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Poker Notes

Three small things that matter in poker Part 1: Posting

In days of old it was big things that made the difference between winning and losing poker players; players either knew pot odds, the chance of making a straight draw, and starting hand rankings or they didn’t. In today’s poker world the emphasis has shifted to the little things in poker, as the overwhelming majority of poker players understand the basic concepts of the game that keep them from making huge mistake after huge mistake.

Because of this shift, as poker players we need to look at all of the little things we can do to add to our win-rate, even if by themselves they seem insignificant -after all making 10 changes that each add $1 an hour to your win rate is still $10 an hour!

In this series of articles I’m going to look at three incredibly simple things you can do to increase your win rate including tipping practices and leaving before the blinds, but I’m going to start with posting a blind when you first sit down to play.

Why you should never post: This should go without saying, but I cannot count the number of times I have seen a player enter a game and post, even from early position! When I see this I know this is going to be a very loose player; I mean if they can’t wait a couple hands before posting what are the chances they can wait for good starting hands?

More importantly this practice is one of those little leaks that you can instantly plug. If the blinds are $10/$20 it costs you $30 a round to play poker, so in essence you must win $30 per orbit in this game just to break even! Now assume you are a decent player and you win $35 per orbit (average of course) and get in 3 orbits an hour, for a $15 profit. By posting a $20 blind, say in MP, you have increased your price per orbit to $50 and only added 4 hands for this price. So while the typical hand costs you $3 to play, when you post the price has grown to $5 for those four hands!

It may not seem like much, but in the long-run it does add up. Imagine you play 300 times a year and lose $8 from this practice; you are tossing $2,400 a year down the toilet because you don’t like to wait!

Obviously the positional advantage of posting just off the button can make up for this, and you’ll get to see seven hands or so for your $20, which makes posting just off the button acceptable, but it is not acceptable to post in any other position! And never buy the button; this will cost you the same for eight hands as it normally does for 10!

Online this practice can be even more egregious with players participating in multiple tables at a time, and possibly playing two or three sessions in a day.

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  • Posted in: Poker, Poker Strategy & Tips
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