Top 5 Reasons You Still Suck at Poker
It doesn't matter the lineup, the stakes or the venue. It seems that the "doom switch" has been flipped on and you can't play your way out.
There may be another explanation. You may just suck at poker. It may not be bad luck, but rather bad play. Below are the top five reasons most people suck at poker.
5. They Try to Play Like The People on TV
In most poker games you play there will be at least one player who is a television poker junkie and thinks he can get away with playing like his favorite players.
He'll play 8-3 offsuit out of position because he saw Tom Dwan steal a big pot on High Stakes Poker and he'll think he can do the same.
What he doesn't ealize is that the players he sees on television are highly skilled and many times their hands are taken out of context. For example, Dwan may have raised with that 8-3 because his opponents were playing very tight or he saw a betting pattern he could take advantage of.
The amateur player won't pick up on this and will usually go broke trying to emulate his favorite player.
4. You Don't Put in the Work
If you want to improve at poker you have to put in the work. This means that you have to put in the time at the tables as well as put in time studying the game.
Your ultimate goals in the game will determine how much time you need to dedicate to the craft. Those of you that just want to beat up on your home game buddies will want to learn some intermediate and advanced strategies and maybe put in a couple extra hours a week in practice.
Those wanting to take your game to the next level and maybe turn pro need to put in much more work. The average pro will play 30 to 40 hours a week minimum and then dedicate time each week to reviewing hands and working on strategy.
Don't believe the players that claim they make insane win rates without the work. Some may be able to pull this off short-term but when variance strikes they tend to go broke.
3. The 80's Called and Wants Your Strategy Back
Poker is ever-evolving and the same strategies that players used to consistently win in past decades don't necessarily work in the modern game.
The last decade has brought tremendous advances in the game of poker and players have to constantly work on their strategy to stay ahead of the up-and-coming players.
If you want a classic example of this in action, take a look at the players that were popular at the beginning of the poker boom and where they are now.
Except for players such as Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey, the majority of players that were successful 10 years ago have either faded into obscurity or have only mild success in the modern game.
The reason that Negreanu and Ivey have flourished is that they always work on their game and battle against the top competition from the modern era. They evolve along with the game.
2. You Play Too High or Play in Tough Games
Two mistakes that amateur players make at some point in their career is playing in games above their bankroll or playing in games above their skill level.
Naturally, we all want to challenge ourselves against better competition and if that is what you're attempting on occasion, that is fine. However, some will continue to play in these games despite getting their teeth kicked in repeatedly.
You make money in poker by playing opponents worse than you at stakes you can afford. A player's bankroll should be able to handle 20 to 30 buy-ins at the limits he's playing. Anything less is a recipe for busto.
When judging whether a game is too tough, evaluate your poker strategy skills honestly against the other players. Which of these opponents have you been able to beat in the past? If they are new players, what type of game do they appear to have?
You're looking for the "suckers" at the table. As the saying goes: if you can't spot the sucker, the sucker is you.
1. You're Too Emotional
Quite often we hear about players going "on tilt" in a poker game. This means that a player has allowed previous events in the game to affect how he plays at the table.
This could come as the result of a bad beat, a run of unplayable hands or even the antics of unruly players.
When you're on tilt, you tend to make decisions based on emotions and this leads to errors in your play. Ultimately, you bust out of the game.
Some players, no matter how skilled, have a hard time controlling their emotions. They cannot get over a bad beat, annoying antics, etc.
These players then become long-term losers. If you're a highly emotional player, you will need to learn how to control those emotions or learn how to leave the game once you go on tilt.
Otherwise, you will continue to donate to your game.