I played mostly Texas Holdem No Limit Tournaments for years at the Casino’s and home games. I didn’t play that much in Cash Games. I was doing pretty well in tournaments, often making the final table, and sometimes in the money. I was very comfortable playing tournaments, not so much when it came to cash games. Cash Games about I had the wrong mindset or attitude. Here’s what happened to change my mindset, my attitude, and eventually my Cash Game play.
I mostly played small buy-in tournaments, somewhere around $ 30 to $ 60 buy-ins, at a local casino. These were held every day, and I played Judi Poker QQ several weeks. I was doing pretty well. On the days I got knocked out of the tournament early and still felt like playing poker, I’d move to a cash table, with a $ 1/2 no limit for a maximum buy-in of $ 300. There were mostly “regulars” playing, and I got to know most of them. The Cash Games I Didn’t Do Very Well, and Why I Didn’t. I’m not a bad player, but I could figure out what was wrong with my Cash Game. The poker chips just wouldn’t come my way. This is the pot I kept getting out of. What I thought was a very strong hand, not the absolute nuts, but a good hand, maybe the best hand. I’d make my bet accordingly, say $ 35 to $ 50, and then someone would raise me $ 150 or $ 200 and I’d fold.
I didn’t really know it, but I did what you’d call “scared money.” I had trouble risking $ 150- $ 200 on a hand that wasn’t perfect nuts. This is probably one of the best hand-wringing that I have ever had. Doyle Brunson made a comment one time, to the effect that in order to be an expert at the poker tables, you have to have a “certain disregard” for the value of money. I thought I had that. Well, I didn’t. When it came time to put on the big chips in the pot of winning, I was concerned about the money. It was almost subconscious. What I didn’t know was “scared money”.
One of the regulars I played with was a very loose, aggressive, crazy gambling guy. His bankroll is fluctuated like crazy. Some days winning several hundred dollars, other days losing a thousand or more. But he said something one day that really stuck with me. When someone commented on his loose, aggressive gambling style, he said, “I don’t give a hoot about the money. It means nothing at all. I figure if I lose it all, I’ll just go make some more.” don’t care “. He was serious and he meant it. At first I thought, “Man, this is a pretty flippant attitude towards hard earned cash”.
On the way home, I thought about what he’d said. While I don’t want to play as loose and crazy as he does, maybe I need a little bit of his attitude about money. Cash Poker, which is why I was doing it so clearly. Maybe I AM “scared money”, and if you’ve ever played the most cash poker, you probably know what I mean. Scared money does not win poker chips. I decided right then and there, that if I was going to play Cash Poker, I would definitely have the risk of being prepared for several hundred dollars on a single hand or single card. If I’m not totally ready for the poker table, I better stick to tournaments.
By keeping this in mind, I started to “gamble” more in the cash games. Instead of folding a $ 150 bet, I really thought I might have the best hand, I’d raise another $ 150 or more. Not when I was completely unsure of where I stood, but the times I felt right about my actions. I’m not going to let the “value of money” affect my play. I was going to play my best poker game, and risk taking it to the best I could, regardless of the loss of money. No more “scared money” play for me.
Over time this small change in attitude, my mindset, made all the difference. I soon found my opponents folding my re-raises. I was winning big pots, my plays got more respect, and it turned my entire cash game around. I had some great losses a few days, but overall, it improved my cash game quite a bit. I had been playing “scared money” and didn’t even know it was time. Cash Poker takes a different mindset than Tournament Poker, and I finally figured out what it was for me. If I bust my daily poker bankroll, I’ll just go earn some more.