Quest to Winning Poker (Part 3)


As mentioned previously, I have recently crippled my bankroll because of a downward spiral. Right now, I’m grinding out low stakes 1 table SnG’s and Freerolls to try to build back up. I am having some success, winning 2 out of the last 3 SnG’s I’ve played. I have a few practices that have been helpful for me.

Stick to the Fundamentals

I usually get into trouble when I try to be to fancy. For example, I once had AJ of clubs from late position. I raised and got two callers. The flop had two clubs in it. I bet about half the pot as a continuation bet with such a strong draw. One player folded and one called. The turn failed to produce a club. I bet half the pot again, hoping to shake my opponent off and still with the hops of hitting the club on the river. My opponent called. The river again failed to produce a club, leaving me with ace high. I went all in, hoping to bluff my opponent off his hand. He called, and turned over trips. My stack was crippled after being one of the chip leaders and I soon busted out.

So what do I mean by fundamentals? Basically, it comes down to betting and raising when you’ve got it and checking or folding when you don’t. It means being patient for good hands and not playing trash like 37o or J4s – but it’s suited, I used to say. It also means bluffing and semi-bluffing if your reads indicate that would be best, but I’m finding at the lower stakes that players will call with bottom pair or just a couple of overcards.

Often, straightforward play combined with patience and focus has been sufficient to help me get out of slumps.

Be Engaged

I have found that it’s hard to concentrate at the lower stakes, especially if I’ve found some success at higher stakes. I think a key to my recent recovery has been the ability to engage the game and focus on a $1 SnG as much as I would a $26 Tournament. In the past, I would try to rush things at the lower stakes, as if it were beneath me. This would cause me to rush, play too loose, and basically suck. It is true that it is easier to win at lower stakes, but if you only use 50% of your ability, you can lose easily as well.

One thing that has helped is the realization of the dire straights I’m in. Basically, by reminding myself that I’ve been playing losing poker and that I’m grinding the low limit SnG’s because of past mistakes have helped me to focus.


One thing I’m trying to do is stay disciplined with bankroll management. I have been tempted to jump up to a bigger tournament as soon as my bankroll barely covers it. This has led to the situation I’m in now – barely any bankroll. A key to my recovery will be staying patient during the grind, improving my skill level, and build up the bankroll gradually so I’ll be ready to tackle that tournament both financially and ability-wise in the future.

This includes the realization that the journey back will not be a smooth climb. Having the patience to play through bad beats is crucial and I believe will also make me a better player.


These are some of the things I’m focusing on as I build up my bankroll again. I hope you find them helpful and I hope to update you in the coming weeks as to the success of my bankroll recovery.






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