Assessment of where I am in poker:
OK, I know a lot about no limit. I know the basic strategies and proper plays in given situations. I make mistakes all the time and I’m more conservative than reckless. I have to learn to take more chances and go out on a limb. I have to learn how to switch gears. Allan Cunningham and Phil Ivey are players I want to emulate. They don’t talk much. They keep to themselves. They think through situations. And they put a lot of pressure on their opponents.
In cash games, I don’t put pressure on my opponents on the turn. I think I can do a better job of this. What Howard Lederer calls leverage. I need to apply more of that to my game.
Also: I’m not very focused. I can’t sit there and analyze a game the way I thought I could. I always assumed I’m a good observer. Not so. I daydream and lack focus of what’s going on. I need to do a far better job of paying attention to the table and how things are playing out.
Confidence. It’s of the utmost importance to show confidence at the poker table. When going with a hand, go with it. Sometimes you’ll win, and sometimes not. Stay positive and hope for the best.
Don’t allow the negative voices to interfere with your ability to play aggressive poker.
Another thing I need to be mindful of is at the $1/$2 level the players aren’t really thinking too hard about who’s got what. They’re thinking about their hands. I saw all kinds of mistakes at the table, and players pushing real hard with top pair. When they have a super monster hand, the slowplay. I saw that several times. I often gave players credit for hands they never had. Understanding the skill level of a particular player is crucial.
There’s an awful lot of limping in $1/$2. Not so much raising, to players like to call raises out of position. This happened a few times. There were some obnoxious players showing bluffs. Really obnoxious. One guy out of position check-raised a player on the turn, then flipped over the bluff as he was scooping the pot. So unnecessary and wrong. He lost with everything in short order.
Yes, there is money to be made in poker. One step at a time. I need to increase my bankroll and focus on cash games instead of tournaments. I do well in cash games and no limit is where it’s at.
Detecting who is weak and who isn’t is something I can do a much better job paying attention to. I’m not focusing on that as much as I should. Is he weak or strong? How can I tell, based on how he bets chips in the pot. What can be done to manage the size of the pot but still leverage pressure on my opponent.
I didn’t place much pressure on my opponent in certain situations. I lost some pots on the river because I checked the turn.