Introduction to beginner mistake and misconception

Beginner players adopt strategies and tactics that only really work against other beginner players. This is good for the short term when you are playing a lower limit because the thinking level or better know as (leveling) is so basic, such that advanced concepts are practically useless.

The great Doyle Brunson says, against the basic players who are perhaps level 1 or 2 thinkers, there is no need for advanced play because those players can’t think that deeply, hence you will only out level yourself!

I concur with Doyle Brunson, I also strongly believe he was the best player of his generation and time. Nowadays people are not able to appreciate his pioneering achievements in poker because the concept and strategy Doyle had employed in his generation are considered very basic. almost anyone who can afford a basic poker textbook or pot odds calculator can figure it all out.

From 1950 to the 60s nobody owned a computer and mostly nobody even knows how to properly use a pocket calculator. One of the fundamental problems at the time has to do with a flush draw vs top pair. Nowadays everyone knows the top pair is never dead and it is at least 20% better than a low flush draw, 10% better than 1 high card flush draw. And about 5% underdog against two over flush draw! However, because at that time players did not have access to the technologies of today, and even fewer people have the math skill to even understand or practice statistical analysis. Most poker players actually believe flush draw is just as good as top pair, and most players believe when you had a flush draw, you should just shove because if you add the fold equity of your opponent, a fall in flop flush draw becomes the standard play of the day.

The amazing Doyle Brunson had dealt, he questioned this very basic standard play, and with one of his friends, they did statistical analysis. To their amazement, they arrived at the aforementioned conclusion.

Doyle Brunson is a hardcore professional poker player. He did not gloat and after this discovery, he kept this revolutionary idea to himself. With this knowledge at hand, he manages to beat a lot of top players of his day!

I do not want to make this topic all about Doyle Brunson, but it is worth mentioning Doyle because once you grasp all of his ideas, then you can move on to more advanced topics such as GTO and if not then you are stuck at the bottom hierarchy of poker players.

I will now conclude my topic with do’s and don’t against beginner player vs advanced players.

DO’s against beginner player.

  1. after you make a bluff show them your hand, the reason being next time if you have made hand it is harder for them to fold.
  2. play basic poker, if you have something bet if you don’t check. No need for complications!
  3. Understanding pot odds, implied odds, etc, etc is very important. The reason because at the lower level advanced strategies is either useless or irrelevant, hence math will play a much higher role then psychology.
  4. Ultimately I have not played against beginner players for so long, I am by no means expert against such players, I am sure there is an even better specialist that has a dedicated knack to destroying those types of players.

Against Advanced Players.

  1. Never, ever show them your hand under any circumstance. Because when you show them what you have they will adjust their strategy very fast, at the highest level you must remember everyone is trying to figure out how the other guy plays, it will be to your own undoing to give your opponent a helping hand.
  2. basic strategy will not work, because if you just play basic strategy then you become extremely exploitable, hence easy meat for the top guns!
  3. Pot odds, implied odds, or a lot of so-called fancy math B.S. is ultimately irrelevant at the highest level. Hence the saying from Doyle Brunson, “I play my opponent not the cards!”.


To my mind, it just makes 0 sense. Okay, when you get to play more experienced players, knowing the player helps you a lot with making decisions. You often play the same people, you have to understand their playing style, which differs a lot from player to player. This is another factor you have to consider when playing against advanced players.
But this factor DOESN’T substitue the other factor which is just basic poker, like you’re saying. Pot odds, implied odds, equity is irrelevant ? Never, never, ever.

It’s really nice of you to give the player’s some tips, on how to get better and progress, but this just doesn’t make sense. Regarding Doyle’s quote, I see it more as : “Behind every hand, there is a person playing it ; You’re not only playing some cards”… Play the player too.

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All I can say is this is my personal B.S… However, if you reread what I said, I did not say it is absolutely irrelevant, I am just saying if you are thinking the top players made their money based all on mathematics, then you will never be a good poker player!

Even if it is a personal, I fear that saying basic poker skills are “ultimately irrelevant” is erroneous.

you are right!

It makes more sense whenever the hand ends without a showdown. If there’s a showdown, you need to have the cards. If you don’t, you only need your opponent to believe you have them