Getting Better All the Time (hint: Beatles song)
Juicy Stakes Poker Australia has the goal of helping our players get better all the time! We run many articles with tips on every aspect of poker. One of the most important aspects of self-improvement in poker is honesty. We need to know where our weaknesses are in order to correct them.
Is Honesty Always the Best Policy?
Anyone who has seen the television series Doc Martin can attest to the fact that it is sometimes harmful to interpersonal relationships to be brutally honest all the time. It certainly is not best to be brutally honest all the time in everyday situations but it is important to be brutally honest with yourself and your poker skills level as a starting point towards self-improvement.
Those little white lies we tell in order to get along with people don’t serve well if you want to get better at poker!
Why is Honesty So Important in Poker?
Poker is a lifelong struggle. No one—not even the best player in the world, whoever he or she is—is so good that there is no longer any way they can get better. We remember when physicists in the early years of the 20th century said that physics was finally a closed book, that there was nothing more to learn in the field of physics.
Then Albert Einstein with the Theory of Relativity and Max Planck in the area of Quantum Mechanics upset the physicists’ apple cart so to speak and all manner of CHANGE in physics started to happen,
Even Phoebe got in the act of debunking the hubris of early 20th century physics.
How Will Honesty in Poker Make Me a Better Player?
The most destructive behavior a poker player can exhibit is tilt. Tilt comes from many sources and one of them is blaming another player for your own mistakes. When a world famous player is shown on YouTube castigating an amateur who had played a hand wrong but had gotten very lucky and won the pot anyway, he is demonstrating abject dishonesty in his own assessment of his poker!
He might have factored in the amateur’s amateurism and understood that the player was playing a losing hand. This might have led to a massive bet that would have gotten the amateur to fold. The player may have been playing a winning band but betting it incorrectly thus confounding the pro who is so full of himself that he can’t take into account his opponent’s inexperience. Finally, if the amateur wins on a lucky river card, the great pro might have said “Good hand” and moved on.
That great player always eventually overcomes his tilting moments and his boorish behavior. For most of us, being honest with ourselves is a first step in getting better! Not being honest is a manifestation of an excessively large ego and ego is the single greatest impediment to poker improvement.
Are You Winning Because You’re Lucky or Because You’re Good?
We all have winning streaks and losing streaks. Some players think that their winning streaks are because they are such good players and that their losing streaks are just the result of a prolonged series of unlucky flops, turns, and rivers.
It could be that he or she should have folded a hand they ultimately lost before the flop or certainly after the turn. It could be that they committed one of the cardinal sins in poker, namely, to overestimate themselves to such a degree that they underestimated their opponent.
Being Honest Also Means Playing at the Right Level
Many poker players start out at the very low stakes level and are constantly chomping at the bit to move up. A lot of players move up to higher stakes way too soon! This is usually the result of a combination of ego and a lack of honesty with regard to their game.
Then, as happens quite often, a player who has moved to a higher level too soon starts to lose more money, they blame their bad fortune on bad luck rather than on poor play. There is nothing at all wrong with playing at your correct level, in terms both of bankroll and skill level.
Online Poker is Best for Most Players
Most poker players can never fully eliminate the physical tells that can give away their hand in land based casino poker. In addition to the problem of the permanent, ineradicable, tells, many players are intimidated by in-person games. These players are usually not intimidated by the more anonymous online poker scene.
There are also tells that online players show but these are a lot more difficult to “see” and as a result most online poker players give up looking for tells and just play the game! At land based poker rooms, your opponents will be watching you constantly. In any hand you stay in, there will be several others who folded. The good ones will be scrutinizing your play for future reference.
They are looking for tells and for signs of both strength and weakness.
Before the corona virus put a major damper on land based poker, there were some poker players who disdained online poker. They have since seen the error of their ways, we sincerely hope, as they came to Juicy Stakes to play since online was at that time the only game in town.
Some poker players will probably return to land based poker rooms but most players should stay at an online room simply because it is a lot easier to play and get better when the intimidation factor is removed.
It is also a lot easier for most players to take notes when they are playing online. At a land based poker game, your opponents will likely have some not so very pleasant comments about your incessant note taking. It shouldn’t stop you from taking notes but there is always that intimidation factor.
At land based poker rooms, you might be offered free alcohol. It is very tempting to say yes to such an offer. When you play online, only you can offer free alcohol to yourself and, unless the whisky was a gift, it isn’t actually free!
The Best Conclusion
In poker honesty is truly the best policy! Juicy Stakes Poker offers great poker in many skill levels, at many stakes levels, and in several different poker variants. As popular as Texas Holdem has become, there are still many players who love Omaha and Omaha High Low. It might be a bit difficult to find games in these poker variations at a land based poker room but they are always readily available at Juicy Stakes.
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