Cash Out, Reward Yourself & Stay Motivated

Posted on Dec 28, 2009 by Gugel in Psychology

Cash out and reward yourself

Cash out and reward yourself

We all know that setting goals is an important first step towards success. In a previous post, I said:

Don’t set goals for yourself that are out of your control.  Whether you win $3,000 this month or not is something that’s not entirely up to you.  Set goals on things you can control, like playing a certain number of hours, watching a certain number of videos, responding to a certain number of forum posts, etc.  Put in the time and success will follow.

But just as important as setting a goal is rewarding yourself when you reach it.  A lot of players make the mistake of trying to build their bankroll as fast and possible and refusing to ever cash out.  And early on in my poker career, that’s exactly what I did.  I thought that seeing the money in my account go higher and higher was all I needed to stay motivated.  It was like scoring points in a video game — getting the high score was reward enough.  But I was wrong.

As I matured as a poker player, getting a personal “high score” became less and less important.  I realized that money was only a suitable reward if I spent it.  Numbers on a screen or green paper in my pocket only goes so far.  I wanted memories and tangible objects for my hard work.  I used the money I won in poker to buy a TV, a camcorder and beer, start websites, go on trips, and take my fiancé to fancy dinners.

At the end of every month, I cashed out part of my bankroll.  Even if I had a bad month, I could still at least cash out and treat myself to something special.

And the best part is, when you do go on that inevitable downstreak, you can look back fondly on the stuff you’ve bought with your poker winnings and push through to that heater around the corner.

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7 Responses to “Cash Out, Reward Yourself & Stay Motivated”

  1. Gugel

    28. Dec, 2009

    Also, since it’s December 28th, I want to wish everyone happy holidays and a VERY prosperous 2010. Good luck on the tables!

  2. Motu

    28. Dec, 2009

    Hey Gugel…good post.

    Further on this topic…would you be comfortable enough to discuss your 2009 results on Full Tilt?…PTR has you as flat for the year…

    What methods should one use to stay motivated when you play over 150,000 hands and just make rakeback…or is that the answer…to focus on the positive effects of rakeback?

    Would that be a reason us newbies to avoid playing low stakes HU on pokerstars?

    Cheers, Motu

  3. Razboynik

    28. Dec, 2009

    It’s the ‘donkey and carrot on a stick’ scenario. Unless the donkey can take the odd nibble from the carrot, he will invariably lose interest and not bother.

  4. Sam

    04. Jan, 2010

    You guys should check out this new poker themed song. It’s pretty good and I just found out the singer was on ESPN’s Poker Edge promoting it. the song is call ALL IN

  5. Gugel

    04. Jan, 2010


    Man, I was pretty sure that comment was gonna lead me to some horrible spam page, but the song is actually pretty legit. FYI, just sending me a quick, straight-forward email would prolly work better :)

  6. Gugel

    04. Jan, 2010


    I don’t wanna get into exact figures, but I played most of my hands at $50NL and $100NL and did pretty well at those levels. I ran bad (and made some baddddd plays) at $200NL though :(

  7. best rakeback

    13. Dec, 2010

    building bankroll at steady pace is really important. Many players make a common mistake by playing at higher limits that they should. I like the advice in this article :)