Know Where Your Bread Is Buttered!

The reason to completely analyze and understand every facet of your game is so that you know what is profitable and not profitable.  If you know what situations are good for you, you can aim to find more of them and exploit them, while avoiding reducing unprofitable situations like playing out of position and calling reraises with weak hands.

I was playing in Parx this past week and the game was not great.  There were a few weak spots that came and went over the course of the day, but in general, the game was filled with good, tough, winning players that I recognized from previous sessions. I continued to play in the hopes the game would get better, but at about 9PM the game quickly went from 9 handed to 6 handed.  If you know anything about live poker, it’s that most players don’t want to play less than 8 or 9 handed(which is silly and the topic for another blog).  However, in this case, 2 of the players(the weaker ones!) had just arrived and were willing to play, I was happy to play, having played over 4 million hands online where the maximum number of players at the table is 6) and 2 other players were indifferent, but willing to play as well.  This left a player we will call Mike.  Mike is a professional player and he and I have played many hours together over the years.  He is very aggressive before the flop and after, and good enough to know when to apply pressure to his opponents weak hands, and when to back off.   Playing with fewer players at the table is to his benefit, since his aggression is far less likely to run into a good hand with 6 players rather than 9.  However, Mike surprised me when he said that he didn’t want to play in a bad game and that the game would probably be better tomorrow, and that he was going home.  I was frustrated because this caused the game to break, but also because he didn’t understand where his bread was buttered so to speak.

It’s important to think about the situations that occur and to take notes on important things that happen at the table.  Do you feel you always lose at the end of a session?  Perhaps you lose focus and start playing unprofitable hands after playing more than 8 hours(or 4 or 6).  Then set a hard cap of the number of hours you will play a in a row so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes.  The only way to know the information is to go look for it and then analyze it!

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