Those who make a steady income at the poker table are less enthusiastic about the game, but this is not necessarily a bad thing because they look at poker with a critical eye. Instead of basing their actions on impulse and gut feelings, professional poker players take information from the way their opponents act at the poker table. Some use advanced tracking software that tells them about how likely it is for an opponent to bet, raise or fold on each street. This feed of information and the fact that they have played hundreds of thousands of hands in the past gives them a sense of confidence when playing poker.
While beginners are vulnerable to mood swings and are prone to lose a lot of money in just a couple of hands, veterans are exposed to a different kind of threat. By gradually expanding their comfort zone, some get to feel so relaxed when playing poker, that they end up committing mistakes due to negligence. Whether they assume that they have a perfect read on their opponents, or count too much on what the tracking software suggest them to do, they allow their game to enter autopilot.
Playing at several tables at once only amplifies the risk, and when automation kicks in and the player doesn’t get back on track soon enough, it can turn into a game breaker. Each poker table is different, and although players have some patterns that they follow, the information provided by the poker software is not to be trusted blindly. The game is not exact science and when you stop adjusting to the kind of game that is played at your poker table, you start bleeding chips for no apparent reason.
Very few teachers would continue to practice if they wouldn’t be paid for their work, and even fewer would do it if they were asked to pay a fee for the privilege. Knowing this, why would you go out of your way to teach your opponents at the poker table how to play their hands? Some mistakes are so obvious that anyone who is even remotely knowledgeable about poker will notice them, but this doesn’t mean that you need to highlight them. Whether you were involved in the hand or not, it’s a serious error in judgment to preach at the poker table and explain winners or losers how wrong they were to play the way they did.
There are bad things that happen as soon as you start typing in the chat window, and eventually both of them will come back to bite you. What happens, is that you lose focus of the game itself when you start talking with opponents, even if it might appear that you have all the time in the world. Especially those who play at several tables at once, need to be fully focused on each of them, not waste their energy explaining stuff to other players. It is much easier to make mistakes when your mind is elsewhere, so don’t divert your attention to a cause that is not worth it.
The second downside is that by lecturing at the poker table you risk teaching your opponents how to play better against you. Whether they draw conclusions right away, or need some time to put their newfound knowledge to work, they will become more difficult to beat. There is no justification for sabotaging your interest at the poker table, especially by teaching strangers how to prevent you from taking their money
Regardless of what casino game you prefer, it is essential to know when to stop and the decision has to be made well before you sit down at the poker table, roulette, blackjack or whatever gave you prefer. Once the adrenaline kicks in and you start winning or losing money, it is much more difficult to make an educated decision about the proper time to call it a day. Having a stop-loss strategy with keep you grounded and once the triggering element appears, you will simply follow the rules and sit out.
An established poker player will have both for and against arguments about this system, because pros know that the more hours they spend playing the more money they will make. The article published at http://www.cardschat.com/poker-stop-loss.php debates whether it is wise to set a stop loss limit, and makes some powerful observations about the triggers. In most cases people choose to play for a fixed amount of time, and when this expires they call it a day and then return the next day. The benefit is that you don’t get exhausted from playing, and you play your A game all the time.
The downside is that setting a time limit is arbitrary and that is the risk of losing some of the best games and most profitable tables. A more intelligent way implies setting a profit or loss limit, as this prevents players from turning their game into an irrational one. Whether they are chasing losses or playing loosely and carelessly after winning large sums, the inevitable result is a significant loss. No matter what strategy you choose, a stoploss system is going to help you fight another day and enjoy a more profitable game.
Sit ‘n goes just like old poker tournaments have a standard structure and players need to follow certain guidelines to maximize their chances. Although no tournament is like the other, in all sit ‘n goes players start with small amounts of money and a narrow range of cards that are acceptable to play. Regardless of how things progress during the first phase, players shouldn’t increase the range of hands beyond premium ones. Whether they get lucky and double up or lose an important part of their stack, top pairs and hands such as AK, AQ and occasionally AJ are the only ones acceptable for entering pots.
Not many poker players are capable of shifting into superior gear smoothly, but this is exactly what the sit ‘n go player needs to do. Especially those who are playing multitable sit ‘n goes, needs to play suited connectors and small pairs from late position and sometimes even raise with such cards. Instead of limping or smooth calling, it is worth investing slightly more hoping that the flop will bring a promising draw or even a set. When the bubble draws near, aggressiveness should peak and raising should become the rule when you are in late position and compete against short stackers.
At the final table or at the point when the blinds represent a significant part of your stack, any precaution can be thrown away. In this stage of the game it is preferable to shop your chips with only 40% chances to win, then patiently waiting for premium hands. The only players against whom it is wise not to push your luck are the chip leader and those who have considerably more chips than you do. If you did the right thing and adjusted the range of cards you played throughout the sit ‘n go, the odds are that the stack in front of you is deep enough to grant you a chance at the big prize.
Most of the time players try to extract as much value from the mediocre cards that they are dealt, while mitigating the losses caused by pots that are too close to be called. Making the most with the cards they are being dealt is pretty much the essence of Texas hold’em, but even the best efforts are rendered useless if they don’t know how to play premium hands. Many regard them as the holy Grail, others consider them as a two-edged sword and everyone is right to some extent. If played right and against less experienced players, premium hands can generate huge profits with minimum effort.
The reason the opponents are just as important as the cards themselves, is that aces, kings or queens are usually transparent to professional players. They can sense strength when a player is betting aggressively pre-flop after being rather tight throughout the session, and know which boards are dangerous. Even if they got engaged in the hand pre-flop, they have the strength of laying down their cards if the situation is no longer in their advantage. Beginners on the other hand, find it more difficult to give up what appears to be as a promising hand, and only dig themselves deeper into the hole.
The reason many consider premium hands to be a double-edged sword is that players don’t know when it is time to fold them, and get pot committed easily. The root of all evil is slow playing these cards, because it presents other players with the opportunity of seeing cheap cards and drawing with mediocre hands. In the end, those who slow play their premium hands fall into the same trap they laid for their opponents and go all in with cards that are no longer capable of winning them the pot.
In order to be an established poker player you don’t need to be a mathematical genius, but the ability of cultivating your odds in each phase of the game definitely helps. Given the fact that Texas hold ’em has four distinct streets, and the strength of a hand can change dramatically from pre-flop to the river, players need to be always aware of where they stand. By being able to calculate the odds of winning a pot with the cards they hold and the ones dealt on the flop, turn or river, they make smart decisions when betting.
Being dealt pocket aces or kings greatly increases your winning chances, but there is no guarantee of winning with such cards. Those who don’t have the ability of protecting these cards pre-flop, frequently end up pot committed and find it impossible to fold their hands. Slow playing pocket cards with complete disregard of position and table image is one of the leading causes of what many players incorrectly tag as bad beats. An experienced player will not let his opponents see cheap cards when the flop features connected or suited cards, but will bet an amount that is unreasonably high to call.
Making the right bet or raise is based on a firm understanding of the opponent’s chances of improving his hand, with the goal being a bet that has a deterring effect. Poker pros have the ability of considering implied pot odds as well, and occasionally take their chances with a seemingly inappropriate bet. They accept the risks because they know that their opponents are unlikely to fold their hands if they dig themselves deep enough in a pot. Elements such as fold equity, table position and table image all factor in when calculating the odds so understanding them is paramount for any poker player.
The final table is a stressful stage of any event but unlike multitable sit ‘n goes, large tournaments are adding a lot of extra pressure on those who make it this far. In most cases it takes several hours to get that far, and stress and exhaustion take their toll even among experienced players. Making mistakes at this phase is particularly costly because the difference between the prizes awarded for final table finishes is staggering. While luck is very often a decisive factor in determining the winner, the proper strategy will help in maximizing the chances especially in a heads-up situations.
It is not a mistake to regard this final stage of the competition as a penalty shootout in a major football game, so players should prepare accordingly. Even though it sounds most unlikely to accomplish something like this, knowing how to handle your opponents one-on-one is vital. Few have the time to practice and hone their skills in heads-up sit ‘n goes, and many players are intimidated by the fact that these short tournaments are very hard to win. Most of those who focus on heads-up sit ‘n goes are very good players because it takes a certain degree of skill to survive in this unforgiving game.
The articles at http://www.heads-up-poker.org/ speak about how players are supposed to act when they need to overcome the last bump in the road. Loose aggressive poker is winning poker at this stage, and waiting for premium hands is a terrible mistake due to the fact that the blinds are skyhigh. Stealing as many big blinds as possible should be a priority, and players should forsake any hesitation of going all in with decently good cards. Statistically, the odds for both players to be dealt monster hands are trivial and the risk of losing is higher if you wait for ideal opportunities than if you take small chances.