Keep it a game.

So you’ve read all the books, studied the games of the pros and rising stars, think you got this poker thing all figured out?

Now you find yourself grinding away at a .25/.50 table(s) trying to build your roll, because you know all about bankroll management, and you aren’t going busto like so many before you.

What you didn’t take into account was… …that they call it grinding for a reason.  It’s a grind.  A grind is something that generally takes the fun out of an activity.  Poker, especially online poker due to it’s easy access can be remarkably addicting.  It’s right there, at your finger tips.  You go to check your email or your myspace account and all of the sudden you’re playing a quick session.

Not everyone ‘wins’ in Poker.  In fact, poker is a negative sum game in most instances – we plan on writing an article about that soon, but for now we’ll stay on topic –  Do not be so consumed with poker that you can no longer have fun playing it.  You will have losing sessions, you may even have more losing sessions than winning ones.  Keep perspective of what poker is, just a game, and you’ll have more fun.  So you’ve won a few SNG’s in the past few days…that doesn’t mean you’re ready to be a professional tournament poker player.  Don’t quit your job, don’t miss out on family stuff because sunday is ‘the big day’.  Not everyone is destined to be the next great Ivey or Pearljammer.  Keep your expectations realistic.  It takes a tremendous amount of skill, time, and LUCK to achieve those levels.  Of course, those with a lot of success online and live have learned most of the ‘tricks’, play solid fundamental poker, and can take you off your middle pair with nothing, but they also ran well to get to where they are at.  Sometimes you have to get lucky, which is why you can’t pin your career hopes on being a professional poker player.  Be a professional something else, and keep having fun at the card table. 

We’ve talked with Paul Wasicka recently about this subject.  He says he gets a lot of emails from people wondering if they should go ‘pro.’  The easiest answer to that is: if you have to ask….no.  Asking = doubt, doubt = not crushing the games.  For the 5% of you that will make it, you’ll know when it’s right to do it full time, for the rest of you trying to build your bankroll, be careful.

Play for fun and keep it a game.  If you approach the game with that perspective, you’re head will be clearer, you’ll play better, and who knows you might even win a bit more.

GL @ the tables.

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