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Category: Poker skills

Overcoming the Bad Beats

Posted in Poker skills

I just went through a horrible series of tough losses and bad beats in my sit n go poker games. I played 12 games and lost every one of them even though I felt I was playing at the top of my game. The beer bottles stacked up fast as each loss stung even more than the last.

If I had two aces in the pocket and went all in preflop then some knuck with ace king offsuit would call me and hit a straight or a flush. In all of the games (except one where I misjudged my opponents hand) I had my money in the pot with the best hand but the other players always seemed to draw out on me. Out of 12 losses I made it to middle to late stage every time but managed to finish outside the money in all of them.

As my losses added up I was tempted to stray from my normal strategy but I didn’t. I decided to take a little break and play some cash games where I was able to recover most of my sit n go losses. Still, sit n go is my game so I made my way back and persisted, playing the strategy I believe works best.

I felt I just needed one win to turn the tide and it happened. In the 13th game I believe I was still playing the same game as I played in all the prior 12 games. This time I took third place. It wasn’t great, but it was in the money. In the next two games I took first place and so the string of bad beats ended just as quickly and unceremoniously as it had started.

I know, I know… as I’ve said before, “nobody gives a damn about your bad beats” and that isn’t really the message I’m trying to get across here. I’m saying that we need to avoid going on tilt and that can be easier said than done. We need to play the proper strategy even when we see loose players sucking out all around us. By playing a solid game, using proper strategy and avoiding going on tilt we can overcome the bad beats and strings of losses that invariably strike all poker players from time to time.

I hope my string of bad luck is over for a while now. I’m back to my normal percentage of winning about 60 to 70% of my sit n go games. The key to success at online poker in my opinion is consistency. Be a rock and do not let the vagaries of short-term variance affect your mind.

Poker face

Posted in Poker skills

After a while, you will learn when to raise or stay with your hand and which hands to start with. The trick when starting out is to not underestimate your chances.

Don’t fret and worry so that you never really get started and because you will not learn the true game or grow to appreciate it. Simply start betting, raising and check, then raising more and learn to bluff. Don’t overdo it when just starting out. Take yourself out of your comfort zone, it may surprise you how much fun learning can be and how quickly you will learn.

If you folded only to learn that your hand would have made a good hand on the flop, don’t make comments or gestures that show your exasperation. The same can be said about showing others through your expressions or habits that you are excited to have a pair of aces.

Don’t bounce out of your seat spilling poker chips. Don’t let your jaw fall open in unbelief or bang your hands or head on the table. To do so is not only annoying to others but it gives away your hand and even can change the outcome of the game for yourself or others. In fact, don’t react to the cards at all. I know these were an exaggeration but I hope I made my point. Learn to bluff and be a mannequin.

Learning not to allow the opposition to be able to read your style will make the difference between winning and losing. The key is to be able to have many styles so that the opposition doesn’t know how to combat it. Develop a poker face.

No matter what the reasoning, do not play when drunk. Nothing is more disgusting than sitting beside an inebriated player. Someone bumping into you, knocking over the poker chips ruins the game. Someone who forgets when it is his turn to play his hand makes for a really upsetting experience. Would you rather be remembered as an honorable and worthy opponent or the slob who ruined the game? The choice is yours.

Poker, a game of force

Posted in Poker skills

Is force necessary to succeed?

In this firs post we will take an overview of how Texas Holdem tournament is played to facilitate your experience.

So, Texas Holdem tournaments are among the world’s greatest gaming events. While Texas Holdem has been played for decades, online poker tournaments are rather new. In around 1972 the largest poker pot for world’s tournament was $10.000. In 2002-2003 tournaments the first prize has surpassed $4,000,000.

That’s because of modern technologies, which allow multitude of users to enter the online tournament sitting at home. The tournament is the aim of both novice and professional players, because it is the only place and time, when you can convert your skills in some good money. You can even become a millionaire, if luck will cast the light upon you.

Don’t pay attention at that TV shows which features skills as the main point of the victory promoting Texas Holdem tournament schools, books and other media. Skills are pointless if luck will pass you by. Almost all tournament winners were not top players, but just ordinary folks, who entered the tournament with a lucky clover upon their fortune. When over a thousand players enter the tournament with a $5,000 entry fee, your chances to win those $5,000,000 are zero if you trust only skills and pay no attention on strategy, knowledge, etc.

In case you have entered the tournament for fun – skills are quite sufficient, but otherwise you should need to possess much more then just the capability to count the right hand. Intuition, cleverness and prediction – these are just the basic things to learn. I play online poker tournaments mostly for the fun and who knows, I could also make good money from them one day if I run deep. But prevailing at one of these online poker tournaments necessitates a solid poker strategy, which is different from cash games.

Beyond the luck value, you must know the features called “the must” for any Texas Holdem tournament player. These are the basic rules and strategy, some tricks and bluffing abilities, excellent knowledge of all hands and combinations, and at least basic how-to’s of the game. In this article we shall overview a couple of things you must know playing at a poker tournament.

At the tournament, your chips have a relative value that differs from the regular poker cash game, where you consider each dollar as an equal amount. The first thousand chips at the tournament are worth much more than the next thousand you win. Since you cannot buy back in, you should always keep a certain amount of chips in order to survive. You should be tighter at the beginning of the Texas Holdem tournament to keep your bankroll, but risk more at the later stages to reach the final table.

Otherwise you can be simply blinded out. At the later stages of the tournament, necessary force plays a great factor, because the blinds are so high that the majority of the players in contested hands will be all-in preflop. You must use a lot of force, in other words aggression, as you want hands dominating all other hands for this reason.

You should know the hands well in order to collect the best ones, or predict your hand proceeding from your pocket cards value. The common mistake is betting hard with a weak hand, usually a low pocket pair. Such pairs are good only when trying to steal the blinds. So these are the basic differences between Texas Holdem tournament and ring games.