JavaScript must be enabled for Sign In.
Please check your broswer settings.

Home / Promotions /

Team Online PokerStars Goals

As Part of our Poker Goals Promotion we interviewed 3 of our Team Online Pros to find out exactly what it takes to become a winning Poker Player. Find out how you can win your share of $7,000 in Free Poker Touranments, along with iPads, PokerStars Chipsets and your chance to play with the Pros.

Tyler Frost    ║   Mickey Petersen   ║   Lex Veldhuis

 


Name: Tyler Frost
PokerStars User ID: frosty012
Year Started Playing Poker: 2010

1) What goals would you suggest for a beginning player?

A beginning player should set a goal of winning at the smallest stakes available in their preferred format, and then move up stakes once they are winning on a regular basis. It's important to start at the bottom to get a feel for how the games are played and hone your skills with similar competition. Moving up so that players "respect your raises" may not actually yield the best results for you! ;)

2) What goals would you set yourself in order to grind a long tournament or poker session?

My main goal while playing a cash game session is usually to simply play a certain amount of hands. In order to accomplish this, I'll do things like not checking my results while I play so that I don't get too frustrated or complacent with the short term variance. I think that it's important to focus on the things you can control, rather than set a profit goal for example...I wouldn't recommend the latter because great play does not always guarantee great results. I also like to eat before I play a session so that I'm not interrupted by hunger!

3) Thinking back to when you first started playing poker, what goals do you think led you to becoming pro?

I think that the main goal of mine that led to me becoming a pro was being able to play a specific number of hands per month. I think that treating poker like a job and setting a working schedule for yourself can play an important role in finding success as a pro. Also, once I was able to routinely play a certain number of hours or hands per day, and tried to take the focus off of the results, I became more comfortable with the variance that accompanies the profession.

4) What percentage do you feel a beginning player should be playing poker compared to studying poker?

I think that I would recommend somewhere around 70% playing and 30% studying. I did most of my learning at the tables, where you can really start to get a sense for what works and what doesn't. That said, there are a lot of resources out there that can range from simply helping you build solid poker fundamentals to taking your game to the next level and I do think it's also important to put in the time away from the tables to improve.

5) What should players avoid when setting goals so that they have a realistic chance of achieving them?

When setting our main goals, it's important to also set smaller goals that can ultimately help us accomplish our main goal. For example, if what we really want is to move up in stakes, we could set a goal of studying poker for two hours a day to help us get better and indeed make it possible to move up stakes successfully. We want to avoid setting one giant unrealistic goal with no tangible plan of how to reach it.



 
Name: Mickey Petersen
PokerStars User ID: mement_mori
Year Started Playing Poker: 2008

1) What goals would you suggest for a beginning player?

Don't overwhelm yourself with too many tables! A lot of beginning players go backwards about it and overwhelm themselves with more tables than they can make quality decisions at. Playing a lot of tables is great but it usually plateaus your skill level a bit. Focus on making good decisions and self-reflection, and only once you are really comfortable with your game start slowly adding more tables.

2) What goals would you set yourself in order to grind a long tournament or poker session?

I often play long tournament sessions and I think some of the things that are the most important are:

- Not getting tilted when you bust deep in a tournament. So often you see people getting unlucky in one tournament and immediately start making really poor decisions in all the rest of their tournaments - that gets expensive very fast!

- Keep on playing even if you have a poor start, or busted the tournament you were looking forward to the most that day. A lot of people stop registering as soon as something doesn't go their way, that's an ineffective use of time and shows a poor mind-set.

3) Thinking back to when you first started playing poker, what goals do you think led you to becoming pro?

I think having a healthy mix of micro and macro goals helped me a great deal. Micro goals are things like making my first cash-out, slowly moving up the stakes, making more contacts in the poker world and feeling my game become more robust. On the macro level, watching fellow countryman Gus Hansen winning a big televised tournament and imaging myself in the same situation one day if I worked hard enough at it.

4) What percentage do you feel a beginning player should be playing poker compared to studying poker?

I do think it's very dependent on the person, because when you are starting out there is a lot of educational value in just playing - a lot of the decisions are still new to you and you get to try things by trial and error. That being said I think anyone who plays 75-80% of the time and study 20-25% of the time is going to have a really strong starting point.

5)  What should players avoid when setting goals so that they have a realistic chance of achieving them?

It's fine to have long-term goals but make sure to make smaller achievable goals along the way to help you as well. I don't like monetary goals too much for tournaments because of the swings, so things like rating your game from 1-10 on every break, making sure your evbb is healthy and that you play in your best state of mind are important. One thing I personally like to do as well is to keep track of my sessions and every time I play a good one (regardless of results) I get a point. When I get to x amount of points I get to cash in a prize. It can be anything from a cinema trip with my girlfriend to a new video game or an exotic vacation. The great thing about that is that you can adjust those goals as low or high as you are comfortable with and it makes me more motivated to play, especially during a downswing. It might not work for everyone, but it's something I personally have had a lot of success with.



Name: Lex Veldhuis
PokerStars User ID: L. Veldhuis
Year Started Playing Poker: 2005

1)   What goals would you suggest for a beginning player?

A lot of beginning players want to play at a level that they feel they can beat. I think it's very important to start very low. Most of the time when I suggest this people say 'But people there don't know how to play poker. I want to play real poker'. My simple reply to that is: 'Then it shouldn't take you long to beat that level and move up to the next stakes'. I started out playing 1ct-2ct with $10 to my name. I think one of the reasons I became good was that my basics were very solid. I beat every level going up and I had seen every style. Another very important thing is don't focus on volume. You can start playing a lot of tables when you have a solid grasp of the basics. Putting more time in moving up and getting better will make you a lot more money than playing 24 tables with a $10 buy-in. Play 2-3 tables and constantly ask yourself why you are doing stuff.

2) What goals would you set yourself in order to grind a long tournament or poker session?

It's important to train your attention span. You can't just start out playing 10 hours in a row. Play small fields at first or short cash game sessions. Build it up from there. If you feel you are just clicking buttons stand up and take a break. One mistake could mean you wasted 3 hours of work. You have to be focused all the time. Make sure you eat well and do exercises.

3)  Thinking back to when you first started playing poker, what goals do you think led you to becoming pro?

What I really liked when I started was the fact you could start low and train yourself. There were so many levels to beat it felt like a competition. Also the highest levels are very visible so I would always watch the people that played there and thought to myself that I want to make that level one day. It's very important to love the game itself too. It's not a quick way to make money. It's hard work.

4) What percentage do you feel a beginning player should be playing poker compared to studying poker?

I think the studying is very important. I would say 50-50 is a good ratio. You play and then you study or examine the situations you've experienced. If you are in a tough situation write down specifically what that situation was and then just think about it. How do you want to be playing in general in that spot? When other people do something weird, don't just say he is dumb and he is bad - think if there is some merit to what your opponent is doing. Maybe he learned something you're not aware of yet. Studying is crucial in getting better.

5) What should players avoid when setting goals so that they have a realistic chance of achieving them?

You have to set attainable goals. If you say I want to make $1,200 this month you are setting yourself up for failure. There is variance in poker and some months you will lose. You could say at the end of the year I want to have moved up two stakes. Set goals that you can actually achieve. When you've never studied before don't put 'Study 5 hours on Tuesday' in your diary. It's not going to happen. Instead start with 30 minutes. Same with playing. You can't start playing 10 hours a day out of the blue. It requires training. Allow yourself that time. Build it up and if you achieve the goals you set you will get even more motivated.

In order to comment, you must login or register.
Take Quiz
New here? Take our Poker Assessment to start your education.
already a member? sign in here
JavaScript must be enabled for Sign In.
Please check your broswer settings.
Learn From basics to advanced strategy
Practice Improve your skills with our trainers
Win! Establish yourself as a winning player
/Watch/
Lean back and take our blitz video edition of the course

Getting PokerStars is easy: download and install the PokerStars game software, create your free player account, and validate your email address. Clicking on the download poker button will lead to the installation of compatible poker software on your PC of 51.7 MB, which will enable you to register and play poker on the PokerStars platform. To uninstall PokerStars use the Windows uninstaller: click Start > Control Panel and then select Add or Remove programs > Select PokerStars and click Uninstall or Remove.

Copyright (c) PokerSchoolOnline.com. All rights reserved, Rational Group, Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, Isle of Man, IM3 1DZ. You can email us on support@pokerschoolonline.com