The profitable player who’s a guppy at life!

Burnt out, depressed, over eating and poor diet habits, relationship/marital problems, lack of exercise, no goals, poor financial literacy and poor bankroll management are just a few of the treacherous pitfalls I have seen bring some of the most skilled players to their knees.

This entry will examine some of the most common pitfalls I have seen many profitable players fall into: gambling, poor bankroll management, unsupported by spouse or partner and poor goal setting or no goals at all.

If you like to gamble then I would not recommend poker as a profession for you.You will be tempted to gamble in situations where you should be using math and logical rationale to make tough decisions. I know several people who are excellent poker players and yet always broke. These guys engage in sports betting, bet the ponies, play black jack and craps, anything they can place a wager on. Unfortunately I watch them gamble their bankroll away until there’s almost nothing left, sometimes they gamble it all away.

To piggy back off of gambling, there is a struggle for many players to manage their bankrolls appropriately. It is important to have a separate bankroll for poker that you only use for poker. I recommend keeping 3-9 months worth of personal expenses budgeted and separate from your roll. In the past I paid myself $22 per hour out of my bankroll no matter how I was performing at the tables. This allowed me to focus on putting in hours and detach myself from the swings. Currently my expenses are much lower so I no longer do this.

If you’re married or have a partner, it is very important for your partner to be supportive. If you don’t have their support it will make your journey to be a professional that much more difficult. This goes for any business you wish to pursue. A majority of successful entrepreneurs and business owners all share this trait. Poker can be stressful enough, a negative and non-supportive partner or unhealthy relationship will only sabotage any chance at personal growth.

You must treat your poker career like a business. Setting goals and or themes and adhering to them will increase your chances of being successful. I set goals on how many hours of study and play I plan to do each month as well as how many tournaments I plan to enter each year. It is important to have daily, monthly and yearly goals. I use my excel sheet to record these goals.

Every successful poker player I know is making their money work for them away from the table. It’s important to be financially literate. It is not a necessity to have multiple streams of income and low expenses but it definitely makes the game much less stressful and more enjoyable.

No matter your vice, it’s important to consistently improve. Don’t just work on your game, work on improving all aspects of your life. Don’t be the shark at the table who’s a fish at life.

Next week we will examine goal and theme setting.

Goals will be shown on site and tracked.