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Is It Wise To Become A Professional Poker Player? 21 Nov 2020, 5:05 am
Before you decide whether or not becoming a pro is worthwhile, you need to understand what the concept of a professional poker player implies. In essence, you will need to dedicate a lot of your time and energy to the game in order to become professionally competitive; because once you make the switch, poker will constitute your main source of income. Furthermore, pro players generally cannot afford to maintain a daytime job or continue their education because this “hobby” is incredibly time-consuming. Therefore, you should think very carefully and take into account the following aspects of the decision.
- Your passion for poker may fade, but your education remains
There is absolutely no guarantee that you will still enjoy the game of poker three months from now, let alone three years. Therefore, if the decision of becoming a pro also involves dropping out of high school or college to pursue your dream of making it to the WSOP finals, then it’s a terrible idea. Moreover, no matter how much you love poker and the amount of time spent on honing your card playing skills, are you absolutely certain you are good enough to win the nosebleeds? On the other hand, education constitutes an effective backup for the moment when the answer to the aforementioned question is no.
- How will a potential employer perceive the gap in your work experience section of the resume?
You might argue that the game of poker improves several mandatory skills that are applicable in the real world, including risk management, effective decision-making processes, stress management, etc. However, you cannot be certain that your potential employer will view things in a similar manner. In fact, all he will see in the work experience section of your resume is a large gap. In addition, it is necessary to mention that aside from big tournament wins, the average poker player makes less than an entry-level employee.
- The poker income has a maximum upper limit
This is a common mistake for beginners and something that no pro will tell you. Unlike the real jobs where the possibility of promotions and raises exists, the income you earn from poker games does not exceed a certain plateau level. Sure, it might seem like you can increase your winnings by bettering your game, but your opponents have the same exact plan in mind, which means that the difference between you and them is constant.
- Do you have a plan B?
If you can pursue a poker career without making permanent decisions regarding your life, then you should give it a shot. As long as you can fall back on the education and work experience, there is no reason to discard your poker playing dream!
Learn When To Fire A Second Barrel On The Turn 19 Apr 2019, 10:46 am
Concerned with firing a second barrel on the turn? There are strategies that will help you become successful with this move.
Every poker player has experienced raising their hands confidently thinking they are on for the win but then there is nothing found on the flop. If the hand does not seem to look as great as it was before and a raise in the pot is at stake, what will you do? You cannot just end up hoping that your opponents flops have nothing in them too so that you get the pot. But just the same, you cannot just give up once you are called on the flop and not able to improve after the turn.
Firing a second barrel on the turn will be good to help you increase the chances of winning the game. How will you succeed in this case? You cannot use second barrels in poker any time you want. The following situations will explain when you should continue firing a second time or not.
Heads-Up During a Turn
You basically need to have the cards head-up at every turn. Never fire a second bullet up until there is one opponent left on the turn. Do not wait for several calls on the flop because you make your opponents stronger when this is the case.
The Cards Displayed on the Turn
As a preflop raiser, opponents will expect that all big cards on the turn will signal an improvement in the cards you are holding. Getting kings and aces on the turn will mean there is a better chance firing the second barrel.
Turns That Are Bad For Your Opponent
Second barrels work only if you are sure that the card on the turn is bad for your opponent’s own card. The last thing you want is to realize that your opponent is confident to invest more money into the pot. When there are overcards to the board, you should take advantage of them since they can dictate the need for firing second barrels. This is a signal that your opponent lessened his chances of improving his pair of cards.
Plausible and possible flush as well as straight opportunities will also be a good way to fire a second barrel. Your opponent may just simply be drawing to that possible flush you are holding and this can mean he is holding a weaker pair. This will make him chicken out as the board becomes more threatening to the weak pair he is already holding.
Big bluffs may be good but not when you are playing against the toughest player on the table. Remember that opponents calling preflop and are on the flop are more than willing to go all the way. Holding big bluffs against these players will cost you much money. Fire a second barrel only when you know your opponent is playing passively. Take note that when opponents have plenty of hands in their range, it is a sign that they cannot sustain aggressiveness. Picking on those players will make you succeed in the game.
Exercise caution against players that keep on calling others down even with weaker pairs in their hands. You can definitely bluff these players but if you are calling on a wrong timing, there is less chance you will be believable. Waiting for a decent hand will be better when this is the case because you will get paid off in the process if you do.
Suck At Playing Poker Games? Go From Meh To Amazing! 19 Apr 2019, 10:16 am
Tired of losing in poker games? Find out how you can stop this streak of bad luck and start winning more chips!
Most poker games players struggle to turn a profit at the table on a regular basis. If you find yourself somewhere around breaking even at the poker tables, just know that you are not alone. Sometimes to turn your games around, all you have to do is make few strategy adjustments that will take your game from mediocre to amazing. Check out these tips on how to take your poker games from break-even to crushing it.
Ditch Your Favorite Hand
Are you holding on to a favorite hand you have been using for quite some time now? There is nothing wrong with having a favorite hand. All you have to do is make sure that you don’t make bad plays with it and give it a preferential treatment. To win poker, you have to use cold hard logic and math. Don’t treat your favorite hand as something you have to do at every game, otherwise that is equivalent to relying on superstition to win your games. Know when it is wise to play your favorite hand and in what spots. However, if you insist on playing your favorite hand, make sure that you always fold in an early position.
Have A Clear Reason
Do you have a clear reason why you are losing at your poker games? Check to see if you have deviated from your regular strategy. Some poker players, especially big-time winning poker players, break from their successful strategies and sometimes break even for some reasons. If you are an average player but you constantly find that you change your regular strategy because you want to make something happen or just because you are bored, that reasoning has to go.
Avoid Playing In Bad Games
Why do people play poker? Obviously to win. In that case, in order to win you have to be careful who you are playing against. If you are an average player, you can’t choose an opponent who is a pro and expect to just win by luck. Unless you are looking for a mental challenge, you need to find somebody at the table that plays very poorly. This way you actually increase your chances of winning.
Stop Thinking About Hands, Think About Ranges
To tell if a player is average or elite, you need to find out what your opponent has. One mistake most players who are advanced make when observing their opponents is that they try to put them on a specific hand. Processional poker players on the other hand think in terms of ranges. When you think about your opponents range that means that you need to figure out your opponent’s entire spectrum of hands. Once you figure out their entire range of hands, figure out their frequencies and then make the best play. Don’t rely on what your gut tells you and avoid putting your opponent on a specific hand
As you can see, the only difference between big-time winners and break-even players is strategy. You don’t have to be a pro to start winning at higher clip. All you need to do is make a few adjustments which you can learn over time.
Will Net-Neutrality Lag Affect Your Online Gaming Experience? 8 Jan 2019, 10:28 am
Learn how the net-neutrality lag can affect your online gaming experience and what can be possibly done with this experience.
You are in the middle of an online game when suddenly other gamers suddenly you have not been making a move anymore. They start to be worried because the match is just intensifying and it seems like you have been ‘dead’ for some time already. This can be because of net-neutrality lag. Learn more about this and how it can affect online gaming experience in the long run.
What Has Been Happening with Online Gaming Over the Past Years?
Net neutrality might be repealed in the years to come and this can definitely have an impact in the online gaming world. In 2013, gamers have already experienced the slow-paced gaming experience from the ISP Spectrum-Time Warner Cable because the promised connection was not delivered to customers as advertised. This has caused delay in being able to play online with other gamers. It was only after Riot Games, the team behind League of Legends, paid a certain amount that the connection became faster. This is a case when obviously the provider took advantage of the situation. These bottlenecks in connections are deemed intentional and are considered a deliberate attack on the pockets of game providers and gamers alike.
What to Expect?
In order to come up with a better solution to this eventuality, Riot Direct was created by Riot Games. This service was made to ensure that the fans of League of Legends will enjoy playing the game with a faster connection. Other services have been coming out of nowhere to provide a better solution to any other issues with net-neutrality lag.
Gamers are given the access to these services on subscription basis. Examples of services where lower latency and lesser lag together with a more reliable connection can be experienced are Outfox from Golden Frog and Haste from Thalonet.
It is Not All about the Money ISPs Say
Connection issues have always affected the gaming experience of everyone who has been in the online gaming world. Providers say that the issue is not all about squeezing money from their customers. Analysis shows that the goals of ISPs are usually at odds to what gamers demand from them. Providers are deemed concerned with how they can run their traffic by correlating cost and effectiveness that is why they find it unnecessary to strengthen the service they provide as long as the performance is already good enough.
The New Setup with Secondary Internet Services
Basically Outfox and Haste establish their respective network infrastructures and decide whether they will own or rent one. Proprietary network software will then be placed on top of these so that game traffic routes are managed, monitored, and optimized in the most efficient way possible. This will give you, online players the opportunity to get the best connection times depending on network traffic and where you are located while also paying attention to lesser jitters, pings, and lags. You can download the software for these services and while you continue enjoying your game, the software will calculate how you can enjoy the game at the quickest connection speeds possible.
Pick’em8 – A Novelty Game By 888poker 23 Dec 2018, 10:51 am
Move aside PokerStars, because 888poker will be launching Pick’em8 soon. Find out how this novelty game works before it is released!
Have you grown accustomed to the poker games that PokerStars releases? If you think it is time for a change, your wish has been granted. 888poker is working toward launching its own novelty game very soon. The game will be called Pick’em8. Well, it is a not a full-fledged poker game, but it is a casino game that utilizes poker as a vehicle.
Current Phase of Development
If you visit the Pick’em8 landing page, you will be greeted with a “Coming Soon” message. Next, the game is not yet featured on 888 poker’s main lobby. Hence, you will have to wait a little longer for more updates.
Core Game Mechanics of Pick’em8
To give you a head start, here’s how the game is slated to work:
– Card selection
When you join a game of Pick’em8, the system will lay out eight possible hole cards in front of you. All of these cards will be face-up. The first step is to select two of these cards as your pocket cards. There is a time limit, so you have to act decisively. If you do not lock in your selections in time, the two cards that you have highlighted will be chosen for you. If you have not selected anything from the start, the game will automatically pick two for you.
Pick’em8 buy-ins, at least at the outset, will be $1 or $0.25. The buy-in of each competing player—in the current round—will be put into the prize pool. The monies will then be split among winning players, i.e. players with the strongest hand. Currently, the scaled commission fee taken by the cardroom is a bit steep. For example, Player A bought in for $1. However, the prize pool is only $0.91. That is why playing by oneself would prove to be counterproductive. To put it candidly, a terrible idea. Game testers hope that the pre-game wait time (to wait for a certain minimum number of players to join the game) can help reduce the chances of winners earning less money than their initial buy-ins. Our fingers are crossed.
Pick’em8 is designed to be completely automatic. The game is unlike most Casino-style poker-based table games. There is no dealer hand to beat and minimum hand strength needed to win. The game deals five community cards and determines a player’s best five-card hand right away. As mentioned, players with the strongest hands win. The prize pool will be divided equally among these players. You can rest assured that nobody is an automatic loser. If you choose wisely, you have a chance to win. After all, every player is given the same eight possible hole cards. Makes sense doesn’t it?
When you play Pickem’8, you are competing mainly against the house. You should also expect to face some indirect competition with other players. According to 888poker, they state that there are no direct opponents in the game.
A new round will start at least every few minutes. This means that you can hop aboard pretty much whenever you want. If you are looking for some high-speed action or a fun way to pass some time while waiting for your next poker tournament to begin, Pickem’8 is a fantastic game for you. In most cases, each round happens very quickly. However, that depends on how much time the game gives players to make decisions as well. Additionally, new rounds will not necessarily start immediately after the current one ends. It will still be timed to give other players, who are waiting in line, a chance to enter.
Pray that Lady Luck is On Your Side
It is pretty obvious that the game will be dominated by luck. Players never know what community cards will be dealt. A player can choose the best two-hole cards but still lose several games in a row. Looking from another perspective, it is simply an equivalent of an all-in shootout. Each player is blindly all-in. While there is room to make your own decisions, where a sliver of skill can be used at the outset, Pickem’8 is all luck.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for a game that offers decent entertainment during your free time at a low cost, you can never go wrong with Pickem’8. It is a game that’s worth looking forward to.
The fine art of bluffing 8 Aug 2018, 12:21 pm
Even if one of the most common strategies, the bluff is certainly one of the most thoughtful, evolved and complicated actions you can make in poker too. The basic concept is simple, you must stage a well-orchestrated plan in which your cards must appear different from what they really are and you must be very good in doing that since your opponents must believe it.
Everyone knows that to win at poker you are supposed to bluff at some point. Making someone fold a better hand is a necessary goal and there is no long term strategy in poker that can disregard the right handling of this aspect. Poker after all is a wise mix of reality and deception. In a bluff, like an illusionist, you must design a reasoning to fit your will and then believe your own lies and forge them into a truth, until the reality lies before the defeated eyes of your opponents. This is the fine art of the game, its true spirit.
But let’s start with some basics facts about the bluff. There exist two main types of it – the pure bluff and the semi-bluff. The first one is pure magic. There is just tiny air in your hand, no chances of winning at any stage of the game. There is only one opportunity to win the pot: your opponent must fold. The latter is a more subtle kind of illusion based on the reality of a speculative hand and unlike the pure bluff you can either win if your opponent folds or if you hit your hand at some point of the game. Semi-bluffs are actually extremely popular in poker. Think about when you have a 4-card flush or straight on the flop. For the semi-bluff your hole cards are very important, and you must manage your bets properly.
Position is a key factor in any kind of bluff. You can certainly bluff from early positions, but it’s definitely more effective to restrain yourself until you hold position on your target. A bluff exploited from a late position is always more frightening, because your opponent knows that if he calls, then he will have to make his action first on the later streets, something which will make his play definitely more fragile.
If you are doing a pure bluff from an early position, you are doing a “probing bet”. These are blind bets as you know little or nothing about the hands of your opponents. If your main goal is to steal the blinds, sometimes probing bets offer a decent success rate in doing that.
Late positions are very fruitful in the “floating” strategy instead, that happens when you follow closely the actions of your opponent like calling with a trash hand the classic continuation bet on the flop just to see whether or not the other player shows weakness on later streets and then, if he does, hit to kill. Many times continuation bets are nothing more than pure bluffs or at least semi-bluffs themselves. Thus all becomes nothing more than beating a bluff with another one. Do you think the odds are good that the flop missed your opponent? Then call and see what he does on the turn. Does he bet again? Does he check and show weakness? Then it’s time to take advantage of this weakness and bluff. But be careful, this is a mind game, a deception inside a deception, covering another deception. He might check only to make you bet and then raise. A whole new plan, a whole new illusion is on the stage.
Molly’s Game – the complex story of Molly Bloom 12 Apr 2018, 9:27 amThe Golden Globes (which also nominated Jessica Chastain for her performance as an actress in a drama film).
Molly Bloom came from a skiing background—constantly surrounded by either coaches or other professionals—and was pushing to become an Olympic skier before eventually walking away from the sport in 2002. One year later, after taking some time off and accepting that her skiing career had come to an end, she found a job as a waitress in a club in Los Angeles. It was in this context that she was introduced to the world of poker after an unsuccessful real estate entrepreneur (who had a side business of organising poker nights for a group of celebrities) employed her as an executive assistant. Initially, she was not so keen on the game, but she quickly learned all there is to know in order to increase her income, which was mainly based on tips from the players. Seeing her improvement—as well as the fact that she was gradually earning more money—her employer, Dean, tries to control her, but he fails to do so and ultimately fires her from the job. Now armed with the knowledge of how to organise such game nights, Molly starts her own business and uses her contacts to gather celebrities around her tables. One of the most notable characters taking part in these events was played by Michael Cera, under the name of “Player X”. In the real world, Cera’s character is based on a collective of Hollywood stars who attended the games, but most of all, the famous Spiderman actor Tobey Maguire.
After a few ups and downs during the game nights, things get out of hand when members of both the mafia and the FBI get involved, definitely complicating the situation for Molly. Without giving spoilers, one could easily say that the plot is as unpredictable as Molly’s road to getting in that position. Although it was recently released, Molly’s Game has already attracted attention. Renowned poker commentators James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton included the movie into their podcast, “Poker In The Ears”. Movie critics have given it generous ratings. The film has earned a 7.2 out of 10 on the movie review website Rotten Tomatoes and a 3 out of 4 from Rolling Stone magazine; it was also appreciated by the critics at The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie portrayed the image of a strong woman in a man’s world and the evolution from a waitress to becoming a host for some of the most exclusive, high-stakes poker nights of that time. It can serve as an inspiration to those who lack the courage to pursue their wildest dreams; the story proves the fact that anything can happen, given the right amount of confidence.
How Poker Is Referenced Throughout Popular Culture? 20 Sep 2017, 10:17 am
Poker’s place in our day-to-day culture is well-supported by its inclusion in typically ‘non-poker’ contexts in TV shows, films, books and music. One of the most notable ways that this has been achieved is through the many poker-themed songs that have been released over the years.
As fans of poker, we are always pleased to see our favourite game referenced in popular culture. Did you know that there are certain theories that posit that listening to music will make you a better poker player? Whether you favour punk or rock, or like cheesy pop classics, music can get your adrenaline going, increase motivation and create a rhythm of play.
We often wonder what kind of music these players are listening to, as so many songs seem to be referenced in popular culture — for example, O.A.R’s ‘That was a crazy game of poker’ and Elvis Presley’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’. And who doesn’t love the classic rock anthem from Motorhead, ‘Ace of Spades’?
You could also include Ray Charles ‘Losing Hand’ and AC/DC’s (She’s got) the Jack’. Lady Gaga’s hit ‘Poker Face’ also has to be mentioned; the lyrics, coupled with its quick harmony and tempo, make it an ideal tune for poker players to listen to. Pro players like Robert Williamson and Phil Gordon play different genres of music when playing poker. Essentially, by choosing different songs and different genres of music, the players are choosing tunes that suit their mood at the time. Having the mental discipline to stay focused is a much-required skill in poker, and the pros can achieve this with the help of music.
Poker is also referenced in TV shows. Do you remember that episode of Friends ‘The One With All The Poker’ when the girls take on the guys? Another TV show that focuses on poker is Tilt, an American drama TV series that is set against the backdrop of the World Championship poker tournaments in Las Vegas. The tagline for the show is ‘You’re playing poker. They’re playing you’.
On the silver screen, there have been countless films that reference poker. One example is ‘Rounders’, a 1998 American film about the underground world of high-stakes poker that features Edward Norton and Matt Damon. The term ‘rounder’ refers to a poker player who travels from city to city seeking out high-stakes cash games.
Another well-loved poker film starring Eric Bana and Drew Barrymore is about a poker player who is trying to win a poker tournament in Las Vegas.
Whether watching these films and TV shows make you laugh, cry or even give you food for thought, it’s clear that these scenes featuring poker might give you a helping hand.
From music and TV to films and books, the world of poker is continuously referenced throughout popular culture. These mediums redefine the game for new generations of fans and demonstrate that poker is not just defined by the table, absolutely resonates with a wider audience other than just poker players, and has earned its place in popular culture.
What Makes Some Poker Rooms More Popular Than Others 22 May 2017, 11:23 am
There are some obvious differences between playing poker online and actually sitting across other players in the table. Not only do we not get to see our opponents’ movements, physical language or reactions, and therefore their poker tells, but we must also consider that each one is in a different place – and sometimes time – which might also affect the way they play. Because of these uncontrollable aspects, those who play online end up focusing on other features of their contenders, including their speed, patterns, number of flops or other non-physical characteristics. In addition to these differences, there is also one other thing that we must consider, which is that it is sometimes easier to choose a poker room when we are actually able to walk in it and get a general sense of the place, instead of when we have to access it online. This is why there are several details that can help us select the best virtual rooms and guide us in order to pick wisely among the large number of available options to play online.
The reputation of a site is perhaps at the top of the list. This includes the time an online poker room has been in the market (the longer the better) and what other players say about it. Most of the famous online rooms are around 20 years old, as it was at the end of the nineties that they began to exist, after the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act (1994) was passed in the Caribbean country of Antigua and Barbuda, providing a place and license for the establishment of online casinos, which soon proliferated.
So, in addition to looking at the time a site has been around, another aspect worth examining when choosing where to play poker online are the room’s security features. The more verification methods, the safer you will feel playing your money in that site. The most renowned online rooms usually take this into account. It goes without saying that regardless of the strong measures that are used to prevent fraud or protect your account, these pages should also be user-friendly so that as a player you can navigate them easily and feel comfortable playing there. Again, established brands like PokerStars, William Hill Poker or 888 Poker tend to take this into consideration, also based on the large number of game options that they tend to offer, so the easier it is to play them, the more users they will have.
Along with the aforementioned aspects, the quality of customer service is also important as you might eventually have to use it and the faster they solve your problem, the sooner you can continue playing without having to worry about eventual issues. This also has a direct effect on how much you end up trusting a site. If you’re an amateur, you might also want to consider online rooms that offer the clearest information and rules on how to play poker – some even give players the chance to practice in real games for free – so that you can learn the best methods and useful tips to improve your game.
Reputation, security, user-friendliness, customer service and also the opinion that top players have of a site are all features that you might want to consider when it comes to choosing the online room that best suits you, and don’t be afraid to try more than one option until you land on the site that you feel most comfortable playing in.
Calculating Texas Hold’em Poker Hand Odds For Newbies 11 Apr 2017, 2:50 am
For many poker players, particularly those first starting out, the confusion surrounding poker odds may seem overwhelming. But if you want to get serious about the game, a basic knowledge of them is essential. So, buckle up for a short drive through the land of poker odds. We will start with a back-to-basics view of poker hand odds for Texas Hold’em.
Odds – The Longshot
If you’re the long shot, it simply means that the odds are particularly huge against your winning. That said, however, it also means that if you win, you’re in the money! Someone offering you odds of 100:1 means that they are relatively doubtless you will lose. As an example, let’s say that you made a bet with the odds of 7:1. You will get paid seven dollars for every one dollar that you bet if you win – with 7:1 odds on a $10 bet.
Poker Odds, Calculating The ‘Outs’
What does it mean to calculate the ‘outs’ in a Poker game? What that simply means is, what cards will assist you in improving your hand? What will make your hand better than those you are playing against? Keep in mind that with these calculations, what your opponent may be holding is ignored. If you hold two hearts, and the dealer lays out two hearts and two spades, and your opponent has (let’s just say) the ace of diamonds and the ace of spades, you know that you will only need one heart to win with a Flush (all hearts). Here’s how that goes:
13 minus 4 equals 9 outs
Cards in any suit – hearts on the table (yours and what the dealer laid out) = hearts available to you
Let’s take a look at a larger equation, which would apply to a full deck. It goes as follows:
52 minus 2 minus 4 equals 46 unknowns
Cards in the deck – cards in your hand – cards dealt (flop and turn) = unseen cards
How to Use the Odds and Outs
Using the above scenario (specific cards dealt and equations), and referring to the use of a full deck (52 cards), there are nine cards available that will assure you of a win, or flush. Unfortunately, there are also 37 cards that will assure you of a probable loss, with no Flush. Your odds are 37:9 which can be reduced to approximately 4:1.
Whether or not to call your opponent’s bet depends on a couple of things: how much money is in the pot and what the ratio is of how much money you might win compared to how much money your opponent is betting. If your odds are 4:1, as we have already decided for this scenario, and your opponent bets $10, he has in effect supplied you with 10:1 odds. But we have already determined that your odds of winning are actually 4:1. So should you take that bet? Absolutely. Particularly if there is a substantial amount of money in the pot – let’s just say $90.
Some Random Odds and Factoids
Here are a few random odds that you may find handy the next time you hop online to play Texas Hold ‘em at your preferred casino with poker games:
→ Pocket aces – The odds of being dealt these are once in every 220 hands
→ Flopping a flush (with two suited cards in your possession) – The odds of this are approximately once in every 118 times, however, flopping a flush draw occurs roughly one time in every 10.
→ Flopping a set (with a pocket pair in your possession) – This will happen approximately 1 in every nine times
And just in case you’re wondering, in the game of Texas Hold ‘em, the number of possible different hands there are… the answer is as follows: differentiating between suits – 1326 possible two card combinations. If you do not differentiate – the game of Texas Hold ‘em has 169 various starting hands.
If you you want to deepen your knowledge of this topic, visit our section – statistics in poker.