Owner and Lead Pro
Professional Cash game trainer Bart Hanson has been producing strategy content for over fifteen years. He first started on Live at the Bike! back in 2005, then moved on to host "Cash Plays" on Poker Road, then "Deuce Plays" on Deuces Cracked and then to CrushLivePoker in 2012.
In his career as a professional poker player, Bart Hanson has:
-6 WSOP Final Tables
-Over 15 years of experience at the table
-Over $1,000,000 in tournament earnings
-Multiple appearances on ESPN and Poker Night in America
-4th place finish in 2019 WSOP Monster Stack
I truly believe one of the key elements in becoming a great professional gambler is having balance in your life. I have never been one for playing very long sessions and think that after a certain amount of time at the table your sharpness goes down. I fine that I play my best poker usually only putting in 25-30 hours per week. Luckily for me I have built up some nice auxiliary income through commentating and poker training where I don’t have to worry about grinding for 200 hours a month to pay rent. I find that if I get on to a regular sleep, eating and workout schedule, my life is considerably happier than when I am stuck playing in long sessions. I also find that playing in smaller, less stressful games improves the quality of my life.
Recently, during the WSOPC, I have been playing a very large PLO game at the Bicycle Casino. The blinds are $5-$5 but there are unlimited straddles of any amount from any position. The game plays more like a $20-$40 PLO where people commonly win and lose over five figures per session. I think that I am highly +EV in the game. Should I absolutely play it then?
My normal game is a controlled style of no limit at $5-$10 and below. I feel like I am miles ahead of most of the other competition. It is rarely stressful and the variance is low. I do not have a chance to win five figures in one session like the PLO game. In that big game, however, even if I have a shot to win a ton of money in one night what about the times when the game is good, I am stuck, and it goes into the next day? I am supposed to stay around and continue playing--but what does that do to the rest of my life? If my winrate might be 30% in that game but I am going through four times the variance is the extra money (which by the way I may not ever see if I run below expectation and the game breaks within a few months) really worth the sacrifice of happiness in my life?
As recently as a few months ago I would say “Yes it is! I am a professional poker player and have to take the most +EV situations”. But now this big PLO game has really taught me that playing poker for money over the long haul is a balance. I do not want to be in a job that I absolutely loathe no matter how much money I make. I think that happiness is a very important attribute in my life. The next time you take big shots in a game ask yourself “Will the loss hurt more than he happiness that I will gain from the win?”
Figuring out an accurate hourly for a certain level of no limit game is one of the most common quest...
By Bart Hanson
Posted Jun 01, 2013
We all know that selecting the correct table can be paramount to maximizing your winrate but have yo...
By Bart Hanson
Posted Apr 22, 2013