Looking at the long term

I have always felt that in life there is too much need for immediate results. This is fine to a certain extent but in many cases, immediate good results are simply not possible and good results cannot be guaranteed or controlled. These days I think you are far better off playing poker part-time and semi-professionally rather than full time and professionally. There are many reasons for this but one of the main reasons is because the overall toughness of the games makes any edge that you have thinner.

So in my opinion, it is important these days to make the process of making money a long-term one. I remember when I first started out years ago as an online poker player then I would be constantly checking my bankroll at the end of every pot that I played. This is absolutely crazy and these days I don’t even check my bankroll at the end of the session let alone at the end of the hand. I need to know one thing and one thing only with regards to my bankroll and this is if I have enough money to play enough games at the level that I want to play or not.

If I don’t have enough then I need to know. At full ring cash games then it would be very rare for me to encounter a negative buy-in downswing of ten buy-ins and so at NL100 then $1000 in my account is more than enough for me. When your goals of making money are far off in online poker then many good things can happen. Firstly you simply do not need to over press when you play. This is a facet of the game that many players get wrong in my opinion.
I see many players all the time that cannot wait to play poker and strive too hard to try and make money.


This is basically trying to make money with one hand tied behind your back. There will be times when the poker gods will give you break even periods of say 10,000 hands. It is vital that you do not see this as a failure because if you do then two things will happen. These are that you will either stop playing online poker full stop or you will change your style of play. In terms of making money then either of these are pretty disastrous.

The conclusion to all of this is that the harder you try and make money in online poker then the more difficult it can be to make any. This sounds immensely counter-intuitive but I believe that it happens to be true. These days I don’t play poker full time and part time serious poker is what I strive for. So my goal of making money is more of a yearly one than a weekly one. I know from previous experience that 15 hours of poker per week is only 750 hours per year and it is easy to go 100 hours without making money even playing multiple tables. The lesson is clear – don’t be too eager to make money and money may just flow to you


Carl Sampson is an online poker player and poker ambassador for 888poker

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