Poker Myths and Facts
THE WEEKLY SHUFFLE, 2013-09-22, by TwoGunMyth: All good poker players go bust at one point or another.
Fact: Unless you started with a small bankroll, a winning player should avoid going bust. As long as you are playing in +EV games, you should gradually make money playing poker, with some violent swings from time to time. If you go bust and are a net winner, it means you are playing above what your bankroll can sustain.
Myth: Poker is returning to America soon, and it will just be like it was in 2005.
Fact Poker will return to certain states in the US, currently just Nevada and New Jersey. It is likely other sites will follow suit, particularly California. If a few big populous states allow for online poker (i.e. California), then it will seem like poker is back in the United States. However, that is only half the story. The states will need to agree to interstate compacts to share liquidity...i.e. allow players in different states to compete against each other. It's also unclear and unlikely they will allow US players to compete against non-US players at the major poker sites.
Myth: If I become a good enough, I will become a sponsored pro.
Fact The whole sponsored pro movement is a marketing gimmick that gold old. Part of the reason Full Tilt Poker went broke was because they threw too much money at anyone willing to wear their logo at the WSOP, and needless to say other sites won't make that mistake.
PokerStars is the main site that still uses the sponsored pro technique, but they likely aren't going to choose someone to be on their team unless it helps them target a different demographic (for example, if you live in a country where they don't have a current team member and they want to target). Most of the other sites aren't looking at poker pros to be their spokesmen as they are more focused on attracting casual players. For example, 888 Poker trumpets out UFC fighter Georges St. Pierre on their website.
If you do well, you may convince some people to back you in tournaments, but that's generally the main social/fiscal benefit of being known as a good player.
Myth: To be better at poker, I need to play high stakes against other players.
Fact This technique is a good way to just rationalize playing above your bankroll or for losing money. If you want to be better, first review your play and keep track of your wins and losses. Join our forum and ask other players if you should play a hand differently. If you want a high-stakes player's advice on how to play, hire a poker tutor or join a poker training website. Don't just spew chips at a high stakes table.
Myth: Online (or live) is always more profitable.
Fact It depends. With live poker, you are limited to the number of hands you play per hour since you can only play one table at a time. However, most of the time, the bad players tend to play live poker more than online poker. Furthermore, since good online players play multiple tables online but can't do that live, live poker is just naturally more fish-filled than online poker.
Does this mean live poker is more profitable? Not necessarily, one's edge should be higher at live poker, but you can get far more volume at online compared to live. Let's say you are a no-limit player and can earn 2 blinds per 30 hands at $2-$5 no-limit live poker. That basically means you can win $10/hour playing live since you may on average you play about 30 hands per hour.
However, let's say you can only win .50 blinds per 30 hands online at $2-$5 no-limit, about 75% less of an edge than live poker. However, you may be able to play 60 hands per hour per table online. If you play 4 tables at once, you'd be earning $20 ($5*.5*2*4) per hour. With live, you get edge. With online, you get volume.
The Weekly Shuffle is our Sunday column with our observations and commentary on the poker world. Have an idea for an article? Leave a suggestion on the feedback page.
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