I was already about half way through this article when a thread started on the forum about Vicky C’s similar article and I ended up having to reword this slightly so as not to repeat what I had said in my reply. But seeing as many people who visit this site don’t read the articles or read the articles and don’t read the forum then I thought that I would go over a few things.
But I have always thought that the taking of advice or seeking out information in poker is a very double edged thing. You obviously need to further your education in order to make money but as the saying goes “a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing”.
The crucial aspect of this isn’t in the quality of the information or advice that you read but what you actually do with that information that counts. It is exactly the same with sniffers, I guarantee you that no two players will get exactly the same value out of these things. This is why simply trying to copy the habits of winning players isn’t necessarily a remedy for success.
One might argue that it is better to take advice from a successful player than a losing player and this is difficult to argue with. But just because a player is successful at winning money doesn’t necessarily mean that it is correct to take their advice on everything. If this was the case then the very best players in the world would be the only people worth taking advice from and the top players would automatically make the best coaches... doesn’t quite work like that I’m afraid.
There are no set or correct guidelines in poker to coach and you can get words of wisdom from some unusual sources. The flip side to this is that you can be told absolute crap by some of the very best in the business. This is because generic advice can sometimes be very bad advice depending on your own particular circumstances.
Bankroll considerations and stipulations for leaving a poker game are two areas in which I often read an awful lot of rubbish from some very respectable people. Now there are lots of reasons to leave a poker game but in this article I want to discuss suffering losses. Any loss at a poker table will have an effect on you mentally. In fact many poker players could actually slowly begin to derail by a prolonged period of breaking even without actually losing at all.
All I can say to this is that we all have our own individual breaking points. If you read about some player at NL100 who has regular daily losses of five buy-ins then don’t automatically try to emulate them if losing over $100 drags you over the edge into mediocre emotionally driven play.
Some might argue that if the thought of losing over $100 terrifies you then you shouldn’t be playing NL100... why not? If you can lose $100 today and be fed up but yet have totally forgotten about it tomorrow then why shouldn’t you play NL100 if you really want to?
There will be an awful lot about your all round poker situation that is individual and pertinent to you and you alone. This is why you should be totally objective when you read what I or anyone else writes or advises. There are many times within poker where advice can be generic and still be very effective but there are an equal or greater number of instances where it isn’t as well.
I have always maintained that the greatest breakthrough a poker player makes is when they discover themselves and how they can mould their own personality around the game in such a way as to make money. These methods are not always the most high profile or conventional methods that are often talked about and used by other players.
Do you take every little piece of value you can even though it will surely lead to vastly increased variance? Do you play on despite losing the amount of money that takes you through your own personal pain barrier all because some book says that its all one long game? There are many instances in poker where you must go your own way and do what suits you for the good of your own game and your results will impact on this. Take advice by all means, read as much as you can and from as many different sources but for your own good... do be objective as only you will know what works for you and what suits your own particular personality and needs and no one else.
Carl “The Dean” Sampson can also be found playing free poker