Slowly but surely….

February 14, 2008


It’s been a busy few weeks for me away from the tables, but I’m slowly easing myself back to the virtual felt. I’ve had plenty of time to think about the game and to do a bit of self analysis.

Self analysis is a very important – if not THE MOST important – part of poker.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look once in awhile, you could miss it – Ferris Beuler

This same quote can be applied to your poker game. If you don’t stop to analyse your game, you won’t find any problems you may have. Stopping and looking for areas where you can improve is a must. There are loads of ways to do it, but here’s what I’ve done…..

  • Recalled my hand history and reviewed individual hands to see how I could have played them better. Not only hands I lost but also hands I won. Could I possibly have managed to steal more chips from my opponents. Was I overly aggressive?
  • I’ve taken advice from people watching me play. Other players will pick up your faults long before you do. I’ve had people watch me play (I tell them my hand) and they tell me their thoughts once the hand is played out. Do not however, let them tell you how to play the hand. You play it your way THEN get their opinion. You won’t learn much if you have someone else more or less playing the game for you! This is a fantastic tool if you really want to improve your game.
  • I’ve watched tables to see how other people are playing. I try to find a table where I know there is a good player, and watch how the play goes. Watching people who you know are better players than you can only help your game. You pick up so much information, if you look hard enough. By watching a table (but not getting involved) you soon pick up on who the good players are; who the monkeys are; and also you start to recognise each players pattern of play. Do they play the same throughout the game? Do they mix it up well? Are they prone to bluffing? These are the sort of questions you should be thinking about. Doing this will also help if you happen to meet any of the players in the future. It’s always handy to put notes on the players, and date the notes. It gives you an idea of how they play if you do meet them. Just remember that these players can also improve, so don’t trust your notes to the letter!

The one thing I still need to work on though, is my concentration levels. I’m still losing concentration at critical times during games. I know some of the problems causing this (mainly alcohol…lol). I just need to be a bit more disciplined, but that’s easier said than done. I enjoy having a beer or three when playing.

Anyways, as you can see, I have been quite busy on the poker side even though I’ve not played that much lately. If you need a break from poker, don’t abandon it completely. There are lots ways to improve your game – without actually playing – and I’ve only gave you a few ideas. And if you are playing but aren’t doing too great, stop and and do some self analysis. Try the things I’ve done. It will benifit you. It will start to mould you into a better player and hopefully a more profitable player!

As usual comments are welcome. As would any other pointers for helping improve your game.