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Playing with Play Money: Beneficial or Detrimental?

Written By: Johnny Profit a.k.a. Big Slick
(infamous underground champion)

Some may think that playing at the play money tables can be a good use of their time. In the same ideology, that playing at these non-profit tables can increase your skill. I plan to prove that playing at these tables is not only a waste of time but can actually work against your skill to decrease your awareness at the real-money tables. I will first list some advantages of playing at these tables, subsequently will then display how the disadvantages outweigh any possible benefits. Playing with play money is surely a waste of time.

The majority would assume that playing at these tables would increase their skill simply from experience. However, I beg to differ what counts as experience surely there could be positive and negative experiences. And with this said if you were to endure negative experience this would not benefit your future outcomes, it may even hinder them. Thus I believe playing at the play money tables can hinder future play and skill capability.

A positive result from playing at these professional tables in a game like texas holdem, is the math that comes with it. From playing, non-stop as many do, at these tables with play chips you can actually attain a basic concept of the statistical nature of poker. How many times out of 20 is my flush/straight going to hit? How many outs do I have and what is the percentage of me hitting one of them? How often is a high card going to come on the flop? Etcetera. In a contradiction if you are playing at these tables chances are you are not at the stage in your poker career where you are going to consider things of this nature. But, there may be the few, especially after they read this, that will take their play money games more seriously. But � seriously - is another problem I will deal with later. Overall playing at the play money tables can only prove advantageous if you decide to use your time there wisely.

The disadvantages associated with playing at these tables are concerned with negative experience. You cannot gain worthy experience from playing at a table with a bunch of players who are willing to throw there chips in the middle with no hesitation. This is not poker. I relate it to playing a low-limit game, 2/5 5/10 even 10/20 in some circumstances. At these low limits people do not take the game seriously, you have what most called chasers or fishers who are willingly to spend some money to chase that gut-shot straight or even just to see your cards. Playing with these people, although it can be profitable sometimes, is not playing real poker.

Furthermore it only hinders your skill to play with these amateur players. Do you think you would get better playing basketball with children or NBA players? Who will advance your skill further, faster and more efficiently. In fact, if you were to continue playing with children, as most would agree, you skill would probably decline � its simple logic. Paying at these tables will not prepare you for combat action. Training in a simulator cannot actually prepare you for what will or could happen on the battlefield.

Playing at these tables is a waste of time and if you agree that time is money then I�ll leave it up to you to do the math.

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