Know when to walk away
I know I have been speaking about money management in previous blogs, but it is a very important (maybe the most important) factor when it comes to becoming a successful poker player and I thought I would elaborate a bit more on the subject. But not necessarily focus on the money per se.
Play within your limits
It is a known fact it does not matter how good a poker player you are, if you play on a level to high for your bankroll you will almost inevitable go broke sooner or later. This is because poker is a game with great fluctuations, and you need to have a bankroll that can withstand them. I am sure this is old news for most of you. But there is also another important aspect I want to stress – your comfort zone.
Let’s say we have a player with more than sufficient funds to play $2-4 no-limit Texas holdem. How many buy-ins can he loose before it is time to quit? Well, it really depends! If loosing another buy-in hurts him emotionally, he should quit right away. He is then leaving the comfort zone, which will put him off his a-game.
Your mental state
So it is not only the monetary losses you should worry about – but your mental state. How many buy-ins a player can loose without it affecting his game differs a lot between different players. The important thing to know is when you’ve reached your limit.
It doesn’t matter if you have been really un-lucky and you think that the other players all suck, if your losses affect you to much emotionally, you have to quit. Even small changes in your game can have a great negative impact on your results.
Stop and analyze bad session
So when you have a bad session, take a break and analyze the situation. This is especially important online, where the action is really fast and you can Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why are you loosing? (Bad luck, getting out played, etc.)
- Have the losses affected you negatively in any way?
- What is the reason for me to continue the session?
Once you have answered these questions for yourself, you will have a good idea weather you should go on playing or not. Nothing will cost you more in poker than continue playing when you are in the wrong mental state. Remember that the important thing is your long term results.