Sunday, June 25, 2006

Poker Understanding lucks role in both winning and losing is important.

It is also important to learn how to pick apart your game after a session to see if you are playing well. All of these things add up to allow you to create and play a game style that has predictable results. Consistency is the key to success but getting consistent requires work and that what this article is about.

Holdem is a game that involves a variety of skills. You need to have a good understanding of the fundamentals and math. You need to understand why certain hands do well against others and what scenarios suit varying cards. Then you need to be able to have the discipline to do what is right even if it is difficult or boring. You also need to be able to pay attention to other peoples game so you can dodge their bullets or squeeze out wins where otherwise you couldn't had you not been as attentive. You need to be patient and humble but at the same time be equally aggressive and relentless. Lastly nothing beats experience for sharpening your game. With all this said, there is a factor in poker that you can't control or develop. The best player doesn't always win just as the best starting hand doesn't always win. Poker has luck. That luck keeps people playing for years even if they consistently lose. Random reinforcement is the strongest way to condition behavior; a winning session here and there is all it takes to keep them coming back. What you need to realize is that luck can cut both ways. Luck can make your perfect play lose for session after session and it can make your bad play win session after session. If you have any hopes of playing poker successfully for a long period of time though, luck can't get you there. Luck is going against the odds and eventually math takes over and you get what's coming to you.

Poker table :: Playing well or getting lucky?

Most likely when we look at our game we aren't doing it because we are winning. We do it when we are losing and we try to figure out why we were winners before and not now. Long term winning in limit texas holdem poker depends on your consistency in making good decisions. Because poker has luck involved you'll have a portion of correct decisions that end up losing. That is normal and not really a problem. The problem with luck is that it can sometimes corrupt or taint your view of what you are doing correctly and incorrectly. It can reinforce bad play that eventually leaves you a consistent loser and you'll have no idea why.