10 Years of PokerPlayer: Top 10 ways to get more luck in poker

If it wasn’t for luck we’d never win a tournament, so it’s time to do whatever it takes to make sure the poker gods are happy…

1. Play like a fish

If you get it in bad all the time, you can only ever get lucky. Think about it. The problem with playing solid poker is that you’re getting your money in good all the time. That’s no good. You need to constantly get it in with underpairs v overpairs and dominated Aces if you want to get lucky.

2. Get yourself a lucky charm

Johnny Chan used to bring an orange to the table. Humberto Brenes had a shark and Dario Minieri wears the purple and gold Roma scarf. If you want to channel luck into your game you need a conduit. Pick something that’s guaranteed to wind your opponents up for maximum efficiency.

3. Pick a hand…. any hand

Doyle Brunson won both of his wSoP Main events with 10-2. That’s not in Super/ System… he just got lucky. wait until you win a huge pot with a trash hand and then announce to the table that it’s your favourite hand and that you’re always going to play it from now on in. whenever you win a pot with it, show everyone at the table and tell them it’s your lucky hand. You’ll have them in stitches. Remember to ignore the multiple times it costs you money or gets you railed.

4. Cosmic Ordering

If you’re not getting any luck it’s your fault – you can actually have anything you want as long as you ask the universe for it politely. Phil hellmuth makes lists of the things he wants so the universe is aware and can oblige. If you want to win a poker tournament just ask the universe repeatedly and politely if it would let you have what you want, preferably when you’re in a room on your own. Then hope none of the other players have the same idea.

5. Play big when hot

Streaks. Sensible people might try to tell you that all hands of poker are independent events that play out regardless of what’s just happened, but we know that’s not true. You run good and you run bad, and that continues until you die. Maximise your luck by taking ridiculous shots when you’re running hot and you too could be Tom Dwan.

6. Practise flipping

Most poker tournaments come down to a big flip. If you’re good at flips, like elkY, it stands to reason that you’ll win more tournaments. The best way to get better at flips? Like everything in life it comes down to practise. get a coin and keep flipping, recording the results. when you’re statistically ahead over a big sample size – say 1,000 flips – you can officially and scientifcally say you’re lucky.

7. Spend your Sklansky bucks

David Sklansky came up with a brilliant concept of Sklansky bucks – money that you should have won, but didn’t because you got unlucky. Prove that you know you’re lucky by going out and spending these safe in the knowledge that you’ll get them back – and then some – in the near future.

8. Cheer for the other guy

This is an advanced strategy used by lots of high-stakes pros such as Phil Laak. If you’re cursed with bad luck don’t call for your own cards, call for your opponent’s. This double jinx will mean your bad luck will rub off on them and you’ll start winning.

9. Pray to God

Popularised by Jerry Yang in the 2007 Main event, this strategy relies on the assumption that your god has nothing better to do than help you win a poker tournament. It worked for Jerry though, as he consistently asked his higher deity for the right cards at the right time. And he was incredibly lucky, so it’s definitely worth a shot. Remember to donate at least 10% of your winnings as ‘payment’ afterwards.

10. Lucky pants

If all else fails, resort to the tried and trusted method of selecting a pair of underpants that imbue you with the luck of the poker gods. If you’re playing a multi-day tournament you – and everyone else – will have to grin and bear it.


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