I read long ago about one case, but I'm not sure if it was true. I can certainly imagine that kind of feat, by exploiting the fact that it is not so important what cards you have, as it is what others think you have. Anyone know some documented cases of that kind of winners? (The most interesting would be detailed information about their games :) ).

3 Answers 3


Annette Obrestad did this a few years ago. A quick google search finds an article where she discusses her win and a youtube video of the tournament she played:



  • 1
    +1 This example is probably best. When I clicked this question I actually hoped that no one mentioned it, so that I can :P . Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 18:23
  • 3
    The question says "someone who wasn't looking at HIS own cards", not "her" own cards.
    – Kenshin
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 11:15

Colin Moshmann in his book shows how to think about your opponents and show you examples how to read your opponents even with your cards hidden in Heads Up.

I think pros can outplay low stakes player pool even with their cards hidden, but this only refers to Heads Up play. You focus on 1 villain and therefore, you have much more reads. Also playing vs 1 opponent means, that you have to face only one player to fight for pot and that player will generally miss the flop.(Player miss the flop and have complete air around 40% times.)

When playing on full-ring table with 3-4 players on flop, generally someone of them has combination which is unfoldable(at least for him)

I strongly disagree with statement : " it is not so important what cards you have, as it is what others think you have" Generally, your cards have HUGE impact on your decision process. You certainly cant outplay competent opponents with your cards hidden. Also, most poker noobs do mistakes by calling too much, not folding too much vs agression. They also dont think about your cards, they just play their cards and have fun. Winning strategy for early blind lvls is to only play your premiums, but you can´t select them with your cards hidden.

Short answer : You can´t be profitable on tourney with normal(>30bb) starting stacksizes and your cards hidden.

  • I'd be willing to bet against your last statement. Also, although it's intuitively not best to consider your hole cards as "not so important", as OP states, I believe what the villain thinks about Hero's cards is more significant than what Hero actually has, for value or bluff situations.
    – Toby Booth
    Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 0:07
  • I disagree, most of your money when playing against fish comes from valuebetting, which you cant do if you dont know strength of your hand. Commented Oct 25, 2012 at 13:30

One of the first videos I recorded at Grinderschool.com was a video in which I played through an SNG with Post-It notes covering my cards as I explained my decisions. It has been several years, and I can't remember if I won or ended up with a second-place finish, but I do remember learning afterward that I had folded the stone cold nuts to an all-in heads-up.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.