I talk a lot about game selection. If you’re playing in a home game, you probably don’t have much choice, except whom to invite and whether to play. But if you’re playing poker in a public casino or online, you’ll have plenty of choices. You’ll have different types of poker to choose from and different limits, and sometimes you’ll be able to select from two or more tables of the same type and limit. For all but the top world-class players, the profit comes from playing against the right opponents. By “right,” I mean weak. Remember who plays poorly and seek them out in the future. If you’re not sure, watch games before taking a seat. Sure, you can occasionally hone your skills by playing against tough competition, but direct profit comes mostly from weak opponents.
Sometimes we get lazy and don’t want to get out of our seats and change tables. We don’t want to take half an hour to drive to another casino where games may be more profitable. But, remember, you must have a significant advantage over your poker opponents to make money in casinos. You have to pay the rent or the rake, plus other expenses. It isn’t good enough to just be slightly better than your opponents. You need a serious edge.
The most successful players are careful about which tables they sit at — and sometimes they decide not to play at all right now. In fact, looking at games in terms of how profitable each table is and taking a seat on that basis alone can be the biggest key to profit. Fairly good players who pay attention to table selection can make huge incomes for their poker careers, while even better players, who pay less attention to table selection, can struggle and sometimes make no money at all.