It happens to poker players all of the time in live casinos. After playing solid poker in a cash game for half of the night, the player has managed to grind out a respectable profit. After cashing out at the poker room, the player strides through the casino with his newfound money firmly in the pocket.
But the story does not end there. The craps table seems hot, as cheers of excitement echo through the air. The poker money comes out of the pocket in order to throw the bones a little bit. When the craps tables cools down, the blackjack pit seems inviting. The sports book is near the exit, so the player swings by to place a couple of wagers on the games for the upcoming weekend. Suddenly, the poker bankroll has become a gambling bankroll. An hour of tight-aggressive play at the poker table can be negated by less than 10 minutes on the casino floor. The poker player often mentally justifies their gambling by thinking, "Oh well, it's not really 'my' money anyway." It is as if the cash that has been won is more expendable & less tangible.
Online poker players have historically been able to easily avoid this pitfall, as most poker websites have had poker exclusively. Well folks, the times have changed. Never ones to miss an opportunity to cash in on our foolishness, online poker sites have changed their tunes. Blackjack is often now just a single click away. Some sites allow you to play poker on one table and blackjack on another, simultaneously. A couple of major sites have implemented proposition bets, such as wagering on weather the flop will be all black or all red. You can link over to sister sites with bingo, slots, and roulette. Another major draw that poker winnings can get sucked into online is sports betting. Online players no longer have the luxury of keeping their poker winnings in the plus column without the draw of other games. If you are not smart and careful, your found money may be at a substantial risk.
Resisting the temptation is vital to steady bankroll tracking and improvement. Placing sports bets and trying your hand a blackjack may be a fun pastime, but it should never interfere with your poker money. Keep copious financial notes to help you stay focused on your poker quest. Track your wins and losses at each type of game, every buy-in, the site played, and keep tabs of other factors such as the time of day, your frame of mind, and your playing style on that session. Refer to these notes often, carefully looking for patterns that may indicate your strengths and weaknesses. Such an exercise will also help the mind to log the poker money into a mental position of importance and distinction. When your brain visually processes how much time and work goes into grinding out a profit at poker, it will not likely allow you to take that cash for an impromptu blackjack session or try a weird proposition bet. That definitive separation must be made within your mind. A poker bankroll is not a gambling bankroll, and should never been mixed in together. A main gauge to measure poker success is via the wins and losses. Essentially, keeping track of the money is much like keeping score in sporting contests. Despite the best efforts of the internet poker rooms to sway you with carnival-like games, casino staples, and odd side bets, you should stay focused on what you came to do: improve your poker game and poker bankroll.
Now go make it happen.