When I started playing poker several years ago, I never would have thought that the game I loved to play would help me in by business career. Yet, I believe the skills that bring you success at the poker table can also bring you success in the board room!

The top 7 things I learned about business from poker are:

  1. Table selection is key!
  2. Bluffing
  3. Bankroll management
  4. Game strategy
  5. Continual learning
  6. Have fun
  7. People skills

1. Table selection is key: Table selection is extremely important to a poker player and can make the difference between a winning and losing session. Similarly, in business plunging head first into the first opportunity you see can lead to wasted time, effort and money. Select your opportunities wisely.

2. Bluffing: Bluffing is absolutely required in order to be successful in poker. However, it can be one of the most difficult skills to master. In order to bluff, you must “act” strong when you have a weak hand and vice versa. This is usually accomplished through betting chips and managing your “tells”. In business, there are also times when you want to act strong when you are weak and act weak when you are strong.

3. Bankroll management: If you don’t manage your bankroll properly a bad run of cards could wipe you out. Thus, in poker, you must choose to play at limits that minimize your risk of going bankrupt. Similarly, businesses must manage their cash flow if they are to survive. You’ve all heard the saying: “Cash is king”.

4. Game strategy: All successful poker players are adept at applying important strategical concepts in their poker games. Knowing which hands to play and which to fold, stealing the blinds, slow-playing, bluffing – these are strategies poker players use to win money. Businesses must decide which markets to pursue, which products to sell, how to effectively market their services, etc.

5. Continual learning: The best of the best work hard on their poker games. They study thousands of hand histories (in the case of online players) to see where they went wrong. They keep up to date on the latest poker strategy books and the latest software such as SNG Wizard. Continual learning is also essential in business in order to respond to changing market conditions, implement the latest business strategies and products.

6. Have fun! I find poker to be relaxing and fun. There’s nothing like the thrill of taking down a huge pot in an all-in confrontation or making a huge semi-bluff on the turn. One of the main rewards of entrepreneurship is that it’s enjoyable – even if it’s a lot of work. In both business and poker, it’s a lot easier to be successful when you have fun and enjoy the game.

7. People skills: Reading your opponent’s “tells” isn’t the be all, end all of poker, but it should not be discounted either. Reading your opponents and projecting an image during a hand can make the difference between winning and losing. Likewise, people skills are extremely important to business people and entrepreneurs. The most successful business people are effective at managing, understanding and relating to their coworkers and employees.

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Sit n Go tournaments (SNGs) have become very popular over the years and are somewhat different than cash games. The field of players is small and the payouts are fixed. The blinds become large (relative to the players stack sizes) very quickly.

Believe it or not, the decision making is much more simple than in other forms of poker. Particularly in the end game of a SNG where the decision on whether or not to play a hand boils down to: “Should I push all-in or should I fold?”Many of these decisions can be expressed acurately with mathematics… Sounds easy right? I know all of you are mathematical geniuses! Yeah right!

Well that is where software like SNGWiz comes into play. SNGWiz can help teach you when to push and when to fold. It will teach you about the factors that should influence your play like: the stack sizes, the number of opponents and the opponents calling ranges.

In my opinion, a program like SNGWiz is an absolute necessity for anyone who plays SNGs on a regular basis. The decisions you will face as a SNG player are complex and not always obvious or intuitive. SNGWiz can quantify each decision you make mathematically to determine whether or not it was the right one. I just want to repeat that this tool is absolutely invaluable to the SNG player.

Here’s how it works:

You can provide hand examples that are entered manually or you can feed in an entire SNG hand history. Then you assign opponent hand ranges and SNGWiz will determine the correct decision (push / fold) based on your inputs. This feature is valuable for reviewing your hand histories to see where you went wrong after the fact.

You can also operate SNGWiz in a quiz mode. You can specify stack sizes and blind ranges and the program will generate many scenarios for you to evaluate. You make a decision to push or fold in each situation and the program tells you immediately whether you were right or wrong. This kind of instantaneous feed back is incredibly valuable and really helps to shorten the learning curve.

Although the software is not free, it comes with a free 30 day trial so you can try it out to see if you like it. Although the program isn’t a “magic bullet”, it can really help improve your play around the bubble (when you’re getting close to being in the money), which is absolutely the most important aspect of SNG play.

You  can pick up a FREE trial copy of SNG Wiz here.

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There are small bankrolls, there are no bankrolls, and then there are nano-bankrolls. The nano-bankrolls might be the most difficult to deal with because you’re in a position where whatever you decide to play is a chance at ruin. But that shouldn’t keep you from taking a shot at building your bankroll. And if you choose the right games and get a little lucky, you can build your bankroll pretty quickly.

If you’re working with only a couple of dollars take a chance on the Double or Nothing Strategy Guide. You can play $1 DoNs and, if you make the money, you’re up to $2. Not a huge payday, but it’s still putting you on the path to building your bankroll. It will take some time, but once you build up your roll a little bit you can start playing the $3 DoNs, and eventually the $5 tournies (which will eventually become your bread and butter).

All it takes is starting out on the right foot. Playing a DoNs can be a great way to build your bankroll with low variance (low risk) if you use the correct Double or Nothing Strategy.

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It’s a little after midnight after what has been another busy day. With all there is to do during an average day it can be difficult finding the time to play poker. And if you’re trying to build your poker bankroll playing Hold Em cash games, the variance and rake taken by online poker sites is going to make your goal even tougher.

Though there are other games online that offer a better opportunity for your online poker money, there are still a lot of players who are going to want to spend their short poker time playing Hold Em. It’s understandable, because it’s the game most players know best. But if you’re stuck for time, you should really consider playing Double or Nothing Sit & Gos. The structure of these one table tournaments is perfect for the poker player trying to build their bankroll but is stuck trying to find the time to earn a good hourly rate playing Double or Nothing Sit and Go’s. It’s much easier to play multiple tournaments when playing DoN tournaments, and most are over in 45 minutes or less; perfect for the poker player with little time.

Even better, DoNs are often made up of terrible players who haven’t or don’t know how to change their strategy in order to be successful. Many players enter the tournaments with the frame of mind that the proper strategy is similar to cash games or regular Sit & Gos. For the players who properly adjust to the game, DoNs are the perfect bankroll builder.

If you’re short on time to play online poker consider DoNs. The ability to multitable and the short length of the tournaments makes it perfect for the low limit poker player trying to build their bankroll.

*****
If you want to learn proper strategy, check out the Double or Nothing Strategy Guide.

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I have some ideas of what I want to do next, but I was wondering what you are looking for. I will eventually get to all of these, but I’m not sure what to do first. So please take a minute to make a selection. Thanks for your help!

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Low limit poker players who love to play multitable tournaments online are often stuck with the disadvantage of playing huge fields of players. These fields usually leads to tournaments lasting 7 or 8 hours, and the need to build a large stack early if you want to have a chance at making one of the top prizes. though a win at one of these tournaments will certainly bolster your bankroll, you often have to get very lucky to take down one of these tournaments.

There are multitable tournaments, however, that you can play with limited fields that increase your chances of winning top prize. The 180-man tournaments are a great bankroll builder for low limit players because the size of the field is much smaller than your normal MTT. In addition, these tournaments are constantly running (and they fill up fast), so you can multitable these tournaments much more effectively and raise your hourly rate quite easily. Finally, because the number of players is capped, 180-man tournaments are finished much quicker than your standard MTT.

So if you love playing MTTs and you’re trying to build your bankroll, consider playing the 180-man tournaments. The capped amount of players plus the ability to multitable more effectively make it the best bet for your bankroll building dollars.

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I believe the best opportunity for low limit players trying to build their bankroll is Sit & Go tournaments. If you learn proper strategy, the return on investment is enough that low limit players can beat the rake and move up to higher stakes poker quickly.

But while regular SnGs are good for bankroll building, many poker sites have recently started offering a structure that is especially favorable to low limit players. The new structure is Turbo Double or Nothing SnGs, and they offer many advantages to low limit players:

  • Lower rake
    The rake charged for Turbo DoNs is much lower than the rake taken at regular SnGs (starting at the $5 buyin level). The lower rake makes is much easier on a low limit player’s bankroll.
  • Weaker Opponents
    Since DoNs are new, most players have not yet made proper strategy adjustments to be successful at the game. Though they know that playing tighter increases their chances of success, your opponents will still overvalue moderate hands. If you know proper strategy, you will have a major advantage over most of your opponents, particularly at lower stakes.
  • Volume
    Since you’re playing far fewer hands then you would in a normal SnG or cash game, multitabling is much easier. Because you can play more tables your hourly rate is higher than with regular SnG tournaments.

DoNs are an easy, low variance game that low limit players should take advantage of when trying to build their bankroll. But it is imperative that you learn proper strategy before attempting to play multiple tables at once.

If you are interested in learning proper strategy, check out the book <a href=”http://onlinepokerbankrollbuilder.com/the-online-poker-bankroll-builder”>The Online Poker Bankroll Builder: Double or Nothing Sit & Go Strategy to Crush the Competition</a>.

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Of all the sections of the Best Online Poker Bankroll Builders Series, I’m writing this post with the most caution. I understand the thrill and excitement of playing No Limit and Pot Limit cash games, but I also know the risks of playing these games. One mistake and your entire buyin, and possibly your entire bankroll, is gone. But there are many players who want to play No Limit or Pot Limit games, so I’m going to give my suggestion for the best game for a low limit bankroll.

As mentioned in the Limit Poker post, Hold Em is the most popular poker variant, with No Limit Hold Em being particularly popular. But the same problems persist in that the average Hold Em player is better educated than the average player in most other poker variants. Because the average player is better at Hold Em, I suggest playing a different game that has a lot of action and a pool of players that are worse on average: Pot Limit Omaha.

I suggest Pot Limit Omaha with some caveats, however. While the average player in PLO is worse than in Hold Em, there are some wide swings with PLO. The game has higher variance than Hold Em, meaning you have to ensure you are using strict bankroll management. Finally, the game can be a little more difficult to learn for some players, as there are many more cards in play and concepts you need to understand in order to be successful.

With that being said I believe the poor play by many PLO players makes the game a decent bankroll builder for low stakes players who want to play No Limit or Pot Limit poker. However, I think overall there are better games where low limit players should be investing their money.

To learn more about Pot Limit Omaha, check out the articles at playwinningpoker.com.

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Best Online Poker Bankroll Builders: Limit Poker

January 6, 2009

I remember going to Atlantic City one time and jumping in a Omaha H/L, Stud H/L split game. During one of the Omaha hands a player next to me said, “You know, this game is going to be bigger than Hold Em in the next couple of years.” I laughed a little and thought he […]

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Best Online Poker Bankroll Builders Series: An Introduction

January 5, 2009

New and low limit poker players almost always gravitate toward Texas Hold Em when they start to play poker. This is hardly a surprise as Hold Em has been the most popular poker variant for years, particularly after the exposure of the WPT, WSOP, and the dozens of poker shows that sprung up. But Hold […]

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