One of the most important factors to become a successful online poker player is to be merciless with your opponents. This may sound easy, but for some reason or another people tend to make bad moves and play too soft due to their mercy.
First you need to understand what poker is. Poker is about winning chips, and chips are usually money, the more chips you win the better you are doing. Again, it may sound utterly stupid but it is good for you to remember what your objective is so you won’t get distracted by things like getting more chips only from some individual you dislike or to make a good and “thrilling” competition.
Let’s put it that way, if you are playing online poker against your grandma your objective is to take all her money for you, if you are not comfortable with doing that do not play against your grandma. Maybe your grandma doesn’t play online poker (or maybe she does) but the big idea is that no matter if you like the player or you have chatted with him for a while or he is your friend or whatever situation your objective is still the same, taking all the chips in his/her stack and add them to yours.
Sometimes you may feel pity for a player who is losing a lot of money and still keeps playing like a fish, this may lead you to play with some kind of mercy to him, and you’ll earn less money than you could. Earning less money than you could is the same as losing money, so if you show mercy you are losing money and you are not playing poker correctly.
One of the advantages you have when you are playing online poker instead of brick and mortar poker is that you don’t see the face of your opponent. You must show no mercy when playing poker and then if you want you can give away part of your winnings to charity if that relieves you.
Some merciful actions are for example on a pot you have nuts and the other player has invested a lot of money into it, let’s imagine a $50 pot, if you got another $50, bet them all on the river. Even if you know the other player will get busted by that action, do not bet $30 if you think he will call $50. If you didn’t earn those $20 is the same as if you lost them.
Other merciful actions are to “give away” chips to players who are almost out of a tournament. You know you have lost the hand because you were drawing and on the river the other player goes all in with his little stack. You know you are going to lose but you call because you want to see his cards and you think it is no problem for you to give away a few chips to a player who is almost busted. This player may be the final winner of the tournament for such a merciful action.