especially in a tournament. If you’re in position on a preflop raiser, he cbets and you call and the turn comes some card, it doesn’t matter what, and if he thinks for a while and checks I would say that usually is pretty big weakness. Because I assume that when he’s thinking about it and checking, he’s thinking about bluffing and then deciding not to and checking. A quick check there would mean that he has a plan usually and is trying to get a read or see what I will do.
29:10 (givememyleg): Cool, that’s good advice then. I guess that kind of goes to show that it’s so important to take time, ya know, 5-10 seconds before your actions.
29:20 (Max Steinberg): Yeah, well everyone I tell that to says, “Alright next time I play with you I’m gonna take my time and check on the turn and you’re gonna barrel off.” But yeah, it hasn’t happened, most people just don’t do it. Whereas sometimes you should just take 1 or 2 seconds and check. You don’t need to take 10 seconds on every action, sometimes there isn’t much to think about.
29:49 (givememyleg): Right, yeah. Fielmann also asked, “Who the number one in the world is?”
29:54 (Max Steinberg): That would be Danny, my twin brother.
29:58 (givememyleg): Yeah so you were born second then.
30:00 (Max Steinberg): Yeah I was born second that’s part of the joke.
30:04 (givememyleg): Kingnat wants to know what your drink of choice is at the table.
30:09 (Max Steinberg): You mean alcohol?
30:11 (givememyleg): Yeah I assume that’s what he means.
30:14 (Max Steinberg): Well, I try not to drink at the table when I’m playing, but if I did, a diet vodka, gotta watch those calories.
30:22 (givememyleg): I thought this last one here was kinda interesting, Kingnat asked “What is your best guess at the breakdown of political leanings among professional poker players?” So like, democratic, republican, or liberal or conservative.
30:40 (Max Steinberg): I would say, I mean I don’t know. I know a lot of players who are extremely liberal and some who are conservative. I would say most of the players are conservative or sort of in the Ron Paul conservative wing of conservatism which is extremely right wing and extremely libertarian. So I would say, I don’t know I mean I guess it would be half and half, half are liberal and half are libertarian conservative.
31:16 (givememyleg): Yeah that makes sense. Well, we’re at about 35 minutes now so I guess we can sort of wrap this up. Definitely want to thank Max for taking the time to so the interview with us. This is givememyleg from FlopTurnRiver.com and if you visit Flop Turn River you can talk to the one and only Max Steinberg, whenever he’s on, so…
31:44 (Max Steinberg): Yeah, we might have to change my screen name though, Number one in the world now.
31:49 (givememyleg): Oh so you got the bracelet so you’re number one, is that how it goes?
31:52 (Max Steinberg): Possibly, possibly, we’ll see.
31:55 (givememyleg): Alright cool, I hope you have a good main event, and the rest of the series, and thanks again for joining us.
32:05 (Max Steinberg): No problem, thanks.