There’s a popular notion in the poker world, that you are just playing one long game. It never ends. You might bust out of a tournament, or walk away from a cash game a winner or a loser, but the game, it goes on forever.
The logic behind this idea is that if you truly understand the math of the game, then poker becomes a relatively simple proposition. Get your money in the middle when you’re a favorite, and you will win in the long run.
Sophisticated players think about situations as if they will play them thousands or even millions of times. The most basic example would be pocket Aces versus pocket Kings pre-flop. First from the perspective of the guy with Aces. Is there ever a scenario you can imagine where you’re folding pre-flop? No. Good, that’s the right answer. (There are a ton of debates that put this hand into a very specific situation that players like to argue about, but devoid of those thought experiments, let’s just say that you’re not folding pocket Aces pre-flop.)
Now, you’re the guy with pocket Kings. You folding pre-flop? Probably not very much.
So if you’re either player, you are fairly comfortable getting all your chips in the middle with this hand. And if you played it, from either perspective, there’s a specific percentage of the time you’d win.
Aces win about 80% of the time, Kings win about 20%. That’s the math.
Once you really internalize the math that supports this game, you realize that you’re supposed to have your Aces cracked once every five times they are dealt to you. (This is when you’re all-in pre-flop, without considering situations when you reach the flop with chips.)
So in the Never Ending Game, if you keep putting yourself in situations where you are favored to win, you will eventually win. Even when you lose this specific hand. Even when it seems like your Aces are always cracked. When you are confident that you got your money in good, then you made the right choice.
If in theory, the game doesn’t end, then your learning about poker shouldn’t end either.
The minute you think you’ve got it all figured out, that you’ve cracked the code, is the minute the game will pass you by.
Having the drive and the discipline to stay current is one of the main characteristics that separates the world class players from the rest. World class players are constantly second-guessing their own assumptions. They are always looking for a better solution to a problem. They look for ways to be more creative in their game.
The first way you can start to take the long view is to complete our No-Limit Tournament course. It’s not something you can bang out in a weekend. It’s over 25 hours of video content spread over 90 plus videos. There’s also a corresponding course guide you can print out to take notes and study away from your computer.
There’s no magic portal to becoming a better tournament poker player. You have to put in the work. The cool thing with poker is that you see results so quickly. That doesn’t mean that you’re going to win a big tournament right away, but the game begins to slow down for you and you start to recognize the plays and strategies your opponents are using. Not only that, but you’ll finally have a fundamentally sound counter-strategy to implement.
We built the course to be comprehensive. You start at the beginning and work your way step by step to improving your game. Hopefully there will be times when you recognize a leak in your game and can pause and work on that element. Also, there will be some concepts that you are already pretty good at.
Our course should take you a while to watch and to assimilate into your game. When you’re done, you will definitely be a better tournament poker player than you are right now. There’s no two ways about it.
You will fill your tool box with a lot more tools and useful strategies. After that, you can begin to refine your use of those tools for the game that never ends.