By: Will Everly, Jr.
Luck is a huge factor in poker. Just to win a major event these days you must get lucky more times than you can count. You are going to have to win every race that you find yourself in. Skill is important, but you must be sure to overcome the luck and beat the odds.
With a lot of the new internet players hitting the felt, hand expectations have dropped. There are many players playing hands with marginal consequences. Because of this the luck factor in poker has increased. Even if you are going into an all in situation with the best of it, worse players are calling and sucking out. Even though it is impossible to avoid this, there are ways to keep the skill high and the reliance on luck lower.
Make sure you are playing the right hands. You shouldn't be getting involved with a marginal hand against an aggressive player. If you know you are going to get called, you shouldn't be wasting your chips to try and bluff. Now, if you know your opponent is weaker you can mix up your game more and play different types of hands. It is all about reading your opponent to decide where you stand in a hand.
Try not to go into any situation with the worst of it. Try to stay away from drawing situations, and don't get all your chips in the pot if you don't think you are ahead in the hand. If you are going into hands with the better percentage of winning then you don't have to rely on luck as much to help you win. You do, though, hope to avoid bad luck where the person sucks out on you! You shouldn't necessarily hope for good luck in a tournament, but hope that bad luck stays away. If you always play with the best of it then you won't need good luck.
If someone does suck out on you and you are still in the tournament you must make sure you avoid letting it get to you. You have to realize that this hand is done and you have to move on to the next one. If you are mad about something that happened at the table, you should never let your opponents know, because they will try to take advantage of that. You should act as if whatever happened didn't bother you a bit, and know that if they sucked out on you they may not be as good as you and you will be able to get your chips back from them later.
There is so much poker advice out there, but in general you should be playing tight but aggressive. You should have an idea of everyone's playing style at your table. Play the looser players tighter and the tighter players looser. Mix up your game and be sure never to get all of your chips involved when you have the worst of it. If you do this then you won't have to rely on luck, and you will find yourself beating the odds and hopefully becoming the next World Series of Poker Main Event Champion.