Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

79 Potential Poker Leaks

Had the idea for this post while mindlessly pushing the trolley (cart) around the supermarket yesterday... It is all very easy to say 'you need to plug leaks in your game', the problem here is that newer players in particular might not actually know what kind of thing they are looking for. I have come up with a list of 79 possible poker leaks below, some are broad and others more detailed - it would be great to see a few more added by readers!

79 Potential Poker Leaks

Note: There are many that go together in groups, however I felt it was a better list if I jumbled them up a little!

1 - Playing too many hands (if you are over 28 VPIP 6-max or 22 Full Ring then you are probably playing some long-term losers)

2 - Playing passively, calling often and betting or raising rarely.

3 - Berating bad players in the chat box. This can be a big leak... making bad players leave is negative for your long term winnings.

4 - Displaying badges or stars on your avatar which show opponents you are a regular / experienced player, no need for this at all!

5 - Never Folding to 3-bets, either you are raising too tight, or calling too light

6 - Failing to steal the blinds when folded to in position a good proportion of the time, especially when the blinds are tight.

7 - Minimum betting when first to act when you called a bet pre-flop, especially without a hand or with a hand which can not stand a re-raise.

8 - Failing to adjust your pre-flop bet sizing for position.

9 - Calling at the bubble of a SNG with a 'better hand' than your opponents range, without accounting for prize pool equity math.

10 - Continuation betting the whole pot on a dry board, when half to 2/3rd would have the same effect

11 - Surfing the net, watching TV or chatting on IM while playing poker.

12 - Thinking at more than one level above you opponent, no need to consider what a player thinks you think he has when he is only looking at his own hand strength!

13 - Posting extra blinds instead of waiting for the blinds to reach you, especially in later position (when you would only have a couple of hands to wait).

14 - Failing to take advantage of many of the excellent online poker tools available to help your game / spot your leaks.

15 - Giving free cards with strong but vulnerable hands, for example a set on a 2-flush board

16 - Continuation betting every time you raise pre-flop

17 - Playing too few hands, waiting for premiums is extremely exploitable by observant opponents

18 - Only ever raising with AAxx  (and maybe KKxx) in PLO games

19 - Set mining when you do not have sufficient implied odds to make up for those times you miss and fold (or hit and still lose).

20 - Bluffing opponents who call too often, bluffing calling stations is a massive leak!

21 - Playing poker when tired, unwell or demotivated

22 - Failing to spend 5 minutes searching for an sitting at the fishiest tables at your site... joining the first available tables is one of the most common (and easy to fix) leaks.

23 - Failing to review the tables you have selected every 20 to 30 minutes to ensure they are still the juicy games that you thought they were.

24 - Folding the river often when the pot is very large and the bets small, especially when missed draws make up a proportion of your opponents range.

25 - Failing to lead a heathy lifestyle outside of poker including excercise and good food.

26 - Playing more than one poker variation at the same time

27 - Playing at too low a level for your bankroll and skills, thats money left on the tables for sure...

28 - Playing too many tables, hourly rates can improve from multi-tabling. However, we all reach a personal limit which sees profits adversely affected.

29 - Bluffing into multiple opponents, especially on wet (flushes and straight draws possible) boards

29 - Playing too many easily dominated hands and generally going to far with them, get folding those Ace-Eights

30 - Tilting, that should read ' not making a plan for how to act if you find yourself tilting' (or not executing the plan if you have one).

31 - Not 3-betting often enough, especially from position against weak opponents 32 - Failing to adjust your bet sizing for hand strength and flop texture, while mixing it up enough.

32 - Flat calling from the blinds to late position raises and then check-folding the flop too often

33 - Playing generally 'backwards' (betting when weak / marginal and checking when strong) a very common beginner leak.

34 - Not playing enough tables, if you could easily manage 4, why play 2?

35 - Playing on level of thinking below your opponents, if you are constantly getting outplayed you probably need to drop down.

36 - Not reviewing you hand histories between sessions with a critical look at difficult situations.

37 - Lake Wobegone syndrome... assuming that you are somehow naturally better than your opponents at your level (everyone thinks this, and they can not all be right!)

38 - Re-raising all in when the nuts is on the board, for example A-K-Q-J-10 on board (no flush possible) the only effect of getting all the cash in here is to increase the amount of rake you pay the poker site for the hand.

39 - Always slowplaying aces pre-flop, while raising a lot of other hands. This will give away your holding to observant opponents, and may result in a multi-way pot with you playing out of position... just raise!

40 - Minimum raising without a very good (usually opponent specific) reason.

41 - Making small 3-bets with premium hands and bigger 3-bets with just strong hands

42 - 3 betting too often, especially out of position or against the same opponent(s)

43 - Failing to defend your blinds... if you are waiting for a top 5% hand then your blinds become an easy target

44 - Chasing draws without the correct implied odds

45 - Chasing draws out of position, then checking when you hit... allowing your opponent to check behind and take a showdown.

46 - Making a huge bluff when your draw misses on the river, especially if you also check when you hit!!

47 - Pot Contol leaks, betting in such a way as to build a big pot when you have a small pot hand, or vice-versa

48 - Playing outside of your bankroll, if you have more than 5 % to 8% of your money on any one table your risk of going broke due to variance is high.

49 - Failing to lead a balanced life, where poker fits in with other activities, family and friends

50 - Playing Poker sessions which are too long

51 - Failing to spot and attack 'orphaned pots'.

52 - Making bets which will only ever be called by better hands

53 - Playing without an excellent RB or loyalty deal

54 - Playing at sites which are full of small stakes pros, while ignoring the fact that there are a lot of sites which attract more recreational players (see our Fish-o-Meter widget for the Fishiest Poker Sites for your criteria)

55 - Failing to value bet often enough or thin enough, especially against stubborn / cally type opponents

56 - Going to war with a speculative hand against a hyper-aggressive opponent just to 'make a stand'.

57 - Never 4-betting, or maybe just never cold 4-betting

58 - 4-Betting too often

59 - Playing too many hands when out of position (this is a big beginners leak too!).

60 - Failing to adjust bet sizing for stack sizes, are you making a bet that would mandate calling a shove?

61 - Making too many 'hero calls' when you 'know' you are beaten but talk yourself into some strange scenario when your opponent has the only possible missed hand.

62 - Failing to plan how to get all of the money into the pot over multiple streets when you hold a monster.

63 - Not taking shots at higher levels - you might find them surprisingly soft

64 - Ignoring the excellent training materials out there in the form of books, videos and websites / forums.

65 - Turning your mid-strength hands into a bluff by raising where you would have to fold to a re-raise (these can often be used as bluff catchers instead).

66 - Playing while drunk or under the influence of other substances.

67 - Failing to spot opportunities to 'squeeze'

68 - Calling, rather than semi-bluff raising with your strong draws

69 - Never floating with air, especially against opponents who contination bet the flop often, but rarely fire again on the turn.

70 - Over-valuing top pair / overpair type hands in cash games

71 - Failing to adjust your bet sizing for opponent tendencies, some fold to any size bet, others call smaller bets and not bigger ones (for example)

72 - Contination betting with no plan for what you will do if you are called or raised.

73 - Not contination betting often enough

74 - Contination betting without regard for number of  opponents, flop texture or stack sizes

75 - Not auto-rebuying to the max where your site allows this (how about getting aces next hand only to find you only hand 8 big blinds left after a bad hand!).

76 - Continually switching between games and formats, instead of specializing in one discipline first.

77 - Not taking breaks during your poker sessions.

78 - Failing to stop or move down levels for a while if you feel you are not playing your a-game

79 - (saved the best until last) Failing to be honest with yourself, that, however good you believe you are, you still have leaks.  

I Enjoyed putting this list together - if there are any more just let me know.

Gl at the tables, Mark

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