Sit and go strategy

As a beginning poker player you have to go through the pain barrier to become a successful player.

You either stay a recreational player or if you keep playing and don't continually learn your lessons then you will be forever replenishing your bankroll.

At the lowest stakes you have to have better hands to win than you would at medium stakes. Whilst this does not seem to make sense initially, you realise that as you move up through the limits fewer and fewer people are prepared to chase you down with their ridiculous draws and as a result your better hands win closer to their fair percentage of pots.

At lower stakes when you raise with aces it would not be unusual for the whole table to call you down. This is why your good hands get beaten more often at lower stakes games. And this is why you have to play very tight in order to beat these games.

Bad beats will always be there!

It is very difficult to climb out of the extremely low stakes games and build a bankroll simply because there are so many bad beats inflicted on you. But don't think that the bad beats will go away as you rise through the limits, you still get them but the wilder ones tend to disappear. People won't chase a gut shot draw at the $20 level and above. Just don't be surprised when the odd one happens though.

As you move up through the limits your learning process consists of understanding how to play tight, then mastering playing in position and once you have these basics you need to start to learn how to introduce some more speculative hands into your play and be able to "mix it up" a little bit.

Then you have board reading skills to master and an endless array of other poker lessons to learn to become a successful player.

To beat the game of your choice you need to work hard at studying it. Anyone can win at poker but only the most dedicated win consistently.

No matter how much you learn, your emotion can always defeat you.

Now, if you decide to spend your time (and money) learning how to become a good player there is one tangible that you have to keep in check - and that is your emotion. If you let your emotion interfere with all of the above then you will undo all of your good work.

When the player to your left re raises you "all in" for the third time in three hands your temptation is to let your emotion rule your head and make the call. However the player doing the raising knows that he is more likely to get called the more often he makes this play and the likelihood is that on this third time he is going to hold aces or kings.

If you let your emotion get in the way of your better poker judgement then you are destined to be a losing player.

Take a look at the following video from high stakes poker:

The first thing to notice is that Esfandiari realises that he is going to be out of position throughout the whole hand. A lot of players would play AQ here and get themselves into trouble. Such a nice fold.

The second thing is notice the players emotion both throughout the whole play of the hand and especially at the showdown. It's a realisation that poker is a game of both skill and luck. There is a lot of rationalising here.

For me Daniel Negreanu is such a joy to have in a poker game. He has such a pleasant demeanour and is the model poker professional. Many players would explode in frustration at this turn of events but Daniel simply states that it would be a "cooler" if he loses the pot.

Typing into chat boxes and abusing your opponents is not going to get you anywhere. Getting frustrated because you keep losing hands when you have the best of it going into the flop is not going to help you. Separating your emotion from the poker game and making rational decisions is what it is all about.