Poker strategy with Matt Matros: the poker paradox
Winning at online poker is as much as tough as in a live one. It is very tough. Actually, it is so hard that about 75% of players experience losses (some researches claim that even more). Recently, the Federal government of the USA has made a trial to prove in court that luck is more important in poker than skills considering there are very few players who win. Weinstein, the judge, refused this absurd argument. He understood that even though it is hard to win in poker still it’s possible. (Unluckily, Weinstein verdict was cancelled by higher authority few months ago, but it is a subject for another article). It is not whether winning in a poker game is a deal of skills (it is so for sure), but why it’s that hard to win this game what interests us the most.
Let’s forget for a while about the most evident reason why players lose – rake. There are figures according to which at least two thirds of players would lose supposing there were no rake. It makes sense to me. Gambling places surely do not retain rake in every hand in tournaments, but eventually only two or three best players at the table gain the profit. Poker has never been a game where half of players win and another one lose. Rake is a large obstacle on the way to become a professional poker player, but it is not an ultimate reason why it is tough to win in poker.
So what is the main reason? I can't claim I have a precise answer. There is a load of factors which make poker a tough game and any which of these factors can explain why the majority of players are not able to win, but I’m sure that Self-Assessment Paradox is the best explanation. So my argument is so that evaluation of one’s own skills is very much important for a poker player. So if you decide that you play better than you really do you’ll definitely try to bite more than you can chew and will be busted.
And vice versa, in case you underestimate yourself you will never take the game seriously and won’t gain necessary experience that will help you become a good poker player. Considering that no one plays well in the beginning of a career, this idea may be true. Briefly, people who from the point of psychology are the most likely to be good players probably won’t ever concern themselves with poker seriously. And contrarily.
Those who beat up and win during a long time can be divided into following categories:
- One who lacks self-esteem, starts with low stakes and steps up only when sure he's good enough to.
- Player who run good in the beginning of a career and is able to evaluate his abilities before the good fortune is over.
- A stirring fighter who experiences months of losses and becomes skillful enough finally to be a winning player.
And even though I'm risking to be boasting (but, is it possible to boast of one’s modesty?), I would list myself as a representative of the first category of players. When I was a beginner, I played very bad and I did realize it. Being 21, I experienced playing in a real casino for the first time and was torn to bits. And I promised myself never to play poker again. I knew then I would never be able to keep that promise, but still it was much more I hated losing than enjoyed the game. During my career I have been careful as much as I was at the beginning, at least from the point of self-assessment. I always stepped to a higher limit apprehensively and avoided expensive games were superstars participated till now. And I’m sure this strategy was saving my bankroll.
Many online-poker phenomena-players refer themselves to the second type – the ones who had a cool up streak in the beginning of a career accidentally and then learned how to play well. Some of them admit that in case they had lost their first games they would probably give up playing a few weeks later. However, these lucky guys who make for successful players early but learn all the needed poker basics then, become tough competitors. They are totally fearless (so would be you in case you turned $100 into a six-figure sum without repeated depositing), while the majority of professional players are not that brave. Surely, everyone faces downswings, but the ones who succeeded in the beginning have a saving bankroll.
A professional grinder who plays despite a long-lasting period of defeats is the rarest type of poker players. They deserve the biggest respect.
A losing player needs to re-estimate his abilities or swallow his pride and step down to a lower stakes. People are not very disposed to change their views and they tend to be too proud. That’s why only few people chose this way. If someone is capable to disclose the problems, they need to improve their playing and get through money losses. It is very easy to go insane watching your elaborate strategies being slowly ruined.
Professionals have a good way to survive defeats: they look back at their gains and remind themselves that they are still winners in the long run. Losing players can’t afford using this method. They insist on how unfair their destiny is or they just love the game. I am familiar with some expensive tournaments regulars who belong to this type of players. They usually succeed competing with other regular players who don’t evaluate the skills of their competitors. There is no way in poker you underestimate your rival.
No one can ever think that poker is an easy way to become rich and the ones who got it will never try to. But if you are diligent, try to move up the limits at a reasonable pace and you are honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses then once you'll find load of self-assured green players around you who will desire to give their money to you.
Knowledge base's sections
The best about poker
- How to get satisfaction from playing poker
The psychology of poker
- Five reasons why I've made money and continue doing this playing poker
The psychology of poker
- Poker table positions (positions in poker)
Fundamentals of poker
- The fundamental theorem of poker
- Slow play in poker
Fundamentals of poker
- The probabilities of getting specific starting hands on preflop