Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Patience in poker


Patience is one of the most important cornerstones of good poker play. Though it’s not enough, and you still require skill to succeed, all the skill in the world will not help you unless you have the patience to put the plan into action.

What we should know is that one of the big advantages we're going to have against our opponents is that we're going to be more patient than they are. By their being more eager than we are, this will amount to us having the advantage over them. They are forcing the action, while we are not. They are playing marginal hands, while we are not. They are pushing hands further than they ought, while we are not. Each time our opponents make a mistake and we do not, it adds to the advantage we have over them.

By doing so though, this is going to have us doing a lot more folding than our opponents. We aren't going to be getting anywhere near the action they are. They will thus be more "entertained" than we do. A lot of players play poker for this reason. Let them be entertained by their poor play. We need to be entertained by our success.

Folding so much can be rather dull though, especially if you've previously played a lot of cards. Perhaps frustration may set in, particularly if you haven't had a hand in a while, which can happen. There's always action going on though, and you need to adjust yourself to paying attention to the game, and seek to discover information about the way your opponents are playing. This can be made more entertaining for you if you try to guess what opponents have, and see if you're right.

However, the fundamental thing here is that your patience is taking you toward the correct moves rather than the incorrect ones. And this is the way you need to think about this. Each time you fold, you need to think - I made the correct move, as by folding in this particular situation, I will make the most money at this game. And you need to continue to think that way in spite of cards which may come up which would have hit your hand. Playing the hand over time instead of folding, while it would have made money this time, will lose over time, and this is what you need to focus on when this happens.Then, as you continue to correctly fold your hands, there's going to be instances where it's correct to stay in the hand. This is just a continuation of acting the same patient way, and seeking to make the correct decision each time. As you become more adept at doing this, you will actually find games more relaxing and thus more enjoyable.

Patience, like other skills in poker, needs to be developed. It must be kept central in your mind in order to do so though. As you get better at mastering this skill, your bottom line will be rewarded. Trust me, and you will get a surprising harvest in the world of poker.

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