The Poker Players Nightmare

Have you ever been at a poker room and saw a table full of poor players that you knew you could take for a large amount of money, but not have enough money with you to properly play at the table.

For example, you are playing 5/10 limit holdem and see a 20/40 table full of drunken tourists that are just giving their money away? I usually take around 50 to 75 big bets when playing limit holdem, so in this case I would have between 500 and 750.

At times I have taken slightly more, but never more than 100 big bets, which would be 1,000. The question at this time is, do you have enough to sit in the higher limit game?

There are many things to consider, with the most important being, how wild and unpredictable is the game, which will determine the likelihood of short-term swings, and will you be able to mentally accept the fact that you are under funded for the game.

If you have 500, then that is 12.5 big bets. This leaves no room for error or bad luck. One bad hand can cripple you. At 750 you will have almost 19 big bets. This is much better, but still not great. Of course, at 1,000 you have 25 big bets, and this is better yet.

I have played many limit games in which I started with only 12.5 big bets, so I will usually take advantage of this and sit at the table. Usually when I play limit holdem online, I will play three tables at a time and start each table with 12.5 big bets. Every time I do this, I realize that there is a great chance that I will have to rebuy at one of the tables.

But I also realize that often I will quickly double up at one table to offset this. Therefore, the majority of my profit will come from the third table. This is all training for the correct mindset in the above situation.

Believe me, the first time you sit in a game with only 12.5 big bets you will have a difficult time adjusting your mentality to play well. After you have done it a couple hundred times, you won't have any trouble at all.

Now, back to the problem at hand. Can you afford to lose the buy in to a run of bad luck? If the answer is yes, move to the next question. Can you mentally handle it if you do lose? Once again, if the answer is yes, move to the next question.

Is the game so wild that you will have to get lucky to survive early in the game? More to the point, are five players seeing every flop even when the betting is capped? If the answer is yes, you should not play. Never depend on luck in poker. Always depend on your skill and the correct odds.

I suggest practicing this at lower limits, so you can get used to it and take advantage the next time a golden opportunity presents itself.