Friday, December 24, 2004

What a Year!

I started playing poker in February and I still consider myself a newbie. I have worked my bankroll up from the .25/.50 limit to currently $2/$4. (Hopefully $3/$6 soon). I owe a lot of what I have learned from the book Internet Texas Holdem and ITH site. A lot of people there have allowed me the luxury of avoiding mistakes made by most new poker players and I owe them a lot.

I have learned much since February but I narrowed it down to the top 8:

1) Each limit is its own entity. When moving up, your game has to adjust and change with each level. There is an adjustment period and you must have a bankroll and mindset to withstand the new learning period.

2) You will not win all the time or lose all the time. Don’t get to over confident with your good runs or to far down during the bad runs. The long run is all that matters and just keep making the right decisions

3) Your goals should not be short termed monetarily based. You shouldn’t set yourself up to make X amount a day or hour. Stretch it out and concentrate more on the proper way to play and not how much you make.

4) Don’t take the game too serious. Keep an even keel during play and what happens at the tables stays at the tables. Don’t let a bad session bleed over to your every day life.

5) Don’t keep extending a bad session “to get even”. Some nights are not your night, except it and leave. This was a hard lesson that cost me much before I realized that tomorrow was another chance to play.

6) Play within your bankroll. I use 300 bb as a standard. This goes hand in hand with #1. No matter how good a run your on, the odds will catch up and you need to be prepared.

7) You can never stop learning. There are many nuances to the game and once you get the basics down, more of the game will be uncovered.

8) Maximize your wins and minimize your loses. I know this sounds simple buy 1 bb won or lost over the long run can add up to thousands. If you play 300 hands of $1/$2 a night and miss 1 bb in half those hands that’s $300 a night lost. In the same vain, 1 bb saved is like a bb won.

What I want to work on:

1) Studying my own game and working on finding my leaks and plugging them. I will devote 1 hour a day to studying my play in poker tracker.

2) Make the most of my table experience by studying others when I am not in a hand. Try to read hands and understand betting patterns of other players.

3) Being more aggressive and fully understand that winning a small pot is better than winning NO pot.

4) Put together a bonus chasing plan together that is feasible and the bankroll to chase separate from my day to day bankroll. I will put this in place by March 2005 with $500 bonus chasing bankroll and a day to day bankroll to play $3/$6.

5) Keep the fun in the game.

6) Start the process of playing and understanding NL.

There is so much more that I learned but hard to quantify them all. There is so much more I need to work on but that will be another time.

Thanks to all that have helped me along the way by posting, answering questions and just being there. Thanks in advance to all that will be there in the future.

Here's to 2005 and another great year!!

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