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: Cost

But What Actually Will it Cost?

Few of them may question whether playing some extra hands actually costs enough to worry about. But is not the advantage of one hold'em hand over another typically small before the flop? Is not the real strength of a hand defined by the flop? Whereas there is some reality in these ideas, it is not difficult to show that the cost of hand selection mistakes is greater than many players realize.

Ascertain first that in committing these mistakes players cost themselves money by different from an ideal that allows for extra profit. The expert poker writers suggest you play poker about 15 percent of the hands faced to you. Whereas differentiation from this guideline may be pointed by variations in game conditions and structure, we are told that correct hold'em play calls normally for a close fidelity to the "15 percent rule." (Keep in mind that "15 percent" means the percentage of hands played overall. It does not mean that you play 15 percent in all case. But at times you should play more, and at other times play fewer hands. For more discussion as to on "15 percent" refer Malmuth's Poker Essays, Volume II.) As Sklansky has stated out (refer Getting the Best of It), only best players are competent enough of holding a profit out of an additional 10 to 15 percent of their hands.

While other players are going to make mistake with these average hands and lose money with them. This is true that Skylansky has disputed those great players who do extend the range of hands they go too far away with it. They get better results than they do if they normally tighten up little. I know some good players who suits to this category. They play better but are so "busy" particularly before the flop in ring games, as they make effort to find possible (but not always) edge that they reduce their earnings essentially.

An example will illustrate the cost of hand selection mistakes. Let's say you are able to earn one big bet per hour in a $15-$30 game. Now you can add up to your play two average, but in fact losing hands, per hour. Now assume that these additional hands cost you an average of one sixth of a small bet, or 2.50, every time you play. It means that your insertion of two additional hands per hour has reduced your hourly rate by almost 17 percent. Further many average hands are going to lose even more than this example indicates. (Refer Malmuth's Poker Essay for more danger discussion on "average" hands.)

One can comfortably imagine a situation in which playing say, 30 percent of a hands dealt could turn the otherwise winning player into a big loser. Many players are prevented from winning due to these mistakes. You can often see the players, who play well after the flop, cost themselves so much with their loose starting requirements that they stay "producers" whenever they play.

One more way to know the cost of this mistake is to evaluate the difference between serious and minor poker mistakes. The definitive discussion of this area of poker theory is given in Getting the Best of It by David Skylansky. I want to indicate that, among poker mistakes (like to check when you should bet, raise when you fold, etc) nominating to play hands which should be folded is a rare case. The serious mistakes are those which cost you the entire pot. The minor or small mistakes only cost a bet. Therefore, it would appear that playing a hand which you should have mucked is a minor or small mistake. Unluckily it is difficult.

It is also true that calling instead of folding is considered to be a minor mistake. However, making an incorrect call on the end may cost you a bet. (Furthermore, it is counterbalanced against the greater cost of folding on the end instead of a call this mistake can cost you the pot.) However, calling (or raising) instead of folding with respect to hand selection is a different case. It is expensive for two strong reasons. First hand selection is a decision which happens very often (that is with every drawing hands). Thus if you continuously make poor decisions in this manner, you will often cost yourself more money.

This, obviously add up. Second, errors in hand selection combine themselves. For instance, a hand which is not appropriate for your position can easily turn into a second best hand on the flop. If you do not play correctly enough to figure what has happened, you will certainly get caught for some bets against a rival who may throw you out.

However, if you play correctly after the flop, you can reduce some of the complicated problem. It is very precise that the frequency problem can essentially reduce the hourly rate. It is clear that these two aspects combined make the cost of improper hand selection expensive.

I think I have made it comprehensible that there is no minor problem in playing too many hands, even for skilled players. In the Part Two section, I will present some thoughts about what makes so many players even few good ones move away from sound hand selection.

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