A Poker leak is a common mistake made by beginners. They are passive or aggressive errors that make your play obvious to the villain.
If you’re consistently losing money on Poker, you might want to learn about Poker leaks. Familiarizing yourself with this common error will significantly tighten your game.
But what exactly is a Poker leak?
Simply put, Poker leaks are errors that cost you money consistently. They can either be passive or aggressive, depending on what type of inexperienced player you are.
An example would be a player who’s too tight or too loose preflop. By playing this way, you’re an open book from your opponent’s point of view. As a result, you’re easy to read.
When you’re calling/raising, they know you have a monster hand. So the opponent folds. Conversely, if you’re aggressively firing, they know you’re bluffing. So you’ll get easily called.
This is but one of the many Poker leaks players display. And yes, even the greatest Poker players of all time aren’t immune to them.
Thus, if you exhibit these errors, adjust your game accordingly, so you’re harder to read, among other advantages.
4 Common Poker Leaks
We’ve already covered the too-tight/loose mistake. Let’s proceed to the others.
1. Suffering from uncontrolled emotions
Anger is a common emotion you’ll see at the Poker table. Phil, “The Poker Brat” Hellmuth, is probably the most infamous player who consistently succumbs to his anger when playing.
To fix this Poker leak, practice meditation and deep breathing exercises. And it would be best if you did so on and away from the Poker table. More so for the latter so the behavior eventually becomes an automatic response. Remember: Poker is a mind sport. So start honing your cognitive skills.
You may also want to read The Mental Game by Jared Tendler. The book will teach you how to handle tilt, fear, emotional control, handling variance, and so much more.
2. Passively playing on Turns and Rivers
As you may have guessed, this Poker leak is an extension of the previously mentioned mistake: playing too tight. However, this time, a player rarely bet on the turn and river.
And when they do, they often do so when holding a strong hand. Naturally, their opponents would usually fold once this player displays aggressiveness. In turn, they’re losing value.
You can remedy this by observing how your opponents play and responding based on the information gathered. You’ll also want to consider your position, bet sizing, your action before the flop, and several other details.
Of course, the more you play, the better your understanding of these details will be. But the main thing to remember here is to avoid playing too passively when the turn and river hit.
You either call or raise your opponent if you have a decent hand or even a bluff catcher. Again, this will depend on the story you’ve been telling preflop.
3. Folding against small bets
Too often, inexperienced players fold their hands when facing even min. raises. You have to remember that folding too often is a losing strategy in the long run. You’re leaving too much money on the table without at least fighting for it.
If you’re facing a small bet, it’s generally a good idea to call. Sure, your opponent might have a strong hand and is roping you along to face a massive bet on the river. But you should always consider the pot odds, especially if you’re facing a min. raise after the flop hits.
4. Fear of losing money
This Poker leak is common among those who are betting money they aren’t prepared to lose. It stems from the lack of bankroll rules understanding.
In brief, bankroll rules refer to the number of buy-ins you can shell out on a given night. For instance, say you have $1,000. The buy-in is $25. That means you have 40 buy-ins before you go bust.
40 buy-ins is a high enough number that you won’t feel apprehensive if you lose 10 of them due to a downswing. Besides, losing 40 buy-ins based on bad luck is mathematically improbable. If you’re losing that much, the problem is your play, not the cards you’ve been dealt with.
Poker Leaks: Plugging Your Mistakes
If you’re a beginner, addressing your Poker leaks early on will give you an advantage against opponents with similar experience. Start reading blogs, listening to podcasts, and watching pros online.
Once done, try to implement them in your game. Focus on what you’ve learned and calibrate your play based on your cards, opponent, and position.
Over time, the lessons you’ve learned will become second nature. You’ll then want to spot your other mistakes and fix them too as you continue on your Poker journey.