Breaking Through in Poker: How I Did It

In my last post, I went over some of the common mistakes in bankroll building that held me back for a while. Well, this story has somewhat of a happy ending, and today I’ll share a little about how I made the jump from first-deposit bonus grinder struggling to survive to a confident player focused on steady bankroll growth and big profits.

Recognize That You Really Learn Away From the Table

The first thing that really made a difference for me was to when I recognized that it pays off in the long-run to slow down a bit when you’re still learning the game.

When you’re trying to establish yourself as a winning player, most players play far too many hands and fail to understand that you truly improve your game when you aren’t seated at the table. Many players become too focused on grinding as many tables as they possibly can, just so they can unlock their big first-deposit bonuses faster. As a result, they learn to play in autopilot mode and don’t work on developing their hand-reading and player classification skills, two things that will do wonders for long-term bankroll growth potential.

As a new player, I made it a point to set a hands goal for the day but I also had a plan for how I would evaluate my play afterward. I invested in a micro stakes version of poker tracking software and I reviewed the big hands for that day’s sessions to see how I did. I also checked a few poker books out from the library and joined some poker strategy forums.

While it took a good amount of time and effort to step back and evaluate my play, I soon found that it pays massive dividends after not too long. I was reading opponents better and learning how to adapt to different situations. As a result I experienced much bigger wins and limited my losses when the cards weren’t going my way.

Look For Big Bankroll Growth Opportunities in MTTs

My game of choice at this time was .25/.50 Limit poker, although I mixed in low stakes No Limit as well. Even with the big improvements in my game that came as a result of my active learning, these lower stakes ring games are far from a “get-rich quick” method, as it typically takes a long time to climb the ladder and significantly build your bankroll.

But I kept my eyes peeled for good chances for a big bankroll spike in very little time, and boy did I find some.

I scanned my poker rooms for the multi-table tournaments (MTTs) offered and studied how well they would pay off. To do this, I factored in the amount of players that would be playing, the prize pool and the payout structure. I found that most often the smaller poker rooms offer much better average payouts for their MTTs. (You’ll have to do research for yourself, but Bodog Poker, 888 Poker and similar sites would be good places to check.)

I limited myself to low-investment, high reward tournaments, made sure I was following the MTT bankroll guidelines, and started to mix these in with my regular ring game play.

After playing in just a few of these tournaments that had anywhere from 500 to 1000 players, I made a final table and took 3rd place, cashing in over $250. At the time, that just about doubled my bankroll at the time, and I haven’t looked back since!

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