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Mistakes, Not Pots

by Andrew Brokos |  Published: Apr 18, 2012

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To my knowledge, it was David Sklansky’s Theory of Poker that popularized the idea that winning in poker is about mistakes rather than about winning pots. In other words, your goal should be to induce mistakes from your opponents while avoiding mistakes of your own, not to win as many pots as possible or to maximize your chances of winning when you have the best hand. Now, nearly twenty years later, most poker players accept that this is true in theory and can parrot it as a slogan. In practice, however, many continue to play and act in a way that suggests they do not truly understand what it means to focus on mistakes rather than pots. The result is a lot of misinformed play and misplaced frustration. Not only can a focus on winning pots lead to mistakes and missed opportunities, but it also contributes to tilt when a ...


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