Common Beginner Mistakes in Poker, Part 2
5 - Becoming too emotional
Most professional poker players will tell you to leave emotion at the door, and this is very good advice. Becoming emotional or tilting due to bad beats is a recipe for disaster. It causes you to play differently, perhaps raising too much, calling too much, or other suboptimal plays. Staying cool and keeping your head even when luck isn't going your way will help a lot in becoming a successful poker player.
6 - Overplaying hands
This is a somewhat trickier concept, but another that must be mastered to have any success in poker. Overplaying your hand is when you put in far too much money in relation to the strength of your hand. A good example of a hand that many players tend to overplay is AK. AK is a great hand preflop, but often needs help to win. If the flop misses them they may continue to call bets even when it is clear that they are beat simply because they refuse to let go of their hand. They would have saved a lot of money by simply folding when they missed.
7 - Focusing on the short term
In poker, any hand can win a pot. Likewise, even a great hand like AA can sometimes lose. A mistake many players fall into is they focus too much on short-term success or failure, and don't see the larger picture. A player may make a correct play and still lose a pot, and they can also make a terrible play and win a large pot. But in the long run, the former play will make you money while the latter play will lose you money. Don't fall into the trap of second-guessing a good play or justifying a bad one, because it will all catch up in the long run.
8 - Imitating other players
A lot of beginners in poker tend to copy plays they see others make simply because they are just learning. However, they don't understand why they are making these plays. It is always critical that you understand the reasoning behind a given play; otherwise you will never be able to apply it correctly. A very common example of this mistake is the recent rise in TV tournament poker. There are some situations in tournament poker that are extremely situational and are impossible to understand in a TV context. But many players will copy what they see there simply because they don't know any better. Even worse is they may take those plays and apply them to cash or ring games, which require a different strategy from tournament poker. The only way to become better at poker is to study and learn from your own mistakes. Don't try to simply copy what others have done.
For more beginners' tips, see Common Beginner Mistakes, Part 1, and for more in-depth tips see 6 Tips for Beginners.
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Written by MewsicLovr, FeltPoker Forum administrator