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10 common mistakes that prevent poker players maximising their profit

Poker is a game you can learn in hours, but that takes a life-time to master. I never thought when I played my first hand over 20 years ago that I would still learn every single day 8000 days later, but I do - such is the magic and this cycle will never end.

No matter how good you get though, there's some mistakes that are going to cost you so much that they eradicate the vast majority of the profit that you SHOULD be earning if you were better able to optimise all of the areas of your game.

Below I will list the 10 that I believe, on the back of my two decades in the game, and nearly 15 years staking, are the biggest pitfalls that have prevented so many achieving their potential.

Number 1: Playing too high

Ok - It's not sexy. We all want to ball it at higher stakes and try win the big bucks. Big this is definitely the mistake that takes most people out of the game. You must understand that your skill edge is relative to those you play against. You can be the 2nd best player in the world but if you only battle against the best, you're a losing player. Conversely if you're the 2nd worst player but you only battle against the worse, you're a big winner.

As you move up the stakes, less weaker players can sustain themselves at those levels long-term and thus a bigger portion of the field are stronger players that you will have less of an edge over. If you invest too much to the mid to high end and you neglect the bankers at the lower levels - you're destined for a rocky ride within the game.

Number 2: Playing too many

We've all experienced the time someone looks over our shoulder for the first time and see us playing 15 tables at a time. They can't believe we can achieve such a feat and let's be honest, we feel F****** cool don't we. The problem? Our brain wasn't built to to juggle 15 tasks at once and it certainly wasn't built to do so treating every game equally, so there's a huge EV loss when we play too many games and can no longer track hands, take notes, or follow the action. Not only this, our brains were not wired to sustain such fast activity for prolonged period and they certainly weren't built to execute decisions at the highest level while you're acting super fast there's tables beeping elsewhere and you're trying to ensure you don't time out.

One thing that most players don't realise is that the more tables you add, while you may hope to make more across all tables than you would if you played fewer, you're ROI per game is still being cut considerably for every table you add.

As an example, perhaps you have a 50% ROI playing 4 tables at €50 level and thus expect to earn €100 per session. If you instead play 8 tables at €50 level with a 25% ROI then you still earn the same €100 per session, but because your ROI is halved the variance you will suffer doubles in terms of bankroll variance.

Most poker players are guilty of adding too many tables due to fear of missing out and pushing their table count to a level which not only is detrimental to the amount of money they could earn across lower table counts, but also massively increases the variance they will face, increases the stress and lack of confidence that downswings tend to cause, and also minimise high level thinking due to not being as zoned into specific tendencies that are hard to pick up while multi-tabling.

Number 3: Unfocussed Game Selection

Just because you play poker does not mean you beat all poker games equally but sadly most poker players do not tend to realise this. Your specific playing style, competencies at different stack depths and overall risk tolerances will lead to very different results in different types of games. It's not uncommon for someone to be completely unaware that they crush 8-max games but get crushed by 6-max games, or that they are the king of rebuys but a giant whale in PKOs for example, or that they do better on site A than site B for example?

The cost of not knowing? Let's say over a big sample we can analyse and find that a player has say a 5% ROI at $50 ABI in PKOs but a 25% ROI ABI in freezeouts.

The player YTD has played 2000 games of which 1k were PKOs netting a total of $2500 and 1k were freezeouts netting $12,500 for an overall profit of $15,000. These are good results overall, but what if the player had instead played only freezeouts? For the same effort and the same number of games played, the profit would have been $25,000.

Awareness and measurability are so key to optimise results.

Number 4: Making the same mistakes over and over and over again

Mistakes are not a bad thing. Indeed they are actually a great thing because it's through a willingness to make mistakes that we actually have the opportunity to learn the most. The problem is the vast majority of people make mistakes and then fail to learn from them then not only was a mistake made, but it wasn't learned from, and it will be replicated time after time after time.

It doesn't matter whether it's in poker or in any area of your life, you MUST build a strong process to learn from mistakes (or potential mistakes) so that you are laser focussed on learning from the situations you faced, to be better prepared to encounter the spots better in the future.

There's such a different pace of progress from players that have a process in place to learn from mistakes then implement change efficiently, compared to those that often through a lack of care, precision or priority fail to learn from mistakes and thus do the same things time after time after time again. You CANNOT get to a high level when you don't learn quickly but most people don't have high enough standards to be able to learn from mistakes at a high level.

Number 5: Short-term Actions NOT aligning with Long-term goals

The roadmap for success in any area of life is extremely easy on paper and yet so few people manage to achieve it. You decide what you would like to achieve. You put in place the steps that would be required to give yourself the best chance of achieving it. Then you put into action consistently every single day actions that align with your long-term goals.

So why is it so difficult for people to actually achieve their long-term goals?

Firstly, people tend to make grand plans when they are high on motivation and then a few hours, days, or weeks later when their motivation drops they no longer have the same motivation.

Secondly, people expect success to be instant when it isn't ever going to be and so they get demotivated when they don't instantly get the rewards they think they deserve after a short period of sacrifice.

Thirdly, as a species we are wired to value short-term comforts over long-term comforts. Our goals are long-term objectives which require short-term sacrifice, whereas we're wired to push back against short-term sacrifice given we value the short-term over the long-term. This means that we then end up on a constant cycle of setting objectives then falling short, setting new goals and falling short, which is why most people fail to achieve the success they wish in life whether this be in poker, work, health, fitness etc. It's only once you're aware of these patterns that you can push back against them and it truly is the mother of all skills to be able to ensure your short-term actions align with your long-term goals as success is then inevitable - but it's a skill only 0.1% of people master.

Number 6: Undervaluing the need to be coached

There's no denying that success is very difficult otherwise everyone would do it. Most people won't achieve the highest levels of success in the fields they strive for it because to do so takes sacrifice people are unprepared to take AND it takes a roadmap that most people aren't clever enough to design effectively or then follow through with. The fastest and most effective way to short-cut your success is to find someone that has already achieved the success you desire to have, and learn directly from them, modelling their behavior, and progressing at a rapid pace through the levels that you have not progressed through but that your coach can walk you through having already been there and done it! You get what you pay for in this world. If you want to be the best, ensure you re-invest a significant portion of your profits into hiring the right team of coaches to optimize your progress.

Number 7: Surrounding yourselves with the wrong people

Did you know it's a proven fact that your views, values and vision is derived from the 5 people that you have spend the most time with overall? If you were brought up surrounded by people that told you you could achieve anything you set out to achieve, then that's what you believe subconsciously. If you were instead told that 'success is what other people achieve' then again that is the statement that drives your future views and vision for what is attainable in life.

If you want to be successful is SO key that you consciously observe the views and values of those you spend your time with, and make a conscious decision about whether these are the views and values that will drive you forward to achieve your fullest potential. If those views and values don't align, then you don't need to necessarily cut the person free as they no doubt have very strong qualities in other areas that drew you to them initially, but you do want to ensure that you prioritise spending time with those that are in better alignment for what you want to achieve.

One of the biggest benefits of joining a stable like Pokerwinners is that you'll spend a significant amount of time in sessions with the type of people that you want to surround yourselves by - those that are determined, dedicated and bought into the vision of what they WILL achieve in the future on the back of the work they are putting in.

Number 8: Lack of urgency

If you're the type of person that rarely wants to embark on big changes but instead prefers to do little by little over a longer period of time to spread the workload or stay within your comfort-zone, then sorry to tell you, but you will not achieve close to your potential. When you choose to do little by little, you're effectively saying, I do not prioritise doing a lot right now. You might not be but other people will, and those people will outperform you day after day and ultimately take the opportunities away from you.

The most successful people understand that getting ahead is absolutely crucial. You can pace yourself and achieve a certain level of success, but that success will not be close to the level of success you would be able to achieve if you take a more urgent approach and do 2x or 3x the amount of study per week. Who will get the financial rewards? Who will get the plaudits? Who will get the sponsorship? Who will people pick as a coach? Who will be able to sell their action to play live highrollers? The opportunities ALWAYS go to those that are furthest ahead in their process. If you don't have that urgency then someone else is taking the opportunities that could have been yours every single day, and there's very little you can do about it once you've given them such a head-start.

Number 9: Lack of sustainability

Even though urgency is incredibly important, it's also important that you are able to be build towards success in a sustainable way otherwise you'll burn out and the tortoise may overtake the hare while you're trying to recover!

Sustainability often starts with a vision. Ask yourself if you were already a world-class poker player at the top of my profession, how would my day likely be structured from start to finish. You probably already see a vision of yourself waking up, meditating, going for a jog, taking in a healthy breakfast, studying for a couple of hours, then going for a walk, healthy lunch, perhaps going to the gym or stretching, watching a webinar, starting your pre-session preparation, cold shower, visualisation, incantations, pre-session light meal, then walking to your computer full of confidence, full of determination, already knowing you're the best in the world and capable of optimising every single thing that comes your way before completing a little wind-down and getting yourself well rested.

Now think about how your current routine compares to this? Which areas of your daily routines serve you well and are sustainable over the long-term, and which parts of your daily routine perhaps hold you back from moving towards your goals at a faster pace.

You can only achieve optimal success if you find the optimal life balance NOW rather than making excuses that you will make changes in the future. If you aren't prepared to make these changes now, you won't be prepared to make them tomorrow. Sustainability of an Elite roadmap towards your vision of success is the key to making it happen.

Number 10: Lack of Oversight

Finally, one of the biggest problems that poker players face as they try to make it on their own is a lack of oversight and accountability. This isn't just with regards to having an accountability partner that adds additional pressure to complete tasks with regularity that would drive your forward, but is also to do with having people that review what you do and can provide comments and feedback that should help expedite your progress and grow your knowledge. The hardest thing to overcome when you're trying to be successful, is that it's quite literally impossible to fix the leaks you aren't aware of, or to understand the most optimal roadmap to move you forward when you haven't yet completed that journey yourself. What you need is a mentor that will constantly cast their eye over the work that you are doing and provide feedback and guidance to uncover your unconscious incompetence so this this becomes a conscious incompetence that you can work to improve. At Pokerwinners our players record every single playing session so that these can be submitted for review so you are held fully accountable in sessions (we'll see if you open facebook or act too fast, or fail to take those player notes) and we can dive deeper to find contributing factors for why hands may not have been played optimally. This is a level of oversight that can only be found at Pokerwinners which is why we believe we offer a winning formula which not only exceeds the offering you can find elsewhere, but which means that you as a player will progress at a pace many multiples faster than you would elsewhere while earning rewards at the same or higher level to those you would earn by funding yourself given the vast amount of value we are able to add to you to short-cut your process.


Success as a poker player involves far more than just growing your strategic knowledge. There are so many potential areas that if you neglect or underestimate can have a huge impact on the amount of money you could expect to earn (or lose). If you do have ambitions to reach the highest levels, you must be realistic about whether your short-term actions are the actions that will realistically take you to that success long-term or be willing to make major changes in order to ensure your short-term actions consistently align with your long-term goals.

At Pokerwinners, we educate our players on all of the major areas outlined and many more as we aim not just to improve your strategic knowledge but also to build competence in the other areas that will help you achieve success in whatever areas you strive for in the future.

It would take a huge amount of investment to try replicate the amount of value that we are able to every player that we work with and realistically there's very little chance you could progress at the pace you would while staked by Pokerwinners given the value we are confident we add at every stage of the process.

If you wish to take the next step forward in your poker career then APPLY NOW.


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We make no apologies for the high standards we require to join our team. You must play full time, be able to display volume of over 2500 MTTs per year, and have a cumulative profit of over $50k historically to be considered.


If you meet this criteria and wish to apply, you will be expected to record 30 minutes of footage of you playing with commentary for our assessment as your main application process.

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