Spotting Leaks In Your Game
In order to continue to improve, you need to consciously seek our potential areas of improvement. As you discover these weaknesses, or leaks, in your game, you then are in a position to address them by coming up with superior strategies.
There are two main components of improving your game. The first is looking to plug the leaks in your own game, and the second is to look to better uncover and better exploit the leaks of your opponents.
While exploiting leaks is a more complex undertaking, involving your becoming familiar with what leaks consist of across a broader range of playing strategies, you do have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is with your own play.
When we look to case out the weaknesses of our opponents, we look to first understand their play by using statistical programs. Just as these programs will track and help identify patterns in opponents, they will also help you do the same thing with your own game.
The best place to start is to simply look at your statistics the same way as you would look for weaknesses in the players that you play against. In particular, you are looking for some of the stuff that really stands out, and if it stands out to you, it has at least the potential to stand out to your opponents as well.
For instance, if you are folding too much in certain spots, perhaps playing too fit or fold, then your stats will make this pretty obvious, and this could be pretty obvious to the people you play against as well.
There are quite a number of potential leaks that you could look for, and if you are less experienced, you can also use leak buster programs, although the advice isn't of all that high of a level and you should look to improve your understanding of the game and try to figure these things out for yourself as soon as possible.
Just as you don't want to over rely on stats against opponents, and also want to develop your hand reading skills to go along with this, so should you look to improve your reading skills in terms of reading your own play. In particular, you want to look at your play in terms of what your opponents may think that you are doing, and what they are doing to adjust to these perceptions.
Keep in mind though that there is a difference between limiting your leaks and improving your exploitation skills. You can think of looking to plug leaks as your defense, and any good defense also requires a good offense, which is the part of your strategy where you're looking to prey upon the leaks of your opponent.
Of course, as you get better at spotting and overcoming your own leaks, this will also improve your ability to find and exploit your opponents' leaks. Depending on the stakes you play, players will have varying abilities of leak spotting, and you want to always make sure that you are ahead of them in this category, as it is a crucial one in determining your relative long term success or lack of it at the games you play.
So all players should devote a significant amount of time to both working on their own leaks and becoming more and more familiar about what leaks are in general, not only what they are but the reasons why they are leaks, and in doing so you will end up furthering your understanding of the game and thus become a better player.