Patience and discipline are the keys to success

Please Be Patient

I have noticed that the price of making a mistake these days is much more severe than what it was a few years ago…… why is this? Well the average skill and knowledge level of each player that you face is higher than what it has ever been in history. I think this has been an inevitable process and when you increase interest in any field and especially when you add financial incentives then the increased level of interest tends to always lead to a higher level of understanding and this leads to tougher game play.

So with mistakes from our opponents being more of a premium we have to impose a greater level of urgency on our levels of patience and discipline. These days when I play online poker then I expect to make less money per year than I have ever made in the past. This is a combination of two factors, namely because I no longer have the urge to play full time poker anymore and secondly because of the fact that my opponents are making fewer glaring errors and especially when there are a lot of big blinds at stake.

So when I set out to play poker these days then my goals regarding time spent playing and the amount of money that I make are quite mundane. I tend to set myself goals of playing around 20 hours per week these days and making around £15/hour as a base figure. Many people would be shocked at how low a yearly figure of £15k actually is but remember that this is a base figure and also that I am no longer a pro.

I find that the less I try to press then the more I make and I have no urge to win every session, every week or even every month for that matter. I know ahead of time that in a game like NLHE full ring that there will be long periods of inactivity where nothing much actually happens. I think there are too many players that jump into online poker cash games and try to create something and make something happen.

This is a mistake that also indicates a weak game plan and mind set. Because my goals are both mundane and yearly then this prevents me from over pressing during sessions which I believe because of the nature of online poker is one of the primary flaws of most players. You are often called upon to dig in when times get tough and nothing appears to be happening. To make 10bb/100 then you could easily make 0bb/100 for 900 hands and then 100bb/100 for 100 hands.

This evens out to 100bb/1000 hands or 10bb/100 but you can see how non-linear the earnings are. Playing 900 hands of poker and breaking even can create a situation where a player tries to change something that simply doesn’t need changing. By having long term poker goals and having yearly targets then you no longer go into sessions looking to win all the time.