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Mistakes Advanced Poker Players Commonly Make

Every player at some time or another makes mistakes. No matter how good you are, it’s just a fact of life. It’s how we learn from these mistakes that make us better players, however there are some mistakes advanced players make time and time again. Throughout this article we will be looking at some of these mistakes, which include; missing value bets, lack of concentration, game selection, failing to learn new games properly, taking advantage of free cards and extended tilt before looking at some key points.

Missing Value Bets

Value betting is a massive part of poker and if you fail to learn where and when to value bet, then this could be the difference between you becoming a good player and a great player, coupled with a whole wad of cash.

It can be easy to see why this isn’t the easiest aspect to master in poker. It can take quite a bit of courage and a massive amount of trust in your game to correctly target your value bets no matter how thin.

To successfully complete your value bet you first need to put your opponent on a range of hands. As you go through the streets it becomes much easier as there will be more information for you to digest. Once you have this information at your disposal you can then see how their range of hands bares up to your hand and act accordingly.

Whilst the better players will be thinking not only about their hand, but also yours, the recreational will only be thinking of their hand, and their hand alone. This means that our value bet range for the weaker players will be much wider compared to that versus a more competent player.

Lack of concentration

Many poker players suffer from lack of concentration whilst at the tables. This can be down to a number of reasons, all of which there are little to no excuses for.

The most common is having the TV on in the background and flicking across every few seconds to see what’s going on. There is absolutely no way that someone can concentrate on playing sound poker whilst being distracted by the television. If whilst watching the TV, you miss something important at your tables it could be extremely costly for you, whether it be a vital hand that’s gone on or something which has resulted in you miss clicking, there is really no excuses.

Many players often like to listen to music whilst playing a session and whilst this is fine, it’s important to learn which music relaxes you without interfering with decision making process. Studies were done on a number of poker players that found, even though they didn’t regularly listen to or particularly like classical music, it had a calming influence on things like heart rate and concentration levels while they were in a session. Something to consider!

Game selection

Game selection is one of the easiest things to control as a poker player. It’s simple, you either sit at a table or you can leave, no two ways about it. However, the amount of players that will just fire up a load of random tables and sit down to begin playing is staggering.

People who do this can actually be having a massive effect on their overall win rate and consequently how much money they win at the tables. Whilst to start opening a bunch of random tables isn’t the worst thing in the world, it’s important that you quickly establish whether a table is one where you think you can make a decent amount of profit, from the players that are currently sat. If the answer is no, then you need to move tables.

Most of your profit comes from the bad players in your games i.e. the fish. As the games are tougher these days, it takes a little more effort to dig them out. Most, if not all, poker lobbies have table stats readily available for you to divulge at your pleasure. These can be a quick and easy way to improve your table selection process which will almost certainly improve your win rate.

Failing to grasp new games and playing too high

When a player gains confidence and has a consistent win rate at one game, they often take the impression that when they learn a new game they can start at the stakes they are currently playing. For example, if someone playing at $100NLHE wanted to try their hand at some PLO, more often than not they would dive straight into $100PLO.

When learning a new game you should treat it with respect due to the fact you may have little or no previous knowledge or game theory behind you. Play some of the lower stakes and work your way up, improving as you go along. It can be an expensive lesson to dive straight into a level where you are likely going to be the fish whilst starting out.

Taking advantage of free cards

Taking free cards can be an extremely cheap way in which to either improve your hand or slow down the action in relation to the pot size. Many players try and play too aggressive and miss opportunities where they can take a step back and just take a free card.

By doing so your pot odds and equity in the hand dramatically increase, coupled with the fact that, if your opponent was planning on check-raising if you bet, you’ve now nullified their line.

Prolonged periods of tilt

All too often advanced players go through spells of tilt that they just cannot seem to shake off. Due to the nature of the game and the vast volume they are likely to put in, bad runs can become very common and are something any player needs to deal with quickly!

Everyone will tilt at some point in time, however it’s how you cope with that will make or break you. If you can find away to deal with tilt and eradicate it as much as possible from your game then it’s likely you will reap the rewards. If you fail to do so then it’s going to have a lasting negative effect and seriously hold back any potential you may have.