US Poker School - The Perfect Storm Atmostphere

The ‘Perfect Storm’ Atmosphere

US Poker School - The Perfect Storm AtmostphereLooking to make a serious commitment to grinding online for a while to make some real money?

Whether it’s your first time taking that leap or you’re a seasoned vet, it’s important to remember to create an ideal atmosphere around you.

The following are ideal circumstances myself and friends shoot for when making the commitment to grind multi-table tournaments for a long period of time. It is important to realize that having all of these is rare and you will do well if you can even achieve half of these on a consistent basis. However, I feel that implementing all of these at the same time will result in a “perfect storm player” that is destined for success.



Vital for any competition it is especially necessary for tournament poker. You need to enter every tournament with the mentality that you are going to win. Playing at a stake that you have been beating consistently helps maintain your confidence while building your bankroll. As you study and log more hours of experience you will feel more comfortable attempting unorthodox moves or bluffing in spots you used to pass up on.



It is extremely important to be patient and respect your roll. It is easy to have inflated confidence after a big win and move up in limits before you are ready, often resulting in brutal downswings. Beating the smaller levels is invaluable because it allows you to iron out your game and plug the leaks in it before moving up stakes. A conservative yet recommended approach is to never invest more than 2% of your roll in any ‘single’ tournament.

Although it will be tempting to play higher for a variety of reasons, you will have much better results and less pressure to succeed in the bigger buy-ins when your bankroll can sustain the bustout. Overhead is also a big drain on most players, travel, lodging, food, equipment etc, all adds up. Make sure you have a ‘life roll’ separate from your poker roll.



This could get tricky as your decision to play poker tournaments even recreationally will often times bring upon judgement and or criticism. Whatever. Youre better off applying yourself to the craft and learning as much as possible than trying to persuade peers that it is a worthwhile venture.

Poker is not different from any other profession, hard work is rewarded. Conversely, you will have plenty of people interested in your ups and downs, and if your lucky good friends playing tournaments along with you.  Ride with these people, it will make the success that much sweeter. Sharing expenses and trading action with friends is a good way to lighten the variance of poker as well.



My perfect place to play tournaments would be in a place like San Diego. It is 75 and sunny everyday and you can usually get a great breeze comin into your office as you play. Being able to walk outside on tournament breaks and see the ocean was ideal for me. Make the most of where you are, and if you can add fresh air and a great view into the equation.


Poker Set Up

Comfort is key. Assuming you have found the right spot to play its now time to pick out your chair, desk, computer, laptop, monitor, music etc.

Tournaments can last for hours so a set-up that keeps you focused and alert will keep your decision making precise. I love to throw on a good podcast or documentary while cruising through the early stages of tournaments. Choosing a favorite album or music mix for a final table can add that extra adrenaline and confidence flow needed to close out the victory.



Proper bankroll management is probably the best discipline to master. It is very tough to lay off certain tournaments that can change your life. It is easy to justify reasons for entering them, especially if you have had past success in said tournament. Shot taking is important, but should be done with reason and after some consistent results .

The best way to get into the bigger tournaments are satellites. The competition in satellites is poor and it allows you the opportunity to practice exploiting the money bubble (players often tightest around satellite bubbles).


Game Selection

The tournaments with the biggest prize-pools traditionally start between 7-10PM on most sites. This is a high traffic time for most good players as the prize pools are big and the buy-ins are manageable. But this does not make these tournaments easier to win. In order to practice solid game selection you have to learn to find the weak opponents as well as small field events that still offer solid payouts.

Finding the tournaments that most competent players pass up on is huge. Pokerstars have great tournaments all night including a $30 buyin at 6am that usually pays out 6k to first, unreal value. Attacking these tournaments is paramount for bankroll building and taking shots.



It is exhausting playing tournaments for 10+ hour sessions. Pain and general discomfort are normal after focusing for that long. I have always had better results when i workout or run prior to a session. It makes the experience more enjoyable knowing you already took care of your body for the day and it gives me a clearer thought process.

Normally sites allow a 5min break every hour, this can be hard time frame to make a decent meal. Pre-prep meals, snacks, water and coffee. Many hasty decisions have been made late in tournaments by people who were “starving” or “exhausted”.  These seemingly trivial things can cost you big.

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