Lets face it, if making money playing poker was that easy then there wouldn’t be so many people who are still scratching their heads trying to figure it all out. There are many facets to playing successful poker but one of the least understood is in selecting suitable types of poker to suit your personality. It took me a long time to discover what I am about to tell you so you had better listen and you had better listen good because I am talking from experience…..painful experience.

Let us start by looking at an imaginary player called Joe, although he is imaginary, Joe represents millions upon millions of poker players world wide. Joe works for a marketing company and so he gets to use the works computer to play SNG’s during his lunch break and also during work time which is a bit naughty.

Next question…… “why does Joe play SNG’s”……the answer is that they suit his time frame because he doesn’t have long to play poker. This is Joe’s only consideration as to his game selection. In fact his time scale is so limited and his love of tournament poker is so great that he plays fast and loose in these games.

Joe is a net loser in the games that he plays in, he makes terrible decisions simply because he is trying to fit poker into his work schedule. He doesn’t even stop to consider whether or not he is even suited to SNG’s. The next question is…. “how can one form of poker suit a player better than another?”

To answer that question I will use myself as an example. Years ago when I first started to play online poker, I played limit Hold ‘em. I basically played limit Hold ‘em because it was the game that I knew best and it was the main game online at that time. I played full-ring for several years but at no time did this form of poker ever suit my personality and it was only years later that it occurred to me why that was.

The problem with limit Hold ‘em is that the variance and the outdraws are both very high and very frequent and this has a tremendous impact on your psyche. As the online games got tougher then the required bankrolls got bigger and the swings got wider then the situation got worse. You can be outdrawn on the river a frightening number of times in any one session and at times you can easily feel like a punch bag.

I was becoming increasingly infuriated with the game and more than I ever should have been. I tilted often and this led to my earn rate being less than what it should have. But it needed a person with the mental capacity to be able to absorb a very large number of outdraws and beats to be able to play that game and that person simply wasn’t me.

It wasn’t until I switched to playing SNG’s that I realised that I had been playing the wrong game. For the very first time I was actually happy playing poker. Even then something was still missing and I didn’t really locate my niche market until I discovered no-limit Hold ‘em full-ring.

Now I am not advocating this form of poker over any other, in no way am I saying that everyone has to suddenly drop what they are doing and move into nine and ten handed no-limit cash games. What I am saying is that this form of poker suited my personality and not only was I happy playing these games but I made more money than I ever did simply because I wasn’t trying to cram a square peg into a round hole anymore.

There are many facets to tournament poker that I don’t like, but yet this doesn’t make those facets bad…..just that they don’t suit me personally. This is why in order to become a success in poker and by success I mean making money, you are going to have to do a whole lot of soul searching and ask yourself some very serious questions.

If you are playing poker and are truly not enjoying it then there is something wrong. It is for this reason why so many people drop out of higher education. They didn’t give enough thought to what subjects they were studying and if these subjects fitted their personality or not.

If you don’t enjoy what you are doing then you are unlikely to ever become good at it. This is for the simple reason that you will not push through that mental barrier when things get very tedious. But if you really do love your subject then you will play and work and study and it won’t even feel in the least bit mundane and boring.

Often I write articles that have nothing to do with how to play certain hands in certain situations……this is looking at poker in the wrong way. I hope that by people reading my work that they will become more self aware and reach a far higher level than they ever could simply because they began to realise how important the other skills actually are.

Carl “The Dean” Sampson can be seen at his blog at www.pokersharkpool.com

Carl Sampson

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