Good morning all! As many of you have noticed it’s been a few weeks since my last post… I would apologize but there’s nothing to apologize for! Life get pretty crazy around this time of you which many of you can sympathize with.
Over the last few weeks several people have come to me asking how to be a better player. Many have asked to sit down with me to critique their game. That’s probably the single hardest thing to do. Yes, I sit and watch all of these players night in and night out as I deal cards to them, and yes, I’ll admit that I’m studying them in a sense… But changing someone is nearly impossible. There are always a few small bits of advice for each person who’s come to me, but what are you really expecting from me? Are you expecting me to say “Stop what you’re doing completely and start over?” Because if you really want the truth, in some cases, that’s the answer! So as opposed to saying that, my hope has always been to curb the way you think about the game. I’ve talked about this before but this is a good time to reaffirm this. Here are a few steps to help you understand how to do this:
- First. I want everyone to remember 1 thing. This is a game, and will always be a game. It is not therapy. If you sit down in a bad mood, you’ll most likely leave the table in a bad mood. However, if you sit down with the same expectations, and have a goal to enjoy yourself every time you sit, you’ll grow to love this game the same way I have.
- Second. Be yourself. Find who you are in the poker world. Develop who you are as a player, and expand upon it! don’t play the game like someone else. Just because someone has done well, and proclaims themselves a professional player doesn’t mean the way they play is right for you. I would say study them and use their tools to benefit you, but don’t be them. The more you develop who you are as a player, the better you’ll get at this game.
- Third. Study. There are so many ways to study this game. There are many books out there that can broaden the way you think about poker. YouTube has days and days worth of videos you can learn from. Every time you sit at the table open yourself the the visual education available to you. Watch other players, listen to them. Pay attention to the cards. You’ll gain so much information watching the interactions in the hands that you fold. Players mannerisms, banter, conversations, even the way they bet; all of this is useful information all right in front of you!
- Fourth. Don’t over complicate things. Yes sometimes there is math involved, but you don’t have to let it consume you. Make you’re decisions early. Either you in or you’re out. If you’re in, are you raising or are you just calling. Yes there are factors to these, but if you think about these decisions first all the rest fall into place.
- Lastly. Don’t be the ATM. Donating chips will ruin you as a poker player. You’re stack will diminish, the other players get stronger, your confidence fails… Again, (I think I’ve talked about this in the past) folding is truly the hardest part of poker to master, but its the strongest took in your arsenal! Don’t be the call station! Forget about the desires to hit that 1 cards in the deck… Remember, if you are on a draw most the time you’re behind in the hand, and most time you wont catch up!
I know that some of these are nerve racking, but if you break down what actually being said here, trust me, it will help!
Here is a list of a Few books that can be of great use in your study.
- Doyle Brunson – Super System 1 and 2
- Dan Harrington – Harrington on Hold’em vol 1 and 2 (maybe even 3)
- Mike Caro – Book of Poker Tells
- David Sklansky – Theory of Poker
- Phil Gordon – Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book
These books are great for beginners and seasoned veterans alike! Now that we are upon the season of giving, if you have a poker player you’re trying to find a gift for, any of these would be a worth wile recommendation from me!
Happy holidays all, and may many pots be pushed in your direction!