For those who really want to be a pro: limits and behaviors

Folks ask me the right way to start a career in online poker. Looking back in hindsight at my over seven years of grinding experience, I believe that the success of a poker player can come in many forms and that there is no magic recipe for becoming a winner. But the game has also taught me that some correct postures are essential for those who want to stand out within the poker universe. The first thing that every player has to keep in mind is that great results always take time, discipline and dedication. However, some tips may help you in your first steps.

My first and most important tip for those who are starting: play the lower limits and only move up when your confidence has been reinforced by the results achieved. Why? For the simple fact that there are thousands of experienced players who are eager to take advantage of your lack of experience to build their stacks! As these people usually play at the tournaments with high limits, games with low buy-ins fit better for those who are still at the beginning of the trajectory.


Caio Pessagno

Playing in the lower limits lets you avoid confronting the smartest players. You will experience a wide variety of situations while learning in another important lesson of poker: how to deal with the losses. No matter how focused you are and how well you play, most of the time you will still be eliminated from most tournaments eventually. And you must agree with me that work on the psychological acceptance of defeat in the lower limits is certainly easier and avoids damage to the bankroll than the same work at the higher limits..

Now the second tip, which consists of a group of behaviors that can transform an ordinary person into a differentiated player: study, research, engagement, dedication, willpower and sacrifice. None of this is for sale in pharmacies. Personal achievements are the result of concrete actions and hard work. To improve your game you need to study and knowledge does not fall from the sky. You need to search for materials that can improve your game.

How and what to study? My answer: everything in every way! Today you can find a plethora of information on the Internet such as video lectures, discussion forums, books, etc. Participate in the social networks of professional players, do training programs (coaching), watch review sessions, be engaged and discuss real hands on online forums.

Study your own game impartially and review how you are putting what you have learned into practice. Be dedicated, because evolution does not happen overnight. Always wonder where you are headed and if you are willing to pay the price for it. If the answer is to continue on this path, have more determination and make sacrifices to overcome any limitations. Moreover, you must love what you do and respect the requirements that go beyond the cards dealt.

Each poker competition is a psychological battle. One must bear alone many "bad beats" and complaining will not change anything. So, if you want to be a player in this world, you must make it happen! Think about it!

Study suggestions:
- Visit blogs and social networks of professional players (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and the PokerStars blogs; Team PokerStars Pro and Team PokerStars Online.

- Watch the weekly replay of the final table of the Sunday Million provided by

- Join the discussions and training schools such as Intelli Poker.

- Send your played hands to BOOM replayer and ask friends to comment them on.

- Request the hand history after finishing a tournament and review your actions the next day. Check out 'How do I request a hand history?' in this section of our FAQs if you want to know more.

Caio 'pessagno' Pessagno is a member of Team PokerStars Online and a back-to-back Tournament Leader Board winner.