Image by fuzzcat via Flickr
Some non-deep thoughts:
Poker is a series of short term events.
The best poker players win in the long run.
There is no long run in poker because
we don't live long enough.
Why do players win in the short-term?
Often it is because they are in the right seat!
Skill Levels of Players Have Narrowed
I have played online and live poker for many years. The difference between the ability of great and good players have narrowed considerably. As have the difference between the ability of good and average players.
As the skill level between players have decreased, the luck in the game has increased.
Have you ever wondered why you did better playing poker one day to the next day? Was it the cards? Did you suddenly stop knowing how to play well? Were your opponents simply better?
Yes, it could be one or all of these things. But, it also could be your seat.
And sometimes, it really is true that certain seats run hot and cold. In the short run those hot and cold streaks will happen.
Online Poker Advice
My best advice is to enter a game online and realize that these lucky/unlucky streaks happen. If you are in cash game and your luck is good, obviously stay seated. If not, leave that seat! Don't get stubborn.
Personally, if I've been hit with two or three losses in a cash game I will move to another table. But, if I lose again at the new table--I leave the site. It's just not my time to win. When I return, I will do better. If I don't, I will review my game and/or move to a lower level. Maybe this approach will work for you.
In tournaments, you will sometimes find that there will be one player who is winning despite his play. Avoid this player! If you raise with A-K, and he re-raises you, fold. Yeah, he probably has A-Q, but it doesn't matter. His luck is running way too hot. For some reason, it appears that the site wants this guy to win, so avoid this player!
Live Poker Advice
When I play in cash games at poker clubs, I notice that those who play in the highest levels tend to move their seats more often than those who play at the lowest levels.
Why are these $15-$30 and $30-$60 players moving around so much? Usually, either because they are losing in their present seat and/or a player who has been on a rush just left his seat. In all the years I've played poker, I believe leaving my seat has been the wrong move maybe three times.
In tournaments, you can't move your seat. But if you've been getting good cards at one table, and you get moved to a new table, don't be too disappointed when the streak ends. Yes, you should welcome a table change when things are not happening for you.
Also, you won't find too many stupid plays in a live event as you do online. So even if a player is hot in a live tournament, you have to play your "A game" and not worry about his luck.
I have talked with players who believe in hot and cold seats, and others who think I am nuts. Hey, just because it works for me, doesn't mean it is right for you.