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Online Texas Hold’em – Cash Games verses Tournaments (Play Video Poker)
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Online Texas Hold’em – Cash Games verses Tournaments

August 22nd, 2006

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I received an email recently from a reader who was bragging that her Texas Holdíem game play has greatly improved, since she started playing in online sit & go tournaments. She went on to say that not only does she feel like she is a better player, she enjoys playing a lot more now that sheís gotten over her initial fear of sitting in at a poker tourney. This is not uncommon and there are a couple of logical reasons why.

First, when youíre playing in a cash game, itís possible to lose your entire bankroll on a single hand. When this happens, youíll have to make an additional deposit before you can play again. In tournament play, your entry fee buys you a certain number of chips (1,500 is a typical amount), if you go all in and lose, youíve simply lost your entry fee and you most likely will still have some money left in your bankroll. Also, in most tourneyís multiple players will finish ďin the moneyĒ. For example, in a typical single table sit & go tourney, the top three finishers will earn something. Meaning, if you make it through to the final three, youíll win back your entry fee plus a little something extra.

Next, when youíre playing in a cash game; players tend to come and go. Itís frustrating to just start getting a read on a particular player then have them simply up and leave the table. Further, a new player is usually pretty quick to hop in and take their place. Now, you have to start watching this new player and hope you can get a read on their style of play before they also take off. This doesnít happen in tournaments as players who leave prior to the end of the simply lose. Also, tournaments are closed once play has begun so there is no worry of a new player sitting in.

Finally, just as youíre trying to get a read on the other players at your table, the other players are trying to get a read on you. It takes time to cultivate the appropriate table reputation. It makes sense for your opponents to head for an easier table, if they see you dominating the table in a cash game. Once again, this is not an issue in tournament play as leaving the table means forfeiting any chance of winning.

So as you can see, if youíre a ďthinking playerĒ, it makes perfect sense that your game will improve once you try tournament play. Iíd advise any newbie poker player to first study the basics of the game then learn a tight Texas Holdíem strategy, then jump in to the exciting world of tournaments.

Posted in Pokerrooms, Gambling Articles, Poker School | No Comments »

WSOP Strategies

August 18th, 2006

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Robert Tedone

Over the last four years, the popularity of poker has exploded as evidenced by the many crowded brick and mortar poker rooms world-wide, the numerous online poker rooms, the free poker, and the frequently televised WSOP tournaments.

Although a number of poker games–Holdem Poker, Omaha Poker, and 7-Card Stud Poker to name just a few–are available to play in WSOP tournaments, Holdem Poker has emerged as the most popular poker game. Therefore WSOP players must hone their Holdem Poker skills.

The popularity of Holdem Poker is partly due to its simple basic rules. And therin lies the paradox: On the surface, Holdem Poker appears simplistic; but below the surface, Holdem Poker is rife with subtleties, probabilities, and decisions.

WSOP Holdem Poker players must first decide which starting hands to play. That decision is crucial, because if they err, it is a mistake that will only worsen exponentially as the hand progresses.

WSOP Holdem Poker players must predicate their decision on which starting hands to play on their starting position before the flop.

Seats 1, 2, and 3 are Early Position. In Early Position, WSOP Holdem Poker players will play only superior starting hands: AA-77; AK-AT, suited and unsuited; KQ-KT, suited, KQ-KJ, unsuited; QJ-QT, suited and unsuited; JT-J9, suited; T9, suited.

Seats 4, 5, and 6 are Middle Position.

In Middle Position, WSOP Holdem Poker players will play all of the Early Position starting hands and these additional hands: 66-55; A9-A6, suited; K9, suited; KT, unsuited; Q9, suited; J9, suited; JT, unsuited; T8, suited; 98, suited.

Seats 7 and 8 (button) are Late Position. In Late Position, WSOP Holdem Poker players will play all Early Position starting hands, Middle Position starting hands, and these additional hands: 44-22; A5-A2, suited; K8-K2, suited; K9, unsuited; Q8, suited; Q9, unsuited; J8, suited; J9, unsuited; T9-T8, unsuited; 98-97, unsuited; 87, suited and unsuited; 86, suited; 76, suited; 75, suited; 65, suited.

Seat 9 is the Small Blind. In the Small Blind, WSOP Holdem Poker players will call a half-bet with Late Position starting hands or better.

Seat 10 is the Big Blind. In the Big Blind, WSOP Holdem Poker players will check as they have already placed a bet in the pot before the start of the hand.

WSOP Holdem Poker players should now have a general understanding of the proper starting hand selection.

When to raise or reraise before the flop and other advanced strategies will be covered in subsequent articles.

WSOP

Posted in Gambling Articles | 2 Comments »

Certain Poker Rooms May Be Unsafe

July 26th, 2006

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Here’s an important post from Bill’s
about how certain poker rooms store your username and password in a plain text format on your computer. Have a look

Posted in Pokerrooms | No Comments »

No Limit Texas Holdíem Tournament Strategy

July 14th, 2006

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Pre Flop Decisions

Letís start out by saying the perfect Holdíem strategy simply does NOT exist. There is no magic bullet, or plan that will take you from absolute beginner to WSOP champion in 30 days or less. If you see things like this advertised somewhere —avoid them.

Ironically, one big reason why there is no perfect strategy is that there are just too many bad players out there. Bad players donít fold when they should, they canít be intimidated because they often simply donít know how good or bad their hand really is. They come to play and thatís what they do —play. To the frustration of those of us who actually try to learn and improve our games, these loose cannons occasionally win. Not because of any real skill, but simply because they picked up a few lucky cards.

With that said hereís a simple strategy that I use at the start of a tournament. It is a very tight strategy of play; Iíll wind up folding most of my hands pre-flop. However, when I do play, I almost always play aggressively. So Here goes:

1) Play any pair 2,2 to A,A.

2) Play A,K (big slick) and A,Q

3) Play Ace, anything suited (Ace of Diamonds And 3 of Diamonds)

Sounds pretty simple right, well it is but there are a few other guidelines that I follow…

First, Iíll (almost) always come in for a raise when I have a high pair (9,9 or better) A,K or A,Q. The only exceptions to this are when other players keep raising. If Iím holding A,A or A,K, Iíll probably stay in no matter what. However, if Iím holding 10,10 and facing a raise, re-raise situation, Iíll probably fold.

Next, Lower pairs (8,8 or lower) and A, anything suited. If the players before me are calling, Iíll usually come in for a raise on this hand. If there is a reasonable raise on the table, I may call just to see the flop. However, Iíll usually fold this in a raise, re-raise situation.

Bet Size: I try to be consistent with my pre-flop betting. Itís not a good practice to base the amount of your pre-flop raises on the hand youíre holding. This will obviously give your opponents too much information about how good your hand is. When I go in for a raise, itís usually for around three times the big blind. Iíll bet this amount whether my hand is A,A or 7,7.

Table Position: If Iím in one of the blinds, Iím more likely to stick around to see a flop. If I have a bad or marginal hand, Iíll obviously check when I can, or call if Iím small blind and no one else had raised.

Thatís about it. Remember this strategy assumes itís early in the tournament and the table is full or almost full. Things change later on, when there are fewer players and the blinds are higher. Read about that in the next installment of the Texas Hold’em Pre-flop Strategy.

For an overview of an Online Texas Hold’em Tournament Click Here!

Posted in Poker School, Texas Hold'em Strategy | 11 Comments »



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