Too many tables. Inattention in observing opponents. Lack of understanding of basic poker math. And these are just a few of the possible problems a novice player has.
Our English-language author Lee Davy got hold of a new solid text, below is a translation of it.
At the beginning of my poker career, I often made a lot of mistakes. And to be honest, I’m still mistaken, only in much smaller quantities.
Practice is the best teacher, but if, after reading this article, any of you manage to avoid at least a few of these problems, it’s worth it.
Here are my worst mistakes when I was just starting:
1. Frequent use of hand charts
Poker starting hand charts are incredibly useful for beginners. They significantly reduce pressure on fragile minds, narrowing the range of possible solutions to a minimum.
With them it is easier to understand the strength of the hands and the positions from which they are best played.
So what is the problem then?
In general, there is nothing wrong with them, I just used them incorrectly. During an interview with Brian Koppelman, Vanessa Salbst spoke about the importance of understanding the fundamental fundamentals of poker before starting a game.
I didn’t want to waste time, I wanted to be successful here and now.
And instead of interpreting the chart as a starting point for further actions, I got stuck on it. Very often, the dynamics at the gaming table dictated the expansion of my range – but I could not take a step beyond the limits of the rating of hands.
And I too often opened only from early and middle positions – even when it was not needed. For example, I raised small pockets from medium positions, and behind me there were many short stacks.
In short, all charts are the basis, no more, you cannot blindly follow them, they are not at all for this.
2. All under one comb
This face is very closely intertwined with the previous one. For a long time I started from the strength of my starting hand, and not from the strengths and weaknesses of my opponents. I did not make any differences between them, but simply played from the card.
Even now, echoes of this problem sometimes slip through, once again proving the importance of early learning.
A professional player always takes into account the type of opponent he is faced with. They asked me: do you have any notes on him? If not – purely visual, what can you say about him?
An adequate player bases his decisions on a combination of three factors: hand strength, stack size and knowledge of the opponent. Otherwise, he will lose money.
3. Too many tables
With poker, I had love at first sight, but I quickly got bored of playing one table online. I started multitable much earlier than I was ready for it.
At that time I watched all sorts of training videos, how all these pro-players roll 15+ tables. And I wanted the same. If they can 15+, then I can afford 4, 8, and then 10 tables.
But I was wrong. One table needs to be played until the profit becomes constant. And then add one more. And again, achieve a stable win rate. Then again and again, repeat this cycle.
4. Misunderstanding poker math
At school I didn’t really like math, which prevented me from starting a poker career. Even now, I do not fully understand some of the nuances. This is a serious problem that I don’t want to deal with.
Never in my life have I made a poker decision based solely on math. And this is a big face.
Be a little more proactive than me, otherwise you too will start to lose money.
5. The game of tilt
Any player will suffer from some form of tilt. It is important to understand the causes of its occurrence and take timely action.
For example, I used to tilt quickly when I lost a few “coins” at 6-max cash tables. Subconsciously, I wanted to quickly recoup and started exhibiting in the worst situations for me.It is extremely difficult to just get up from the table or close the poker client when you are in tilt, and even lose. But the consequences can be disastrous.
I recently spoke with Billy Chattaway, one of the best young players in the UK. He said that he poured $ 10k at the Pot-Limit Omaha cash-table at a limit of $ 25 / $ 50, and after 20 minutes another $ 20k – because he tilt and wanted to win back.
If this happens to the best of this world, then it certainly can happen to the worst.
6. Playing on the map
Another mistake from the early years. I did not consider distribution, did not take into account all available information, but acted like a robot.
If they handed out aces to me, immediately the thought arose: “Now I’ll double.”
And from here a lot of problems arose: I did not take into account the structure of the board or the strength of my opponents. I could easily put on the board 9 ♥ J ♥ Q ♣ against the largest thread in the world. A few minutes after the distribution, everything seemed obvious. And then I smoothly proceed to the next error.
Another mistake tied to my ego. Some players think for ages before making a decision. It always seemed to me that they were pachyderms, like rhinos. In this situation, I feel very uncomfortable.
What if everyone thinks that I’m thinking hard? So I acted quickly.
I recommend you not to rush anywhere. And here I mean complex giveaways where it really is worth thinking about.
I chose the most aggressive option and just hoped for luck. Do not repeat my mistakes.
8. Understanding the opponent
In poker, everyone is not equal. In the sense that someone is always stronger, and someone is weaker. I used to perceive all my opponents as equal in strength. I thought they should understand everything that I do.
After thousands of hours of poker videos where the pros make their moves, I tried to extrapolate them to a game against Ken, a local entrepreneur.
I lost countless times when I was called on the river with the weakest hand in the world, which turned out to be older than mine.
I cursed and groaned, but the problem was always on my part! But I didn’t think about it. I did not take this factor into account. And this is another important face.
Top 5 Most Bad Tricks From Poker Pros
A successful performance in the poker arena will require a sharp mind – and an even sharper mind to invent the basic strategies that almost everyone knows today.
Those geniuses behind books and articles made a lot of efforts to explain the game.
But poker does not stand still, but develops and continues to develop. Some ten-year-old tricks now seem completely unacceptable. Modern strategies and tactics will not necessarily be durable.
Below are the very outdated strategies approved by some of the most famous professional players, but despite this, they are no longer relevant.
1. Pre-flop with small pockets in Limit Hold’em
Posted by Phil Helmut
Book: Play Poker Like the Pros
Tip: In Limit Hold’em, if you had a raise in front of you and you had a small pocket pair in your hands, a 3-bet would be preferable to a standard raise raise. On the flop, you can continue to portray a strong hand.
Why it is bad: The problem here is that the book was written for beginners, and beginners play at low limits. Players at these limits are not very picky – they play everything in a row.
So on the flop, you will not be able to portray anything simply because everyone is playing from the card. Preflop 3-bet absolutely does not interest them and does not care. The only thing they see is their flopped top pair, and they will never lose it.
As a result, you will spend a lot of chips without any benefit, because you won’t be able to return them (only if you do not receive a set on the flop).
How to fix it: In Limit Hold’em, and especially at low limits, it’s more profitable to just call a raise, since the probability of calling three-beta players sitting behind you is much higher. Come over the set, and if you “missed”, fold your hand.
2.4-bet only with aces
Posted by Phil Gordon
Book: Little Green Book
Tip: “The fourth raise is always aces.”
Why it is bad: Actually, it is not bad, but simply outdated and is now considered incorrect.
Top players of our time 4-bet on a very wide range.
Just think of this handout featuring Sean Deeb at the WSOP Main Event 2011, just for an example.
Today, even 5- and 6-bets do not guarantee aces.
How to fix: Consider each case individually.
For some, a 4-bet always means aces, but for others it can be any two cards.
3. Small connectors do not have to be suited to play.
Posted by TJ Clotier
Book: Championship No-Limit and Pot-Limit Hold’em
Tip: In multi-pots, the suitedness of small connectors is not so important, since it is highly likely that someone already has cards of the same suit.
Clotier focuses on the fact that from suited suit more harm than good, because the collected flush will often lose to the older flush.
Why it is bad: In fact, there is no situation in which heterogeneous connectors are better than suited ones.
And the idea that suitedism can harm is absurd.
Indeed, sometimes the collected flash will be only the second nut. But sometimes, in stock, we will have a straight flush draw.
How to fix it: Suitedness increases the chances of winning. Everything is simple here.
4. Raise for information
Posted by: David Sklansky
Book: Theory of Poker
Tip: Sometimes it makes sense to kill in order to find out how well you stand in the distribution.
Why it is bad: The doubtfulness of this action lies in the inefficiency of the information received.
For example: You raise, your opponent folds. This is bad. There is a chance that he lost his bluff, so it turns out we just scared him.
Another example: You raise, he calls. And what information did you receive?
He could have a draw, he could slowplay, you are already bits or not bits yet.
If he reraises, you are probably bits. There is also a chance that he thus plays a strong draw or a hand weaker than yours.
How to fix it: You can get valuable information about your opponent’s hand in several ways, but raising is obviously not the most effective option.
Watch the actions of opponents, their play on previous streets or in previous distributions; this will provide much more reliable information.
Work with ranges. Narrow them down with each new piece of information and then you will get very close to the opponent’s true hand.
5. Vary the open raise value
Posted by Dan Harrington
Book: Harrington On Hold’em 1
Tip: In tournament poker, it makes sense to change the open raise value from x2 to x4 in a random order to confuse your opponents.
Why it is bad: The only reason it is worth varying the size of open raise is to constantly vary the size of open raise.
A constant raise will not tell your opponents anything. That’s the whole juice: you do it with any hands.
How to fix it: In the tournament there is no reason to raise x4 – never.
Use regular raises – from x2.25 to x2.5 – and never change them. Thus, you risk fewer chips, and the efficiency remains the same.
A raise in the four big blinds is simply an unjustified risk.