Patience in poker

Ok, so you are playing online and you get involved in a big hand that 6 or more people call the raise pre-flop and even though you don’t hit the flop you call the raise and the two re-raises. I watch this happen all the time with people thinking that “maybe the turn will help my hand” and stretch out all your outs and possibilities and believe that you may have a shot at a hand. Ok can I say that this is complete insanity to begin with? You should get out with weak hands and you definitely need to muck your hand if there is a raise, re-raise, re-raise.

I am sitting across the room from a friend of mine just yesterday and the words that he said made me write this page. He was playing online and said “well I have pocket deuces.” I told him to just call the bet and see the flop and told him that if he did not hit a 2 on the flop that he needed to fold his hand. So the flop comes Q 7 6 all diamonds. And then he says “dang I am going to get a flush and lose again” in the back of my brain I was thinking what the hell are you saying, you just need to fold.

Someone in last position bets instead of doing the right thing, he calls and is raised by the guy behind him. Now he calls that as well, stating “well come on, I already have this much in” at the time (only $60) and now he has complicated that by throwing another £40 at a relatively dead hand. On the turn comes a 10 of spades and again he calls a £40 bet. Stating to me that yes he knows that he should fold but he feels like having some action and you never know.

So on the river he catches a 2 and now the aggressors have stopped and it is checked to him and he ask me what should he do? Then I say “we just bet it, why not, we have come this far calling with something as lowly as a pair of deuces”. As it turns out my friend has the best hand on the river. However, this is not poker this is just blind dumb luck. When I quizzed him about why he called he said he got caught up in the action!

Let’s get one thing straight. If you are playing online YOU HAVE ALL THE TIME THAT YOU NEED. Well at least 30 seconds to make up your mind and guess what? If you need to think about what you should do, then do just that. Nobody ever said that you need to play fast or ultra fast. Take your time, watch your opponents figure out what are the nuts are and figure out what your chances of winning a hand are, then and only then, call, raise, check or fold.

The key to this is that you need to take your time and understand that poker is not a game of speed it is a game of skill that takes time. Anybody can beat anybody over 100 hands. What matters is what happens over 1000 hands and believe me, the good patient players will prevail.

I really suggest that if you are rushed in any way when playing, get out and play when you are in less of a hurry so you can focus on your opponents as well as your game.