When you run into a business problem – do you give up, or do you persist and find solutions? Your growth mindset and self-efficacy in business determine how well you survive. This is why we often seek out experts’ advice on how to perform better. Just like finding a business mentor, nothing beats taking your poker strategy to the next level by learning from the pros. So, let’s take a look at what they have to say:
Focus on one type of game first
When it comes to online poker, your options are mostly divided between tournaments and cash games. Poker Pro Arshad “Sheddy” Siddiqui suggests sticking to one game. Doing so gives you the chance to learn to the extent that you become confident enough to play. Cash games allow you to purchase as little or as much as you please, as long as it falls within the minimum and maximum buy-in amount. In tournaments, however, everyone buys in for the same amount of money and starts with the same amount of chips. For conservative players, Sheddy recommends starting with tournaments. “If you feel like you play lots of hands, start with cash games”, he adds.
Learn the fundamentals online
Jason Somerville, who brought streaming viewers unprecedented access to the world’s premiere poker festival, advocates that starting out online is the greatest method to study the principles and mathematical theory of poker. Online poker games takes you out of the chaos of live events and makes you look at the game from a less personal perspective. It helps you focus more on the cards in front of you and how they’re played instead of getting too caught up trying to read your opponent. “You can learn all the body language tricks you want, but if you don’t know if a flush beats a straight or the likelihood of getting the cards you need, you won’t survive long.”
Keep a list of people you play with
Canadian Poker expert Daniel “Kid Poker” Negreanu strongly advocates keeping a list of the people you have encountered on the felt. The Masterclass mentor makes a note of what each of his opponent’s playing styles are and their specific tells. This small habit helps a lot in order to understand what works against his previous opponent and what doesn’t. He claims that even keeping small notes in your phone and studying it frequently will help you improve your strategy. Chances are, you will face the same opponent multiple times. If you don’t win in your first encounter, you might come better prepared to the next one.
In Poker, failing is part of the job
Ex-accountant turned professional poker player Chris Moneymaker had no prior live tournament experience when he was offered a chance to compete in the World Series of Poker in 2003. Despite being a nobody, he walked away from the competition as the World Champion. One thing that worked towards his advantage was this mindset: you better be able to fail and not get bent out of shape about it. “Failure will be up to 85% of your job, on average,” he says. Armed with his knowledge of the game, coupled with this mentality and a slice of luck, he bested top player Sam Farha.
Which advice applies best to you?