Different Types of Players

In the previous section, we gave the example of three players who heave a similar style but whose drives and motives, and hence their precise betting patterns, are very different. One of the first things you should try to determine is the type of opponent you are facing. Sometimes you can generate an idea before even playing a hand The main way of determining the type of player you face is through analyzing his betting patterns, but you can also glean clues from other places such as Appearance...

Acknowledgements

Matthew and Ian would like to thank the following people First and foremost, Rebecca Churcher for continual support throughout the time we have been writing the book and also for some valuable initial editing. John Baxter, Ammon Brown, Neil Dewhurst, Peter Field, Jane Griscti, Tony Pillinger, Erik Rand, and Tyler Zutz for proofreading, editing, and providing some valuable poker insights. Rob Keller and Lisa Keller for checking the math and statistics. Ed Fasteddy Nordling for conceptualizing...

Bad beats are an integral part of the game

When you signed up to play poker, you realized hands were decided on the random turning of cards, right Whenever you have a random element, you have luck, and wherever you have luck, you have bad luck. In the long term, bad beats happen no more or less often than they should, and without them the game would be extremely dull. All in all, good players should like bad beats. Once again, bad beats are a good poker player's best friend While you should learn to handle the loss of all big pots in...

Who is this for

Players of all abilities should benefit from this book, whether you are a complete beginner desperate to lose less money or a professional earning six figures per year through poker. New players will gain knowledge and skills that most players have to learn the hard way. We outline some of the harsh realities of poker and give advice on how to deal with them. Intermediate players will discover what may have been holding them back at the poker table, maybe allowing them to progress from a losing...

About Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor is a professional poker player and writer. His articles have appeared in a number of websites and publications, mainly focusing on poker psychology, variance, and emotional control. You can find Ian posting on a regular basis in the Forum discussion group at Internet Texas Holdem. com. Ian received a degree in economics from the University of Warwick in 1999, completing a thesis on risk tolerance and gambling. He worked in the IT sector for a number of years before embarking on a...

Getting obsessed with your losses

There are two main reasons why downswings are difficult to handle. The first, as already outlined, is the loss of confidence, and the second is the actual monetary loss you experience. You can lose large amounts of money very quickly, and this can affect you badly on a number of fronts. First, there is the superficial concern about the value of money. As discussed in chapter two, some players, particularly inexperienced ones, may have a tendency to think about what could have been bought with...

Downswings

Everybody will eventually run worse than they thought was possible. The difference between a winner and a loser is that the latter thinks they do not deserve it.- Craig Hartman The importance of what we discussed in the previous chapter cannot be underestimated. The attitude required to cope with the loss of one pot is effectively the same attitude you need to cope with variance on a much larger scale. In this chapter we zoom out and look at the trickier issue of coping with large monetary...

Desensitize Yourself to Money

It's a much-used poker clich , but an extremely important concept. The point it is trying to make is that if you are playing poker with money that you are afraid to lose, then you are less likely to win because you will be prone to making sub-optimal decisions. Remember, making the correct decision is making the choice that will earn you the most money in the long run. If you focus on trying not to lose money, you are no longer trying to make the correct decision. Your decisions will now be...

In the short term luck is king

Although poker is a game of both skill and luck, in the short term it can be very difficult to spot the skill element at all. To win a pot in poker you must either have the best hand at showdown or force all your opponents to fold. You can increase your chance of winning by forcing as many opponents to fold as possible before showdown, but once you get to the showdown, it is purely about who has the cards, not who has the most skill. There will be occasions when you can win pots by forcing all...

Stoploss limits

Many advanced players recommend stop-loss limits when you are playing poker. A stop-loss limit is where you set a sum in advance, nay, 30 big bets in limit Hold'em, at which you will quit the session if you lose that much. This advice contradicts what we have just stated There is no reason to quit as long as you are playing your best and can beat the game. Which piece of advice is correct Both are correct in a sense. While it is entirely true that there is no logic in quitting solely because...

When to Quit

Everyone knows the popular saying Quit while you're ahead. You'll hear it from numerous tourists in Vegas playing the slots, blackjack, and craps. This is actually good advice for those players as they are destined to lose their winnings if they play long enough in games with negative expectation. Poker is different. For winning players, poker has a positive expectation whenever they sit down at the table. For losing players, it is like playing slots or blackjack they will eventually lose all...