Game selection strategy in NLHE cash games

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Your earnings in any form of poker are determined by how well or how poorly your opponents do and the frequency of their mistakes. There are two types of poker players in the online fraternity when it comes to game selection and these are the types that take great care to choose the best games and the types that don’t. If you make an effort to choose more profitable games then you will make more money… is simple cause and effect at work.

For a winning poker player to make money, they have to play better than the opposition and this obvious statement is understood and accepted by everybody. However, it is the magnitude and frequency of your opponents mistakes that will govern your earn rate along with the quality of your own play. Many players can play good solid poker for a while but then ultimately fall apart when bad things happen or when the going gets tough. So let us look at two identical players who we will call Bill and Tom.

Both Bill and Tom play at the same site at the same levels with the same size bankroll. There are six available cash games at their chosen level of NL50 and each player plays on four tables. These six tables have a theoretical hourly earn rate of -$2, +$6, $0, +$4, +$1 and +$10. If Bill takes care to pick the best games then he will find the four biggest earners and be making $21/hour. However if Tom just took pot luck with his game selection then best that he can hope for is $21/hour.

However if he were unlucky then he could quite easily choose the four worst games which only produce a combined earn rate of $3/hour. So Bill could be earning an incredible seven times more money than Tom on some occasions. In fact Tom only has to miss out on the really good table of +$10 to be earning considerably less than Bill. Now before we continue, game selection is hard work. Online games change constantly and players come and go all the time.

There is a complex dynamic at work here and any solid winning player needs to be focused at all times with finding the best games. At the end of the day then playing poker is a job, you are not playing poker for recreation if your goal is to make money and you need to remember that at all times. There is almost a disconnection at work in poker between what some people expect to make from the game by way of earnings and the level of focus and work that they put in.

At the end of the day, if you don’t do the right things in a poker game then you will not make money…..simple.  There are many poker players who simply do not go about the process of trying to make money in a professional enough way and are simply not doing what it takes to get the job done.