The Biggest Secret of Online Poker

Erica Schoenberg

Of all the tips I've received during my three years of playing poker online, only one stands above the rest - have patience. Patience is what will make or break Internet players and bring in the money.

It is common to occasionally encounter cold runs of cards for weeks, and a good poker player learns how to ride it out. A general poker rule is that playing too high of a limit will bust you really fast, but playing impatiently will bust you even faster.

Professional Poker Players Are Extremely Patient
You won't find a professional poker player who's impatient because poker is a game won over the long run. There's just enough luck involved in poker to keep the fish coming back, but the best players know the game comes with more highs and lows than the stock market and the most rewarding plan is to stay steady and play consistently.

I've heard that it can take over 1, 400 hours of play before you can expect to make a profit. While I don't believe this is completely true, I do believe that poker should be taken month by month. If you played well and consistently, each month should return a profit.

Occasionally, you'll have a horrible streak and may lose for the month. If you find yourself losing month after month, ask yourself if patience could be your problem.

There are two types of impatience:

  1. Betting too much on busted hands
  2. Playing too many hands

Betting Too Much on Busted Hands
Even if you only play the best hands, you can still be impatient. You could be putting too much money in on busted hands. For example, say you raise kings and receive three callers. You see an ace hit the flop and bet anyway. You get re-raised and know you're beat. Good players know to lie this down. Impatient players won't recognize that their hand is busted, and will keep playing it as if it's the nuts.

While you want to push good hands hard, you never want to be dead money. If you totally miss your flop with ace-king, don't go crazy; live to fight another day.

Playing Too Many Hands
You could also be playing too many hands. Staring at your computer screen for an eight hour session of poker can be boring. This causes some people to get tired and loosen up their playing too much; it becomes easier to click the call button rather than stay alert in the game.

The best advice I have for combating the fatigue and boredom that can accompany long poker sessions, is to only play when you're alert since it's your best defense against new players. Otherwise, you'll most likely become uninterested in playing your best poker and look for luck as the way out. Learn to log out or leave the casino when you feel tired.

See you at the tables.

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