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Oldstuffman's Poker Blog

/Nov/2010

Successful Poker Playing

By: oldstuffman @ 20:52 (EST) / 120 / Comment ( 3 )
Winning.  You have to want to win.   And one of the first steps to winning for a beginning online poker player is to stop believing the deck is stacked against you or rigged.   For a variety of reasons of which I won't go into here, I can plainly say, it is not stacked against you.  No matter how many times it appears to be stacked by an unreal suckout or getting beat by a one or two outer, it is important to remember, that this kind of thing happens to everyone.  Not just you.  It is also an opportunity to examine your game. 

I found that the more these types of things happened I would (once I decided that steaming wasn't the answer)  that looking at these situations would reveal some information. i.e. I was in the lead with a speculative hand after the flop and for some reason I got my all in or very large raise called, Sometimes it was by a better poker player playing the odds or a flat out donkey, and I lost to the flop, turn and/or the river.   For whatever reason, my bet could not put the other player off of thier hands, So, I was at the mercy of whatever cards were left to be played.  Or maybe I was in the lead with the nuts only to get beat by bigger nuts on the river.  It happens.  And the more you play the more it happens.  And the reason it happens isn't because it's stacked, or some other nefarious reason.  It happens because it happens.  The odds say it is going to happen. So expect it to happen.

Once you start expecting it to happen, it's a lot easier to look at possible causes or leaks in your game that put you in a position to let it happen to you.  Are you playing too many speculative hands?  Are your bet sizes correct?  Are you just gambling that the other player won't hit his card?   Could you have played your hand better or maybe not raised all in just there?  Would you have gotten the same result with a right sized raise instead of going all in and putting your whole stack at risk?  Are  you overvaluing your hands?  What is your position at the table when it is happening? And a host of other questions you probably need to be asking yourself in order to make sure you put yourself in the best possible position of making the winning hand before putting your whole stack on the line. 

Give yourself a chance to recover from a bad beat.   Don't go all in if your opponent has you covered unless you REALLY like your hand or you're just short stacked and you have to go.  Go all in if you like your hand and if you have the other guy covered,  Just expect in each and every situation that you can be beat by weird flop, turn, or river.    Just use each situation to improve your game.  Also remember that you have also sucked out on others with the worst hand.   Try to remember those situations as deeply as you remember getting beat.  You will see that it is not that uncommon.


I'm not a great player but I do often find myself in the running near the late stage of tournements or sit and go's and actually winning a few of them or at the very least placing in or near the money.  It's happening more now that I've stopped and asked myself some of these questions before I just go ahead and push all in like I used to. 


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