When playing online poker you have the advantage of playing many more hands per hour than you do in live poker games at brick and mortar casinos, or even home games. With the amount of table chatter at home games, especially more than at home. With more hands you have the potential to make more money; and of course, the potential to lose more money. As you progress towards becoming a tight and aggressive poker master, you will notice a frustrating phenomenon. You might play for an hour and find that you are up $20, for example, and then check 15 minutes later and realize you have lost half of what you gained. Why? While you may be playing good poker for the most part, you are likely not playing tight enough. You need to be tight with your money as well as your starting hand selection.
Let’s say you sit down to a $0.25/ $0.50 game with $15. You watch it grow to $20, then dip back to $15, then grow to $25, then dip to $20, then up to $30, then back to $15, then back up to $30 and you decide to call it quits. You doubled your money, not bad, right? Well, not bad but not too good, either. Totaling all the dips you gave back $25. Sure, you have to allow for rake, the cost of the big and little blinds, and those times you had good starting hands and had to pay a couple of bets to see the flop, which then totally missed you. But, if you discover that your bankroll does a lot of rollercoasting during your session, you need to take a second look at how tight you are actually playing. Even if you allowed half of that $25 to account for acceptable losses, rather than playing hands you should have no business playing, you still would have ended your session with $42.50, a profit of $27.50 versus $15. It might not sound like a lot, but multiply that difference of $12.50 over ten sessions, and that’s an extra $125 in your pocket.