Poker: Help your game! Lesson 1

I’ve seen it on TV, now what?

You may have seen poker on ESPN, The Travel Channel, or Bravo and said to yourself, “That looks easy. How do I get started?”

First thing’s first – identify your motivation. Are you interested to have fun, are you interested because you want to make money, are you interested because it looks thrilling and you like the idea of gambling/getting lucky?

If it’s to have fun…cool. If it’s to have a supplemental income…cool. If it’s because you like the thrill and excitement of gambling…not cool. Seek help immediately.

Poker should be thought of as an investment.

If you’re investing in an evening of fun with friends, then no major preparation is neccessary. All you need to do is:

1) let the significant others’ know that it could be a long night

2) know the basic rules of the game you’re playing

3) Get your iTunes Poker Playlist ready to go

4) Be sure there’s pizza, munchies, and drinks

5) Oh…and be sure you’ve got chairs, chips, and cards

However, if you’re investing in poker with the intention of making money, then some research and training is in order.

Just like any new job, commit yourself to a relatively boring first two weeks with activities that are limited to:

1) read the manuals (hit the bookstores)

2) watch “co-workers” (other poker players) perform their daily tasks (pick some online sites such as and observe play at some low limit tables)

3) pick up a poker video game for your XBOX, Playstation, PC, etc

4) find a home game to participate in (

5) seek out and bookmark some poker news sites and blogs (use RSS feeds if possible)

6) download some Poker (video) Podcasts from iTunes

7) set your DVR to record a few episodes of popular poker programs

8) familiarize yourself with tools that will help you track your play (keeping “book” on yourself)

9) familiarize yourself with tools that will help you track opponents play (keeping “book” on others)

10) absorb 1 thru 9 (above) for a week or two and wait for further instruction!

Don’t worry – you can open your wallet soon enough. For now, enjoy playing on your PC or video game console!




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