Game Selection

This month’s Pro Tip is designed to make you think about game selection, which games should you play in? Not so much which games but which size games. It’s more about playing within your means.

You should make sure that your bankroll is sufficient for the game that you are playing in. You should be playing in a game where you are comfortable with the stakes. There are lots of ways to look at it: you need to know that you can be in action and that the money won’t stop you paying your bills if you lose. Some say that you should have separate bankrolls – one for poker and one for living and paying the mortgage – but it’s important when playing in a game that the stakes can’t cripple you emotionally. You don’t want to be sat there with a set of aces and to be worried about putting your chips in because of a straight or flush draw. Some people say that in order to make the right decisions it has to hurt a little though.

Some players will play the same game whether it’s $1 / $2 or $200 / $400 but if someone like Phil Ivey or Doyle Brunson were to play a $1 game would they be able to play their best game, because the money wouldn’t mean anything?

You have to strike the right balance – it’s got to hurt a little, but it’s important not to get in too big.