Monday, February 21, 2005

A different look at No Limit Holdem tournament play

No Limit Hold'em Tournaments - No Limit Texas Holdem: "Frankly, No Limit Hold'em is just about the worst game to play with huge tournament fields. Skill will contribute to victory, but luck will be the greater influence. Again, this is the way Holdem is designed. It is a game of small edges. Even 'dominating' situations like AcKs versus Ah7d are less than 3-1. Imagine playing 3-1 situations fifty times for all your chips. Eventually you will lose, unless you get outlandishly lucky. Of course, in the real world often times in all-in situations you will have more chips than your opponent, and thus won't be eliminated when you lose, but still it is a humbling reality to understand that even the greatest player will need a huge amount of luck to win a large No Limit Holdem event. (Luck is not nearly so central to Limit poker, or other games like Draw poker, where dominating situations are 100% to zero, like a pat full house versus a pat flush.)

Lots of people play poorly, and will gladly shove all their chips in as 1-3 underdogs. Part of their poor play is that they have no clue that they are such dogs!

Major No Limit Holdem tournaments are becoming like $3/6 Holdem games in Los Angeles... a large chunk of the skill required to win is very basic and simple, but it is absolute, pure skill where you consistently take the best of it into showdown situations and absorb fluctuations when you have bad luck. Some folks have always claimed they can't beat loose LA $3/6 games, and the reason for that simply is they don't adapt and don't play well. Some skills that work in tougher games are useless, and the way to win is fairly mechanical, but over time it is enormously profitable... even if the psychic pain of often losing to goofball play is hard for almost everyone to stomach.

The game is being revolutionized... good play is being rewarded significantly more than two years ago. But in some cases it is not so easy to see, and in fact, in some circumstances you may never now it."

Monday, February 14, 2005

Playing Pocket Pairs

Poker Wisdom of the Day:

The Easy Example: A pocket pair

You start with a pair of Jacks in the pocket. Not too shabby. The flop however, doesn't contain another Jack.

Lesson 1: What's my chance of getting a Jack on the turn?

You need to just figure out the number of outs and divide it by the number of cards in the deck. There's

2 more Jacks. There's 47 more cards since you've seen five already. The answer is 2/47, or .0426, close to 4.3%.

Lesson 2: No luck on the turn, how 'bout the river?

Still 2 Jacks left, but one less card in the deck bringing the grand total to 46. What's 2/46? That's .0434, which is also close to 4.3% Your chances didn't change much.

Lesson 3: Screw getting just one Jack! I want them both! What are my chances?!

Since we're trying to figure out the chances of getting one on the turn AND the river, and not getting one on EITHER the turn or river, we don't have to reverse our thinking. Just multiply the probability of each event happening. Chances of getting that first Jack on the turn was .0426, remember? The chance of getting a second Jack on the river would be 1/46, because there'll only be one Jack left in the deck. That's about .0217, or 2.2%. To get the answer, multiply 'em.

.0426 X .0217 is about .0009! That's around one-tenth of a percent. I wouldn't bank on that one.

Lesson 4: Hey, what were my chances of getting a pair of Jacks anyway?

To figure that out, think of it as getting dealt one card, then another. What are your chances of the second card matching the first one? There will be 3 cards left like the one you have. There's 51 cards left in the deck.

3/51 is .059 or 5.9%. What the chance that it'll be Jacks? Well, there's 13 different cards. .049/13 is about .0045, a little less than half a percent.

Poker Wisdom again

Poker Wisdom: "The straight draw'

You start with a Jack of Spades and a Ten of Spades. You get a rainbow flop with a Queen of Spades, a Three of Diamonds, and a Nine of Clubs. You've got a straight draw.

Lesson 1: What are my chances of hitting it on the next card?

Same as before, but with different outs. A King or an Eight will complete your hand. There are presumably four of each left in the deck. You've got 8 outs. The chance of getting one of them on the turn is 8 over 47, because there's 47 cards left in the deck. That comes out to about .170, or around 17%.

Lesson 2: I didn't get it on the turn! What are my chances now!?

There's still 8 cards left in the deck that'll help you, but 46 cards left in the deck. That's 8 over 46.

It changes to .174. It's improved to a whopping 17.4%!

Lesson 3: I should of thought about my total chances first, I'm such an idiot. What are my chances of getting that card on the turn OR the river?

Once again we'll have to calculate the chances of a King or Eight NOT appearing, so we can do it like the last problem (in this case, {39/47} X {38/46}).

Or, since we've already figured out our chances in the previous two lessons, we can just invert the probabilities and multiply 'em. You had a .170 chance on the turn, and a .174 on the river. By inverting, I mean subtracting them from one. Now we've got .830 and .826! Multiply and get .686! That's our chance of NOT hitting our card at all. So invert it again and get .314, or 31.4%


Poker Wisdom

Poker Wisdom : "Top two pair'

You get dealt a King of Diamonds and a Nine of Hearts.

The flop is lookin' pretty good for you with a King of Spades, a Nine of Clubs, and a Four of Clubs. Top two pair!

Lesson 1: What are my chances of getting a full house on the turn?

To get a full house, you need another King or Nine to pop up. There are presumably two of each left in the deck.

So you've got 4 outs. After the flop there's always 47 cards unaccounted for. 4/47 is around .085 or an 8.5% chance of you getting that boat.

Lesson 2: What are my chances of getting a full house on the river?

If it didn't happen on the turn, your chances usually don't change all too much, but let's check. You've still got 4 outs and now 46 unseen cards left. 4/46 is about

.087 or around an 8.7% chance of hitting it on the river.

A .2% difference. Sorry.

Lesson 3: How about the chances of getting the boat on the turn OR the river?

Like the previous examples, to figure your chance of something happening on multiple events, you need to calculate the chance of it NOT happening first. On the turn it won't happen 43/47 times. On the river it won't happen 42/46 times. 43/47 is .915, and 42/46 is .913. Multiply them and get .835, or 83.5% chance of it not happening. Invert that and you get a 16.5% of getting at least a full house by the showdown.

Lesson 4: What do you mean by 'at least'?

Since we figured the chances to NOT get dealt a full house, the chances are built in if the turn and river are two Kings, two Nines, or a King and a Nine. If you are dealt two cards both of either King or Nine, it'll be four-of-a-kind and not a King and Nine 33% of the time. Think of it as being dealt one card then the other.

What are the chances of the first card matching the second? Whether it's a King or Nine, there will be only one unaccounted for, but two of the other.

That's 1/3, or 33%.

The Rake--- Expenses need to be minimized

"Beating the Rake

To be realistic, the house already has an edge on you.

The rake is built in so that the house takes money from you in small, unnoticed amounts. There are a few guidelines you can go by to minimize this...

Some poker rooms will only rake the pot once it has reached a certain amount, so you want to play opposite the style of the table in these cases...

You can exploit tight players through tactics such as blind stealing and through buying free cards. Blind stealing is simply betting when only blinds are left in the game pre-flop. You can raise from the small blind position or from the position just before the small blind (usually the dealer's position) to try and steal the cost of the two blinds. Buying a free card is a trick best used in last position. If no one else has raised post-flop, then you bet. This will most likely cut down on the number of players (and potential money in the pot), but everyone who stays will tend to check to you. Then on the turn, after everyone has checked you don't necessarily have to bet again. That is why it's called a free card. It's best used with drawing hands, too.

When playing against aggressive players, you tighten up"More

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Betting Tip----The check-raise

Check raising is checking to your opponent, with the intention of luring them to bet, so that you can raise them back. Your intention is to lure them into a false sense of security so that you can raise them and increase the pot (remember, after one bet is committed, its more likely they'll commit to two).

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Betting Tip----The steal-raise

If you are last to act and all players have checked to you, betting to simply limit the number of players or take the pot is called a steal-raise. Don't use this exclusively, as better players will be onto you quickly and begin check-raising against your (most likely) poor hand. It is good to use a steal raise when you have an excellent drawing hand such as a nut flush draw. Players will tend to 'check to the raiser'. Many times you'll get a free card if you have to draw to your hand.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

bet tips-Blind-stealing

Words to play by here by

When you are in the dealer's position, and only you and the blinds are remaining in the game, a raise is often called 'blind-stealing'. This is because the blinds may fold, whereas if you didn't raise but simply called, the blinds would simply check. Its a good way to make a buck or two, but will never make you rich.

It's more of a way to end the game fast and have a new hand dealt with more players (and more money).

Sunday, February 06, 2005

"In the words of the Tao Ti Ching, 'If you aren't afraid of dying there is nothing you can't achieve.'"

Improve your game daily by reading about the game of Poker a little bit each day: "Successful Betting

A bet is a declaration that either a) 'I have the best hand and I'll wager money on it' or b) 'You have a poor hand, and you will fold if you are forced to wager on it'.

Typically, players are supposed to bet when they have a good hand. Players who don't have good hands are supposed to fold. Of course, if it was this simple, there would be no need for this page. You might as well wager on Tic-Tac-Toe. Most players play contrary to this idea, attempting to be a cunning or deceptive player. Don't fall into this trap when you are just learning to play.

Your betting strategy should be built upon this simple idea, but you must know when to stray and bet in situations when you otherwise wouldn't. Here are some situations you should start looking at to improve your


Saturday, February 05, 2005

Another rule to live by

"The First Golden Rule of Poker
Maximize the size of the pots that you win; minimize the amount of your money in the pots that you lose.

Pretty anti-climactic, eh? Expecting quite a bit more, weren't you? And why wouldn't be told to expect the golden rule of your favourite game is bound to straighten you up to attention in your seat. And to be told something so simple, something so base that you already knew, has got to hurt. Read more here.

Friday, February 04, 2005

18000$ ahead at pokerroom

Not a bad week at Pokerroom. Lostcause is at pokerchamps an hit 18000$ tonight. We must be doing something right . Congratulations Lostcause. Here's the secret formula:
and knowledge of course.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

3500$ more at PokerRoom

Pokerroom been real good to me. A first and a third place. here's a tip on how I do it:
"Opponent's stacks are extremely important � you're more likely to be called on an all-in by someone who possesses substantially more chips than you are by someone with substantially less. Be aggressive against short-stacked players."

Pound them, raise, keep them running. They have to make a stand eventually and tap out. They beat you they beat you, but you have to have your best hands in the pot with the most money against them. If you don't get them out hopefully someone else will. You need to place in a top spot in tourneys to get paid.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

2500 $ win at pokerroom

Big day at Pokerroom. Won 2500 from maniacs who only know raise and jam. You have to know when to fold people. Review this site and learn how. It's free info.