This One Little Thing Can Destroy Your Poker Game (Avoid It!)

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As they say, poker is an easy game to learn but it can take a lifetime to master. So you need to make sure that you are eliminating any bad habits from your poker game.

And there is one particularly bad habit that can not only destroy your poker game but all of your profits and your bankroll as well.

This bad poker habit is focusing on the short term luck factor. And it comes in a variety of different ways, from obsessing over your day to day winnings, to fixating on your results with pocket aces too much.

All of this short term thinking in poker is more harmful for your poker results than you possibly know. In fact, it is the #1 reason why most people do not win at this game.

So in this article I am going to show you how to stop fixating on what doesn't matter at the poker tables and how the pros think about the game instead.

Forget About Your Pocket Aces

One of the first things you need to do is let go of this manic obsession that we all have every time we get dealt pocket aces or pocket kings.

Believe me, I get it. They don't come around very often, at all. And those rockets or cowboys sure do look nice after folding all of those terrible hands for hours on end it feels like!

But you have to remember that pocket AA and pocket KK are just one pair. They will lose a certain percentage of the time just like all other hands.

You do not have some god given right to win the pot just because you got dealt one of these hands. And yes, they will lose sometimes, 2, 4 or even 10 times in a row.

People absolutely lose their minds over this simple fact though. If you want some evidence of this go check out my recent is PokerStars Rigged post. And then go read the comment section.

The amount of pure crazy there is overwhelming.

What some of these people fail to understand is that writing long angry incoherent comments on my blog about all your bad beat stories is not going to make them stop happening.

Because this is simply the way that poker works. You will get bad beats with your pocket aces and pocket kings and it won't stop, ever.

So you can immediately gain a massive edge over a lot of your competition by accepting the simple fact that aces and kings are just another hand that will lose sometimes.

Forget About Your Poker Results Over Days or Weeks

And while you are at it, if you want to take your mental game to a truly elite level, you should stop caring about your poker results over periods of hours, days or weeks as well.

I actually just don't even bother looking anymore. When somebody asks me how it's been going lately at the poker tables my answer is always the same.

I don't know. Couldn't tell you. Because I haven't bothered to look lately!

Here is what I do instead of obsessing over my hour to hour, day to day or week to week results like most other people do.

I sit down and I play poker. I make the best decisions that I am capable of. And then when I am ready, I quit my poker session and go do something else.

The results don't matter because I know that I am playing in games that I can crush and I know that I am way more experienced and work way harder than all my competition away from the tables.

Therefore, I know I will win in the long run. I don't need to obsessively check my results day in and day out to prove this.

Now of course I do need to check my balance sometimes and I will usually do that once or twice a month at the most.

If you truly want to rise above all the craziness and instantly become mentally stronger than 95% of other poker players, stop paying attention to short term results.

Avoid Equity Adjusted Winnings Reports

For those of you using a HUD program like PokerTracker there is another bad habit that is easy to fall into. And that is focusing too much on your equity adjusted results.

This is essentially a representation of what your results would be if you had run "normal."

But what is normal in poker? I will tell you what it is, it's a made up fairy tale land that doesn't even exist! The truth is that sometimes you are going to run way above EV (expected value) and sometimes way below EV.

There is absolutely no point in paying any attention to it because when you are running below EV you will get bitter about it and when running above EV you will feel like you are only winning because you are a luckbox.

So I suggest ignoring this stat in PokerTracker or Hold'em Manager altogether. In other words, remove. I have the equity adjusted winnings stat completely removed in PokerTracker.

The Big Secret to Winning Poker

So what should you do instead to rise above the level of all this short term thinking that is bound to ruin your poker winnings, poker bankroll and your entire career?

Well, unfortunately there is no magic pill here.

As I often say on this blog and elsewhere, poker is a boring game. It is played out over large sample sizes and the only thing that really matters is the long, long run. Months and years and even decades in some cases.

Poker is the exact opposite of a get rich quick scheme.

But many people see poker on TV or in movies and they get into the game for the big bluff, the crazy all-ins and the million dollar final tables.

Guys, this just isn't the reality of poker though. That's all make believe.

If you want to win at poker over the long run then you need to treat this game like you would a job. Get in there and grind it out day in and day out.

It is called a "grind" for a reason.

Implement the same simple tight and aggressive strategy over and over again at the lower limits and you will see success over a period of months and years.

That's the the big secret. The big secret is that there is no secret! You simply get in there and grind and push small edges over extremely large sample sizes.

It's not glamorous, it's not sexy. Heck, a lot of the time it is downright boring. But it's winning poker.

Final Thoughts

Short term thinking is the one little thing that can screw up your entire poker career.

But when you think about it this is kind of the case for nearly everything in life. You wouldn't start a new business or a gym routine and expect to see any kind of significant results in a few days or a week right?

So why would you with poker?

What makes poke different in that so many people expect results to happen right away? I think it might be a byproduct of how we think now as a society. Everybody expects immediate results.

The game of poker wasn't created for impatient people looking to make a quick buck though. In fact, we have a name for those kind of people in poker.

They are called fish.

And you can see them all over the internet complaining about how their AA got cracked again, while the real grinders are quietly putting in the long hours at the poker tables and laughing all the way to the bank.

Let me know in the comments below what you think of short term thinking in poker. Do you think it is helpful or harmful?

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Why Poker Forums and Reddit Are Killing Your Poker Results

Why Poker Forums and Reddit Are Killing Your Poker Results
Poker can be a lonely pursuit especially if you play online. I have played 10+ million hands of poker online and most of that was done while sitting in a room all by myself.

So it is nice to talk to fellow poker players once in awhile, bounce ideas off each other, and discuss poker hands.

But unfortunately this can also be a double edged sword. Many people will turn to poker forums or poker subreddits for this sense of community.

However, unfortunately these places can often end up doing far more harm for your poker game than good.

So in this article I am going to explain why you should avoid poker forums and subreddits and talk about how poker pros and serious players are networking instead these days.

Bad Poker Advice

Let me just start off with the #1 reason why poker forums and poker subreddits are often bad for your poker game. And that is bad information.

As I have discussed before, at least 70% of people who play poker lose at this game in the long run. Honestly, that is a very generous estimate. It could easily be higher than this.

So this means that most of the people who you are talking to on poker forums and poker subreddits are actually losing poker players.

Now this wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing if there was some sort of vetting process to see who is a winning player and who isn't.

But there isn't. In fact with poker forums and poker subreddits there is no way to even tell who the person is.

Nobody uses their real name and so you have absolutely no idea who you are talking to and whether you should trust their advice or not.

Too Much Noise

The other thing that this anonymous public discussion leads to is a very high amount of noise.

In other words, there are so many different opinions being offered, along with random tangents, derails, trolls and flame wars, that it can be difficult to even follow the discussion at times.

This is why almost all well known poker pros stopped posting or even reading poker forums and subreddits a long time ago. There is just way too much noise, negativity in some cases, and not enough high level poker discussion.

Now there are exceptions to this I want to be clear. But I am mostly talking about the biggest well known poker forums and subreddits in this article.

Time Wasting Off Topic Discussions

The last reason why poker forums and subreddits can be harmful for your poker game is that many of the most popular discussions aren't even about poker strategy!

For instance, on one of the largest poker forums the most popular section (called "NVG") is basically a place where people gossip and spread rumours about other well known poker pros. This is something you would expect out of high school girls, not grown men.

I get it though. Clearly many people like this sort of thing. Look at the success of TMZ for instance. But from a practical perspective, discussions like this are very unlikely to do anything good for your poker game.

You Make Money by Playing Poker, Not Talking About It!

And an even bigger reason why is because poker is a game where you largely only make money when you are playing. Just like with a regular job, when you are not playing, you are not profitable.

I have never heard of any poker forums or poker subreddits who pay people to make hundreds or thousands of posts and waste countless hours of their time.

In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons why you rarely see any well known pros on poker forums or reddit. It's because they are too busy actually playing poker!

You really have to consider the opportunity cost for anything you choose to spend your time on. Because it always takes away from something more important that you could be doing instead.

For instance, while the keyboard warriors are grinding it out on the forums and reddit, the real poker players are at the tables stacking the fish and building their bankroll.

But hey, I get it. Maybe you just really, really, really love to talk about poker. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Ok cool, so why not start your own blog, podcast, Youtube or Twitch channel?

Heck, some of these guys have so written so many poker strategy posts on forums and reddit that they could have written an entire book. They could be published poker authors earning royalties!

Just think about how crazy that is for a second.

Look, the point here is that if you are going to spend enormous amounts of time talking about poker why not at least own the content so that you can build an audience and then monetize and make money from it?

You owe yourself that at the very least!

Ditch Poker Forums/Reddit, Do This Instead

Ok, so now that you know all the main reasons why poker forums and poker subreddits are largely not helpful for your poker game, what should you do instead?

Well, you have probably heard the old saying that iron sharpens iron. And that is because it is true.

So the first thing you are going to have to do is get yourself around some winning poker players or at least some people who are really serious about improving.

Finding people who have a real name or at least a well known online screen name would be a good start.

Like I said before, one of the main problems with poker forums and reddit is that everybody is anonymous. Why should I trust the advice of some guy named "pokergod87" or "bignuts92"?

In my experience poker pros and serious poker players are not going to hide behind some silly made up name like this. They will use their real name instead and can be easily found on all the major social media platforms as well.

Social Media and Private Facebook Poker Groups

So as mentioned, social media is a great place to find other poker pros or serious poker players. In fact I use it all the time.

I am available on all the major platforms:

Plus a bunch more. And I always use either my online poker screen name "BlackRain79" or my real name, Nathan Williams. So I am very easy to find and people know who I am.

Poker players send me dm's and messages all the time on these social media networks and I am often in contact with other well known pros as well.

Many people these days will also set up a private Facebook group to discuss poker hands and talk about strategy with other serious poker players. Slack is also a great resource to use for this.

This completely eliminates all the noise, negativity/trolls and bad advice problems that often happen with large public poker forums and reddit.

Many paid training programs also offer this sort of exclusivity. For instance I have a private poker forum which is only available for purchasers of my books or video course.

The people who post in my private forum are a tight-knit group who are serious about improving their poker game. So the discussions about poker hands and poker strategy tend to be highly focused and useful for everyone.

Meet Other Poker Players in Person

Now there is one last option for networking with other good poker players and it is easily the best option in my opinion. Just meet up with them in real life!

I have personally met countless poker pros in real life and it pretty much always started by connecting through social media.

Now admittedly this is a little bit easier for me to do since I live in a place where tons of other online poker pros have also decided to move to.

But still in most of these cases we connected initially through social media, this blog or my Youtube channel.

This is yet another great reason to start a poker blog or a poker Youtube/Twitch channel! You will naturally start to attract more serious poker players just by putting your thoughts out there on a regular basis.

Lastly, attending big events like the World Series of Poker can also be a great way to meet other poker players as they tend to attract all the big names and serious amateurs as well.

Final Thoughts

Poker forums and poker subreddits can seem like a natural place to discuss the game and get advice especially for many newer poker players.

And while there can be some value in them (primarily smaller forums like mine which are private), most of the big public ones will probably end up making you a worse poker player overall.

The reasons why are numerous. Bad poker advice, high amount of noise and too many off-topic time wasting discussions just to name a few.

If you want to network with other serious poker players it is a better idea to seek them out and build online friendships through social media. Starting a poker blog, Youtube or Twitch channel can also be a good way to attract other serious poker players.

Never before have you been able to contact other poker players and even well known pros so easily by simply commenting on their posts or videos or with a simple dm or message. If they are really popular you won't always get a reply of course but you catch my drift.

Lastly, once you build a small circle of serious poker players you can create a private Facebook or Slack group to discuss strategy or even meet up in person.

Let me know your thoughts on networking with other poker players and discussing strategy in the comments below. What works best for you?

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