Looking to expand your earn rate in cash games

Rising coins

Your earn rate in any form of poker is made up of many different factors. Each factor will have an expected value or EV and when this sum total of EV is known then this becomes your long term earn rate. If you are losing money at a good rate of knots then clearly your game needs a serious overhaul. Like for example if after 10,000 hands you are losing at a rate of 3ptbb/100 hands. This is 6bb/100 hands and if you were playing NL50 then you would be losing $3/100 hands which let me tell you is considerable.

So when you have an earn rate like this then you clearly need to make changes. This is fortunate because by making changes then you really cannot do much worse. While you may start losing at a higher rate, with most players there will be a definite cut off point with regards to losses and so this will save you from greater losses unless you happen to be some problem gambler. However the upside of improving your game and being in a position where you could even start to make money is considerable.

A player that was losing 6bb/100 hands and who played 200 hands per hour and 20 hours per week would be losing 240bb per week or 2.4 buy-ins. At NL50 this would be $220 per week and around $11k per year…… a very expensive pastime. However imagine if you could expand your earn rate just enough to be marginally ahead by just 1ptbb/100 which is 2bb/100 and 4bb/hour. Now you are making 80bb per week or $40/week which is $2k per year.

If these were wages then you wouldn’t work for that pitiful amount but if you are playing poker for recreation then suddenly you have gone from a very expensive hobby to a paying hobby and that is a massive quantum leap. To make this leap basically involves eliminating the major flaws within your game and that is something that can be done with some hard work. Remember that we are not talking about becoming a poker pro here, just to reach a level where you are no longer spewing money.

Simply start by playing fewer hands as playing too many weak hands is a major flaw with novice players. Then you can start by playing fewer hands out of position and more hands in position. Then when you play them to always come into the pot by raising and not by limping! Just implementing these three things alone will add several big blinds per hour to your earn rate.

Building an earn rate in online poker is about identifying flaws within your game and then fixing them so that a nearly flawless game emerges from the remains. It doesn’t take much work to take a player at low stakes levels from being a losing player to one that is making a little money and making their pastime pay. Simply implementing the three previously mentioned tips will improve your poker game drastically.

Carl “The Dean” Sampson can also be seen on his Google+ page