By Poker Pro Matt Vengrin
1. Play good starting hands. Only play hands like AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, 99, AK, Aqs until you get comfortable playing the rest. They are easier to play and don’t get you into as much trouble as the KJ, KQ etc.
2. Play within your bankroll. Do not take shots, play in games you are comfortable playing in. I remember when I started I played 5-10 NL one time with only 2k in my account. I was super scared, won a pot and left but I easily could have lost. I definitely was not comfortable in that game. Even today I play 1-2 and 2-4 NL and PLO sometimes because I feel super comfortable in them.
I would suggest leaving yourself some outs as they say. If you lose a session you cannot go broke ideally. So with 50 dollars id probably leave myself with at least 20 buy ins to the game, so you could buy in for $2.50, but lets just say $2. So you could play 1-2 cent cash games. These have a buy in of 2 dollars, and you can move up if you win.
Tournaments I normally suggest having 100 buyins for tournaments if you are playing professionally. If you are playing for fun, you could probably play 2-5 dollar tournaments. I remember when I started I had 55 bucks or so, played a 3 dollar buyin with 1700 ppl and won it for like 700 dollars, was a huge boost.
3. Do not tilt. I cannot stress this enough, I believe mental stability is paramount while playing poker, especially no limit holdem. The ones with the clearest minds will definitely prevail over the long run. That’s what I accredit most of my success to.
4. Learn all the games. I did this when I started out, if there were no good no limit games but a really good mixed game I would play the mixed game because I knew how. It gives you a chance to take a soft spot and exploit it, something most NL players are not capable of. I like HORSE and I think that’s a good place for people to start.
5. How to spot a fish. Generally, while playing cash or tournaments people who limp generally are not too good. When I see a limper in my games, ill usually try to isolate him and play pots against him. For example, I was playing a 2500 satalite to the WPT championship a few days ago and there was one guy who had shown down 92s after he limped and hit a hand. He limped and I isolated 3 times in a row, the third time getting his stack.
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