A Real Tough Question

gjshand

gjshand

Rock Star
I've not posted that much just recently but thought i'd try to rectify this by starting with a question to rack your brains.

Q: When a player gets to a certain level where, a) he/she knows the rules inside out, b) he/she it more advanced than beginner, c) he/she about breaks even or makes a small profit d)has read loads of the books/articles to a point where you just re-read the same info and e) can make the proper decisions more often than not ( you know what i mean, fold pocket aces when you need to.... ).

What can you do to reach the next level?

(Short version - Q: How do you go from being a good player to a GREAT player? )

Apply this to whichever game or style you play, Hold'em, Omaha, Cash, Tourneys....

Now I'd rather have positive or constructive comments to this question, no one liners saying "practice" or "experiance" or "play lots", i know all that but there might be another good answer out there somewhere.......
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
i think the mark of a great player is both his ability to read an opponent, and also the ability to recall thousands of past hands immediately.
I think that in the first %10 or so of a players progression, he learns all the situations and rules and tricks etc of the game, then the other %90 he improves his reading abilities, experience, and memory.
*also the ability to easily hide/ or not feel emotions during a game (to put emotions aside is what i mean)
 
tenbob

tenbob

Legend
Awards
1
I didnt mangage to cash in 6 sit and go's this evening, on 2 of them i went out with KK vs AA (rigged) but in seriousness i didnt even flinch.

I think eventually youll get a "feel" for the game, youre memory will improve to almost remember every play your opposition has played without having to think too deeply about it. Now im sorry to say this is attained with practice. Learning to big spots and signs of weakness/strength especially in the bigger pots you play in is a key.

Im still not there yet, but im getting there way quicker in my live games than i am online.
 
gordo30

gordo30

Rock Star
I would have to say someone with the discipline to be able to make the right decisions. A great player is someone who is constantly playing them self because at that level it's normally your own mistakes that lose you the game and to be great you have to recognise those situations.PLAY THE GOOD HANDS WELL AND THE BAD HANDS BETTER.
 
titans4ever

titans4ever

Legend
To steal from another thread but it can make a point.

You can know all the rules and read all about golf but until you go out and play, do you reallyknow what it is really like? The first time you go out and play you miss everything and feel stupid because it was nothing like you thought. The next time you go out you are alittle more comfortable and so on until you get a feeling for the game.

Poker is the same way. You can read all about it but until you really see AA in the pocket can truely know what it is like. You jump off your seat the first time, tremble the second, flinch the third etc. until you can stay stone faced (then you have to start over when it is live). You can only get better with practice.

Things that can get better only with practice and experience.
1) Preventing going on tilt with bad beats.
2) Realizing when you are on tilt and walk away immediately (not later).
3) Stack management in tournaments.
4) Finding fish at the table and taking advantage of them.
5) Realizing when YOU are the fish.
6) Sniffing out slowplays.
7) Having more and more bad beat stories since it is the only way you lose a hand (ala Phil).
8) Stealing blinds from the button.
9) Value betting the river.
10) Playing marginal hands and getting away with it. Plus letting them go when you know you are beat.

I could keep going but I want to go to bed and 10 is a nice number to finish with. It is all the little things that develop into your style of play that takes years of experience to know.

Development of your style and being able to use it to your advantage over other players. Using it to annoy calling stations, maniacs, tight/aggressive, loose/passive etc.
 
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F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
gjshand said:
(Short version - Q: How do you go from being a good player to a GREAT player? )

Reviewing your hands after the session. Discuss them with someone else. Ask yourself why you acted the way you did, and how you could have done differently.

If you know the literature, you need the experience. Reviewing one hand will give you more hands-on experience than playing 50.
 
starfall

starfall

Visionary
I'd add to titans list:
11) Improving your table selection (playing the best tables for your style)
12) Knowing when the table is not worth playing regardless of the number of fish (e.g. its breaking up and your style favours a full table)
13) Knowing whether a losing session was due to your mistakes or bad cards
14) Having notes on the regular profitable players and fish, so you can spot them immediately and avoid the sharks and actively play at the tables with the fish
15) Understanding the full value of position, which is very hard to understand properly from a book.
16) Learning to play well short-handed, since this is all about reads, and again can't be fully explained by a book.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
Hmm. Looking at Titan's and Starfall's lists, it seems to me that we may be talking of different things. If you're looking to increase profitability, look at the lists. Learning how to play better poker is MUCH less important when it comes to make money from it than finding bad players to play against, if you're already a decent player. So it depends on your goals, really. :)

Once scouting out the bad players, you also have to learn how to play against them. Learning these two things together will give you a long and highly profitable poker career.
 
titans4ever

titans4ever

Legend
I guess the bigger question is what do you mean by better? More money per hour or better at the game?

You want to become a more skilled player you have to find the tough games that will always challange your decision making. Those games are not usually profitable. You want to get better you will have to know you are overmatched and stick it out. You can try to learn how to beat it, but can your bankroll handle the lessons while you learn?

You mean great by making more money then you just have to learn some of the money making skills, ID fish, take them on, etc.

The list I have has a little of both i guess.
 
starfall

starfall

Visionary
Getting better at poker will improve your play at a given table, and should improve your profits... there's no denying that it's important. Playing position and Short-Handed play are I think major differentiators between good and great players, though, because those areas of the game are more about picking up on the information your opponents give you than the cards you actually hold, and adjusting your play accordingly.
Because of the mention of being a break-even player, my first interpretation was the desire to step up from just not losing money to making a profit. My focus is on profit, because I cashed out all the money I deposited (so anything left is profit), and have set myself goals of increasing my bankroll one way or another. If you just want to look at profit as a whole from playing poker, then I'd also add 2 more suggestions:
17) Sign up with a number of different sites and take advantage of the many sign-up and reload bonuses available (you can make thousands as a break-even player from these bonuses while still otherwise just breaking even).
18) Check out sites which offer rakeback deals, so that you can play and get a proportion of your rake returned to you at the end of each month.

My other recommendation for becoming a better, and more profitable, poker player would be to learn more of the common variants of poker. Just because HoldEm is the most popular variant, doesn't mean it's the best one for you - your natural playing style may be better suited to a different game altogether. I play Omaha Hi/Lo mostly (I find it much more profitable), and learning 7 Card Stud, Draw Poker and other variants helps in your general poker game, because each has a facet which is more important than in other variants, and it helps you to look at different aspects of poker as a whole. That said, if you specialise in any other variant, then you have a much more limited selection of sites which are worth playing on (I'm about break-even at HoldEm now, I guess, so it's a toss-up to me whether I'm better off clearing bonuses playing HoldEm or making straight profits playing Omaha Hi/Lo), so having HoldEm as your 2nd game at least is probably worthwhile.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
I'm posting just to say that I agree completely with both Titan and Starfall.

Table (and seat, to a lesser extent) selection is everything in poker. You make money off of your opponents' mistakes, your own skill is secondary. It's the relative skill level that nets you BB/100. Just because you can beat everyone at the table doesn't mean that there aren't better tables with even worse players.

The reason I say that seat selection is of lesser importance is simply because online we like to play tables that are mostly or completely full, and by the time we figure out where the donks are, chances are we're in the wrong seat, but would rather stay at the table than wait for the proper one to open up. But table selection is everything.

Edit: Bankroll management is another non-game aspect of poker that's vital in making money.
 
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