Something funny happens to certain poker players when they run cold. Players who have been suffering through a prolonged losing streak, who have taken a number of bad beats, who lack confidence for whatever reason all have a tendency to start imagining the worst. Every time an opponent raises, that player must have the nuts. Any draw that's out against them will surely hit and drag the pot.
Some poker players over-complicate their game when it isn't necessary. It's called "fancy play syndrome" and is a chronic problem for many. Proud of the fact that they've studied the game and know how to execute sophisticated moves, these players just can't resist the chance to get elaborate with their play. In the right sort of game against the right type of opponents, fancy poker play can be very profitable. But most of the time it's a poor substitute for simple, straightforward play, and it only ends up earning less profit at more risk.
It happens all the time. A player peeks down at two strong starting cards and begins mentally counting the pot he's about to win. Whether it's because of ego, an inability to read his opponents, or just plain bad judgment, he becomes convinced his hand is unbeatable-ignoring any and all warning signs that this might not be the case. Swept away by the sweet promise of those beautiful hole cards, he won't realize his mistake until his chips are being swept away by the dealer, right into someone else's stack.
Here's a common tournament situation: One short-stacked player pushes all-in and is called by two or more larger-stacked opponents. Among experienced tournament players, there's an unwritten rule that both of the bigger stacks will just check the hand through all the way to the river-maximizing the chance of the short-stacked player being eliminated, because he's competing against two other hands at the showdown, instead of only one.
There's something singularly upsetting about losing with a pair of aces. At the beginning of the hand, anytime I look down at my hole cards and see two aces, it's always a lovely little rush. I've got bullets, the pocket rockets-the absolute best starting hand in the game. I've got the powah! Best of all, nobody knows it yet. Thinking of all the ways I can trap my opponents and drag a big pot with those beautiful aces is a delicious feeling.
In limit poker it's always more difficult to protect a made hand. If you're holding a monster hand like a big flush or a full house, you're not too worried about being out-drawn and your main concern is extracting the maximum amount of chips from your opponents. But with less premium hands, such as top pair or even a set, protecting your hand becomes a major concern-especially when the community board is coordinated to support straight or flush draws.
Poker is a funny game. It may be the only game where in order to play your very best, you need to instantly forget about your most recent results. Anytime we drag a big pot, there's a little voice in the back of our minds telling us: You played it right! You deserved to win! And we want to believe that voice. It's a perfectly natural, instinctive human response-but in poker it can be a disastrous mistake.
The feeler bet is loosely defined as a smallish bet, made by a player who holds a decent-but-not-strong hand, who is using the bet to figure out whether or not he's ahead in the hand. Feeler bets serve a number of purposes. First and foremost, they provide information about the strength, or lack thereof, of your opponent's holdings.
Anytime you're in a flop game such as Texas hold'em or Omaha, many hands that look like winners on the flop are vulnerable to being counterfeited. Because the community cards are shared by everyone, one wrong card can counterfeit your hand and render it worthless-from a flawless diamond to cubic zirconia, from 24-karat gold to pyrite. Of course, seeing a hand that started out beautiful in the early rounds get ruined on later streets is nothing new in poker. But a counterfeited hand-just as pyrite-better known as "fool's gold"-can still look all sparkly and valuable, even
The decision to play for higher stakes is a tricky one. In addition to bankroll size, you should also take into account your skill level, confidence, risk tolerance-and your ability to replenish your poker bankroll if you lose.