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What stakes should you play at? Let DeBeers help you.

Posted on October 26, 2012 by adminLeave a comment

Remember when DeBeers, the international Diamond Cartel, ran ads purporting that every man should spend two month’s salary on an engagement ring?  At the time these ads ran, I was about to propose to my then-girlfriend, and I thought this was a wonderful guideline, especially given that I was unemployed at the time.

Turning to poker, I often get asked, “What stakes are good for me?”  Here I’m not so much talking about bankroll considerations as I am the correct stakes for a non-professional player who wants to play, let’s say, home games with people who have a comparable financial situation to them, and get the maximum enjoyment out of it.  Here’s my rule:  You should play at stakes such that, on your best/worst nights, you can win/lose about two day’s salary. Much lower than that, and nobody will care, bluffing is irrelevant, and a big win means, whoopadeedoo, I’m gonna super-size my Extra Value meal tomorrow.  Much higher than that, and we’re getting into mortgage payments, and no casual player should be risking that amount.

Calculate what you make in two days.  That might sound like a lot, or, at least a lot more than you’re used to playing for.  Truthfully, when I first wrote this, I put one week’s salary.  My friends call me arrogant, but I simply refuse to go to games with lower stakes than that, even if I like the people there.  I don’t even care so much about the money, it’s more about the principle – when you play real poker, and you lose, it’s got to hurt a little bit.  In the ego, and in the wallet as well.  If it doesn’t, it wasn’t real poker you were playing.  Penny Ante poker is nothing more than a bunch of clowns trying to get away from their wives for a few hours.  If that’s all you want out of poker, there are plenty of those games to choose from, but you won’t find me there.

Before the compulsive gambling police jump on my back, I want to once again say I’m not saying mortgage away the house.  But it’s got to mean something.  If you can’t hit a frozen run of cards and lose at least two day’s salary, you’re depriving yourself of the true essence of poker – the agony and the ecstasy.  Because those big wins feel really good.

Welcome to Steamin’ Steve’s Blog…

Posted on September 30, 2010 by adminLeave a comment

As suggested, I’ve added a blog to the site which will hopefully contain useful (or at least entertaining) articles and ramblings as I think of them.  Enjoy!