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Starting Your Poker Dynasty Part 1

Steve Curtis 12:14 May 6th, 2006 Poker

This is an article well more of a guide to help the rookie to novice poker player hone your skills to make that jump to the next level. That next level, being able to feel confident to step up from $1-$2 to maybe $3-$6, or $5-$10.

Goal Setting

One of the most overlooked aspects of poker is goal setting. It is important to set small short term reachable goals, as well as bigger long term goals. This will in turn help set you up for success while you are on your way to increasing your bankroll. I will give you examples of both short and long term goals.

Short Term Goals
1. Make $50 in my first week.
2. Play within my bankroll (no matter how tempting the higher stakes look).
3. Keep losing sessions to a minimum by getting up and walking away for awhile.

Long Term Goals
1. Make $300 in my first month.
2. Move up one level in my first month.
3. Earn a positive income on small single table tournaments.

Those are just examples for you to work with. While they may not be your idea of what you are trying to do within your poker career, they are there to set you up for success.

Bankroll Management

This is the most important aspect of this guide. Say you start at $50. You should play no higher than $.25-$.50 limit hold’em. This is low but can be very profitable if you play solid tight aggressive poker. Use a top 10 hand only strategy while playing and you must be able to realize when your pocket aces can be beat. Try to avoid tilting when you reach a downward swing as well as don’t get too greedy when you are on a roll. Think of poker as any thing in life, too much can be harmful, while the right amount can be profitable, and a healthy way to spend a few hours of your time either nightly or weekly. Never play above your bank roll, I can not express this point enough, for example depositing $50 and sitting at the $3-$6 limit table and getting hit with bad beat after bad beat, I have been there so I know the temptation is there, as well being caught up in it. Also never put more than 10-20% of your bankroll in play at one time. Try to avoid the temptation of multi-tabling as well this is an advanced technique for the most disciplined of players.

Player Notes

Most if not all of the popular sites today offer a player notes option. This is one of the most important allies to the player ever created, and you would be foolish not to use this option. If a player rides his hand to the river with any ace make a note. If a player takes a gut shot to the river make a note. See how important one little tidbit of information can be. For example you hold Kc Kh. The flop is 5d7c9h. You have over pair with a possible straight draw on the board. Now player A has been riding his gut shots to the river (you have notes) the turn is a harmless 2s. You are jamming the pot and player A calls. The river is the Ac. Trouble you might think but then you check your notes and you realize he chases his straights to the river. You bet hoping he calls or folds and you get paid. Player A does indeed call and mucks his hand giving you the pot. You check your hand history and it shows that he mucks the 4d 8h. Once again confirming your notes and paying you off in the long run. That is just a small example of what good note taking can do for you.

Poker Software: Helping your play

If you have the money it is important to invest a small piece of your bankroll into poker tracking software. There are quite a few different software programs available at your disposal if you just do a quick internet search. Not only will this aid you in watching your play but it will also aid you in your opponents play, often helping classify players as tight aggressive complete fish, etc. This will allow you to monitor all players at your table whether you are in the hand or you folded away complete garbage. It will help you in your note taking as well. The best possible scenario is to have been playing for awhile and then after a month or so you notice that at one table you are up against 5 cally wallies and 3 complete fish. Player 9 is a solid but passive player and then there is you after a month of solid play you are tight aggressive and ready to pounce on this unsuspecting table hoping to add to your already growing bankroll.


These are small steps to take that you can follow for the rest of your career and stay a profitable player. Although we only covered the basics there will be more to follow as well as various tips that will be posted in the forum. I hope if you take the advice in this article you are well on your way to reaching your poker goals. If you have any questions on this article post them in the forum and they will be answered as promptly as possible.