On Results and Funding – Issue 119

I get a lot of emails from readers talking about my articles and books. Most of them thank me saying that after reading my articles they will start making money. I really appreciate that what I write helps people, but I’m very careful when responding to thanks like that. Unfortunately, many of the positive impressions they get are illusory. Positive results for a day, a week or a month mean nothing. No-limit hold’em varies too much to measure how well you’re doing in just a few games. For example, if you’re hitting a flush draw or two more often than usual, that’s a good reason why your equity is high. It is not only wrong to associate the reading of a book, even a good one, with a beneficial meeting. It can negatively affect you in three ways. First, if you read it and win, you may take the book more seriously than you should. Second, when a series of inevitable losses occurs, people don’t accept it and look for answers that don’t exist. Third, it downplays the importance of the work needed to improve poker – the last point deserves its own paragraph. There are two benchmarks in poker that determine its longevity. The first is the expectation of winning or losing. Second, variance. In most cases, when we look at the resulting graph, we see variance. The snake moves violently up and down from time to time. While quantifying variance is very important to dealers and players, to the average poker player who wants to know how good or bad he is, variance is noise. The larger the variance, the more noise.However, expectations represent trends in outcomes. The longer the period, the more reliable the chart. Does it increase or decrease over time? In order to know whether a player is good or not, we should observe the slope. Subtle as it may be, it will separate the losers from the winners. If you don’t get this, the ascent in your chart may lead you to believe that with a quick read you can get where you want. But I can guarantee that spending a few hours reading two or three books will not make your poker skills much better. Reading is only part of learning, important, but only part. You can’t read the first five chapters of a book on knee surgery and then operate on a patient. In its proportions, it also applies to poker. You need to read, practice, reread, practice and reread. This process will make you better. However, there is one thing that always strikes me as odd. Rarely do people text me that they are lost after reading my book or article. Just as some people have a good experience after watching it, there are also many people who will lose it. But why don’t they complain? Probably because they blame themselves for their losses: “Oh, I must have applied or misunderstood the concept. But remember, like wins, losses mean nothing in the short term.”Books are a start, but in the long run, it is the effort you put into your studies that will determine your results. If you get good grades, you don’t have to share the credit. You deserve it. Bankroll Traps in Live Games

Other very common questions I get are: “Is $X enough to play $1-$2?” Honestly, I It is not recommended that you not think about your bankroll at all until you play $2-$5 or $5-$10 regularly. I will explain why. When players lose, their bankroll is not enough to support them. There is a downward curve for losers. Even with the upside, eventually they lose all the money they have saved playing poker. It is a mistake to think that a certain amount of money is enough to play $1-$2. There is no such thing. You should only consider it if you have a normal win rate – which brings us to the next point. If your win rate is low, the money that is mathematically “enough” must be much bigger than the “X” you gave me in the question above. That’s because no one asked me if $50,000 was enough to play $1-2. People always wonder if $2,000 or $4,000 is a good deal. In fact, the question of how much is enough to play $1-$2 can only be answered if you have a very high regular income. When you hit a jackpot, you know it for sure. You won’t have any questions coming to mind, at least not most of the time. You’ll know you’re good at your limits. You’re better than most guys out there. Yes, you will win. No, not every time. Not every week. But great players win in live poker (online is a whole different story). So, yes, $4,000 is probably more than enough in this case – but this player wouldn’t ask me that question because he’s probably already made $8,000 or more. So my answer is no. You don’t have enough balance to play $1-$2. That’s it, you probably shouldn’t quit your job and move to another city to play every day. Play what you have. Try to be a better player. Then one day, you worry about getting banned.

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