Poker Win Rate: What’s Good & How to Work it Out?

Introduction to Poker Win Rates

Some poker players are happy to know they’re winning and don’t give their win rate much thought. As you gain experience and take poker seriously though, you’ll want to dive into it and find out exactly how you’re doing. This is where we measure performance and results through a metric called “win rate”. In this article, we’re going to look at what a win rate is in cash games and tournaments, what a good win rate is and how variance impacts win rates.

Cash Game Win Rate

Most poker regulars do not need to compute their cash game win rate. It’s automatically calculated using their poker tracking software. However, with more poker sites banning the use of HUDs, calculating your own win rate will be more important.

The poker win rate in cash games is measured in big blinds. In order to calculate it we need to know the number of hands played and the total profit in big blinds. These two figures are needed as the typical win rate is measured as “big blinds won per 100 hands” AKA bb/100.

Cash Game Win Rate Formula:
Profit in bb/number of hands X 100 = cash game win rate in bb/100

So let’s say you played 10,000 hands and won 200 big blinds.

(200/10,000) * 100 = 2bb/100

And that’s all there is to it. The key to working out your cash game win rate is ensuring you know how many big blinds you’ve won and the number of hands you played. In online poker, you should be able to get this data from poker software or the client. In live poker, you will need to tally up your hands as you play.

What is a Good Cash Game Win Rate?

“Good” is a subjective term when discussing win rates in cash games. There are many factors to what contributes to a strong win rate; location, calibre of opponents, rake and stakes to name a few.

The table below is a rough guide on what a good win rate is in each setting.

SettingWin Rate (BB/100)
Live Poker Cash Games10 to 25 BB/100
Online Poker Cash Games3 to 10 BB/100

As you can see, there is a discrepancy between live and online poker cash games. It’s well established that live poker is far softer, with players lacking the same technical skills as online. Therefore, a strong cash game player can potentially win 10 or more big blinds per 100, with over 20 being extraordinary.

Conversely, with cash games online much tougher, a win rate over 3 is considered a strong win rate. The major online poker sites attract most of the better players.

If you want to maximise your win rate, stick to softer sites. Coral poker is very fishy with potential for high win rates. Click below and register an account to find out.

Tournament Win Rate

Your tournament win rate is simply the return on investment or ROI. To work this out, you simply divide your profit by the amount of tournament buy ins and multiply by 100%.  This is the common way to measure tournament success. The formula basically shows how much you earn per dollar. This is in contrast to cash games where you work out how many big blinds you win per 100.

Working out your profit is a simple case of taking your total cashes and deducting the amount spent in buy-ins.

Tournament Win Rate Formula
Winnings/Amount Spent in Tournament Buy ins * 100

So if you’ve won $5,000 and spent $6,000, your ROI is 83%. Please note – this means your cashes are $11,000. We deduct the amount spent first to arrive at winnings.

$5,000/$6,000 * 100= 83.33%

What is a Good Tournament Win Rate?

Like cash games, tournament win rates are dependant on the setting. Again, your ROI is likely to be dependent on the types of tournaments you play.

If you are randomly entering turbo tournaments or a bounty tournament where you lack the expertise in strategy, your ROI will suffer. The table below is a guide as to what I think a good tournament win rate is for live and online poker tournaments.

Setting Win Rate as ROI
Live Tournament Poker 50 – 80%
Online Tournament Poker 20 – 40%

If you’re generating over 80% ROI in live tournaments, you’re doing fantastic. Likewise, anything over 40% for online poker is exceptional.

The table above should give you a good idea on what strong tournament players can expect to achieve. Are you near it? If not, why not join our training video membership? Most of our content is tournament based and may help you increase your ROI a few percentage points?

The Impact of Variance on Win Rates

The word that most serious poker players hate “variance”. Most poker tracking software has the ability to show you where you should be after X number of hands based on your data.

If you’re on a heater and showing 15 bb/100 but run the simulation of where you should be without variance, you may actually be at 1bb/100. This is a huge thing to remember as sometimes players make decisions like moving up stakes on the back of a good run of cards.

On the flip side, a player may lose confidence and drop down a few levels when they’re running bad when they in fact should be crushing.

In the long run, variance should not play a big part. The laws of probability show that it’s unlikely to have a big influence on your win rate over serious volume. I’m talking over the course of over 100,000 hands plus, or a year of playing.

Hourly Rate

This article has focused on win rates for cash games and tournaments. Whilst bb per 100 and ROI are key metrics to measuring success, I think hourly win rate is the most important metric of all. It is possibly the easiest and simplest way to calculate how you’re performing.

All you need to do is work out how much you win a in a session and divide it by the number of hours played. So, if you played 8 hours and won $320, you’re averaging an hourly rate of $40.

This formula can be used in tournaments too. Naturally, it needs time to bear out in order to find out how much you can expect to make per hour from tournaments.

The key to understanding your hourly rate is to only judge it at intervals e.g. monthly or quarterly.

A True Hourly Rate Needs Data and Time

You need plenty of data to properly account for short term fluctuations. A good day you may win $100 an hour and a bad day you’re losing $80 an hour. That doesn’t mean you played exceptionally and awfully, it could have been coolers or bad beats.

The hourly rate can also be impacted by number of tables you play. You may find that 4 tabling NL $50 is more profitable for your hourly rate, albeit it at lower win rate when compared against 2 tabling NL $50. I think generating the best hourly rate is far more important than being able to boast of earning X BB per 100.

If you’re keen to improve your hourly rate, I suggest taking a look at our poker excel dashboard services. We can create a dashboard and report to you on a monthly basis. The report includes various measurements of performance and recommendations too. Click below for more information where you can also download a sample report and get a FREE quote too.

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How to Make Money Playing Poker Online

How to Make Money Playing Poker

Most visitors come to Texas Hold’em Questions for help in one way or another. You’re all looking to improve your poker skills. I know some of you play regularly and some play very rarely but ultimately, you’re all looking to start earning or improve your win rate at poker.

 In this article, I’m going to lay out, simply and concisely how to make money playing poker. It is not for mid-stakes players who already crush the games. This article is for the beginners or intermediate players that struggle to make money consistently. If you dedicate one month to the tips in this article, you should have a good shot at making money.  

Play Micro/Low Stakes Cash Games

First things first, if you want to win money next month, you will need to dedicate most of your time and energy to cash games. Don’t get me wrong, there is lots of money to be made from tournaments and we will discuss that shortly. But, if you want to increase your chances of regular income next month, start at low stakes cash games between NL $5 and NL $25.

Four Tables Maximum  

Don’t play lots of tables. If you’re used to playing 6 or more, this won’t be music to your ears but it will be worth it. Stick with a maximum of 4 tables. If you’re not sure how many tables is right for you, read our article on multi-tabling and take the quick test to find out.

Stick with 6 Max Games

I think the 6 max games are the best place to start. You will come across a range of players abilities from nitty regulars to the standard donkey. There will be a sprinkling of tough opponents too but you can recognise these within 20 minutes of sitting. If you ever find yourself on tables with more than two tough players, get up and leave. This is a very important rule you need to employ. There are plenty of games online so please take care with table selection. Need help with 6 max? No problem, download our free PDF guide in our 6 max poker strategy article.

Put in the Volume

Making money playing poker means playing regularly. That means playing a minimum of three times a week. You can’t play once or twice a month and expect to handle variance easily. To overcome short term fluctuations in luck, you’ll need to put in a decent number of sessions. I recommend playing at least 3 to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.  

Play a Solid Tight Aggressive Style

Adapting to your surroundings is a necessary skill as you move up stakes. But at low stakes, TAG poker is the best form to use. It will strike the right balance of exploiting weak opponents who play the most overrated poker hands and the bad loose aggressive players who think they can run you over.

By playing a tight aggressive style, you will be able to get your bluffs through more often against regulars whilst continuing to get paid off from the fishes.

Playing in low stakes games can cause people to enter too many pots and deviate from solid strategy. Don’t fall victim to this mentality. Stick with the TAG style for the month and see what results it brings.

Play on Smaller and Softer Sites

There are plenty of online poker sites with many players around. You don’t have to play on the biggest sites just because there’s more traffic. The simple answer to “how to make money playing poker” is facing weak opponents. They are in abundance on the smaller sites that don’t offer poker as their main product.

Check out our Unibet Poker Review as a perfect example of this. I recommend registering an account with them. If you like the software then you’ll be happy with their competition. The standard is very low. I also find Coral to be a super soft site. You can register below.

Play Tournaments 20% of the Time (1 day)

Tournaments are still a great way to earn money online, particularly in games under $25 buy-in. Whilst cash games can be your bread and butter, there’s nothing wrong with investing time in tournaments too. In fact, it’s a good way to take a break from cash games. Tournaments can give a nice respite whilst also offer the chance to risk a little for a lot of gain. Assuming a working week is 5 days, try dedicating 1 day to tournaments.

Weekends Only

If you’re going to stick with the 1 day a week rule, please let it be a Saturday or Sunday? These are the best times to play online poker tournaments. Weekends tend to offer the best guaranteed prize-pools and also attract social players.

The weekend mtts are full of players lacking tournament poker strategy. They don’t care about m ratio or push/fold strategy, they are playing for fun. As such, they will be making a lot of mistakes! This is why you need to be playing with them.

Stick to Freezeouts

There are plenty of tournament variants about at the moment but freezeouts are the easiest format to follow. It may be tempting to play a hyper turbo or a bounty tournament, but remember, each variant requires revising your strategy. It’s much simpler and better for your ROI and ITM rate to stick with simple freezeouts.

Summary

As you can see, making money playing poker is very attainable. If you play low stakes games, focus on 6 max and use a TAG style, you’re on your way. Then, dedicate one day a week to tournaments and you’re all set.

The key to winning money from poker is treating it like a business. Make business like decisions in poker and you will increase your chances of winning.

To sum up:

  • Play NL $5- $25 6 Max
  • Play on a soft poker site like Unibet
  • 4 days a week cash games and 1 day for tournaments
  • Play tight aggressive
  • Play a minimum of 3 hours a day
  • Do NOT play more than 4 tables at once
  • Make your tournament day Saturday or Sunday
  • Stick to freezeout tournaments

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The Pros and Cons of Poker Staking

Poker Staking

Anything that involves money interests’ other parties. I remember first playing live tournaments and being surprised when asked to trade percentages. I politely declined but it did make me think what motivates people give up potential earnings and get staked?

Poker staking is something that might be perfect for one and a disaster for another. It depends on several factors, which I will explore in this article. I hope by the end of it, you will have an understanding of what staking is and assess whether it’s for you.

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

What is Staking in Poker?

Staking is where someone else invests the cash for your tournament or cash game. In exchange, you will pay them a percentage of your winnings. This could be up to 50%. Most staking deals run for a number of months or hands. The player being staked usually has to pay back any losses before chopping up the winnings.

The Pros of Poker Staking

There are several benefits to being staked in games. There are three obvious perks that I can see though.

1) No Risk

Playing poker without risk is very appealing to a lot of poker players. When you’re being staked, you are not financially invested. Regardless of your financial position, you won’t be impacted by a bad cash game session or tournament that you bubbled.

Playing poker without risk allows some people to play with more freedom. Not risking your own money also means you have free cash that you would have otherwise used for bankroll management.

2) Support

A lot of staking arrangements involve some poker support through coaching or general advice and support. A lot of the time the person who is backing you will be playing higher stakes. As they have a vested interest in seeing you succeed, they will be available for support, discussion, feedback and potentially coaching too. Learning from an expert for free is an attractive by-product of getting staked. Some backers recommend the best poker software to use or the where to go for the best poker blogs. These are helpful ways for you to develop.

3) Opportunity to play higher stakes

Most players who get staked are playing stakes they couldn’t afford on their own. That actually may be the sole reason why they are getting staked. Mike Matusow is one of the most famous faces in poker. When you see Mike playing big tournaments or high stakes poker, it’s usually because someone has staked him. This is a huge advantage to those who play smaller stakes or perhaps have poor bankroll management skills and need staking to play in bigger games.

The Cons of Poker Staking

Like most things, there are disadvantages and poker staking has some too. I feel obliged to inform you of some of these in this article.

1) Contract

The majority of staking arrangements involve an agreement between the backer and the person being staked. These is usually X number of hands or tournaments being played. This means you can’t walk away from a staking agreement easily. So, if you’re playing well and on a heater, winning lots of money, you have to see out your agreement with your backer regardless.

You may want to go it alone after 10,000 hands but if you’re contracted out to play 100,000, then your hands are tied. Good poker ethics dictate you should see out your contract, even if it means you are giving up a lot of your earnings.

2) Pressure

Being able to play without personal risk sounds fine but if you find yourself on a bad run, you will start to feel the pressure. Nobody wants to lose money but when you’re losing money that isn’t even yours, it feels even worse. This is true for the vast majority of poker players I’ve come across. They almost feel guilty if they bust a tournament or lose a few buy-ins.

Pressure can manifest itself in your play. You may find yourself missing value bets, bluffing less frequently or making bad folds. If you don’t cope well with pressure, poker staking is unlikely to be right for you.

3) Makeup

Makeup is embedded in practically every staking agreement. It is a way of ensuring the backer gets paid back any losses before their player can take some of the profit. For example, you’ve lost $500 in the first month, then win $700 on the second month. You are only entitled to $100 ($500 for the makeup, then the $200 split 50/50).

Makeup is a huge component of poker staking as it forces you to pay the backer his investment. It’s very difficult to get out of an agreement without paying them back. You either need to pay it back from your own money, quit playing or be released from your backer. As you can see, the freedom of staking is not so free after all.

Conclusion

You need to give it a lot of thought before entering into a staking contract. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly. There are great benefits but also some serious disadvantages too. Texas Hold’em Questions doesn’t offer any staking arrangements.

When we play, we want to win money for ourselves and not share it. We adopt this mentality in our coaching too, wanting you to win money for yourself. This is why we offer various methods of coaching for players with different needs. If you are interested in staking, do some research, speak with backers, find out their contracts and weigh up if it’s right for you.

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Poker Multi Tabling – What’s Right For You?

Poker Multi Tabling Introduction

With the explosion of internet poker, came the opportunity to play more poker and quicker. The 21st century, so far, can be summed up by instant gratification and convenience. This extends to poker where we can play an great deal more than we can play in live poker, where we are restricted to slow deals, one tabling and players who take time over their decisions. Cue poker multi tabling… The ability to play lots of tables and hands at once is something that has allowed players to become expert in the time it would take a live player decades to learn. This speed of learning has meant becoming an online professional poker player is a reality. In this article, we will explore some truths about multi-tabling and also offer a quick test for you, to see how many tables are right for you.

Giving Up Some Edge for More Earnings

One thing you must realise when choosing to add tables is the edge you are giving up. This is just part and parcel of the game. For every table you are adding, you are giving up a bit of focus and attention overall. This can be problematic for people who struggle with decision making and have a small win rate already. But, for those who crush their stakes and are competent multi-taskers, it’s less of an issue.

Our goal is to earn as much as possible in as little time possible. So, if the data shows you can earn $8 per hour on average 2 tabling and $7 an hour 4 tabling, clearly 4 tabling is the wiser decision as you will be earning $12 more an hour overall.

Prioritise Decisions

When you’re only playing one or two tables, there’s no such thing as prioritising decisions really. Very rarely, do you have two difficult decisions at the same time. This is far more prevalent when you multi-table and something you need to incorporate into your game. Prioritising decisions is about giving full attention to the more important hand.

If you have trouble assigning priority to one over another, consider the round of betting and pot size first. If you’re pre-flop in one with nothing committed and facing a pot bet on the turn on another, clearly the latter is more important. In time, this will come naturally and is usually only a challenge at the start.

HUD Stats More Important Than Ever

If you play one or two tables, the HUD stats are useful but you’re not reliant on them as such. You know from observation players tendencies and the HUD is there for insurance and a guide. As you mult-table more, you will have to rely on the HUD to help you. If you’re playing 8 tables, you can’t trust your eye alone. You won’t be picking up as much so you need the stats to help you. It’s simple maths. If you’re playing two tables of 6 max, you have 10 opponents, or less if you have the same opponent. By comparison, 8 tables have potentially 42 different opponents. Not easy to remember them all and how they play is it?

I highly recommend ensuring your HUD is properly setup and revealing only the most relevant of stats. Visit our poker resources page for poker software.

Deciding How Many Tables To Play

It can be tricky choosing how many tables to play. There are a number of factors that need to be considered:

How likely are you to tilt?Playing more tables will not be for you if you struggle with tilt. With more tables and hands, comes more variance and more bad beats and coolers.
Concentration levelsIf you have excellent concentration, playing more tables won’t harm you as much as it will others.
Current win-rateIf you’re a big winner, you can probably safely add more tables and maintain a decent win rate. If you’re breaking even though, you will surely start losing. Win rate is very important when poker multi tabling.
Decision-making speedAre you a slow thinker and like to take your time? Multi-tabling won’t be for you. However, if you can make good decisions fast, you will be at home playing lots of tables.
HUD competency There’s no use having a HUD if you struggle to use it effectively. Anyone who can look at HUD stats at a glance and use it accordingly will be confident multi tabling. You need to be able to look at it in a few seconds and know what to do.

Poker Multi Tabling Test

We’ve created a test for those of you unsure how many tables to play. The test only takes a few minutes and will give you an indication as to how many tables to play.  All you need to do is take the quiz below. Once completed, you’ll get a grade which suggests how many tables. Please remember this is not a test on your ability or anything like that. There’s no perfect score. What’s right for one won’t be for another.

Texas Hold’em Questions Poker Multi-Tabling Test

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“When the online poker gods smile” by Ryan Harvey is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Poker Stop Loss – Work Yours Out

Poker Stop Loss

Losses will happen in poker players. It’s inevitable and par of the game. It doesn’t matter if you’re sitting down for the first time or Daniel Negreanu, you will suffer losing sessions. Losing affects people differently. Some have excellent emotional control but a lot of player’s suffer from tilt. We’re human, not robots, and taking a bad beat or being on the wrong side of a cooler might affect how you play. One of the ways to protect your bankroll is to setup a personal rule called a poker stop loss. In this article, we will look at what a stop loss is and how it can help you.

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

What is a Poker Stop Loss?

A stop loss is a fixed rule that triggers you quitting your session and stop playing after a certain number of buy-ins. It is should be an objective number not based on personal feelings.

Different Types of Stop Losses

There are a few different stop losses you can enforce. You can use a few simultaneously or only use one. 

Daily Limit Stop Loss

Setting a stop loss based on a daily limit is a good idea as it give’s breathing space. Some players find this particularly useful if they usually play a few sessions in a day. FYI – This is useful to implement for casino games too, particularly NonStopCasino sites, which have less information on problem gambling and less regulation too.

Table Stop Loss

If you are multi-tabling, having a table stop loss is usually to prevent you losing against potentially stronger opponents. The theory behind it is ok but it doesn’t protect you from tilting on other tables does it?

Session Stop Loss

This is the most common type. It’s easy to understand and follow. If you hit your stop loss, you quit. It’s important to ensure you have sufficient time between sessions though, otherwise, you can bypass stop loss by counting it as a “new session”. I recommend at least 4 hours between starting a new session. Otherwise, if you play again 1 hour later, there is a risk of you being in the same mindset as before.

Considerations for Setting Stop Loss

The amount you set should depend on your emotional control, experience, playing style, proneness to tilt and format you play.
The more experienced, less prone to tilt and shorter handed games you play, the higher stop loss you can have. Some of these measures are easy to assess. You know if you play heads up or shorthanded, you know if you’ve played 6 months or 6 years. But when it comes to rating your likelihood of tilting – you need to be honest and ruthless with yourself. Think back to the last few sessions where you lost. At what point did you feel your game suffering? How likely are you to spew, make bad calls or silly bluffs? Now, rate your proneness to tilt based one the above scores.

1) Cold as ice. It takes a lot to get you off your game and you have a professional attitude.
2) Luke warm. You are generally very composed even after 1 or 2 buy in losses. However, a bad run of hands and several losses will start to affect to your game.
3) Heart on sleeve. You don’t take well to losing buy ins and start to make silly mistakes pretty quickly.

Texas Hold’em Question’s Stop Loss Calculator

Choosing a stop loss for yourself can be tricky. The most important thing is to find out what is right for you and sticking to it. Treat it as a rule and don’t deviate it from. Also, if you feel like you are playing bad before the stop loss, quit before it. That’s an incredibly important thing to remember. The rule is there to protect your bankroll and losing more but if you are already playing bad, leave the game.

I’ve created a stop loss calculator. Run through the table below, tallying up your scores. Use the key at the end to find out how many buy-ins should have as your stop loss.

PointsExperienceBankroll ManagementFormatPlaying Style Proneness to Tilt
5> 5 Years> 100 Buy-insHeads upLAGIce Cold
3Between 1 and 5 yearsBetween 50 and 100 buy-ins6 Max TAGLukewarm
1< 1 Year< 50 Buy-insFull RingNittyHeart on Sleeve

Have you added your points up? Find out what stop loss limit to employ from the table below:

ScoreStop Loss Limit
> 2010 Buy-ins
Between 15 and 208 Buy-ins
Between 6 and 146 Buy-ins
< 6 3 Buy-ins

Disclaimer

The table above is a guide to help you calculate how many buy-ins you should set for you stop loss. However, if you ticked heart on sleeve for proneness to tilt. I recommend moving down 1 in the table above. For instance, if your total was 12, move from 6 buy-ins down to 3. Your proneness to tilt is one of the biggest factors to setting a stop loss so it holds more weight than the other aspects.

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When is it Right to Move Up in Stakes?

When to Move up in Stakes

A question asked by thousands of poker player’s, judging when to move up in stakes is a skill in itself. Without context or analysis, one might think it’s right to move up when you can afford it and have a large bankroll. The question of when to move up in stakes is a little more complex than that though. There are factors to consider that should determine whether it’s correct to make the move to the level above.

Bankroll Management

First and foremost, before moving up stakes, you need to look at your bankroll and ensure you have sufficient amount to play without risk of going broke. There’s a lot of debate over what is the correct level of buy ins. I advocate 50 buy-ins for cash games. If you’re playing NL $50 (25c/50c blinds) and considering whether to move up in stakes to NL $100, you probably should have at least $5,000 in your bankroll. I don’t mean $5,000 in your savings; I mean your bankroll specific for poker. That’s an important distinction, we don’t want you playing with money saved for holidays, do we?

Some of you may read this and be shocked, playing with 5- 10 buy ins thinking you’re conservative. The truth is that there is variance, bad luck and your own poor play you have to overcome in the long run and that means having a bankroll that can sustain the swings involved.

Mentality

Players sometimes can’t handle moving up, it impacts their game and they hate being out of their comfort level. It causes them to make poor decisions, nit up or tilt easier. Does this sound like you? If you are a long-term winner at your current level with a decent win rate, perhaps it’s best to stay there.

Not everyone is destined for high stakes poker, few can get there and stay there. If you’ve had trouble in the past moving up and have a problem with the psychology, spend some time reading books on the mental side of poker and improve that aspect before moving up.

How Much are You Winning?

It’s staggering that some people don’t track their winnings efficiently. It’s critical to understanding which game is best for you, to track your profitability. Whether that’s ROI for tournaments or hourly rate for cash games. Before considering moving up, you need an accuracy and clarity on what your actual win rate is. I think that hourly rate is the best metric to go by.

Time is precious to all of us. We want to earn the most amount for as little as we can, right? If you need help tracking how well you are doing, click the banner below after reading this article.

Sample Size

If you’ve taken a shot to get to your current level, played a few thousand hands and considering moving up again, forget it. Poker results can’t be judged on 2,000 hands, 10 tournaments or 20 SNGS. Volume is what counts. Its why strong players will look at yearly results, not daily. Look at tournament players, they are playing serious volume, exercising their edge over countless tournaments to prove out their ROI. They know they are a “loser” the majority of the time but the top 3 finishes will be hundreds of times their buy in. You need a solid amount of data to rely on and interpret before taking the decision to move up in stakes.

Final Thoughts

My advice is to move up when you have sufficient information that supports your decision to move up. If you have the right mentality, a sustained win rate, lots of hands and the right bankroll, then it’s probably time to go for it.

Once you move up, make sure you give yourself a proper chance. Don’t lose a few buy ins and drop a limit with your tail between your legs. If you’re a proven winner with the right tools and dedication, there’s no reason you can’t beat the game above.

I also want to point out it’s fine to take the occasional stab at higher stakes to see the standard of play, test yourself against better players and learn.  

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Poker Excel Dashboard – Do You Have One?

Poker Excel Spreadsheets

What’s your spreadsheet skills like? Have you thought to mix poker and Excel yet? I’m a massive fan of spreadsheets, data, reporting and good record keeping so combining the two was natural for me.

The great thing about utilising spreadsheets for poker is it provides you with insights you wouldn’t have discovered. You’re the creator and can customise your tables and graphs how you wish.

Poker Excel
Template Texas Holdem Questions Data Sheet for Poker Excel Dashboard

Facts Don’t Lie

The best thing about data is that it’s factual, unbiased and truth. Fact’s don’t lie and it’s there, in your face. It forces you to confront areas you didn’t want to before because it’s easier to ignore them. Let’s say you start record keeping your cash game sessions through poker excel spreadsheets and you find out over a year that you lose money on Monday nights. This may be painful to you because you’re off on Tuesdays. You like playing in the one game available that runs at a convenient time for you.

What will you do with this information? Will you stop playing that game now or not? Spreadsheets are great in this way as it’s not anecdotal or hear say information, it will provide useful, relevant facts.

Garbage in Garbage out

If you are keen to start having a poker excel spreadsheet, there are some rules you need to adhere to, otherwise it’s a pointless activity. You may have heard the saying that reporting can be only as good as the accuracy of the data input i.e. if you put garbage in, you’ll get garbage out. Here are some basic fundamental rules if you are considering a poker excel spreadsheet.

  1. Enter data accurately
  2. Don’t get too excited or too downbeat by short-term results
  3. Don’t keep cancelling and starting again
  4. Stick with it

Texas Hold’em Questions Poker Excel Dashboard

I appreciate not everyone is an excel wizard. Perhaps you’re interested in improving your record keeping, monitoring your win rate and finding out your “niche” in poker but don’t have a knack for spreadsheets. Fortunately, we are highly proficient in excel and can help you. I use it all the time with the players I mentor. It’s a fantastic way to track performance on a regular basis. At a glance of a graph, I can tell if John Doe is winning this month, whether he’s up year on year and which game is his strongest. These insights help decision making moving forward. If this is something you potentially want, we can certainly help you. Fill in your email below and you can download a template report for free.

John Doe Report

If you’re interested in a stand-alone product of poker excel dashboard and updates or you want the updates and reporting reporting – we can help you. Just click the free quote option at the bottom of this article to find out how much it will cost.

See some snapshots below for an idea of what the dashboard and graphs can look like.

We can quickly see John started well in January and has been on a decline since. Do you track your monthly winnings efficiently and compare against previous months?

See how John wins in the morning/daytime but loses at night? If there is a lot of data and volume, he may need to consider only playing during day time. Do you monitor whether you play better during day or night?

John wins at NL $50 and $100 but a loser NL $200. At first glance, he should focus on NL $50. Do you track your performance at different stakes?

Are you interested in having a poker excel dashboard? Click below to get a free quote.

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Why is Poker Table Selection Important?

Poker Table Selection

Poker table selection is identifying the best table(s) to play. You should always carefully select the games you play. Poker is super competitive with strong players and “regs” at all stakes. You want to make things as easy as you possibly can by playing with the weakest players. In order to do this, you need to look at the games available and spend some time picking your game(s). This is not something you can easily do at your local casino but you certainly can online.

How to Table Select

Through process of elimination and filtering, you can find the most lucrative game available to you. This is easy by going through each factor of the games and filtering.

The initial steps are:

1) Open the lobby and find the game you are playing. Is it Texas Hold’em? Pot Limit Omaha or Mixed Games? Pick your best game. It’s better to be a master at one than average at several.
2) What stakes and limit are you playing and with how many players (e.g. $2 blinds, No Limit and 6 max)? Is this the most appropriate level for good bankroll management and your skill level?

Once you have identified the game, stakes and limit type you are playing, you can start looking at the tables available. There are three important stats to look at when picking which game to join.

1) Average Pot Size

The higher the pot size, the juicier the game. In cash games, you want to be involved on tables that have a lot of action not boring small pots with poker nits. Look for the higher average pot size tables as they are more likely to involve crazy players and bad LAGS.

2)Hands Per Hour

The number of hands played per hour are an indication into how quickly the game is flowing. The more hands being played, the better. Decisions are quicker and you are getting through more volume and not with regs who are time banking every decision. More hands equals more volume and less variance. This is always in the interest of the better poker players who know poker is skill.

3) Players Per Flop

This statistic shows how many players on average are seeing the flop. The higher, the better because we know weak players will play poorly post flop. They will make bad decisions, chase draws on the turn with bad odds and are not employing solid hand selection. If you join a table with lots of players at the flop, you’ll need to practice iso-raising properly. This way, you can get heads up with the weaker players.

Conclusion

Poker table selection is vital to your hourly win rate. The biggest factors are the players per flop and the average pot size. Always look at these before playing. Don’t be afraid to wait around. Sometimes you have to be patient and get on a waiting list to get your seat at the juicy table. Remember, good things come to those who wait. Don’t be impatient and jump in the next game if it means you won’t play with the fishes.

Interested in improving at cash games? Fill in the form below and we will be in touch.

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Becoming a Professional Poker Player

Professional Poker Player

A professional poker player is someone who makes their primary living from playing poker. They may do this by playing in casinos, online or both. A few decades ago, it was a taboo career to tell people you had. I remember looking at an apartment for a 6-month tenancy and telling the agent that I was a professional poker player and she was taken aback. Since the poker boom and increase in popularity through poker on TV, professional poker has been a realistic and viable way of making a very good living for some people. Not everyone is going to make millions like Phil Ivey or Daniel Negreanu but there are many happy to turn over much better earnings than a job would afford them.

Whilst becoming a professional poker playing may be a dream for many, there are some serious considerations before taking the plunge. My goal with this article is not to encourage or dissuade anyone from becoming a professional poker player. This article is only designed to give you pause for thought and ensure you are taking all aspects into consideration before making such a grand decision.

How Much Do You Expect To Earn?

Sometimes a decent player with a year or so of consistent winning thinks he has enough to become a professional poker player. You need a lot of data and many months of consistent earnings in order to estimate what you can reasonably expect to earn as a living. The other thing is how much have you played to draw the conclusion? It’s one thing playing once a week for 10 hours and it’s another playing 50 hours.

Take 20% off what you realistically think you can make per month/year from poker. Is this figure an amount you are happy with?

What Are Your Monthly Life/Operating Costs?

You should already have a budget of your monthly outgoings, if you don’t, then draw one up. Look at the standing orders, direct debits and make prudent estimates for costs like shopping and fuel.

Once you know what your monthly costs, add 10% on for unforeseen items like car breakdown.

Now you know the minimum need to bring in every month to pay for your expenses. You can reconcile this with what you expect to earn each month and see if going professional is a no go already.

How Mentally Tough Are You?

You may be a winning player but how do you handle a bad run or adversity? Do your crumble under pressure or on a losing run? Have you experienced a bad a run and came through it? It’s no good being a strong player but going on tilt easily and throwing away your winnings. Being mentally tough is a must for a professional poker player.

A professional poker player knows they will have bad sessions, days and weeks.

They are focused on the long run and know a bad session will happen.

What Does Your Family & Friends Think?

Going professional is a huge decision and whilst some player’s do it irrespective of what others think, its always a good idea to get feedback from your loved ones. If they think it’s a solid decision for you and give you support, it will make the transition easier and help you down the line, if you have a bad run.

Have a chat with your friends and family and take on board their input before making a decision.

They will want what is best for you so it’s worth hearing what they have to say, even if they have little technical understanding of poker.

What is Your Contingency Plan?

You need to have a safety net, a back up plan if it all goes wrong or you change your mind. Think of this in advance and have one in place. Will you back to your old job? Will you look for something else or do you have a side income that you can monetise better?

If you plan on going professional, have a contingency plan in place so you are not completely lost if it goes bad.

Can You Motivate Yourself?

When you are self-employed, no set hours and no boss, self-motivation is very important. You need to balance your work with life. Common mistakes are doing too much work but not at your best, or not doing enough and struggling to motivate yourself. Having a routine and sticking to it is a good idea, but don’t feel obligated to stick to it if you are playing poorly or distracted.

The worst thing you can do is play for the sake of it.

Final Thoughts on Becoming a Professional Poker Player

Becoming a professional poker player is a massive decision, not to be taken lightly. There are very few long-term winners that have the other skills required to be professional. You need support, a plan, a budget, mental toughness, a love of the game and the ability to motivate yourself to pull it off.

If you meet all these criteria, then becoming a professional poker player may be for you. If not, don’t worry! You can still earn lots from poker and have fun at the same time.

Thinking of going professional and want some independent advice? We would be happy to have a Skype call or email consultation to help. Fill in below and we will be in touch.

Poker Support

“Calculator and Money” by Images_of_Money is licensed under CC BY 2.0

What is Rakeback?

Introduction to Rakeback

Firstly, let’s look at rake. You know how the gambling sites make their money right? The rake is charged on pots in cash games or on top of a buy in an MTT. Every pot or tournament played by an individual contributes to the site’s revenue in the form of rake. You play a $10 tournament and they will probably charge $1, win a cash game pot and they will take a percentage too. Rakeback is kickback from the website to you as an incentive to play more. It is essentially commission paid back to the player.There are two main forms which we will cover here.

Contributed Rakeback

The player’s rakeback is proportional to the pots they are involved in. For instance, if you are involved in a pot that is $25 and the rake is $2, you will receive a percent of this back in form of contributed rakeback. The percentage is dependent on the agreement but often around 25% so you will receive $0.50 for that pot.

Dealt Rakeback

This is where the rakeback from a pot is split evenly by those on the table. For instance, a pot of $25 on a 9 handed table, the rake of $2 with 25% agreement is split between the players, entitling you to approx. $0.22c. The scheme is more beneficial for the tighter player as it rewards you whether or not you are directly involved in the pot. Remember, nit poker is losing poker in 2021. It’s more profitable to adopt a solid TAG or LAG strategy these days.

Who is Rakeback for?

Anyone can sign up for it. Players who put in lots of volume and play regularly will gain the most. It can turn a break even player into a winning one, and a losing player into a break even one with sufficient volume. It also makes a winner, a much bigger winner. In short, it is free money and every poker player should be involved in a scheme.  There are millions of players playing that are turning down free money.

rakeback

Do You Play Turbo SNGs?

If you’re playing lots of turbo sngs you absolutely need to get on a rakeback scheme. There are lots of sites out there that offer good deals. Turbo SNGs are notorious for high rake so signing up to a rakeback deal will mitigate this and help your ROI. It’s also worth pointing out that there are players around the world that are playing thousands of turbo sngs on rakeback deals. They don’t need to play high or even medium stakes due to the currency conversion.

Conclusion

Now you know, sign up for it. It’s an essential to any and all poker players. Whether you are playing recreationally or professionally, you want to make money from poker and rakeback is way of contributing to this, for free. If you are making full use of your poker tracking software and employing bankroll management, you’ll find yourself moving up stakes in no time with the addition of a rakeback scheme.


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