Whether you’ve only just got into poker or find yourself continually losing, Daniel Negreanu has some quick tips to improve your game…
1 PLAYING TOO MANY HOURS
Your brain just doesn’t function very well after 22 hours sitting at the table. Rather than getting some rest and coming back fresh the next day, most rookies end up playing too many hours trying to chase their money back. In the process, they end up throwing away even more money. Your mind plays tricks on you after too many hours and you’ll often convince yourself that you’re playing really well,when the chances are you’re not!
2 QUITTING WHEN AHEAD
There is no ‘system’ for when you should get up and leave. The worst system that many rookies use is when they ‘hit and run’ – quitting a game after very small wins, but continuing to play when they’re far behind. If anything, that’s the exact opposite of what you should be doing. When you are winning, you have a powerful table presence that you should look to exploit. When you are losing your table image is tarnished and it can have a negative effect on your confidence.
3 PLAYING IN TOUGH GAMES
Rookie players will often find themselves sitting in games with competition that they just can’t handle. Rather than playing in smaller stakes games with opponents of comparable skill, they prefer to go head to head with the pros – and you can guess how that turns out…
4 PLAYING TOO HIGH
Nothing is more detrimental to your confidence – and your bankroll – than playing for money that you can’t afford to lose. You simply can’t make smart and unbiased decisions when you also have to think about how you’re going to pay the rent if the Qs doesn’t bail you out on the river. It’s absolutely crucial that you play within the limits you feel comfortable with – that way you’ll be able to focus on the game you’re in, without worrying about the financial implications.
5 PLAYING TOO MANY HANDS
Most beginners play more hands than they should and fail to understand the importance of starting off with premium hands in premium situations.
6 WATCH OUT FOR YOUR EGO
You’re not as good as you think you are! The day you realise that you know nothing about poker is the day you might start learning a thing or two. It’s important to be objective about your poker skills and where they might need improvement.
7 LACK OF PATIENCE
To play poker properly you’ll find that you go through long stretches of sheer boredom waiting for good cards. Rookies often don’t have the patience to wait, so they play hands that they know they shouldn’t out of sheer boredom.
8 BLUFFING TOO MUCH
Many rookies have seen too many movies and think that poker is all about bluffing. They think that if they keep betting everyone will get out of their way. The problem is that the habitual bluffer is identified by opponents early and then they are on to him.
9 GOING ON TILT
Playing more hands with less focus, a tilted player will lose all faith in his gameplan and chase inside straight draws, when he knows he shouldn’t.
10 DRINKING WHILE PLAYING
You need to have all your wits about you to make quality decisions at the table. It’s no coincidence that casinos will offer you free alcohol – it clouds your judgement.