As you already have probably figured out, poker is a complicated game. It has many nuances and requires a lot of passion and dedication in order to grasp as many aspects of the game as possible.
To this day, plenty poker enthusiasts have many years under their belt and they still cannot crack the code, of how to be a successful poker player.
But it gets worse ! Some of you have the confidence that you play poker better than your friends, yet they have more success. The competitive nature of all men is quite fragile, when someone close to them is doing much better than them, especially in something they have dedicated a lot of time and effort.
Not to be ” Captain Obvious “, so we will not talk about variance and being unlucky. Nowadays everyone explains nearly every wrong outcome with ” variance “. The luck factor is definitely a thing in poker, but if your friends perform better than you from long time, maybe you do something wrong.
So let us first define how we can measure success :
Friends Who Have More Success Usually :
- Won more overall
- Have won more tournaments than you
- Play higher stakes
- Have better hourly ( time x win ratio)
In short, they spend less time on the table and win more. They play higher stakes than you, even though you feel that you invest much more time to study the game, than them. So how come, someone less prepared, makes more money than you ?
” You Play Poker Better Than Your Friends “
If you are in this situation and still think you are the best poker player among your friends, we would suggest that you put this statement to the test.
Here are some common scenarios to consider, when evaluating your situation :
1. Theory vs Practice
As we promised, we will not mention the word “variance”, as a cause of your problems, so let’s search the reason elsewhere.
Many players focus too much energy on studying the game on theory. Especially people who have started playing poker later, try to catch up by studying extra.
While focusing on theory is not a bad thing, it is much more important to put it the volume. Practicing by playing is by far the best way to learn the game. Of course, it will be quickest if you carefully analyze your sessions, but if you have to choose raw dry study or playing as much as possible, always go for the second option.
Maybe on theory, ” you play poker better than your friends” , but on practice you do not have the training, to remember and execute , what you have learned. You cannot become a good tennis player by just reading a book. Nor you can excel at chess, for that matter. Even in chess, where everything comes down to memorizing patterns and moves, players have to play non-stop in order to experience different situations and try to resolve them.
Practice makes perfect ! Maybe your friends have learned this lesson, before you.
2. Too Low Stakes
On a global scale – smarter people are more insecure. Their thought process is more expansive and they usually have more scenarios in their head, where something can go wrong. Such people are usually more cautious.
Maybe you are one of those people. If you are afraid to up the stakes and you are stuck grinding micros or low stakes at best, it’s high time to take a shot at the higher stakes.
If your friend plays higher stakes and does a decent job, his hourly will almost always be higher than yours. Grinding the micros is not the smartest path to success. You barely learn anything, rake is killing you and opponents are maniacs, who play irrationally – which means you hardly become any better player too.
Stop executing the obsolete bankroll management and take a leap towards the higher blinds. It will pay off. Playing higher blinds, while remaining profitable, is one more way to prove to yourself, you can play poker better than your friends !
3. Too Much or No Confidence
Both are equally destructive for your results. Having too much confidence in yourself, just because you study the game a lot , is often followed by extravagant bluffing, hero calls, thin 4-bets and all kind of other fancy plays.
Playing a profitable poker online often comes down to making profitable folds and playing good ABC poker. If you play live, do not underestimate your opponents. Some people rely too much on body language, when facing the players at the casino. Do not be overconfident, especially when results show otherwise. Understanding the game and having lots of information, does not mean you can use it correctly.
The other poison for your poker results, is having no confidence in your own abilities. If to play poker better than your friends is your first goal, you should take the proper steps to materialize it.
Overcoming the self doubt is important moment in the life of every human. Remember that with hard work, comes the confidence. Maybe you are too scared to put large enough volume. Just play as much as possible and slowly build your confidence. Do not focus on the results. Just grind and enjoy every difficult spot and analyze it.
With time you will become more experienced and recognize patterns in the game, which will give you huge edge. There is no better way to improve your decision-making ability, than by playing. Outwork everyone off and on the table and you will stop giving them so much credit. Usually timid players are overfolding . Veteran sharks love to bluff a lot against players with low confidence.
In short, maybe you can play poker better than your friend , but they have more confidence than you and execute their strategy better. Even if they lack your deep knowledge of the game.
4. Game Selection
We will not get tired to say this – if you are the 6th best player in the world and you play poker with the other 5 every night – you are a losing player.
If your friends play in better games, with more fishes and whales – they are highly likely to have better results than you.
You can play poker better than your friends, but apparently they understand better how to profit from the game. When aiming to be profitable, there is no better way, than trying to find weak players and play against them as much as possible.
If you prefer online poker – you can take this quiz . Answer the 5 questions and we will tell you where are the softest possible online games for your preferences. Competing against lesser opponents is the safest and quickest way towards profiting from poker.
So, Can You Play Poker Better Than Your Friends ?
100% yes, but only time will tell, if it will happen. We absolutely guarantee you, that if you become reasonably confident player, who studies the game, but also puts in large volume in practice, while selecting the softest games for himself – you will not only play poker better than your friends, but you will be a successful poker player in general.
Do not forget also the move up in stakes. Being stuck in same place = no improvement. Try to improve constantly and enjoy the process. Do not compare yourself constantly with your friends, give yourself a healthy amount of time to become the best version of you and the results will surely follow.
Don’t be afraid to dig deep, everyone can succeed. All you need is a deck of cards or mouse and keyboard 🙂
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