Poker, much like any competitive endeavor, is a place where choosing your battles will frequently give you the best advantages. While playing winning hands is the goal of any poker player, some winning hands are simply worth more. Some are also easier to obtain. These two factors are the primary elements that are going to come into play for those who want to win consistently and maybe even turn a profit when they play poker: ease of winning and size of those wins. When you begin to see the more complex aspects of playing to win on a regular basis, it becomes easier to do so. The complex decisions are due to the fact that simply because a pot is large does not make it the obvious choice. You need to consider the competition because the likelihood of winning is just as important as the amount that you stand to win. A big pot that goes to another player costs you money and does you zero good. This is not where you want to be when you play for wins.
The first thing that is important is to do a realistic assessment of yourself as a player. Where is your skill level at? How well do you know your strategies? How far are you willing to go to fund your bets and raises at a table where the stakes are likely to get high? As in many other things in life, self knowledge is what leads to better decisions and if you want to win at poker then decision making ability is going to be what you must focus on. It is important to think rationally and clearly, choosing the games that are likely to be places where you can win. Even having deep pockets and a big, fat bankroll will only get you so far because if you hit a losing streak and don’t have the discipline to pull out then you stand to lose that money. Choose carefully every time and you avoid taking on risks that are simply unwise.
Stack size is often touted as a measure of power in poker and while a lot of players may not like to hear that, it is definitely true. The fact is, a large stack can wield a great amount of power at the table simply because those playing with a short stack are not likely to risk everything they have in one fell swoop – and wisely so. This means they may just end up folding when they could have raised or called. Yes, small stacks can peck away at larger stacks, but this takes a great deal of skill to do so you need to know, realistically, whether you are up to that challenge before you begin trying to win bigger pots with smaller stacks.
Making our money work hard for us is key. Those players looking at a game which has a lot of players who have relatively small budgets need to consider whether they are going to be bringing in an amount of cash or chips that is comparable with those at the table or whether they have the skills to wield the biggest amount of chips at that table. Those who are confident in their abilities can profit from clearing out the competition at a low stakes table, but this means they are going to be the prime target of bluffers who want them to build up the pot so that they can take it and profit.
Stay aware and you can refine your skills at choosing pots wisely.