My beginning professional poker career playing in New Hampshire started with a whimper. I was playing Limit Poker at the Seabrook Poker Room in Seabrook NH. OK a loss. Now not a big loss as losses go, but, never the less, a loss. You know what they say … a loss is a loss is a loss.
My total losses for the day was $4. You might say “What’s the big deal. You only lost $4 … what is your problem?”
The problem is the fact that if I am playing a $2/4 limit game, I should expect to earn a minimum of $4 an hour (many of the poker books that I have read say you should win at least one big bet an hour). As I played for five hours, in theory I should have earned a minimum of $20 for my five hours worth of playing. Now, I know what you might say. “How is $20 days going to be a reasonable wage”. Well, it won’t, but that the point is that I need to get myself in the mode of playing to be profitable.
I was down $40 at point during the after noon, and I was up $55 at one point also. So ending at -$4 could have been worse. (I actually lost $55 when I was at the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa FL.)
I played at a table with 8 other players. I got to see eight hands per cycle at an average cost of $3.00 per cycle. This is because the blinds are $1 and $2 for the small and big blind respectively. So as every eight hands are played, I am the big blind once and the small blind once. I had pocket Aces once and lost money, I had pocket Kings twice, the first time I flopped a full house and won a large pot, and the second time when my pair of kings did not improve after the flop, turn or river and I lost money. I had a pocket pair of fours turn to trip fours (three of a kind) and won against a pocket pair of sixes. I had a set of eights (three eights), and I lost to a player holding a straight (the board was scary and I should have guessed by the betting that my opponent was making that I lost that hand.)
The nice thing about Limit Holdem is that you can control your losses somewhat. The bad thing about Limit Holdem is that you cannot chase someone away who has a chance to draw out on you. Case in point was my pocket Aces. I raised the pot when I entered it, but I got called by someone who had a 7 4 suited. The flop came out 7 4 J and I bet my aces right to the river. The fourth and fifth cards were a 3 and a K, so the board had 7 4 J 3 K. When my opponent showed his hand, he had two pairs, 7’s and 4’s to my single pair of aces. so he won the pot. In limit, you can check and call, which will limit the raises if you are head to head with someone. But you can only raise one bet at a time. In No Limit, you could go all in (put all of your money in the middle (the pot) and the person calling will usually need a very strong hand, not a drawing hand, to call.
The bottom line to this post is that you need to keep track of your performance, yours wins and you losses and see how you are doing. If your intent is to be a