Poker Player and Blogger, Alexis Savvides presents a beginners guide to the Top 10 Texas Hold’em Poker Myths.
1 – Yeah I like poker, I watch it on TV!
Most TV shows about poker consist of tournaments such as the World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour or the European Poker Tour. These tournament’s usually last for days, with only a very small percentage of hands actually receiving TV time. Basically this means that, not only are you not seeing the whole form and context of the game but can prove misleading since it would appear to be an action packed game where players play any two hands and are continuously all-in.
In reality, in most tournament pots, the players do not even see the flop, due to pre-flop raises. And another thing to keep in mind is that tournament play is VERY different to cash game play.
Simulating your favourite players on TV, could cost you in a cash game as many of the play’s used in tournament poker are considered very wrong in cash games.
Lately there have been more and more cash game programs such as High Stakes Poker or Poker After Dark. Once again, the full spectrum of hands played is not presented on TV and thus you are missing out on the bigger picture. Another problem that arises from these shows is that some of the best poker players in the world are included.
Trying to play a hand as they do in the wrong situation could be very costly. If you do not have a deep understanding for the game, and do not quite comprehend why a specific player acted in the according way, then better stick to the basics!
2 – Small risks – Big Gains!
A big misconception about poker is that you can make a lot of money by only investing a limited amount of money. For example, a player in a casino could probably only make a limited amount of money on blackjack, roulette or craps, but it is in his belief that if he gets lucky there is basically an unlimited amount of profit to be made in poker.
In theory, this is possible. You could sit down on a $1/$1 cash game, double up and move to higher stakes, repeating this step continuously. But trust me when I say, it does not work in practice.
Even if you are playing the most perfect poker in the world, you will eventually hit a wall, either by pure bad luck or bad playing.
Open any poker guide, and one of the most important elements it will stress is have good bankroll management. That is, always have at least 50 buy-ins for playing any stakes. In actual figures, that means that before sitting down and playing on a $1/$1 cash games, be prepared to have at least $5,000 as your starting bankroll!
3 – All players bluff
What an irony this one is. How many times have I seen people call bets just because they thought their opponent was bluffing, whilst in fact the chance that that player is bluffing is around 1%.
I would honestly say that at least at small stakes, about 50% of the players will never bluff, or will bluff extremely rarely. And yes believe it; many of these players are profitable in the long run. A good poker player does not require bluffing, in order to make a profit, so next time you’re on the felt and there’s a guy there who hasn’t played a hand in 2 hours, trust me, when he raises, you fold!
4 – Only the pro’s win the tournaments
Take for example Chris Moneymaker in 2004, an amateur accountant with a passion for the game took the Main Event by storm.
In more recent years, specifically 2009, a man named Darvin Moon (pictured), finished runner-up in the Main Event. The man doesn’t even have a TV or internet in his house and to be honest was quite clueless as far as poker is concerned.
But this man with his basic poker skills, and some luck managed to become a multi-millionaire virtually over-night. If he can do it, you can do it too!