The savviest poker players out there will readily admit that game selection is one of the most important (maybe even the most important) components of being a successful poker hustler. To be more specific, it’s not important that you’re one of the best poker players out there; in order to be profitable in this particular sport, it only matters how much better you are compared to the people you’re playing against. The measure of your success depends on how far ahead you are against your competition; otherwise, your skill would be for naught.
Picking the Proper Competition
To better illustrate the importance of game selection, let’s take a look back into the nineteen eighties. Back then, there was once a professional poker player in Las Vegas who was known as the ninth best poker player in the world. However, for one reason or another, he somehow always ended up going against the eighth best and above. Were he not regularly pitted against those eight superior players he would’ve won a lot of cash care of his skills. The point is clear; the fact that he’s always up against the precious few players who were better than him is the reason why his poker profits are limited. The only ones enjoying these games would have to be the third to the first greatest poker players in the world, obviously.
Thankfully, competition isn’t a major problem most of us poker players face. Thanks to the Internet, even though there are thousands or even tends of thousands of players out there who are superior to us in terms of poker skills, there are at least hundreds of thousands of soft competition and casual players out there who are ripe for the taking. Ergo, being successful and profitable in online poker is merely a question of getting into and staying at a group of players that are a couple of leagues worse than us.
Choosing the Appropriate Stakes
It’s also crucial for you as a full tilt poker player to choose stakes that are appropriate to your skill level as well as bankroll. If you’re a billionaire wherein money is no object and no poker shark alive can present a financial concern for you, then you’re free to waste your money on the largest games. However, if winning wagers is what’s important to you, then you should avoid the very largest games regardless of your financial stability. It’s also probably a bad idea to intimidate your opponents by the number of zeros in your bets. If you’re playing out of your league, it doesn’t matter how big a bankroll you have; you will be robbed blind by the time that those poker hustlers are through with you.
If you’re not a billionaire yet you’ve mastered game selection such that you’ve learned to spot +EV prospects and -EV circumstances with remarkable precision, then you’re faced with an altogether different problem. Should you abandon your game the moment you detect a -EV situation? In the online world, this is a very important situation to consider, because you’re free to join and leave games at will. The solution to this dilemma is that there are times when you have to consider the long-term consequences of your actions even in terms of game selection. Don’t be so concentrated on short-term EV that you lose sight of the bigger picture; don’t just abandon a game just because you detect a -EV situation.