Winning poker is not just about taking down the big pots and stealing the blinds. Winning at poker isn’t about only playing when you hit premium hands.
Many players conveniently forget the big hands they lose or put it down to bad luck – and this is a huge hole in a lot of players games – Losing big hands costs big cash.
Seriously how many times have you got well ahead in a tournament only to blow it on one big hand that eventually you figured you’d lost – yet still chucked in loads of chips because you were “pot committed” ? How many times have you had a winning session only to decide to gamble on making a load more on just one more hand because it looked promising – and then ended up halving your stack after you got carried away even when the cards just didn’t sit right ?
The important thing is that 9 times out of 10 you could have seen it coming and you had a chance to cut your losses – and yet you didn’t. Recognizing this hole in your game and seeing a hand is going to be expensive to stay in means that losing less becomes winning more.
Lets face it if you’ve got a draw to a monster hand or makings of a great hand the chances are those big cards you’ve hit on the flop have more than likely helped the other player(s). You need to be looking ahead seeing problems as well as the opportunities in the cards and take note of the way players are betting.
If your up against a very tight player and he’s raising back at you before the flop – you must be thinking he has a strong hand and expect he is going to make you pay for every card along the way – maybe this isn’t the time to chase a draw with you suited high cards – is just going to be too expensive to be worth it.
Maybe you’ve made a straight on the flop but there is a flush draw out there of course your going to crank up the pot – you want him out before he hits his flush. But you have to be thinking … what if the next card makes the flush am I up against a player who is going call a big net and make a big bet if he hits his draw ? Then when he hits his flush your already expecting his massive bet, your already thinking how your hand has gone bad and your already looking to get out – you’ve thought ahead.
Expected odds are when you call a bet or raise based not on pot odds or what’s already in the pot but on what you expect to be able to make on future rounds – If your on the flips side ie. the victim, then you have to also assess your early bets based on what you think the future calls could cost you.
If someone has called your big raise then you’ve got to be prepared for them coming straight back at you when their hand hits and yours doesn’t.
Losing small pots when your trying to pick them up or generate some action is fine – this is where you can make good money using skill and leading players by the nose – you won’t win every one but when you loose it won’t cost you your seat or all your money – but being lead by the nose and adding to big pots even when your beat is where you lose the most.
Don’t confuse being pot committed with pot stupid.
Lead don’t be lead – and don’t be ashamed to fold when you’ve got into hot water – better still see the problem’s coming and you’ll won’t get out of your depth anything like as often.