Do you feel like your poker career is stuck? 홀덤 ‘ve been playing the same low and mid stakes games for what feels like an eternity, but you now feel your poker goals that were once achievable are nothing more than pipe dreams. You may feel that you love the game, but it is ultimately meaningless.
You are not alone.
Doug Polk felt the same about his poker career in 2007, even before he achieved online success and WSOP Bracelets. He posted TwoPlusTwo for help.
How you handle feeling stuck can make or break your poker professional career.
Doug decided to rededicate his life to the game that he loved over the next decade. He rose through the ranks and became one of the best players in the world today because of his newfound dedication to improving. This post marked a turning-point in his career.
How can you change your poker experience?
1. Every day, improve your game
Always be looking for ways to improve. I’ve come across a few players who were confident in their abilities and stopped studying poker strategy. They thought it was enough to just keep playing until they won.
This way of thinking is flawed. Even computers do not have the game figured out. No one in the world has mastered poker strategy.
Even after success, the best players around the world show a willingness to continue learning.
You can improve your poker game by chatting with other players, running simulations or watching the games at the table.
Set a daily goal to learn new things about poker. You can achieve this goal by being objective, self-critical and accepting advice from other players.
2. Take your bankroll management seriously
Busting your bankroll in a game is a disaster. You need money to play the game. You must be responsible and intelligent when managing your bankroll.
You should play poker at a limit where you can manage the fluctuations in your bankroll and emotions. Specifically:
• Players should be able to buy in at least 50 times their stake for a cash game.
• Players should allocate 250-500 dollars of their buy-in average to tournaments
These are only estimates. The proper bankroll will vary depending on the game you play. The more variance in your game of choice, the higher your buy-ins will be (for instance, for turbo tournaments, you’ll need to buy more than 500 buyins).
Put your egos to one side. There is no shame in playing $1 tournaments if you need to do so to stay within your budget. When your bankroll is ready, the bigger games will be available.
Poker can be a marathon and not a sprint.
3. Working hard is not only for the table
To be the best in the poker world, you need to put in a lot of effort.
The truly committed will play, study, watch, talk, live and breathe poker. Doug did all of these things to reach his goals, and if you want a career in poker you should do the same.
It is important to surround yourself with people who share your values and goals. This will help you improve, as well as helping others.
Try to make friends with other players when you play live poker. You can discuss hands and share ideas with each other. Just make sure that you don’t do this at the table, where your opponents could hear.
Consider joining a group of players with similar skill levels if you are an online poker player. Doug swears that Skype study groups were the source of most of his poker discoveries.
Poker is a game that almost everyone enjoys, but if you study instead of playing poker, the first will be more enjoyable and profitable. You’ll be more confident in your poker game after learning and applying a new idea.
4. Keep your head high
The downswings may seem endless. Losing weeks may turn into months and even years. You will soon forget what it was like to win.
If you want to be successful in poker, you need to be able to compartmentalize your downswings.
Focus on the future and make good strategic decisions you can be proud to have made. It’s not necessary to berate yourself when you made a good choice, even if it didn’t work out.
Stay positive, keep your head high and you will soon be back on track.
5. Concentrate on a single game type
Cash game players may be tempted to play a few tournaments Sunday, while tournament players might be tempted to jump into a high-stakes cash game. It’s fine to do this if you are a confident and successful player. But struggling players should stay focused on their game type.
The majority of players who are successful in poker specialize in one game type. Take a look at these players who are considered to be the best in their respective game types:
• Doug Polk: Heads-up is his main focus. He would eventually be the only player on earth to face him
• OtB_RedBaron focuses on 6-max cash game and consistently books the largest years of any 6-max 6-player
• Phil Hellmuth plays almost exclusively the WSOP or similar events made for television. His results speak volumes
Doug’s Poker Journey to Un-Stuck
Doug’s story shows that dedication and motivation pay off over time. Take a look at Doug’s career timeline since his TwoPlusTwo article from 2007:
• 2007 – 2012: Doug slowly climbed the stakes while playing online and transitioned to becoming a heads-up expert along the way. After a rough downturn in 2011 that included Black Friday, a very successful 2012 saw him become one of the top heads-up players.
• 2013 Doug beat Ben “Sauce123”. Sulsky, in a heads-up competition of 50,000 hands. He won $740,000 plus a side bet of $100,000.
• 2014 Doug has a breakthrough year in live tournaments with winnings totaling over $3 million. He won his first WSOP Bracelet, a $1.65 million super-high roller tournament, and a $770,000 Aussie Millions run.
• 2015 Doug led a group of heads-up poker specialists to victory against the AI poker bot Claudico at the first Brains vs AI challenge. The team was awarded $100,000 for their achievement. Upswing Poker was also born this year.
• 2016 Doug teamed up with Upswing founder Ryan Fee to win a second WSOP Bracelet in the Tag Team Event. In addition to his live success, Doug won the PokerStars Kilimanjaro tournament for $162,000 while streaming it on Twitch. This was a record amount of money ever earned on stream. Doug won his first SCOOP title with a winning of $115,000 in May.
• 2017 Doug set another streaming record on YouTube by winning $271.272 from a $5.200 buy-in Tournament on PartyPoker. He won the $111,111 One Drop tournament for $3.6M and his third WSOP Bracelet.
You could win all the WSOP Bracelets in a few years if you show a similar drive to success as Doug.
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