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Part time Poker Nut, Astro Nut and a lover of Glentoran FC.
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/Apr/2013

The 2 most important decisions I've learned in Poker

By: Ovalman @ 12:32 (EDT) / 549 / Comment ( 1 )

I'll expand upon my last blog where I gave a few pointers on making your money go further. I'm by no means the finished player, I'm still learning and that's after 10 years of playing but I'm profitable, I can beat the rake and I make decent pocket money from the game. Some players take to the game like a duck to water but I've been more leisurely in my pace and I still get AHA! moments every now and again and learn something new.

Over the years I've discovered probably the 2 most important things in poker - Bankroll and Table Selection.

Bankroll first.

Treat your bankroll as if it's your life roll. When it's gone it's gone so you have to be very shrewd with it. Poker is a short term game of luck but a long term game of skill. YOU HAVE TO BE IN IT FOR THE LONG TERM. I'm a sit and go player but the same is true of cash, you have to have a budget that can take swings and losses. I've lost 20+ games before and yet I've an overall ROI of 13%. Players that are better than me will have similar swings so no matter how good you are you could lose 20+ games in a row.

It's not nice and no-one likes a downswing but be honest with yourself. If you continually lose then you must keep re-evaluating your game. Many times you do no wrong but these swings happen to the short term luck in this game. Have a bankroll that can take the swings and keep evaluating. If I had $20 in my account then I'd be playing 25cents games, ONE AT A TIME. Play within a bankroll and you will succeed.

I'm a bankroll nit but it works for me. For years I was an ABC Rock but I feel my game has developed over the past year and a lot of it can be attribuated to the PSO.

This brings me on to my second point - table selection.

If you can conquer the first point then this is probably the most important decision you will make. DON'T PLAY WITH GOOD PLAYERS or another way to look at it is CHASE THE BAD PLAYERS. If you're a STT player then avoid a table full of decent players.

How do you know if their decent? There's a few ways, the first is by playing against them. This may cost you money but is invaluable. As an experienced player, this is my route but I understand many who will read this may be new to the game so one thing I always do before joining any new game is look for the regulars. Look at the lobby and see who's multi tabling, these are the Regulars or reg's for short. Some may be good, some may be bad many will be break even. Some will play 2-3 tables, some will have 24+ open but everyone has a style and foibles.

Although I dive straight in, spend a day watching them. All it costs is your time and energy. Watch how they bet, with what hands and in what position. Take a note on everything. If he scratches his nose then take a note Build up a database and when it comes to table selection avoid the good players and chase the fish. If you do happen to be at a table with decent players then don't be scared of them, make them scared of you. With your database of notes, use it against them.

Chase the fish, they are the players you want. Find tables with more fish than good and keep going after them. I read an interesting quote "You can be the 10th best poker player in the World and lose money if you sit with the other 9". How true this is.

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I'd a decent $120 win during the week on a freeroll on another site. I rarely play freerolls but this one is a gem with 70 runners and a $500 prize pool.

On Stars I played the Sunday Storm last week, card dead and a total mistake on my exit hand made it a $11 mistake. I've played the Storm 17 times now and only min cashed once, very poor from me but I think my strengths lie in low field MTTs like the 45 man SnGs on Stars.

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I'm constantly working on my game. I review hands every night and ask myself "what if" questions. I'm working more on my game now than I ever did and loving every minute of it.

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