The future of US online poker

Posted by betlover on Jun 7, 2012 in online poker

Just a brief update one year after this article was written: not much has changed really, so most of it is still current news.

As of June 2011 the US online poker landscape looks like a battle field with very few survivors. Indeed if you like to play poker online and you live in the United States, very few choices are currently available to you for real money games.

In fact Cake Poker seems to be pretty much the only way to play poker online currently. Carbon Poker and Bodog poker just announced that they are not welcoming US players for the near term. Doyles’ Room and True Poker were shut down by the FBI 2 weeks ago. PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, UB Poker and Absolute Poker were banished from the US market 2 months ago when the Department of Justice seized their .com domains (later released). And of course 5 years ago after the implementation of infamous UIGEA the major rooms of the time already left, such as 888poker, Party Poker and Pacific Poker to name a few.

This witch hunting crusade has no goal other then satisfying the bigots in the USA as well as the ego of a few officials in the DOJ who have a very ambitious career plan. Remember that Rudy Guliani started his ascension to political prominence by conducting a similar crusade about some of the investments bankers on Wall Street. And this certainly led him a long way as he was a Republican presidential candidate at some point. So here we go again, if the DOJ can indict some of these online poker rooms and collect a few billion dollars in fees in the process, what a victory will it be for the district attorneys at the top of this process.

But this is a story very unlike the one of Drexel Burnham Lambert and Michael Milken who robbed the public of hundreds of millions of dollars. Here the DOJ is simply trying to restrict the freedom of millions of online poker players who love the game of poker and love to play it on the Internet. They are using a technicality regarding deposit and withdrawal processes to indict and close these businesses, adding to unemployment while doing so.

Let’s just hope that this fiasco leads to a clean online gambling regulation in the near term so that the major players are allowed to offer the game to everyone who decides to enjoy his favorite hobby.

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Biggest Mistakes in Sit N Go Poker

Posted by betlover on Dec 4, 2011 in online poker

The biggest mistakes in sit and go poker is probably playing too loose early in the game.

I have made an observation that I wish to share with you about the single biggest mistake I see in the online sit’n go poker games. This affects virtually all newcomers to the game and even many experienced players.

Many of your opponents will play far too many hands at the beginning of a sit’n go game. This is especially true of low limit sit’n go games and newer players. One of the most common examples of this is playing ace – rag (an ace with a small kicker). Such hands make for very difficult decisions after the flop and should usually be avoided in early sit’n go play. When you play only the best hands early in the game you will enjoy the following advantages:

1. Increased probability that you will make the final money positions,
2. You are able to sit back and watch the table to learn player types and betting patterns,
3. Bigger pots raked in from loose players when you do have monster hands,
4. You conserve chips so you have more available to push when you hit the monster hands,
5. You will frequently make the later stage of the game with a solid chip stack.

Play Tight Aggressive Poker in the early stage of a sit n go poker game.

Here is a tip for you: if your opponents are playing too loosely (as they almost certainly will be) make strong raises when you are dealt premium hands and rake in the chips from your looser opponents.

The key in single table sit and go tournaments is to play tight early in order to survive to the later stages, but when you reach them it is then time to play looser as the number of opponent decreases. The lower the number of players at the table, the stronger your hands naturally become. So if You have A9o at the beginning of the game in early position, you probably want to toss that hand. But if there are only 3 or 4 players left, this is now a strong hand even if you are first to act.

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Playing well in tournaments

Posted by betlover on Feb 5, 2011 in online poker

I came in 250th in a recent tournament. That was only out of 450 players! Why did it happen? What can I do to improve my play? The answers may surprise you. Read on for a full confession and honest analysis after my heartbreaking session of NL Texas Holdem at Full Tilt.

Yesterday night I played in a freeroll at full tilt poker. I got the entrance as I just signed up with a full tilt bonus code. The competition was tough. I went into the event nervous. Big mistake. You can’t play your best when you feel outclassed. I lost the tournament, went out in 250th place. I didn’t do that well – trust me, there were only 450 entrants. I made a lot of mistakes.

The first one as I mentioned beforehand was going into the game nervous. I put too much importance on it. I wanted the prize money. I needed the prize money. I had it spent in my mind. Any poker book will tell you that it is a mistake. I play better in free rolls where I can earn less than $10 for my time than I did in this match. Why? I felt inferior. I assumed when I planned my pre-tournament strategy that they all knew what they were doing. I gave them a lot more respect than I should have and much more respect than I gave myself.

The point is – in fact the point of this whole article is this – there is so much advice out there about poker. I listened to my brother’s advice. I asked him how to play hands during this tournament. I second-guessed and over-analyzed myself. Then, I saw hands that I wanted to play – that my gut told me to play that I ignored playing because I was too rigidly playing the way others had told me to.

I didn’t trust myself. I was playing everyone’s game except my own. That was my biggest mistake – not listening to my intuition. If I could do it over again, I’d be excited – not nervous – to play. I’d be ready to put in hours upon hours of playing time to knock out this field of pretty decent Texas Hold ‘Em players – because that’s what they were – decent holdem players. Some were fantastic; but, most were just okay.

I wasn’t any worse off than the rest. We started with equal chips – and, I wager, pretty equal skill levels. I was no better or worse than my competition! Luck, in my opinion, is also equal over time. Some people seem to have it one night and others will get it another. However, the difference was that I let my own insecurities throw me off my game. I let others’ advice dictate my actions at the table. I also let the other players at the table bully me around.

I will take this loss as a huge learning experience. I’ll get back on the poker bandwagon. I’ll play my ‘A’ game or I won’t play at all. I’ll take chances. I’ll be me. Most of all – I’ll have fun and play poker like it’s a game because that’s all it is in the end, a game. It’s a beautiful, wonderful, fantastic game that I truly love. I lost sight of that because I wanted to buy some extra presents for my kids. And I got angry at myself for failing. Unfortunately, if I was half as smart as I think I am, I would have figured this all out before I entered into that tournament. Live, learn and move on to play another day. That’s my new poker mantra.

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calling stations

Posted by betlover on Jul 11, 2010 in online poker

A calling station is a weak player and a losing player. Important to always remember that when you are in doubt when faced with their calls.

They are indeed so-called passive players. Because they always call, but never bet or raise. Calling stations can be tough to play for new players and you will routinely here them complain that they never fold, that it is impossible to beat someone who never folds when bet into. On the contrary calling stations are some of easiest players to defeat when playing online poker. If you have difficulties, the recipe for success is extremely simple, never attempt a bluff against them.

In particular never try a double or triple barrel bluff with a calling station. Some of these players may fold frequently enough versus continuation bets. If they have some poker savvy they fold to a c-bet on a dry board, and you should run your c-bets almost normally against them. However,if they call, know that if you attempt a multi street bluff there is not a chance that they let their cards go. They may call all the way to the river with only bottom pair and still beat you.

On the other hand, the advantage of playing a calling station is that you can make thin value bets as they will often call such bets with a weak pair. So do not hesitate to make a value bet if you have top pair for 3 streets or even less

My recommended strategy to take money from these calling stations is to value bet systematically, almost never bluff, immediately fold when they display strong by betting, in particular in the unlikely event that they raise you, never ever slow play a calling station, but on the contrary 3-bet with the goods.

Hope this helps and good luck at the tables.

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Texas Holdem

Posted by betlover on Nov 25, 2009 in online poker

Online poker has many advantages for most players, including my sister. She was already a good gin rummy player, but after she started to play Texas Holdem poker online, that was it. Now she does not play anything other that poker on the Web. But she has a lot of free time,
so why not?

You will find in this post the main points that make online poker so interesting, such as easy money and large bonuses. And first of all a lot of online entertainment.

First, like many of you know, one of the best skills but also the most difficult is to read your opponents by their physical actions. Most good players you will find in casinos have developed this skill to the extreme to have a big advantage. However, at a poker room online, you cannot see your opponents.

Whatever you do while playing your hands your opponents cannot see, so the first advantage in online poker (which may also be a drawback) is that many players playing based on poker tells (physical signs giving clues on their hands) cannot see you. This somehow evens the field versus these more experienced players.

Then poker online is simply convenient. You can find a Texas Hold’em table 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No need to take the car to the casino. No travel or hotel cost; you can invest all your money directly into your poker bankroll as you play from your home quietly.

Online poker is also more generous with the beginners. Why? Because the majority of players at a poker room online are beginners too, and they may just want to try their hand at poker after seeing a poker table on the television. Hence online poker rooms such as Full Tilt Poker offer very generous incentives for new players to join, such as sign up bonus and freeroll entries.

Another very important point for winning players, there’s a lot of money in online poker. The fact that there are so many novice players at online poker rooms gives a considerable advantage to good holdem players who take the time to consider the situation before putting their chips in the middle of the table. The industry of online poker is the fastest growing business segment on the Internet, full of opportunities.

If you learn the game of texas hold’em poker properly without a rush, there is no reason that you cannot become a winning player like us. There are many people who have demonstrated that.

Finally, another important point, there’s always a lot of promotions available. Many poker rooms offer online signup bonus of 100% or more, why not taking these freebies?

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A good poker session

Posted by betlover on Jul 21, 2009 in online poker

Today was an up and down day.

I started up $138 thanks primarily to two hands. The first I had pocket JJ and got a set on the turn. I won a $61 pot on that hand.
The second I had pocket fives, flopped a set and got a full house on the river to win a $79 pot.

I figured my good luck couldn’t last and I was right. I then lost about $80 of my profit primarily because I couldn’t make a straight or flush draw. I had two flush draws and 3 straight draws and couldn’t make one of them.

Then my luck changed for the better. I got pocket AA twice and won both hands. I finally made a straight draw on one hand and a flush draw on another and won both hands. Then I got trip aces on the river and won another hand. I made it back up to having a profit of $132, and decided to quit.

But after one hour I came back. I started on the upswing when I flopped a straight which won, and my pocket AA held up to win a $45.60 pot. Then my luck changed and I was down as much as $52. I had pocket KK against two opponents who both had aces and of course an ace flopped and I quickly folded after I bet and was reraised on the flop. Then I had two straight draws which missed.

Finally, my luck turned around (again) and I got into the positive though it was only two dollars and I decided to quit for the day. My comeback was because I made two straights on the river and won, the last time was a $63.00 pot (profit $39). I also won an improbable hand of 7 3 in the big blind on which I flopped a pair of sevens which held up to win at showdown.

Sets flopped were 2 for 17, slightly below average. The first set that I flopped, I won a $60 pot when I flopped a set of jacks and beat a set of twos. The second set I flopped I won a $64 pot. I had pocket 88 and the flop was 866. I flopped a full house and won
the hand.

This is online poker, you need a strong stomach to swallow all the swings.

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My new gambling blog

Posted by betlover on May 16, 2009 in online poker

Welcome to my new blog about online gambling and online poker.

I would like to fill everyone up on the details of whats this blog is going to have as content. If you play mid stakes on PokerStars, you will have noticed I have been around for a few weeks, the reason for this is I have basically forced myself to learn playing poker better.

I’m pretty sure this is a good thing, but I really do need a break. For the past 3 years I don’t think I have taken more than 2 weeks off but now playing poker is like if I were on vacation. I regularly play for 6-7 days a week since the start of the Summer. This takes its toll and for the first time ever I’m actually really happy to be taking a break.

July was a good month poker wise, I made like $120. August sucked a lot more, I think I ended up about +$15. I spent the best part of a week at a live event where I donked out the tournament and got pretty much all my buyin back playing cash. September has started pretty badly before I quit, I think I was about -$20 overall.

As far as the future for me playing poker, I’m not really sure how much I will be playing. I’m really pumped to do a few things with this blog and have a whole brand new website planned. Hopefully the plan is to spend a few months working on my Internet properties and start generating some kind of income from that.

If for some reason I give it my whole attention and after say 3 or 4 months I’m not making money and can’t see myself progressing, I will be starting back up with poker and going back to the grind. The situation with my poker game is weird, I feel like right now I am very good at 6-max cash games when I am on my A game, the same goes for heads-up. However, for various reasons mostly running bad, I have had trouble getting into the zone and putting in consistent sessions playing a very high quality.

I think if I come back I will be getting a couple of different coaches, one for my mental game and another for my poker game. So if anyone has any coaches to recommend to me in the range of $300+ an hour, feel free to shoot to post a comment on this blog.

For the mean time I will be on a poker detox, and it will probably benefit you, dear visitor, as I will have a whole lot more time to work on this blog. My new site is going to basically be an online poker guide focused at new players with the idea of taking someone with no poker knowledge at all to becoming a winning micro stakes and micro stakes poker player. I definitely think I have some kind of value to add and can make a unique site that will be one of the most comprehensive and free resources on the net.

Thank you for reading and Be the Luck with you.

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