We admit it freely: we’re all about playing poker. It’s something that has given us endless hours of entertainment, so when we try to explain something around here, we mean it with full sincerity. Who knew poker could become such a passionate subject? The truth of the matter is that when you really get into playing poker, you want people new to the game not to make the mistakes that you made.
If there’s one mistake that we regret deeply from our “early days”, it would definitely have to be poor bankroll management. You know the rush you get when you’re playing at a high stakes game — after all, where else are you going to make that type of money? We’ve heard bank robbing is profitable too, if you can avoid the jail time. Poker is something that allows you to really rake in good money when you’re good, but you can lose a lot of money.
The mistake manifests like this: you’re playing at a table and you’re pretty sure that you’re going to take all of the pots. However, the cards don’t line up the way you want. You get that rush of having 9-8 suited, only to find that the flop if 3-5-6 — your chances of getting that 4-7 to hit the board on the turn and river is pretty dicey, but you push in anyway, feeling it’s going to be a “sure winner”.
Not so fast. You need to step back and really think about pot odds and other statistics. You need to play poker by math more than you play poker by your gut. Now, you might argue that the great poker players definitely add in some gut intuition in there, but this is because they can actually get away with it. You don’t want to wake up and think that you’re going to naturally be able to do that. It takes millions of hands, truthfully speaking, because you can be at the same level as a Doyle Brunson — and even then, you still have a lot of learning to do. Everyone does — being good at poker definitely doesn’t make you good against every player, which means that there’s always something new to add to your arsenal when you really think about it.
Bankroll management is also about smart financial thinking. We all know that it doesn’t make sense to take out a second mortgage just to make sure that you have money to play poker with, but it doesn’t stop people from putting their rent money at risk just to play one more hand or three of poker. You can qualify for tournaments without breaking your budget. You really should make sure that you have a separate bank account for your gambling money. Let’s say that there’s a problem with your account — do you really want to have your primary source of paying your bills locked out by mistake? Even if you’re working on becoming a big time professional poker player, you will still have to face a cold reality — you will still need to wait for your funds to be transferred back to your bank account. Even if you calculate in this delay, there’s nothing that says there can’t be more delays.
The better solution here is to treat your poker hobby like the hobby it truly is, rather than something that needs to take over your life. Don’t take that the wrong way — we’re definitely pretty committed to poker. Still, we would like you to understand that life isn’t about just playing poker — it’s everything else rolled into one!