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Motivation Is the Key to Winning

poker people playing the games Colorado Cal had played poker for years and years and lost lots of money. He didn't lose each and every time. Sometimes he got on a heater and won for weeks. But there was never a year that Colorado Cal ended up with a win.

We should certainly ask why Cal lost consistently. Maybe we could learn something. Maybe we could find a way to improve our game. Colorado Cal loved to play! Loving to play poker is not in and of itself a serious defect. However, Cal loved to play all the hands he was dealt. as a famous poker author has already written, "He never met a hand he didn't like." Playing a lot of hands is a serious flaw. The ability to lay down a hand is crucial for winning at poker. Colorado Cal would look at his hole cards and would find all kinds of excuses to play. The excuse he used a lot was, "Maybe I can draw out on him."

One day over a cup of coffee, I asked Cal how a certain player named Steve played. Cal answered, "I have no idea. I never watch the other players. I guess I am not motivated enough to study their play." That last remark is the clue we need to figure out why Cal loses. The word "motivation" is a fundamental factor in winning poker. are you motivated? are you motivated enough to study other players? Do you keep a journal to log your Observations of regular players? are you motivated enough to study the best way to play a hand? Do you pay attention to position? Do you get out of the hand when you are beat? These are just a few of the things better players do, so let's look at each one in a bit more depth.

Study The Habits Of Other Players

If you are truly motivated you will soon notice that some players will slow play the big pairs in Texas Hold 'Em. However, they will often rise with them after the flop. Can you name three players who do that? again in Hold 'Em, some players will call a raise with any two suited cards. In Seven Card Stud, some players will call with any pair, even with another one of their cards showing. That puts them in the position of severe underdog because they are drawing for only one card in the deck. In Omaha, some players will rise with a pair of aces and call all the way to the river with no improvement from the community cards. Some players will playa lot stronger when they are in late position than when they are first to act. Some players will rise with good draw hands. Some players will check-raise with draw hands.

Toby was such a player. When in a Hold 'Em game and when he flopped a flush draw in early position, he would invariably check-raise. His thinking was that if he got there, he wanted the pot to be a big one. also, he felt that the check-raise would be a deceptive action. Needless to say, Toby had a page all his own in my journal. Regardless of which game you play, you need to know the weaknesses and the strengths of your fellow players.

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