Poker as a business

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Jeffrey | Poker Articles, Poker Strategy, Poker Tools

Submitted by Cameron, this article belongs to the Poker Strategy series.

This is a guest post written by AceUnchecked.

Let’s face it. We play poker to make money. We play because we want to turn a small amount of money into a larger part of money. Now, I understand that there are many reasons that we play poker, but I believe that pretty much every player can agree with the fact that we play poker because we, at least in part, want to make money.

This basic assumption means that poker is business, and we need to start treating it as such.If you don’t look at poker as business, let’s look at some of the jargon used in both worlds of poker and business. The first and most obvious is profit. When we walk away from the poker table, we look at our net profit. Sometimes we have gains and other times we count our losses. Another common term in poker is pot equity (which is the relative value the pot has to your chances of winning.) Often times we look at our poker winnings as ROI or Return on Investment, which is obviously from the business side of things.

So, if poker is business, what does that mean to our playing? What is the practical application here? Well, if we treat our playing like business we can do a few things.

First, limit your liabilities. As we have discussed in this blog at length, bankroll management is the key to minimizing risk. When you minimize your risk and regularly perform above 50% of the time, your bankroll will grow.

Second, we can analyze our strengths and identify niches. Playing online poker is all about finding the table that you play the best at. With so many options you have to find the game that suits your style. I cannot tell you how many sessions I have fouled up by moving from 9 handed tables to heads-up. If you are in a rhythm that is going well at a certain table, changing the game you play will only hurt you.

Finally, if all goes well, we can treat poker as an hourly job (or profession). I’ll admit it, even though I have been up at the tables lately, I am not to this level yet. But rest assured, I am analyzing and re-analyzing my game so that I can become a more disciplined player so that I can rely on poker as a source of income. We all start at the hobby level but moving to that intermediate level of profitability is a long and arduous road.

Go get ‘em!

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1 Comment to Poker as a business

Ivan
June 20, 2010

It’s difficult to make poker a rather stable source of income. Many players think, they play to make money, but in reality they play to get adrenaline.

Table selection is really important. You can be the tenth poker player in the world and still loose money, playing with other nine.

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