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Selecting The Right Poker Game

When I first started out playing cards, I realized that I would continually go broke. It was so very frustrating. I knew I wasn’t a bad player, but if I wasn’t, then why did I keep losing. It took me a while, but I finally realized that one of my biggest weaknesses was selecting the right game.

Today, I’ll talk to you a little about that. These days, though our online options are not as vast as they once were, online still has the right game out there for you.

Game selection is a skill that every serious player must have. Back in the days, a good player could have sat down in virtually any middle-stakes cash game online and have a real edge. With online being less accessable to all, you must be able to select the right game to be successful.

Many people think the evaluation process is easy and I’ll say that it is not tremendously difficult to do. The problem is, there is more to it than simple evaluation. When I asked a few good players how they go about exercising good game selection, they were honest. Most don’t, they just crave the action and the game and thrills.

The most skilled players can get away with this approach, as long as they don't mind a few rough patches along the way, and as long as they manage not to go on tilt very often. It is the savvy game selectors. Those whose strengths lie elsewhere, such as managing their money and exploiting the week must take heed and evaluate games better. They must use the discipline advantage they have.

Online, you can take advantage of the power of data. Every site keeps track of the average pot size and the average number of players seeing the flop at each table, these are good indicators to how profitable a table can be.

Generally speaking, a bigger pot size and a higher percentage of players seeing the flop means a more profitable game because those are descriptions of a loose table. An even more reliable approach is to invest in some software to track your opponents.

If you gather enough holdem hands in your database, you will know exactly who is winning and who is losing, which means that you'll know exactly which players to take on and which ones to avoid. This is a more advanced game selection approach and if you’re serious about winning, you should do so.

You can however do things the old fashioned way and take notes. You will always have these notes when you sit down at a table, so you can use them over and over again. When you see a list of players at a table, if you recognize a couple fish sitting there, go ahead and jump in the waters.

Once you have become proficient enough at choosing the right game, you must actually have the discipline to exercise good game selection. This sounds like the easy part, but in reality, this stage is where the vast majority of players fail.

In online poker, the most difficult thing to do for most poker players is to pass on an empty seat in a game they would enjoy playing. All of the good players I know can tell a good game from a bad game, but plenty of those good players sit down in bad games all the time because they just want to play. This is wrong. You must have the discipline to wait and bide your time until a good game pops up.

In summary, the skill of game selection is really in the ability to not sit down at the wrong game. Most players I know, would help his bottom line by thinking long and hard every time he decided to enter a game, and asking himself, "Is this really the best game I can find right now?

And if so, is it a good enough game to justify sitting in?" Poker players, especially good players, can convince themselves that they have an edge at just about any table. But if those good players chose to expend their energies finding only tables where they had their biggest possible edge, and putting in as many hours as they could at those tables, just imagine how much more money they could be taking in.

If you are a player who just cannot stop himself from taking the first open seat in an online or live cardroom, you may want to spend some time training yourself in the discipline of game selection. In this changed online poker environment, that discipline may just save your bankroll.

For a poker room with tons of games to choose from, try Full Tilt Poker.

For Sportsbook Services, check Price Per Head.