Sunday, January 31, 2010

bankroll builders

source: http://www.pokernews.com/strategy/bankroll-builders-micro-stakes-no-limit-hold-em-part-1-7685.htm

Back in 2007, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson famously turned a zero balance on Full Tilt Poker into $10,000. Earlier this year, Daniel Negreanu set about running $10 up to $100,000 on PokerStars, starting with the $2 buy-in, $0.01/$0.02 no-limit hold’em games.

Both of these players have proved that it takes patience, dedication and solid play to quite literally pull oneself up by one's bootstraps in online poker, but that it is possible and you don’t have to be a five-time bracelet winner to do it.

Even if you’re hanging on to the flimsiest of online account balances, micro-stakes no-limit hold’em can be the quickest way to turn your last $20 into something far more workable.

Where can I play?

Both Full Tilt and PokerStars spread no-limit hold'em games with blinds as low as $0.01/$0.02 and buy-ins as small as $2.

Where should I start?

If you are a total beginner when it comes to no-limit hold'em, stick to a game in which you have at least 20 to 25 buy-ins. For $0.01/$0.02 NLHE, have $40 to $50, for $0.02/$0.05 have $100 to $125 and for $0.05/0.10 start with at least $200.

More experienced players looking to run up a bankroll from a small online balance can relax these requirements a bit at the lowest limits and play games for which they have 10 to 15 buy-ins. Play $0.01/$0.02 with $25 or less, try $0.02/$0.05 with $50 to $75, and move up to $0.05/$0.10 once you hit $100.

Should I multi-table?

Let's get real for a minute. Endless strings of $0.07 preflop raises and $0.30 pots can seriously test one's patience. Multitabling can certainly alleviate boredom and often prevents players from seeking out other distractions (television, surfing the internet, instant messaging) while waiting for a playable hand.

Beginners should certainly stick to one table while learning the fundamentals of no-limit hold'em, but those of you with a bit more experience should consider adding another table or two in the interest of playing more hands per hour and increasing your win rate.

Put it this way. If you're trying out poker on your first (or even second) $50 deposit, stick to one table. However, if you've been playing for a while and blew out most of your PokerStars roll taking a shot at a higher limit, multitable your way out of the $0.02/$0.05 and $0.05/$0.10 games as fast as possible.

How much can I earn?

Win rates at micro-limit NLHE are as varied as the players themselves and largely depend on one’s skill and experience. With a plethora of fish in these seas, it can be relatively easy for a solid player to extract a ton of value and move up quickly.

At the beginning of his $10 to $100,000 challenge earlier this year, Daniel Negreanu ran his $10 bankroll up to $25.26 in 786 hands of $0.01/$0.02 NLHE. That's a rate of nearly one big blind per hand! Sure, hardly anyone can come close to matching Negreanu’s skill, but by playing some quality ABC poker, extracting value from big hands and limiting your bluffs, you’ll be up a few buy-ins in no time.

When should I move up?

When playing $0.01/$0.02 through $0.05/$0.10 NLHE, stick to the bankroll requirements we talked about before — 10 to 15 buy-ins for experienced players and 20 to 25 for beginners. However, once you’ve built your roll up to around $500, it’s time to re-evaluate. There is a significant jump in skill level from $10 buy-in NLHE and $25 buy-in NLHE. Especially if you’re multi-tabling, it may be time to increase the number of buy-ins you have in your account relative to the game you’re playing.

If you’re moving up to $25 NLHE for the first time, start slowly by mixing in one table of $0.10/$0.25 with another of $0.05/$0.10. If you’re comfortable in the $25 game, excellent! Keep grinding and gradually phase out of $0.05/$0.10. If you drop a few buy-ins right away or feel as though you’re in over your head, drop back down to the $10 games. Beginners should have 40 to 50 buy-ins at $0.10/$0.25 (at least $1,000) before multi-tabling at the $25 level.

Players in bankroll-rebuilding mode, who are more comfortable at $0.10/$0.25 and higher, can relax those requirements a bit. But beware of playing any game for which you have less than 20 buy-ins. Variance will always rear its ugly head, even for the best players.

pinoy poker millionaires

source: http://pokermanila.com/index.php?topic=1096.msg9375#msg9375

Noli is a businessman from NY by way of Cebu. By all accounts he is the first Filipino to play in the WSOP, and played at the famed Mayfair Club in the early 80s with the likes of Howard Lederer, Erik Seidel, Dan Harrington, Steve Z. He also won the WPT at Borgata. But Toto has like over 2 million in earnings, he was great in the 2003 US Poker Championships I think I have the year right, where he tilted the hell out of Phil Hellmuth, and he went on to bust Hellmuth, Seidel, and John Hennigan. He also just won at Borgata.

As for other Filipino players theres that Ricardo Festejo who was 2nd in the 07 WPT Borgata event for 799k, and he is a millionaire. Ricardo took a sick beat when he called bottom pair all in, when he had the other guy dominated but the other guy caught his kicker for two pair on turn.

Other notable Filipinos I have noticed are players like Rocky Enciso who made a WSOP final table and played very donkishly even calling an all in with Q10 when he had no business doing so, but his stats do show a decent record so he must be doing something right. The guy who won the WSOP dealers event last year was a Filipino. But there is just alot of good Filipino poker players in the Bay Area and SoCal. Plus you have me in Seattle...lol...hehe

Daddy’s Feeling Lucky

source: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.08/posts.html?pg=3

Last summer, Ben Foster quit his $110,000-a-year job as a senior product manager at eBay to play online poker full-time. In the months leading up to his decision, the 28-year-old with a degree in statistics had been tracking his winnings on a detailed spreadsheet. After checking and rechecking the numbers, he came to the conclusion that he could earn more money playing poker than working at eBay. Plus, his wife was pregnant with their second child, and he was needed around the house. Foster decided to become a stay-at-home poker dad.

His in-laws thought he’d lost his mind – this is no way to support a family. Foster had what to him seemed a perfectly reasonable rationale: “There are a lot of suckers out there.” And his spreadsheet proved it. Over the course of hundreds of games, simultaneously playing eight of them per hour on PartyPoker.com, he averaged $15 a game. (Despite all the talk of poker bots, his earnings held steady.) If he played 20 hours a week, that $15 per game would translate to about $125,000 a year for a part-time job. The in-laws were still skeptical.

Nine months later, Foster dutifully sits in front of two flat-panel displays in his sparsely furnished home office in San Jose, California. On his bookshelf, Caro’s List of Poker Tells is crammed next to Baby Names Now. It’s 9:30 on a Tuesday night, and his wife is upstairs trying to get the little ones to sleep. Foster logs on to the PartyPoker Web site. “Open for business,” he says. At this hour, there should be a good number of drunk and/or inexperienced players online. There’s always the chance that more sophisticated opponents will join in – rumors that a poker-savvy Google executive recently quit to play full-time online make him blanch. But so far, his average take still hovers in the acceptable range, $10 per game.

Not that it’s been an easy nine months. “It’s nearly impossible to play eight poker games at once when your 4-week-old son is screaming in the background,” Foster admits. As a result, he hasn’t logged as many hours as he had planned. To make up for it, he spent a recent weekend in Reno. A group of his former eBay colleagues wanted to chill out in the hotel room and play some “friendly” poker. For Foster, it was the perfect opportunity to win some money from people who questioned his decision to leave the corporate world. But before long he was in the mood for higher stakes – and easier marks – so he decided to head to the casino by himself. He couldn’t stop thinking about his wife and kids back home. He wasn’t there to have fun – this was his job. After playing for 24 hours straight, Foster came out $2,700 ahead.

Now, back in the condo on a Tuesday night, he’s settling into his chair and feeling the rush of the game. His biggest fear – that he’d stop liking poker – hasn’t come to pass. And unlike working in an office, he says, the game is always exciting. Even tonight, when he has a bad run and makes only $10 in his first hour, it’s still better than holding a tech job. When his wife peeks in and asks how he’s doing, he shakes his head. It hasn’t been good, he says. But the kids are asleep, and, statistically speaking, there’s a sucker born every minute.
– Joshua Davis
I chose not to finish the limit freeroll. I chose to take a nap while waiting for the NLHE freeroll. Got myself registered with that. I now have about half an hour to take a break, refresh myself.
Got myself registered in pokerstars limit hold'em freeroll. It starts in about ten minutes. At this time, there are 9,000 registered. Where did all these people come from?

In the other poker sites, I don't see freeroll with that much participants. The other sites do not hold freeroll as often as pokerstars do. Another one starts in an hour and a half. Limit for that is another 9,000 and I wouldn't be surprised if that fills up fast.

I've got iTunes open and tuned in to ambient music for my background.

So this is what it's like to play poker full-time.
As a full time poker player, my job is to play good poker at each time. Playing good poker is not only limited to the cash tables. I can play good poker on freeroll and tournaments too.

There seems to be a cash freeroll tournament on pokerstars every two hours on average. I can join these once or twice a day to improve my game. These are free to members. Even at a limit of 9000 participants, they fill up pretty fast. As soon as the REGISTER button shows up on the lobby, everyone clicks on it and not a minute too soon.

So now I have the tournament lobby open on my desktop and I have a countdown timer on so I'd know a few minutes in advance to shift to that window to register.

At my current level, I intend to play at least one cash game per day and one freeroll.
- keep it simple.
- check, call, raise, fold. These are the tools available for me to know what hand they are playing.
- pay attention to how they play now. The present is not the result of my past.
- betting. Either go half-pot, pot or all-in.
- to play well is boring. Look for excitement some place else.
- long term winning does not depend on luck alone.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I did another freeroll NLHE (playmoney) with pokerstars. Today, I finished 250th place out of more than 4,000 registered. That's upper 10% of the crowd. Not bad. I played tight aggressive, based on what I have learned so far from Sklansky's book, Small stakes NLHE.

This was the best finish so far. usually, my game falters after the first or second break. This time, I kept to my game. I did not attempt to steal pots. I think what I can improve on is choosing my hand well. I did play some connectors, but these were low cards. I'd look for a cheap flop and see how things go from there. Most of the time, I'd had to fold, but that's part of the gameplan.

I also made calls based on good pot odds. I think I am getting a better handle on how to play using pot and drawing odds.

Yesterday, playing pot limit (playmoney), I finished above cut-off. That game wasn't as tight as I played today. My game faltered as my wife was on her way home. It was my son's birthday and there was a lot of cooking and cleaning up to do, so I had to finish the game.

I'm looking forward to playing again tomorrow. If I make good again, I'd play live on Monday. I may be on to something here.

I'm seeing where I can improve my live game. I wasn't tight last time I played and was loose aggressive when everyone on the table was playing tight. Whenever I'd get a raise, I'd assume they were bluffing and reraise. Three buy-ins in a row got wiped out. I should have stuck with my plan to stop playing after one buy-in wipe out. One is easy to get back after I clear my head. At least tuition payed for that is a good lesson for me.
PokerStars Game #38942437430: Tournament #234978291, 500+30 Hold'em No Limit - Level XII (150/300) - 2010/01/30 0:07:49 ET
Table '234978291 257' 9-max Seat #4 is the button
Seat 1: welba83 (2215 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 2: mrbubbatoyou (10483 in chips)
Seat 3: winer32a (8267 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 4: pointdownstr (26564 in chips)
Seat 5: pirataluis (21478 in chips)
Seat 6: cruja23 (6566 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 7: eatbondo (1450 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 8: 10trevster10 (13428 in chips)
Seat 9: PHILIPP BOSS (58742 in chips)
welba83: posts the ante 40
mrbubbatoyou: posts the ante 40
winer32a: posts the ante 40
pointdownstr: posts the ante 40
pirataluis: posts the ante 40
cruja23: posts the ante 40
eatbondo: posts the ante 40
10trevster10: posts the ante 40
PHILIPP BOSS: posts the ante 40
pirataluis: posts small blind 150
cruja23: posts big blind 300
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to pointdownstr [Kd Ad]
eatbondo: folds
10trevster10: calls 300
PHILIPP BOSS: calls 300
welba83: folds
mrbubbatoyou: folds
winer32a: folds
pointdownstr: raises 300 to 600
pirataluis: folds
cruja23: folds
10trevster10: calls 300
PHILIPP BOSS: calls 300
*** FLOP *** [8h 7h 4c]
10trevster10: bets 300
PHILIPP BOSS: calls 300
pointdownstr: calls 300
*** TURN *** [8h 7h 4c] [Ks]
10trevster10: bets 300
PHILIPP BOSS: calls 300
pointdownstr: calls 300
*** RIVER *** [8h 7h 4c Ks] [8d]
10trevster10: checks
PHILIPP BOSS: bets 1200
pointdownstr: raises 4410 to 5610
10trevster10: folds
PHILIPP BOSS: calls 4410
*** SHOW DOWN ***
pointdownstr: shows [Kd Ad] (two pair, Kings and Eights)
PHILIPP BOSS: shows [8s 9s] (three of a kind, Eights)
PHILIPP BOSS collected 15630 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 15630 | Rake 0
Board [8h 7h 4c Ks 8d]
Seat 1: welba83 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: mrbubbatoyou folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 3: winer32a folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: pointdownstr (button) showed [Kd Ad] and lost with two pair, Kings and Eights
Seat 5: pirataluis (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 6: cruja23 (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 7: eatbondo folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: 10trevster10 folded on the River
Seat 9: PHILIPP BOSS showed [8s 9s] and won (15630) with three of a kind, Eights

flush beats my straight

flush beat my straight
PokerStars Game #38941432320: Tournament #234978291, 500+30 Hold'em No Limit - Level IX (75/150) - 2010/01/29 23:31:20 ET
Table '234978291 257' 9-max Seat #6 is the button
Seat 1: buckj54 (42480 in chips)
Seat 2: mrbubbatoyou (9038 in chips)
Seat 3: Qually2 (7000 in chips)
Seat 4: pointdownstr (25719 in chips)
Seat 5: pirataluis (16553 in chips)
Seat 6: cruja23 (8666 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 7: eatbondo (3675 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 8: 10trevster10 (9804 in chips)
Seat 9: PHILIPP BOSS (14421 in chips)
buckj54: posts the ante 20
mrbubbatoyou: posts the ante 20
Qually2: posts the ante 20
pointdownstr: posts the ante 20
pirataluis: posts the ante 20
cruja23: posts the ante 20
eatbondo: posts the ante 20
10trevster10: posts the ante 20
PHILIPP BOSS: posts the ante 20
eatbondo: posts small blind 75
10trevster10: posts big blind 150
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to pointdownstr [Kh 7d]
PHILIPP BOSS: folds
buckj54: calls 150
mrbubbatoyou: calls 150
Qually2: folds
pointdownstr: calls 150
pirataluis: folds
cruja23: folds
eatbondo: folds
10trevster10: checks
*** FLOP *** [Js Jd Td]
10trevster10: checks
buckj54: checks
mrbubbatoyou: checks
pointdownstr: checks
*** TURN *** [Js Jd Td] [As]
10trevster10: checks
buckj54: checks
mrbubbatoyou: checks
pointdownstr: checks
*** RIVER *** [Js Jd Td As] [Qs]
10trevster10: checks
buckj54: checks
mrbubbatoyou: bets 750
pointdownstr: raises 750 to 1500
10trevster10: folds
buckj54: folds
mrbubbatoyou: calls 750
*** SHOW DOWN ***
pointdownstr: shows [Kh 7d] (a straight, Ten to Ace)
mrbubbatoyou: shows [9s 4s] (a flush, Ace high)
mrbubbatoyou collected 3855 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 3855 | Rake 0
Board [Js Jd Td As Qs]
Seat 1: buckj54 folded on the River
Seat 2: mrbubbatoyou showed [9s 4s] and won (3855) with a flush, Ace high
Seat 3: Qually2 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 4: pointdownstr showed [Kh 7d] and lost with a straight, Ten to Ace
Seat 5: pirataluis folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: cruja23 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 7: eatbondo (small blind) folded before Flop
Seat 8: 10trevster10 (big blind) folded on the River
Seat 9: PHILIPP BOSS folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Ed MIller grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. He received an SB in physics and another in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT in 2000> After a year teaching, he moved to Redmond, Washington to work as a software developer for Microsoft.

Looking for a new hobby, he deposited a couple hundred dolars in Novermber 2001 to play $1-$2 hold'em online. After losing his initial stake, he southgt to improve his game. After a few months, he turned his losses into wins in a $4-$8 game at a local card room.

By 2003, he had moved up to $10-$20 and $20-$40, and in March he left hsi job to play poker full time. By then, he had swapped roles on the online forums frm beginning player seeking advice to expert player giving it.

After six more successful months playing in the Seattle area, he moved to Las Vegas, where he currently resides. Today, Ed usually plays between $10-$20 and $30-$60, but he occasionally still be found int he $2-$4 and $6-$12 games around Las Vegas.

source: small stakes NLHE

Friday, January 29, 2010

- Remember that each new limper increases the pot, but not the bet, hence improving the pot odds for the next potential limper.

- Almost no player, even the most inexperienced, would be foolish enough to limp into a pot against several players with a high pair (unless they were expecting a raise behind them.) The right play is to raise and drive some of the players out, and that's a move that almost everyone understands.

- if the pot hands are good enough, any hand is worth a call.

- Isn't that a lot of work and effort just for a better chance of perhaps stealing a pot or two down the road? Yes, it is. And that's the heart of good poker. Keep making these little mental notes, and after a couple of hours you'll know a lot about the players at your table, and your results will improve significantly.

- All succesful gambling is based on one simple idea: making good bets at favorable odds. Assessing whether a bet is good or not involves knowing two key facts:
1. What are the odds against your winning the bet?
2. What are the payoff odds if you win?

When the payoff odds are higher than the odds against your winning, you have a good bet. Over time, if you kept making the same bet, you would win money, although the fluctuations might be severe. When the payoff odds are lower than the odds against your winning, you have a bad bet. In time, if you keep making such bets, you will lose money.

- As the tournament goes on, you'll be confronted with a long string of possible bets. The good news is that some will be favorable and some will be unfavorable ones. The bad news is that it won't be obvious at first which is which. Figuring that out is up to you.

- Becoming a better player is really a matter of recognizing and making your favorable bets, while avoiding the unfavorable or breakeven bets.

Harrington's Law of Bluffing:
The probability that your opponent is bluffing when he shoves a big bet in the pot is always at least 10%.

- Remember this: In order to reach the final table of a big tounament, it's not enough to get paid off on your monster hands. At least once or twice during the event, you're going to have to come back from the dead. You're going to be all in against someone who has you beat, and you're going to catch a card in fourth or fifth street that miraculously keeps you alive. I've been to a lot of final tables, but I've never been to one where I didn't have to hit a perfect card somewhere earleir in the tournament. That's a fact of life in all gaming tournaments, and poker is no different.

- Get in the habit of computing the pot odds before throwing your hands away. Many times, you'll find you have a compulsary call, virtually without regard to the cards you're holding.

source: harrington on hold'em

- All players receive good hands and bad hands. All players win some pots and lose some pots. Not all players make sure that the pots they win (or are likely to win) are bigger than average and the pots they lose (or are likely to lose) are smaller than average. Only the good ones do.

- Good players keep the pot small when they are vulnerable, and they build it big when they have the edge. Fundamentally, that's WHY they win. Everyone wins and loses pots. Good players win big pots and lose small ones. The difference is their profit.

- You also make money when your opponents make big and frequent mistakes (especially in relation to what you hold), and you make small and infrequent ones. If your opponents made no mistakes, there'd be no money for you to win. Your opponent's mistakes are your opportunities for profit.

- Everyone makes mistakes. The goal is not to play mistake-free. Good no limit players try to win the battle of mistakes. Winning the battle of mistakes means making sure that they make more frequent and more costly mistakes than you do.

- You do this by creating difficult situations yourself. You look ahead, both to later decisions in the same hand and to future hands, and you foresee the traps and dangers. You avoind them before they cause you trouble--before they cost you money.

- EXPECTATION is at the heart of every no limit decision. You shouldn't bet a certain amount "because you want to make sure you get called," or because " you're trying to look weak." You should bet that amount because it maximizes your expectation.

- Now your bet might maximize expectation because it's likely to get called or it looks weak, but those factors are only a means to the end: making the most profit by maximizing expectation. Thinking in these terms will make you a clearer thinker and a better player.

- Whenever your opponents guess in critical situations, you are looking good. Sometimes they'll guess wrong, and you'll be rewarded with their stack.

Source: NLHE: Theory and practice, Klansky
PokerStars Game #38887450359: Tournament #234978195, 5000+200 Hold'em Pot Limit - Level V (30/60) - 2010/01/28 21:50:18 ET
Table '234978195 3' 6-max Seat #1 is the button
Seat 1: crazydave693 (10542 in chips)
Seat 2: Mari-Juana07 (726 in chips)
Seat 3: slick13114 (1605 in chips)
Seat 4: chapustars (5842 in chips)
Seat 5: ronaldcolca (1585 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 6: pointdownstr (3780 in chips)
Mari-Juana07: posts small blind 30
slick13114: posts big blind 60
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to pointdownstr [Ah 6d]
chapustars: calls 60
ronaldcolca: folds
pointdownstr: calls 60
crazydave693: raises 180 to 240
Mari-Juana07: raises 180 to 420
slick13114: folds
chapustars: folds
pointdownstr: folds
crazydave693: calls 180
*** FLOP *** [6c Ac 2c]
Mari-Juana07: checks
crazydave693: bets 360
Mari-Juana07: calls 306 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (54) returned to crazydave693
*** TURN *** [6c Ac 2c] [5c]
*** RIVER *** [6c Ac 2c 5c] [7h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Mari-Juana07: shows [Ts Kd] (high card Ace)
crazydave693: shows [9d 9c] (a flush, Ace high)
crazydave693 collected 1632 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 1632 | Rake 0
Board [6c Ac 2c 5c 7h]
Seat 1: crazydave693 (button) showed [9d 9c] and won (1632) with a flush, Ace high
Seat 2: Mari-Juana07 (small blind) showed [Ts Kd] and lost with high card Ace
Seat 3: slick13114 (big blind) folded before Flop
Seat 4: chapustars folded before Flop
Seat 5: ronaldcolca folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: pointdownstr folded before Flop
PokerStars Game #38887280641: Tournament #234978195, 5000+200 Hold'em Pot Limit - Level V (30/60) - 2010/01/28 21:45:23 ET
Table '234978195 3' 6-max Seat #2 is the button
Seat 1: crazydave693 (12300 in chips)
Seat 2: Mari-Juana07 (2298 in chips)
Seat 3: BGBRKB21 (517 in chips)
Seat 4: chapustars (1725 in chips)
Seat 5: ronaldcolca (1675 in chips) is sitting out
Seat 6: pointdownstr (3900 in chips)
BGBRKB21: posts small blind 30
chapustars: posts big blind 60
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to pointdownstr [As Qc]
ronaldcolca: folds
pointdownstr: calls 60
crazydave693: calls 60
Mari-Juana07: calls 60
BGBRKB21: calls 30
chapustars: checks
*** FLOP *** [Kc Kd 3c]
BGBRKB21: folds
chapustars: checks
pointdownstr: bets 60
crazydave693: calls 60
Mari-Juana07: calls 60
chapustars: folds
*** TURN *** [Kc Kd 3c] [9d]
pointdownstr: checks
crazydave693: checks
Mari-Juana07: checks
*** RIVER *** [Kc Kd 3c 9d] [3s]
pointdownstr: checks
crazydave693: bets 60
Mari-Juana07: raises 60 to 120
pointdownstr: folds
crazydave693: calls 60
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Mari-Juana07: shows [Qs 6s] (two pair, Kings and Threes)
crazydave693: shows [7d Ah] (two pair, Kings and Threes - Ace kicker)
crazydave693 collected 720 from pot
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot 720 | Rake 0
Board [Kc Kd 3c 9d 3s]
Seat 1: crazydave693 showed [7d Ah] and won (720) with two pair, Kings and Threes
Seat 2: Mari-Juana07 (button) showed [Qs 6s] and lost with two pair, Kings and Threes
Seat 3: BGBRKB21 (small blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 4: chapustars (big blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 5: ronaldcolca folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: pointdownstr folded on the River

Pokerstars' 2009 Supernova Elite

by Brad Willis on January 27, 2010 9:26 AM

There was a time in Supernova Elite history in which we could write a story about every single player who reached the pinnacle of the PokerStars VIP Club. That time is long gone.

In 2009, 209 players achieved Supernova Elite status. Even for the Elite group, that's a lot of people. For their efforts the players receive the best benefits PokerStars has to offer.

# 400% FPP Multiplier
# VIP Milestones ppecial cash credits
# Supernova Elite VIP Store Access
# VIP Stellar Rewards
# VIP tourneys up to $1 million prize pools
# Free entry to WCOOP main event
# Free entries into two big events (PCA, WSOP, EPT Grand Final, or APPT Sydney)

A quick glance through the Elite files shows the top players coming in from around the world who end up as Supernova Elites for a variety of reasons.

Take, for instance, TimStone. In 2007, he graduated from college with a good degree, and worked for nine months for a company he didn't like.

"I started to search for a new challenge in a new city," he told us. "I wrote 85 applications, but got denied every single time. I realized at that time that I have lots of free time and still 500 bucks lying at PokerStars."

He worked that up to $4,000 when he decided he was going to go for broke. He was going to play for a living. He hasn't had to look back yet. Not only is he making a nice living wage, he made it to Supernova Elite.

And then there is wpr101, a man who up until last year had top secret clearance with an American defense contractor.

"I primarily worked on satellite imagery and the next generation of Army communication networks," he said.

When he wasn't doing that, he was in jujitsu training twice a week, collecting rare coins, and beating up the stock market.

So, what did he do? Yeah, he left his job, focused full time on poker, and made it to Supernnova Elite.

The man known as knifefish8 on PokerStars didn't actually decided to start working toward Supernova Elite status until June of 2009. A one-time college baseball player and criminal justice graduate, knifefish realized about midway through the year that, suprise, surprise, he was on track for a Supernova Elite finish.

"After I was done with baseball, I wanted another form of competition in my life and poker seemed like a good alternative," he said.

Like knifefish8, BlGGIESMALLS (a free-styling Chicago Supernova Elite), comes from an athletic background. The hockey player is a sociology major at De Paul University who managed to live with his three best friends (all of whom don't play cards) and still managed to make it to the top level of the VIP club.

"My goals for this year are to get Elite again have another successful year at the tables, stake and coach more winning players, record some music, do some volunteering, improve my GPA, and get on the ice more," he said.

Also hailing from Chicago is Supernova Elite ZepHendrix, a 25-year-old stock trader and graduate student in analytic finance. In 2009, he switched from tournament play to cash games and discovered his 24-tabling would probably get him a long way toward becoming a Supernova Elite. It wasn't always easy.

"Basically, I like to set very lofty goals and I follow through with them almost always," he said. "I learned a lot about myself, and achieving Supernova Elite with work and school was the hardest thing I've ever done. The swings are insane and a lot of times I wanted to quit, but instead I just complained a ton (thanks to the people that put up with it) and played sub par poker. This next year I plan on changing that."

That is one thing we have learned about this year's class of Elites. While they have reached the VIP Club summit, many of them feel like they can still improve, both on and off the tables.

"I feel very grateful to be able to play poker for a living. It is something I have enjoyed for a long time--roughly five years now. However, this past year has been very draining," siad Sipernova Elite grpoker2. "I will be looking for opportunities outside of poker. Whether it is starting a small business or going back to school, I may start heading in another direction. This will be impossible to predict, and I am excited to see what opportunities may be in store. Until then, I'll be at the tables!"

Those are just a few of the stories behind the Supernova Elite Class of 2009. There are dozens more out there just like these folks who choose to stay in the shadows, rake in the money, and reap their rewards. Most of them are average, everyday Joes like the played called showtime. He's played professionally online for the past seven years.

"I spend most of my time outside of poker with my wife and dog. I try to stay in shape and just enjoy life," he said. "'I probably fit a demographic most recreational poker players would relate to away from the table. I enjoy fantasy sports, tv, video games, working out and time with the family."

That is, he's just an average guy--an average guy who will get Supernova Elite rewards for the next year.

Will you be one in 2010?

source: http://www.pokerstarsblog.com/2010/2009-supernova-elites-enter-12-months-on-063681.html
Morning session finished. Paid tuition with $1 buy-in. I played in the fixed limit micro tables This time. I've decided that I am going to play at this level until I make 100$, or grow my account to $100 before moving to the pot limit micro table.

Lesson learned here is that, at these levels, Harrington's words ring true: that about 10% of the time do players bluff (maybe even less). I have been reading Gus Hanson's book "Every hand revealed." This guy bluffs whenever he feels like it. I'm not at that level at this time. Reading his book, my game was affected and I was always choosing to be aggressive. It worked a few times, but most of the time, it didn't.

I'm giving myself a break, then come back for the afternoon session after two hours.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm down three dollars playing live on PS. Tuition fee. I am becoing a better trader. And this tuition fee has made my weakness more evident. I need to grow my hand reading skills.

To do this, I am going to take as much time as I can to place the other player on a hand. I'll try and place them on at least three possible hands that I can think of. I will do this immediately preflop when I am in the game.

Are the players different in PS than in Titan? I don't think so. I may be just anxious to make good, and this vibration manifested into something I did not prefer. But I saw the light this time. I see now where I am.

I've set some rules to keep:
- when I am stopped out (buy-in equals zero), I stop playing for that session and do something else.
- when I am in the negative for any given week, the following week, I do not play live.
- I will practice hand sensing. I am taking as much time as I can sensing at least three scenarios before taking the next step.

These are part of the rules I keep to myself. These are listed in the excel file I have open while playing.

I am done playing today. Tomorrow is a new day.

Day 1

First day of live play. The money from paypal finally came in without any hassle. I deposited $45 into my account.

I decided to put all the funds with pokerstars after reading THIS ARTICLE on the net. While it's true that PS doesn't give 'rakebacks', they have frequent player rewards that, as I understand it, is a lot better than the second leading poker sites today.

I don't want to have to divide my time and attention earning rakeback playing on different sites. Why not play in just one site and earn rakes as much as I can. Besides, I enjoy PS' game platform. Less noise, easy on the eyes. Players are players no matter which site you go. I'll meet and play them all here on just one site.

I notified my wife that I was 'accepted' for the rakeback program and that playing poker is like a 'job' for me now, allowing me to earn money just by playing. I'm not sure it went well with her, but she just said ok. At least I am doing something here.

It's a business. This is how I see it. And now the games begin.

PS
I removed the image for account balance for security/privacy reasons. Starting balance is $45.00

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Found myself looking for rakeback and prop income. I read in toppoker.org that it gets real tight in micro levels. That's what I am seeing right now with titanpoker. Play is not as loose and aggressive as it was in the practice accounts. My perception was that practice accounts are easy. I did not know the difference between tight and loose playing back then. I know now.

I am thinking of maybe opening three live accounts. One with pokerstars, one with absolute for the 30% rakeback and another one with titanpoker.

I like pokerstars game platform. It's so perfect and rates the best from the poker websites I have seen so far. My concern is that it is going to be tight in there and I will need to diversify my position. I can handle tight players, as I am doing now with titan.

I like absolute as I will be getting rakeback with their site. That's added income. I don't know how much that is at the moment, but from what I know so far, rakebacks do add up as time goes by.

Titan, I'm keeping that out of habit. Maybe I don't have to oepn a live account with them. I already have $100 live with them and I got it for free.

Then it's decided. I'll divide my funds to both absolute and pokerstars then. See what happens. I can still change my mind about this anyway.
Last night I got stopped out. I have a limit stop on my game. When my buy-in amount gets busted, I stop for that session. I play three live sessions: morning, afternoon and night. When I get the itch to play other than these three live sessions, I look for either a freeroll or a practice account tournament.

Last night felt off. Wife was at home. She wasn't 'there'. Her head was still in the office, or solving problems either in the past or future. I use this as an excuse to get myself out of alignment at times, but most of the time, I use this to practice. And it's tough to practice and play at the same time. At least for now, I see that this is my definition.

I just saw the light there.

I played well this morning. I made about 3x buy-in in two tables. First table didn't feel right although I was ahead by just a bit, so I decided to move. Second table, this lady on my let kept calling on me. I saw that she was playing a lot of cards. This struck me as a beginner looking for luck. I played into her, enticing her with small bets, half pot or pot, and she bit.

I was playing pot odds most of the time. Whenever I have strong cards, I bet half the pot, see if they bite. Doing so, the odds are in my favor with a strong hand, and them betting, the odds are against them using pot odds. I read about pot odds from poker books, but didn't quite understand theory until I put into practice.

In summary, play with the odds in my favor, and doing so, give them odds to play that are against them.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No Deposit Bonus 2

Here's another no-deposit poker site I found today. I am surprised that a lot of sites, even the leading ones are offering no deposit bonus for new players. I'm not that sold on this at the moment. So far, I think I signed up with five of these sites and had only one that actually went through--titanpoker.

If I need more free accounts, I'll check back on them. For now, I'll practice with what I have.

$10 to $1000 and Beyond – CoachKF’s Story

$10 to $1000 and Beyond – CoachKF’s Story

I got really interested in poker in 2002, after watching the first televised World Series of Poker tournament that used the hole card camera (to my knowledge). An amateur, Robert Varkonyi, won that year. I got a deck of cards and started playing many different poker variations, finally settling on 7 card stud as my favorite game. I’d always enjoyed multiplayer online games, so it was quite natural for me to do a Google search for multi player online poker. I found two sites, one of which was PacificPoker.com, and started playing the play money tables there, and reading poker strategy books and websites. Making a ‘fake money’ profit at play money tables gave me the desire to try my hand at the real money tables. The only drawback was….I had to deposit money! Convincing myself (and, more importantly, my wife) that this was a good idea, was going to be difficult.

As fate would have it, and as you’ve already guessed, I stumbled upon a couple of no deposit bonus offers from two sites, Lucky Nugget Poker and Royal Vegas Poker (neither offer no deposit bonuses these days). Both were for $10. I tried Lucky Nugget first, and wasn’t very lucky. The $10 was gone in about an hour. A few weeks later, and after really digging into some poker strategy books, I took another shot with the $10 at Royal Vegas Poker. The first night I ran it up to about $50. The next night, $76 and change. Though my wife was screaming at me to withdraw it, I chose to continue playing.

That initial burst at Royal Vegas was late July of 2003. By October 2003, I had a little over $1000 in my cashier balance. This time, it was real money. This was all playing .50 / $1 seven card stud at Royal Vegas Poker.

Needless to say I was elated. I suppose my only mistake was depositing the minimum when I chose to make my first withdrawal in October. They required one real money deposit to make a withdrawal, so I deposited $20, not realizing that I would get a deposit bonus on my first deposit. Oops. I cleared my massive $5 bonus (D’OH!) pretty quickly, and withdrew $500 that first time. It didn’t really hit me that it was real until it was in my bank account and we actually spent it. That was a pretty memorable day for me.

Later in 2003, I taught my wife to play, and between the two of us we managed to pay many of our bills that semester of college via our poker earnings. Almost 5 years later, as of this writing, I’m still playing on the casino’s dime.

Poker is a recreational side income for me these days. I play up to $5/$10, and still mainly play 7 card stud. I’m proud to say that through solid poker play, bankroll management and taking advantage of timely promotions at the many online casinos (deposit bonuses, reloads, VIP deals, rakeback, etc.,) I’ve been able to support a hobby … through earnings from that hobby. Most hobbies are money sinks, but poker has been a money maker for me, and it all started with a $10 no deposit bonus. I consider myself very very fortunate!

In conclusion, I can’t promise you that you’ll take $10 to a grand and more. In fact, most people will no doubt bust out with free poker money, again and again. I can say that combining free money offers with a willingness to learn strategy and apply it, can truly show a great profit for you in the long run. I know that by experience. If you’re thinking of starting into online poker or casino games, the no deposit bonuses and free bankroll offers are a great way to get going, risk free.

So what if you just want to have fun? What can be more fun than experiencing the thrill of real money gambling, without risking your own cash? If you decide to make a deposit, free matching poker bonus and casino bonus offers abound. Regular visitors to Las Vegas know that if you hit the casinos a lot, and use your comp cards, you can get some great freebies. Many other folks spend hundreds and even thousands on going to ball games, hunting or fishing. If online gaming is your “thing”, taking advantage of the “online comps” is a no-brainer.

So best of luck to both the serious and the “just having fun” players. I truly hope one of our no deposit casino, no deposit poker or free bankroll offers turn into a thousand bucks for you too!

source: http://www.nodepositbonus.com/poker-bankroll-blog/keithf-10-to-1000-and-beyond/
Morning session was good. Buy-in was $1 and I left an hour later with $2.73. I got a compliment from one of the players--first that I was very lucky, immediately after, his next comment was that I was a good player.

I appreciate that coming from a tight player. But I wasn't lucky. I did not outdraw this guy, well, not all the time. If I had a face card, I wouldn't pursue it unless the flop showed me an advantage.

I guess I still had the momentum, no the frequency from last night. I started out wondering if last night's play would work in a ring game. At first I was paying blinds and below buy-in. Then I started winning. There was this aggressive player to my right and I was taking money off his bluffs. He went out with good money. More from stealing and from bullying the others. I seldom went up against his play except when I had strong cards playing rope-a-dope.

A few moments later, my balance was going back to break-even while I was waiting for good hands. They all came in a flurry. I played rope-a-dope most of the time. If I raised preflop, that would scare most of the hoping players. I'd call to flop to get a feel for what their hands are. I'd call when they raise, and stall for time when I was going to raise.

Now I feed my kids breakfast, and get ready for the chores and other things I am going to do today. Always following my excitement.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pokerstars' Limit Hold'em tournament--out of 1,264 players, I finished at 58th place.
I payed tuition again today. I had a flush draw, K8d. I was calling bets preflop so i can see the flop. On the flop, I landed a pair 8 and saw two d's. I bet. Turn was no help to me, low card, and thought it didn't help anyone else either. So i bet. River was diamonds, giving me my flush. I was leading the betting and there were two others calling. The other one folded when I bet pot, the other one called. In the end, he won the pot on high card ace.

Lesson here for me was to know why the other players are still in. I knew I had high card if this was a flush also for the other. I was thinking since the other guy was calling and not raising, he must have weaker high card. Turns out he had ace. The only card that could beat me.

I guess you really can't know. I played well. I was cautious. He wasn't raising. This was a good lesson for me. Given a different circumstance, if he had raised, that would have spooked me. I was outplayed, led on. Maybe. But given the odds in the long term, my play would be profitable.

it is good that i am learning these lessons on a 'no deposit bonus' account. The money came in today. I transferred that from the paypal account into my bank account which is tied in with my visa debit card. Soon as it clears, I don't have to use moneybookers to fund my pokerstars account. Pokerstars accepts visa debit cards both deposit and withdrawals.

I might be able to start playing pokerstars next week. Timing is perfect. I am learning a lot on titan poker. Gameplan is to play micro stakes at the lowest level. This way, if i am still in learning mode, i'd pay very little tuition.
The goal of all forms of poker is to avoid making mistakes while inducing as many mistakes as possible from your opponents. Every time you induce a mistake from them, you gain, they lose.

These gains and losses don't occur immediately. You may make a bad mistake and stil win a hand and pull more chips into your stack. But in the very long run, your results at the tables will approach a sum of all your opponents' mistakes, less the sum of your mistakes. This principle governs all games which are mixtures of skill and chance.

NLHE is very advantageous to good players for a simple reason. By making superior deductions about the hands their opponents hold, they can make bets that offer their opponents more chances to make errors. Whenever their opponent misreads the situation and makes such an error, the good player gains, and his opponent loses.

To the beginner, his hand was the cards he held, and what the players immediately before and after him did. To the pro, a hand was a lot more than that. It's an entire situation, full of different elements, which has to be seen as a while before good plays can be made.
Elements of a hand:
- status of the tournament/game.
- How many players are at your table.
- who are the players?
- how does your stack compare to the blinds and antes?
- how big are the otehr stacks at your table?
- where do you sit in relation to the aggressive and passive players?
- what bets have been made in front of you?
- how many active players are left after you act?
- what are the pott odds?
- what is your position at the table after the flop?
- what are your cards?
This might seem like a lot of things to conside before making a play. That's why playing NLHE well is difficult bur rewarding. If this were a short list, the game would be much easier, more people would do it well, and fewer people would make any real money. So if your goal is to become a top NLHE player, be glad that it's a tough, rather than an easy thing to do. That just means your hard work will be well rewarded.

The most profitable style to play at any moment is usually the opposite of the style of the other players at the table. If the table is aggressive, be conservative. Enter pots only with solid hands that you can play with confidence. If the table is tight, move out and try to steal a few pots. You'll get away with it often enough to make money.

The character of the players at your table also determines how slow or fast you want to play. A table with a lot of passive players is a comfortable table. You want to stick around, steal pots, and accumulate money slowly, but surely. It's a good situation and you don't want to risk it with a lot of all in bets.

But if the table has a lot of aggressive players, your strategy has to change. Aggressive players are harder to read, and you'll find that your raises are getting reraised frequently. Now you'll often want to make money in one full swopp, since otherwise, you'll be whittled down, and it's hard to amke any money with a small stack at an aggressive table. Pick a good hand and be prepared to go all the way with it.

The only absolutely strong hand before the flop is a pair of aces. All other hands have to be evaluated in terms of the betting that has already occured. A pair of jacks is a good hand when several players in front of you have folded, but if you're facing bet-raise-reraise, it's likely to be second or third best.

When making a bet, you are always comparing the odds offered by the pot to the odds of making your hand. You always want the pot to offer you better odds than the odds of filling the hand you're drawing to. You're also watching the odds you are giving to your opponent as he tries to make his hand, to see if you can deny him the odds he needs to cal. Top players calculate pott odds routinely when deciding whether to play or hold.
What makes NLHE so much more skillful for good players, and so profitable for the best players?

Many think it has something to do with making big all in bets, or orchestrating outrageous bluffs. But it actually hinges on two technical factors:
- the amount of information available to the players.
- the ability to control the pott odds offered to your opponent.

source: harrington on hold'em v1
INSIGHT: when i lose my buy-in, i take a break for one hour. The purpose is to raise my frequency, clear my slate.

When I choose to continue after a buy in loss, I feel anxious. This affects my vibration and it shows in my game. Better to do something else for an hour or two; do something that will help raise my vibration. After I get all the excitement I can get from it and there's nothing more, then I go back to playing.

It could be anything from washing the dishes to playing golf, going outside for a walk.
game is about shining my light on my thoughts and emotions while playing.

i see the need in me to gauge my progress based on the balance on the account, but that is outside in. It's like trying to change the reflection in the mirror instead of changing myself.

The goal is to play well. Playing well i define as being aware of my thoughts and emotions, from here on i will call my vibration. If I played aware of my vibration, no matter what the account balance is at the end of the day, I still consider myself having played well and had a great day in the tables.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

betting and stats

Knowing the difference between good and bad bets pays off only when statistics are accumulated. Hence, it is only through the accumulation of statistics that you are assured of making money.
I have a question in my head--what are the qualities of a good poker player? I am doing google now for some asnwers.

- Here's one website that I found listing all the 'star' qualities of a good poker player.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I am starting to see the difference in the kinds of plays in the different rooms. In the playroom, players tend to be easy with their chips. They raise when there is a bet and will go head to head with you give them any reason to do so.

In the live rooms, at the micro level, players tend to be more guarded. Soon as you catch on to the energy of the table, you can bluff your way around and steal blinds. The thing with these tight players, the pot doesn't get too big. I seldom get raised, and when I do, it is always a serious challenge. Showdowns come less often, and when they do, no one is bluffing.

As much as I want to play in pokerstars, playing with real money is where I am going to be. The free money I got with titan I am using to play so I can get a handle on my thoughts and emotions while playing. Like trading, thoughts and emotions are different than when you are trading a demo account.

I'll play with titan until I get more comfortable with my self. I am thinking of going up the micro level sometime soon. What's stopping me is my definitions. I have a definition that says these levels are different.

Watching the action from the next level micro tables, I see game action a bit faster, but the cards seem to give the same randomness. I'll give it a try tomorrow. For now, I am going to bed.
You do not control your opponents in a poker game. You control yourself and adjust your play so that your opponents' excesses become their own undoing.

draw hands bluffing

It is not correct to always play drawing hands in a deceptive manner. Often you will check when drawing, and bet when you hit the draw. However, these are ways to vary your play, and keep opponents off balance.

Making intentionally misleading plays does assume your opponents are skilled and think about their actions. Opponents who don't think cannot be deceived. Against opponents who call no matter what, don't make fancy deceptive plays-they won't notice. When your opponents call all the time the only way to win is to have the best cards at the end.

source: the intelligent guide to texas hold'em poker

betting with nuts

It is rarely correct to check with the nuts. You should usually bet. If no one calls, it is the same result as everyone checking. By betting, you force your opponents to make decisions. Give your opponents opportunities to make mistakes.

source: the intelligent guide to texas hold'em poker

Bad beats

An inevitable part of poker is the bad beat. You have the best hand all the way. Only one or two cards in the deck can beat you and at the river, one of them appears. Most often this happens when someone keeps a little pair in the pocket (such as 3, 3) and calls all your bets and raises on your top two pair (even though they do not have the correct pot odds). At the river a 3 appears, a card that looks harmless but beats you.

Nothing can be done about bad beats. You cannot hesitate to bet when you have a strong hand, nor can you start playing for improbable draws yourself. Bad beats are part of the normal statistical fluctuations in the game. Your play must be geared towards the long-term trends, not the fluctuations.

River play

All the cards are out. At this point you want to:
- Get the maximum value from your winning hands.
- Minimize your losses to opponents who have outdrawn you.

If you led throughout the hand, meaning you always bet and the others called, keep betting unless a scare card appears (an overcard to your hand or a card that appears to complete someone else's straight or flush). If this happens, check. You do not want your bet raised by someone who has outdrawn you. Use your judgment on calling bets. If your opponent only bets on the end with the best hand, don't throw money away to "keep him honest."

Money saved is money won. Sometimes in the last round of betting, you know exactly how you stand. If you have the nuts, bet or if possible, raise. If you missed a draw, cut your losses and fold.

Summary of Play at the River
- If you have the best hand, bet. Make your opponents pay.
- If you missed a draw or know your opponent made their draw, fold. Money saved is money won.

source: the intelligent guide to texas hold'em poker

Implied collusion and implied pot odds

Sometimes, when many players are contesting the pot, it is not correct to bet with the best hand. If many people are on a draw to beat you, the odds are that at least one of them will. This situation is known as implied collusion.

If, for practical purposes, your opponents are colluding against you, it is better to stay in the hand as cheaply as possible. Implied collusion occurs most often when the pot is large from the beginning (many people called pre-flop raises) and everyone has the correct pot odds to stay, no matter how great the odds against their draw.

When you are on a draw, there are cases when it is correct to call bets when the pot is small, provided that the size of the pot you expect to win is large enough to justify calling the bet. In this case, you are basing your decision to play on implied pot odds-the ratio of the expected money in the pot against the cost to play.

Estimating the implied odds requires you to judge your opponents' behavior and intentions. For example, in a small-pot game here you expect additional callers later on or in an additional round of betting, it is correct for you to call as well.

Turn play

When your opponents are on the draw against you, betting to protect your hand is necessary, even when they have the correct pot odds to call your bets. Many beginning poker players fall into the trap of not betting their good hands (thinking that this would alert their opponents that they have a good hand) and calling with weak hands in hopes of catching a winning card. This is the exact opposite of what should be done.

When you have the best hand, you must bet and force the other players to pay to draw you out. Letting them see additional cards without calling a bet is giving them free cards-the equivalent of giving them infinite pot odds.

You must force opponents to make decisions. Don't worry about concealing the strength of your hand. You win more money betting with good cards because opponents learn to respect your bets and fold their marginal hands. You might win a showdown with a strong hand, but you always win when your opponents fold, no matter what your cards are.

In summary:
If you have the best hand, make people pay to beat you.
If you are on a draw, make sure the pot size justifies the cost.

Post flop play

Unless you have the best hand, or a draw to the best hand, you should not invest additional money after the flop.

Knowing when a mediocre hand is the best and should be bet, and knowing when a strong hand is second best and needs to be folded, is the hallmark of a good poker player.

Pre-flop play

Remember that before the flop, checking is not an option. To see the flop, you must call at least the big blind. Raises before the flop add to your cost and usually indicate the raiser has a strong hand. Only call raises before the flop if you have a strong or premium hand. If you call the blind with a with a drawing hand in an early position, you are making yourself vulnerable to later pre-flop raises that should not be called.

When you have a premium hand, you should raise regardless of your position at the table. With AA and KK, you should re-raise. Raising from an early position tends to narrow the field and make it more likely your premium starting cards will win. Raising from a late position tends to build the pot since players who already called are less likely to fold. Your premium cards are less likely to hold up against many players, but you will win more money when they do. In either case, you benefit from raising.

source: the intelligent guide to texas hold'em poker
I had a great time playing last night at titanpoker. I was down less than a dollar, probably around the fifty cent level. Then I shifted to playing not to make money but to play well. I ended that session with EUR 3 in my account.

Some, about half the players in there were playing too tight, scared is the better word. I was there once. I'd fold even a QX card and not give it a chance to make it to flop.

These days, getting a decent card, I'd go to flop and see what's in store. The only times I wouldn't go is when someone else bets too high making it too expensive for me to see flop.

I think the reason other players bet too high when they have a good card is to make others to call his bet so he/she will get a bigger pot. But this doesn't work all the time. My tendency is that unless I get premium hands, I wouldn't call such a bet. There'd be other opportunities for me. Plenty.

If I called their bets and I lose, then I would have lessened my chances to make better play as I'd lose money.

Whenever I get premium hands, I'd bet/raise on it the minimum at first. I want to see who else has good hands. As betting goes on, I'd raise some more based on the pot. This helps me gauge how strong their hands are. This way, other players are encouraged to stay in the play. They'd bet or call more adn the pot gets bigger.

If during the turn and river they get better hands, it'll show in the way they bet. I then try to place them into what hands they have and see what my odds are of winning.

At the level I am playing, it's easy to see what others are playing by the way they bet. They tend to be scared. Their tendency is to protect their capital. This is good, but when done in excess, you don't get that much chances to make money as well. This was how I was before.

One other thing I learned is to watch the play first when I join the table. At least wait for the big blind to come around. Doing so gives me the opportunity to see who is playing aggressively and who has momentum. I'd stay out of the way of those who has momentum. The aggressive player, that's the one I want to practice my skills with.

I am still waiting for capital infusion. Soon as I get that, I shift my play to pokerstars. I really enjoy using their game platform. But for now, I practice and perfect my skills with titan.

At the start of the day, I am excited, can't wait to log on to the tables. I am improving my skills as a player and at the same time, I am making money. This sure beats online trading.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The probability of key opening hands

The probability of holding:

Any pair
Favor; 5.9%; Odds against: 16 to 1
Pocket aces, or any specific pair
Favor: 0.45%; odds against: 220 to 1
Suited cards
Favor: 23.5% Odds against: 3.25 to 1
Unsuited cards, no pair
Favor:70.6%; Odds against:0.4 to 1
All ace-king combo
Favor: 1.2%; Odds against:82 to 1
Ace-king suited
Favor: 0.3% Odds against: 331 to 1
AA, KK, QQ, AK, AQ, KQ
Favor: 5% Odds against: 19 to 1
I used to trade forex and stocks for a living and couldn't help comparetrading with playing online poker.

When trading, the standard risk is 2%, for x number of pips. Sometimes you make a profit, sometimes you don't. In my case, I was more on the loss side (which led me to online poker). You wait hours for a perfect setup, open a trade, then wait again for either profit or loss.

In hold'em poker, from what I know so far, the minimum deposit amount is $10. The lowest buy in is $1, which is ten percent of the initial capital. The minimum bet at the lowest level is $0.01. On a ten player table, If you win the pot, the average return is four times the minimum bet.

I find that I am a better poker player than a trader. In a practice account, I was able to grow mine by 400+% in one week. Trading forex, I can barely breakeven after more than five years of trading.

Now I have a live account (thanks to titapoker). On my first day of play so far, that acount is up 2%. The only catch with the no deposit bonus is that I have to earn 50 points for every dollar they gave me. I am thinking I need to make 2000 points before I can withdraw money from the account.

At the moment, I have 20 points. If I play day and night, I'd say it will take about 200 days before that money is mine. I don't mind the wait. I am learning each time I play and I am getting better at this. By the time I withdraw that money, it is going to be a significant amount.

Things are indeed looking up. I am excited!
First half of the day playing poker with titanpoker and I am up 2.09%. All performance percent computations from hereon are going to be based on the initial capital, which is EURO35.00

At first, I was intimidated, anxious about my game. I had this thought that I do not want to lose money and that if I did, there won't be any more to come. I shone light on that thought and just played poker with the lights on. This means that when I get anxious, I just remember that this feeling is based on erroneous thoughts and it dissolves in the light.

I was able to make some good plays. At one point, I was down a euro and had to reload. Shortly after that, a series of good plays and it was up five euros. I was back in the black. The kids then needed some help with something and I had to sit out. When I got back, I decided to move to a different room. Action wasn't as brisk as in the previous and I noticed I was getting hungry. Now I am having lunch as I write this.

I am expecting more capital infusion anytime soon. I borrowed $15 from a friend. He said yes. He wanted to know if that was all I needed and I said I was trying to raise a hundred--I hope he got the hint. It has been a day ago. I guess he's busy and will get to that over the weekend. So be it.

That money coming in I will deposit to pokerstars. I like their site better. The game platform is very user friendly and easy to the eyes. One more advantage is that they show the loser's cards near the end. This helps me read on how other players are doing. Titanpoker doesn't have that. You will only see the winner's card at the end.

One important thing I learned this morning is that results do not matter. What is important is that I play well. Win or lose, I gain something in the process.
I got my no deposit bonus last night for titanpoker. I played two tables today. I played well and even though I paid tuition, I walked away with something.

I saw in me that I was playing scared. There was fear/anxiety in my game. Why is that? A belief that if I lose it all, there wouldn't be anything more coming. That I am in need playing instead of sitting there having a great time for the opportunity.

So how do i play better next time? Just shine the light. When I feel the negative emotion, simply observe that and not wrestle with it. Allow it to be there.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fundamental Theorem of Poker

In advanced poker, you are constantly trying to make yoru opponent play in a way that would be incorrect if they knew what you had. Anytime they play in the right way on the basis of what you have, you have not gained a thing.

According to the Fundamental Theorem of Poker, you play winning poker by playing as closely as possible to the way you would play if you could see all your opponent's cards; and you try to make your opponents play as far away from this utopian level as possible.

The first goal is accomplished mainly by reading hands and players accurately, because the closer you can come to figuring out someone else's hand, the fewer Fundamental Theorem mistakes you will make. The second goal is accomplished by playing deceptively.

Source: The Theory of Poker, David Sklansky

David Sklansky, The Theory of Poker

About the Author
David Sklansky is generally considered the number one authority on gambling in the world today. Besides his ten books on the subject, David also has produced two videos and numerous writings for various gaming publications. His occasional poker seminars always receive an enthusiastic reception, including those given at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

More recently, David has been doing consulting work for casinos, Internet gaming sites, and gaming device companies. He has recently invented several games, soon to appear in casinos.

David attributes his standing in the gambling community to three things:

1. The fact that he presents his ideas as simply as possible (sometimes with Mason Malmuth) even though these ideas frequently involve concepts that are deep, subtle, and not to be found elsewhere.

2. The fact that the things he says and writes can be counted on to be accurate.

3. The fact that to this day a large portion of his income is still derived from gambling (usually poker, but occasionally blackjack, sports betting, horses, video games, casino promotions, or casino tournaments).

Thus, those who depend on David’s advice know that he still depends on it himself.

Source: amazon.com

459% gain

Since the start of the week, if I remember correctly, I seem to be making a killing in the playmoney NL hold'em. I started the day at 3,306. Now the account is up at 18,507 for a whopping, awesome 459% gain!

Ok, so what am I doing right? I am playing it tight preflop. If the pocket don't stand a chance for a steal, then I fold. Post flop, I look around and read the other player's cards. I look at how they bet, or don't bet and compare their actions preflop. If their actions aren't consistent, then that's a clue that they might not have a strong hand.

I spend a lot of time throwing hands preflop. I know that if I patiently wait, I'd get a good hand and the winnings from that is more than enough to double my buy in amount. While I am playing tight, I learn about the other players' playing habits. That when I am ready to pounce with a good hand, I'd know what they have and will play accordingly.
You can beat easy no-limit games with a limited, simple strategy.

Nut peddling, for instance, will beat most small stakes live games and some online microlimit games. It’s easy. Just play tight preflop, wait until you hit the flop, and get your money in. Don’t bluff much, and don’t worry too much about what your opponents have. Rely on your hand strength to give you a long term edge.

source: small stakes no-limit hold'em v1.0
"...In general, however, stealing is easier when you have position, deeper stacks, fewer potential opponents, non aggressive opponents, and an image conducive to stealing.

When evaluating steal equity, keep in mind that most succesful steals happen when no one flops top pair or better. In these situations, the player who makes the last bet usually wins. If you play chicken well, you gain more value from stealing. That's one good reason a loose aggressive player can do so well against weak-tight opponents, particularly in shorthanded games."

source: small stakes no-limit hold'em v1.0
Last night, I was having doubts if this is going to work. I googled for answers. Majority of the answers say it wouldn't work. A small percentage came positive, saying it will work, but only if you "sign up" for this or that which they were offering.

So it's up to me.

Here's what I know so far. I started playing hold'em a week ago. I busted my play money account two or three times. Now the account stands with 9k. This is more than breakeven. This is making money. I have made more than three times what I have lost starting out.

Some say this is only a practice account. But I say, as above, so below; as within, so it is without. If i can make money in a practice account, where everyone else on practice account has the same intention, then I know I can make money in a live account.

What about the sharks? They are there, mostly in deep waters. There are other predators on shallow waters, but I know I can take on them and still thrive. I have a good method. I know alignment. I am patient. These are the things that will help me thrive in this environment.

The local self does not have the capacity to know how things are going to happen. It only knows how some thing HAPPENED. The higher self, my higher self will tell me how to get there. I only need to trust it. This sounds too metaphysical for others, too out there, but this works for me. It quiets the mind. A quiet mind allows the creative juices to flow. And that is what makes things happen for me.
I did not get any email back from nodepositbonus.com this morning. I am putting that off as a loss. Is that identity theft? Maybe. So be it then. How to proceed from here? Just be careful next time. No more of that.

I asked my friend Mike if he can lend me some money, $15. I did not tell him what this is for other than that I am raising capital for a business venture on the net that I am starting.

I've borrowed money from him before in my times of need. This time, I am not in need as I was before, but this is more for an opportunity. Was $15 a small amount? It is enough. This gets me started. Giving this until the weekend for a reply. He's a busy guy. He's head resident doctor in a hospital.

I met this guy from aikido when he was still a kid. I don't know why but he's been a good buddy to me all these years. I get more from him that I give. I wonder why he chose to stick with me all these years. I am thankful for his friendship.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I just finished my FIRST real money play. Highest win in the account was $13. I closed out with $9.xx still in the account. I decided to exit as my buy in was already zero. That's my limit for the day.

I was first a bit flustered with the new game platform. Everything seems to move fast. The look and feel of the platform was different and I felt anxious playing. And also, the table was a micro NL hold'em. I was looking for a fixed limit or a pot limit table but nobody was playing.

There was about ten players in three different tables, I think three were playing multiple tables at once. There was this one guy who always bought in with less than a dollar. Each time he has a good hand, he goes all in. Each time he loses, he tops up. It was sort of irritating. It broke my read on him. He was either folding or going all in. And when he went all in, his hand wasn't that strong at times. That was a good strategy then? For him, I guess it worked, but that game sort of feels limited, based on fear that he can't control himself so he has to limit his chips. I guess this was one more aspect of all that is. It's this AND that.

It was an ok game. I'll take my time tomorrow.

A flaw in design

Here's a great article on hold'em poker that I found on flopriverturn.com

No-Limit Hold'em... A Flaw in Design

By Carl Sampson aka The Dean
As you begin to peel away the surface of no-limit Hold'em and in particular, no-limit Hold'em cash games, it becomes apparent that the game itself has design problems. What in heavens name do I mean? Well to put it in plain English, what other field of activity or game is a world class performer seriously handicapped when going up against total novices?

How can this be so? The fact of the matter is that a strong no-limit Hold'em player has numerous weapons at his disposal. But the reality of the situation is that in many cases, against a novice player who buys-in for the minimum, the weapons of the strong player are more or less useless.

In this instance we can make a very strong analogy here with warfare. For a numerically and technologically superior army to succeed it needs to have certain operational conditions in place. If these are not in place then a far smaller and less equipped army could match them stride for stride.

This is the case with guerrilla warfare tactics and has enabled tiny and far less equipped forces to go toe-to-toe with some of the biggest and most powerful armed forces on earth. In poker you basically have four main weapons at your disposal - your chip stack, your position, your hand strength and your level of knowledge and skill.

If you factor in that everyone over time gets dealt the same cards and also gets the same positional advantages then this leaves us with just chip stacks and skill as the two remaining weapons. But skill is highly dependent on being able to do certain things. Most of the skill in no-limit play is in how you play after the flop and not before it. A strong no-limit player will sit with the maximum number of chips allowed as this stack size will afford him the highest number of options.

He can go after other big stacks and use the leverage of these stacks to instil fear into his opponents. His skill lays in how he can play street by street poker after the flop and the deeper the hand gets, the more our expert likes it. He likes nothing more than to have novices on his table who cannot play a deep stack well.

So it can be said then that having a deep chip stack is strongly connected to skill and having a decent sized stack allows that strong player to utilise those skills even more. But if a novice player decided to buy in for the table minimum, then the weapons that the expert has at his disposal are suddenly useless. It would almost be like having armoured tanks in a jungle, if we want to make another analogy with warfare.

Suddenly the big stack cannot attack the minimum stack so easily because the minimum stack is no longer a juicy target. The short stacker will probably be coming into the hand with a decent hand to begin with and the expert player will be looking to widen his range at every possible opportunity.

If a novice player with very little knowledge of no-limit Hold'em plays a minimum stack well, then essentially what they are doing is reducing the game so that it now has only two rounds of betting instead of four. The minimum stackers true objective is to get all-in either before the flop or on the flop. This then eliminates the strong player’s ability to outplay him deeper into the hand.

Another analogy can be made with casino blackjack. If a casino suspects a player of card counting then one of the counter measures that they employ is to cut shallow shoes. This reduces the counters edge because the ratio of good cards to bad cards never gets high enough for the edge to be worthwhile. The depth at which the dealer inserts the cutting card is called “penetration”.

So in the act of inserting this cutting card shallower, it is thus denying the counter good penetration. This is exactly what the minimum stacker is doing to our expert by buying in for the minimum, they are denying him the opportunity to drag them deep into a hand…..they are thus denying him penetration.

Strong players like to attack blinds. They like to punish limpers. They like to raise with deceptive hands so that they can hit concealed monsters. They like to make pressure plays like floating and use the leverage of deep stacks to instil folds on later rounds. What they don’t like is to be put into situations where they are racing against a short stacker for 20 big blinds or less. What they don’t like is having short stacks move in over the top of them with re-raises when they are trying to pinch the blinds or attack limpers.

Only last week, I attempted to sit down in a heads-up contest against six different players with a short stack. I didn’t actually want to play; I just did it out of pure devilment to see if any of them would play me. The stakes were NL600 and NL400 and I bought in for $120 and $80 respectively. Not one player played with me. They either sat there silently or typed some comment into the chat box indicating that they would only play if I got more money. That basically says it all.
I just made another good round of poker and my bankroll is up at least 60%.

Is it this easy? IMO, all it takes is a good method and patience. You wait for a good card, read how the others play and bet from there. The foundation is the good card. You can't always bluff your way to winning, this is my belief for now.

I think Cialdini's influence factors also come into place. Commitment/consistency, social proof and all that. Once other players see you or have pigeon-holed you as this type of player, I can vary my play. This keeps them always on guard. I think being in the moment counts a lot.
I got an email reply from nodepositbonus.com regarding my bankroll bonus with titanpoker. They said that my passport was Philippines, yet my IP was in NZ.

I had to photocopy a billing statement and emailed back to clarify this. Hoping that I'd get that bonus, but if not, the universe is telling me to go a different way. And that different way is pokerstars. That's where my excitement is at the moment. I like the game platform and almost everything else about their site.

We'll see what happens then.

Using a starting hands chart I found off the internet, I decided to give this a try on a pot-limit poker game. On the second serving, I got me an AA.

First roung of betting, I raised. I think I raised all the way and on river, got me another ace. One other guy kept calling my raise. Three of a kind A's, I didn't think he stood a chance. The community cards confirmed that he won't have any set higher than mine and I raised as much as I can.

I won the pot--about $1,800; this was all in playmoney, but still. This confirms that I am moving forward. To keep track of my bankroll, this win represents a 121% gain.

Starting hands chart

If you plan to turn your no deposit poker money into a real bankroll, you will want to take a hard look at the hands that are good poker hands and those that are not. THE BIGGEST MISTAKE BEGINNING POKER PLAYERS MAKE IS PLAYING TOO MANY HANDS. If you just want to have some quick fun, then any two cards will do. If you want to win, then you’ll need to be selective and aggressive. Play only the best hands and play them aggressively. This selective/aggressive trait is one that all of the professional poker players share.


The starting hand chart above is a great guide on hand strength. The first chart shows pairs and suited cards. The strength of pairs is pretty obvious. With a pair, you already have a made hand that can possibly win without the help of the community cards to follow. Suited cards also add strength. What we mean by suited is two cards sharing the same suit. So an Ace and King, both hearts is referred to as “ace king suited”. If the two cards are different suits, say an ace of hearts and king of diamonds, this is “ace king offsuit” or unsuited. Suited cards are more valuable than unsuited cards because they give you a better chance of making a flush. Finally, you will notice that many of the playable hands are “connected”. Example, a queen and a jack. They are close together in their rank. Playing connected cards gives you a better chance of making a straight. Cards that are suited and connected are good hands to have, because they give you more ways to win. Ace King suited is one of the best hands in poker, as you have outs to making big pairs, the best straight and the best flush.

The second chart shows unpaired and unsuited combinations. You’ll notice that there are many more unplayable hands on this chart. If someone else raises, the vast majority of the hands on this chart are unplayable, even among the hands that are color coded red and yellow! A raise from another player generally means they have a strong hand, and the only two hands that could be considered very strong on this second chart are A-K and perhaps A-Q, both offsuit.

Both of these charts deal with “position”. What this simply means is your position at the table relative to the dealer chip or button. Most authors vary on what they consider early, middle and late position, but a good quick guide is this. Consider the first 3 seats to the left of the dealer button to be early position. The next 3 seats are middle position, and the final 2 seats and player with the dealer button is late position. The later position you are, the better, because it allows you to see the actions of players ahead of you. You will have a better idea of whether or not your hand is good when the action comes to you. If you hold QJ suited in late position, and there are 3 big raises ahead of you, that QJ suited doesn’t look nearly as good as it did when you first peeked at it!

This starting hand chart is actually very loose by most standards. It wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to cross off some of the lesser hands if your goal is to build a bankroll from just a few no deposit bonuses. The better the hands you start with, the more aggressively you can play them and the better chance you’ll have of stacking the chips up in your pile.

Many players jump into poker and play any two cards because they’re just looking to have some fun for the evening. In my opinion, it’s a lot more fun to still be playing a year later thanks to the kind donations from those “good time” players! One final thought: A winning poker player is a studious poker player. One doesn’t have to be a genius to make money at poker, but you do have to be willing to read and study the game. The short explanation of position and starting hands here is a good point to begin, but do yourself a favor, skip a couple of fast food burgers and invest $10 or $15 into a good texas holdem strategy book. You will be amazed at the edge you’ll have after learning the basic fundamentals of poker strategy.

source: http://www.nodepositbonus.com/poker-starting-hands-chart/

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I see now why poker sites are giving away money--they are not getting that much traffic.

I sit in front of the computer pretty much all of my awake time. I go to pokerstars and I find thousands of players online. I then check for my free money on the other sites and they have about ten tables open but nobody, I mean almost ZERO players on their site.

One reason that I am seeing here is the platform. Pokerstar's platform is way much better than the other two I am using right now. The other two platforms look primitive. Pokerstar's look and feel like the latest video game out there.

I'm not sure I want to pursue this 'No deposit bonus' for now. If I get them, then I'll try their site. If there be no players, then I play practice account with pokerstars until I have my grub stake, which is a measly ten dollars.

Intentions

  • open live account with pokerstars.
  • grow bankroll to $100.
  • grow playmoney bankroll to $10,000.

No Deposit Bonus

I just learned that poker sites will actually give you money to play with. It's called 'no deposit bonus'.

Here are two sites that I found off google:
- google search
- nodepositbonus.com
- fbnpoker.com

I just signed up with one of these sites for free money. The only catch is that you need to play a number of times using that money and earn points before you can withdraw them.

That's still good. Considering I'm a newbie and online poker games are not in my budget. When I make good on this, then this is a good business venture--far better than online trading that I am doing right now.
I just finished another no limits hold'em poker game. This time, I think I finished somewhere better than half the crowd. I am able to sustain/survive to this level, but my chips don't grow as much. Why is that?

Am I not taking too many chances? Are my methods too tight? I don't think I was tight this time around. Was it that the good cards were not coming to me? That is outside of my control. All players go through phases when good cards don't come to them at times.

I don't have the answer to this right now, but it's good that the question is out there.

I also noticed that I make good in the fixed limit games. My bankroll was down to about 800 and in an hour, it was back to 2k. Maybe it's because there is less anxiety at this level of play? That's one thing.

I am going to grow my account to 10k playing fixed limit, see what happens with my game. During that time, I will not play tournament poker.

PS
My charts were close all day--I was practically played poker all day. At the moment, I see more potential playing poker than it is trading.
I played a no limit tournament (play money) last night. This time, I finished 1014th place out of abotu 2220 players. It was different than the first tournament, which was a pot limit game.

I was playing too tight that I was just pissing my chips away through the blings. Was I simply unlucky or the play was too tight? I think it was too tight. I am lightening up a bit.

This time, I am playing to see the flop as long as my pocket cards are any pair or J7. If I don't get a set on the flop, I fold.

Monday, January 18, 2010

happy swimming


My practice account is now up to $3,400. I played a few more ring pot limit games this afternoon. Most of the cards I got I did not play. Limit for me was pair sevens. Anything below that, I do not play.

I don't know how I am going to raise money for this business venture, but I sure am looking forward to going live.

Gambling issue

I have a belief system saying that gambling is bad. I got this message hammered in me growing up, through school and popular media. I have this image of an adult being miserable because they are not making money out of it.

I see this, that I have this belief in place. I don't think that there is anything bad about it. The only drawdown to this that I see is that I am not getting paid to do it. Other than that, there is the excitement of playing and out-playing others in the room. Why would it be bad?

No need for me to wrestle with that belief. Just knowing that I have that belief, shining the light on it is enough. There are a lot of people out there making a living as professional poker players. Using play money, I was able to grow my grub from 995 to currently 3000.

I do not have to be number one, or win any tournament. I think it is enough to play well and make money out of it. I see this as a business opportunity. Playing poker also makes for good practice being consciouss of my thoughts and emotions while playing.

Right now, I see fear, anxiety in myself while playing. Practice at this level is simply to observe those emotions and learn the definitions behind them. I think one definition is that losing is bad. Is it really? When I lose, I learn something. I started playing only last week, and so far, I have learned a lot and am a better player now.

So whenever those emotions come up, I see that I still hold those belief system. I shine my light on them, just be conscious about it and move on.

Forex market is open. Being a monday, I don't think this is going anywhere anytime soon. Now it's time for me to wash the dishes.
i just finished my first poker tournament with pokerstars.com. It was a freroll playmoney tournament. There was 3,789 registered players, I finished 1316th place. This means on my first tournament, I finished in the top 34%. Not bad for a newbie.

I was doing good, but there was one hand where I had a strong pair, but failed to see the flush coming up for the other player. Lesson learned and I am a better player for it.

I am looking forward to the next tournament later this afternoon. I am thinking I can practice in maybe at least two tournaments (playmoney) each day. I am looking for a way to get a freeroll into a live money game.

At least I am learning and moving forward with this. Good job, Jim!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chris Moneymaker on NLHE

The goal of texas hold'em, currently the most popular game of poker being played int he country and the standard for almost every major world class tournament, is to draw the strongest five card poker hand from two pocket cards and five community cards. Or die trying. It's probably the easiest poker game to understand, because you're really working with only two cards that are yours alone, and yet it's probably the most difficult to master, because there are so many different ways to play those two cards.

The game rewards aggressive play, but it also rewards a passive style--especially in its 'no limit' form. You can bet a lot, or you can fold a lot. You can be smart or crazy, conservative or reckless, patient or impulsive. There's no one proven method or strategy. It all depends on the table, and the cards, and a whole mess of other intangibles, which is why I think it's become so popular...

Think about it: it doesn't take much beyond deep pockets and a serious set of stones to bet big money on a football game. And it doesn't take much to run a pool table, beyond skill and precision and hours and hours of practice. Blackjack is all about counting cards and playing the precentages, and craps is just a crapshoot. But poker? Texas Hold'em?

Well, here you'll need smarts and guile and intuition and experience and balls. A beginner can get lucky and win in the short term. Anybody can win a couple of hands running. But over time, the player with the most smarts and guile and intuition and experience, and the biggest balls, is always going to win. Always.

It won't matter what cards you've been dealt, it won't matter what position you're sitting in, and it won't matter that you're due for a good run. That's the beauty of the game. Until you learn how to read people, read a table, read your cards, you're going to be a dead player.

Souce: Moneymaker, Chris Moneymaker and Daniel Paisner.
I stumbled across this book in the public library--"Poker Champion Moneymaker. How an amateur poker player turned $40 into $2.5 million at the world series of poker."

I am a few chapters into the book. I love it. interesting story.

Day One

Sometime during this week, I started playing online poker in between my trades. By sunday, I made the decision that, since this came up in my radar and i am enjoying it, then this is part of my excitement. I am going to play online poker for money. This blog serves to journal my play. at the moment, I am on play money games. i won't worry where the money will come. this is part of the process.