When the stakes are high, players tend to think twice before venturing their stacks and the crushing pressure of the final table, pushes many into unprofitable deals. Some are unwilling to go out in a blaze of glory and would gladly settle for above average profits, instead of trying to win as much as possible. Johnny Lodden is one of those who frequently plays at big tournaments and his skills help him reach the final stages of these competitions fairly often.
As he mentione in his post at PokerStarsBlog.com reaching the final table presents him with multiple chances to suggest deals or agree to the terms offered by others, but the poker pro is not a big fan of them. He talks on his blog about the reasons for why he’d rather take his chances and politely decline seemingly favourable terms. The cornerstone of his final table philosophy is that a good player will always find ways of pushing around short stackers and those afraid to gamble, hence increase his chances of claiming the top spot.
Another argument against deal-making is that when you play for the first place and your opponents are chasing the title as well, the game is taken to a superior level. The thrills of the final table are unique and Lodden wouldn’t trade them for slightly lower, but certain profits. As poker players go, he is at the top of the food chain but even so he occasionally finds himself competing against equal or even better players.
This doesn’t have a deterring effect on him and even when he realises that the ones he plays against are no pushovers and his chances of winning are not that great, he stays true to his strategy. He fondly recalls the final table of EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo when he locked horns with Andrew Pantling and Steve O’Dwyer, but he refused to give in to temptation. He fought the good fight but finished third, yet he has no regrets for declining a deal and says that he would do the same thing all over again.