Posts Tagged ‘Poker’
Hello it’s Kento! Today I will talk about one of my online poker tourney experiences. I’m at a 9-player table; it’s the middle stage of the tourney, not yet in the money.
I am in the big blind. UTG to the dealer button all fold. My table image is tight, so I think it’s a little strange that nobody opened but I’m happy if I can take the small blind and ante if the small blind folds.
Small blind raises. I look at my hand and I have KQo. KQ is great for my position, but if SB noticed I am a tight player, his raise is probably an attempt to steal. I can’t judge the situation only by his raise. I want more information.
I re-raise. This is not a gamble if he has 55 or A9s or some strong hand. Perhaps the odds are almost 50/50. If he has K9 or JTs or something similar, I am the favorite. If he has AK or AQ, I’m in terrible shape but the possibility for that, I figure, is very low. Maybe small blind will simply fold as a result of my re-raise.
Small blind re-raises. I don’t like it! Also, I have no way to know if this re-raise indicates that SB has a strong hand or not. I decide to go all-in. My all-in bet is very strong. It’s a five-bet from a tight player, so if he has 44 or JTs or A9o, or something like that, he will probably fold. I think he will call with AQ or 88 or similar hands. He doesn’t seem to be a gambler. He is a player who has shown so far that he can steal the blinds and antes with careful bets. He hasn’t called with A2o or anything like that. I think I’ve made the right move, but he instantly calls and shows AKo.
It’s horrible! My read and subsequent play were wrong. I have less than a 30% chance of winning this hand. I can only pray and see what the board will bring.
The flop comes JT5 rainbow. This gives me some outs, but the % of my winning has almost not changed.
The turn comes as a 5. My chances of winning are now only 17%.
The river unbelievably comes as a 9. Wow! I won this hand with very bad play.
How is it that sometimes you win hands with bad play? That is a mystery to me. Thank you for reading!
Jealousy used to be my least favorite emotion because of its vicious circularity. I’d feel bad because I want something a friend has and then I felt extra bad that I felt that way in the first place.
I’ve always been way more jealous about achievements than personal relationships. When I played chess professionally, I would obsessively look up one of my main rivals at tournaments. At the time, I was enrolled at NYU, and she was jetting around the world in international competitions. I was ashamed to be rooting for her to lose. It was the worst feeling because this person was also my friend.
In the world of multi-table tournaments (especially live ones), I believe that jealousy is rampant, though it’s hard to tell since it’s surely under-reported. Jealousy is built into the structure of MTTs. Part of the dream of having a super deep run in the Main Event or the Sunday Million is the possibility of it not happening. Which means it could be happening to people with similar skill level to you who play similar amounts of volume. If you play mostly live MTT events, you ought to be better than average at handling jealousy, or immune to it (lucky you!).
I now see jealousy as an emotional thermometer. If I see my friends doing well and have little jealousy, it means my emotional temperature is ideal. Recently, many of my best girls have had major accomplishments in the triad of fields I’m most involved in, poker, chess and writing. Katie Dozier became a Supernova, and Jamie Kerstetter signed with a major site. Irina Krush earned the most prestigious title in chess of Grandmaster, and Jean Hoffman, with whom I started 9 Queens, became the first woman to be the Executive Director of the US Chess Federation. Among my writer friends, Samara O’Shea is publishing a new book (on the related topic of unrequited love!), and Nell McShane Wulfhart is now writing regularly for mainstream publications like the Wall Street Journal. I was happy to be happy in all these cases, though I can’t claim I’ve “solved jealousy.” The green monster could easily return in future stages of my life.
1. Swap Away: If something good happens to a friend and your genuine emotion is jealousy, you should probably express happiness and support for them anyway. Some people may dismiss this as “fake;” I call it “being the change you want to see in the world.” Aligning your interests with your friend may help you fake it till you make it. In poker, you could achieve this by swapping or buying pieces (you should also be rolled for this and think your friend is a good investment).
2. Reassess: If you find yourself so jealous that you can barely log on to Twitter without twitching over friends final tabling various events or vacationing around the world, you may need to reassess your own poker and life. Working on your own game may make you feel better. If not, you may need to explore outside your game of choice or poker itself. I’m a big believer in multiple revenue streams (as two of my favorite advice columnists, Jen Dziura and James Altucher, constantly emphasize) for financial and emotional reasons. Learn a new game or try to make a little money outside of poker. Spend less time following your friends and develop a new skill that sets you apart. Then when you’re back in a more social mood (think hibernation!), it may be easier for you to root for them.
3. Don’t Buy Into the Hype: Things like highlighting the “last woman standing” in poker may force jealousy or competition where none would otherwise exist. In a few recent conversations, I was compared too directly to female friends. Reject such temptations to gossip. It’s one thing to indulge in a little internal jealousy, but once you start giving into it in public ways, you are feeding a monster.
4. Recognize the positive attributes of jealousy: You have a group of friends that is successful enough for you to be jealous of. You’re probably ambitious and passionate and have some clear visions of what you want. Finally, your jealousy may be valid and help you determine who your real friends are. To take an extreme case, you may wonder if your friend were to become WSOP Main Event Champion, would you still be as close? Possibly not. Be realistic. If I was good friends with everyone I hung out with, I’d be emotionally overwhelmed all the time. Figure out who your real friends are, and do your best to genuinely root for and support them. It will likely come back to you.
Whether you are just a recreational player or a hardcore professional, improving your poker game is something that is important for you. Of course, for a professional, improvement is closely tied to increasing income from the game, and this in return results in better overall life quality. For an amateur this is not necessarily the case, but still, the better you get, the more interesting poker becomes. You’ll find it more enjoyable to play poker the more you know.
I will try to give you few pointers on how you could effectively work on bettering your game, regardless of what is your poison of choice (cash/sngs/mtts). These approaches to improving your poker skills should give some decent results after you have successfully applied them for a little while.
Review your hands away from the table. I realize that this is not new advice, yet it is one that is often neglected. The truth about poker is that people often know more, sometimes way more than what they apply at the tables. The reason for this is because they do not analyze their play away from the tables. If you start doing this, even on your own, you will probably notice some reoccurring plays that you will be able to identify as wrong (calling too big bets with draws, trying to hero call way too much, etc.). Examples are numerous and will vary, but after accepting this practice for a while, you will start seeing these things during the game play, and this will, in turn, result in better finishes in tournaments or more profitable cash sessions.
Find a friend or group of friends to work with. Clearly there is a limit to how much you can do and realize alone, except for extreme cases. Talking poker strategy with one or more other players will open your eyes to some new ideas that you would have hard time coming up with on your own. It will also help you deal with swings and emotional aspects of poker, as you will be reminded daily that you are not the only one going through them.
Join a poker forum. Aside from the fact that you will have no problem finding people to work with on a poker forum, there is also the added benefit of seeing hands of other players posted and discussed, sometimes dissected to the smallest details. In time you will also start joining discussions and start having more and more ideas of your own about certain spots. This is very good as it means that you are thinking more and more about the game.
Acquire some poker software. Although some do not like it, we are living in the age of technology. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using different programs to study your game away from the tables. On the contrary, why should you pass on the opportunities so many other players are using? These programs will help you define, for example, opponents’ pre-flop ranges and what hands you should be playing against those ranges. This will, in turn, again lead to you thinking more and more about the game and factors that are in the very foundations of poker.
As always, any questions, comments or suggestions are welcome in comments, on Facebook or Google+. Until next time, work on your game, stay well and run good!
It can be easy to believe that a small bankroll means fewer opportunities for a poker player. PokerStars does its best to disprove that notion with satellites and qualifiers, and nothing has done more for micro-stakes players than the MicroMillions online poker tournament series.
When it began in early 2012, MicroMillions changed the world of poker tournaments, as it offered a massive schedule of 100 events with serious guarantees and even bigger prize pools.
November 2013 offers the sixth running of the MicroMillions series, and there will be $ 5 million guarantees alone across the 100 tournaments. With events ranging from $ .11 to $ 22, there will be something for every player from November 14-24.
Let’s take Event 1 as an example. It is a $ .11 NLHE tournament with rebuys and a hyper-active structure of six-minute levels. And there is a $ 15K guarantee, so the winner is guaranteed at least $ 1,500 for an $ .011 investment. But even better, there are satellites running around the clock for as little as one Frequent Player Point. Needless to say, there are already more than 20,000 players registered for the event, and it seems rather likely that the guarantee will be smashed to bits.
MicroMillions 5 started with the exact same tournament, and look at the results:
That is just one example of how popular MicroMillions tournaments can be.
Want a regular NLHE without the accelerated structure? The first day of action offers Event 5, a $ 3.30 NLHE 6-Max tournament with a $ 25K guarantee. First place will receive more than $ 5K, and satellites start as low as 40 FPPs or $ .011.
And let’s not forget about the Main Event, which will be Event 98 on the schedule, a $ 22 NLHE with $ 1 million set as the guarantee and $ 150K guaranteed to first place. For $ 22! And satellites are already running for as little as $ .55!
The greatest thing about this series is that it works for players of all bankrolls and professions. Those women who don’t play on a full-time basis, who are constantly juggling poker with other jobs and responsibilities, can still get in on the action by playing any of the many turbo tournaments. And some of the events offer to prizes that can literally change a person’s life.
It’s also important to remember that the winner of the MicroMillions Leader Board, with the most points for the series in its entirety, will win the Player of the Series award, which consist of free Sunday Million tickets (worth $ 215 each) for six months!
Check out the MicroMillions tournament page for the complete schedule of 100 events.
And as you play, monitor the Leader Board to see who stands in your way of the top award.
Also, ladies, let us know how you’re doing! Don’t hold in your excitement! Tell us when you cash or final table the MicroMillions events at @PokerStarsWomen on Twitter so we can celebrate with you!
Ah, Paris in the autumn. (Or the spring, or summer. Or winter for that matter.) What a place! I’ll be honest with you; I was expecting a pretty uneventful trip there this time for the WPT Grand Prix de Paris. That particular tournament always brings out a pretty tough field of pros and although I’ve played it before, I’ve never even managed to cash. Until now (cue dramatic music.)
** At this point, I need to tell you that if you’re waiting to see the TV coverage and don’t want to know what happened, this is your obligatory spoiler alert **
By the time Day 3 rolled around
I was really starting to hope for my first WPT final table but instead, I finished a respectable 14th place when I shoved my last 15bb on the button with A8spades and the small blind, a really nice guy named Peter Apostolou from Australia, woke up with AA. He eventually finished in 3rd place although I was rooting for him to take it the whole way. He was just in Paris on a bit of a whim with his wife, as they stopped for a short holiday on their way to the USA. It’s one of those crazy serendipity stories where a last minute decision and a last minute satellite win lead to a payday of over $ 200k. Good for him I say, although bollocks to the fact that he had AA in the small blind. Who gets AA in the sb when a short stack shoves in front of them? It’s almost unfair… But I digress.
Every once in a while
I play a tournament that is particularly good fun and this was one of those. I sat at tables with interesting, funny and really likeable characters from all over the world and although the competition was fierce, the chat was light and entertaining. The eventual winner, Mohsin Charania is not only a great player but he also has a wild imagination and knack for making up stories out of thin air. I bloody love that. And you know what? Relaxing and enjoying myself really helped me focus on playing better too.
I’d love to tell you that I played my A game the whole time and trounced my tables with pure skill and impressive decision making but that wasn’t exactly the case. I made a couple of moves that were … umm, let me see. How can I put this? They were… ‘creative’ (at best.) The fact that they worked doesn’t justify their spewiness but damn, it did make it more fun!
Overall, I was actually really happy with my play though. Over the past couple of years, I’ve had a bad habit of being the ‘almost’ bubble girl so many times in WPT events that I knew there was definitely a leak in my game around that point. So, I turned to some good Pro advice and put a bit of thought into the problem to get me through and what do you know, it worked!
Imagine that. I put some work into my game and it made me money. Consider that your super-obvious poker tip of the week, folks.
So this year, out of the 10 big events that I’ve played, I’ve managed to make the final 2 tables in 3 of them. Two WPTs and one WSOP bracelet event. Not too shabby. I have a couple more to play before 2013 is done (I am SO looking forward to WPT Montreal next month) and I’m going to take what I’ve learned about where my leaks are, and put some more work in to try to fix them. Who knows, maybe I’ll get my WPT final table this year after all!
The all new partypoker Sunday tournament schedule
The all new partypoker has introduced a new Sunday tournament schedule. The key changes are the addition of an action-packed fun $ 10K Super Bounty and a wide range of new low buy-in tournaments featuring the best of the old but also new speed, rebuy, add-on and PLO tournaments – a great Sunday mix if you want to win top prizes and have fun playing tournament poker.
Halloween is just around the corner and everyone is eagerly anticipating an evening of trick-or-treating. Some people may prefer to leave the tricks for others and instead they’ll take their seats as usual in front of the computer screen for an enjoyable evening of online poker.
But, it can be scary to play online poker, because you never know exactly who your opponents are. When you sit down at a poker table in a casino, or when you take your seat at a friend’s home for a casual evening of poker, at least you can see your opponents in the flesh.
When you play online poker, you see your opponents only as funny-looking avatars, positioned around the virtual poker table. You don’t know if the player with the “superman” nickname is actually a man or a woman, and you don’t even have a clue if that player has anything “super” about him or her.
Playing online poker can be ghoulish, and that’s not only on Halloween. You could be playing against the most professional poker player in the world, and you don’t know this because all you can see of your opponent is his/her online persona. A nickname and an avatar.
How can you protect yourself while playing online poker?
Even though only your nickname is public, your online gaming has a track record. There are websites and tracking programs that know a lot about your playing history, and this information is easily accessed by your opponents.
Titan Poker offers anonymous cash tables, where you can take your seat without fully identifying yourself. Playing at the anonymous tables puts you on an equal footing with your opponents. They know nothing about your poker history, and you know nothing about theirs. Skill and good cards will determine who walks away from the tables with a profit.
To safeguard your bankroll, it’s important to follow the oft-repeated poker advice of sticking to the tables/tournaments that you can afford, and to stop while you’re ahead. Don’t stay at the tables in desperate attempts to turn your downswing around. Sometimes, it’s best to take a break and come back the next day, refreshed and with your mind clear.
Don’t let aggressive players scare you
While playing poker you frequently come up against very loose, aggressive players. These are players who compete in every pot and try to steal the blinds repeatedly with their large bets. If you’re afraid of these antics, you’ll fold and let them control the playing field. But if you show them that you’re not afraid, and match their bets or even re-raise, you may end up scaring them out of the hands. Once these aggressive players know that you’re not easily frightened, they’ll be less likely to make moves against you.
Playing online poker doesn’t have to be a scary hobby. Instead, playing online poker is intended to be fun and completely enjoyable. This Halloween, or whenever you play, don’t let your opponents ghoul you out of the game. Be strong, play your cards right, and you just might end up scaring them!
The pictures in this article were submitted to Titan Poker as part of the Crazy Costume Poker Challenge.
The world of online poker is divided into three types of poker: Tournaments, Sit ‘n’ Gos, and Cash Games. Some players will play all three, while others will specialize and stake their career on just one of them. I will list a few points about each to help you make an informed choice which type best fits your profile. Also, this will help you determine if the poker game you are currently playing is what you are really looking for.
Tournaments: If you want to play a good number of tournaments each day you will need to commit yourself to some 5 to 6 hours of poker action. Tournaments follow a schedule. Each tournament has an average duration of approximately 5 hours, and if you do well, you will be playing sessions lasting between 8 to 10 hours. These are very long sessions. Among the three types of poker listed here, tournaments is the one with the highest variance and consequently you can play for much longer without making a profit. In this mode your return on investment (wins against buy-ins) is quite low and you cannot count on it. If you lose your chips, it’s the end of the game.
Winners of poker tournaments, especially live tournaments, get their names published in the media and gain a certain degree of a celebrity status. Some top players are hired by companies with sponsorships after they win major poker events like the World Series of Poker tournaments.
Sit and Go: With sit ‘n’ go tournaments, available round the clock, the sessions are short, and you can keep control of how much time you will be playing. Sit ‘n’ go tournaments start very readily and very easily. There is action all the time. All you need to do is register when you want to play. Sit ‘n’ go poker tournaments have a medium variance, with a good rake back. Some types of sit ‘n’ go tournaments make players play only for rake back as a way to profit. The ROI (return of investment) is medium.
Cash Games: In cash games, you have full control of the time you spend at the table. With just one click, you can stop playing (at online games). You can play multiple sessions during the day. If you lose your chips, you can re-buy any time you want. If you don’t like any player at your table you can choose to play at another one instead, at any time. You may, however, need to make your table selection based on the average buy in. If you play the highest stakes, you may have to wait for action. (This shouldn’t be the case at the lower buy-ins). Playing cash games gives you the best rake back from the three poker options, as this rake back comes as part of your profit. You will experience lower variance at the cash tables.
With this brief comparison of the three types of poker play, some points are quite clear. If you are not willing to sit for at least 5 hours in front of the computer do not enter a tournament. Instead, play a Sit ‘n’ Go or a Cash Game. In Tournaments and Sit ‘n’ Gos the blinds increase steadily, forcing players to play and accumulate more chips to keep themselves alive. Cash Games however always remains at the same blind levels that brought you to the table in the first place.
I started my poker career poker playing Sit ‘n’ Gos, and I spent about two years playing them. I play Cash Games just for fun and not as a way to profit and therefore I usually don’t play too much of them. Currently I mostly play tournaments and I must say that this is what I like to play. I enjoy the late part of the game. Making it to a final table is pretty awesome and when you win the tournament, it is a unique moment whatever the value.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been there; the bad beats, the misreads and the times where we got our chips in good when we thought we were ahead only to find our opponent turns over a ‘ludicrous’ starting hand for the bankroll-denting nuts. But were they all bad beats? Was our opponent’s hand as crazy as we first thought after review or have we been the victim of our own mistakes all along?
Fronting up, moving forward
It’s easier to blame something or someone else instead of admitting your misfortune may have been your own mistake, but how do you know if the hand you just lost was the result of a bad beat or if you simply played it poorly instead? Well, the answer to that is simple: analyse it or, even better, have it analysed for you. The internet is awash with poker forums where you can post your hands and have other poker player’s comment on how you played. You’ll get plenty of good advice but also there’s a danger that you’ll get some bad advice also.
Why you should post your hand at PokerSchoolOnline
• You’ll get a reply from a trained professional every time.
• There’s an easy-to-use Hand Replayer to post hands with.
• It’s completely free! That’s always good, right?
• All poker games and variants are covered in the Hand Analysis forum.
• You’ll join one of the largest online poker communities on the internet.
So what are you waiting for? Get posting your poker hands for review today and take that first step on the road to improving your poker game!
Posted by Davida Mintz
Suppose you’ve identified a major leak in your game and have decided to do something about it. Start by figuring out whether the problem’s with your technical game, or if it’s emotionally based. Get a poker coach if it’s technical, but when you’re prone to tilt, playing angry or playing scared, a lesser known style of hypnosis is helping poker players resolve emotional issues that are holding them back.
During regression hypnotherapy, players access childhood memories to get in touch with the source of their trouble spots. I had a chance to speak with Las Vegas Hypnotherapist Elliot Roe (DHP) about regression hypnosis for poker players. “It’s possible to progress much faster with a client using hypnotherapy rather than more traditional therapies, as communication takes place directly with the subconscious mind. What could take years to resolve using psychoanalysis, can take just weeks or months using hypnotherapy.” Roe has worked with about 100 poker players, and says all of his clients are different, but certain themes begin to emerge.
Self-sabotage is a big issue in Roe’s practice, along with frustration and anxiety. He says players who undermine themselves may have been through something traumatic, like living with parents who tell them they’re worthless. Self-sabotage can also be the result of a lack of self-confidence or the feeling one doesn’t deserve to succeed.
A player who never backs down to aggression, and engages in ego wars, was probably pushed around when he was younger. Roe sees this behavior in players who were bullied as children, either by parents or kids at school. Bullying can also cause a situation like being C-bet, to feel like a personal attack.
I wanted to know about players who can’t fold. Roe says it’s often the result of playing competitive sports as a child, or having a lot of pressure put on them in sports. He says in their minds, “They feel that if they don’t fold, they still have a chance of winning, rather than seeing that if they do fold, they can actually win in the long term, because they’re not wasting as much money.”
Roe works with a lot of players on reducing the amount of abuse they give in the chat box, and says typing hateful words in the box is their way of releasing frustration. He explains, “They’ve had a bad beat, they want to let the player know that they’re the professional and they should have won the hand, rather than realizing that the last thing you want to tell somebody is that they should have played the hand differently.”
Every player knows what it’s like to run bad, and when it continues, re-thinking your bankroll is the right thing to do. The majority of players bounce back from a downswing, but the ones who have issues about money tend to play too tight and jeopardize future earnings, by playing stakes that are too low. Roe’s noticed geographic differences in the way players respond to bankroll issues, and notes, “It happens a lot with Eastern European players, the money to them is a lot of money, because obviously in their country, they might be making 10 times more than the average person.” The first thing he works on with a client with money issues is determining whether he has a true money problem or a difficult relationship with money.
The Hypnotic Experience
Now that we’d established the link between past events and losing behavior, I asked Roe to explain the therapeutic process. He put me under hypnosis to see for myself, and get to the bottom of a leak in my game. Roe used relaxation exercises, hypnotic suggestion and visualization to induce a trance.
Soon, my mind would drift off to a final table, where I’m playing too tight. My game is not ending well again, and I’m tense and frustrated. I tell Roe I can feel my arms getting tight against my body.
That’s when he changes the scene and says, “You’re going to remember another connected memory. Just another time in your life you felt a similar way. As I count you back now to another connected time, five, four, three, drifting back through your memories now, two, one. What’s the next thing you think of, anything at all?”
Making a Connection
We sorted through about a half-dozen meaningful events, but made no connections, until I brought up an experience that initially seemed insignificant. Apparently I had more to learn from the first-grade teacher I despised for making me sit outside. Add to that, a birthday stuck with a cold-blooded babysitter, and the link between past events and my poker performance became clear.
Now that the connection’s been made, Roe gives positive reinforcement, as he asks me to visualize being chip leader at the final table. This time, I’m in control and winning pots. I see myself as an active player, feeling focused and relaxed as I enter the final stage of tournament poker.
Regression hypnosis has gained the attention of poker players worldwide, who go into trance with Roe on Skype. He spent three months researching with professional and amateur players before developing his poker hypnosis program. Though not a player himself, Roe demonstrates a clear understanding of poker strategy and terminology.
Poker is a game that involves many different variables. Although skill and knowledge will prevail in the end, there are many factors that cannot be influenced by a player in the short run. Furthermore, the human component of poker is such that even the best player in the world is always at peril to make a mistake due to lack of attention, being distracted, or whatever else may be the case. All of these are not that significant by themselves, but can become very grave if they lead to tilt.
There are several reasons of different origin that can lead to tilt in poker, and I will try to name a few of them so to make them more easily recognizable and easier to deal with.
First off, there is variance. No matter how good or bad one is at the poker table, no one is immune to variance. Even though variance will work in your favor some of the time, we all remember times when we were on the wrong side of it. Bad variance can lead to playing subpar, chasing draws you should not, entering pots you have no place being in because of the sense you are finally due to win some big hands. Whilst this may work for you on any particular occasion, more often than not you will dig an even deeper hole, making it harder to go back into the black.
The first step is recognizing that this is happening. The second step is doing something about it. Poker is not a fair game, no one ever said that it was. If you want to be successful, you have to be able to deal with bad runs the same way you enjoy good runs. Step away from the game if you must, clear your head, or, if you really want to be good, force yourself to never change your game even if you are stuck like never before. It is not an easy thing to do, but it does get easier with every new downswing, until eventually it does not influence you at all. My next article will perhaps deal with variance in more detail.
We are all humans, and we are often annoyed by a particular person’s behavior in real life. It is no different at the tables. You will often find yourself in a spot where that one player annoys the hell out of you because he keeps raising and making weird plays, and you just want to get him. This can be very dangerous, as it can lead to making plays you would not have otherwise.
Anything that changes your game without a real, substantial reason for it is bad for you and can be categorized as a form of tilting. Try and remember that any player is at liberty to do what they like with their chips, and that, if they are making bad plays, the easiest way for you to get them is to actually play proper, solid, and mistake-free poker as much as possible.
There is more to be said about tilt, but unfortunately I have to end this entry here and leave additional thoughts for the next article. Try and remember – keeping your cool at all times will give best results when all is said and done.