Mistake: Losing Focus
It is vital that you pay attention during an online or offline poker game, whether you're in the hand or not. An advantage that online players have is being able to observe the play without anyone knowing they are there. When you click yourself into the game, you have a full read on your opponents' play, which is a good move on your part.
Following are tips for keeping you on your toes when you play in online poker games:
When you observe the game's play, note what opponents play loose or tight pre-flop.
Note which players are rocks and which will draw to any hand.
Be aware of aggressive players.
Create a physical environment without interruptions.
Only play poker. Do not read, answer e-mail, watch television, and so on.
Music is fine, but television tends to distract and should be turned off.
Talking on a telephone, having a conversation with another person in the room, or just about any other activity you can think of is a distraction and should be avoided. Many a good poker player has lost a bankroll that he would have won had his full attention been on the game.
Use the note section on your computer screen to jot down important information on your opponents' style of play. It helps keep you focused on the game.
When you observe games that you're considering entering, look for any fish — bad poker players who tend to lose a lot of money, but who also have deep pockets. That's the game you want to play in.
When you are an alert, savvy player who takes every opportunity to observe your opponents' play and distinctive tendencies (such as check-raising, slow-playing, and bluffs), and note which players only play the nuts, you put yourself in an excellent position to come out a winner. Just keep your full attention on the prize: huge pots!
When you know the screen name of a fish, you can add it to your buddy list. When he logs on and sits in a game, you'll get an alert. Party Poker is one of the online sites that offers this feature to its members.
When you pay attention you'll be in a better position to fold your mediocre hands when a tight player comes out betting. But you won't know this unless you've been observant and have taken good notes.