Money Poker Or Fun Poker

Fun PokerFun poker can be defined as any poker played simply to pass the time and enjoy a bit of entertainment. The money brought to the table at a fun game should be assumed to be disposable. This is not to say that all players at the table are there for fun. It’s likely one will run into both fun and money players at any given table.A fun player lacks any long-term view of their bankroll. For that reason they must assume they will lose all the money brought to the table. It doesn’t mean it will happen in one sitting but that long-term this player’s overall bankroll will be in continual decline. In other words there will be lots of ups and downs, but the net long term result will be that such a player is gradually (or maybe not so gradually!) losing money. With this in mind, the fun player must come to the table only with completely disposable money.In this sense playing poker is no different than going to a restaurant or paying the entrance to a theme park. If you’re playing for fun you may have no money at the end of the evening, but you enjoyed yourself and in no way feel at a loss. If you’re not actively keeping track of your bankroll over time, you’re definitely playing for fun. It may not feel that way because it’s human nature to remember one’s wins much more vividly than one’s losses. That’s why maintaining objectivity with thorough record-keeping is so important to the true money player.This is something that a money player needs to understand. The fun player will make what seem to be irrational decisions. Rather than focusing on long-term gain, such a player’s action may well veer towards making the current game more interesting. Such decisions are often hard to read. Irrational play is nonetheless a losing proposition over the long haul. Money players know this, and while they may lose on one night, they’ll make up for it on another.
LaGrange who plays every Friday for a $50 buy-in holds T♠ J♠ to a flop of Q♣ Q♠ 7♣. Harmon, with A♣ Q♦ checks to LaGrange who also checks. The turn comes 8♦. Harmon thinks LaGrange may be holding a queen and suspects a check would just be checked back. So Harmon puts in a pot size bet. LaGrange should be thinking, “These are terrible odds to make my straight draw”, but instead he is thinking, “Oh, it’d be so awesome to suck out and take this guy’s money!” LaGrange calls.
Another aspect of poker that players who play for fun under-emphasize is profiling the other players. Casual players may catch a good read every so often, but they likely aren’t doing the kind of profiling needed to truly understand how the others tick. Simple things like knowing the opponent types make a significant impact on one’s ability to extract money from the other players at the table. As play progresses to higher levels a deep understanding of other players will make the difference between success and failure.Even with proper bankroll management, a good understanding of the game, rational decisions, and full profiling of other players it is a very difficult game with which to make money. For many fun players this just eliminates the fun aspect. A few dollars lost every other night is no problem for them: They may be emotional about it, but they go home afterwards without any worries.Money PokerMoney players can be either professionals or hobbyists. The distinction is only that the professional makes a living playing poker whereas the hobbyist does it on the side for a bit of extra income. There are no significant changes in style of play between these two groups other than that, on average, the professionals simply having more experience.Playing for money puts one in a position of stress. It is work and requires a dedicated effort to keep a positive trend in the account. First off, recognize that it’s only the trend that is positive. Values on a day-to-day basis will be up and down. A serious player will recognize how their game style influences this swing and will be able to adjust their style accordingly.While a fun player may be volatile and openly emotional, a money player needs to keep control of their emotions. Vitally a serious player must prevent themselves from tilt: if one bad beat leads to further bad decisions the player knows it is time to take a break. Players on tilt are easy to exploit.Probability is necessarily a component of playing poker well. Any player afraid of doing some work with numbers will find themselves at a disadvantage. While reads and instinct can make a player very good, there will inevitably be situations where a player simply needs to calculate some raw odds in order to make a decision.Finally, poker is a game of patience. Fun players want action all the time and it will ultimately be their downfall. Since one has no influence over the cards themselves, a successful player will find themselves tossing a lot of hands waiting for just the right moment to make a move. Not being in a hand doesn’t mean not playing however: Sitting out gives an opportunity to watch the other players and learn from them. When a money player does get their hand, they’ll know what to expect from that table.
Rachel has been dealt junk for the past 20 hands, a terrible but not unlikely dry stretch. She’s tried to limp a few times for no other reason than not to appear too tight. Otherwise she’s been watching the action. Miguel has played almost every hand. Randy has almost always folded on the flop. Enrico has only played three times, but all three with steady calls to the showdown — where he lost. Nina has no obvious traits but has nearly doubled her stack! That leaves Omar and Archie, both with no action, no limps even; both comfortable with their tight image.
DecideIn the terms themselves is the key difference: money or fun. Money players are working and fun players are on a break having a good time. For many players the stress of poker being a job is simply too much. It’s crucial to know how seriously you want to take your poker playing. Without making this decision consciously, your personal finances can be put in grave danger. Deciding to play for fun is a totally acceptable decision and it doesn’t mean you can’t develop your skills in many aspects of the game. It just means you’re likely not going to make money consistently in a truly competitive environment. Regardless of whether you’ve chosen to treat poker as a job or whether you’re playing for enjoyment, there’s no doubt that you can always learn a few new tricks to increase your enjoyment and understanding of the game. A stale game is a money loser and simply not fun.