Joined: Dec '11
Age: 28 (M)
Thinking like a pro
Professional players are commonly described as conservative and aggressive (Tight-Aggressive): "That guy does not play many hands, but when he does play like you have a straight flush ..."
It's a good overview, but does not really say much. And it is not even accurate, if we talk about No Limit Hold'em, since in this case a relaxed and aggressive player (Loose-Aggressive) is formidable. So I understand that when we say that a player is conservative and aggressive, and therefore very good, you are actually meaning that player has mastered poker four critical elements:
Good players have general knowledge of percentages. They know their opponent is about 1:8 to achieve a trio if you have a pocket pair, and has completed 1:3 a flush missing the turn and river.
They know the importance of "outs". If you count your outs, multiply by 2 and add 1, you have a very rough estimate of the percentage chance you have of achieving your project.
They can calculate, even approximately, the pot odds. Knowing outs is useless if you can not translate that to a logical bet. Once you know you have a 20% chance of achieving your project, what are you doing? Well, once you know this, you translate it to 4:1 (lose 4 times each time you win). If the pot offers you 5:1, 6:1 or any number greater than 4:1, then enter, otherwise you retire.
Math skills are the most basic knowledge. It is recommended reading for the first day. Anyone who does not understand these concepts should not play any game, not for money, at least.
Good players want to have advantages. What separates a winner from a loser is that the former want to win. A loser is happy playing trash hands, chasing utopian projects, donating money to the pot ... A winner is expected to be lucky. Play with long-term expectations and exploits the mistakes of the losers.
They also understand that different games require different disciplines. A great player Limit Hold'em can be a sucker playing NLH and vice versa. A disciplined player No Limit Hold'em is usually very conservative pre-flop, and usually plays few hands, only those who have a good chance of winning.
However a disciplined player Limit Hold'em is very different. In this case the player does not care too much to pay blindly. The biggest difference between disciplined players with limit of no limit, is that players avoid losing your chips limit gradually, while no limit players avoid losing all your chips in a single hand. A player can player unlimited many hands. It can be very relaxed and come pre-flop hands not too good, while limit players usually pull more hands that are promising pre-flop.
A disciplined player should know when to play and when leaving the table. Must be able to recognize when it is in "tilt" and when the game is too good to pass. You should also know that is not perfect: You must know how to learn from their mistakes. Do not throw them the blame on others. Do not mourn. You must learn from your mistakes and move on.
No player should be a very self-centered. It may be the worst person in the world, but when you enter a table should avoid putting others against. We must try to empathize with the other players. The idea is to put in place and understand how they think, how they make decisions, etc.. The professionals always try to have answers to the following questions:
What does my opponent?
What does my opponent think I have?
What does my opponent think I think he has?
Have the answer to these questions is the first step. Manipulating these responses is an important step. If you have a pair of kings and your opponent a pair of aces, and you both know what the other has, and both know that both know what the other has, then why play the game? Professionals handle these answers doing slowplay, bluffing and playing deceptively, so as to achieve confuse the adversary.
Psychology is more important in No Limit Hold'em in Limit Hold'em. Limit games often become math battles, while no limit games have a greater psychological burden.
Clear understanding of the risk / benefit ratio:
The Pot odds and advantages searches fall into this category. Professionals are willing to take an extreme risk if the reward is worth it, but only if the expected reward is greater than the risk.
More importantly, we must understand that the risks vs. benefits ratio is part of the nature of the game, not only within the table. You have to understand how much money you need to play and how much money you need to have in reserve to cover daily expenses.
Professionals understand that they must avoid the risks with its balance sheet with the stack that is currently on the table.
When playing a particular item, each piece should be valued in the same way on the table. Should only be considered if the bet you are doing has a positive EV. However, we must avoid the risks with the balance sheet. You have to have enough money for a particular item does not affect the balance sheet too. If you are too worried about losing, then do not think clearly and make mistakes at the table. You should always leave open the possibility to fight another day.
Joined: Jan '10
Age: 59 (M)
I read it cause It's useful. Unfortunately I can use it to play on line. Time bank too short and we have a lot to think and calculate and NOT guarantee you win the hand ! more simple theory like basic poker strategies more useful . sorry if my comment disappointed you
Joined: Apr '09
Age: 42 (M)
The discipline can be controversial. If sometimes, you play by one book, some other times you know you have to follow a different book, because you know the first one won’t help on that different situation. And if you keep the same strategy/discipline, you can end up known as the guy who always do this/that, people can take notes about you and they will keep correct a few months after. About discipline/cashier, I agree those should be unbreakable rules.
Joined: Mar '12
Age: 49 (M)
bankrollmanagement is most important ,,,more then all stuff written above.. if you have enough bankroll you can also switch your type of play(refering to fakiry's post)...without extra cash you'r forced to play TAG...to at least play break even..or avoid losing too much too quick...
this means you have to fold a lot of marginal hands like A-J ,A-10, K-Q- K-j -K-10 and lower if you get action
to reply on the thread starter,, ofcourse what you discribed are basic rules every online player should know and master...or at least be able to do the math
but being tilt-proof and apply solid bankrollmanagement is more important if you ask me.