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A Strong Starting Hand is Just a Good Start
Posted at 08/09/2007 04 PM in General Discussions by Sack.
A common phenomenon among mediocre players is their fixation for starting hands. More often than not, these players have the misconception that the starting hand determines the course of the game and at times, even the result. When they have an AK or a QQ, it is highly probable that these players might consider these hands as their key to winning the game. And, quite often, they are wrong. A mediocre player will remain a mediocre player till he transcends the realm of mediocrity to perceive the game as a bigger challenge than what it appears at the outset. A good starting hand is NOT the key to winning. It does play a significant role, but that depends on how the hand is played.

The way great players play a mediocre hand is far better than the way ordinary players play a very strong hand. Generally speaking, an AsKc has a 60-40 advantage against a QhJh hand. And, it is most likely to win you the game 2 out of 3 times. However, you would probably find it hard to accept the fact that the person with the 40 percent advantage could walk away with the pot. The fact is - an excellent player always plays a game smarter than reckless, mediocre players. So much so that, he could even expect higher with a QJ than a mediocre player with an AK. And, there are higher chances of a weak player betting far too recklessly than a good player who would bet cautiously till the bigger betting rounds are reached.

The big question here is how do mediocre players manage to throw away the advantage of a strong starting hand? An obvious sign of a weak player is his failure to lay down pocket pairs after the flop, especially hands like QQ on an AT9 flop. The funniest part is most of these players lay down KJ on an AJ8 flop but call all their money with a QQ. The hallmark of a good player is his ability to transform negative circumstances into winning situations. It is not the starting hands that help a player win, but the skills that he develops to play hands in the best way possible.

Very often, you would notice that weak players squander their winning chances with a strong hand by playing way too liberally. If you wish to rise from being a mediocre player to become a great player, you must realize that a good starting hand is only a good start. Do not cling to these hands for a long time. Play the game with a judicious analysis of the situation.




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