Too many tables. Inattention in observing opponents. Lack of understanding of basic poker math and these are just a few of the possible problems for a beginner player.
At the beginning of my poker career, I made many and many mistakes. And to be honest, I am still mistaken, only in much smaller quantities.
Practice is the best teacher, but if, after reading this article, any of you manage to avoid even a few of these problems, it will be worth it.
Here are my worst mistakes when I was just getting started:
Poker starting hand charts are incredibly useful for beginners. They significantly reduce the pressure on fragile minds, narrowing the range of possible solutions to a minimum.
They make it easier to understand the strength of the hands and the positions from which to play them.
So what’s the problem then?
In general, there is nothing wrong with them, I just misused them. During an interview with Brian Koppelman, Vanessa Salbst talked about the importance of understanding the fundamentals of poker before playing.
I didn’t want to waste time, I wanted to be successful here and now.
And instead of treating the chart as a starting point for further actions, I am fixated on it. Very often the dynamics at the table dictated the expansion of my range – I could not even take a step beyond the limits of the hand rating.
And I too often only opened early and middle positions – even when it was not necessary. For example, I raised small pockets from middle position and there were a lot of short stacks behind me.
In short, all charts are the basis, nothing more, you cannot blindly follow them, they are not at all for this.
One size fits all
This face is very closely intertwined with the previous one. For a long time, I was building on the strength of my starting hand, not on the strengths and weaknesses of my opponents. I didn’t make any distinction between them, I just played from the card.
Even now, echoes of this problem sometimes slip through, once again proving the importance of early learning.
Not all players are the same!
A professional player always takes into account the type of opponent he has to face. They asked me: do you have any notes on it? If not – purely visual, what can you say about it?
An adequate player bases his decisions on a combination of three factors: hand strength, stack size and knowledge of the opponent. Otherwise, he will lose money.
Too many tables
I loved poker at first sight, but playing one table online quickly bored me. I started multitable much earlier than I was ready for it.
At that time, I watched all sorts of educational videos of all these pro players rolling 15+ tables. And I wanted to do the same. If they can 15+, then I can handle 4, 8, and then 10 tables.
But I was wrong. One table must be played until the profit becomes constant. And only then add one more. And again, achieve a stable winrate. Then again and again, repeat this cycle.
Misunderstanding poker math
At school, I was not very fond of mathematics, which prevented me from the beginning of my poker career. Even now, I do not fully understand some of the nuances. This is a serious problem that I don’t want to deal with. Never in my life have I made a poker decision based solely on math. And this is a big face. Be a little more proactive than me, otherwise you will also start losing money.