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

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