My opinion of what makes a player a good player has changed over the past few years as my game has matured. It is very 918kiss important for a new poker player to realize what makes a good poker player and more importantly, how to spot him. If you can spot the good player, you will have an advantage over him.
Signs of a good poker player:
1) He Plays Tight: Its the first sign that someone is educated about the starting hands of poker. Because I play so much shorthanded, I think that playing too tight is a problem for some players, especially the ones that don’t use the image they have created with their tight play. I play some shorthanded players who have little chance of winning at all due to this single problem. So what used to be a key to winning 10 handed hold em is now the reason they have no chance of winning shorthanded. …Interesting point to ponder…
2) He plays aggressive: You just can’t be successful in poker without being selectively aggressive. This is even more true shorthanded. When he’s in a pot, he bets it aggressively. Tight to get into the pot, aggressive once he is in the pot.
3) Varies his speed of play: Some decisions take longer than others. I’m not talking about the 10 table poker players who might have just happened upon that table being up when its his turn to act. I’m talking about the people that are playing the table…and are THINKING. He must adjust his play and think of every move. Poker is a lot like chess in this way.
4) He plays the same hands differently: This goes hand in hand with point number three, he not only varies the speed of his play but the manner in which he plays it. By this I mean the player is not the guy 6 handed who will open raise any ace from any position. If the blinds are tight, fine; do it. If the whole table is tight, fine, do it. But many players short-handed raise any ace from any position and this is a mistake. So sometimes it is correct to raise A7o utg, and most of the time it is not.
5) He folds his blinds: Sounds odd; but 30% of the players I play defend their blind 100% of the time. It’s a basic aspect of Poker that one must realize. The chips are just tools to get you to your goal, which is more chips. You must use the tools to your maximum advantage and never waste chips.