Poker Through the Eyes of an Amateur

July 03, 2006

Roadmap: S.T.R.O.B.E.

I've spent the past few days thinking about my play and trying to figure out where I'm going wrong when I make bad decisions. I think my biggest problem is rushing when making a decision. There have been many times where I've thought that the decision was very obvious, but if I had just slowed down and examined the play to that point, I would have realized that my initial thought was wrong. I believe that this is currently the biggest leak in my game. In an effort to fix this, I have come up with steps I will try to walk through every time it is my turn to act. With that said, I present to you STROBE, because ELA (everyone loves acronymns).

S: STOP! This is just a reminder to myself to slow the hell down. My gut may be telling me something, and it may be right a lot of the time. However, that's no reason to just forget about Mr. Brain. I need to take my time and look at each piece of the situation.

T: THINK! This goes hand in hand with stopping. I need to slow down, think things through, and balance what knowledge I have so far with what my gut is telling me before making a decision.

R: READ/RANGE! I'm generally pretty good at reading my opponents in terms of deciding whether they have a hand or whether they are bluffing, but I need to put some more effort into putting my opponents on an actual range of hands, which will help enormously when making decisions that fall into the grey area.

O: ODDS! Calculate your pot odds. I do this without even thinking about it anymore, but it's good to have some vowels in your acronymns.

B: BET! Only after I have thoroughly thought out the current situation should I think about how much to bet. I need to think more percisely about the amounts I bet in order to convey the (mis?)information I want my opponent to see.

E: EVALUATE! Watch my opponents carefully for their reactions, and evaluate this new information for use when the action is back on me again.

So that's my plan for the next few days, and I'm going to see if these little reminders will help me put more focus on my game and plug some of my leaks. I will be sure to let you all know how it goes.

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