If you do not know, Sun Tzu was a legendary Chinese general, war strategist and philosopher who lived around 500BC. He is famous for writting a book called Art of War. This book highly affected both eastern and western cultures.
“Great, now we know who Sun Tzu was but what does it mean for my poker game and profits?“, you may ask.
As I said Sun Tzu was a great strategist and to become a profitable poker player, one needs a sound poker playing strategy.
Let´s remind couple of quotes from Sun Tzu´s book Art of War:
“The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. ”
“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious. ”
“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”
“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable. ”
Can you see similarities with your poker game?
From the long term point of view, winning poker player is the one who know when to play and when not to play. The one who knows when to raise and when to fold. Winning poker player is the one who can count his odds. Biggest profits will have player who makes no mistakes, carefully picks his hands and patiently waits for mistakes of his opponents.
Sun Tzu said: “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”
I think that mastering this point is the most important tasks of your poker career. Knowing yourself and handling your emotions is a guarantee that you will make less mistakes and avoid tilt which as we all know causes us to loose a lot of money.
Second part of this task is to know our opponent at the table. It´s easier in live poker where we can read many tells. But when we play online poker where there are no tells, it is harder. Also we have limited time to act.
Here come handy useful tools like PokerTracker or Holdem Manager. These can give you plenty of informations about your opponents like how often they eneter pot, what is their raising percentage preflop or postflop and many many more.
Besides that these softwares can help you to know yourself and your game better. They track your complete playing history and show you your weak spots and biggest money leaks. Use those valuable informations to adjust your playing strategy.
I can guarantee you that if you use general Sun Tzu´s advice and get to know yourself, your game, your weaknesses and also your opponents at tables, your game will upgrade to a higher level which will of course means more profits at your pockets.