At this point in your poker ‘career’ you should be at the stage of being able to beat the micro limits and looking to take the next step. Throughout this article we will look at ways you can do this and things you can add or develop into your game.
As you move up, the games get a lot tougher, the players are better and they have a greater understanding of not only their game, but also of your game. To combat this it’s vital you take a pro-active role in your poker development. By this we can be doing things such as reviewing hands from previous sessions, then seeing which hands you really struggled to grasp against a certain opponent and look to maybe post that hand on one of the many forums available for advice and guidance. Even if you feel the feedback hasn’t really helped with the hand, it will have at the very least meant you are thinking about how the it played out and other avenues in which to take during it.
Taking notes on players is really important at the higher levels (they will be doing so of you, so you should of them). When note taking think about notes they might have on you such as ‘has seen me check-raise when deep with bottom set on a monotone board’. This will give you an insight as to what they will know of you and then give you an edge and the ability to adjust to counter this. Watch how people react with different hands if you can i.e. bet sizing with made hands/ bluffs, timing tells (you will be surprised, even online, how many timing tells people have during hands) and how light they are prepared to put their stack in. If you mass multi-table or feel you don’t have time whilst midsession, make sure you go over your hands and make notes from the hand histories you have in Hold’em Manger or Poker Tracker.
Don’t stagnate! Just because you are beating a level for a certain x bb/100, does not mean you have poker cracked. The games evolve so much (especially these days with all the poker training sites available) that you must stay pro-active in your quest to beat the next level. This is one the most common problems with poker ‘professionals’. After previously beating a level, all of a sudden they have lost a lot of money through the mentality of ‘Well I used to beat this level a year ago and now I’m a losing player’. It’s more than likely going to be because they haven’t adapted their game at all whilst people around have improved.
Don’t limit yourself with learning directly from poker sources. Sometimes reading literature from ‘the outside world’ can be just, if not more, effective in the quest to improve as a poker player. This is defiantly apparent when it comes to learning about tilt issues and keeping yourself in shape (both in body and mind). Advancing in poker is tough and if you don’t work hard and put the effort in to improve, then you will get left behind wondering why you can’t beat 25nl.