Nowadays, the world is dependent on opinions. You will find many people who share their life experiences as absolute truth. This is common in the poker game. While playing poker tournaments in India, you will get to hear many weird myths. You will also come across a lot of players who are not lucky in poker and think they have it all figured out. Here are 3 myths that prevail in poker circuit:
Myth 1: Big Stack for Aggressive Play
Some tournament players believe that big stack is required to put pressure on your opponents, and the player with biggest stack is assumed to be table captain. Sometimes people forget that poker is a game of skill. It is not like soccer game where one sets a plan to execute on the field. For instance, you hold a big stack, and have reached Day 2 of the WSOP Main Event. The players sitting left to you have lesser chips. So, being the table captain will you strike your opponents’ blinds with any two cards or play your own game.
Always remember this quote by William Ernest Henley, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” Each poker hand you play is an individual challenge, and you have to play it to bet of your ability. Stack size is not the only factor to be considered while playing a poker hand. So, get out of that black white approach where big stack means aggressive and short stack means tight.
Myth 2: Avoid Defending the Big Blind If Under 10 Blinds
In poker rooms, there may be players who know it all and make the game tough for you. They may push you over defending from the big blind with a short stack. For instance, you are dealt T-9o, and you levelled your opponent’s open in the big blind. Then, you hit a pair on the flop, go all-in, and double up. These players will not judge your pre-flop play. It’s perfectly okay if you use a smaller open-raise size. When you are in the big blind facing a minimum raise open, you only need 20% raw equity to continue. So, if you hold a small stack size, it is simpler to play your hand post-flop and realize equity.
Myth 3: Play for the Win
This one you will hear from most of the players who have dropkicked their stack in the mid stages of live tournaments. These players usually lose their chips in a hand that they decided they needed to win at all costs. Post explanation they give is “I had to play for the win.” The best counter phrase for such situation is “You can’t win a poker tournament on the first day, you can only lose it.” As a professional poker player, your job is to play fundamentally strong poker, follow poker rules and adjusting your game play to beat your opponents. Sometimes, you need to play hyper-aggressively and sometimes you have to keep it tight.
Never forget that there is a break even between planned risks and impromptu moves. As a tournament player, while you are educating yourself on how to play poker, you should also learn to embrace both – pay jumping and rare wins. Finally, it’s how you see the big picture defines how successful you will eventually become.