Win-Rate Killing Mistakes
We all make mistakes at the poker table, but some of us tend to err more than others. If they’re completely honest with themselves, losing players will be able to track back the causes of their woes to a few mental mistakes we’re all prone to committing. The first (and biggest) two such mistakes are linked as they’re both caused by manufactured winning streaks. Let’s be a tad more specific: I’m talking about playing for too long while stuck and bailing out of a winning session way too early to preserve winnings.
Playing too long while on our B-game (in a less than ideal shape) is a felony just about every poker player has committed at least a few times. One always starts out with the idea that he should spend his time usefully at the poker table, therefore losing or even breaking even is not an option: one has got to win. We want our each and every session to be a winning one, after all, we are all better than average poker players aren’t we? This is where the concept of the manufactured winning streaks stems from. In order to consider ourselves productive at the green felt, we need to win time and time again. It doesn’t matter if we only win a little as long as we’re winning. Poker’s not like that though. There are swings, and there are mood-swings for the players. We’re not always on our A-game and when we’re not, we tend to lose. What is there to do when we’re clearly struggling and losing? Just leave the game be for a while. Give it a break and let the nasty dark clouds pass. What most of us do under such circumstances though is that we dig our heels in and declare that we need to win, so we start chasing out losses. By doing that, we achieve one of two things, none of which is positive for our overall game: by chasing the losses we gradually go on a tilt and we end up wrecking our entire bankroll, or we manage to hit a lucky break, we manage to generate a minimal profit and we quit, going to bed content that we’ve weathered the storm and attained our objective.
None of these outcomes is positive in any way. Going on a tilt is an obvious game-killer. Going to bed on a minimum profit however will keep us playing while on our B-game for a long time. That price is too great to pay for that sort of an accomplishment.
Quitting play when we generate a given amount of profit while on our A-game is another such mistake. Many a player will sit down to the green felt and tell himself if he manages to double his initial buy-in, he’ll call it the day. That approach is just as detrimental as the one detailed above.
The bottom line about these mistakes is that players usually choose to commit them. Some players do not care about rake rebate deals or poker propping setups because they’re uninformed: they don’t know about them. The above described mistakes are purely in players’ heads though. They dig themselves a hole, and they never come to the realization that at some point they just ought to stop digging.