I just had one of those moments where I had a choice to make and based my decision on a realization that had NEVER occurred to me before. In a sense, I had an "Aha!" moment, and I think I sorta owe it to Tommy Angelo. I'm listening to his video series on DC (8 Fold Path to Poker Enlightenment), and specifically yesterday I listened to the reciprocality episode. Here's what went down, and the concepts I used to make my decision.
So I'm in the 1 hole in a so-so 20/40 game. There are two notably bad players, positioned in seats 2 and 5. Obviously I am looking to change seats ASAP, as my seat is poor from both EV and comfort points of view. Seat 4 opens, and I instinctively reach for a chip to lock it up; the inbound player is also a fish, and getting position on him and the guy in 2 would be awesome. But A second later, and it really only took that long, I stand pat. Here's why.
Conventional wisdom, at least to me, is that seat selection should be solved greedily. If the open seat is better than yours, upgrade now. There seems to be no point in not changing seats because a better one might come along. What I realized today is that the above is not entirely true. Tommy's concept of reciprocality basically says that you should view all your decisions in light of what your opponents would have done. If you make a decision differently, be it betting, quitting, showing a hand, whatever, only then do you truly make money. You don't "win" just by dragging a pot with aces. If the guy who paid you off would have won just as much from you, had the situation been reversed, the hand is a tie.
Hmmmm....so what does that mean? I make money when I make decisions differently than my opponents would. And, in theory, I am good at doing so. Seat selection falls under this set of assumptions. All that's the easy part. What I realized is that if I "play good" in a certain aspect of the game, I want to raise the stakes. By not taking the open seat I would be allowing the creation of a sort of "uber Jesus" seat, putting the trio of fish in seats 2-5. I was in a must move game, so seats would come available; and most likely it would be me, not some other player, who would grab the 6 or 7 when it came open. In short I could create an extremely high variance situation, intentionally, and rely on my skills to capitalize on it.
The high level lesson, the "aha" moment, was simple. If you are an expert at solving a very specific aspect of a game, strive to create high variance (difficult) situations regarding that aspect of the game, then crush your opponents at it. I was in seat 6 fifteen minutes later (results oriented maybe) and proceeded to start typing this post.