Friday, February 19, 2010

You Gotta - Know When to Hold em, Know When to Fold em, Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run

Just a moment note here: You are probably wondering, is there any Poker Playing on this Poker Blog? Yes. But there is more to Online Poker than the Bankroll and the Charts. More than the NAPT Venetian coming up, more than High Stakes Poker.

So this post covers the More Than Challenge, more important than Bankroll Management, the Most Important Strategy You will need to play Online Right. Besides my previous article on the non-automated importance of playing online, the knowledge of self and discipline will save your bankroll in the long run, and build the profit you are looking for.

Obviously, Tilt and Bankroll Management go a long way. There are days you are angry. There are times when you are tired. There are things you need to do, schedules to keep, routines to set in place, and outside life that needs addressing. If you are not attending to these things, or paying attention to your current stress level, then you are NOT playing your A game. And A games get the results. (P.S. - this is REALLY important for you multi-tablers).

Everyone and their dog would probably want to quit the day job and become a full time pro. The true test of a pro is to build something (hence my challenge to build $5 into a considerable income - much less than the recommended deposit minimum $50). Not only does this teach me the nuances of the game, multiple settings and personalities, different MTT scenarios, etc., but it also teaches discipline. Chris Ferguson took 9 months to build $0 to $100, and 9 more months to take it to $10k (and he probably played a LOT MORE than I do). So my goals are data based points of $$$, not time.

No matter what level of player, we can all use improvement. Studying chip leaks, weaknesses in play, etc can be a real help (this is what I really want Holdem Manager for). Learning better positional play, strong and implied odds starting hands, watching my stats for too loose play, studying scenarios for pot and implied odds, studying opponents (so recognize a blind steal when see one), etc. are good learns for the novice and the 2 year online player. Not to mention how this helps your live game play.

There are times not to play, and times to go into overdrive. Recognizing these are very important. Don't play to make up that all in stack loss from the bad beat in Rush Poker. If you are tired, or sick, don't play online (and don't play to escape, especially if drinking). If you feel your edge dropping, going in with hands you KNEW you shouldn't, take a break. A break can be 20 minutes, half a day, a couple days, or a week. The poker will still be there waiting for you. If poker dominates your life (are you still playing in your PJs, no shower for a week, etc?), then its time to step back and set some basic routines for yourself OFFLINE.

Those playing well above my bankroll, feel free to comment.


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