Any poker player that claims they never make a mistake is a liar. Even elite professionals do, on occasion, make an error in their decision-making. Mistakes are part and parcel of the game because No-Limit Hold’em is a game played with incomplete information, plus poker players are only human.
The WPT Global Blog has published several poker strategy articles of late as it attempts to help its vast customer base improve their skills. A recent article details common mistakes made by players; how many of them are you guilty of?
Overestimating Your Ability and Playing For Stakes That Are Too High
Many poker players believe they are much better at this game than they actually are. They often sit in games that they have no right to be in, fae off against players that are vastly superior to them, or play for stakes that are way outside the constraints of their bankroll. It is important to remain honest about your ability and sit in games that are suitable for your experience and available bankroll.
“Estimate your poker proficiency objectively,” suggests the WPT Global Blog, “and pick a table with a buy-in that aligns with your experience and your budget.”
By all means, take the occasional shot in a bigger buy-in game if you can afford to because the experience gained could prove invaluable in the long run.
“Playing at tables with more practiced players, even if you know you’re the odd player out, will still make for a great learning experience.”
Playing Too Many Hands Out of Position Preflop
Often, it is a mistake made preflop that results in a costly error on later streets. Preflop is the easiest round to master in No-Limit Hold’em, so it is important to drill things down and get this stage perfect.
Playing too many hands and doing so out of position is a major leak in many players’ games; it is often a result of overestimating their poker ability because they believe they can outplay everyone. Do yourself a favor and muck the rubbish, troublesome hands when you’re out of position. Also, you should evaluate some of your stronger holdings depending on the action of other players at the table.
“Even if you get a strong hand, you should still think twice about whether to continue playing if your opponents, especially very tight players, start raising or three-betting preflop. This is especially important if you are out of position. A common mistake is to play too many hands preflop in early position.”
Cold Calling Too Much
If an opponent raises and you call the raise having not previously invested any chips in the pot, you have cold called. While there are certain scenarios where cold calling is the best play, cold calling opens you up to being squeezed by savvy opponents, often forcing you to fold and lose the chips you invested without ever seeing a flop. That is not the only issue with cold calling, according to the WPT Global Blog.
“Pots are almost more likely to become multiway after an early position cold call, lowering your equity in the pot.”