Table Select to Grow Your Poker Bankroll, Part Two

In my last post, I described how smart table selection can significantly grow your poker bankroll. Online poker sites offer a wealth of stats for each table and also allow you to sit in and observe the play, so there is really no excuse for not doing your homework as it will greatly increase your advantage. Here is a common problem that really held me back when I was getting started and the solution I came up with.

Failing to Factor in the Waiting List

You’ve identified several tables that have huge pot sizes and over 30% average seeing flop. Now all that’s left is to add yourself to the waiting lists and then rake in easy money, right? Not so fast. Since table selection is such an important key to winning, many grinders and TAGs are doing the exact same thing you are.

If your dream table has four or five players in the waiting list, you can almost guarantee that the table dynamics are about to radically change. Fish and loose-aggressive players are extremely unlikely to wait to play; they want to sit down as quick as possible so they can start gambling. That table’s statistics are likely that way because of a couple of wild players. If they leave, which could happen at any time, they will probably be replaced by much better players who are patient enough to take a spot on the waiting list.

You are much better off sacrificing a little in the way of average pot size in exchange for a top spot on the waiting list. In addition, I always take advantage of the poker site’s note-taking function and keep color-coded notes to classify my opponents into categories of loose-aggressive, loose-passive, tight aggressive and rocks.  Since I’m a frequent player, I often know exactly who I’m up against when I scan tables and waiting lists.

One Solution: Start a Table Yourself

One strategy that can be very effective, especially during busy times, is to start a new table and let the gamblers come to you. The guys who aren’t patient enough to wait for a spot will gladly sit right down with you and throw their money around. Be careful, though, because this will often put you into short-handed situations that will be much higher variance. Be sure that you have a sufficient bankroll to handle large swings, although in the long run you will have a big edge. Also be sure to study heads-up play and relative hand strength so you are able to shift gears accordingly. Most of the time, though, your table will fill up very quickly and you’ll find yourself in a great situation.

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