Patience at the poker table is a virtue that all pros will preach. Taking your time, being patient, awaiting good cards is a basic winning strategy for any poker game. But how patient can you be for how long? Let us have a brief discussion in this article.
There are situations in poker where your patience must run out. Playing too tight, only playing premium hands and letting other players bully you, will dwindle your chip stack down to nothing. This can happen extremely fast when playing poker online.
So, there are times when a player must get aggressive without the best of cards. But how do you determine when to take your shots? This is important to plan.
Tournament Patience Factor
The primary consideration in making this decision is the tournament’s structure. What is the starting stack? How quickly do the blind levels progress? How many entrants are in this tournament? These are all questions players should be asking themselves when assessing how patient they should be at the beginning of a poker tournament.
Poker author Arnold Snyder uses all of these variables to quantify the exact “patience factor” for any poker tournament. According to Snyder, the higher to patience factor for a particular tournament, the more skilled the competition will be.
After knowing how much patience the tournament structure will allow, players must judge how patient they should be when proceeding in an actual hand. Using your judgment on when to be patient when the cards are actually in play is crucial to tournament success.
When to be Patient
Making plays dependent upon position and running a bluff requires the patience to apply these techniques at the best opportunities so as not to dump all your chips with over-aggressive play. Other times when patience becomes important when players are in the midst of a hand playing for a critical pot with what could be the second-best hand.
Players must be careful not to go bust or cripple their chip stack with a hand just shy of the nuts. Checking down a marginal hand on the river may save some chips against an opponent slow-playing a bigger hand.
Using Patience to Combat Tilt
Another critical time to exercise patience in a poker tournament is after taking a bad beat. Losing a hand you shouldn’t have at the behest of the poker gods can be devastating, and often leads to tilt. Patiently awaiting good cards or even stepping away from the table as opposed to playing the next immediate hand is a way to combat those feelings and that bad luck.
Use your patience to find good spots to get those chips back. Let others make the mistakes and often times the field will playback to you.
Though patience is a primary intangible for poker success, there are situations when patience goes out the window. Playing severely short-stacked allows for little to no patience. Players must rely on ultra-aggression to dig out of their holes. The only use for patience here is for picking the best spot to go all-in.
Patience in Online Poker
This barrage of all-in shoves is highly prevalent when playing online poker for smaller stakes. Patience comes at a premium as amateur players forego survival for aggression hoping to get lucky. Other times players allow their ego to get the best of them as they can’t release losing hands they are highly invested in. They lack the patience to fold and wait for a better spot.
Patience and aggression go hand in hand as the most important attributes of a successful poker player. Be selectively aggressive. Use your patience to wait for premium starting cards and good opportunities to steal the pot, then bet aggressively to take down a big pot.
Let us now have a look at a couple of the best online poker rooms where it is essential to have the patience of a high level. The below list was mentioned on the betting-malaysia.com website, one of the best online poker, betting, and poker platforms in the world. However, the rooms may differ across players even though these are based on hours of research and analysis.
Full Tilt Poker
Full Tilt Poker is one of few online poker rooms that accept US players. It was started in 2004 by Chris Ferguson and other pros and continues to grow in daily traffic.
It’s considered one of the best places to find a pro to play with, Phil Ivey is often found at the .05/.10 tables. At any time you can watch hundreds of thousands of dollars being won and lost.
Full Tilt offers the standard Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, and Stud poker but also has some of the popular variations like HORSE and HOSE.
Graphically Full Tilt gives you a selection of avatars to choose from and different backgrounds for the tables.
Party Poker is one of the largest poker rooms on the Internet. At one time it was the largest but due to the US legislation banning online gambling it has dropped down in traffic, behind PokerStars but still maintains it’s a fair share of traffic.
Party Poker has a large variety of games as well as regular freerolls and promotions to encourage play money players to make a deposit.
Because of the amount of advertising, there are a lot of new players on the site, giving strong players a lot of opportunities to make money.
Finally, there is the largest poker room on the net: PokerStars. One of the only remaining sites that still take American players, they recently hit a milestone of 150,000 players online simultaneously.
PokerStars hosts a regular Sunday Million dollar tournament, and with deposits starting at $10, it’s an easy site to get a real money account on.
With the ability to post your own images and to change themes for the tables, PokerStars is becoming the room of choice for online players.
No matter which room you pick in your next play. It is important to have, patience, fun, and play safe.