Phil Ivey on Poker Advice

♠ January 25th, 2008 by ♣ admin

Poker pro Phil Ivey dishes out his thoughts on poker advice. His attitude is very simple: “seek it out, absorb it, but while you’re at the table, forget it.”

He’s a firm believer in learning the game by playing the game, and while he doesn’t dispute the fact that there a lot of great resources around to help players improve their games, or that poker books and tutorials don’t have their place, he sees a problem however where people who rely on these kinds of aids sometimes end up playing poker like someone else or - even worse - like everyone else.

One of the things that makes poker great is that it’s a game where there’s really no right or wrong way to play. Different players have different approaches and in Phil Ivey’s view, you should take the things you learn from other players and incorporate them into a style of play that works for you!


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Keith Sexton on “Playing Fifth Street in Seven-Card Stud”

♠ January 18th, 2008 by ♣ admin

Fifth Street is the big decision point in seven-card stud poker, because that’s when you have to put in your first big bet. One of the toughest situations that you can face on Fifth Street, is what to do with small to medium pocket pairs. If your opponent is betting into you with one or two over-cards to your pair and representing an over-pair, when should you continue?

In the situation that you both catch average-looking boards, you need to know your opponent. Are you up against someone who’s aggressive enough to keep betting with just one pair? I know that an opponent like Phil Ivey has the heart to bet all the way to the river with a pair so I would be less likely to call him down with something small like a pair of fives. If I was up against a more timid opponent, however, I would call a bet on Fifth Street because I know if all he has is one pair and he fails to improve, he’ll slow down. I might have to call another bet on Sixth Street, but he won’t bet one pair on the river, and I can check behind him to save a bet.

Another good player once described this concept as the Ben Franklin principle. It goes hand in hand with the idea of pros increasing their equity by showing aggression in the appropriate spots. A bet saved is a bet earned and just like extra bets chopped out by shrewd and speedy play, they add up handsomely at the end of the year. In other words, you can enhance your bottom line in marginal situations by avoiding the Phil Iveys and chasing the timid guys.

Fifth Street decisions can be very tough, especially when you’re not sure of where you stand in the hand. By keeping a close eye on your opponents and on your outs, you’ll be able to calculate when you should make the big calls and when you should fold.


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How to be a good Poker player?

♠ January 14th, 2008 by ♣ admin

Here are some thoughts and tips from a few poker professional about how to be a good poker player.

“A hand can be won with luck or lost through bad luck. Play more than 1,000 hands, and luck and bad luck even out”
Eike Adler, Poker coach and author

“Poker is very comprehensive. And it is immensely important to understand the game from the beginning. Poker is a matter of experience.”
Katja Thater, Professional Poker player

“Luck does play a certain role, but play only with money that you can do without.”
Jan Meiners, Poker professional and author

“Don’t get married to a hand. (Be ready to throw your hand away when it is obviously beaten no matter how good a hand you started with.) This happens a lot with Ace King. Also, don’t try to beat the other players; let them try to beat you. Memorize this.”

Chris Moneymaker, 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Champion

“Don’t try to steal a pot by trying to bluff a bad player, a big loser or a big winner, and be sure to vary your playing strategy. The player whose game is always the same becomes an easy mark for good poker players.”
Chris Moneymaker, 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Champion

“Focusing too much on getting your money in good can actually be a part of playing badly overall. Great players are going to get their money in bad once in awhile, especially if they’re playing against someone who’s playing way too tight. However, they’re actually going to make money over the long run because of all the small pots they win when their opponents are unwilling to challenge their raises without a strong hand. What this means is that if you try too hard to get your money in good all of the time, you’re susceptible to being bluffed and are going to lose more often over a long period of time.”
Chris Ferguson, 2000 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Champion

“In tournaments, I play lots of hands. I’ll put my money in with all kinds of connected cards, especially when in position. I might limp, I might min-raise or raise a little more than the minimum, depending on the circumstances. I’m looking to keep my table off balance so they don’t know where I’m coming from. My overall goal is to pick up a lot of small pots without a lot of resistance. I might raise in position and hope for a call from one of the blinds. If I raise pre-flop with something like 6-7, I might miss the flop entirely, but the raise puts me in control of the hand. On the flop, I’ll likely bet if checked to, even if I miss. That small bet on the flop will usually win me a small, but helpful pot.”
Erick Lindgren, Professional poker player

Category: From The Pros | Comments Off

Poker Beginner’s Rules

♠ January 12th, 2008 by ♣ admin

Poker is fun, poker is exciting, poker is challenging, and with the advent of the television broadcasts of the World Poker Tour tournaments and other live poker events a few years back, poker has gained millions of new fans, and players. The poker beginners are popping up everywhere, from the online poker rooms to the smoke-filled poker halls at the casinos in Las Vegas.

Here are some Poker Beginner’s Rules, whether playing online or offline:

Know the good starting hands - each kind of poker game, from Omaha hi to seven card stud to five card draw has first draw hands that are considered “good starting hands”. Knowing a good starting hand from a bad one is the first step toward winning the round.

Understand the betting limits - your bankroll will determine the game you can afford to join. If your bankroll is $100, you’re better suited to joining a $1-3 game, not a $5-10 or more game. It’s simple - don’t make a fool of yourself and annoy others; stick to the table that you can afford.

Don’t lose patience - poker is a patient man’s game. No patience will likely mean no winnings for you. If you lose a few rounds, don’t lose patience, don’t get upset and don’t lose focus. Getting emotional about a game is a common problem among poker newbies.

Play your game - if there’s an audience, don’t showboat. Stick to your game, play smart and play safe. Don’t copy another Player’s move simply as a bluff or no good reason. Play your game.

Take a break - if you stay at the game for many unbroken hours, you’re likely to lose some sharpness and concentration. If you’re playing online, take a break from staring at the computer screen. If you’re in a casino, go have a snack, take a walk around the room, have a look at some other poker games in progress.

Watch the alcohol - on television, liquor and poker often go hand in hand. Liquor has also made many poker players brave but not smart. In most instances, professional poker players do not drink alcohol while playing. There’s a reason for this - alcohol dulls everything that should be sharp when playing poker, especially the mind. Playing poker and drinking is a sure way to speed your exit from the table with a lot less money than you started with.

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Poker Etiquette - Dos & Don’ts

♠ January 8th, 2008 by ♣ admin

Whether playing in Vegas at a top notch casino or at home with your poker buddies, there are dos and don’ts when playing poker; basic poker etiquette:

Poker Don’ts:

  • DON’T play out of turn - whether you’re anxious to raise or can’t wait to fold your hand, don’t jump the gun. Not only is it annoying, it also gives the other players information that they shouldn’t have before making their own plays.
  • DON’T take forever to play - yes, there are times when you may be faced with a decision that requires some significant thought, but definitely not every time. If you consistently take a long time to make your decisions, it makes the game less enjoyable for others.
  • DON’T splash your chips into the pot - it may look good n T.V., but in reality it makes it hard to tell how much you’ve bet.
  • DON’T be impolite - even if you’re having a bad losing streak or a frustrating time, swearing at the other players or being critical of their play or being otherwise impolite is a big no no. People tend to have long memories about obnoxious conduct, and verbal battles only help to distract from what should be your main focus … your poker strategy.
  • DON’T give running commentary - whether you’re in the hand yourself, or just watching from the sidelines, no one, especially the other players, want to hear chatter about what could’ve, would’ve, should’ve happened!
  • DON’T be a whiner or a cry baby. Nuff’ said!

Poker Dos:

  • DO treat others as you would like to be treated at the poker table.
  • DO pay attention. No one should have to remind you that it’s your turn because you were busy chatting on the cellphone or otherwise distracted.
  • DO keep quiet during the hand. Let the hand end before you offer any commentary whatsoever.
  • DO observe the DON’Ts above!

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Common Poker Tells

♠ January 5th, 2008 by ♣ admin

One of the most important secrets to playing good poker, is to have the ability to ‘read’ your opponents at the table. Poker tells are any noticeable behaviors, habits, reactions or habits (body language) that in effect “tells” or gives at hint to other players as to the type of hand that you may have.

A good poker player watches and controls their own body language to ensure that it isn’t dropping any clues, while also watching their opponents for potential indicators of weak or strong hands. If you can accurately read your opponent’s tells, it can guide you to make certain decisions which are likely to help you win more.

With this in mind, here are some of the more common poker tells that you should be on the lookout for:

  1. Eye movements. Why do you think most professional poker players where sunglasses? The eyes never lie! It’s often inevitable for example that a player will look down at his hand, spot a nice hole card, then glance down at his chips to figure how much he can bet. Likewise, some players with a weak hand will try to use reverse psychology and stare down other players in a fake show of strength.
  2. Player uninterested. If a player seems uninterested in a particular hand, but is still in, it could be a good indicator that he/she has  good hand. More reverse psychology.
  3. Facial expressions. Simply put, it’s often difficult for a player to mask their glee or disappointment with a particular hand.
  4. Trembling or shaking. If a player’s hands are shaking, chances are he/she has a really good hand and this anxiety reveals itself in this way.
  5. Old habits die hard. You can tell a lot in the way a player habitually bets or acts during particular situations. For example, the player may rest his forehand on his hand when faced with a bad hand, almost as though he was reading the table and concentrating.
  6. Nervous anticipation. There are some habits that are often displayed when a player is nervously anticipating some good fortune. Movement /swinging of the legs/knees, tapping of the fingers or feet etc.
  7. Deep or even shallow breaths. When making a big bluff, some players will take a deep or shallow breath, or even hold their breath for a few seconds.

Ultimately, every player is unique, so the tells will be different for each. The key is to assess each player individually, and observe the difference in the way they play various hands. Any differences are potential poker tells.

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Five Worst Hands in Texas Hold’em Poker

♠ January 4th, 2008 by ♣ admin

One of the best ways to know and play your poker like a pro, is to know when to fold. If you’re playing Texas Hold’em Poker, there are some hands that your best bet is probably to fold immediately if/when you draw these cards. Here we go with a listing of the five worst hands in Texas Hold’em Poker:

  1. 2-7 : This hand is popularly known as ‘the hammer’ and it’s undoubtedly the worst hand in Texas Hold’em. They are the lowest two cards that you can pull that cannot make a straight. Even if they’re of the same suit, they will still only make you a very low flush, and if either pairs, it’s still an awfully low hand.
  2. 2-8 : Same basic problem as #1 above, except in this case you’ve got an 8 instead of a 7. Still quite bad for a high card.
  3. 3-8 or 3-7 : The 3 makes either of these hands able to beat items 1 and 2 above, but even with the 3-8, you still can’t even make a straight.
  4. 2-6 : The stars could align in your favor and send you an unlikely flop of 3-4-5, giving you a straight, but someone with a 6-7 will beat your straight. Even if you get a flush, against even just four players, it’s very likely that someone will have a higher flush.
  5. 2-9, 3-9 or 4-9 : There are no straights to fill the gap between these cards. Really, the best thing about these hands is the 9. If you get a 9 pair, you’ll have a middle pair that could still be beaten by a player holding pocket 10s, jacks, queens, kings, or aces (very likely odds here).

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When to Bluff

♠ January 2nd, 2008 by ♣ admin

To bluff is to bet or raise with an inferior hand, i.e. a hand that is not likely to beat the other poker hands at the table. It’s done by a player with the hope that the other players will think that he/she has a dominant hand, and fold their own hand out of fear (the bluffing player then wins the pot).

Bluffing is an important part of poker, but not everybody understands how and when it’s best to bluff. While there’s no hard and fast rule that one must bluff at a certain time or even a certain amount, there are certain times and situations in which it might be in your best interest to bluff. Typically, bluffs only work against certain people and/or in certain situations.

It is important that you don’t bluff too frequently or infrequently. If a player bluffs too frequently, other players can observe and note it as a ‘tell’, and ’snap-off’ these bluffs by calling or re-raising. If a player bluffs too infrequently, this too can be observed and noted as a ‘tell’. Occasional bluffing is a good cover not just for the hands that a player is bluffing with, but also for those legitimate strong hands that opponents may think he/she may be bluffing with.

Here’s your poker secret for the day: David Sklansky, in his book ‘The Theory of Poker’, states that, “Mathematically, the optimal bluffing strategy is to bluff in such a way that the chances against your bluffing are identical to the pot odds your opponent is getting.”

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Welcome to Poker Secrets

♠ January 1st, 2008 by ♣ admin

Welcome to PokerSecrets.Com, where we offer tips that we hope will help to boost your poker knowledge, performance and profits (if you intend to or currently play poker for a living).

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