The life of a rock

Posted by pokermoney | online poker | Saturday 19 November 2011 5:28 pm

Are you a rock? In other words a very tight-passive player? If so you need to change your style.

Your problem is not that you play such a tight-passive style, but that many people know it. You are too predictable, a fatal error. You have to change your approach. By the way do you get all benefits you can get, such as the code bonus pokerstars?

Your style is so obvious that even fairly weak players perceive that they can bluff you. In fact, you will be the target of more bluffs and steals than anyone else. You really do not want people to try to bluff you especially those who virtually never bluff, because some of their attempts will succeed and you are encouraging them to play better.

This style of play would bore most people, and it may bore you, but the boredom is probably not that great. You do not seriously expect to win much, and you like a slow pace and steady wins with infrequent, small losses. Besides, like many patient people, you probably do not bore easily.

Your pattern of strengths and weaknesses works only in certain games. If you pick the right games, you will win a little. If you pick the wrong games, you will lose. Here are your major strengths.

Poker rewards patience above all, and you have lots of it. You can sit there all day, just folding hand after hand. You will be especially successful in the lowest limit stud games (such as $1-$5) because there is no ante or a tiny one, and the bring-in is trivial.

You will succeed in almost all low-limit games because so many people play so loosely. They will stay in with almost anything and chase you when you clearly have them beat. They also tend to be oblivious. Some of them will not even recognize your style, and lots of them will not adjust to it. They will give you much more action than you deserve.

Many rocks play primarily to pass the time and to supplement pensions or other small, fixed incomes. This style satisfies both needs very, very well. It gives you something to do and produces a steady stream of small wins with infrequent losses. This is pretty much the opposite of people who play roulette online.

Here are your major weaknesses.

A complete rock is going to lose against fairly skilled players, but he probably will not lose much. You do not get enough value from your winners, are very vulnerable to bluffs, and do not steal enough (or perhaps any) pots. You also give too many free cards and some of them will beat you and you fold to thin value raises.

You may be frustrated when you get no action on your good hands, and it will happen frequently. Lots of rocks complain: “I’ve had garbage all day. I finally get trip aces, and nobody stays!”

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Late Position Texas Holdem

Posted by pokermoney | online poker | Monday 12 November 2012 9:38 am

Playing late position Texas Holdem there are rewards.

If you are playing in late position in a hold em game then you can set yourself up to reap rewards. If you have spent the time reading the other players you know which ones who will defend their blinds. Some folks will defend a blind against all common sense.

If they are defending the blind with poor cards, you have got them beat and soon their chips will be in your stack. A late position raise will force them to defend the blinds. If they are foolish enough to do so. Good for you.

Or the two seats immediately to the right of the button means that there is less of a chance of being raised since you are acting last or nearly last. If you have a hand that would normally just let you limp into the pot, you might consider raising. This might force the players between you and the button to fold their cards. You in a sense, buy the button with the raise.

If no one has raised before the bet gets to you then you are in a good position the steal the blinds with a raise. If you have the possibility of a good hand and miss it on the flop. Do the professional thing and fold. There is no sense chasing the hand down through the turn and the river. Just because you raised before the flop does not mean that you are married to the hand. Throw it away if you miss.

The raise in late position confuses the enemy. They might deduce that the raise in late position is done just because you are in late position. But they will not know. They may suspect that you are raising just to eliminate players but they will not be certain.

If the players on the big and small blinds are the type to defend them at all costs you will still have position on them throughout the hand. This does mean that you should play every hand that is delt to you in late position. let’s face it. You are going to get some garbage hands.

If after the flop the flop you have made a good hand or are drawing to the best hand then take advantage of your position. if someone bets into you, raise. If they check to you, bet.

If you use this strategy there will come a point when even the dullest player catches on that you always raise the pot when you are on the button even if you only have a mediocre hand. They will begin to call you. Without twitching a muscle in your face you sigh and say to yourself, “Ahhh, let the money roll.”

You say this because you are not always going to have a hand just to draw to. From time to time you are going to have very good cards. Good enough to beat the board. It is with these hands that you recoup all of those hopeful raises and make lots of money.

PokerView

Posted by pokermoney | online poker | Thursday 12 January 2012 6:07 pm

There are all kinds of online poker players and there are many kinds of poker rooms too. Ideally what you want to do when you choose a poker room is fulfill your goals as a player and have a good time.

There are players who are there for the money. They treat the game of online poker as a job, and they must pay the bills with it. This is one of the amazing consequences of the Internet, which has created many new professions, including online poker pro. Usually young kids who cannot resist the opportunity of making a living while just playing a game. But let me just give a word of caution: it is like being a movie star or a rock star. Many people want to do it but very few succeed on a long term basis. Also you probably do not get what you except if you take this career path. Only people who are really deeply fond of games and online games can make it through the ups and downs of poker variance and downswings.

Then there are the casual players, and they form the majority of online poker players. Of course they want to make money too, but they usually have a full time job, and it is not their priority to spend a lot of time on improving their poker skills. They want to have fun before anything, and this is what poker offers, an exciting game involving a mix of strategy and luck. Some of these casual players are very skilled, while others are big gamblers who have no patience but just want to run over their opponents fast and take their money. Like the maniacs, they do not stay long at a table, but when they show up amazing action is guaranteed.

So given all the player types, there are rooms that may better satisfy your needs. I recently came across this room, pokerview. This is a smaller room on the Everleaf Gaming Network and it could be of interest to both new players or experienced sharks. There are two very interesting features at Pokerview. First they allow US players, and there are only a handful of such offering at the moment, so if you live in America it is worth considering. Second you can see your opponents through the webcams, and this is truly unique. A real cross between poker and the Internet.

If you use a pokerview bonus code you will be entitled to a 100% bonus up to $600. This room is good for all players. If you are new to poker, it is a lot of fun to see your real opponents at the table, instead of just their avatars. If you are experienced, then this is a less travelled room and as such there is a lot of money to be made by prying on less knowledgeable players. You can even pretend to be a fish by displaying yourself as one, like pretending to drink beer or acting wild and crazy. So try it and have a good time on the virtual felt.

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Overestimating Your Poker Ability

Posted by pokermoney | poker | Wednesday 11 May 2011 11:25 pm

Never Underestimate Your Ability to Overestimate Your Poker Ability

I am not an absolute expert in human psychology, but I am pretty observant of people. I have some formal training due to past employment in the legal field where I was certified in neurolinguistic programming and interview techniques. I have had occasion to interview many people under various circumstances and judge their reactions. One thing I have learned is that we humans have a tendency to overestimate our ability.

We all have ego, admittedly some more than others. The type of person who sticks with poker for any amount of time probably has an abundance of ego. It is the way we are wired. Poker feeds our competitive spirit and our ego. This ego can easily lead to an erroneous belief that we are better at the game than we really are.

Once we learn the basics, off we rush to conquer the poker world. Some of us work a little to develop a few tricks but then we once again figure we’ve got it figured out. I would guess that even the pros (perhaps especially the pros) have to make sure they put their ego in check and that they don’t fall into the trap of overestimating their abilities. I have found this to be the single factor that was holding me back from making progress at several stages of my development as an aspiring poker player.

I have accepted the fact that I’ll never know everything there is to know about poker, but I want to know it all. So, I have dedicated myself to a course of constantly learning new strategies and gaining an increasing knowledge of the more technical concepts of poker. I am doing this by reading constantly, participating in poker discussion forums and even in friendly chatter with other players away from the table. I play poker virtually every day and try to learn something from each game I play.

I will not overestimate my poker ability. Go ahead… write it down 100 times so you’ll never forget it.

When you think about it, that’s quite an empowering concept.

Good luck at the tables.

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Texas Holdem Starting Hands

Posted by pokermoney | poker | Tuesday 8 February 2011 1:55 am

Picking your starting hands in Texas Holdem is one of the most important and potentially profitable things you can do. Here’s a guideline of some premium hands you could consider playing no matter what your position, courtesy of Phil Hellmuth’s fantastic book ‘Play Poker like the Pros’. You can get this book for free if you register at pokerstars with a valid pokerstars marketing code.

When I read Phil Hellmuth’s Play Poker Like the Pros, I was struck by the simple, basic strategy that he gave for newbie players like I was at the time. It was easy and profitable when I stuck to it. However, it’s hard as well because it requires discipline. Yes, discipline and patience. Discipline and patience are two very important components of a good poker players game.

In fact, consistent discipline and patience make a poker player great. At least, that’s what I’m coming to believe. Phil, who has 11 WSOP bracelets including a Main Event victory, millions of dollars in lifetime earnings, and the inaugural National Heads Up Poker Championship crown under his belt obviously knows a bit about poker.

The important thing to remember even if you don’t agree with the strategy is that what Phil suggests and what I’m suggesting to you is that you pick your starting hands and stick to them. If you can do that, then you’re off to a great start. Now, not only do you play the starting hands you commit to, play them strong! Here are the ten starting hands that Phil says you should play (note: for drawing hands such as AK and AQ, it’s better if they’re suited): 1. AA 2. KK 3. QQ 4. AK 5. AQ 6. JJ 7. TT 8. 99 9.88 10.77.

Here’s how you play these hands. For a raise, from any position, the suggested pre-flop raise is 4 times the big blind. Raise them post-flop to see where you’re at! If you hit a set with a pair (which will happen about 1 in 8 times), raise big. You can also see that hand a good majority of the time to the river. Just pay attention for straight and flush possibilities. Also raise post-flop if you have top pair with a strong kicker or if you make two pair.

But again think about other possible hands. Could someone have trips? A Straight? Don’t just bet blindly. If you miss the flop and don’t improve your hand, especially with a drawing hand like AK, be prepared to fold to just about any raise. As you improve your Texas Hold’em game, you’ll find that you can add and subtract hands to this starting hands list. If you stick to a solid starting hand strategy, you’ll be winning in holdem more than you’ll be losing – and that’s a fantastic start to your brilliant poker career, isn’t it?

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Big pot

Posted by pokermoney | online poker | Saturday 18 December 2010 5:19 pm

I love to win big pots. It’s not every day you get to win a 36 big bet pot in fixed limit $40/$80 is it. You need the right set of ingredients obviously.

1) Pre flop betting which is capped seven ways. 2) Some idiot who jams with AK on a raggy paired board. 3) Some other idiot who jams with a baby gutshot multiway. 4) Probable pocket overpair to the flop. 5) I flopped trips and it felt great.

The biggest challenge by far is managing to get the pot capped preflop seven ways. People just don’t cold call four bets much in that game. About the only way to get this is by having limp-reraisers. In this pot we’ve got two; AKs up front and 65s in the back.

When the preflop betting is insane, the flop betting usually is as well. It’s not only a time for everyone to bet (or call) the best hand, it’s also a time for hyper-aggressive nutcases to try and leverage out anyone who has a prayer of sucking out in such a big pot. We get to see the much hailed ‘Three Bet For a Free Card Play’ fail miserably too.

Of course, what’s a big pot story without some kind of runner runner suckout? I’m sure AK was cursing my flush, without once considering that he was an even bigger underdog every post flop round.

Anyway the board was 2d 3c 2h Ac Jc and this felt good to win such a large pot in fixed limit texas holdem. But you would really have to play many hands before you see such a pot. Most hands have way smaller pots and this can only occur with the proper conjunction of factors, like a few players with big draws. This is how you can be a profitable player, if you know how to best play when such opportunities arise.

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Phil Laak gets a WSOPE bracelet

Posted by pokermoney | poker | Saturday 2 October 2010 8:25 pm

Phil Laak started off the 2010 WSOPE with a bang as the winner of Event #1 6-Max NL Hold’em, a £2,650 buy-in.

Phil Laak also known as the “Unabomber” has been a big poker name since his 2004 World Poker Tour’s Celebrity Invitational’s win. Phil’s first major break out year was 2005 when he earned over 700,000 dollars in poker tournament earnings. To date he has amassed over 2.3 million dollars in tournament earnings throughout his career.

Born in Ireland and raised in the United States, Phil Laak has always been involved in cards and games growing up. He started off as a successful backgammon player while living on the east coast of the United States and transitioned into a successful poker player after moving to the west coast.

Phil currently resides in Los Angeles, however Laak plays at some of the highest stakes cash games in Las Vegas and all over the west coast. Phil Laak got his nickname the “Unabomber” because of the way he frequently dresses up at the poker table. Phil’s infamous hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses make him look like the “Unabomber” at the tables.

Even though Phil Laak’s poker record is filled with some impressive wins, he has been lacking in a big win for quite some time aside from last year’s win at the Party Poker WPO. Phil Laak welcomes this much wanted WSOPE win as it has helped him have his best year since 2005. The £170,802 for the 1st place win at the WSOPE has put Phil Laak at having over 630,000 dollars in poker tournament earnings this year.

Phil Laak started the final table of Event #1 as one of the big stacks however after three busts out Laak was struggling to gain any momentum. Andrew Pantling amassed a giant chip stack when it got down to three players however Phil Laak wasn’t out of the count quite yet.

Phil doubled up through Pantling and busted out multiple WSOP bracelet winner Chris Bjorin to enter heads up play out chipped but still in good shape. Phil Laak chipped away at Pantling’s stack until he had a substantial lead over Pantling. He sealed the deal as the first place winner after outdrawing Pantling in an all-in with K5.

Phil Laak can celebrate with long-time partner Jennifer Tilly after a stellar performance at the World Series of Poker Europe.

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Change is hard

Posted by pokermoney | poker | Saturday 14 August 2010 1:10 pm

When playing poker either on online casino sites or at a friendly/non-friendly tables, players can quickly pick up on the patterns and habits one has when betting. Every person has a comfort zone he or she likes to stay in when the race to the pot starts. These patterns follow you to each table you sit in game after game. Breaking a habit is difficult just like quitting smoking.

You say to yourself, I’ve won this hand before by doing this and that or this is a hand that I like and I believe in these cards and so on. Poker games usually last hours and anything can happen. Any two cards can win pots of any size. We all dance and sing inside our minds when we see a pocket ace but the guy with the pocket three’s is probably going to walk with the pot if a three shows on the flop.

What I’m trying to say is that a good strategy would be is to change the way you play. Start out by changing the way you think- if two or three players raise and re-raise maybe it would be a good idea to go into the pot with a low pair or a 3-5 hoping for a low flop and let them fight the with each other while you just call on the low flop. Sometimes low is good. Sometimes showing the table you bluffed is good and not shameful.

Poker is like a recipe – you throw in a little bit of every style of poker playing you know and you get a pretty good expensive meal at the end. Poker is only probably 50 % luck. One should ask themselves how much lucky can one get.

Lets say 6-7 really good hands in a 6-7 hour game. The trick is to get as much money as you can just in these 6-7 hands. The way you do that is when the other hundred hands that you play – you change the patterns, you bluff, and you pre-raise on low cards, you play conservatively and rough and loud, you sometimes think for a while, and take your time, and sometimes you should call as fast as the player raising says the number he is raising maybe even before he said the hundred in 500 hundred.

Don’t be categorized by other players because that’s what they are trying to do id to pin you to a category play and then they think they can read your hand. Good luck all!

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My poker beginnings

Posted by pokermoney | poker | Thursday 29 July 2010 7:49 pm

Here is a quick summary of how I started in poker.

I play many online casino games, mostly poker variations and some blackjack and video poker too.

I started playing poker, NLHE specifically, around 2 1/2 years ago and immediately started making money. However, since I really didn’t know how to play, my beginners luck run out and that trend quickly turned around. Around this time I discovered bonuses and with the addition of bonuses I could make a little money overall although I was losing money playing the game.

Around four months after I started playing, I had a really bad month and lost a decent amount of money even though I was clearing bonuses. I really wanted to continue playing but at that time I was playing at Paradise and the $50 tables were the smallest buy in that I could play. I couldn’t move down and my confidence was shot so I ended up becoming discouraged and only played on and off for the next 6 months or so.

Around that point I was introduced to PLO8 and immediately was drawn to it. Unfortunately just like NLHE, I started winning before I really knew how to play and became discouraged when my luck ran out. However this time I did the smart thing and starting playing limit O8 (which at .5/1 is an aquarium) until I really understood the game.

I had 1 losing limit month, then 2 break even months, then something clicked and I started winning. I had a couple of winning months, then switched back to PLO8 and destroyed that game for a couple of months.

After that I went back to NLHE, because I wanted to be positive in all of the games that I played. I started playing the NLHE $25 tables and beat them to a bloody pulp for about a month. Then I attempted to move up to the $50 table and got my ass handed to me, so I moved back to the $25 tables, recouped my loses, and decided to go back to PLO8.

I made that decision a few months ago and since then have played some PLO8 $25 tables to get myself used to seeing 4 cards again. I have been playing well so I think that it is time for a run at the $100 tables.

I plan on posting in this blog for some of the sessions that I play. I will keep the results on in the first post updated and I will post specifics for each session. Those specifics will include (1) the stats for the day, (2) any hands that I think I played well, (3) any hands that I think I played poorly and (4) any hands that I had questions on.

Hopefully this will force me to analyze my game and help me move to the next level in poker.

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Some poker tips

Posted by pokermoney | poker | Tuesday 6 July 2010 1:41 pm

The following are great beginner Texas Hold’em poker tips for helping you win online money.

The first tip to help you make profits if you are starting at poker is to raise your big hands pre flop. Beginners fail to do it, maybe because they do not understand the logic of that move. It will make the pot larger and get rid of limpers. This leads to bigger pots when you are the favorite, and in NLHE you want to win the big pots.

Another crucial tip advised by some of the most profitable online poker sharks is never to draw to the idiot side of a straight. The reason is that you must know to fold big hands. In this case you will almost always lose the big pots, as they occur when another player has the highest side of the straight.

The next tip is that unconnected cards of medium and low face value are to go to the muck. Also strong players know that low pairs must be mucked most of the time, except for the occasional set mining attempt in a pot with limpers.

Another recommendation is to play aggressively with your open-ended straight draws after the flop. Be aggressive with an ace or two high over-cards after a rainbow unpaired board, when no one could possibly have hit the flop hard. If a player raises at such garbage flop, fold because he must have a strong hidden hand.

Solid poker players suggest to learn how to catch bluffers instead of always folding passively to their bets and raises. Learn to make guesses if your opponents is bluffing to make you fold or if he has a strong hand. You must take chances and try calling bluffers otherwise you will be the preferred target of the most tricky players.

A more advanced tip is that you should know how to bluff yourself as well, as this will add money to your bankroll. Omitting to bluff at times is a leak which makes you too predictable. Analyze your competitor to determine if he can be forced to fold with no effort, or if he bluffs a lot himself.

Beyond pure Texas Holdem strategy tips, you need also to select the poker room that fits you best. If you have never played poker before, a good way to learn the game is video poker. Visit a site like http://onlinevideopoker.com full of information about the variations and subtleties in the game of poker and video poker.

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