Beginner Mistakes: Giving Up Won Money For No Good Reason

Beginner Mistakes, No Limit Texas Holdem, Psychology
November 13, 2008

I’ve seen this happen a million times:

Beginner Bob has just absorbed the sage wisdom of Play Holdem Pretty Darn Good, NL Edition and sits down at a small stakes NL game to try out his newfound knowledge.  He knows his opponents will be playing far too loose at these stakes, and as such resolves to wait for big hands he wants to show down and then bet them for value.  Sure enough, 30 minutes into his session he flops a set, bets it, gets called down, and stacks someone.  Now Bob is sitting in front of a nice big doubled stack.  Then something funny happens an orbit later: Bob enters the pot by calling an under the gun raise with an AQ, hits an ace, gets check-raised on the flop, pays off the whole way to the river, and loses to AK.  Suddenly Bob is worse off in terms of money than he was before he hit the set.  Bummer.

I swear this happens FAR too often to be coincidence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Beginner Mistakes – Backwards Poker

Beginner Mistakes, No Limit Texas Holdem
March 19, 2008

I’ve become convinced that the most common mistake beginning poker players, and in particular NL holdem players, make is playing what I call ‘backwards poker’.

Backwards poker is when a player refuses to put money in the pot when he knows he has the best of it, but is all too willing to put money in the pot when it’s very possible he may have the worst of it.

Now, it should be obvious that backwards poker is a really bad idea. The whole point of playing poker is to wager a lot of money when you have the best of it, and not to make wagers where you have the worst of it. So why would anyone choose to do just the opposite? Good question. Read the rest of this entry »

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