Archive for June, 2009

Lesson learnt!

June 16th, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized

One of the things that makes poker such an interesting game is that it’s a gambling game, but the players who succeed most gamble the least.

You will, of course, see no shortage of people say that poker is NOT gambling, but they’re just playing semantics. If you’re wagering money, you’re gambling.

Having an edge against the other players or the casino doesn’t mean you’re engaged in some activity that isn’t gambling.

That’s my personal view, anyway.

Once you start reading poker strategy articles for beginners, you’ll start seeing a lot of talk about tight play and discipline. What many of these poker strategy articles neglect to mention is how boring this approach might be.

At an average Texas holdem table in a live casino like Yakin Pkv Games, you might see 30 hands per hour on average. In an online poker room, you might see more like 80 hands per hour.

You’ll see people mention that “tight is right.”

A tight poker approach is one in which you don’t play a lot of hands. You only play a few hands. If you’re also an aggressive player, you’ll be betting and raising with those hands instead of checking and calling.

I’ll save the concept of aggression for another post, because I want to focus on tight, disciplined poker in this post.

If you restrict your play to just the top 20% of hands preflop, you’ll only play six hands per hour at a live poker table, and you’ll only play 16 hands per hour online.

And those are just the hands you’ll see a flop with. At least 50% of the time — maybe more — you’ll fold your hand when the flop rolls around.

Most players want more action than that.

Those players tend to lose more money than the tighter players who are willing to take it easy and deal with a little bit of boredom.

How Hard Is It to Be a Tight Poker Player?

I think playing tight poker is hard. Most of my friends do, too. In fact, many of my friends KNOW that tight poker is the right way to play, but they play loose anyway.

What does it mean, practically speaking, to play tight?

Sometimes it means sitting there at the table for an hour (or more) while folding every hand you get before the flop.

The thing to remember is that every hand you fold saves you money, which is money you can use to bet when you get cards you like.

If you HAD to play every hand, there’s no way you could become a winning poker player. You wouldn’t have the bankroll to get an edge.

Every time you fold is like putting more money into your bankroll for when the odds favor you. The more chips you have in front of you when you finally get pocket aces or kings, the better off you are, mathematically.

Compare this to what some people must do to earn money, though. Have you ever worked in a fast food restaurant for $7.50/hour? Is folding a lot of hands of poker per hour really that hard compared to that kind of work?

Think about what it’s like to work in any kind of factory — monotonous, repetitive work with little in the way of financial compensation.

Playing a game where the worst thing about it is a little bit of monotony or boredom when you’re waiting for a hand sure seems like an easier task to me.

After all, most of the cardrooms I’ve played in were comfortable and climate-controlled. The company was pleasant. I could even get free soft drinks while I played, although I had to tip the cocktail waitress. Playing profitable (tight) poker seems easy when you think about it from the right perspective.

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