Online Game Selection
Do you know where to find the world’s greatest
selection of poker games?
Before you respond, remember that your answer is crucial to your success in poker. As almost every poker book attempts to drill into your head, astute game selection is the single most important decision you’ll make on a daily basis if you want to win.
While you don’t have to be one of the best players in the world to win consistently, you do have to be a favorite in the games you choose.
It’s really quite simple: Whenever you play better than most other folks at the table, you have an edge that translates into long-term profits; whenever most of them play better than you, you’re an underdog destined to write results in red.
That’s pretty straightforward, and it’s really just common sense. You may even find it silly to be reminded. After all, you probably set out for the cardroom or casino with
the best of intentions, determined to practice ultimate wisdom in game selection. Knowing beforehand the game and limits you want, you have only to find an appropriate table full of loose, clueless, happy-go-lucky players and take a seat. Right?
Well, that’s how it would work in that ideal poker universe described in the books. The problem is that brick and mortar reality falls short of that ideal—often way too short.
What if there’s only one game of the type and limits you want, but it’s full of tough, crafty players? Or what if you’ve spied a perfect game full of fish and chips but the waiting list snakes into two full columns and halfway down a third? If you’re willing to wait out the gauntlet of listings, you may eventually get to the game, only to discover to your dismay that it’s now full of grumpy rocks and that all the fish have departed.
What to do? What to do? In an ideal poker universe, you reject such games. Despite the inconvenience and disappointment, you just say, “No.” You came to play, but you shun temptation and head for home or go in search of a better game. You mumble to yourself as you depart, reciting your little poker school mantra: “Never mind that I came to play; game selection rules the day.”
Nonsense. In reality, you often succumb to the urge to play. You take a seat—any seat—putting thoughts of good game selection on a back burner. Given a choice between bad game and no game, you grit your teeth and join the bad game. Then you rationalize your bad decision. You tried to practice good game selection just as you were taught, but it just didn’t work out this time, you tell yourself. You wanted to play, and this was the only game available, so you had no choice.
Oh, but you did. You could have played Internet poker in cyberspace, the world’s largest poker room. Internet poker is an alternative but very real poker universe offering the greatest selection of games available anywhere. What’s more, you can play online anytime of day or night from the privacy of your own home or office, or on your laptop computer from a hotel room providing Internet access.
From play-money games for learning the ropes; to micro-limit games for pennies that brick and mortar casinos can’t afford to spread; to fixed-limit games suiting bankrolls of all sizes; to abundant pot-limit and no-limit games; to tournaments ranging from freerolls for frequent players to high buy-in events and their satellites; to qualifiers for major brick and mortar and cruise ship tournies—you’ll find them all online, and for all the most popular casino poker games plus a number of others. You’ll even find games rarely spread on physical felt, like five-card draw.
Don’t like your Internet game? No problem. Just click and jump into another. Want to play more than one game at a time? You can do that too. All you need is a computer and access to the Internet. Once equipped, simply set up an account at one or more online cardrooms, and your game selection worries are over forever.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year, there’s a veritable smorgasbord of choices awaiting the most disciplined, consistently winning players—the ones who always make excellent game selection their top priority. Think about it.
This article originally appeared in Woman Poker Player Magazine print publication.