Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Keep it simple

I want to always remember the significant improvements I made to my game before moving up to 5/10 a year-and-a-half ago. They're simple, but they always help me play my A-game, which is harder to do than I would have thought back then.

1) Never play on autopilot.

I'm a big fan of PokerTracker and PokerAce, but I got to a point where I was overreliant on their statistics. There's no substitute for paying close attention to every street on every table, taking constant notes on your opponents and deducing your opponent's hand range. I'll always use PT and PokerAce (which are being combined in the new PokerTracker 3), but these tools are not substitutes for observation of the action.

2) Don't spew.

Yes, there are many times when I need to get in preflop with AK or commit with a drawing hand postflop. However, that never means I have to play AK and combo draws the same way every time. Sometimes my AK is against AA, and sometimes my combo draw is against the nuts.

3) Play position.

No one ever forces me to play a hand out of position. It's a choice based on the strength of my hand, and often my ability to play it postflop. What that means is that I'll usually 3-bet hands like JJ and AQ, but there are occasions when I'll just throw them away preflop and forfeit the three big blinds I spent to open the pot. These spots come up in situations where I get 3-bet and I'm out of position.


kurokitty said...

I like #3 the best.

Eric a.k.a. Bone Daddy said...

Funny, I like 2 the best.

Nikademus said...

#1 is probably my biggest leak. I'll sit down, open up my laptop, turn on the TV, and do both. There's some direct correlation between whether or not I know what is going on with the TV show I'm watching, and my session wins/losses. I tend to win more when I realize I have no idea what is happening in the TV storyline.

Focus. Just focus. PT is certainly useful, but it's only a guideline.