Posts Tagged ‘Great’
In early June I made my first foray into the poker broadcast booth by providing Mandarin-language commentary of the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions for PokerStars TV. I was partnered with Andrew Mao, another guy from China, and Team PokerStars Pro Celina Lin.
I had done some commentary in Taiwan previously but it wasn’t live. The first time you broadcast live on-air it’s quite challenging. We provided commentary for the entire tournament, which turned out to be more than 20 hours of air time. It’s very tiring, talking that much! Your mouth gets dry, you need a lot of water and a lot of caffeine. But being able to see that kind of tournament firsthand and broadcast my ideas to the entire Chinese-speaking population was a great experience.
It was really fun and really exhilarating for us to see so much money going into the middle. It absolutely made me want to play but the buy-in was $ 130,000 and pretty much everybody came in for three bullets. It was basically a $ 400,000 tournament. You can buy an apartment for that much money!
Playing that kind of tournament and to be able to let things go and not care about a mistake afterwards, made me realize, “Oh, everybody is human after all. Nobody’s perfect. These people do make mistakes but it’s about how you recover from them that separates the great players.”
That can be a problem for me. Sometimes in the past, when I was not running too well, I’d put a lot of pressure on myself, maybe be a little bit too hard on myself if I made a mistake. That caused a lot of mental pressure going into every game. Every single time I made one bad decision it would feel like the end of the world.
With these guys showing me how they handle bad beats and bad plays, and especially bad decisions, I took a step back and reminded myself, “Nobody’s perfect.” We all make mistakes. These guys were making decisions, on the fly, for millions of dollars. They were sometimes coming out right and sometimes they were coming out wrong. When they were wrong, and clearly wrong, it didn’t seem to affect their play afterwards.
Providing the commentary and watching these great players do their thing really gave me the itch to play. I wanted to be out there with them, but I can’t commit that much money to one tournament. I might be able to put in one buy-in, but three $ 130,000 buy-ins is a little too rich for my blood. I think the commentary booth is the closest I’ll get to that kind of tournament.
We’re back with another 3 Great Poker Tips from Mike Sexton, who you’ll probably know the co-host of the World Poker Tour TV series with Vince Van Patten.
Knowing poker inside and out for many people Mike really is the man that introduced them to the world of poker.
His unique manner and ability to bring poker to the masses through his unique commentary style in a simple yet captivating way has resulted in many of us taking up the game.
So once again we thought it’d be fun to share his personal tips from over the years with us all.
So here’s another 3 Tips with plenty more to come:
Tip No.1 Calling stations are dream opponents. They are non-threatening players against whom you can play with confidence.
Tip No.2 The difference between great players and good players is that great players can put their opponents on a hand better than others.
Tip No.3 Once you can put an opponent on a hand, you are going to be more successful than the Average Joes or Janes that you’re playing against.
Though popular conception would have you believe that poker is a game of luck, experienced players know that it’s all about skill. Still, there’s nothing wrong with trying to give yourself a leg up on the competition – within the rules, of course – and one of the most common and controversial of these efforts is wearing sunglasses at the table. From Chris “Jesus” Ferguson to Phil Hellmuth, some of the biggest names in the game have been known to don shades when they hit the table, yet other pros – notably “Kid Poker” Daniel Negreanu - have come out against the practice. While poker rooms and casinos around the world still allow players to wear their sunglasses at the table, it continues to be a hot button of controversy among serious players.
What Have You Got to Hide?
Whether in poker tournaments or cash games, a player must always be mindful of any physical tells they may have when playing live. Though you can hide your nervous shaking or wandering eyes behind your computer screen, everyone can see them at the casino – and more experienced players may able to read your hand by just seeing one of these tics.
A lot of these tells actually center around the eyes. Everything from a sideways glance to an enlarged pupil tells a story and betrays the strength of your hand. Though many players are able to control these involuntary reactions through practice - and most players won’t even notice – that slight chink in the armor may be enough to cost players a big hand. As such, many players seek to hide themselves in the folds of their clothes, pulling the hood up on their sweater, tugging down the brim of their cap or throwing on reflective shades like Greg Raymer.
Terminator at the Table
Though it sounds a little silly to say, sunglasses are also a great way to intimidate the other players at the table. This is a strategy employed by everyone from law enforcement agents to Hollywood costume designers, as dark, emotionless eyes tend to stir a sense of unease in the average person. This little bit of psychology can come in handy for players bluffing on a draw while posturing a strong overpair, or hoping to steal some blinds with rags.
This can also boost a player’s confidence in their game, something that could be a double-edged sword. On one hand, a sure hand helps eliminate other tells that may result from nerves and improve one’s stakes at the table. Unfortunately, false confidence can inspire you to play recklessly. If you are experimenting with sunglasses during live play, be careful that you don’t let it loosen your hand selection. Even the Terminator can go down if he makes stupid plays.
Of course, there is a reason not every player wears shades at the table, and it may be enough to scare you away from trying. The most obvious risk is misreading your hole cards due to the dark frames. Before you commit to a look, be sure that you aren’t handicapping yourself in an attempt to be sly – after all, if you can’t see, the only person you’re hurting is yourself. Furthermore, players whose style may tend toward aviator sunglasses or other reflective styles may run the risk of exposing part or all of their hole cards. While being able to read the reflection of both cards off of someone’s glasses isn’t likely, something as simple as a flash of color can give away a lot about the strength of one’s draw and potentially cost them a lot of money.
The Case Against
A small but vocal cross section has taken umbrage at the inclusion of sunglasses in accepted poker players’ attire at the table. Chief among them is four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, Daniel Negreanu, who took to his blog in 2010 to rally against non-prescription eyewear, claiming that glasses make it easier for players to cheat at the table. The idea is that players might use the shades to either signal other players or the dealer, or possibly conceal electronic devices that could allow them to gain information on their opponents.
“No other sport organization would allow competitors a device that makes it easier for them to get away with cheating” said Kid Poker on his blog. “You should always feel uncomfortable playing high stakes poker against someone wearing sunglasses.”
He followed up his comments by challenging glasses-wearing players to “man up and take those silly things off.”
A Vocal Retort
Naturally, this view has been met with much opposition since it first gained footing in the poker community. Many players feel there is no weight to the arguments put forth by Negreanu and his ilk, with long time pro Roy Winston calling it a slippery slope argument.
“Where do you draw the line if you do ban sunglasses?” Winston wrote on his blog. “Before you open a can of worms you really need to think about the ramifications. Comparing sunglasses to performance enhancing drugs or outright cheating is nothing short of ridiculous.”
Some very dear friends of mine had a wedding this past weekend so I flew in to celebrate with them and have a chance to catch up with all of my friends. The wedding was held on a friend’s farm so most of us decided to camp there for the night. We all used to do a lot of camping at festivals or weekends away and so it felt just like old times to see all of the pretty Bell Tents pitched together.
And of course it meant that we could stay up until almost dawn, talking and joking around a massive bonfire. It’s good to be back. In fact, I’ll be spending more and more time back here in England and have even rented a room in a friend’s house so that I have a base of operations while I travel through Europe for poker until 2013.
It’s been a bit rainy so far but the view from my window looks out over the Brighton seafront and there really is something quite magical about the English Channel when it’s a bit blustery and grey. Soon enough I’ll be leaving for Paris where I’m going to play the WPT event but until then, I’m settling back into life in England with relish.
Poker Personality of the Year!
I was really surprised and honoured to be nominated again for Poker Personality of the Year at the British Poker Awards. They’ll be tallying up the votes very soon so if you haven’t voted yet (there are lots of great categories to vote for) then you can do that at thebritishpokerawards.com
Many online poker players realize that the top reason for multi-tabling is because it increases hourly profits. After all, multi-tabling enables you to play far more poker hands per hour, which is key for successful low and mid-stakes players in regard to maximizing earnings.
But one of the lesser known benefits of playing multiple poker tables is that it allows players to collect more bonuses and rewards. That said, let’s go over this topic more in-depth and discuss how players can make more money with online poker.
Increase VIP Rewards
As you may already know, there is an extensive and lucrative VIP program in place at Carbon Poker. Depending upon what level you’re at within the program, you can collect the following online poker bonuses: exclusive freeroll tickets, free poker training, monthly cash bonuses,personal poker coaching and free check withdrawals.
Assuming you multi-table, your chances of earning bonuses increase greatly with regard to your respective VIP level. For example, you might earn 30 VIP points a day single-tabling, but 90 daily VIP points when playing three tables at once. Seeing as how this is triple the benefits, you can definitely see how playing multiple tables can be beneficial.
Get your Signup Bonus Faster
Another point worth making about the subject of multi-tabling and poker rewards is that you can earn your signup bonus quicker. Using the Carbon Poker bonus as an example, where you get a 100% up to $ 600 match deposit bonus, players receive $ 1 of the reward for every 75 VIP points earned. 10 points are given for every $ 1 in cash game or tournament rake generated.
So if you could generate 40 VIP points a day while single-tabling and 150 points when playing four tables, you’d be unlocking $ 2 of the reward each day. Obviously this is more than you could expect when playing just a single table, which definitely makes multi-talbing worth considering.
Whether you work in the poker industry, or are just a fan of the game, then I am sure the World Series of Poker (WSOP) has the same mesmeric pull as the FIFA World Cup does for anyone who likes to kick a ball about.
Since the early seventies poker players have flocked en masse to Sin City to match their luck, skill and judgment with the very best in the world.
This year, as the poker world prepared for its annual jaunt, I was offered a unique opportunity to spend the entire series living in Las Vegas.
The only burning question was whether or not I would spend that time as a player, lover of the game or as a journalist? In the end, because I couldn’t make my mind up, I decided to try and do the lot.
My home for six weeks was a $ 3 million mansion in a place called Shenley Court, roughly 20-minutes taxi ride from the glitz and glamour of The Strip. I was sharing the house with some of the UK’s hottest young poker talent.
John Eames and Stuart Rutter were chasing gold bracelets, Mathew Frankland and Dan Carter were playing a mixture of cash games and tournaments and David Dial, David Nicholson, Jamie Sykes and Richard Finney were there to play in the cash games. Thomas Harris was the man holding us all together as chief organiser of the household.
Leading up to the series the poker world was expecting a post Black Friday depression, but that fatalist approach proved to be a false dawn. Incredibly, the 2011 WSOP broke all sorts of previous records. A record 75,672 people entered 58 events thus creating the largest ever prize pool for a WSOP: $ 191,999,010.
The 2011 event boasted the most million-dollar tournaments ever, the largest ever seniors event, the largest ever single day attendance for the 3,752 players who entered event #30 ($ 1k buy-in) and Phil Hellmuth extended his record as the individual all time leader in cashes (84) and final table appearances (43).
Outside of the Rio Casino and Hotel, the dealers and card room managers were witnessing an unprecedented attendance at the cash games tables and specially arranged Deepstack tournament festivals.
So whether you were a professional or amateur poker player there was plenty for you get your teeth stuck into. But what was I going to chew on: cash games or tournaments? The advice from the household was to play in the tournaments and that is where I started.
I played in two separate $ 215 buy-in tournaments at Caesars Palace and finished nowhere in either. I then realised that if I kept entering these tournaments at a rate of one or two per day I would be skint before the end of the first week. So I had a change of plan and decided to hit the cash game tables instead. Tournaments are always going to require a much bigger bankroll, just ask Rutter and Eames, who must have spent over $ 100,000 on tournament buy-ins between them.
So Eames and Rutter would prepare themselves for the tournaments (and for life exclusively contained within the Rio) and the rest of us would hit the cash game tables. When you travel to Vegas to play in the cash games there are a myriad of people lining up to give you advice on how to create a profitable trip. The two main pieces of advice that kept being crammed into my cranium were casino selection and table selection.
For example, I was told that the Rio would be the best place for cash games because it would be full of tilt enraged players who had just busted out of a WSOP side event. But the Rio was so cold I once saw a Penguin wearing a slanket and the food was being refused by the homeless.
Even during the times I did brave the cold and the food poisoning I found all of my $ 1/3 tables to be full of nitty regulars, who all seemed to have been given the same dud advice. It wasn’t just at my level that people were struggling to find the proverbial fish out of water.
Mathew Frankland who was playing $ 5/10 and $ 10/20 even decided to leave after three weeks, because in his professional opinion, the games were just not profitable enough. In six weeks I lost $ 1,000 playing $ 1/3 cash games and all the other cash game players in the house ended up in the red.
The tournament front was equally as frustrating as neither Eames nor Rutter ended in profit, despite a few cashes. For both of them it was a bitterly disappointing series and only a gold bracelet would have made it otherwise. Dan Carter played in two WSOP events and min-cashed in one of them, Finney played in two and cashed in neither.
Sykes played in just the main event and didn’t make it past day one and I played a grand total of three hands in my WSOP side event for a grand total of $ 333 per hand! In fact the only player to come out of the series in profit was that man Frankland. He flew home, won a shed-load of dough playing online and then returned to play in the main event where he cashed for $ 54,851 finishing in a very respectable 121st place.
So is the WSOP a great place to earn some money if you are an amateur or professional poker player? I suppose I am still far too inexperienced to answer that question. I am just glad it isn’t like the FIFA World Cup or else I would have to wait another three-years and that is simply out of the question.
What is the primary goal of a good poker player? If you answered that your goal when playing poker is to make money, you’re wrong. Money is a way of measuring how you’re doing, but what is your real goal? To be a good poker player, you must strive to make the best possible decision in each hand. This goal can be achieved by reducing the uncertainty that faces you, thus making the decision easier.
Poker player and author Annie Duke asks you a serious question at the start of her new book, Decide to Play Good Poker. She asks: “Are you prepared to make great decisions and ignore bad outcomes?” If you can answer this question in the affirmative, Annie Duke will help take your game to the next level.
According to Duke, we play poker with a purpose, so every action you take must have a good clear reason. Every chip you put into the pot needs a reason to be there. The amount of chips you bet is based on the premise that “poker is a game of decision making under conditions of uncertainty” and therefore the “number one reason to put extra chips in the pot must be to reduce uncertainty.” You bet in order to “extract information from your opponents in order to narrow the range of hands they could be holding.” The more you know about your opponents’ hands, the more effective your play will be.
If you think all of this is a very nice philosophy with no practical implementations, you’re wrong. Duke takes you through each stage of the game, from pre-flop to the river card, and gives you the decision-making tools to achieve the best result. If you think that this is a rehash of other strategy guides to Texas Hold’em, you’re wrong, because Duke introduces a new way of playing that will result in your being the best decision-maker at the table.
As you apply the lessons Duke presents, you will see that by reducing uncertainty, your decisions will become easier. “Every time we can force our opponents into a bad decision, we win,” she states. Again and again she focuses on the ultimate goal of becoming a good decision-maker. If you achieve that, “it won’t matter whether you’re winning or losing.” All that matters “is the quality of your decisions, not the outcomes of those decisions.”
Annie Duke presents her strategy guide from a position of strength. She is a well-known poker star who won her first WSOP bracelet in 2004. In 2010, she won the prestigious National Heads-Up Poker Championship for a $ 500,000 first prize. Today she is commissioner of the newly launched Epic Poker League and a leading advocate for online poker legislation.
Coauthor of “Decide to Play Great Poker” is John Vorhaus, a prolific poker author who says of himself, “As a poker player, I’m a pretty good writer.”
There are a lot of poker books around, but this one will teach you to think differently. The book is easy to read, and re-read, and will help you develop the strategies that will take your poker playing to the next level. Decide to Play Good Poker is published by Huntington Press Publishing of Las Vegas.