Every business has a basis on which to build. Following are four of the six foundations of a successful business.
1. Treat Hold’em as a Business
Step number one: It’s time to think of poker differently than you’ve thought before. These seven concepts, each attached to the other, will get you in the right frame of mind.
- Just knowing poker isn’t enough; you need to play seriously…
- Playing poker seriously isn’t enough; you need to play poker ample hours to earn a living…
- Playing poker seriously ample hours to earn a living isn’t enough; you need to play in the right places…
- Playing poker seriously ample hours to earn a living in the right places isn’t enough; you need to play at the right times…
- Playing poker seriously ample hours to earn a living in the right places at the right times aren’t enough; you need to play against the right people…
- Playing poker seriously ample hours to earn a living in the right places at the right times against the right people isn’t enough; you need to play your best game all the time…
- Playing poker seriously ample hours to earn a living in the right places at the right times against the right people and playing your best game all the time is enough- if you keep records!
2. Keep Records
Records aren’t just for your accountant or for your taxes. You need to keep them to analyze what works. Which games are better for you? Which limits? Which opponents? Which casinos? Which hours? Use these statistics just as a good baseball manager would to make strategic decisions like when to bunt, when to steal bases, when to use a left-handed pitcher.
Additionally, when you have records, you can’t con yourself about how well you’re doing. You must face reality, and that can motivate you to improve and stay focused.
And never destroy your records. It’s okay to declare a new campaign and start fresh, but keep those old records for reference. In fact, starting over with a new campaign isn’t a bad idea. The past is the past, and presumably you’ve learned new things, decided on better strategies, and maybe determined to apply new disciple from this point onward. Fine. Then there’s no reason you can’t declare your brand new campaign, the “New you,” just like a baseball team begins a new season. And you don’t even need to wait for the last season to end, if it will please you psychologically to begin anew right now. You can even give this campaign a name. Call it “Hold’em Shock and Awe” or whatever makes you happy.
Before you begin that new campaign, make sure you do not destroy your old records. I made this mistake when I first started out, and I wish I had all my early records now to contrast theem to my current experiences.
Keep very detailed records. They will help you.
3. Choose the Right Location
Remember, you’re thinking of a poker game as your business. In order to succeed you need to do business in the right location. In poker, you get to choose the location where you’ll do business every time you play. Choosing the right location-meaning the right game- is so important that it doesn’t just determine how much you win. It often determines if you win. And once you’re in a game, deciding correctly whether to stay or quit is critical.
Suppose you want to open a restaurant. You’ve heard the old adage, “The three keys to retail business success are location, location, and location.” Perhaps that’s a little overstated, because there are many other factors to consider and things to do when establishing a restaurant or setting up a successful retail store. But, location is often the most important, because if customers can’t find you and visit you easily, they will usually shop elsewhere. The point is, you want to do business where you have access to the best customers, so you can make the most money.
Poker is the same way. And, in poker, your weakest opponents are your best customers. If you’re a serious player or a professional, when you take a seat in a poker game, you’re setting up shop. You’ve opened for business. Suppose you had to buy a license to sit in that one seat at that one table for years to come. Then you’d have to hope you’d chosen a good casino and that the players who challenged you day after day would be easy to beat (good customers) and that the game would be the limits you want.
Fortunately, it doesn’t work like that. There’s no license required, and you don’t need to build or lease a seat at a table, freezing you to a single location. One of the great things about poker as a business is that you get to choose your best location every time you play! It’s like opening your restaurant in what you perceive to be the best location, but three superior restaurants suddenly open around you, under-pricing your meals and taking your business. Wouldn’t you like to just plop down your restaurant somewhere else tomorrow, and keep the profits flowing?
Well, that’s almost exactly how it works with poker. If there are better games elsewhere, you move. You do business at a new location. Sometimes changing seats to get a positional advantage on an opponent is valuable by itself. In other words, you might not need to move your poker business to another table or to a casino clear cross town. You might simply decide to use the storefront next door (an adjoining seat at the poker table).
And since location is the key to your poker profit, you better take advantage of this amazing opportunity. You’d be surprised how many knowledgeable players fail to use the concept of location to their advantage.
4. Time is Money
Here’s one of the most important concepts about the business of poker. In poker, it isn’t money you should be thinking about. Money takes care of itself if you play correctly. What matters most is time.
If you’re fairly good player making two minimum bets per hour, whenever you make a mistake costing you two bets, that’s a whole hour you need to make up. Each time you play poorly for a session, you might need to invest days undoing the damage. Think of poker as an exercise in accumulating the most “good” hours possible. Each time you stray from your best game or spend time in the wrong game, those are hours wasted.
To read more purchase Caro’s Most Profitable Hold’em Advice.