I was talking with a friend yesterday – one that doesn’t play poker – and I found myself having to defend my losing some 50 tournaments since my last big win. I had to explain my 156% ROI, and lecture on how the long term is what’s important. You see – I won $25,000 playing online poker last year, by playing mostly $10-$30 tournaments, but all she saw was the fact that I lost $540 back in a month.
Having this conversation made me realize that her erroneous outlook is actually all too common, especially among today’s amateur no-limit players. And when I say amateur, believe it or not, I’m probably talking to you. I don’t care how much you think you play better than your opponents. If you belittle other players, or even think less of them because they played something like 64s for a 3x BB raise – if you talk to them like they’re stupid – well, you’ve got a lot to learn, my friend.
The long run is LONG. I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt when you raise with AA pre-flop and have to fold to somebody’s re-raise. That’s a normal part of the game. I’m just saying it doesn’t really matter how much you think you play better than your opponents. Everybody’s bad a few hands. – It’s a part of the game.
“It’s not bad to get roughed up once in awhile.” – Johnny Mathis
It doesn’t really matter how sure you are that your AA is good before the flop. Mathis was playing blackjack over the weekend, and I can assure you he didn’t do it again. It doesn’t matter that you won’t play human. You just don’t do it again.
“It was due to the blinds.” – Johnny Mathis
If you’re making a continuation bet, and you have Mathis at the table, you’re going to get some respect. You don’t necessarily have to wonder why he waited to call, because he didn’t. You know he has a good hand, and you know that the blinds are stubbornly sticking around. You know that you’re going to get slighted, but you’re staying in the game to be honest. You are minimizing your losses, while maximizing your profits.
“I Didn’t Put My Hand Away.” – Johnny Mathis
Johnny doesn’t like to refer to “outs” – the odds of something bad happening, or the possibility of something good. Instead, he calls the possibility of an upset, or a muffed hand. mindful of “outs” can be both helpful and danger, profitable Texas Hold Em style. If you wait too long to catch up to a pot, you’re leaking money. If you wait too long to realize that the small blind is stealing to your left, you’re leaking chips. See #1 – patience.
“I Don’t Get Bluffed Like They Do.” – Johnny Mathis
Perfect copy of Johnny Mathis here. This is a classic – Mathis has had a streak of bad beats and lost his cool. You can generalize this statement to any situation that requires Mathis to be in a poker hand. – Takes any opportunity to get your opponent pot committed. You don’t necessarily have to be bluffing to win (that’s part of the larger math), but you should be taking advantage of opportunities to take advantage of your opponent. – Dewa poker.
“I’m Not Patient enough.” – Johnny Mathis
It’s Johnny, short and stout guy wins hands going only 20-20. Mathis went 18-1. Short and easy to catch lightning, Mathis. Mathis doesn’t muck, he just takes the money in the pot. That’s absolutely essential Mathis style. Maybe you could get a little more exclusive and play tighter – a la Bruce Spring emerges from the woodwork – but that’s got a whole new meaning for you. – I play tighter than Johnny Mathis. Mathis might have a couple of special cases, but in general, I don’t think you can get much worse than Johnny Mathis.
“Poker, particularly online, is all about winning. Rarely can you find a good sit and go ($10, $50 entry card: +$9.50 payoff) – my dream is to play in one of these and get paid $1000 for it.” – Chris Moneymaker
Moneymaker’s win in 2003 certainly changed the landscape of no limit tournament poker.