Thursday, September 13, 2007

We are not fish

Many losing poker players can choose not to be fish. They could decide to win, if they had the motivation to work at it. There's an incredible amount of dead money in the poker world, and I have several friends who could get a piece of it if they would listen and learn.

Poker is a game of skill in the long run, and good players will always win over a significant enough stretch of hands. There are many simple ways to become a winner. The problem most players have is that they're unwilling to take the steps necessary to guarantee victory. Of course, some people just don't "get it," but I believe most people with average or better intelligence have the capability to do what it takes.

I know a few players who simply refuse to do what it takes to win. Here are their biggest failings:

They won't learn how to play a tight-aggressive style, which I've found to be profitable even in shorthanded games. Sure, a loose-aggressive style may be more profitable for strong players, but TAG players make money because they don't put their money in without a quality hand, and they don't call bets unless they think they're going to win.

Perhaps the biggest leak losers have is that they won't play limits appropriate to their bankroll. If they would follow Chris Ferguson's bankroll requirements, they would have a much better chance of minimizing losses while slowly building up their savings.

The third common failing of bad players is that they lack discipline. They won't read books, blogs and magazines. They won't watch videos. They won't read 2+2. They won't learn from their losing hands. They won't use PokerTracker and PokerAce. They won't stop playing when they're tired or take a break during a losing streak. They can't stop chasing losses when behind or be satisfied with a small win when ahead.

This is pretty straightforward stuff, and I'm sure most people reading this know these basics already. But the vast majority of poker players are career losers, and I hope one or two of them will wake up and realize it doesn't have to be this way.

6 comments:

Fuel55 said...

But what about the coolers?

JL514 said...

You forgot to mention that Suited cards are an instant 46% favorite over their non suited counterparts, and therefore should be pushed no matter what. Even 23s.

SubZero said...

Luckily the fish don't study or read blogs, otherwise I'd be concerned this post would be tantamount to tapping the glass! A good post with the usual good advice. Will endeavour to tighten up somewhat after recent overly-loose play cost me several buyins...

kurokitty said...

Toasters look and feel like humans but they aren't. And they have a plan....

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Why???? I'm ok with all the fish in the sea. Without losing poker players, there will be no winners. Personally, I like all the dead money that is out there.

Btw, I wanted to talk to you about the comment you left on my blog. Maybe I'll catch you sometime this weekend on girlychat. I just want to pick your brain. Your comments are always appreciated.

bayne_s said...

Excellent post.

Since I am afflicted with the 2nd and 3rd common failings outlined I will take the lessons to heart for now.

It is usually the bad beat while playing above my bankroll that sends me chasing losses while tired that craters my bankroll. I think it would be + EV for me to play on a more fragile PC.