Why Winning At Poker Takes More Than Watching A Card Tournament On TV

TV Educated Poker Players - TVEPPS


The recent popularity of poker is due in part by all the TV broadcasts of major poker tournaments. Many viewers decide to try live poker in the casino cardrooms after watching it played on TV. Only to find out what they think they learned from TV is not really what they need to know to win in a live game.


TV Educated Poker Players (TVEPPs) who have gained all their poker knowledge by watching broadcasts of the World Poker Tour or other televised tournaments are not going to be very successful if they do not get some additional education from other sources. These can include reading books, magazines, and articles on the Internet about poker strategy.


Watching a one or two hour television broadcast of a poker tournament is akin two watching the highlight films of a championship boxing event. You get to see the knockout but you fail to see the grueling sparing that led up to the final blow. The TV tournaments have been edited down to the most entertaining and exciting hands. You will see the hands where a player bluffs another player out of a big pot or one where an all in player catches a miracle card on the river to knock out his opponent after shoving all their chips into the pot. These types of spectacular plays are great entertainment but can lead to the impression that winning a poker tournament is all about bluffing and getting lucky. The types of plays you see on TV at the final table when the game is short handed are not the plays that got most of these players to the final table.

No Limit Strategy in a Limit game.

Many viewers who watch the TV tournaments decide to give live poker a try. They head on down to the cardroom and sit in at a low limit game. They then try to play the TV no limit strategy in a limit game and meet with disastrous results. Limit Texas Hold’em has structured betting rounds. For example in a $2/4 game which is popular in many card rooms the first two betting rounds are two dollars and the betting on the last two rounds is four dollars. You must bet and raise in these increments. There is no going all in unless you happen to be out of chips and can’t afford the two or four dollar bet.


Bluffing in a low limit game is an exercise in futility at best. You are not going to be able to bluff out many players out of the pot. There will usually be someone at the table who will try to "keep you honest" or call out of curiosity to see what you have.


The TVEEPs also try playing any two cards from any position because they have seen it done on TV. Playing any two starting cards is a quick way to go broke especially from early position. You have to learn to be selective if you want to be a winner.

Skill Comes with Education

Poker is one of the games where a player can have an advantage based on their skill level. It takes studying and practicing to learn and improve that skill. It takes work and is not something you can learn completely by watching others play it on television. If you want to be a winning player have to get your education from other sources as well. There are plenty of books, magazine and website article available to anyone who wants to take the time to study the came correctly. If you read just one book about the game you will be ahead of about 80 percent of the other payers at the table. Spending the money for a good poker book is a lot cheaper than trying to get your education at the tables in a live game.

Until next time, remember: "Luck comes and goes...Knowledge Stays Forever."