Kristy Gazes
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Kristy Gazes
poker, poker rules, poker games, how to play, poker strategies, strategy,
tips, texas holdem, texas hold'em strategy, seven card stud, high low, hi
lo, omaha poker, qualify 8, eight
online poker bonus codes
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Tips From The Pros
Kristy Gazes
Poker Lesson #41
Stepping Up, Stepping Down


My first poker experiences were in the low-limit 7-Stud games at Commerce
Casino in Los Angeles. From the start, poker was an important part of my
income. It had to be. I couldn't afford to go broke. I needed to avoid the fate
that hit many of the good players around me. They experienced massive
swings in fortune -- one day they're playing in the big games, the next
they're on the rail, trying to scrape together enough money for a buy-in.

Early in my poker career I set a simple rule for myself: I would never move to
a higher limit until I won three consecutive sessions. If I lost three
consecutive sessions at a given limit, I would move down to a lower limit.

It took discipline to stick to my rule. For a very long time – years, in fact – I
never made it beyond the low-limit tables. I couldn't put together three
consecutive wins. It was frustrating, but it was a great learning experience.
By the time I made it to higher limits, I was a seasoned, experienced player
who could deal with the intense competition I encountered.

Another nice thing about using such a patient approach was that I always
had comfortable padding in my bankroll. In those early years, I may have had
a hard time winning three sessions in a row, but I was beating the games
regularly. I could pay my rent and add to my bank. When I moved to higher
limits, I had plenty of money to sustain myself through any bad runs. In any
case, if a lousy run of cards lasted three sessions, I'd back down to a limit
where I was risking less.

I know a lot of players who have a hard time using an approach like mine.
Most can't step back because they feel a lower-limit game is beneath them.
Their egos tie up their heads and they try to prove themselves against better
players. They end up playing higher than they can afford, in games that are
tough to beat, and they wind up broke. As a professional, I don't play for
ego. I play for money. As Paul Wolfe recently pointed out, often a smaller
game offers a better opportunity for profit.

Think about incorporating something like my three-win, three-loss rule in your
own play. Stepping down a level when things go bad will not only preserve
your bankroll, it will sharpen your skills and build your confidence. When you
step up, you've got the momentum of a winning streak behind you. You'll be
playing your best – ready for higher stakes and sharper players.

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