Don’t blame the donks

Posted by admin | online poker | Thursday 4 June 2015 6:51 pm

It is amazing how often we see solid players blame donks for their losses either generally or in a particular table/hand. The internet is full of players who play poorly and without them it would be hard to beat the rake if you were anything short of a poker god (and if you are a poker god you are probably not reading this in the first place!).

Most good players who play in 5-50$ buy-ins will be relying on their opponents to make poor plays for most of their profits.

The advent of the likes of sharkscope and thepokerdb etc enables us to establish whether or not someone who calls all ins with 49os actually plays well enough to make/lose money. Generally it can be satisfying to know that some of the craziest players do have rather high negatives for their stats but this does not mean that because you do not do some of the aggressive and often questionable plays that they do you will make a profit or that your game is not without substantial holes. As the good book says don’t overlook the plank in your own eye because of the splinter you see in someone else’s.

It is amazing how often people will blame a poor player for their losses. Some will even blame poker sites for their randomisation software or stay clear of a site with loose players which for profitability is probably the worst course of action. Take the following three examples:

Example 1

7 players left you have 3000 as does 1 other person – you have AK. Betting goes call 100 (BB), call then lucky donk goes all in for 1500 – it folds to you and you call to see he has 78s. He wins. If you look up the odds calculator you will see that whilst he was the dog he had honest chances of winning the hand (30% or higher).

Loads of people would critisise his play here – but first – its not too terrible and second your call has probably on those cards had a positive EV – so why blame him for doing something that has helped you statistically? The fact that the cards went against you is irrelevant – do not personalise it. It is not the randomisation software and it is not the donk’s fault – there is luck in cards and it will not always fall in your favour.

Example 2

You have 78s and the blinds are the same as the last example. Someone raises UTG to 300 – you think they have AA and they are the player with 3k in chips. They have tended to bet most flops that they bet preflop on and rarely fold hands that they play although they are pretty tight. Flop comes with a 7 and 2 of your suit – he bets 500, you call turn gives you three of a kind he bets 600 and you raise him all in to be called a donk. Did you misplay the hand?

Probably not but his not respecting the possibility that you might have had 2nd pair and other draws and might have been chasing preflop make his play poor. Ultimately what is important is how you play the hand – he clearly misplayed it and can hardly blame the cards or your play for that matter for his loss – he should have had a small win, the cards went against him and he got blinkered by greed for your chips.

Example 3

You have 10k in chips and the blinds are low (50/100). You have AA and bet 500 to get 2 callers and the flop of 224 one caller has 30k in chips before the hand and the other had 3.5k before the hand. You bet another 500 to get reraised all in by the 3.5k and then called by the 30k hand. You have just moved tables and have no reads – it is a 10$ tourney. Do you call here?

If you do and the river is 6 and the 30k puts you all in do you call? If you do you can hardly feel hard done to if someone has 2x in their hand or even if the 30k had 35s etc. Would a call of 500 with 35 be a good play? Probably not, would a call on the flop with 35 be a good play – definitely not but would your call on the flop and turn be good? You have to realise that it is this last one that is important – other people possibly misplaying a hand is not a get out of jail free card.

If you misplay these hands then you will be lowering your EV and you have no one to blame but yourself. A poor player will blame donks, a good player will correct a leak that is letting some people chase and then sometimes win all of your chips in what is a pot that you should be escaping from.

Essential Betting Terms in Poker

Posted by admin | online poker | Saturday 23 August 2014 1:04 am

One mistake people often make with poker is throwing themselves into the game completely blind. Although some variations of poker are simpler than others, you should never play for cash before educating yourself about the rules of the games and the options you will be presented with throughout the rounds of betting. Here are some terms you should definitely be familiar with! If not check a free poker site for further information.

Possibly the most important thing to know is the betting options that you have during each round of the game. If, for example, you are playing a game with antes, there will already be money in the pot and you have three options for what you can do if you’re the first to act in the first round. You can bet, or you can check, which means pass the bet on without doing anything. If you bet, the next player will be the person to your left. He or she can then do three different things. To call or see the bet means to match it exactly. To raise means to up the amount. Finally, to fold means to give up on the current hand and pull out of the round.

This method of play continues around the players, always going to the left. If the bet you made initially has been raised by the time it comes back to you, you have the same three options as everyone else – to call, raise or fold. The round is concluded when all the remaining players who haven’t folded call the same bet, so they are all putting in the same amount of money. A round of betting can also end if all the players check so that there is no money in the pot that round to be won.

These are the official terms, but there is also a lot of betting slang to get to grips with. “Bump” is used to mean raise, for example if you bump the bet up to 5, you are raising the total bet to £5. “Kick it” is used in the same way. If you “limp” then you are betting the minimum amount possible, or calling the previous person’s bet. A “family pot” occurs when every player stays in for a hand of the game, so everyone has money in the pot.

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Enjoy a Cup of Coffee in a Less Pricey Way

Posted by admin | online poker | Wednesday 2 April 2014 4:45 pm

I guess if you play online poker you also drink a lot of coffee as coffee helps you keep focused. So the question is, coffee, is it good for you or is it bad for you? Well this question happens to be asked of me all the time, and my response happens to always be good.

There’s a coffee for every kind of person, I believe. There’s black coffee for boring and plain people, there is black decaf coffee for those bland regular and weak minded people, there is French vanilla for people who are a little bit more on the sweeter side, and my absolute favorite: ESPRESSO. Espresso is the straight up stuff that no one can resist, because espresso is just one quick shot and then you’re good for a LONG time on that.

Coffee over the years has evolved further into more or less of a unique way, like Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts or even where I am from, Tim Horton’s. Regardless of where you get your coffee from now a day, it becomes more and more expensive for the same cup of liquid to do in the same thing. What exactly do they believe that they are doing to themselves? The middle class is wasting their time in my opinion and I quite frankly do not believe that they should be doing this all the time!

Coffee prices are skyrocketing and these “fast coffee” places are now just reeling in the green just like a professional fisher reels in his bass. There are easier ways of taking care of this financial hole, and it’s not bad to have a donut or two in the morning upon occasion, but help yourself, for your pocket and for your waistline.

Don’t need to gain the college freshmen 15 all over again, like I did at one point in time. Do yourself a favor and do some of the following: buy coffee in bulk. It helps saves more money per cup than having someone else like a old fashioned McDonald’s worker hitting the brew button and asking you whether or not you would like cream and sugar in that too, for what it feels like an additional fee in that matter, because you’re paying these people indirectly for their labor, which is ridiculous when you can just do it yourself. Buy and brew your own coffee, and get a decent size to go thermal mug to put that cream and sugar in it yourself.

This is a perfect example for what I do as a college student, I have my own coffee machine in my room, my mug ready to go every morning for those ridiculous 8am classes, and sometimes sneak on over to the campus library for their free coffee, or even go to our quick stop on campus and spoil myself with a HUGE cup of espresso, when I know about those long nights that are coming my way. So next time, think to yourself, how can I enjoy this Joe the same way without as much price, and you will do yourself a huge favor for yourself and your wallet in the end.

So if you play a lot of poker online and drink a lot of coffee, buy in bulk and you will save a lot of money.

Best online poker sites

Posted by admin | online poker | Tuesday 10 January 2012 4:11 pm

What are the best online poker sites? This is a question that comes up often, not just for online poker sites but also for any gaming site, or any type of website. As players or users always want the best and they deserve it. This is one of the benefits of the Internet, as plenty of information is available online, so that everyone can do his own research, read comparison sites and make their choice.

The first thing to know is what is meant by best online poker sites. Of course best depends on you, what are your needs and requirements and everyone is different. For instance one of the top criteria to decide what is best is traffic, but this should be nuanced depending on what kind of players you are. Pokerstars has more traffic than any other poker room, and more than twice as much as the second room, Party Poker. They have around ten times more traffic than second tier rooms like Lock Poker or William Hill Poker. But do you need that much traffic?

For most casual players playing one to four tables simultaneously, playing at Pokerstars or Party Poker will not make any difference as far as traffic is concerned. The number of available tables or tournaments is more than enough, in fact it is overwhelmingly enough. But let’s say you are a very active player or an online pro. Then you will notice the difference in traffic between these two top rooms. For instance regular players know each other, so you will feel more recognizable and known at a smaller room than a huge room. If you want to multi-table 24 tables at a time, this can only be done efficiently at stars. And if you are a tournament player at the highest buy-ins, then of course you have to play at Pokerstars, as they have the largest online poker tournaments on earth.

But there are other pros who prefer rooms with little traffic. These are the props, they are employed by some of the smaller poker rooms to help provide action, filling or starting tables. In return for helping these struggling rooms they receive a large rakeback which can be anywhere between 25 and 125%. Some of these prop players can make a living from that, and for them the best online poker rooms are the ones with so little traffic that they can dominate the tables. As they see almost all the action at their preferred stakes, they know exactly who the shark and who the fish are. And they wait patiently for a new fish to join their table so that they can feast on his bankroll.

The above is just an extreme example to show that ‘best’ is always in the eyes of the beholder, and many criteria must be taken into account to determine what the best is for you. If you are not too sure, read online poker news to get yourself familiarized with online poker first. Every poker room is different, with different poker variants, tournament formats, special events or promotions. Do your home work and good luck to you.

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Poker training

Posted by admin | online poker | Thursday 26 May 2011 6:53 pm

In today’s increasingly tough games, it is getting harder and harder to gain an edge on your opponents. Just reading a few poker books is not enough to make you a winning online poker player anymore. You need more than that.

However, what is recommended for you to do is to sign up to a poker training site.

These poker training sites are the fastest way for you to become a winning poker player. And once you have become a winning player, it doesn’t stop there, as these training poker sites will continue to provide you with valuable strategy advice and techniques for you to boost your win rate and reap poker profits forever. You will keep on improving your game as they really have so much material that you will never have the time to master everything they have.

As a poker player, your poker education is your biggest asset and you must treasure it. By joining a poker training site,you get to watch some of the biggest winners online play, look at their cards and know their thought processes as they tell you why they are doing what they do. Poker training sites are the fastest way to go from being a losing or break-even player to a big winner.

Below are some reviews of all the the poker training sites we like. Yes, we have invested heavily in our poker education and are in a perfect position to give you a valuable insight into what poker training sites you should sign up for.

Which is the best poker training site? Do you want to know which poker training sites is the best? Check out cardrunners, we will talk more about the best training sites for each of the different games, talk about the positive and negatives of each site and just give you a better overall picture of what poker training site to sign up for.

Poker training is not just limited to video tutorials, there is also poker training software to help you improve your game. How about free poker training sites for tight budgets? We will tell you about the best free poker training sites on the Internet and how you can get free trials at some of the expensive paid poker training sites. Keep posted

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my poker present

Posted by admin | online poker | Thursday 18 November 2010 1:08 am

In October 2009, I was playing at a 2/4 bad beat table at party when a guy started chatting about Poker Tracker and telling everyone what their VP$IP% and aggression factors were. Unless it was PT Pat, the guy is a complete idiot for doing that, and I thank him for it.

I bought Poker Tracker that day, and searched the Poker Tracker forums for advice, which is how I ended up registering at a few forums. After 5k hands, I realized that I did not apply what I had learned in the books that I had read, and went back and re-read Small Stakes Hold’em and the Theory of Poker. I also purchased and read SS1 and SS2.

Over my next 30k hands, I have been a winner to the tune of about 1.5BB/100. At .5/1, I am at 3.5BB/100 (11k hands), and at 2/4 I am at 0.79BB/100(18k hands). I am working to find and plug the leaks as I move up in limits. I hope to use this blog to do just that. I already know that I misplay AK and AQ post flop when I miss, QQ, JJ, and TT when there are overs on the flop, and I especially feel lost in the blind against a steal, although I am working very hard on that aspect of my game.

I also play 7CS online. Not many people play the game anymore, and very few of them play it well. If I am running bad at holdem, I find a low limit 7CS game and take my frustrations out there.

I play some MTTs and Mega MTTs, all <$20 buy in, and play the occasional qualifier to a larger tournament on Party, and have played in the 500k, 750k, and 1M guaranteed before, but never ITM.

I just started whoring bonuses about 3 weeks ago. There is life outside of Party and Pacific, I have discovered. I have a lot to keep me busy just trying to clear these deposit and reload bonuses, and I currently have bonus queued at Paradise, Pokerstars and Bodog Poker. I am still learning which sites clear at faster rates and at what limits.

My current bankroll is a touch over $3k. I am comfortable playing up to 3/6 limit and 4/8 7CS online. At brick and mortar games, which are remarkably soft compared to the online games, I play up to 6/12 holdem (no kill) and basically any 7 Card Stud game I can find, but I really try to avoid the 1-5 spread limit 7CS games that are the only thing that I can find near here.

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Stake levels in holdem

Posted by admin | online poker | Monday 26 July 2010 12:58 am

Let’s start with Texas Hold’em at the low stakes. As many poker players limp to see the flop, it is not recommended to bluff too much. You must raise with your strong cards, otherwise it is like slowly seeing your bankroll evaporate.

The important poker skills at this level are a good understanding of pot odds and knowing when it is advantageous to call. If you play poker well, you’ll win fewer pots than your opponents, but you will gain overall as the pots that you win will be bigger than the pots you lose, providing you with a net profit.

Sometimes bad luck will hurt you badly. You’ll often see how your draws seem to never hit while your opponents’ poker hands will be apparently favored with constant luck. This happens with opponents who never fold. You rarely should bluff, but you have to bet and raise with premium hands, adding to the pot size when you are leading. Aggression to increase the pot is also important because you have to be careful not to give free cards to the other players.

Texas Hold’em at the average stake levels is harder to play. Most of the players at these stakes are in a position to beat the low stakes, but there are also players who are only slightly used to the game, but have the bankroll to afford to play regularly. These players use less justifiable starting hands, and most pots are played with 3 or less players.

Your opponents will be playing more aggressively. Make bets to increase the pots when it is to your advantage, especially against opponents who love to call or raise with decent strength hands, but not the best of hands. If you are profitable in low-limit poker, the transition to these levels shall be very profitable for you. However, it is also important to know how to read your competitors and to have the skill to choose the juiciest tables.

Now is the time to talk about high-limit poker. Such games always are tight and aggressive. You will meet opponents who are better than the best of you. Do not play with them.

Look for profitable tables where the play is softer due to the presence of one or two loose players. If you search well, such tables can be found. The average player knows how to play poker well, probably having spent a lot of time on the game. Bluff, semi-bluff, deception and original plays to increase the pots are very important skills against these players.

Aggressive poker play with strong premium hands is still the best style. But you can win with a good bluff, as with the correct table image players will be cognizant of your style and fold their medium strength hands. But these players will also punish you if they have a chance to do so, and your chances of a positive outcome will be less because of the permanent aggression. But if you focus on the selection of tables and hands, you may make money at these almost nose-bleed games.

We end this article with the ultra high stakes. Such games can only be found at a few online poker rooms such as Full Tilt Poker. There you will find the best poker players in the world. There may be some slight idiosyncrasies, but basically the style your opponents play will be based on a well understood poker and it will be really difficult for you to find any leaks in it.

For example, some players can play too many hands before the flop, but post flop they will balance their game, partly compensating for their pre flop looseness. The players are very aggressive in fighting for the blinds. Bluffs all in, post flop 3-bets, stealing and restealing occur in these games more than anywhere else.

Normally, you should not play these games, but if you have the skills and guts, you can make massive profits. Assuming you can stand the variance.

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Online poker soon authorized in France

Posted by admin | online poker | Monday 28 June 2010 12:54 am

Online poker is so far frozen in France like in the Ice Age.

Online poker should be allowed in the next few days in France by a decree of the Ministry of Interior, probably published in the Official Journal next Tuesday, three weeks after the actual opening of the French market to sports and horse betting.

The authorization for online poker had been postponed because of an obstruction by Malta under European Union rules. The French Government had sent a year ago its draft legislation for online gaming to the European Commission and also notified Brussels.

The European Union’s Member States were given three months to make their observations, and this is what Malta did on May 27th 2010. France which should respond within thirty days, has since given explanations in Brussels, but could not publish the decree earlier.

Malta, a hub of online gaming operators in Europe is challenging a provision in the French law on gambling and online gambling that requires players to register with an licensed operator. As soon as the decree related to online gaming is published, French players will be allowed to battle in card games such as online poker on the allowed sites. But meanwhile no online poker has taken place in France since June 1st, as all operators have frozen the account of French players in order to follow the law.

The Regulatory Authority for Online Games (Autorité de Régulation des Jeux en Ligne) has already issued licenses to eleven French and foreign operators for these online games: a first wave on June 8 to PMU, Unibet, Bwin, Sajoo, Eurosportbet Winamax and Everest Poker, and a second one on June 25 to ChiliPoker Partouche, Pokerstars, Partypoker.

According to online gaming statistics, the potential number of regular online poker players could reach 1.5 million for a turnover of 300 million euros in 2010 and 500 million euros 2011. The battle has started for the online poker market in France and let’s see when the French will be back to their computers for Texas Hold’em and Omaha heads-up matches. Next week if God agrees.

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Liz Lieu

Posted by admin | online poker | Wednesday 14 April 2010 12:06 am

Poker pro Liz Lieu’s beauty is much more than just skin deep.

At first sight, Liz Lieu’s petite stature, perfectly styled multi-color hair (she had it done in purple for the WSOP in 2006), and upscale designer clothes cause a double-take. Straight men are taken aback by her confidence, gay men admire her style, and women wonder when she last ate. But don’t let the exterior fool you. Liz Lieu’s a real sweetheart, really. “I’m just a normal girl. Of course, I like nice clothes Ð Roberto Cavalli is my favorite Ð but I’m just a regular person,” she says. Oh, and ladies, she does eat. “I get so busy that sometimes I have to remind myself, but I eat several meals a day.”

When you’re a female poker pro dubbed the Poker Diva in a male-dominated profession, those misconceptions come standard. Although she maintains a fierce image at the poker tables and is known to crush her opponents with aggression, she wants people to see her down-to-earth side as well.

Welcome to the multi-tiered world of Liz Lieu.

Born in Vietnam, Lieu’s family moved to the United States and settled in Colorado. “My parents worked all the time,” she recalls. “We were just a normal family.”

Lieu first picked up cards at thirteen to play Chinese poker, not realizing what an integral part of her life it would become. “I started my own home game when I was eighteen,” she says. “A friend of mine from San Francisco came to Colorado wanting to start a home game because poker was getting popular at the time. I knew the gamblers. He asked me to be partners with him, and I thought it was a good idea…

This is a long way to today, when Liz is a poker pro sponsored by Chili Poker. A permanent feature of the main live tournaments, you cannot miss her if you play on the poker circuit.

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