Because there's nothing more aggravating at the table than feeling outplayed.
The worst is knowing you could do something to stop it… but you just can't figure out WHAT IT IS!
I've been there.
And, at one point or another throughout their poker career, so have most of the students I've taught.
(And while most pros would never have the guts to admit it… most of them have too.)
It's understandable. All players who care about being good at the game go through it.
(The players who care about being GREAT seem to go through it the most!)
Maybe they busted out of a Tournament in a spectacularly terrible way. Maybe they lose one buy-in too many to the WRONG player (in a hand they probably shouldn't have been in)…
After second guessing… and replaying key moments from a game in their head… they're left with a gnawing question: “what should I have done differently?”
But (as any real pro will tell you): it's not about what happened “that hand”, “that tournament”, or with “that opponent”.
Your poker results are a direct reflection of the quality of your game plan (and your ability to execute the plan).
In the long run, winning game plans create winning results.
Pros know they can't control the outcomes of the decisions they make… but they know if they consistently make better decisions than their opponents… the chips eventually come their way.
No matter what starts a poker player down the path of improving their game, the REAL challenge is developing a solid game plan that works in any game, no matter the stakes.
MOST players (not you) don't even bother trying to put a game plan together.
They “wing it” at the table. (Practicing “hope and pray” poker.)
These players think: “Hey, I know how to play this game. I know what I'm doing. Now let's drop all this “studying poker” nonsense (“what is this, SCHOOL???”), and let's shuffle up and deal!!!”
(These types of thoughts tend to happen RIGHT BEFORE they play a losing session. But then they win JUST often enough to think what they're doing is working…when it isn't…great game huh!?!?)
Let's say you've gotten over “winging it”. (AKA: the poker version of “bringing a knife to a gunfight”… )
Sure it worked for awhile, but eventually it started working less and less as you played in tougher games.
Because ANY proven strategy MUST be better than “improvising”, right?
So you read a poker strategy book (or more), and maybe check out some poker training websites, forums, blogs, magazine articles, and maybe you even like watching poker YouTube or Twitch videos sometimes.
You've been playing for awhile, so you figure you can sniff out the difference between the BS and what seems like it would work in your games… and before you know it… You've picked up A WHOLE BUNCH of poker “wisdom”, “best practices”, maybe a few “tips” (or extra fancy: “tactics”) here and there.
NOW you know some more jargon and have a better sense of what it all means. You know enough to spot the “good” players at your table, and you can regularly identify the moves their making.
Maybe you even have a counter-strategy or two… Maybe your style is little bit of Daniel Negreanu's “small ball” strategy, with a little bit of Doyle Brunson's “Super/System” in there for good measure.