We’ve discovered the best ’10 Ways To Save Money In Poker’ to allow you to play poker on a budget

In the current financial climate everyone is on a money-saving mission. Poker players are no different and you should be looking to plug every leak and exploit every edge

1. Join A Training Site

How does it save you money?
Training sites give you the chance to learn from some of the best in the business through a medium that is far more efficient, current and interesting than poker books. Just picking up one or two pieces of tactical nous could and should make you a better poker player and lead to bigger profits.
Best for
Anyone looking to improve
Long-term savings You get out what you put in, but don’t be put off by the initial sign-up fees.
Short-term cost Initial sign-up is typically around $100 while monthly fees are around $25.
Pro view Nik Persaud: ‘I think training sites are the greatest things ever and it’s the best $30 I spend each month. I like Phil Galfond’s videos on Bluefire Poker. He has very clear thought processes and is very good at articulating concepts.’
Website www.cardrunners.com, bluefirepoker.com, pokerxfactor.com
Top tip There are many training sites out there so do your homework before joining. Some are better for cash than tournaments and vice versa.

2. Invest In Poker Tracking Software

How does it save you money?
Poker tracking software can help save you money in two main ways. Firstly, it can identify leaks in your game – perhaps A-x suited is costing you a tonne of money out of the blinds? The heads-up display (HUD) can also help you identify tendencies in your opponents.
Best for Cash-game players or anyone who plays four or more tables.
Long-term savings Plugging one leak can save you a packet over a lifetime.
Short-term cost The two main poker tracking programs are PokerTracker 3 and Hold’em Manager. They cost $89.99 and $80 respectively.
Pro view Nik Persaud: ‘Tracking software allows you to accurately record your results and look through your hand histories, and can go a long way to plugging your leaks. You can also see what your best and worst games are.’
Website www.pokertracker.com and www.holdemmanager.net
Top tip You can often get tracking software for ‘free’ by opening an account and playing some raked hands at various poker rooms.

3. Purchase A Large Monitor

How does it save you money?
Screen space is always at a premium so buying a 22-inch+ monitor to run off a laptop or to use as a larger primary monitor for a desktop is a good idea. This is especially true if you tile your tables and would like to be able to play more tables while not putting an even greater strain on your eyes.
Best for Anyone who tiles six or more tables at a time or anyone looking to be able to play more tables at a time.
Long-term savings This will vary from player to player and how much volume you put in. But if you play 1,000 sit&gos in a month and make $1,500 and the larger monitor allows you to go from playing four tables to six tables without a drop in ROI percentage, you’ll increase your profit by $750 per month.
Short-term cost A good 23-inch monitor will set you back about £200.
Pro view Stuart Rutter: ‘If a bigger monitor can help you play a couple of extra tables, or help you fit your tables on the screen more clearly, the small edge you will gain each time you play will quickly become a big enough edge to more than justify the price of the monitor.’
Website www.pcworld.co.uk
Top tip Look at the technical details, as you really want a monitor that has a resolution of 1,920×1,200. This is because the default resolution of online sites poker tables is 800×600.

4. Do Some Sweat Sessions

How does it save you money?
Sweat sessions using Skype and TeamViewer (both free to download) are a great way to identify leaks in your game. Skype allows you to make voice calls over the internet and TeamViewer allows you to see what is on a friend’s PC screen (or them to see yours). When used together you can effectively get a friend to look over your shoulder as you play, which is great for focusing your A-game and helping you to identify leaks.
Best for Anyone who has a friend who is better than them at poker.
Long-term savings Hard to quantify, but plugging even a small leak could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Short-term cost Free
Pro view Nik Persaud: ‘Sweat sessions are really useful training tools. If you’re a $2/$5 player and do a session with a $5/$10 player you will learn something. It can help you focus and play better with a friend watching. It’s a great way to get better.’
Website www.skype.com and www.teamviewer.com
Top tip More than one person can view the same person’s screen at the same time so it’s possible to do group sessions using Skype and TeamViewer.

5. Always Play On Day 1B

How does it save you money?
The main events in the big UK tours like the GUKPT often have two starting days. By playing the last possible starting day you can cut down on accommodation expenses, which are the bane of many a live pro. You’ll likely face a slightly tougher field as many players have the same idea. And be sure to buy your seat in advance so you don’t get shut out like some did at this year’s WSOP main event.
Best for Those who have to fit poker tournaments around a full-time job.
Long-term savings It depends how many live festivals you play, but even for one day’s hotel, food and drink you’re looking at around £100.
Short-term cost Zero.
Website www.lastminute.co.uk
Top tip It’s always worth trying to split the cost of accommodation with a fellow poker player to make your savings even greater.

6. Get Rakeback

How does it save you money?
Rakeback saves you money by refunding around 30% of the rake you pay to a poker site. If you don’t have rakeback and you’re a cash or sit&go player (and to a lesser extent tournaments) and put in any sort of volume, you’re burning money.
Best for SNG and cash-game grinders.
Long-term savings Someone who plays 5,000 $30+$3 sit&gos in a year and is on a rakeback deal of 30% will save $4,500.
Short-term cost Free
Pro view Stuart Rutter: ‘Games are getting tougher all the time on the internet, and the rake the online sites take out of each pot you win makes them even tougher to beat. Getting as much of that rake back as possible will help you to prosper in the increasingly tough poker world.’
Top tip Before you open any new account on a poker site, go to a site such as raketherake.com and see if you can get a rakeback deal.

7. Play On Soft Sites

How does it save you money?
Most of your profit in poker will come from bad players. Softer sites will have a greater percentage of easier games with bad players which will in turn boost your profits. It’s regarded that sites that still allow American players are, for the most part, tougher than those that do not.
Best for Cash-game players.
Long-term savings A $1/$2 cash-game player who plays 500,000 hands in a year and improves his BB/100 hands by 1BB/100 by moving to a softer site will make $10,000.
Short-term cost Adjusting to a new site may cost you some profit in the short term.
Pro view Dan Carter: ‘Playing at the right times of the day/week on softer sites can help. Mondays and Tuesdays typically have little action, yet Fridays and Saturdays are good. Any time after 10pm into the early hours will have more recreational players too.’
Top tip Poker tracking software now has in-built table selection software that can help you identify the most profitable tables to sit at.

8. Get One-on-one Coaching

How does it save you money?
Although the initial outlay is high, if your coach is good it will be very beneficial to your overall game and reap financial rewards in the long run.
Best for Low to mid-stakes semi-pros and pros looking to improve.
Long-term savings Plugging a leak or improving so you can move up in stakes can be priceless.
Short-term cost Depends on the stakes you play but expect to pay anything from $50/hr to $500+/hr.
Pro view Nik Persaud: ‘Though expensive, coaching is an excellent way to improve and useful for both technical and psychological aspects. In fact, I find it quite ridiculous that some top players don’t have a coach.’
Website www.twoplustwo.com or www.cardrunners.com
Top Tip The best place to find coaches is through a poker forum such as twoplustwo or forums on training sites.

9. Satellite Into Bigger Events

How does it save you money?
By satelliting into events both online and live that you can’t afford to buy in to directly, you give yourself a shot at a big payday for minimal outlay. Also if you satellite into a $5,000 event for say $500, there’s nothing to stop you selling a percentage of yourself in the event to either book a profit (ship or bust), or ensure a freeroll.
Best for Players looking to play bigger tournaments on the cheap.
Long-term savings Anything up to 90% of the entry fee depending on satellite payout structure.
Short-term cost The cost of the satellite entry (usually around 5-10% of the cost of the target event) and the time to win the seat.
Pro view Steve Holden: ‘A lot of people haven’t got the funds or bankroll to buy straight into online or live events so they try to satellite into these events at a fraction of the cost. It can save you a lot of money and also gives you great pleasure when you get into an event on the cheap. It even gives you a slight edge in the event itself as you’re effectively freerolling.’
Website Blue Square runs satellites to the GUKPT – www.bluesqpoker.com
Top tip Some sites including PokerStars and Full Tilt allow you to satellite into larger tournaments and then withdraw your buy-in as tournament dollars which can then be sold on.

10. Use Your FPPs To Buy Amazon Vouchers

How does it save you money?
On PokerStars you receive at least five FPPs (frequent player points and the PokerStars equivalent of rakeback) for every dollar you rake in tournament or sit&go play (cash is slightly more complicated). These FPPs can then be spent either on tournament buy-ins or in their store on items like books and clothing. Or, alternatively on Amazon vouchers – either £50 or £250.
Best for Making poker pay for some of your Christmas shopping.
Short-term cost The time spent to earn the FPPs and lost rakeback from time that could have been spent playing elsewhere.
Top tip Even if you don’t personally want to buy anything from Amazon, you probably know someone who does so you can sell your voucher on.

If you want 24 pages of expert poker strategy then grab a free copy of PokerPlayer magazine HERE

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