Game Selection

A player’s long term success can come from a variety of factors. Factors include how they perform at the poker table, the ability they have to get reads on their opponents, but a factor that is sometimes overlooked is ‘game selection’. Game selection can be a difference maker for a player that is struggling, and it can also be very important when it comes to managing ones bankroll. The experienced/professional players are well aware of what game selection can do for a players overall game. The novice player may not be familiar with the effects game selection can have, so this is why I want to shed some light on why choosing the right ‘game’ can be so effective for overall performance.

Have you ever sat down at the poker table (live or online) only to look around to see players that are much more experienced on the game then you are? I know I have been there multiple times and I painfully learned the effects it can have on my game. If you are thinking that you are outmatched right when you sit down then there is no way to be successful. You’ll be playing mental games with yourself which means you will not be concentrating on the action taking place. This is when you should drop down some buy-ins to make yourself feel more comfortable with your game. Get on an equal playing field and try to find tournaments/cash tables that have players with less or similar experience. I feel you will find success very quickly and you will be learning more and more on the game as you play. Once you feel very comfortable at these levels ‘then’ perhaps move up a level to test your skills.

Game selection doesn’t strictly deal with feeling comfortable at the tables you are playing at as it also deals with the type of games you are playing. If you are struggling with your game then it may be a good idea to take a break and evaluate your stats. Check to see what type of games/levels you are excelling at as oppose to those the games you are struggling with. If you are quite successful in the ‘sit n go’ category, and if you are losing all of your in money in the multi-table tournaments then it might be smart to stick with sit n gos. Only play sit n gos for awhile to see if you see improvement in your game and to see if your bankroll starts to grow. It can be flip flopped as well. If you are struggling in sit n gos while making money in multi-table tournaments then stick to multi-table tournaments. If you are a cash game player then selecting your games is a little different.

When playing cash games it can be important to check the players at the table before just sitting down to play. Evaluate the tables before sitting down can be very crucial to having success. If you were to observe the table before sitting down you will be able to tell which table has more potential to be profitable. Look up the names of the players playing at the table and sit at the table that has players with the weaker stats. It’s just obvious. Sitting at a table with losing players will be more profitable than sitting at a table with a bunch of ‘sharks’. Remember the old adage, ’if you can’t find the donkey at the table then it’s probably you’. Game selection can help you steer clear from making this mistake. Try using game selection the next time you play and see how it can work out for you. Good luck at the tables my friends.

Craig Fleck

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