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Money Management

Never bet more than you can afford to lose. Even if you do everything right, even if you follow all the rules, even if you are the best handicapper in the universe, you can still lose. That's why they call it gambling. If you have to do anything other than get into the cookie jar to pay your losses, or if the amounts you're playing make you nervous or change your personality if you lose-stop playing! Go back and reestablish your personal goals. When you go back to playing again, make sure you're comfortable with the amount of the wagers.

Establish your bankroll at twenty times your normal wager, and be prepared to lose it. I didn't say start the season expecting to lose it-I said be prepared, emotionally and financially, to lose it.

Why start with twenty times your normal play? Because you are not going to win every games, and you're not going to win every day. In fact, you're going to have some losing weeks! Even the best players have losing streaks, and they have to be able to weather them. You have to deal with outright upsets. You, or your handicapper, will just plain make a mistake, and you'll occasionally have to deal with what is known in the business as a "bad beat." That's a play where you did everything right, you had the games handicapped right, the games went exactly like you thought it would for fifty-nine minutes, and then a crazy play or a bad call cost you the win.

Play each day to break even. Your first goal every games day should be to do no worse than break even. You want to live to fight again another day. Understand that sports wagering is a day in, day out grind, and it takes patience, patience, and more patience. You're not going to win a fortune in a weekend; it's how you wind up at the end of the season that counts. If you gear yourself mentally, and position your bets financially, so that on your bad days you break even, when the really good days come along and you go 3 - 0 or 4 - 0, your bankroll gets a little bigger. The only way to be a winner at the end of the season is to be around at the end of the season.

One of the best handicappers I know once told me something I have always remembered, and I want you to remember it too. He said, "John, they play the Star Spangled Banner somewhere every day." In the world of sports betting, there is always another games tomorrow

Don't chase a losing streak. Be prepared to accept a losing day. Doubling up or tripling up to make up for a losing day or a losing weekend almost invariably leads to higher losses. Sometimes it seems that there are days when you're just "out of time with the cosmos." When this happens, just accept them as you accept the days when it seems like you can't do anything wrong.

Cut back on the number of plays and the amount of the wagers when you are on a losing streak. Conversely, don't be afraid to let your winnings run when you're on a winning streak.
Never play from less than a full card. What does this mean? Well, here's an example: Let's say that you start the day ready to play four wagers out of a thirty-five-games card, with two morning bets and two afternoon bets. When your games are over, you've won one and lost three, so you're down two bets. But wait ...there are still five or six night games left.

Forget it!! Accept your losing day and wait until tomorrow when you have a full card to choose from again. If any of the five or six games remaining had been good enough to play, you probably would have selected them to begin with. For this same reason, never try to catch up from a losing weekend on Sunday night or Monday night games. Try to catch up the next weekend when you have the opportunity to look for the best plays. You must control the betting situation instead of letting the situation control your bets.

With rare exception, make every play for the same dollar amount. How many baseball games would you play where the line was minus 300? Hopefully, not any! If you lose a game you've bet three times your normal play on, you'll have to win four other games to get back to the plus side. Or worse, you'll get caught up in "chasing," where you'll play a couple of games at higher amounts, trying to make up for the big play you lost.

But there are times when extra wagers are warranted. Just be aware that these plays come along only once in a while.

When you have doubled your starting bankroll, then, and only then, consider moving your normal play to a higher amount. Take it slow for your first move up, for just about the time you think you are invincible... you know what happens.

Set a limit to lose back down to-remember, you're not bullet proof-and if you lose back to that number, say 50 percent of your profits, go back to your original wager.

Do not play parlays or teasers. I hate to be repetitious, but giving your money away on sucker bets is not managing your money very well.

If you're having personal problems, don't play. Remember that you don't have to play every day or every weekend. If you are having person problems-problems with your spouse, the kids, your job, your health, or your finances, just take some time off. Anything that makes you operate at less than your best diminishes your chances of winning, and the games will still be going on when you get back. Know when to play and when not to play.

Now that we've covered self-discipline and money management, let's go on to the third reason why most players don't win.

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The beauty of online poker games is that on the surface it is a game of utter simplicity, yet beneath the surface it is profound, rich, and full of subtlety. Because online poker games basic rules are so simple, anyone can learn online poker games in a few minutes, and novice players may even think they're pretty good after a few hours. From the expert's point of view, the veneer of simplicity that deludes so many players into thinking they're good is the profitable side of the games beauty. It doesn't take long for pool players or golfers to realize they're outclassed and to demand that a match be handicapped, but losers in online poker games return to the table over and over again, donating their money and blaming their losses on bad luck, not bad play
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