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Technical Points


The excellent play of poker draws on many different areas of knowledge and skill. Most of the concepts have been considered in this section. Some essays indicate to the very common mistakes. Anyway, a good portion of knowing how to play well knows what not to do. It is significant how frequently the good players make foolish plays when they should know it better.

I think it is because even though being decent players they lack some basic concepts on the poker theory. They are thus able to cut down doing things that a better informed player would know without doubt was expensive. In the essay that points out on these errors I try to impart the logic that why these errors are wrong.

Two essays here touch on what can be learned by noticing your rivals. If all these observations are combined, including those that would qualify as tells and those of a more general aspect, then definitely some essential amount of your profits are produced from these observations. I have tried in the essay on tell detect ability to enumerate what you can earn as a result of specific tells. As you will notice, this figure may be little less than what others would like to think.

Playing Too Many Hands: Part I

This is a very simple concept. It is so natural that it is been ignored or not bothered with poker writers. However, it is essential; for it shows the difference in results between standard winning and losing players. Let us discuss further.

When I started playing poker, I studied the game, trying from the beginning how to play it correctly.

It is very difficult for someone just starting to put together the numerous concepts one must manage so as to play better. What I was able to do, however, was to begin to follow, on a simple level, the experts' guidelines for hand selection. I was thus bewildered, at first, by losing loose starting requirements shared by so many players I found in small limit games. Slowly I came to realize that many players didn't know what they were doing. Few of them had put some effort to learn the play correctly.

The most surprising fact was the observations that some better players often showed down hands which, if the experts were correct, should not be advantageous in this situation in which they had played them. (The play which I am talking about is hold'em, though what I say applies to other forms of poker too.) As I enhance my understanding of what hands to play and how to play them in certain situations, I finish off correctly that these players were, making repeated mistakes in hand selection. I further proceed to these errors up to the middle limits. It is widespread among middle limit hold'em players who are better than average players but far away from the ability. It is less common among the best players even there are some players whose only real mistake is playing too loose. I think this is common, yet though easily avoided class of mistake in hold'em.

The Nature of Hand Selection Mistakes

Let me clear myself that I am not talking about those circumstances in which the standard play of unprofitable hands becomes necessary. It is true in poker that within limits, the more skilled you are, and the less skilled your rivals are, the more you will gain from hands which other players, or players facing tougher competition, should throw away.

I am talking about the circumstances, often involving rivals of at least moderate skill where there is no valid ground for the play poker of a specific hand. This mistake develops into various forms. It commonly involves limping in with a hand that is very weak for the situation. To call with a hand like

in a first-middle position in a standard middle limit game is a simple example. It can also develop the form of calling a raise "cold" with a worse hand. I often find semi-skilled players calling an average player's early position raise with something like:

It also involves an unexpected raise, often with a hand that shouldn't have been played at all. Players who often raise with aces need to be responsible of this error. (A raise with aces is not a hand selection mistake but may be a mistake in the play of the hand. This essay is applicable to some of these mistakes also.) One more raise of this kind involves the use of too many starting requirements when trying to steal the blinds. I leave it to the readers to identify further example of the hand selection mistakes which I want to convey about.

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