Phil Ivey poker tip.

4Aces

4Aces

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I just got this tip in an email from fulltilt. Most people who are registered at fulltilt will get these emails, but for those who haven't read this i thought id share it.

DON'T READ THIS TIP

Phil Ivey

November 6th 2007

When it comes to advice about poker, my attitude is very simple: seek it out, absorb it, but while you’re at the table, forget it.
I’m a firm believer in learning the game by playing the game. I’m not saying there aren’t a lot of great resources around to help players improve their games or that poker books and tutorials don’t have their place. They do. However, the problem I see with people who rely on these kinds of aids is that they end up playing poker like someone else or - even worse - like everyone else.
One of the things that makes poker great is that it’s a game where there’s really no right or wrong way to play. Every player has their own approach to the game and the key, in my opinion, is to take the things you learn from other players and incorporate them into a style of play that works for you.
There are some players who take a very mathematical approach to the game, and for them, it works. They study the odds and make decisions based on whether they think they’re getting the right price to commit their chips to a pot. It’s a solid way to play, but the fact is, it’s not the right approach for everyone. What’s more, even the best of these players will tell you that math only takes you so far.
Calculating the odds can certainly help you decide whether you’re making a smart move, but it doesn’t take into account who you’re playing against. There are many times when you can do all of the math you want and your decision still comes down to intangibles and a feeling about your opponent or the situation you’re facing. Does this guy have a hand? Can I push him off the pot? Am I getting myself into trouble here? Even if the odds say you should play, your gut may be telling you something else, and that’s something you can only develop by playing.
Relying too much on other peoples’ advice can actually make it harder to develop this kind of reading ability because it tends to clutter up your head. You get so focused on thinking about odds, probabilities and strategies that you forget that you’re playing against someone else and that you have to try and figure out what he or she is doing. Are they scared? Will they fold to pressure? Are they a maniac? In my opinion, these are the important things to keep in mind during a hand.
It’s been said before, but it bears repeating. Poker isn’t about the cards; it’s about the players and the situations. Winning players understand that sometimes you have to take chances. Sometimes they work and other times they don’t. Whether you win the hand or not, you have to make the play that you believe is best.
At the end of a hand or a session, go back and study the things you did well and be honest with yourself about where you made mistakes. Don’t, however, overanalyze how you could have played a hand differently because this can negatively impact how you approach your next hand or session. Identify your mistakes, learn from them, and move on. Just because some play or move didn’t work the way you wanted doesn’t mean you were wrong to try it. As I said before, there are just some things that you have to learn by playing.
So here’s my advice. Read this tip. Read other tips and poker books. Talk to your friends. Absorb as much information as you can. But at the end of the day you have to trust your instincts and play your own game – not someone else’s.


I really agree with this. It seems that most players play way to predictable these days, and if they don't play a hand the way the majority would play it then they played it wrong. It just annoys me sometimes when people say to another player at the table "ugh you played that hand soo bad". But alot of the time they didn't play the hand bad, they just didn't play it how you would play it.
 
belladonna05

belladonna05

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I read that this morning and really enjoyed it. I have caught myself doing that after reading something and trying so hard to follow it by the book so to speak, makes me seem like I am tripping over myself trying to play.
 
blankoblanco

blankoblanco

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i just hope people don't misunderstand his advice and turn it into something where no one can criticize or advise someone on hand play because "i just didn't play it the way you would have". very often one can play a hand or street downright badly (see: unprofitably) against their opponent's most likely range, and that's why we have hand analysis
 
T

TheDoc

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Excellent advice, I especially like the "Poker isn’t about the cards; it’s about the players and the situations" bit.

I had been thinking along these lines recently after a session where I had a string of good hands in a row, like AA, QQ, then made two sets in a row. And you know what, I made very little money on any on them. The hands were great, but the situation wasn't - i.e the opposition wasnt willing to put any money on the table. Increasingly I am thinking of terms of seeking "opportunties" in whatever form they come in, cards, position, weak opposition etc. An open mind leads to more creative ways in exploiting a situation.
 
Sunbird

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excellent advice from an excellent player. I've noticed if I play a bit more random that I do better against people who only play by the book.
 
aliengenius

aliengenius

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i just hope people don't misunderstand his advice and turn it into something where no one can criticize or advise someone on hand play because "i just didn't play it the way you would have". very often one can play a hand or street downright badly (see: unprofitably) against their opponent's most likely range, and that's why we have hand analysis


^^^this.
 
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