Life, business, and poker: beating these games require the same skillset.
You must select your starting hand carefully. If it’s worth playing and the situation is right, see the next few cards. A good rule of thumb is if you can get in cheap and win big, it’s usually a good place to start.
Aggression is foolish; it’s selective aggression that wins. Play carefully once you’ve seen the flop. It’s here where most of your decision is made. Most hands are straight forward, won or lost with a simple bet or two.
The correct play, at any given time, depends on your opponent and the particular situation.
No one has more information than you do, because you see the action unfolding at the table.
If you go with your hand, it should be a strong one or one with potential; otherwise, throw it away, the next hand comes in a few seconds if you wait.
It’s also on the flop where many people make big mistakes, committing to hands they have no business being involved in.
Most of what you lose—in either time or money—is lost bluffing or playing too loose. It’s reckless aggression. Too many people get caught up in emotion when simple fundamentals often win the game. Play strong hands and you’ll win.
It’s rare playing a hand to the end when all the cards are face up on the table. There are only two reasons to make it this far: either you already have a monster (which is a rare, beautiful thing), or it’s because you’re drawing to one.
While we all hope for the best, most of the time, we will miss that draw. That’s just the way it works.
Much of the time you have to fold. Even if you do make a strong hand, there’s a chance your opponent has a stronger one. Maybe the market conditions prove to be too competitive. Folding is often the best play.
It’s painful, but you can’t throw good money after bad just because you’re invested.
It’s on the river where the best players make the most money. All the cards are dealt. You have all the information.