Confession #9 - In one ear and out the other Over the time that I've been playing poker, I've often disregarded the tips that some other players have given. Why? Call it a battle of the Id, ego, pride, whatever you can think of. So, while I'm working on my action plan, I thought I'd forward some tips to you that I've read and been given by better players. 1) Don't play every hand, fold more - playing more hands doesn't mean winning more money 2) Don't play in stupid mode - don't play drunk, high, mad sad, angry, sleepy, weepy, on tilt, and so on 3) Don't bluff, just to bluff - bluffing is a part of poker, but you need to learn the who you can bluff, as well as when it's the right time to bluff. 4) Don't stay in hand just because you already have put money into it - pot odds may warrant a call in some situations, but is calling with a trash hand really going to be positive EV in a multi-way pot? 5) Don't call at the end of every hand just to keep them honest- you aren't the table sheriff 6) "DO" Pay attention to the other players, even when not in a hand - this is the time to notice patterns used by other players, like betting, bluffing, weaknesses, strengths, and so on. 7) "DO" Pay attention to the cards on the table, even when not in hand - figure out what hands fir the flop, turn, and river, and try to put people on the hands that they might have based on what you now know 8) Play within your bankroll - the easiest way to stay within your bankroll is to use the 5 percent rule, basically, don't buy in to a cash game, MTT, or SnG if it costs more than 5 percent of your roll. 9) Don't play at too high a limit - this is also a combination of bankroll and skill. Don't move up if you aren't mentally and skillfully ready and don't play at a higher limit than your bankroll dictates. 10) "DO" Pick the right game for your skill and bankroll - remember that as the stakes rise, so does the average skill level of your opponents. You want to be the best at the table, not the donkey 11) "Understand" that your style of play will change - depending on if you are playing in a cash game, MTT, or SnG, you strategy must change to compensate for the different style of play. 12) "DO" Learn the basics - learn the basics of poker, learn to read opponents, learn to read the texture of the board, poker tells, betting patterns, and so on. This done by studying, reading, and practice and it will improve your game. 13) "Understand" There are many different facets of poker to work on - Poker can actually be considered a science, additionally, it's comprised of math, psychology, skill, and luck. You can't work on luck, but you can work on everything else. Just understand that luck is at best, short term. 14) "Identify" player types - learning to identify the different player types you will be up against is the first step. Learning how to counteract their tendencies is the step that will help you take their money. 15) "Identify" why you play poker - If you are playing to win money, then heed the tips above, and do whatever it takes to bring you to your goal. If you don't care about the money and are playing only for fun, entertainment, or to take the edge off? Then you can ignore whatever you don't want to concentrate on and I will welcome you to my table with open arms. There are lots more tips out there and I encourage you to add your own. Thanks, Ric, AkA Punky159