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Poker Notes

Three key differences between good and bad poker players Part 3

In the few years since I switched from playing poker as a source of income to writing about poker as a source of income I have probably penned at least a dozen articles on this theme, and the remarkable thing is that each time I do, the advice changes! Whether this is because poker is so complex that there are 100’s of things you should and shouldn’t do -which is true-or if it’s because poker changes so fast that what was right or important is not tomorrow -which is also true!

So here is Part 3 of my latest contribution on the topic of what makes a good poker player.

  • Good players are self-critical while bad players have a warped view of reality

When it comes to assessing how you performed in any given poker session it’s important to take a step back and almost pretend you are critiquing a student, instead of questioning your own play. While this is almost second-nature for good poker players, bad poker players tend to have a twisted view of reality, which causes them to make excuses for their “mistakes” instead of taking possession of them.

What Good Players Do…

Good players are able to be brutally honest with themselves when it comes to how they have performed in any session. While they don’t beat themselves up over a bad decision, or questionable play, they do file the hand away for later study. This allows the good poker players out there to constantly improve their game, and this extra study also has the benefit of giving them a very deep understanding of poker in general.

Good players are more than willing to discuss interesting hands with other solid players, and are constantly looking at their difficult decisions to see if they are making the right choices in these cases.

What Bad Players Do…

When it comes to bad players and criticism the two simply don’t jive. Bad players are notorious for not taking criticism well, so why on earth would they criticize their own play! If they made a mistake or had a bad session it was because of some outside force, or simply a case of bad luck.

Bad players rarely review their sessions, and do not make note of interesting or borderline hands that come up during sessions. Bad players also do not seek out the advice of others -mainly out of fear that they will be criticized.

Basically, bad players like to talk about the polarizing hands -big wins and big losses-and leave the borderline hands out of any conversations, while good players know that the big hands are the easy decisions and instead concentrate on the hands that pose difficult decisions.

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  • Posted in: Poker Strategy & Tips
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