Sometimes the gambling and money aspect of poker gets to people too much. They become greedy and play in games they can not afford or games where the competition is simply too stiff.
If you have money to burn, that's OK. However, if you want to play cards the rest of your life, you need to understand this one basic rules of poker games like Texas Hold 'Em. You must play at a level that is appropriate to your skill level and the size of your bankroll.
Ask every major poker player (who started with nothing) how they were able to win millions, and the majority will tell you they had to grind it out at small games and work their way up to the big games.
If you start playing at the top, the professional poker players will bust you and you'll be working your way down the levels instead of up. Believe me when I say that there are not many people in a geographical area who play $ 200- $ 400 limit. They all sit at the same table every day trying to bash each other's brains out. Seat 1 wins today, Seat 2 wins tomorrow. The professional poker players sit there and wait for a person like you who sits down, all shy, timid and scared to lose. This is a recipe for your disaster.
Another basic rules of poker games like Texas Hold 'Em calls for you to play aggressively in order to be a winner. If you play above your bankroll you can not do that correctly. You will be afraid to lose the money you have in front of you and it will affect your play.
Secondly, poker is a game of ups and downs. If your bankroll is not large enough to weather a long losing streak, you'll be on the rail and out of action for good. We can not have that.
What level is appropriate for your bankroll? First figure out how much money you can set aside for poker playing only. You can not touch this money for anything else. Now the normal rule of thumb for figuring what level to start as is:
Your Bankroll / 200 = The maximum bet limit of the table.
For example, if you can scrape together $ 2,000 the formula would be:
2000/200 = 10. $ 10 is the maximum bet of the game you should play in.
Your bankroll dictates you should start at a $ 5-10 max limit game. If you can feel comfortable playing that limit I suggest you start there. If not, start in a smaller game until you feel comfortable betting $ 5 and $ 10.
Now suppose you have mastered the level you have been playing at. It may now be time to move up. Let's say the next level up is $ 9- $ 18. You now need $ 18 * 200 = $ 3600 bankroll before you move to that level. After playing at your current level, if your bankroll is now $ 3.600, you can safely move up.
You just repeat over and over until you are at the Big Game.