Leaks in Your game
Whether you like to believe it or not, we all have money leaks in our game. Some are more recognizable then others, but they are there. I have plugged
up a couple in the last month (in doing so, I found a few more). Here are some very common leaks, and ones that I think we all need to plug up to some extent:
1) Betting into a calling station.
If a player has shown tendency to call down on draws, ace high you need to be careful against him. Don't bet into him with nothing. Say you raise with AQ and the flop shows 38J rainbow. You make a continuation bet and he calls. Was this the right move? You may be ahead right now, but you know that he is calling your bet. Isn't the purpose of a continuation bet to take the pot down right there? If you are ahead push harder. If you are behind check, let me say that again, check.
2) Making incorrect calls
You have seen a player being very aggressive. You notice that he bets a lot with TPTK. You have two overcards and he is pot betting into you. FOLD. You may think that you can call because if you hit you will make him pay. Will you? How has he reacted before when scare cards come down? Has he paid them off? If so, maybe you do have the implied odds. If he hasn't you are only loosing by making these calls. Bottom line is, you can't guarantee implied odds. You must adjust them according to the % chance that they will come to. If you have a straight flush draw, and know he has a boat and will be glade to get all his chips in the pot, maybe it is worth a call. On the other hand, if you have trips and you put him on a straight, chasing your boat may not be the greatest idea. Will he fold his straight to an obvious boat? Sometimes he will...
If the 9 flops will he put all his chips in the middle? Probably..
If the 10 flops will he put all his chips in the middle? Probably not..
What about the Ace, or Queen... Would you put all your chips in the pot with 10,10,Q,Q on the board and all you had was a straight?
These are not very good implied odds...
3) Over-valuing suited cards. K4 suited is not a good hand. Why are you playing it? If you tell me because it is suited, you have a leak in your game, end of story.
4) Over-valuing connected cards. 34o is not a good hand. Why are you playing it? If you tell me because it is connected, you have a leak in your game, end of story.
5) Not playing the aformentioned hands in correct situations. I did not say that you have a leak in your game if you are playing these did I? No, go re-read what I wrote. You have a leak in your game if you are playing theses hands only
because they are suited or connected. What if you are on the button and 5 people have called, and you look down at 34o? Jesus, call call call call call call call. You are getting 6.5-1, maybe 7-1 on this call. What are you chances of flopping a straight or two pair with this hand and getting paid off? Better then 7-1.
6) Calling a 4 flush bet without an A or K. These are some tough situations. Do you call a pot bet with a board of
Well, do you bet into that pot with that hand? Probably not... So, would your opponent bet into that pot? Probably not... So, are you behind, probably. Maybe you should call maybe you shouldn't call, it all depends on your read on your opponent. My point is that this is not an automatic call, and you can fold here... BTW if you just call here with the Ah you have a leak in your game also. What in earth do you have to loose with a raise? If he folds you win the pot, oh you were going to do that anyway.. He can not beat you here so don't you think about not raising with the Ah here. Maybe he has KhQh, and he knows that only 1 card in the deck can beat him so he might just make that call...
7) Not watching the table
If you are not paying attention to your table, and their habits you are loosing money. It is as simple as that. Watch the tendencies of other players. Do they bet at uncontested pots a lot? Do they check off good hands that are not the nuts? Do they fold to raises? Are they a calling station? Do they open raise with bad cards? There is a lot of information you can get just by watching the betting habits of the rest of the table, and you can win a lot of small pots, and maybe a large one or two this way. Remember, poker is a game of incomplete information, the more you have the bigger advantage you have.
This was addressed a little bit in #6, but I can not repeat it enough. If you have the best hand raise. It is as simple as that.
This does nothing, end of discussion. If a player folded to your min raise and he would have called without it he needs to be shot. Min raising effectively builds up a pot and causes more people to stay in. It attracts people to the pot. Let me back up a little bit, there are a small few times where min-raising is effective, but if you stop min-raising 100% you will plug up more holes then you introduce.
10) Calling on a bluff
A bluff is not made by calling a bet. A bluff is made when betting or raising. By calling you are telling absolutely nothing to your opponent, therefore you are not deceiving him. Enough said..
These are just the top 10, I will try to round up some more later :)
See, I told you I was actually going to write about poker!