Poker is a frustrating game to learn. Progress is difficult to measure because short term results are practically meaningless. Very few players learn the game quickly; most take baby steps towards their learning goals.
Stories of the latest “online phenom” add to the frustration. How can these young players — some of which barely have a high school education – accomplish in a few months what you have been inching towards for years?
In short, they MASTER THE BASICS. Mastering the basics allows these players to quickly switch their focus towards the more advanced aspects of poker strategy. The transition from beginner to advanced player is quick and smooth because they build a strong foundation that they can build upon.
Most poker players take years if not decades to become fundamentally sound. Here is a short list of reasons why the vast majority of poker players never grasp the fundamentals of poker strategy.
- Player gets misinformed. As I mentioned here, there are some great poker strategy resources online but there is also an absurd amount of misinformation floating around
- Player unrealistically seeks a clearly defined systematic way to dominate poker
- Player overvalues his poker intuition
- Player is too emotional and unable to distance himself from his play
- Player seeks immediate feedback (via short term results) and doesn’t understand variance
The next few posts on this blog will feature some of these roadblocks to poker growth. To insure that the topics in this series are as helpful as possible, they will:
- Represent a very common issue for intermediate players
- Represent a fundamental problem that hinders progress considerably
- Be fixable errors; I will give tips on how to fix these major leaks
The first post of this series will cover the importance of playing lines, as opposed to playing poker situations in a vacuum. If you have any recommendations for topics or any comments about this series, please feel free to mention them in the comments of this post.