Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket flick about the Vietnam War provides a fast-paced look at the insanity of war. Several lines from the film have become part of pop culture and one of the more famous is applicable to poker players looking to increase their bank roll.
"The dead know only one thing: it is better to be alive." — Private Joker, played by Matthew Modine.
Don't think your pocket aces will always be good.
Possibly the most over-played hand in poker is pocket rockets. Although it may seem insurmountable pre-flop, everything changes once the window hits the felt.
Smart players will keep quiet if they flop a set, and they will let you hang yourself if they put you on a paired hand or a high pocket pair.
Even players with a open-ended straight or flush draw stand a good chance of obliterating your aces, so don't let your ego write a check that your hand can't cash.
This doesn't mean that you play your aces in a timid fashion, but it does mean that you should be wary of your opponents and not let your confidence put you in a bad position that you could have avoided if you were cautious.
Minimize the damage when you see trouble ahead
Part of being a good poker player lies in your ability to stop the bleeding when you find yourself in the hangman's noose. Good players can recognize when they've been trapped or when they are facing defeat, and they do their best to minimize their losses instead of tilting and making things worse.
An example of this situation occurs when you flop a set but the board gives opponents an open-ended straight draw and the flush draw. This is a dangerous position for inexperienced players to be in because they tend to think they can dodge bullets, so they overplay their hand for all their chips.
It is crucial in these situations to minimize potential losses as you stand a good chance of hitting the rail if your opponent hits his or her hand.
Although you may have been winning until the river, it means nothing until the final card lands. Don't lose your stack because you simply can't believe your opponent got lucky enough to hit runner-runner to make a hand.
Don't tilt away your stack when you get sucked out.
Although this concept seems simple enough, players frequently get caught up in the emotion of a hand and let it affect their play.
As long as you have chips, you're not out of the game. When some luckbox sucks out on you, keep in mind that you have to rebuild your stack. Don't let your frustration make you screw up a potential rebound; more than a few players have come back from next to nothing to win events. You may be short-stacked, but you're not out of the action so don't give up. No matter how you look at it, it is better to have a chance to come back than to be eliminated.