Watching poker on TV, listening to high stakes players talk, and reading some strategy books can often give poker players a distorted perception of their own abilities.
Indeed, one of the biggest mistakes beginners make is to think that they can pull of the same moves they have seen Phil Ivey or Gus Hansen make. Trying to pull off an aggressive three-barrel bluff against a fish is not the same as trying it against a seasoned player, who is able to make a big fold.
The most common type of player you will face in many low stakes games is one who does not have a lot of experience, or who is simply playing for fun. Because of this fact, it will be very difficult to emulate the moves you have seen high-level poker players make.
One major factor that will affect your ability to copy Gus Hansen’s bluff is the lack of history between you and your opponent.
Televised poker is merely a compilation of the most exciting hands, which means that you do not see any of the action that directly preceded a big bluff. Indeed, a strong player will adopt a certain playing style as a way of setting up their opponent in the future.
Thus, when you see Gus Hansen move all-in on the river and win a huge pot, it is because he has been building up to that situation for a while, and knows that his opponent will react in a certain way.
Every move you make has to be tailored to the situation and the person you are facing. Thus, just because he moved all-in and it worked, it does not mean it will work for you.
Another thing to remember is that when, for example, the WSOP 2012 Qualifiers are shown on TV, the editors have selected the most interesting hands.
This gives the impression that poker pros are always making big moves. However, in reality they are folding quite a lot. By misunderstand this fact, you can often be fooled into playing more hands than you should. This becomes problematic, because you simply will not be good enough to play that many hands profitably.
So remember, do not try to copy the pros at the poker online table because, in reality, you are not as good as you think.