Texas Holdem

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Holdem Poker

Poker Pitfalls

The following is dedicated to 4 of my students sebumd, mini-mentor, peatr99, and eburnside:

After working with many lower level players I have learned of a concept that I deemed the "Noobie Barrier". It happens to players with actual skill level around $.5/1 - $2/4 who are stuck in .5$/1 and occasionally stick their heads out to $1/2. Almost every single lower level played that has come to me seems to have it. Only a small % of online players are consistent winners and here is why (many are interrelated):

In Order of Importance

Discipline: This is the most important factor in differentiating a winning player from a losing player I cannot stress it enough. Being disciplined means following all the below things without wavering. It means not punishing yourself when you get a couple bad beats by going on tilt.

Nomad Syndrome: Focus all your skills on 1 specific type of poker. This is a big one, lots of beginning players jump around to wherever there mood takes them that particular day: they might go from limit ring to limit tournies to shorthand, to multi-table tournies, to no limit, and then randomly play some heads up when they think they've found a "fish". This is NOT good, stick to one thing and master it. This is similar to wanting to spread your skills between the different games like omaha, hold' em, and stud. Some players justify it by saying, "I want to be flexible so I can play at any table in the country". However, this is unnecessary as there always plentiful games of whatever you want available online. You do not want to be a "jack of all trades", you want to be a Poker Master, hold' em specifically.

Tilt: Almost anytime you are playing noticeably different something is wrong, you have not had any poker revelations, you are on tilt... real learning is gradual. Some players tilt into playing loose aggressive and others into tight passive/scared, figure out which you are. To read more on preventing and dealing with tilt go here.

Limit Selection: Break down your tables into the smallest possible denominations: don't play 2 $2/4 play 4 $1/2. The amount of skill you lose by playing more tables is more than compensated by the decrease in skill of the other players by playing a lower limit. Also by playing more hands at lower limits you spread out the variance of bad luck because you are playing more hands per hour.

Insufficient Bankroll: This one is immensely important, not having a large enough bankroll is catastrophic. Be sure to play within your bankroll level, to find out more about this click here. Often times beginners will move up limits way too fast! I am all about pushing one's self but you still need to be cautious.

State of Mind: Never play intoxicated, it lowers your inhibitions and play level (most of us can empathize with this one). Similarly, never play poker if you are in a bad mood or under a significant amount of stress. It does not cheer you up if you are down, it only complements a good mood.

Texas Holdem Poker
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