Goals in Poker; adjusting your expectations

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Cory | Poker and Life, Poker Articles, Poker Bankroll Management, Poker Cash Games, Poker Strategy, Poker Tournament

Submitted by Cory, this article belongs to the Poker and Life series.

It’s every poker players goal and dream to drag the million dollar pots in the biggest cash games or to be sitting at the final table of the World Series with the TV lights shining.  While this is a cool goal and the dream is possible, you can’t expect to go from novice player to big time winner all in one night, one year, or probably your entire lifetime.  It is important to set goals for yourself in poker, but you want to set goals that, though challenging, are also likely to be accomplished with some work.

Many players will never develop their abilities beyond the level of occasional hobbyist, which is fine, especially if they realize where their skill level lies.  If you can admit that you’re playing for fun, then a $200 losing session doesn’t hurt that bad.  It’s the price of a night out and the fun you got to have making jokes with your table mates was worth the price.  However, if you only have the ability of a novice and expect to win like a pro, you’re in for a lifetime of frustration.

If you develop your skills to the point where you’re a winning player and can supplement your day job with some poker earnings, it is probably not the time to quit the day job because you may have made a big score or two.  Rather, you might want to see how things go over the next year before you even entertain the idea of going “pro.”

If you keep your expectations in step with your talent level you will always be getting better, but you won’t be nearly as frustrated with the game.  It’s important to have a healthy relationship with poker and an honest assessment of where you stand is the basis for this relationship.

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