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Old 06-27-2010, 08:38 PM   #1
Percula
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Elements of a winning sslnl player

As a counter point to elements of a losing sslnl player...

They do not play like a loser

They do not play like a losing player. Refer to the element of a losing sslnl player and basically insure that you are not doing any of these. Enough said...

They are properly rolled for the games they play in

There are two elements to bankroll.

One is the empirical logical part, i.e. risk of ruin (RoR) which has been well documented on 2+2, in books and websites. While some will differ slightly from another, let's sum it up to say you need X amount in your roll to avoid ruin.

The other often gets mixed into the empirical and logical thoughts and should not. That is the physiological side of money and poker. Everyone has different emotional responses to money, to winning money and losing money, to how much money they have in total, to how much money they have at immediate risk, to how much debt they have, to how large their monthly outflow is, etc, etc.

A winning player will always know what the minimum bankroll they need to have from a empirical and logical point of view to avoid a RoR situation. They will also know what they to have to be perfectly comfortable in the games they regularly play from a physiological point of view too. E.g. If a player is uncomfortable with less than 100 BI in their roll even though their RoR BI minimum is 20BI, they will maintain that 100+ BI roll.

Winning players are social

Some of the best live poker games are not the ones spread in a casino. They happen in private homes, rooms at the country club, in offices, etc, etc. Any arsehole can sit in a casino game if they have the minimum buy in for that game. Only someone who is known and to one degree/reason or another is liked is ever sitting at a table in the country club.

Remember that a lot of people play poker, it is a social network that goes way beyond the felt. You might find more opportunities than just at the felt if you act like a decent, friendly and honorable human being. No one likes to hang around a arsehole so don't be that person.

Winning players are humble and not prideful

Winning players are able to put their pride away in order to place themselves in the most +EV situations. They are willing to move down when the game conditions are not right, despite that they might be embarrassed by it. They are willing to quit the game when they are too tired to play even though a big fish still has money on the table.

Winning players are humble. Everyone hates a sore loser, but they hate a gloating winner even more.

If you need a good example, watch Durrr on HSP.

Winning players are able to analyse risk well

Analyzing risk is not just about figuring out odds in hands or taking shots at higher stakes games/MTTs, but overall in their life choices. They rarely find themselves in situations where they can be ruined or seriously damaged by their actions. They carry the appropriate insurance for their situation in life, they do not drive drunk, they do not play Russian roulette, etc, etc.

They are not afraid to take risks, not only on the felt but in life too. They have a kine understanding of the risk:reward ratio.

Winning players are never satisfied

Winning players are always striving to improve themselves, in poker and in life. They are not satisfied to just be carried along through time accepting what comes of it. They can be happy with themselves, but see that there is always some area or thing that can be improved.

While I do not coach regularly and only have had a handful of students, one requirement is that they are ready, willing and capable to devoting 5+ hours to study each and every week. If they can not live up to this requirement, they are out.

Winning players do not have to be God's gift to poker to be a winner

A winner is a winner is a winner. Rather you win at $20/hr at 1/2NL or $5/hr 1/2NL you are a winning player. I can not count the number of players I have seen that could be consistent winners at the stakes they are playing if they would just not trying to be God's gift to poker.

As a winning player we should always strive to better ourselves, however a winning player understands their limitations and the limitations of the given situation they find themselves in at the time.

For example let's say we need to improve our ability to get the maximum value out of the hands we play, and we feel that we need to work specifically on thin value betting. We should not be experimenting at our regular game when there is a stronger than normal line up. We should be working on this at lower stakes or when the line up abnormally weak. As we gain more skill then we should be trying to implement these skills in a normal game and eventually in the games when the line up is tough.

Winning players are capable of critical analyse of themselves

Winning players do not lie to themselves. They are able to take an uninhibited look at how they play, and how they live and act accordingly.

It is natural for humans to go thru a learning cycle. Early as we learn a new skill we struggle to understand and master the basics. Often someone learning a new skill will perform better after learning the basic concepts than later when they start to learn the details. At some point a deeper understanding and mastery of the details starts to come into play and we regain a level of performance that we seen when we first started. After much work and time we master the details and become truly skilled.

Poker is a combination of many skills, it takes time and practice to master. A natural and unfortunate part of the natural learning cycle is that we become "experts" long before we truly master a skill. But we are really not experts. An old saying in the IT world illustrates this well... "How do you tell a senior engineer from a junior engineer? Easy the junior engineer always knows the answer, while the senior engineer will always say something like 'humm I did not know that, tell me more...'". Do not be the poker expert, keep an open mind and critically analyse new information.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:36 PM   #2
KneedUrDough
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

Another great post... Fantastic job Percula!!!

Five Traits of Winning No-Limit Hold’em Players


Develop them if you don’t have them

Ed Miller <- other articles he's written

...thought this might add a couple things to the discussion
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:55 PM   #3
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

Alan Schoonmaker

...you can also read many of these articles as well
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:01 AM   #4
AintNoLimit
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

Probably one of the main reasons that only a small fraction of players (in any game) rise thru the ranks and become extremely good at high levels IMO is that they utilize DELIBERATE PRACTICE extensively.

When most players "practice", they focus on the things that they already know how to do, and mire up in the comfort that they inherently receive by making all moves that they are very comfortable with. Deliberate practice is different, it entails considerable, specific and sustained efforts to do something that we cannot do well, or even at all.

Its clearly explained in an article from Harvard Business Review. "How to be an expert" by Ericsson_Preitula_Cokely

so utilizing Deliberate practice is something a winning SSNL player should be doing, so that this time next year the player wont still be a SSNL player.
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AintNoLimit View Post
Probably one of the main reasons that only a small fraction of players (in any game) rise thru the ranks and become extremely good at high levels IMO is that they utilize DELIBERATE PRACTICE extensively.

When most players "practice", they focus on the things that they already know how to do, and mire up in the comfort that they inherently receive by making all moves that they are very comfortable with. Deliberate practice is different, it entails considerable, specific and sustained efforts to do something that we cannot do well, or even at all.

Its clearly explained in an article from Harvard Business Review. "How to be an expert" by Ericsson_Preitula_Cokely

so utilizing Deliberate practice is something a winning SSNL player should be doing, so that this time next year the player wont still be a SSNL player.
Platinum post!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:48 PM   #6
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

Great post, very helpful to me!
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:53 PM   #7
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

Are these posts you read a long time ago or are you currently in the process of reading every thread ever posted in this forum?
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

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Originally Posted by Tom Dwans Son View Post
Are these posts you read a long time ago or are you currently in the process of reading every thread ever posted in this forum?
A lot of posters would do well to read some old posts from the past. I'll see a thread and think, "Yeah, I need to read that old Pokey thread in the archives again.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:24 AM   #9
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

Quote:
Originally Posted by AintNoLimit View Post
Probably one of the main reasons that only a small fraction of players (in any game) rise thru the ranks and become extremely good at high levels IMO is that they utilize DELIBERATE PRACTICE extensively.

When most players "practice", they focus on the things that they already know how to do, and mire up in the comfort that they inherently receive by making all moves that they are very comfortable with. Deliberate practice is different, it entails considerable, specific and sustained efforts to do something that we cannot do well, or even at all.

Its clearly explained in an article from Harvard Business Review. "How to be an expert" by Ericsson_Preitula_Cokely

so utilizing Deliberate practice is something a winning SSNL player should be doing, so that this time next year the player wont still be a SSNL player.
Thanks for posting! I recently read Outliers and had heard of the article even before then, but had never read it. Just took the time to read it and I love it. I especially like the discussion of deliberate practice and self-coaching.

(For anyone who might want to read, it's actually called "The Making of an Expert" if we're talking about the same article)
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:56 AM   #10
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

I disagree with some obvious bullet points but find
Quote:
Winning players are capable of critical analyse of themselves
to be a nice example.
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:53 AM   #11
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+1

I agree with a lot of this post, epecially the not gloating part.

I think I read this in Ace on the River: "Let the person that lost the pot have the last word."

I actually played short stacked today, got all of my money in bad and hit the river. The guy looked at me and I said "phew I needed that." and I even felt bad about that. He was stacked with plenty of money though and I went busto a few hands later.

Also never apologize for winning a pot...no matter how ugly the suckout might have been. You don't really feel that bad about it so just scoop the pot and play better next time.

When I lose a pot I say NH and try my best to mean it. When I leave the table I knock and say "gg" and shake whichever guy/gal's hand that busted me.

I use to get up and leave without saying anything and sometimes I still do. This is something I'm trying to work on.

Also be more friendly when you join a table. After you start winning a lot of pots its usually better to "shut up" and not engage someone in a conversation until they talk to you first. (The guy you just took a BI off usually doesn't want to talk to you anyway, so don't try to probe him for information while your not in a hand.)

Not a big fan of coffee housing or asking a lot of questions to get information or showing cards heads up for reactions / tells. I use to always do this but I try not to anymore. In a huge pot where I'm unsure I def. slip up sometimes and bend the "probing" rule, but I never flip cards over during a hand. (unless I'm showing 8-high on the river and making a joke like, "I think I got you..." then requesting time and mucking.)

Also when I first started winning more frequently I let it get to me and came back the next day acting / playing badly. If I can highlight one thing to take away from the OP's post it's the stay humble part. You aren't invincible.

Continue to work on your game. Play smart and don't start playing every hand after a couple hot streaks / good days thinking you're unbeatable.

Your edge is almost always smaller than you think.

Last edited by JJones; 08-27-2012 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:02 AM   #12
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

posts like these are the reason i started coming here
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superskemer View Post
posts like these are the reason i started coming here
Me too.

Also about the OP on not trying to outplay everyone at the table, I agree to a certain extent. I think that when you play your goal should be to outplay everyone at the table.

I'm not saying push action against a nit, but if you find yourself in a situation where you're behind on the flop, they have the nuts/gin, and if you make your hand it's well enough disguised that your going to get payed - go for it. Make sure you have the correct pot odds and implied odds in your favor.

Risk/reward. Sometimes you just have to get in there and gamble.

Last edited by JJones; 08-27-2012 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:51 AM   #14
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

Does anyone know if those Alan Schoonmaker articles are available elsewhere? I dont have a subscription -_-
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:41 PM   #15
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Bumwaters View Post
Thanks for posting! I recently read Outliers and had heard of the article even before then, but had never read it. Just took the time to read it and I love it. I especially like the discussion of deliberate practice and self-coaching.

(For anyone who might want to read, it's actually called "The Making of an Expert" if we're talking about the same article)
This could be in a thread of its own. In short, extensive and quality practice are highlighted as key factors to becoming an expert, and it has to be backed up by measurable results. However, as it relates to poker, how can we measure the effectiveness of our practice? The easiest approach is to simply boil it down to win-rate, but I think that's a shallow measurement. It'll be interesting to explore this key area.

The Making of an Expert
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:22 AM   #16
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

Bump. Great thread.. Soon as I realized I wasn't gods gift to poker the mindset instantly revived my bankroll..never satisfied I literally? want to go all the way.. Problem risk inclined.. Nice IT example

I use to hoop and deliberate practice is the only way to even just stay competitive. But doing two dribble jump shots on gravel in a park on a blazing day for 3hrs is way easier than any kind of mental deliberate practice..on the outside looking in, especially in a game where you need to be a pro at losing: being able to fold , not feeling pot committed, money, taming monkey tilt, suck outs, realizing u may have to move down(wtf), ect
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:03 AM   #17
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

I'd like to know when SSLNL, which I guess stands for Small Stakes Live No Limit, changed to LLSNL.
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Old 02-06-2015, 08:16 AM   #18
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

Quote:
Originally Posted by eldiesel View Post
I'd like to know when SSLNL, which I guess stands for Small Stakes Live No Limit, changed to LLSNL.
If you look at the online forums for NL, you'll see the progression in stakes goes from micro to small to medium to high. Before the forum was founded, live hands at stakes of 5/5 and below were put in the micro forum. Some posters disagreed with this and felt it should be in the small stakes forum. Therefore, they used the convention of calling small stakes live no limit. The problem was that the questions generally were technically at the micro level, but size of the money involved changed the complexion of stacking off in particular (it is way different to shove $10 than $200). TPTB compromised in the naming by calling it low to cover both micro and small.

There was a slight kerfuffle when it came out in April, 2010 but people got over it. This thread started only a couple of months after the opening.
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:42 PM   #19
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

Excellent post and basically all the posts in Best of LLSNL are very wisely and thoroughly written.
A+ for this!
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:00 PM   #20
Rise4ndFire
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Re: Elements of a winning sslnl player

Quote:
Originally Posted by AintNoLimit View Post
Probably one of the main reasons that only a small fraction of players (in any game) rise thru the ranks and become extremely good at high levels IMO is that they utilize DELIBERATE PRACTICE extensively.

When most players "practice", they focus on the things that they already know how to do, and mire up in the comfort that they inherently receive by making all moves that they are very comfortable with. Deliberate practice is different, it entails considerable, specific and sustained efforts to do something that we cannot do well, or even at all.

Its clearly explained in an article from Harvard Business Review. "How to be an expert" by Ericsson_Preitula_Cokely

so utilizing Deliberate practice is something a winning SSNL player should be doing, so that this time next year the player wont still be a SSNL player.
A quick quote from that article: "If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it."

Ties together nicely with the recent COTM: Off-Table Analysis.
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