January 7th, 2010 — General
When choosing an online poker site to play on there are a few things you should consider before depositing your money. You need to find the site that works the best for you and your skill level. If you are considering focusing on tournaments, some things you may need to focus on are how many people are playing on the site, how often and how many tournaments run, and variety of tournaments the site is running.
If you’re new to the game, Party Poker is very accommodating. PartyPoker.com doesn’t run as many events as some of the other sites, but that should not deter you from the site. The events they do run are very good and they don’t attract huge fields of players. Those two things can be very beneficial for beginners, as it is easier to book a win.
Full Tilt Poker may not attract the biggest fields for their tournaments, but the fields can be very tough, as some of today’s top pros play there. They also feature plenty of freerolls, satellites, and guaranteed prize pools for their tournaments, so if you’re looking for a decent tournament size and the chance to make a big score, FullTiltPoker.com is right for you.
If taking on the biggest tournament fields available sounds like your cup of tea, then PokerStars is the site for you. PokerStars.com offers guaranteed prize pools and satellites to some of the best live tournaments around the world. They also give you a lot of Free Poker Chips to play with. Tournaments run constantly on PokerStars and if you’re up for a challenge and competing against some of the biggest tournament fields around, sign up for a PokerStars.com account.
September 7th, 2009 — General
Poker is tough. I’ve been playing for almost 5 years and I’ve been on a much needed break since–I can’t even remember, the last 4-5 months? It feels awesome.
When I first started playing online poker I was really interested in making money in a non-job way. I planned on going to a university nearby when I’d made $20,000. Once I made that money, everything changed. I built up my earnings by chasing free bankrolls and other offers such as free tournaments.
I saw the possibilities that were in front of me. I could play texas hold’em and make a ton of money. Making a lot of money is an admirable goal, but it isn’t exactly fulfilling and not a good reason to play poker.
I don’t know about you, but once I made enough money, poker didn’t really interest me anymore. I still kept playing and forced myself to play, which ruined by love for the game.
Whenever you make something a must, it will end up feeling like a job sooner or later. At least that is how it was for me.
Becoming a professional poker player requires hundreds if not thousands of hours before you even start to understand the basics. Some never learn the game, it just isn’t for them.
If you’re thinking about texas hold’em, omaha hi/low, online poker tournaments or any other form of poker, think long and hard about how you want to go about it.
If you really want to do it, I’d suggest you do it part-time at first and see how you do for a year or two. Poker can be deceptive because you CAN be lucky for a long, long time, which will skew your perspective and make you think that you are better than you really are. You may even want try poker no deposit offers to build your bankroll.
I’m not here to scare you, only to share a bit of my experience during the years that I’ve played. In the end, if you really want to become a professional poker player, you will succeed. You just have to be sure that it is what you truly want.
May 12th, 2009 — General
I just saw the first episode of Tommy Angelo’s series The Eightfold Path to Poker Enlightenment. It is all about the non-betting aspects of poker and it is awesome!
I have been in contact with Tommy Angelo for about 4 years I think. I started getting coaching and talking to him when I was playing Limit Hold’em and he helped me discover why I was tilting and what I could do to stop!
In these episodes he goes through a lot of material that is in his book Elements of Poker, but he also talks about other things that are interesting to hear, at least for me!
It’s on DeucesCracked, where their thing is to make series, each series consists of seasons, each season consists of 8 episodes, and each series is about different topics.
One could be about how to beat low-limit NLHE and one could be about how to become a poker budddha, and that’s what Tommy’s series is all about!
If you can’t find Tommy’s video, just type “Tommy Angelo” in the Find box at the top. You can try DC for free (for 7 days), until then you can see small preview of each video, until you sign-up.
About a year ago I started slacking off. I thought I could just auto-pilot my way to profit, and I was right, I could, but not without consequences.
My winrate started going downhill because I wasn’t keeping up with what was going on at the poker table.
I wasn’t paying attention to my opponents and I wasn’t REALLY studying the game.
Sure, I was getting coaching and watching poker videos at deucescracked, but I wasn’t really paying attention or even caring.
And that’s when I hit a pretty bad downswing and it has taken me awhile to get back on track. I lost focus and started to focus on the money more than the strategic aspect of the game.
It’s funny because it happens in cycles. I have soon been playing poker full-time for five years, and I can only laugh at myself because I go through the same cycles over and over.
I play well and I win a bunch of gold, then I’m like “this is so easy, I’m going to play more tables and own people even more.”
After that I usually hit a downswing and I am oblivious to why it has happened. Cards do matter, but often enough my play has deteriorated and I have no one but myself to blame.
I then whine to everyone I know about how unlucky I am and how I am the unluckiest guy in the world and why me. I consider doing animal sacrifices for the poker gods, but always decide against it.
That’s usually how the cycle goes for me. The animal sacrifice thing is usually rock bottom for me, and that is when I get a coach and slap myself in the face.
1 – Don’t play 8 tables and think you can play ABC poker and own people.
2 – DON’T whine to your friends, because it is a waste of energy and your friends will want to do bad things to you.
3 – Pay attention while you play and really THINK about every decision.
4 – Try to figure out your opponents thought process. If they show a weirdly played hand, think about why they’re playing it that way. What is their reasoning? Can you learn anything about them that you can later use to crush their soul?
5 – Do other stuff! Don’t take poker so seriously, poker has variance and you’ll get destroyed by poker if you take it too seriously. Get a hobby, girlfriend, dog, meditate or whatever you want.
Photo taken by Craig Dennis.
So after a long hiatus I’m back!
I’ve spent the last 6 months playing poker and traveling the world surfing, most recently to Hawaii.
Poker gives me the perfect combination of flexible schedule and portability – I can play free poker from anywhere that has an internet connection, and when the waves are up I can drop what I’m doing and go!
Hawaii was incredible! I went with my fianceé Maria, we stayed in Waikiki for 3 days, and then we stayed on the North Shore for 5 days. We were lucky to get some late-season swell on the north shore, and Maria snapped some awesome photos.
I’ll be recounting both poker adventures and surfing adventures in my posts from now on.
Poker-wise I’m continuing to play $5/10 NL, and while game conditions have changed they are still quite beatable.
I’ve seen an increase in aggression in recent months, with many players becoming more tenacious about fighting for pots, and more paranoid about being bluffed.
Here’s an example that illustrates the change in the games, and also a counter-strategy.
$5/10 w/ $1400 stacks.
I raise Q♦K♥ on the CO to $35, and an aggressive, tenacious player in the blinds 3bets to $125. I call.
A few years ago this would be a turbofold, nowadays a call is totally standard, and some argue for reraising!
Flop: K♦ 3♣ 4♥ (Pot: $260)
Villain bets $165 into $260. This is a standard-sized cbet especially on a dry board.
A year ago I might have called for pot control, and to see what develops on the turn and river. I wouldn’t want to build a big pot, because if I got the full 140bbs in my opponent would usually have AK, KK, or AA.
Today, however, I make a glorified min-raise to $400. My opponent has been aggressive with 3bets, and is paranoid about being bluffed.
He also likely assumes(here his suspicions set in) that I would 4bet him preflop if I had a hand like A-K, and that I might be inclined to slowplay 444 or 333 on such a dry flop.
He quickly reraises all-in for $1275 total, I call. He shows 77.
While this player is more aggressive than normal, it illustrates an important point – by making my hand look like I’m getting frustrated and fighting back my opponent’s over-aggression and suspicion works to my advantage.
The hardest part about this hand is hitting top pair, haha!
Good luck at the tables!