The making of a cash game pro

In online poker  the main difference between the leading players and the amateurs isn’t so much the pots that are won but the pots that are lost. The true measure of a professional player is being happy knowing that you have saved money in a losing situation by folding the worst hand.

Do you know what the primary skill is of a cash game player? Some may think that it is being able to launch big bluffs. While bluffing is important in poker it has a far greater weight in the public imagination than it really deserves. Others may think that it is the ability to play loads of tables……some pro’s do this but others don’t. Other people on the other hand may feel that it is the ability to be able to  make fancy moves……others may feel tracking software is the answer……others may feel that it is rakeback and some may feel that it is a combination of all of them and a few more on top.

Deep stack means deep problems

While all of these may apply to tournament poker or a tournament pro…..in cash games then the dynamic is different and will always be different whenever you play deep stacked. The possibility that you could lose an amount of big blinds that are far and away much larger than the smaller pots that you could win makes deep stacked no limit hold’em one of the most difficult games to master in the poker landscape.

When you look at the results of two serious players who each player twenty hours per week then the way that they make their money will be instructive! In fact these two players could be almost identical and we will call them player A and player B. These two players both play the same stakes at the same times and have played the same number of hands and we can even stretch that to include the same cards as well just for the sake of this example. One player has won pots totalling $800,000 which by pure coincidence is the same amount as the second player.

 The difference is tiny

This figure is taken over a one year sample size but the first player has only lost pots totalling $700,000 while the second player has lost posts totalling $790,000. One player has made $100k and is considering turning pro while the other is nowehere near that category and is happy to just have an extra $200/week in extra pocket money. However in these two instances then the way that both players handled the pots that they win is almost the same.

However the big difference when compunded over the year is in the pots that the pro loses. He simply loses less money in the pots that he loses and at the end of the year then it is this that makes the difference between a pro and a non-pro. The leading pro’s just get away from losing situations far faster and this when compunded  makes the difference. To escape from situations takes discipline, strong money management philosphy and good training. It also takes being able to view the long term as well and not take each hand on an individual basis.