Avoid losing money playing poker – 8 Tips – Part 1

This was published 22-06-2009

I came across this list from Examiner.com, and while the person who came up with the list is going to go through them in the next few days, I figured I would expand on his list, and give reasons.

Here is the list:

  1. Don’t drink and play
  2. Be well rested
  3. Stay Focused
  4. Play within your bankroll
  5. Observe, Observe, Observe
  6. Know your opponents
  7. Just play solid poker against idiots
  8. Don’t play if the results don’t matter

1. Don’t Drink and Play

Sometimes the obvious stuff isin’t so obvious.  I play in a weekly game that is more of a social get together than a grinding it out, money making session.  In that game, this rule goes out the window.  Everyone who is participating in the game are solid players, and not everyone drinks.  But everyone who does partake in the drinking consistently do worse than those who don’t.  The drinking affects descision making skills, sometimes making you more bold (and leading to reckless bluffs, or stupid calls), always affecting your ability to accurately read a player (depending on how much you have to drink, reading a player may be very low on your list of priorities) and will often make you very easy to read.  You give away more tells than you realize when you’re drunk, and if your goal while playing poker is to make money, you should stay away from the booze and wait until some of the other participants have had a few.

2. Be Well Rested

Anything that takes prolonged mental disciplin and concentration requiers you to be well rested.  This will give you a huge advantage over the players who are on the other end of a 12 hour overnight session.  If your mind is clear, and you’re not concerned with being tired you will make better descision more consistently.  On the flip side, if you decide to embark on that 12 hour overnight session, and came to the game with that in mind, then you will be in a much better state at the end of it if you showed up well rested in the first place.

3. Stay Focused

There is nothing worse than playing poker while watching a sport you’re interested in.  Something that you believe only takes half of your attention away from the table is very dangerous indeed.  While you’re watching a replay of an amazing goal, you’re missing a tell, or a telling hand from an opponent.  You will not be as prepared for the upcoming hands if you’re concentration is on something other than the game at hand.

4. Play Within your Bankroll

I have seen a lot of people lose A LOT of money “taking a shot” at the bigger limits.  Every so often, playing in a higher limit is a great idea.  It teaches you how the game changes (or how it stays the same) at the bigger tables.  But typically, if you are considering taking your shot, you have built that into your bankroll, and you are not planning on using your entier bankroll to finance the 50/100 game you’ll be playing.  Any time your whole bankroll is up for grabs is generally a bad scene and you should drop a limit or 2 to build it up.  Stay away from risking it all at one game!

I will post the other 4 on Wednesday…..

You can find the original article here.  I’ll be interested to see how different out takes are when he comes out with his list!

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