Free Online Poker Strategy Continues With Part 5
Start up your poker business β Part 5: your goals in poker, the right time to change levels and motivation
The free online poker strategy lesson continues! By now you should have an idea about your initial poker investments, bankroll issues, poker software as well as poker site comparison. There are some theoretical- and special issues though which you cannot measure with numbers but you have to keep in mind in order to make profit.
One of these issues is considering what your goal is. It is clear: you would like to be a winning player and make money. If you were a hobby player just for fun you would not be reading this series and you would just play without worrying if you won or lost. You decided to be a winner and not play βjust for funβ. Although you still have to decide what your goal in poker is. Do you want to play and win on small stakes to have extra revenue at the end of the month or do you want to make a living out of poker?
This is a key aspect to decide. To become βjustβ a profitable player it is enough to play on very small stakes and also stay at those levels. In case you want to have poker as a career opportunity you need more effort to reach your goal. You need to download all the mentioned software, read many articles, participate in live tournaments, watch videos etc. And last but not least, one of the hardest decisions is how long you should play per day?
One of the wrong mentalities is to set your goal as a given amount of money to win every day. Such strategy cannot make you a winner because the swings you have in the game will not let you win every day. And the backside of this strategy is when you lose you will always ask yourself βHow much money do I have to win back today?β and your session will be a lot longer than usual. The consequence is that you will be more tired, you will make worse decisions and more mistakes, and you will be on tilt and lose more money.
So the online poker strategy to follow is that you define a certain amount of time to play and no matter how you stand, you quit when your session is over. If you can concentrate two hours then make it two hours, if less then less. You can also play a session in the morning and at night; between the sessions you have enough time to regenerate and to reset your mind. It is important to play always play your best poker and when you see the first sign of not being able to concentrate to the fullest, just quit.
Phil Ivey is great at that. If he wins a lot he keeps playing but if he feels he has a bad session or it is not his day then he quits right away. Patrik Antonius said if he wins he keeps playing until his strake goes but when he loses and feels his quality of play decreases he rather quits. Doyle Brunson said something similar in his book, the Super System, that if he is on a streak then he plays a bit looser because he just has the feeling that he wins every hand. These are the opinions of pros but until you do not belong to them I strongly suggest setting a time limit per day and stick to it strictly.
The other important question is when to change levels. In Part2 of the series you learnt about the financial issues and the different buy-ins you need for changing levels. However there are some theoretical questions which play an important role in deciding which blind level is optimal. I explain the general point of view about changing levels and the one I suggest.
You can read the following advice on various online poker strategy websites: when you realize the players you naturally beat are playing on a higher blind level. In this case, when you know you are better than them, you can try your skills on a higher level. It is crucial to mention that you should only do this on one level higher than your usual level and you should buy-in only once! You cannot risk your whole bankroll just because your opponents are worse players! If you lose, go back to your normal level, accumulate money and take your chance on another occasion. It is also important to remember that when you double or triple up you have to sitout, take your winnings and go back to your regular level. Just because you won a hand against worse players it does not mean that you are ready to play on higher limit. A short stack strategy might be the perfect option for you on the higher limit.
Now think about it for a second. The sole reason behind the strict bankroll management recommended in a previous article is to fight against the monetary and psychological effects of variance. Taking a shot at a higher level can be beneficial in the short run but it can have serious consequences. The most important one is that you break your bankroll management rule that used to be set in stone. And once you break a rule/vow/promise, the next time it will be even easier to break – even if the initial one was for a good purpose. I recommend you stick to the rules. Another possible negative effect can be that you get used to a different playing style. Even between different micro limits there are quite visible differences, and bouncing back and forth between levels will not help your game. The third negative side effect is that no matter how hard you try, you will still focus more on the big table, and care less for the regular ones. This will not help your game. To summarize it, giving a shot at a higher level is fun, exciting, and has potential extra profit, but it’s not good for your overall game. As a business, you should not “take shots” that decrease your efficiency on your current level. Only try higher levels when your bankroll enables you to move up to the next limit. In fact, this is exactly when you should move up.
Another deciding factor can be on which day you play. On the weekend it is easier to win because more beginners and hobby players play who have no time during the week. Having notes on players gives you a huge advantage for recognizing which of the tables are optimal for you! During the week you can play on lower levels as there are more regular players.
You might not think at first but even the part of the day is important. There are hours of the day when hardly anyone plays and it is hard to find the optimal circumstances. You should not play in such situations. Try to organize your day in a way that you play in the peaks when the sites provide the right tables and levels for you.
I left motivation as the last important factor and even though I do not write pages about it, it has a huge importance. The reason is easy: you have to think about your poker business as any other business and hopefully you know what I mean by motivation. You have to play every day and not once a week for example. You have to think about it as any other job where you get up and work all day long. The only difference is that here you can break your day into small sessions and make your own schedule. You also have to realize that your whole working time is not only about playing; it includes the analysis of your play and the further development of your poker skills.
In the last, extra part of the free online poker strategy series we will discuss how playing different kinds of poker affects your play and bankroll.
Start up your poker business β Part 1: The basics for online poker
Start up your poker business β Part 2: variance and bankroll management
Start up your poker business β Part 3: initial investments and useful poker software
Start up your poker business β Part 4: online poker site comparison