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September 13, 2005

Poker – A Difficult Way to Make an Easy Buck

Posted at September 13, 2005 10:56 AM in Beginner Topics , by Greedy Gecko.

Given the relatively short lifecycles of online poker players, I guess my tenure makes me somewhat of a veteran. By being actively involved in the training and mentoring of beginner poker players on a regular basis, I have the privilege of maintaining an intimate and working knowledge of the mentality of fry in the poker world. I refer to them as fry rather than fish because they are newly hatched and by approaching the game seriously and with discipline, most of my students completely avoid or proceed quickly through the fish stage and become voracious predators in their own right.

The road to success is not an easy one, and the biggest challenge they face in achieving success lies within themselves. Sure they have to overcome obstacles along the way: bad beats, better opponents, losing streaks, and skeptical friends/family – just to name a few. However, these challenges are but speed bumps. The major roadblock lies in overcoming their self-destructive habits that lie in the way of long-term success.

There are many such habits that I encounter fairly regularly (nearly all revolve around discipline, or lack thereof), including playing for the thrill rather than the profit, poor record-keeping, a lack of review/reflection on hands, and an unwillingness to study. However, perhaps the most detrimental commonality amongst many of the newer players I mentor is the unreasonable expectation of instant gratification in the form of immediate success. Nothing takes a player out of poker more quickly than starting off on a losing streak. However, I have found that players that have started this way, and worked hard to overcome it are much better players in the long-run than those that begin winning immediately. These lucky (or potentially unlucky) few quickly develop a certain level of arrogance, are not prepared when a losing streak eventually hits them, and abandon the game at the first signs of trouble.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. The online poker world is filled with beginner players, most of which lose. Should you not expect to be one of them when you first begin playing? The goal, however, is to quickly leave the beginner arena and start on the path of making poker a form of supplemental income. Once most of my students get there, they look back and are surprised by how relatively easy it was to overcome the obstacles and attain success. However, when you are in the midst of it, it may appear worse than it really is.

My recommendation: Stick with it!

The Greedy Gecko
If you aren’t winning at online poker, then you are doing something wrong!

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