For some poker players, the allure of playing high-stakes poker can be too much to resist. Players will watch their idols play for thousands, sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars on TV and want to experience the same kind of thrill when they win a monster pot. The problem is some players move up in levels too early and for the wrong reasons.
The simple fact is most players tend to move up to a higher level of play well before they are ready. They don’t have the experience or the bankroll to compete and often end up literally paying the price. So what is it that drives people to play over their heads? Often times it is simply the desire to take a shot or they talk themselves into just going for it. At other times, they are chasing their losses in their regular game by trying to even the score in one single session. Because these players are not properly prepared, they end up suffering the consequences. You can avoid this fate by following a few simple rules.
The most important rule to follow is to pay attention to proper bankroll management. If you are a consistent winner in your regular game, keep adding funds to your bankroll until you can sit comfortably in a bigger game. In general, it is recommended to build up your bankroll to at least 50-60 buy-ins, at your current level. Then when you feel ready, take 10-buy-ins and move up to the next level. If you lose those buy-ins, go back to your regular game and take another shot after you have rebuilt your bankroll. If you win, good for you and keep on playing at the new level!
Most important of all, don’t get emotional about the money. If you become uncomfortable about the size of your losses or even your wins at a new level, you may start to develop a psychological barrier that will be hard to overcome. If you feel yourself entering that ‘tilt’ type of mentality, you should move back to a level that you are more comfortable at. Stepping up a level to recover losses from your regular play will only set you up to lose more money. Don’t be fooled into taking a shot in a bigger game just because the game seems fast and loose. At higher stakes, even though you stand to win more money in the pot, you also run the risk of losing your entire bankroll.
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