Leaks are the holes in your strategy through which your stack is hemorrhaging chips. If you want to be a profitable No Limit Texas Hold’em player, you need to watch yourself with a critical eye and try to spot these leaks are quick as possible. Do not allow yourself to do the same mistake over and over again. If you make two $1 mistakes each session, and play 25 sessions a month, this particular mistake is costing you $50 a month.
If you need some help spotting your own leaks, there are special software programs available that will gather data when you play poker online and then analyze your playing style. A good analysis program can be very helpful when it comes to noticing your own leaks, and may be worth the time and money you put into it. After all, if you don’t even know about a leak, how can you ever fix it?
Common leak #1
A very common leak is to become to emotionally invested in draws and keep throwing money into the put instead of cutting your losses and leave. It is very common to see novice poker players go after nearly impossible draws, or get mesmerized by a draw towards a hand that isn’t very good even if you do make it. Don’t be the guy that throws his money after a sucker flush draw or a draw for the sucker end of straight. Also, your pair above the board is nice, but not that nice. Don’t play it too strong.
To put it simple: When you draw to a hand that wont bet the nuts even if you make the draw, you can expect to lose a lot of money if you don’t have your wits about you.
When you feel like throwing money into the pot on a sucker draw, take a moment to remember all the players that you have seen making that queen high flush only to lose a huge amount of chips to the guy with the ace high flush. Don’t be the queen high flush guy!
Common leak #2
If you are at a No Limit Texas Hold’em table with a lot of novice players, you will most likely see them call small bets even though they’ve missed the flop completely. It is as if they just can’t fold their hand when the alternative is calling a small bet. They aren’t making a rational choice, they just like to stay in the hand and they are happy that they are able to do so for a small investment. Don’t call a bet – not even a small one – unless you have a good hand. It’s not a difficult rule to remember.
Common leak #3
Common leak #2 was calling small bets without having a good hand. Now, we will talk about common leak #3, which is calling big bets with a pretty shitty hand. In many cases, this is done because the player doesn’t understand that he is holding a pretty shitty hand. He thinks that his pair, his two pair or his three of a kind is a pretty good hand. It is not a pretty good hand, and it shouldn’t warrant you calling a big bet. The person making the big bet is probably not doing a complete bluff; he either has a very good hand or has a high chance of completing a very good hand with the help of the board.
Don’t be too stubborn to fold a pretty shitty hand. If you have a pair and your opponent is making a big bet, just get out. Yes, once in a while you will find out that your pretty shitty hand would have won the pot had you stayed in it, but this is ONCE IN A WHILE. It doesn’t happen frequently enough to be a good strategy for someone who wants to make a long-term profit plying No Limit Texas Hold’em.