I’ve played poker for ten years, but last year I introduced myself to no-limit Hold ‘Em, by playing in tournaments. After I came in fourth, by biggest win at a satellite poker tournament, I realized that my final table play had been horrendous – I should’ve taken first, but I let myself dwindle by not getting involved enough. So, I took a couple days off to brush up on what had been lost and what I could of gotten from the last tournament. And guess what? I’m back!
I choose a game and start playing – generally I play the lower stakes, like a lower limit weekly tournament, or aPOST- logically, multi-table tournament. I seldom play in a higher stakes sit-n-go, but that’s because I can take two or three steps back and play more carefully.
I watch, and I analyze. I’m not going to fool myself into thinking my new found poker knowledge is going to completely turn me into a winning player in an hour and a half of play – because it probably won’t. But I am increasing my bankroll, and making myself a player who can hold his own while learning the game.
And then, a new problem presents itself. I am playing Naga303 poker – that is, a tournament that guarantees its conclusion within an hour. And, I am playing every hand, raising every pot, going all-in. And I wonder, is this really the best course to take? I mean, in all fairness, are we playing this tournament TO have a chance to be in the money, or simply to have a ton of fun?
I’ve played in 20 tournaments so far this year. And, in 9 of those tournaments I finished in the money. Oh, sure, I’ve lost money. But you know what? I’ve been in the hands where I won money. And you know what? I’ve won money. Every hand. Sometimes I’ve won more than once.
The hands I’ve played, I can’t win. But I’ve won the money. Every hand from the small blind I can take a pot with ease. The hands I can’t win, I absolutely crush. This is true for most of the hands. But, if I’m in a pot, with players raising, re-raising, all-in – I will win that pot. Or more. Because, when I have the best hand, I simply walk away a winner. Statistically, this happens over 65% of the time. And it’s the most important of all because, hands like AK and AQ suck. They’re marginal hands, and most of the time you’re going to lose. They aren’t nearly as likely to win as AA or KK.
So most of the time I win, I’ve won enough, and I’ve had enough to make a run at some major money. The problem is, you can’t rush money like that – unless you steal it or win with an exploit. (which, as you probably know, is not at all profitable). So instead, I’ve devoted the last two months to fine tuning my game, learning from other players, watching videos, reading books, and generally just reading. I want to improve so that, when the time comes, the other players are having doubts. I want to be that player they can’t beat.
If you’re not yet experiencing the success you would like, why not try a small, easy, low risk, high reward bet here and some other parts of the game might surprise you. Heck, there might be a legitimate skill out there that only a very few people have.