New Players – Don’t Make That Crucial Mistake

keep-growingWhen we started with poker, probably most of us started small, <$20 deposit or even with freerolls. That’s reasonable, we are new to something and we want to try the waters first. Let’s assume we are smart and we eventually made some reading before, we’ve already learned the basic bankroll management and some in-game tips for newbies.

What happens from here? There are two common scenarios:


  1. Things don’t go our way and we end up blowing up the money.
  2. We are doing fine and we double up our deposit in no time.

We are now hooked up, we can imagine what will follow if we keep playing and improving our game, and keep climbing up. We get passionate, baby!

I’m 100% sure every single one of us wanted (and keep wanting) to climb up the stakes. We play that $1.10 tournament and we dream about having the chance to play the $5.50 one, with the sweet $7500 Guaranteed. Or move from 0.02/0.05 to 0.25/0.50.. Ohh man look at those pots.. sweet.

One day…

The idea of keep on grinding the $1 Sit-n-Go’s for a living, is not appealing to anybody I guess.

Here’s the thing, in the begging things seem to happen naturally. We move to $3 buy-ins, make some good runs and we suddenly have $500 in the cashier. Big $5.50, here I am. We maybe start adding some satellites for the $11 and even $22 Tourneys…

$22! Man that’s a lot, I’ve better unregister and play some $3 and $5 once with the money.

A lot of players get shakey, when big buy-in kicks in. And we have to understand, that’s just part of growing. We grow in our skillset, we start reading situations better, we grow some balls… but that damn money. Like a worm in your brain, making you check the lobby for the next jump, putting thoughts in your head like – That buy-in is more than I used to make on my job before, and what if I got sucked out AA to 83. Now man, I better keep playing my $5’s and $3’s, I’m more secure in those.

You should always grow, always develop and challenge yourself in poker

The comfort zone won’t give you happiness in the long run, not in life and definitely not in poker.

To back up my words, I want you to look at the graph below. This is my graph. I started playing with $14 and it took me more than year and a half to achieve my first $1000+ score in a MTT. I was constantly moving up the stakes.

Here’s the thing I want to note. When I hit my plateau? I had the bankroll to play $55 or even $109 tourneys, but what I did?


That’s right I make the decision to cash out some of my profits. And to go back to $11-$22, with more volume.

WORST MISTAKE EVER. I later hit my first 4-digits downswing.

As you can see, the next 8K tournaments I did not achieve anything amazing. At that time I didn’t know what was happening, today I’m 100% sure what led to these events. My ego was through the roof, I was so ego driven I was not able to clearly see what I was doing.

The lesson from this story is – never stop learning and never stop moving forward in poker. There is always another level. Be smart, be strategic, have good managment, but never stop growing! Take a break if you should. Stop the cards for a week or two to get your thoughts cleared. Then go back and continue your mission – to keep pushing higher that peak in the graph.