With the average Sit & Go Hero tournament taking only seven minutes to complete, the partypoker blog is looking at a variety of poker an non-poker topics involving the number seven. This week we’ve compiled a list of seven deadly poker sins, how many of these are you guilty of making?
Not Playing Enough Hands
There used to be a saying that went along the lines of “tight is right, but tighter is righter.” Poor English aside, this advice is not for the modern game of poker where players tend to be looser and more aggressive than they have ever been.
Playing tight does have its merits, nobody will disagree with that, but playing too tightly is a major poker sin. By only playing premium hands you make yourself much easier to read because your opponents will peg you as having solid hands when you enter a pot and either avoid a confrontation with you, or play speculative hands to try and “crack” your big pairs.
Playing Too Many Hands
Playing too many hands is equally as bad, if not worse, than not playing enough hands. Some of the best poker players in the world play almost any two cards depending on the dynamics of the game, but playing weak holdings is a recipe for disaster if your hand reading skills and ability to lay down hands is not up there with poker’s elite grinders.
Not Utilising the Power of Position
They say that knowledge is power, but in poker it is position that rules supreme. The closer you are to the button, the better your position is at the table because you get to see how all of your opponents act before making your decisions.
Players often forget how important position is and will enter the pot with weak holdings from early position and then wonder why they are struggling to turn a profit. Even the world’s greatest players refrain from opening weak hands from under the gun and similar, but will be raising and attacking with trash once they are on the button.
Playing Outside of Your Bankroll
Bankroll management may seem like a boring topic because it restricts you to certain buy in levels if you follow proper guidelines. Boring as it may be, bankroll management is important for you as a player regardless of you being a recreational player who jumps into games twice a week, or are a multi-tabling grinder who plays poker for a living.
Taking shots is all well and good (and should be encouraged on occasion) but regularly playing outside the constraints of your bankroll is going to lead to you going broke, which means you either have to reload your account, or can’t play in any games; neither scenario is good.
Regularly Playing in Games You Can’t Beat
There is no point being the sixth best poker player in the world if you regularly sit down and play against the top five players in the world because you’re going to end up a losing player. That’s not to say don’t play against better players because doing so is a great way to build your skills, but continually playing in games that you cannot beat is most certainly a poker sin.
This is often linked to a player’s pride. When they win at poker they put their success down to being skilful, but when they lose they blame bad beats, Lady Luck, or even next door’s cat. If you are continually being outclassed at the tables be honest with yourself and move down in stakes where you are more likely to come across opponents you can beat. There is no shame in dropping down stakes, some of the best players in the world have yo-yoed between stakes on their way to the upper echelons of the game.
Berating Fellow Players
As frustrating as losing to someone’s ridiculous two pair after they have cold-called a four-bet with queen-three is, never berate an opponent for their poor play. Not only does doing so create a toxic environment, two other things can happen and neither is good for the game.
Firstly, the player make take offence to your remarks and simply leave the game. If they leave, you’ll not have any opportunity to capitalise on their mistakes and win your money back and more.
Secondly, the player playing trash hands may take your comments on board, go away and study the game as to improve their game, and come back to the tables as a stronger player who is harder to beat.
Ideally, you want to play against players who frequently make mistakes, don’t let people know they are making mistakes and they’ll likely continue to make the same ones.
Not Learning From Your Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes in poker, but only the better players learn from them and put things in place to prevent them from happening again. Big mistakes may be costly once or twice, but a small mistake that you continually make can ruin your bankroll.
For example, imagine that every time you make a royal flush you fold and hand the pot to your opponent. It is a monumental mistake, but one that you may be “lucky” to make only once or twice a year depending on how many hands you play.
No imagine you make a mistake such as raising with a trash hand from early position, or checking back a hand you should really be betting, which costs you a seemingly tiny 0.5 big blinds every time you make it, but you make this mistake 10 times every session you put in. The smaller mistake ends up costing you a lot more in money and value than a huge, glaring mistake: plug your leaks and learn from your mistakes.
Win Big in Seven Minutes
The number seven keep popping up everywhere, including at partypoker where seven is the number of minutes that a typical Sit & Go Hero tournament lasts from start to finish. During this time, you have the chance to play for a share of a prize pool that is up to 10,000 times your initial buy-in, allowing you to win up to a massive $170,000 for only a $20 buy-in. Interested? Of course you are, head to the partypoker lobby on your computer or mobile device and see how much fun you can have in seven minutes.
Perhaps one massive mistake would be not having enough battery life on your mobile phone or tablet to play a Sit & Go Hero tournament?