(Photo copyright Antonio Abrego, http://www.antonioabrego.com/)
Pro poker tips and strategies have never been as plentiful as they are today, you can’t spend more than an hour in the poker corner of the internet without getting information that would be considered advanced poker training back in the 90’s.
From poker blogs to poker training websites, we live in an age where learning to play poker like the pros has never been so easy!
Sadly, it’s even easier to destroy your win rate by making amateur moves with all the confidence of a pro poker strategist.
Luckily, you stumbled upon the best poker coaching site, where you can correct some of that misinformation. Our world class poker coaches Ryan Fee and Doug Polk share some of their extensive knowledge in these past Upswing articles.
In this article, Upswing Poker coach Ryan Fee dismantles one of the most common rookie mistakes in poker.
You are on the button in a multiway pot with
You get a promising flop of
It’s a nice hand, but it’s hard to be sure if you’re ahead. You want to be sure your opponent’s hands will not make you look like a fool at showdown, so what do you do?
Middle position bets, the cut off calls and you raise, just to see how they react. You feel like the protagonist in a poker movie, making a play to trick your opponent into giving you more information.
Sadly, this play falls apart the moment you consider the possible outcomes.
Let’s say your raise gets called, now you’re in a bloated pot and are fairly likely to be behind. You have narrowed your opponents’ range to only hands that beat you.
If all of your opponents fold to your flop raise – congratulations! You had the best hand, and you made all the worse hands fold.
Now let’s say you just call like the real poker training websites say you should do.
Your opponents’ ranges stay as wide as possible and the pot stays a size that matches the strength of your hand.
The turn falls a brick, middle position bets, cut off calls and you, assuming you don’t improve, can find a fold.
Same outcome, less of your money in your opponent’s stack.
There are other scenarios where you might be doing this, maybe you want to protect against a draw or “win the pot right here”. But it all boils down to the simple fact that a raise should aim to make worse hands call or better hands fold. A raise for information accomplishes neither.
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Ryan Fee is not quite done correcting our rookie mistakes. In this article he shows us how even a simple internet poker tip can become a leak if we don’t use proper discretion.
You raise with from the middle position and get called by the button.
The flop is and you, almost automatically, bet.
This mistake is similar to raising for information. By betting our middle pair, we narrow our opponents’ range to (mostly) hands that have us beat.
Additionally, if we c-bet hands like middle pair, we are now unbalanced when we do decide to check. If we bet all of our pairs, when we check we almost certainly have nothing or a marginal holding like .
While researching poker tips and strategies, many beginners will learn to c-bet every flop in an attempt to win the pot right there. This thought is simply a poker fallacy.
Let’s go back to our hand. The turn hits, the , and your hand doesn’t improve at all.
Your opponent is still in position with a top pair heavy range, now what? It’s time to start regretting that flop bet.
When learning to play poker, remember that you should be evaluating every unique hand optimally. That’s what Ryan Fee is trying to highlight in this article. General blanket statements like “c-bet every hand” are rarely, if ever, correct in poker.
Now Upswing coach Doug Polk takes over with an article teaching us an important lesson when learning to play poker.
When playing a long losing session (as if there were any other kind), Doug Polk tells you to ask yourself three important questions:
- Am I playing well? If you play good poker, eventually you will succeed, if you are not, you will just dig deeper and deeper into a hole.
- Is the game still good? Some games you just can’t walk away from! And some games you can’t leave the table fast enough. Figure out which one you are in.
- Are you feeling up to the task? Poker is tough, and it will punch you in the gut unexpectedly to teach you a lesson. You won’t always be emotionally or intellectually able to play your A-Game, it’s better not to play when that happens.
Doug Polk found himself having to ask those same questions in a Friday night live session in Vegas. His answers were ‘‘yes, yes and YES’’ and the result was a 22 hour session, $4,000 in winnings and a story to tell.
He didn’t just blindly and stubbornly decided to keep playing, however. He evaluated his spot and decided that he could win. If you can’t win in your current state, remember life is one big session, better to go home and fight another day.
And there you have it, three great poker tips and strategies by two great coaches from the best poker coaching site.