The Skills for Success

You can't learn to be a good no limit hold 'em player until you understand what it means to be a good no limit player. What do good players do that mediocre or bad players don't? This chapter will tell you what it means to be a good no limit player, and the rest of the book will show you how to think about the game so that you can acquire those skills.

In many endeavors the answer to the question, "What makes someone good?" is at least somewhat transparent. You have to have quick reflexes to be a good baseball hitter. You have to be a good logical thinker to be a scientist. But what do you need to be a good no limit player? It's not as clear.

New players (and non-players) seem to think the game centers around two things: being a good iiar and being keenly aware of tells. Don't let that stone face crack, keep an eagle eye for your opponents' nervous scratches and tics, and you're on your way to riches and glory.

Five buy-ins later, the neophytes realize that there's a little more to the game than that. Then they concentrate on the cards they play. Now it's about playing tight and out-folding the competition. That works a little better, but still it doesn't produce results. So they switch it up and start playing loosely and raising a lot. Reading hands is the key skill now. That strategy produces some big wins — and some big losses. Some who get very good at it become consistent winners.

Most don't. They get hung up in their progression as players. They realize that reading hands is important, but they never get particularly good at it. And their notion of reading hands usually ends at "trying to put their opponents on a hand." When asked what other skills are important to be a good no limit player, they'll come up with a vast array of possibilities, but few that reflect what the good players really do.

The strange truth is that many no limit players, even some experienced ones, don't know what makes one player better than another. You will. Some of the most important no limit skills are:

  • Manipulating the pot size
  • Adjusting correctly to stack sizes
  • Winning the battle of mistakes
  • Reading hands
  • Manipulating opponents into playing badly

We'll discuss briefly what each of these skills is and why it's important.

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Baseball For Boys

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Since World War II, there has been a tremendous change in the makeup and direction of kid baseball, as it is called. Adults, showing an unprecedented interest in the activity, have initiated and developed programs in thousands of towns across the United States programs that providebr wholesome recreation for millions of youngsters and are often a source of pride and joy to the community in which they exist.

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