[Solo Q Secrets #005] P-P-P-P-P-Pokerface.

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ryzeonline

Senior Member

11-14-2012

NOTE 1: I don't have ELO to back me up. My rank sucks, but I still have wisdom to share, and I do play with many high-ELO friends. I've written a book about League, and I run my own business as a life-coach.

I share what I've learned here aimed to help others. I offer people Fresh, Creative Ideas they may not have heard. I offer a chance to EXPERIMENT and potentially IMPROVE your game EXPERIENCE.

I know you can appreciate the time it took to write, and I trust you'll be gentle and kind.

But, hey... if you gotta hate, or take sides, or pick fights -- best of luck to ya, I'm sure it'll
take you far in life

NOTE 2: Like my other Solo Q “Secrets”, these are just my own experiences, and conclusions I’ve discovered. I’m a human being, I’m sharing things I feel will help others. They are SUGGESTED EXPERIMENTS.


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[Solo Q Secrets #005] P-P-P-P-P-Pokerface.


The Story:

Quote:
I’m playing my heart out, and doing pretty well.

Yes, it’s 24-10 kills for the enemy team, yes I don’t have a KDA that I’m proud of, and yes things don’t look great.

In many cases like this, I’d admit that League is a snowball game and *rarely* turns around, I’d admit our team does not have the heart, morale, or co-operation necessary to win, and I’d admit that a win on our part would require a huge throwaway mistake from the enemy, and it’s disrespectful to think they’ll do so. (See [Solo Q Secrets #001] Surrendering Wins Games)

But not this time.

It doesn’t feel right. We’re on the edge. It’s very close. People are still playing well, morale is decent and friendly, and it’s very possible we could get 10 kills or more in the next few team fights.

So we play it out.

I ward like a boss and support like a star. I’m really proud of my play…

…but, after quite a long battle, we still end up losing.

And that’s fine--.

And then we get into post-game chat…

“We lost ‘cause of our top lane.”

“We coulda won if I wasn’t lagging so hard.”

“The game was decided at pre-game, n00b team.”

I’m wishing people “gg wp” and respecting and honoring my team and opponents, when my whole team starts blaming a bunch of different things for the loss.

I sigh.
Maybe you’ve been there.

Anyway, this blaming lag and blaming a single team-mate for a game that was filled with errors from everyone, got me thinking.

It got me thinking about blame, personal responsibility, and poker.

How come?

Well, I enjoy poker players because they embrace luck.
  • They realize that they can and will be dealt s*** hands and have s*** streaks sometimes, and they embrace it.
  • The best poker players use every resource they have to turn a s*** hand into a winner.
  • The best poker players fold, lose, and give up gracefully, simply stating : “sometimes you just don’t have the cards.”
  • They take responsibility for their game and their play, and they acknowledge that they almost always could’ve done something better, so they had responsibility for the loss.
  • They don’t whine and blame and act like victims to life.

I’m not sure about you, but in my experience, most league-players don’t get this, and I’ve been experimenting with it.

And it’s funny, because most players at my ELO have absolutely no poker face.

What do I mean by “poker face?”

Well, a “good poker face”, is where the enemy you’re playing against has no idea what you’re about to do, because you don’t broadcast your intentions.

When you look weak, you might be strong, and you bluff extra strength when you’re actually weak.

Example One:

You’re mid lane as Orianna, and your jungler’s on his way to your lane bushes.

You’ve been playing passive so far, because the enemy Katarina can shunpo in, burst you and leave before you can do anything.

Before my jungler even arrives, I get cocky and start over-extending, being aggressive, and harassing Kat.

This is very different than my passive playstyle for the first 5 levels, and Kat notices, gets spooked, and plays it safe by her tower.

My jungler ends up wasting his time, gets no XP, no ganks, no GP, and I’ve just wasted a bunch of mana with little effect.

What happened?

I broadcast my intentions. I had no poker face. Kat was easily able to detect the incoming gank.

Example Two:

It’s getting towards late game, death-timers are high, and things are tense. Most of my team is scattered and on low-HP after a recent engagement.

The game is close and I think I have a great idea to get baron, ‘cause the enemy seems to be ignoring it, so I immediately jump on my idea, without thinking it through, and ping baron like crazy.

Everyone on my team starts coming, except one very intelligent player who knows that going for baron with no wards is foolish, going for baron when the enemy is MIA is foolish, and going for baron when we don’t have decent HP is foolish.

Since 4 members of my team are following my ping, the fifth guy looks crazy and stupid.

People rage at him, but he refuses to join the upcoming feed-fest.

Why?

Because here’s what the enemy sees:

“Guys, guys! They’re all MIA. It’s late game, they’re baroning.”

5 seconds later, four of you pop up on their mini map because THEY PINK WARDED baron.

They know you’re a man down, they know you have know health, and they use all of their mobility and gap closers to reach you quickly.

What happens next?

We manage to get baron, I cheer!

And a second later my 4 baron-buffed players get owned in the river, hard, by a 5-man, full-HP, full-MP gank.

It was the biggest waste of baron ever, and all 4 of us blame the smart guy who knew that was going to happen and refused to show up.

Why did this happen?

I broadcast your intentions. I had no poker face. The enemy was easily able to detect our baron attempt, and capitalize on it.

"No he can't read my poker face"

I want my poker face to be so solid that rarely can anyone read it.

I want to be lethal in game because I know when to bluff, and how.

But guess what… no one teaches you these things.

Oh sure, there *might* be a post somewhere in the giant forum archives that talks about it, or an interview with a pro-player that briefly mentions is – but we could probably write a book about bluffing.

(Sun Tzu already did, I guess )

The point is, I’d like to do what I can to draw some attention to this important aspect.

Who would you rather player with, someone who basically shouts to the enemy “we’re ganking now!” or a teammate who easily tricks the enemy into walking into your 3-man bush?

For me it’s the latter.

So here’s the experiment:
  • First, admit that it's possible to have a good poker-face.
  • Then aim to have a better one.

And here’s a few of the ways I’m going about it:
  1. When my jungler shows up, I wait patiently, bait the enemy, acting weak, allowing a free hit or two, and pulling the lane. I let my jungler make the first move.
  2. When I leave my lane I don’t just run headlong down the river, the most obvious thing in the world, I retreat behind my tower and take the long way, showing up somewhere unexpected.
  3. When I setup baron, everything’s warded nice, and if I can I try and let 4 people do it while someone else has a “lane presence” on the map.
  4. If the team comp looks like we’ll choose our Ezreal and Sona bottom, I’ll see if we can switch it up, and swap with the top-laner, throwing the enemy off.
  5. I’ll build gp+ items to start, so as not to reveal the true build I’m aiming for too early.

All these things and more are ways of being deceptive, or at least far less obvious with your moves.

They’re all ways of having a good poker face in game, and there’s plenty more. I’d love if you contribute any of your own!

Quote:
"Take your bank before I pay you out
I promise this, promise this
Check this hand cause I'm marvelous" - Lady Gaga, Pokerface
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TL;DR?

There are important psychological levels of gameplay in LoL, and they’re debatably more important than the mechanical skill and micro and KDA.

One of the key factors in gaining a massive psychological advantage is bluffing, misdirection, and having a good “poker-face”.

Go out and experiment with deeper, subtler, more effective bluffs, start winning your team games by taking advantage of everyone’s predictable mindset.

Rock your poker-face.

Thanks so much for reading, and I’d love to hear results if you try it!

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Like this? Read more of the series:

[Solo Q Secrets #001] Surrendering Wins Games
[Solo Q Secrets #002] Boring S*** Gets You Kills
[Solo Q Secrets #003] The Skills Of Strangers (Or... Not)
[Solo Q Secrets #004] ELOs Like Money - Use It Wisely
[Solo Q Secrets #005] P-P-P-P-P-Pokerface.
[Solo Q Secrets #006] Breathe In (The Soul-Crushing Defeat)
[Solo Q Secrets #007] Clash Of The Titans … Personalities
[Solo Q Secrets #008] Kills, Kills, Kills… Using Smart Aggression Secrets
[Solo Q Secrets #009] Make Sense Of The Chaos


Think this series should be seen by more people?

Reply and BUMP IT or...

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Thanks so much, guys!

Keep ryzin'!


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Sileñce

Junior Member

11-15-2012

Read all of your Solo Q Secrets series, and i have to say they are very informative and helpful, keep up the good work :P


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JadothBloodreign

Senior Member

11-15-2012

I'm not exactly sure if this contributes to having a "poker face" (it implies showing little emotion, what I do is quite the opposite) but I like to be chatty and sociable in /all when I can. Usually at the very start of the game. Anyway, I'll just start up some idle chatter, crack bad jokes, and poke fun at myself.

I don't know if this actually works, but I think doing this can either:

A) Makes the other players underestimate me and assume that I'm some derpy nooblet who doesn't take the game seriously (which is pretty much true for me)

or B) Lightens the mood of the game by starting some back-and-forth banter.

Doing this sort of helps me, I think. I'm not very good at the game but I know my way around the controls. And if the mood is light enough for me to not be in a constant state of terror, I might be able to pull something off that could possibly help my group, especially if everyone else is assuming that I'll be feeding the other team the entire match.


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ryzeonline

Senior Member

11-16-2012

@Sileñce Thank you so much, man. I really appreciate the support

@Jadoth I love it! What a great experiment! Sounds like it works for you -- I do something similar, I aim to be positive, friendly, and most of 'real'.

I love what you're saying about a light mood making everyone play better.

It's probably the greatest "tactic" you can use, but very few do it


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Bobby McFrayson

Senior Member

11-18-2012

bump for great post


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ryzeonline

Senior Member

11-21-2012

Ahhh, thanks so much Bobby, you're a good man. Let's get this in front of more peeps


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thenamesed

Junior Member

11-21-2012

I bump for this was a very good read. I had poker face without even knowing... is there a word for that?

I never played poker but you sure taught me a few things. I learned something from this and have something in me I'm sure others did as well.

I also noticed after reading this that a lot of other players also have poker faces (enemy). I play Cho'Gath a lot. And I land most of my skill shots, in some cases I don't though. Just how you explained about letting the enemy hit you etc. I've had many cases where the enemy would let me hit them till they were to a certain hp that I thought they'd run away. I'd land my skill shot where I'd assume they'd run instead of that I missed because they didn't run instead went right into my face. This happen to me vs an oriana and damn did she rape my ass with her combos...


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ryzeonline

Senior Member

11-23-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenamesed View Post
I bump for this was a very good read. I had poker face without even knowing... is there a word for that?
Yes! Awesome thenamesed -- I call that "Natural Poker Face"



Quote:
I never played poker but you sure taught me a few things. I learned something from this and have something in me I'm sure others did as well.
I am sooooo glad to hear this man. I wrote it to share my experiences, and hopefully give someone something new to try. Learning stuff from it is great!

I also noticed after reading this that a lot of other players also have poker faces (enemy). I play Cho'Gath a lot. And I land most of my skill shots, in some cases I don't though. Just how you explained about letting the enemy hit you etc. I've had many cases where the enemy would let me hit them till they were to a certain hp that I thought they'd run away. I'd land my skill shot where I'd assume they'd run instead of that I missed because they didn't run instead went right into my face. This happen to me vs an oriana and damn did she rape my ass with her combos...[/QUOTE]

That is a perfect story, a perfect example of what I'm talking about.

I do it myself with Malphite a lot, I allow them to hit me, chase me, commit to the fight as I lead them towards my team, then I suddenly turn and Ult for big damage and stun, and my team finishes them off.

It's great. And there's sooo many ways to use it.

Thanks so much for the comment, spread the word, this is valuable stuff for people to read, and it's here, free!


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Qsario

Senior Member

11-24-2012

Heh, I was derping around with Janna when our Teemo had made a "Berlin wall" of shrooms. I think the enemy team ragequit after that.

They eventually tried to buy a few pink wards to clear it out, but I had Oracle's, so it didn't go so well for them. They never made it past our defensive Teemo line and we were doing the stupidest stuff, like farming behind their towers or even inside their base. I had flash, Shureliya, etc. and kited one poor guy to his death after an epic chase going back inside our own base, when I flashed over their base wall, had him follow with flash, then ran through their entire jungle.

Baiting them away from defending the nexus is pretty hilarious when they have no towers or inhibitors left.


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ryzeonline

Senior Member

11-24-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qsario View Post
Heh, I was derping around with Janna when our Teemo had made a "Berlin wall" of shrooms. I think the enemy team ragequit after that.

They eventually tried to buy a few pink wards to clear it out, but I had Oracle's, so it didn't go so well for them. They never made it past our defensive Teemo line and we were doing the stupidest stuff, like farming behind their towers or even inside their base. I had flash, Shureliya, etc. and kited one poor guy to his death after an epic chase going back inside our own base, when I flashed over their base wall, had him follow with flash, then ran through their entire jungle.

Baiting them away from defending the nexus is pretty hilarious when they have no towers or inhibitors left.
Ahaahahahha... so good, Qsario, and a great example of what I'm talking about.

People spend so much time debating strats, builds, and champ select, when really, almost anything can work if you can poker-face well and f@!# with your enemies heads.

Great job, Q, and thanks so much for bumpin'!


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