Top Poker Room

I am working on defining which is the best poker room. At this stage, I think pokerstars and party poker are by far the two best online poker rooms, but I have not yet made up my mind to decide which one is the best poker room. Now after what happened in April 2011 the question is different as American players cannot use these 2 names. In the USA the best room is now Carbon Poker. If you are interested in other casino games, visit this casino guide to learn more about blackjack and roulette.

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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Gavin Smith

Posted by admin | poker pros | Wednesday 5 May 2010 12:40 am

Haven’t heard of Canadian player Gavin Smith? Wait five minutes.

A story has been circulating on the Web. In it, Gavin Smith walks over to a 2-5 no-limit game to say hello to his friend Steve Dannenmann. After Dannenmann folds, Smith peeks at the hole cards of the person sitting next to him and says, “Let me play this hand for you.” He raises the pot up to $25 with Q-4 diamonds, gets re-raised to $100, and flat calls. The flop comes two diamonds and he calls $150. He then calls a $350 all-in on the turn with a flush draw and straight draw, blanks against AA, and pulls a wad of cash out of his pocket to give the puppet player his money back. Then he leaves without so much as an explanation. Even if it never happened, the story has gone a long way towards cementing the wild reputation of one of poker’s most meteoric young players.

Anyone who has watched Smith on the World Poker Tour shouldn’t be too surprised to hear this story. With only a few years of professional play under his belt, Smith was named the 2005 WPT player of the year, largely due to his fearless style and some serious chip stacks.

The Canadian made his big entrance into the poker world at the 2005 Mirage Poker Showdown, winning not one but two events, and accumulating over $1.3 million. By the looks of it, that was no fluke. Along with 25 other cashes, Smith has already racked up two final table appearances, at the L.A. Poker Classic and the Gold Strike World Poker Open. “It was a dream for a long time, winning something huge like that,” he says. “Finally realizing I won’t have financial pressures anymore and being recognized as one of the top players”. For all of us common mortals, a new pokerstars bonus code 2010 just came out, but Gavin does not need that.

But Smith is no spring chicken when it comes to the game of poker. After stumbling onto a charity hold ‘em tournament in his Ontario hometown, Smith burst out of the gates as a competitive player. With his poker roots continuing to grow in his home province, the Canuck has grown beyond the title of local poker wunderkind. After operating local poker clubs back home, he took a chance on two live tournaments at Foxwoods, finishing at the final table in both. “That was pretty cool,” he admits dryly.

Gavin attributes his success to his signature aggressive style. “I get people trying all types of ridiculous bluffs on me, live and online. I don’t know if it’s just because they think I’m aggressive or because they think I’m a little bit crazy,” he says, suggesting that beginners should learn how to play aggressively from the start of their poker careers. “I think it’s really important to stay aggressive and be confident and not worry about looking stupid. If you think the opportunity is right to make a bluff and win a big pot when you don’t have a hand, pull the trigger. You’re going to be wrong some of the time, and you’re going to get caught some of the time, but that’s just the nature of the beast.”

Smith pushed all his successful finishes to the periphery, instead focusing on a singular goal: the World Series. He’s looking for a chance to improve on his 2005 finish, where he placed 471st and managed to make the money. Per his signature, Smith’s aggressive play got him into a little bit of trouble in the main event. “I was having a personal situation, and I actually didn’t sleep for all of the World Series. By the time we’re on the fourth day, I was pretty tired,” he remembers. “I just had a big brain fart. The tightest player at the table re-raised me after I raised with Q-T, and I thought I could get him to throw those two aces away.”

Needless to say, Gavin plans on coming in more focused for this year’s “big one.” “The week before, I’m just going to take it easy, play a little golf, and get ready. Try to get sleep and try not to party too much,” he says; from his mouth to the poker gods’ ears.

Don’t expect Gavin Smith to leave his signature style at the table. His fearless nature also comes through away from the poker tables. With a financial interest in Vegas Maximus DVDs, Smith is producing instructional poker DVDs as well as becoming a national spokesman for Canadian Black Velvet whiskey. After qualifying for the World Series last year on Full Tilt, he was made a member of Team Full Tilt, a group that enjoys its fair share of prestige.

With his colorful personality, formidable table skills, and an obvious flair for the dramatic, look for Gavin Smith to make a play at this year’s World Series. Just look behind you when you’re playing at your own table. After all, he might be interested in playing your hands for you. Don’t worry, you know he’s good for it.

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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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