This may seem a strange question to ask but I honestly believe that many people that play poker are ultimately not suited to playing the game professionally. There can be a multitude of reasons for that and one such reason is that to play professionally means playing for at least 40 hours per week. To do so means that you need to have the discipline to ride losing periods and to play through periods when you don’t feel great. This is difficult to do and it is far better to play part-time than full time.
At least if you play part-time then you can pick and choose your points of confrontation. Remember the old saying about “it is the hunter that chooses the battleground and not the prey”. If you play full time then you start to lose some of that choice because you have to play poker every single day. I would never recommend to anyone to play poker full time for a living as it has far too many complications. Also if you don’t have the playing experience then how can you be totally sure that you can stick to your style and not tilt or go off on some wacky illogical bluff?
If you are no longer in the right frame of mind then you need to immediately log off. However you can ride this inaction as a part time player more than you can when you play full time. If you only play 15 hours per week then you can pick and choose the best 15 hours so that they are quality hours. However when you play or have to play 50 hours per week then many of those hours may involve you not playing your best game.
If you would struggle to play the game efficiently if you played it full time then you have flaws that are showing themselves within a poker environment. In fact if you cannot play for 40-50 hours per week without it causing some sort of problem then you have poker related problems with your personality. Likewise if you have discipline problems then certain forms of poker may not be conducive to you. If you are not a natural poker player then tournament poker may be more your thing. As soon as the blinds start to escalate then your stack rapidly drops below 100bb and so any error that you make will not be a large one.
However the bottom line is that in tournament poker then you have to win all of the chips in play anyway at some stage and so aggression is justified more than it is in cash games. If you are undisciplined in cash games then you will be punished, maybe not straight away but you will be eventually. In fact six max play may not suit you either and if you play too deep then a big mistake could cost you in cash games.
So you need to develop your own poker system that is designed around you and no one else. Once you can do that then you are well on your way to making money. Remember that you don’t need to be a great poker player to be able to make money. If you can be a solid poker player then you can do very well simply by playing solidly and not making big mistakes. To be able to do that takes some practice and probably means that you have to break into areas like pot control more.
This is where the dynamic changes when additional money is placed into the equation. If you are playing for sign up bonuses and rakeback then this extra money should in theory take the pressure off you. It would be almost like somebody paying for you to enter a poker tournament. In that instance then the dynamic of the tournament totally alters.
If I were to give you $1000 to enter a poker tournament and that tournament had a minimum cash of $1000 for coming say 120th then getting a minimum cash would be massive for you. In essence then your return on investment has been infinite as you have turned $0 into $1000. That is more than a pro that used say $1000 of their own money and then cashed for $10,000. Their ROI has a factor of x10 while yours is infinite
This is similar to cash games with rakeback and sign up bonuses because this is money that you don’t have to earn by playing on the tables. Just like the tournament player with the free buy in that didn’t have to play to win to cash big, you can now take your foot off the gas and not bother pressing during the games. This is when online poker becomes a lot easier to play.