Irrespective of what you do in life or what area you look at, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people do not succeed. This is a given in any form of endeavour and the reasons why the masses don’t succeed and the minority does are numerous but can be broken down to a few core reasons.
For example, in poker the majority of players fail to make money because they don’t do enough work on their games or don’t show enough creativity. Poker simply has to be this way for the game to survive but it does highlight one very important fact and this is that there is always margin to make money playing online poker… as long as you don’t think and act like the majority.
If you do the same as everybody else then you are doomed to get the same results as the masses and the same failings. Even if you incur more swings and take greater short term losses then you are still better off doing something different if what you are doing takes you away from what the majority of other people are doing. If you want to make life tougher for your opponents, you need to assess what your style is and what you do in each situation and then twist it around to view it from your opponent’s perspective.
What you are ideally looking for is in how easy it would be for your opponent to defeat your style or individual tactics. For example, if you open-raise from the cut-off with 100% of your range but fold all of your junk to a 3-bet then it is blatantly easy for an observant button player to defeat this tactic… they simply 3-bet. If they make it 9bb to go over the top of your 3bb raise and you fold 90% of the time then you are losing nine pots out of every ten before the flop.
This equates to an immediate loss of 3bb 90% of the time or 27bb over the space of ten hands. The brutal fact of the matter is that you are not going to make those 27bb back against a good opponent on the remaining 10% of hands. If your opponent simply gives up every time they don’t have a real hand themselves and only continues with their own strong holdings then you cannot possibly make up 27bb.
Not many players look at poker in this way – from their opponent’s perspective – but if they did then they may just see things from a completely different angle. This is expressly why poker theory needs to be looked at in a different way to a few years ago. While the arrival of the internet has fuelled the desire for people to become poker players, it has also opened up the avenue for those very same players to also become more educated as well. So these days it is more important to know what your opponents know and this is really when you well and truly “know” the game, so to speak.