Aug 2 2010

Analyzing Play Off The Table

written by: John under Poker Strategy Comments: Comments Off

Any great poker player will analyze their play after they have left the tables. The problem is that players will often forget what they have learned the next time they sit down in a game. It is infinitely easier to critically think about a hand when you are not involved in it. Have you ever watched a poker game on TV or on the internet and wondered how so many players can make such frequent mistakes? It probably isn’t because they don’t know what they’re doing, but is instead because they were not thinking carefully. For some people, improving awareness at the tables is an all but impossible task.

How to Learn from Mistakes

Learning from your past mistakes is something that is much easier said than done. The first step is to take your time and really contemplate each and every decision that you are making. When playing poker on the internet, though, this can be very difficult to do. There is only a limited amount of time allotted to each player for decisions, so you can’t sit there and thoroughly think out each and every move that you make.

What you can do, however, is cut down on the number of tables that you are playing. By cutting out some tables from your focus, it is easier to make solid decisions in real time. This is the primary reason why mass multi tabling players have far lower win rates than players who concentrate on just a few tables at a time. Sacrifice the never ending clicking of your mouse so that you can make better decisions on a regular basis. Concentration truly is one of the most undervalued assets in poker, both online and in live environments.

Gaining Consistency

If you are able to book a few winning sessions, don’t consider that this might mean you have an opportunity to slack off. Even the smallest mistakes will be punished with brute force in a poker game. One player’s mistake is often times another player’s profit. This is why the most profitable players are the ones who make the least mistakes.

Gaining consistency in your “learn and apply” routine will be a task in and of itself. No one reads a poker book and then beats Phil Ivey the next day. Practical application of what you learn is much more important than learning itself. A lot of players will get top notch coaches to help them with their games, but this is far from a lock for success. You still need to know what you are doing and have to know how to put a plan into action.

Think slowly, carefully, and clearly when you are playing poker. This might sound like very basic advice, but it is more important that knowing how to balance a range or what your fold equity is when a flush draw comes on the turn. Don’t try to out-think yourself, most people who do this end up losing their bankroll trying to play like people they see on TV. Remember, some people just aren’t cut out for poker on a daily basis as it definitely takes some conditioning. If you just can’t maintain your composure at the tables, either try harder or move on. Everyone can’t win in poker and at some point you either have it or you don’t. Consistency is an intangible skill that is difficult to teach and even more difficult to apply.

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