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Poker for Dummies - Harroch R.

Harroch R. Poker for Dummies - Wiley publishing , 2003. - 314 p.
Download (direct link): pokerfordumm2003.pdf
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But if you have the right stuff you can overcome this. Professional poker can be fun, rewarding, and social; and not many jobs let you set your own hours. You can even promote yourself to bigger games whenever you think you’re ready for the challenge. •
Playing poker for a living is not easy. But if you’re realistic about assessing your chances, you might just be able to pull it off.
Chapter 21
Ten Ways to Improve Your Poker Today
00 you want to become a better poker player today? Right now? Here are ten specific things you can do today, and each one of them will improve your game.
Kttou? four Numbers
If you don’t learn, understand, and use poker’s mathematical parameters, it will prove difficult to be a consistent winner in the long run. For example, if you’re playing Hold’em and flop four cards to a flush but don’t know the odds against completing that hand, what will you do when it’s your turn to act?
How will you ever know whether calling, raising, or folding is a play with a positive expectation? Finding positive expectations is the essence of winning poker, and it’s no more complex than recognizing those situations that will show a profit if they could be replayed time and again.
Knowing when a positive expectation is associated with a given play is a big part of winning. Imagine you’re faced with a $20 call into a $100 pot, but the odds against making your hand are only 3-to-l. That’s a positive expectation. Repeated 100 times, you’d expect to lose $20 on 75 of those occasions, for a loss of $1,500, but on 25 occasions, you’ll win $100, for a total of $2,500. Your net win of $1,000 ($2,500-$l ,500) is what’s important — not whether you won or lost on any particular hand. Divide your $1,000 win by the 100 times this situation occurred, and you’ll see that in the long run, each correct decision was worth $10 to you.
Applying mathematics, statistics, and probability to poker can be an incredibly involving subject. But if you want to find out more about poker mathematics, read Hold’em’s Odds Book, by Mike Petriv; Getting the Best of It, by David Sklansky; or Gambling Theory and Other Topics, by Mason Malmuth.
272 Part V: The Part of Tens
Know your Opponents
How many times have you made a strategic move that's doomed to fail because you chose the wrong opponent? Ever tried to bluff against someone who's a veritable calling station? It won't work. We all know that, but far too often we do it in spite of our better judgment.
If mathematics was the only skill required for winning, the best players would all be mathematicians — and they’re not. Knowing your opponents is equally important. Observe their actions at the table. Analyze their decisions and the choices they make. Are they in every hand? Do they raise with hands that don't warrant it? Are they rock-tight? You’ll find it fairly easy to get a read on most players within an hour. The best time to do this is when you're not in a hand. If you find yourself waiting for a game, watch your opponents-to-be, so you can adjust and temper your game strategies to their play before you sit down at the table.
Keep your Ego Out of the Game
Never, never let your ego control your play. Like they said in The Godfather, “This is business, not personal.” Never personalize it if an opponent wins a big pot from you, not even if he looks you right in the eye and laughs like a loon as he rakes in the chips. The minute you decide to “... get him,” you’re sure to miss other opportunities and probably squander some chips chasing him down. If the old adage, “Living well is the best revenge” holds true, then playing well — and walking away with a few racks of chips — is a giant step in that direction.
Keep Records — EOen When It Hurts
If you don’t keep records how will you know whether you're winning or losing in the long run? Players who fail to keep records deceive themselves. Most players, when asked, will say they’re life-long winners. But we both know that’s not true. The next time someone tells you he’s a life-long winner, ask about his records. If he doesn’t assiduously record wins and losses, he’s seeing only what he wants to — and more often than not, it’s an illusion.
While few things are more painful than recording a big loss in your notebook, records are critical because the human mind is blessed with an endless capacity for self-deception.
Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Improve Your Poker Today
Choose the Best Game
Much as we’d like to believe otherwise, the truth is that most of our winnings come not from our own brilliance but from our opponents’ poor play. Choose the game with the weakest opponents. A game full of weak players who call too often but are reluctant to raise with strong hands will do fine. After all, if you can’t beat players who call too much, who can you beat?
Commit to Excellence
Want to be a great poker player? Commit to greatness. Declare your excellence tonight, starting with the next hand you play. Visualize yourself as the greatest poker player ever — and act accordingly. You can reach excellence in a heartbeat, and you can do it today. If you want to be a winning, excellent player, go ahead and commit to it. Achieving change takes no time at all, but it will take forever to maintain it. Committing to excellence is that simple, but it requires every bit of your willpower.
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