The Real Deal On How To Become An Advanced Texas Hold Em Player

The huge popularity of this once-obscure poker game is a double-edged sword for the serious or professional player. Many more venues for the game exist, offering greatly increased opportunities for play at both low and high limits, but the knowledge of the player pool has also greatly increased.

Not many players persist in this game without a pretty decent understanding of the rules and of basic strategy. Foolish errors or blind play on the part of your opponents isn’t that common in this environment, and you certainly can’t expect to win with regularity by depending on playing uninformed opponents.

Rising above the ranks of the competent player to the ranks of the truly advanced Texas Hold Em player is, like expertise in any field, a mix of constant practice, honest self-assessment, and on-going education.

The native skill that may have first earned you a rich pot won’t carry you against players who’ve acquired the discipline of mastery.

Constant practice may be the most enjoyable of these tasks, at least initially. Making your practice most effective happens when you play all of your games with the constant aim of learning, not just winning.

Learn to mentally tally the outcome of your strategy. Does Player A really have that tell you noticed, or was that a coincidence? Concerted efforts to notice things like tells, the way others respond to your movements and choices, the likelihood in practice of drawing a second pair, and so on come with experience.

Experience is a synonym for intelligent, thoughtful practice.

More important than possibly anything else is the ability to honestly judge your own actions and their outcomes. Did you lose that pot because your luck went sour, or because you had already decided that you were smarter than your opponents? Is your poker face really as neutral as you like to think? Are your instincts really infallible?

Honest self assessment comes from developing a thick skin, the ability to watch yourself coldly, as an outside observer.

If you can film your own play you have the best possible tool for doing this. Can you access a tape made by the host of a tournament? Studying film is so essential to pro athletes because it allows them to see the reality of their performance and not only their own fleeting impressions.

If filming is out of the question, see if you can enlist a friend to watch your game and make notes for you. How did you react to the flop? Did you turn green when that guy across the table raised? Reviewing honest notes may not build your ego, but will build your self-knowledge; and no one would have tells if they knew they had them, would they?

Studying this game does involve reading, and yes, it does involve study. If this seems unpalatable, consider how much fun it is to lose. There are many, many books in print about advanced Texas Hold Em strategies and you should read as many of them as possible. When you find one to be beneficial, buy it, keep it, reread it, and memorize it.

Read as much as you can on Hold Em blogs, including the comments of all the other players. This is a rich source of information about what other players believe, don’t believe, fear and expect.

Use this information to your own advantage by storing it in your memory. Over time the accretion of this knowledge-building, combined with your continuing practice and increased humility/honesty, will result in that strange compound that’s more than knowledge, sometimes known as wisdom.

To Your Luck And Skill,

Alex Bannon

P.S. No matter how much money you want to make playing Hold Em, you’re going to need the skill, ability and education to get there. Get a head start on your competition and get your hands on the best value for money poker course on the planet right now.

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