Zooming right along, it’s time for the 6th and 5th items in the Ace Who’s Full Of It’s Top Ten Worst Mistakes a Poker Player Can Make. Even though the mistakes I’ve shown you so far are extremely avoidable, I would hesitate to call them more than moderately stupid or else the consequences of making them are not particularly dire. Right now is when things get truly serious. For instance, this next mistake should never, under any circumstances, be committed unless you literally have to.
#6: Acting on low or no information about your opponent
I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what you’re doing. I don’t care what you want out of life. Knowledge. Is. King. Whether you’re playing poker, making a sports bet, interviewing for a job, buying a car or house or insurance, working on a big presentation, going on a date, going out to eat, going from any point A to any point B, I could go on like this for hours but the joke played out three examples ago, knowledge is the ultimate power. It doesn’t matter what cards you have. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the luckiest streak of your life. If the knowledge gap between you and the people you’re playing against is big enough, you will lose. If you know your enemy’s playstyle and can keep them from figuring out yours, you can beat them, I don’t care who they are.
For crying out loud, most players at most stakes hardly even bother to hide their true playstyle! Online or live, there is no excuse sufficient enough for just charging in blindly at the table. The only reason this item is as low as #6 is because there are times you just have no choice but to just go with what info you have at the time, like if you’re at 5 BB or less in an MTT and you switched tables not long ago, or you’re dealt AA.
But seriously, if you’re going to win, you NEED information. I can’t say this enough. And again, this is only the 6th item on this list.
#5: Folding to a min bet on the river
There’s a reason that folding to a min bet on the river is above the previous item. That being, it’s exactly like the previous item, but worse. “But Ace!” I hear you saying, you silly donkey, “I was bluffing the whole time! Or I missed my draw completely and I have nothing!” I don’t give a crap. Unless someone has an incredibly reliable tell, seeing another player’s cards at showdown is the most valuable possible piece of information you can obtain. So what if you lose one more big blind? You can now go over the player’s behavior through the entire hand knowing what cards he or she had.
There is no better way to determine what kind of moves they favor making than to actually see the cards they’re making those moves with. There’s an entire metagame at the WSOP November Nine final table based around gathering the back data from the live broadcast that reveals players hole cards. That’s why they have it on a 30 minute delay. I know that if I make it there, I’m going to have several friends standing by like a freaking mission control and every time we reach a break, I’m calling them to find out any notable diversions from standard play they spotted. Sure the info is 30 minutes old but it’s still good. And I fully expect most, if not all my opponents would be taking similar action.
In case I haven’t made it clear: If you see a chance to gain such high quality information for the cost of just one big blind, YOU BLOODY WELL TAKE IT.