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Are These Mistakes Preventing You From Winning in Cash Games
The standard of the average player in low stakes online cash games has increased over the years. This has made it more difficult to win although the games are definitely still beatable. Variance is a major factor preventing you from winning in these games but it is often the player themselves who is the biggest hindrance.
Solid players make less mistakes than weaker players. Making mistakes is often the biggest factor preventing you from winning plenty of money. We’ve spoken about plugging leaks previously. A seemingly tiny mistake is often more damaging than a glaring mistake. The following mistakes, if made regularly, will destroy your win rate and even turn it negative.
Is Your Game Selection Preventing You From Winning?
There is no point being the sixth-best cash game player in the world if you always play against the five best on the planet. You’ll win a few pots and sessions, but will be a losing player in the long run.
You want to find the perfect table, ideally one with a couple of weak players. The table is even better if someone is on obvious tilt and dumping chips. Take your time to select the perfect table, another seat always comes up eventually.
Failing to Control Your Tilt is Preventing You From Winning
It would be interesting to see how much money poker players have lost through tilt. I know I’ve set fire to plenty of dollars over the years.
Tilt is where you lose control of your emotions and play terribly. It’s common for tilting players to splash around in pots they have no right to be in.
It should be obvious tilting is damaging to your bankroll. Discovering what sets you on tilt and learning to prevent it is paramount to success. Not dealing with bad beats, for example, is definitely preventing you from winning.
Failing To Extract Enough Value
Losing pots is part and parcel of being a poker player. You are destined to hand over a lot of chips to your opponents over the years. You hope you win enough from your opponents to cover those inevitable losses.
Not extracting enough value is a major factor preventing you from winning. Low stakes players don’t tend to have an issue with extracting value from big hands. Those hands play themselves to some degree. Finding value in middle pair or a weak top pair is trickier, especially on the river. Checking or checking behind on the river with a non-premium hand is very common. Get out of this habit and bet if you think there’s any chance of being ahead. Your opponent will sometimes call with a better hand, but don’t let this put you off.
Not Folding When You’re Beaten
Not folding correctly is preventing you from winning as much money as you should. Some folds are extremely obvious and warrant to further explanation. Others are less so.
Spots where you have a quite strong hand, like an overpair, are difficult to lay down. Board textures and opponents’ bet sizing gives clues to whether you’re beaten or not. Only recently, I lost two large pots when I knew I was behind. I had an overpair in one hand and my opponent played his hand like he had a set. I called a river raise and as sure as eggs are eggs, he had a set.
A similar hand played out a few days later where it was obvious my opponent had completed his flush. I paid him off, despite putting on that very hand! Being decent at hand reading is pointless if you don’t act on your reads!