Poker Tips By George: Don’t Stop Learning

By George Epstein
February 27, 2020

Once you stop learning, you start dying.

These are the oft-quoted words of Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955), probably one of the most brilliant men who ever lived.

The German-American physicist is undoubtedly best known for his Theory of Relativity. Among his many awards and recognitions, he also earned the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect, and numerous other awards and honors. In 1999, Time magazine named Albert Einstein their Person of the Century.


Incidentally, Einstein was also among the first to warn of the dangers from the Nazis as they grew in power in Germany and Europe. He was fortunately able to escape in 1933.

What does Einstein’s quote have to do with poker?

Is there any doubt that there is much to learn if you want to be a winning poker player? Just scratching the surface, there’s the importance of:

  • game, table and starting hand selection
  • position
  • reading your opponents
  • building the pot when appropriate
  • using the pot odds and your card odds to gain a Positive Expectancy
  • looking for tells and interpreting them
  • bluffing and semi-bluffing
  • slow-playing and other forms of deception
  • check-raising

Of course, there are so many other poker strategies and tactics as well. Whether you’re a recreational poker player and fan of the live dealers games or a semi pro who prefers to play poker in brick and mortar casinos, there’s always so much to learn about the game! It could take a lifetime to learn them all. Heck, I’m in my nineties and I’m still learning!

So, let’s follow the advice of Albert Einstein: Keep learning. Never give up. “Never stop learning!”

What’s the best way to learn in poker?

First of all, recognize that it takes self-control to stick to the task. You can’t be learning much about winning poker strategies if you are watching the sporting event being shown on the large TV screens up on the wall. Focus is essential. Concentrate on the poker game. Eating your lunch as you play is not the way to best learn. Take a lunch break from the game.

Learn from observing and assessing your opponents’ actions. Would you have played it differently? Why?

Learn how to minimize losses; better to fold that hand as early as possible. It’s no sin. Second-best can be very costly.

There are literally hundreds of poker books available. As you read them at home, take notes and ponder their messages. Periodically review your notes. What does each mean? How and why will it help you to be a winner – better yet, a BIGGER winner. For example, if you learn when best to value bet, you can win so much more at the poker table!

Magazine articles and poker blogs are also great sources for learning. Take advantage of those that are available that offer worthwhile lessons, strategies, and tips. Why spend your valuable spare time reading about individual players and all the money they won in a big tournament?

Discussions with poker buddies can help, too. Talk over a hand you observed. How was it played? Is there a better way?

It’s wise to take an occasional break from the game. Go outdoors for a brisk walk in the fresh air; clear your mind. Think about how you played some of those hands. Could you have done a better job?

I trust the wisdom of Albert Einstein: “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” You can avoid “dying” at the poker table. It’s up to you.

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George Epstein poker author
Written By.

George Epstein

After a long and productive career as a leader in the aerospace industry, upon his retirement in the 1990s, George Epstein chose poker as his “second career.” George has been widely recognized for his many significant accomplishments and contributions to our society. These include pioneering and innovations in various materials, testing and manufacturing technologies for […]


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