Poker and...golf

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andybee

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Not mine .....but good advive for the newer players......

The poker scene has grown immensely in the last few years as many new players have entered the poker world. But the poker world is a predatory one, with concepts of evolution and natural selection in full force. The strong survive and the weak go broke and find other pastimes.

Nobody takes up golf and plays like Tiger Woods. But for some reason, many new players come to the poker world expecting that they can and will do well with little practice and preparation. The fact is, many, many people enjoy golf, with no expectation of playing on a competitive professional level. They — we, actually, as I am a bit of a duffer myself — play for the fun of it. And that’s how it should be. Of course, there’s an element of competitive drive. Whatever we undertake, we like to do well. Some people have more competitive spirit than others, but pretty much everyone would rather win than lose. And poker is like golf in that way.

And like golf — or any other competitive endeavor — practice and preparation make your game better, and increase your chances of besting your opponents. And also like golf, there are some basics that you just have to know, both for the game to be fun and for you to have a chance to win.

If you are new to the game, you need to learn how to play. If you don’t have some clue, poker will be an expensive hobby and no fun. Like most things in life, there is a hard way and an easy way to learn. You can try to acquire poker skills from experience, the school of hard knocks, learning from your errors and trying to get a conceptual feel for the game by expending effort and time to do so. For some it is an effective school, but reading and discussing poker can dramatically shorten the time and cost to develop skills. Finding and studying quality books or getting a mentor who has the ability, time, and desire to help you with your game is a much faster road to prosperity.

That said, there are some basic errors that many people who are new to the game seem to make, errors that are quite easy to avoid. Most of these players play way too many hands. They are just excited to be there and wanna play. But correct poker strategy requires patience to wait for good situations. Experienced players have the knowledge to differentiate between playable and unplayable situations. Inexperienced players do not, and for that reason, if you are new to the game, you ought play only premium hands. There is not enough space in one column to address correct hand-selection strategies. Several poker books have good general guidelines, but keep in mind that guidelines are generalizations and that correct strategy is based on situational analysis.

One common weakness in new players in hold’em is overvaluing suited cards, as you have only around a 6 percent chance of making a flush, and that includes the assumption that you are going to stick around to catch runner-runner when one of your suit is on the board (which is generally not the correct play). New players tend to overplay suited connectors and gappers, without thinking through how much trouble 10-high or 8-high flush draws can be in against quality hands.

Another leak in many new players’ games is that they find themselves playing too many dominated hands, hands in which one or both of their cards prevent them from having the best hand if they make only one pair. For example, you call a double raise with A-10 and find out that one of your opponents has a pair higher than tens wired in the pocket, and another has an ace with a higher kicker, thereby creating a situation in which you must hit at least two good cards for your hand in order to make the best hand. As your knowledge and experience levels grow, you can loosen up over time, but if you are inexperienced, it is generally better to make your errors on the side of being too tight, rather than too loose. It is also important to understand that hands have greater value in late position than they do in early position. This is because you can base your decisions on a greater level of information after your opponents have checked, bet, and so on.

As is the case on the golf course, a big factor in how you’ll do over time is choosing the right people to play against. In a foursome with your club pro, you’re not likely to do well. You need to choose the poker game you play in with this thought in mind. Generally, in poker, the higher you play, the tougher you will find your opponents to be. This seems to be most meaningful above the $5-$10 limit. Below that level, you are almost always competing against other amateurs, and their edge against you, especially if you’re reading this, is not likely to be significant.

Another error that beginners (and many experienced players, for that matter) make is letting their emotions get the best of them. Poker is full of bad beats. It’s disappointing to lose a big pot on the river, especially to a slim draw. But that does not justify getting mad and either treating your opponents disrespectfully or throwing good money after bad. If you don’t have the emotional strength to maintain control, leave the table. If it is a repetitive issue and you continuously lose control, find a mellower hobby!

It is important when starting out in poker to understand your limitations. Many beginning players think poker is just common sense, and that because they are smart, they will automatically be good. While mental skills are an important component of poker, there is much to be learned. If you really are smart, it will still take you significant time to acquire strategies, feel, and situational-play knowledge. So, if you’re just starting out, don’t think you are going to take the poker world by storm immediately, and don’t play at a level at which financial loses can damage you economically.
It is also important to understand your goals. Somebody who has visions of competing on the tournament circuit someday should approach the game quite differently from somebody who is looking to have some fun in a competitive way, and perhaps make a few bucks at it. What you expect from your time playing poker will determine your playing style, the games you should choose, and much more.

Too many inexperienced players do not protect their hands. If you make a hand and think it might be good, don’t be intimidated into calling when players behind you are yet to act. As a general rule, play your hand as the best hand, and charge others to draw. If you let your opponents draw cheaply, they are often making a correct bet in doing so, and you do not want to give them opportunities to draw correctly when they can be avoided. So, when you make a hand that you think might be good but could be outdrawn, play it aggressively when there are players yet to act behind you.

Along the same lines, don’t play in a manner in which your opponents can consistently read you. Mix things up. I’m not saying that you should go crazy, by any means, but every once in a while, play a hand differently from how you would normally play it. A good time to do this is early in a session, against observant opponents, as it will have more impact than after you have been in the game for a while because it creates deception for a greater duration of time. If your opponents can read your playbook, it will not be effective.

Poker is a complex game, with much to know. Learning to play well is a process, and it can be an expensive one. If you start with the important fundamentals, and reduce the major costly errors, your learning curve will be shortened and the cost will be greatly reduced. So, if you are new to the game, keep your thoughts on some important fundamentals: Play quality starting hands, while keeping your position in mind. If you make a hand, play it aggressively and don’t let your opponents draw cheaply. Don’t try to step up too quickly or put yourself in games that are over your head, either in quality of opponents or financial stakes. Don’t let your opponents get a line on your play; mix it up, but don’t overdo it.

And most importantly, make every day a learning experience.

Ours is a wonderful game, and all of the new players have made it even better. But the best thing for you and for poker is for you to survive economically! Put some time in on the driving range and putting green, work on your swing — and make your game a more fulfilling and rewarding experience!
spade.gif




Not mine ....but good advice anyway.........



Andy bee :cool:
 
JAMILE1

JAMILE1

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andybee said:
Ours is a wonderful game, and all of the new players have made it even better. But the best thing for you and for poker is for you to survive economically! Put some time in on the driving range and putting green, work on your swing — and make your game a more fulfilling and rewarding experience!
spade.gif




Not mine ....but good advice anyway.........



Andy bee :cool:


My kinda guy, nice post about the golf LOL

I'd rather be driving a Titleist :D :D
 
titans4ever

titans4ever

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Very good ideas. I especially like the idea that newbies to poker think they can win it all just because they are smart. You need to look at it as a game and realize that it will take time before you are any good at it.
 
gord962

gord962

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Being a student of the game of golf for many years, I definitely see many resemblances between the two.

golf/poker:

If you made a mistake last hole/hand, forget it and move on - you can not reverse time so what's done is done. Don't try to make up strokes/lost money for it next hole/hand by playing more aggressive.

If you played/bet the hole/hand perfectly and got a bad bounce/unlucky flop-turn-river, don't make the bad luck change how you play the same shot/hand next time you face the same situation.

If you are in trouble, bail. Don't try to get even more aggressive to get out of a tight situation.
 
Kenzie 96

Kenzie 96

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gord962 said:
Being a student of the game of golf for many years, I definitely see many resemblances between the two.

golf/poker:

If you made a mistake last hole/hand, forget it and move on - you can not reverse time so what's done is done. Don't try to make up strokes/lost money for it next hole/hand by playing more aggressive.

If you played/bet the hole/hand perfectly and got a bad bounce/unlucky flop-turn-river, don't make the bad luck change how you play the same shot/hand next time you face the same situation.

If you are in trouble, bail. Don't try to get even more aggressive to get out of a tight situation.
One other Gordo. Golfers never ever take their own advice. LOL
 
H

handbyhand

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Feb 19, 2006
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I need to remember this.

Unlike my golf game my poker is eratic, especially after a bad beat, I tend to try and force the cards when angry, thankyou for the golf analogy I will try to keep that in mind and play my same game all the way through and let you know how it works.



IT'S EASIER TO LOSE IF YOU DON'T FOLD!!!
:D :hello: :turtle:
 
gord962

gord962

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handbyhand said:
Unlike my golf game my poker is eratic, especially after a bad beat, I tend to try and force the cards when angry, thankyou for the golf analogy I will try to keep that in mind and play my same game all the way through and let you know how it works.

A bad beat would be equivilent to taking a triple bogey on an easy par 4. You hit a great drive that ended up in a divot, you advanced the ball up the fairway, then your approach shot hits a sprinkler head and bounces in the water, you drop, chip on and lip out a 10 footer. A triple bogey because of really bad luck. If you are still pissed on the next tee box, the next hole will have the same score, but only because you are playing with anger. You need to leave the emotions from last hand with the last hand. Carrying anger forward will only lead to more money lost.
 
KerouacsDog

KerouacsDog

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I really enjoyed reading this, and it all makes a lot of sense to me. Poker must be one of the few games where as a newbie you can sit at a table with the best in the world(if you have the money!), and hold your own.(To a certain degree!)
Imagine(for you americans!), playing football with your son on a summer's afternoon, and then the following day playing in the superbowl, or for us europeans, having a kickaround and then appearing in the World Cup the next day. It will never happen! But all of us have a chance, however small, of sitting down at a table next to the likes of Ivey, Hellmuth, etc, at the wsop, and whipping their asses! because we know we can, on a good day!
 
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