Tired of playing at the same level over and over again? Well, my friend, it’s time to move up a poker level. Naturally, this isn’t a move that you want to make lightly. You have to always be sure that you’re not just powering through for the sake of powering through. You can’t just assume that everyone’s going to be on your side either. You need to be aware that moving up a level means that the competition is going to get stiffer. There’s a lot more money circulating, and everyone wants a piece of that. As you go up the stakes, you’ll find a lot more professional players here. This means that they live, eat, breathe, and sleep poker. That’s a lot to take in as a relative newcomer. So what do you do?
Well, you plan. You need to make sure that you’re comfortable with your game. Do you know what type of player you are? Hopefully you’re not super loose. You’re going to need to tighten up before you go up a level. If you’re the guy at the table that will jump into any hand, it means that other players can use your psychology against you — taking your chips in the process.
Another point here is that you need to make sure that your bankroll can handle it. If you don’t have the cash reserves, you might want to wait until you can at least handle 100BB’s, though I would say that getting up to 200BB gives you a lot more wiggle room. Having a fatter margin for error never hurts, and it means that you’ll be able to get a lot more accomplished.
From here, you need to think about your own poker goals. Are you moving up a level just to say you mastered the other ones, or what? Knowing why you want to move up can reveal a lot. And I can’t stress it enough — you really need to make sure that you’re reviewing your old poker games. A lot of players don’t want to take the time for the careful study that comes into analysis. But analysis is the part of poker that keeps you sharp. If you don’t have analysis tools, you need to make sure that you invest in some. This is too important to scrimp on. Yes, it means that you’re going to have to spend more money than what you would like, but spending money is part of poker. If you’re not willing to invest in your game, well — that just says it all, doesn’t it? The people who invest in their poker game actually move forward. The people that don’t invest will fall behind. There’s no other way to put this. It is what it is. 🙂
Make sure that you’re thinking carefully about these choices, because if you don’t, you’re going to lose your mind every time you have a losing play. There are still going to be days where you strike out, catch bad beats, and feel like poker is the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. You still have to move forward, okay? Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back into the saddle.