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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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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ElkY wins seat at Tournament of Champions

Posted by pokermoney | poker | Sunday 13 June 2010 2:07 pm

The best French poker player of recent years will play at the Tournament of Champions World Series of Poker.

This special event of the 2010 WSOP edition, by invitation only, will bring together 25 WSOP bracelet holders elected by the public on the internet and two more players selected from special satellite tournaments.

And the satellite that Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier won was really special as it included seven other strong players who do not yet have a WSOP bracelet: Paul Wasicka, Liv Boeree, Andy Bloch, Michael Mizrachi, Gus Hansen, Sorel Mizzi and Gavin Smith. Plus the celebrity poker player Don Cheadle, included for his poker charity contribution.

Bertrand Grospellier took over on its eight opponents to win the ticket to the TOC, the largest freeroll in the world with a gigantic prize pool of one million dollars and a first prize of $500,000 for the winner. The 25 elected players are selected from the pool of 521 bracelet holders and chosen by the public. All this is somehow similar to reality TV, where talent and popularity are mixed to lead to an enormous prize for the winner of the contest.

On June 27th Bertrand will battle with other great poker names like Annie Duke, Joe Cada, Mike Sexton and Mike Matusow. Bertrand Grospellier is an extraordinary poker player and it does not come as a surprise that he participates in this Hall of Fame tournament.

There were 3 stages in ElkY’s gaming prowess. First he was a world-level StarCraft online gamer living in Korea. Then he became one of the best online poker players in the world, being the first SuperNova Elite player at pokerstars, not one of the easiest poker sites. Bertrand is holding a World record in the Guiness book for the most online sit and go tournaments played profitably in one hour (62). And finally he became a fantastic live tournament poker player.

Despite his young age, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier has already won some prestigious tournaments such as the PokerStars Caribbean Poker Adventure (EPT) and Festa al Lago tournament (WPT). It is time to add a WSOP bracelet to his list of trophies, is it not?

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The pleasure of poker

Posted by pokermoney | poker | Monday 13 July 2009 10:56 pm

What makes us consistent losers or winners at poker?

Because to tell the truth, most players are consistent one way or the other. Most players are consistent losers, simply because the house takes the rake. Without rake, there would be half winners, half losers, but this is not so as the rake takes a big toll on everyone’s bankroll. It can be estimated that consistently profitable poker players are less than 5% of the total.

Poker is an art form and the personalities of players are so disparate. It is good to meet them at the poker tables, sometimes in pain when bad luck strikes, but usually in a good mood. We have our fifteen minutes of fame, crazy anecdotes, our bad beats stories so incredible. All that is part of the life of a poker player, even a casual one. It is the adrenaline rush when our heart stops beating and our vision is getting blurred that makes poker our passion.

I am a mid stakes cash game player, plus some heads-up sit and gos’ and some MTTs as well. Poker has burst into my life 2 years ago with games with friends in the canteen of a dormitory, and then I decided to improve my game on my own. I then played in clubs, playing NL200 as a rock. Of course I was a fish, not knowing position, floating, bankroll management and the rest.

Of course, I’ll remember all my life my first night of online poker, where I played for six hours away single tabling at NL10 after make a 20$ deposit. It is not without pride that the next morning I found myself with 47$. For me everything was clear, this game of poker would make my wealth.

I can say that I have had a lot of luck, tilting at the NL200 tables and ending in NL2000 heads-up, and each time my lucky stars saved my bankroll. The beginning was rough, but it is has been more than a year now since I made a deposit at an online poker room.

Now I have decided to put some discipline in my play and to set specific goals. So this blog is part of this plan, sharing my progress and thoughts about poker and gambling. I am going to use the new pokerstars bonus code that grants a 100% bonus up to $600. Before the stars bonus was a ridiculous $50 max.

So I am going to cash out my online bankrolls at several poker sites and start at Pokerstars NL100 with a bankroll of 2,500$. I will multi table 6 tables because the screen of my laptop is really small and then I go on tilt too fast with more.

I will report back on my results, so please keep posted.

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