Many of us have had the experience before, where we get good at one game and become confident in how we play. Then, moving into a slightly different realm, we find ourselves suddenly losing out, unable to perform as we once did. This is often the case when moving between the likes of online and friendly poker, or from another card game into a poker variant. We want to look at what can be done to address this, and why it occurs.
Understanding the Problem
As much as it would be nice to have one simple trick to instantly convert your game to another medium, the reality is not quite so forgiving. Just like how you learned the game in the first place, the best method is going to be found through dedicating and applying yourself to practice in your new style of play. The most reasonable place for those unfamiliar with the basics of poker to start from is to simply reread the rules on how games operate. More often than you might think, slightly different regional or friendly rules can make our personal experiences different than how official versions operate. Trying to apply the wrong rules in these instances is always going to be a losing prospect, no matter how convincing your argument.
On the other hand, moving from physical friendly play to the online realm or vice versa can come with a different set of challenges. Fundamentally, the difficulties that players have in moves like this stem from learned behaviors which they unaware they’re even making.
An illustration of this can be seen in how poorly online players can initially perform when moving to physical tables. Usually separated from other competitors by a screen, players from this realm often get used to outwardly emoting. Of course, in a personal game where reading your opponents is key, keeping a bottle on your tells is a must.
The opposite can also be true, where players who excel in the interpersonal aspect of poker can see their game suffer when this component is stripped away. Devoid of direct contact, online poker becomes a greater game of mathematics, which is an area of expertise that few finds come easily.
The one overwhelming piece of advice we can give players looking to make any sort of leap is to first attempt to understand why the weakness of your game appears. If you’re a new player coming to poker, then the answer is usually just that of inexperience. For more familiar players, however, we can occasionally let ego get in the way.
The ability to come to terms with our fallibility is the most important tool in our arsenal. From this point, we can build up a new foundation which is infinitely more solid than the one which came before. If you don’t know the maths, make this your primary concern. If you struggle with hiding emotions, then stoicism is your primary point of interest.
From this point, development is a matter of hammering in your knowledge over time. Remember that no matter how difficult it initially seems, continued practice will eventually make even the most complicated concepts second nature. No greats are made overnight, and only by being forged through flames will the strongest players emerge.