Poker: Finding your path 2

Published by AngusD on

I, like most players, sampled what was on offer and plumped for Hold’em. However, here, too, we are faced with further choices in our quest for the right fit, namely the completely different animals of Limit and No Limit, and not forgetting their potentially troublesome relative Pot Limit (personally, this is the type I wish I’d spent more time on over the years).

My initial instincts steered me clear of the ostensibly dangerous waters of No Limit and instead to the calmer, finite ripples of (low) Limit ring games. Then began the Fixed Limit Sit & Go adventures in which I expected the prospect of finishing in the top three of ten players would be a tall order but, right from the beginning, proved achievable (through making fewer mistakes than most of the other players rather than doing anything special).

Even the most modest kind of success can massage the ego in such a way that the fear factor simply disappears, and I was soon happily diving into No Limit S&G’s with – surprise, surprise – absolutely no success at all, my playing style swinging frantically from ridiculously passive to even more ridiculously aggressive, and nothing in-between…

This developmental curve is no doubt familiar to many readers, for whom the next practical step is to analyse each specific situation that has proved problematic or confusing.

With this imperative part of the learning process in mind It helps, obviously, if we have the time to devote our efforts to getting to grips with our game and subsequently improving it in as many areas as possible. However, if time is limited to a few hours per week – which is the case for most people – I would recommend getting reasonably well acquainted with more than one type of game before specialising. At least then it is possible to recognise our strengths or weaknesses better because we can compare how we fare, for example, in Fixed Limit multi-table tournaments compared with No Limit multis. With experience – as in life – more complex, subtle comparisons can be made and subsequent judgements and remedies grow more detailed.

There are two snippets of advice that should prove useful:

  1. Try to avoid sitting down for a couple of hours and merely playing for playing’s sake. If, when your session finishes, you’re concerned only with how much has been won or lost and can barely remember anything about the hands themselves and how they were played, then you’re making a big mistake and severely limiting your potential. 
  2. Think about poker when you’re not playing. It is surprising how easy it is to analyse, and in so doing make important discoveries about your game, when away from the action and therefore unfettered by the constant decision making process. Such a Zen-like approach is perhaps one of the least appreciated yet most rewarding means of improvement. 

Good luck at the tables!

Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador

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