Finding and Plugging Leaks

Every individual has his own playing style, and with that comes player strengths and weaknesses. The goal of every player, in order to make more money and maximize profits, is to minimize weaknesses and concentrate on strengths. There are some situations that frequently occur in No Limit Hold Em, and if a player is not good at handling that situation, he is going to have to fix his game. This process is called plugging leaks.

Unfortunately, it is not always as easy as that. Sometimes, players do not know exactly what they are doing wrong, since they cannot always see the other players’ cards. For example, maybe a player is too tight in calling all-ins when small stacks shove. But he will never know he is making overly tight folds unless he sees the small stacks are shoving with 89s and should be calling with j9 instead of folding. Case in point, finding leaks is much harder than plugging them. So what is the quickest and easiest way for players to find leaks in their games?

Finding and Assessing the Leak

Unfortunately, there is no absolute way to find a leak. Fortunately, there are many very effective ways that will help a player find leaks in his game. Hand History Replayers are great tools to use. Simply input a tournament hand history into the replayer and a player can watch when and how he loses the most chips. Maybe it is with small pairs and maybe he loses the most with suited connectors. After the player watches his hand history, he can assess the frequency of the spots when he loses chips with his leak hands and the magnitude, or how many chips he loses when he loses. As a guide, there are generally 4 different types of leaks:

High Frequency + High Magnitude = Major Leak,

Low Frequency + High Magnitude = Rookie Leak,

High Frequency + Low Magnitude = Subtle Leak,

Low Frequency + Low Magnitude = Obscure, Technical Leak.

From the guide, players can see that magnitude is more detrimental than frequency, so players should look for the spots where they lose the most chips. Players of different skill levels should also be looking for different leaks. Poker Pros will only be looking for Low Frequency, Low Magnitude leaks, which are incredibly hard to find. Rookies will have an easier time finding leaks, since they are Low Frequency but High Magnitude.

Every player has at least one leak. If a player can find that leak, he will become that much better at poker.