30/05/2007

If You Want to Win... Get the Brain working!

Carl Sampson 'The Dean'

Professional gambling is a very demanding profession in whatever capacity and poker is certainly no different. Whether you are a poker player, blackjack player, professional sports bettor or whatever, you will need a vast arsenal of knowledge at your disposal if you are going to make it pay.

But there are an awful lot of very knowledgeable people in gambling who don’t make it pay simply because they lack certain skills or attributes. You see, knowledge by itself is not necessarily enough as knowledge is far more easily come by these days and especially with the advent of the internet.

What tends to defeat an awful lot of gamblers and poker players for that matter is a combination of mental laziness and sitting back and thinking that you have cracked it just because you have won a few quid. People on the whole are inherently lazy and modern living has not done us any favours on that score. But poker is a very unforgiving and brutal game at the best of times and especially so for mentally idle people.

If you have a problem with concentrating then what makes you think that you can succeed at poker? Or are you so conceited or so good that you don’t need to concentrate to beat the game. I see it all the time online, a player sits there and sits there waiting for a good hand and then expects it to play itself when it arrives.

If you happen to win a $400 pot at $30-$60 limit hold’em for instance then that may not necessarily be a good result. Not if a better player who was concentrating fully and more in tune with the flow of the game could have extracted an extra two big bets and would have won a $520 pot in exactly the same situation. This failure to extract the full value from your hand is the silent killer and is a major reason for why people fail in poker and directly linked to that is the player not concentrating properly and playing on auto pilot. I found that my earn rate increased the less hours I played and this would apply to many poker players.

I have seen a similar thing happen many times with card counters in blackjack. Over the years, thousands of players have armed themselves with knowledge of basic strategy and a card counting system and thought that this was enough to start earning money... if only. Without knowledge of proper bankroll sizes, deception techniques, staff psychology, game selection, getting your money on un-noticed and all of the other stuff that a professional blackjack player needs to know then you ain’t going to last long in that business... but that stuff takes a lot longer to learn and master and that takes work, hard work.

But it is the same thing, knowledge of a card counting system and basic strategy can be got from many good books but books can not teach you everything and they cannot provide you with the certain personal attributes that you need to succeed. Your average poker player could suddenly become a whole lot better if they just concentrated more and put more work in... and that’s a fact!

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