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The Essential Tools of Poker, By Peter Costa

The Essential Tools of PokerWe have established that small re-buy tournaments should be approached in the same manner as any other tournaments. Only by doing this will you teach yourself how the game should be played. Apart from learning strategy, very importantly, they should also teach you discipline and control. And if you can master these in such loose games - you will be well on the way to getting regular results.

Another important aspect that is very rarely considered by beginners, is focus. This is very important when things are not going very well. And as you will experience over time - this is the norm rather then the exception. So how does focus combat this? Well…above all, it will prepare you to expect the worst!

Overcoming bad beats is the biggest and most important lesson you need to learn. So enjoy the challenge when you do get a beat. Enjoy the challenge of playing short-stacks. That way you are telling your opponents that they can beat you with cards - but they can't beat your strength of mind. You will be surprised at the number of times that you will come back from a short-stack and put yourself in with a chance to win. Also, as your opponents see your stack growing, coupled with your overall mental strength - they will know that they will struggle to beat you.

This approach will also go hand-in-hand with your image. Together, they will form a powerful tool in helping you to become a strong player. Later on, you will need to step up a gear or two, if you wish to take your game to a new level. This will be a challenge, as it goes against most of the things you learn as a beginner. However, it's essential in the sense that you will need to adapt to the wide variety of players that you will come across. This is also the fun part of poker - even if you do need to become fearless in order to play and enjoy this style.

In the next and final article in this series, I will finish my beginner's course with a few examples of how to play fun poker. Most of it will center round representing hands that have nothing to do with your hole cards. It's obviously a risky way of playing. But if executed well - it could well be a lot less riskier then going all-in with Q-Q and getting called by A-K.

It will also mean playing more hands overall, as well as more hands out of position.
I just hope that it doesn't confuse the learner too much.
Until then - play well, get lucky and enjoy life!

Peter "The Poet" Costa


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