Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bug's Poker Tip #23

You are not Rain Man.

By far, the vast majority of us are not idiot savants at the poker table. We cannot multiply 10-digit numbers in our heads. We do not know instinctively whether betting or calling is the better play. We are not able to calculate the expected values of five competing bet sizes in the seconds we're given to act at the felt. We are not Dustin Hoffman's Rain Man. While there are indeed a few so-called "instinctive" players that can win on a regular, day-in/day-out basis by just "knowing" what to do when the action gets to them, this approach will not work for you. To win consistently, you and I have to rely on logic and math. We have to multiply those proverbial 10-digit numbers out longhand, the traditional way. We have to apply deductive reasoning in a logical fashion. We have to study harder than our opponents. We have to open poker books and take notes. We have to watch poker videos to learn the techniques and strategies of the game. We have to post questions on Internet forums and ponder the answers. We have to actively learn how to REDi. We have to understand pot odds and expected values and concepts like fold equity. We have to read and control our emotions in logical, ABC ways. We have to have the discipline to pay attention during the action, even when we're not directly involved in the hand. Poker is hard, folks. It takes real, significant work to master. For 99% of us, it is not an instinctual game. Instead it is a math-based, logical-minded, probabilistic-driven game. Yes, there is luck and variance driving the action in the short term, but in the long run it's all about your level of skill and hard-won knowledge compared to your opponents. You are not Rain Man; you actually have to learn how to do the math. Otherwise, you will never, ever become a consistent winner at poker.


All-in for now...
-Bug

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