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5 Common Traits of Losing Poker Players - PokerJunkie

10 March 2015, By: Pokerjunkie.com

Most are consistent losers or break-even players at best.

Recognizing the bad habits common to losing players will help you improve your poker game AND help you spot the fish at the table.

Below are five common traits of losing poker players.

1. They Play Too High

One of the most common problems among losing players is that they regularly play in tournaments or cash games that are above their means or their bankrolls.

While larger games can produce higher payouts, they require a higher level of skill. This is something that players often overlook.

An example would be someone that regularly plays in tournaments with buy-ins of $125 and under suddenly trying to play in $1,000 and higher buy-ins.

More often than not these players will be outclassed in these games and become dead money.

Cash-game players frequently have this issue. They play well at $1-$2 or $2-5 NL and then think they can become a regular at $5-$10 or $10-$20 NL.

Poker players that try to move up in stakes too fast will often find themselves losing and either moving back down to rebuild or being forced out of the game entirely.

2. They Don't Study

In the modern era of poker, players have to work on their game in order to improve. Failure to do so will leave players either stuck at lower limits or leaving the game in frustration.

Improving your poker game requires regular study should a player hope to rise through the ranks. This study can be done in various ways but should be a part of a player's weekly routine.

There are numerous training websites available online for those that enjoy a structured approach for improving their game or one can hire a coach with experience in the areas they want to work on.

Other forms of study include hand history review, reading poker books, discussing strategy with better players, and frequenting online poker forums.

3. They Don't Put in the Hours

Poker isn't like riding a bicycle. You can't get back into the game after an extended layoff and expect to be the best player at the table. You also can't expect to improve your game if you don't spend time at the tables actually playing.

Poker is like any other job. You have to put in the time to experience the greatest success. The greatest players over the last decade have been those that have made poker their life's work.

We aren't saying you need to put in 60+ hours per week like some online pros, but you should be putting in a solid chunk of time each week if you want to improve.

4. They Don't Recognize When There is a Problem

One of the worst things you can do as a poker player is blame all runs of bad luck on "variance."

The fact is that many extended runs of bad luck come as a result of a problem or "leak" in one's poker game.

Unfortunately, most players fail to recognize that there is a problem with their game and they either continue in their losing ways or move down in stakes and are unable to move back up.

Honestly evaluating one's play is important in becoming a better player. If you're unable to honestly evaluate your play, seek the advice of fellow players or a poker coach to help you spot any leaks in your game.

5. They Don't Take the Time to Think Things Through

Poker is not a game of snap decisions. Every situation is different in poker and one must be able to properly analyze the information provided to them in every hand.

This means taking the proper time to think through a hand and to make the right decision.

Bad players often will react too quickly in important situations and many times make the wrong decision.

If you open with pocket kings and one of the tightest players in the room calls, what will your play be when they shove on a flop of 4-8-J?

If it took you less than 20 seconds to say call, then you're acting too quickly. Why would a rock-y player suddenly shove on this type of flop against you? Are your pocket kings good here?

While there are some situations where snap-decisions are appropriate, such as someone shoving pre-flop when you hold aces, many others require you to put in the extra time to think.

Failing to take the time to think will cost you money.

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