Thinking Long Term In Poker Is a Must

August 19, 2010 :: Posted by - scott :: Category - Poker

A poker player can be measured on what kind of decisions he make. You win if you make good judgment and you lose if you passed the poor ones.

Every decision created has a long term expected value or EV. This value is the typical result of a poker game the long run. Here’s an example: If you’re playing in a Hold ‘Em game with a limit of $10/$20 and you have a good set of cards and played it to the river you may expect an EV of +$20 every time your opponent calls on your bet. And if you fold your big blind you may anticipate a lose of -$10 for the same decision throughout the game.

But EV is a bit more complicated than that. The -$10 big blind is not that easy to play. When you lose an average of $3 in the Big Blind, then the expecte value when you fold every hand is -$7. But if you lose a hand worth $12 in the big blind then the expected value of your actions will be +$2.

The question bothering most poker players is that why they are a lot of players who make bad decisions? These is because they only focus on the short term outcome of the game and not the long one. EV is no a part of their precious lives.

Even good players make mistakes. These mistakes are oftentimes not seen but they exist. There are famous players who loved their most favorite hand, others can’t understand the idea of positioning and there are too open minded to leave their blind unprotected. Actually, there are a lot of mistakes that a good player can fall into.

Making good judgment can make you triumph in poker and making bad judgment will make you lose.

Some players take this concept for granted. They don’t think that luck has two sides and there is the thing called good luck. Winning a hand doesn’t mean that someone had a made a good decision. Good judgment only exist if you made a +EV in a long time.

Poker players who know how to play the game in a long term basis are great and short term success will not trick them. Though its not easy to ignore your short term success, you need to focus more in making right decisions. Bad luck can shook the most disciplined players. Your aim is to bet your money when the chance of winning the pot is bigger.

Don’t depend on hunches and don’t ignore the core strategies of the game in order not to become a results oriented player. Results oriented players focus on the the mistakes they made in a certain hand and not the reasons behind those mistakes. They are not familiar with EV. And they always take for granted their strategies in order to win the game, they only believe in luck to survive the game.

This is what you need as your opponent. The more distracted your opponent is, the better. Because the mistakes made by the other players will make you more money instead of relying on good gameplay.

Its really vital that you know this concept. Mistake is the common denominator in poker. The more mistakes you make, the more chance that you will go home defeated. So it is important not to make mistakes when you play the game. Try to play with players who are worse than you and check who will came up on top?

This concept applies to all kinds of poker and to all kinds of players. If 6 worst players are sitting on a table and another player who is also worse joins them, who would you think will take the money?