Moving Up In Limits - Don't Get Caught In The Rakeback Or MultiTable Trap

By: Tom Kearns

As poker players we have a lot of different goals when we play poker. Some of us play strictly for the fun of it. These players' goal when they sit down at a poker table is to have a good time and share some laughs with their friends. They may have a couple of beers and a cigar and be completely happy if they walk away losing a few bucks. That's OK as long as that's the reason you play poker. Some of us play for money. These players' sole purpose for playing the game of poker is to turn a profit. In reality most of us are some sort of combination of the two.

If you do play the game for money and seek to make some or all of your income from poker, you should be looking to move up in limits and play in the bigger games. Bigger games mean bigger money right? Unfortunately you generally find tougher competition and less loose wild players at the higher limits as well. This means that you need to continue to evolve as a poker player and improve your game as you move up from limit to limit. It seems natural that the more poker you play, the better you should get at it. There are some traps that people fall into on their way to the big game though and some players never find their way out.

The main thing that I often see happen to up and coming poker players is that they begin to play too many tables at once. These players believe that they can continue to make more and more money by adding more tables at the same limits. This may be true but there is a limit to the amount of tables one person can handle. The real drawback here is that you stop learning and improving your game. If you find yourself playing 16 tables of 1/2 limit hold'em for months on end, you have fallen into the multitable trap. Its time for you to drop down to 2 to 4 tables at a time and start moving up in limits. Multitabling is a great way to increase your dollar per hour income. Just make sure that you don't stop learning and getting better at whatever form of poker you're playing. Moving up should be your primary goal. The real money is in the big games and 20 tabling .50/1 is never going to get you there.

Another related trap is the rakeback trap. While rakeback is great and should be taken advantage of by every serious online poker player, you should treat it as what it is; Something extra. Players often get caught up in earning as much rakeback as they can rather than trying to get better and move up. I often see players playing online who stop moving up when they get to 3/6 or 5/10 limit hold'em. These limits will allow you to make good money just in rakeback if you play enough tables, but, again the real money is in the big games.

If you play poker to make money, real money, than make sure that you keep your goal in mind and remember where that real money is being made. Its being made in the big games. Not by playing 16 tables of 1/2 limit hold'em with a 30% rakeback deal.

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