I used to bluff too much. The trick is to keep people guessing
In his first Pokerjolt column, JP Kelly explains why being unpredictable is the key to being a successful poker pro
|by JP Kelly||July, 9th 2010||
Above: JP Kelly has learned to bluff less and focus more
I don't know what attracted you to poker, but for me it was because the game involved both money and skill.
I've always been interested in games and my favourite subjects at school were maths, business and economics. Poker was a game of good decision-making which really intrigued me and I also loved the idea of making lots of money from a game I both liked and was good at.
That's not to say I always got it right, especially in the early days. I used to bluff way too much and over-stretch myself financially, especially before I became a pro.
Thankfully, we all grow up and now my style of play and my bankroll management has matured.
Thesedays I'm methodical and calculated in my tournament play. In cash games I play lots of hands and pressure people. I am not afraid to gamble or bet big to put people in difficult situations.
If you want to become a pro you need to learn to manage your finances, like I had to, but you also need to want to keep learning. You must also be prepared to change-up, to keep people guessing and deviate from the norm.
I really admire Praz Bansi for exactly those reasons. He's a really great player with an amazingly strong desire to succeed who also takes time to offer advice and keep me motivated when things are not going according to plan.
It can be hard being away all the time and this summer was especially tough. When the World Cup was on I knew that all my family and friends would be having barbecues back home and watching the games. A summer at home would be cool.
But my dream is to win a big $10k buy in like a WPT, EPT - or the ultimate dream, the WSOP main event.
That means I have to keep working on my game. I'm at the WSOP in Las Vegas right now, so playing a lot, but I usually play 80 per cent online at PokerStars and just 20 per cent live.
I keep myself open to new ideas and different ways to throw opponents off like taking different betting lines and changing body language in live situations.
So whether it's live tournament play or online, I learn all the time and try to soak up as much info as I can from those around me.
I think this is key for any poker player, so if you’re an aspiring pro, this would be my first piece of advice.
JP Kelly plays at PokerStars.com