As a beginner, your first goal at the only poker is to stop sucking at the game. That’s right, if you’re a beginner, you probably suck, even if you do happen to feel like you’re the next Phil Hellmuth or whoever (insert favorite poker pro name here). The good thing about sucking at poker is that it takes less than you’d think to stop sucking.
In order to get to the root of the problem and to stop sucking at poker as fast as possible, you need to go through the following thought-process: recognize the fact that you do in fact suck. Muster a willingness to learn and to read in order to improve. Pick yourself up and get to it. There are but a few basic concepts separating rookie suckers from about 95% of online poker players out there, which means it’s easy to catch up with these guys. You’ll realize that simply by reading and by keeping yourself informed about the game, you’ll already improve. Take rakeback for instance. Few rookies know how the poker rake works (they do know what it’s supposed to be but they haven’t the vaguest idea about how it’s collected and how it affects them) and even fewer know about rakeback. Finding out about rakeback and signing up to a rakeback deal like the Full Tilt rakeback or the ongame rakeback only takes some reading though and a few insignificant minutes of your time.
Like rakeback, most of the strategy concepts that have the power to shape you into a reasonable player are extremely simple.
Playing fewer hands (exercising proper starting hand selection), playing from position, learning the significance of poker position, learning to count your outs and to calculate basic pot odds are all such simple but extremely powerful concepts.
In this article, I’m going to detail another such – apparently insignificant – yet extremely powerful concept: that of the proper bankroll.
In order to make money, you need money in most every vertical in life. The same goes for poker: if you’re aiming to squeeze money out of the time you spend at the online tables, you need to have a healthy bankroll. I’ll give you one example in this sense: you know your odds well and you know how to exploit them too. At a cash table, you suffer a bad beat, despite the fact that you get your entire stack in with excellent EV+. You lose your stack. If you do not have a bankroll from which to replenish, to sit back to the table and to hammer home those edges (which only really yield revenue in the long-run), you’re done. If you reload though, and you get your opponent all-in repeatedly on the same hand, you’ll show a profit at the end of the day, and that’s a mathematical certainty.
Most people however are unable to commit money to poker. The truth is that most people in life are extremely attached to money. Not only do they see a means to acquire worldly goods in it, they view it as safety, as a weapon which can be used for a variety of useful things. It is natural to be attached to money, but I’m telling you that if you’re too attached to it, you won’t really make money at poker.
The reason is that you’ll be playing on “scared money” most of the time and that will prevent you from playing your optimal game. To sum it all up: if you play on scared money, you suck at poker.
What’s the best way to avoid playing on scared money? Set aside a chunk of cash you’ll only use for poker purposes. When I say set it aside, I don’t just mean to physically set it aside: you’ll need to set it aside mentally too. That money is for poker and nothing else. You have to forget to look at it as something that can buy you a bike, pay you three months of rent or whatever. Poker money can’t do that. It can only be wagered at the poker table.
In conclusion, have a bankroll that’s big enough to allow you to play at your preferred limit while never having more than 5% of it tied up at one table.