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Practicing Sound Money Management

You may have heard of the term “money management” and thought that you knew what it meant with regards to no limit Texas hold’em. However, money management means much more than just having some correct number of theoretical buy-ins for a certain level! Money management is something that should be adhered to on a hand by hand basis. For example, it is of little use in no limit Texas hold’em having say 50 buy-ins at a certain level and then playing badly. All this will do is lose you even more money.

To have an effective money management policy means having a strategy for how you play your hands as well in no limit Texas hold’em. This is why it isn’t necessarily correct to use other strategies that have been adopted by other poker players. No two strategies or styles will have the same variance level and so your own money management strategy needs to be individual and unique to you. For example, if you feel that you prefer to play poker at full ring tables because of the lower variance then play full ring.

Variance is such a huge part of poker that it ultimately decides if we are long-term winners or losers. If you play no limit Texas hold’em with a style that only has around five buy-in downswings then although you may not make as much money then you will not lose much either. It will take you a long time before you realize your actual earn rate but in the meantime what you will have to endure is variance. Let us say that a no-limit Texas hold’em cash game player makes $20 per hour. In any one hour, this player could possibly make somewhere between $300 per hour or lose $280 per hour (not actual figures). So in order to see this earn rate then you have to wade through a lot of bad things that will happen to you at the poker table.

In no-limit Texas hold’em cash games then this often means playing fewer hands and so playing hands that present you with a much greater equity edge. It may also mean playing your hands in such a way that you do not get involved in big pots unless you have a big hand yourself. You will find that as a rule in no-limit Texas hold’em cash games that the bulk of your profits will not come from big pots against solid players.

This is because they too will only be getting involved in big pots with big hands. So against solid but not spectacular players then you will need to try and accrue profits by some other method. This isn’t to say that you will not make money from big pots because you will. There were will always be some weaker players who will get all in with insufficient holdings. However, the fact of the matter is that today’s breed of no limit Texas hold’em cash game players are better educated and more skilled even at the lower stakes levels than their counterparts of say ten years ago.

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

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