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Poker on College Campuses

Going back to college means a lot of things. Intense academics, all nighters, sports and parties among other things. But for people like me, it also means crazy poker action. This article discusses on how to manage one’s poker career in college with respect to one’s bankroll, time and of course, everyday tilts.  


The first major aspect in your college poker career is your bankroll. Doyle Brunson’s first lesson in poker is to never enter a poker game for which you don’t have the adequate capital, that is, a sufficient bankroll. The first mistake we often make is investing most of our money in the first week. Do not do that. Pick your stakes wisely. Do not go for the 100/200 tables when your monthly bankroll is between 10K and 15K. For the aforementioned bankroll, 5/10 tables seem most suitable. Unless you have an unlimited BR, do not even think of swimming with the sharks! 


Apart from choosing the right stakes, it is essential to keep aside some money just for poker. Investing more money won’t necessarily make you earn more money, and when you’re running bad, it is very easy to lose everything left in your bank account. You know what that means right? No more poker, no more parties and only mess food. You have to treat poker like your small business. You don’t need big profits, but you must avoid big losses. You have to be a grinder. 



The second lesson is when to play poker and more importantly, when not to play. College is an environment where you face a lot of reasons to be tilted. Academic stress, relationship stress, lack of sleep , or just a bad day, all these things are really common for every college student. Poker is a game that you must absolutely avoid playing when you’re not in the right head-space. Anger and aggression in sports like basketball or football sometimes help you succeed, but with respect to poker, it’s a no no. I have often made the mistake of sitting at the poker table on a really bad day, with the intention of de-stressing and I ended up losing a couple of big notes. On the other hand, it is a very good idea to play poker when you have nothing urgent in mind and you’ve been having a normal, decent day. You’ll have more discipline on the table, you’ll make better plays and most importantly, you’ll enjoy yourself.  


The last lesson in this article is about the frequency of your poker sessions. Playing every night is not advisable. You do not want to be addicted. Remember, it’s a small business. Invest and play only when all the situational factors are in your favor. Do not play if you have an early morning class the next day. But do not treat poker as something which you can’t live without. The classico Pacino-De Niro movie, Heat, has a very famous quote : “Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.” The point is, if you’re running bad, take a break. Come back after a week. You do not have to play every night, just like you do not have to play every hand. 

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