The Essential Guide to Becoming a Long-Term Winning Poker Player

There are a few essential concepts we must commit to mastering in order to become long-term winning poker players.

These essential concepts apply to both cash-game, and multi-table tournament poker.

In both forms of poker, we must develop a solid awareness of when to apply these concepts to our strategy, in order to maximize our potential for profit in the long-run. Read more of this post

Conducting Intellectual Autopsies in Tournament Poker

In order to be a successful multi-table tournament poker player, you must possess a variety of abilities that enable you to maximize your opportunity for profit in the long-run. Read more of this post

Understanding The Mindset Required For Optimal Aggressive Poker Strategy

As poker players, we are constantly seeking profitable opportunities to exploit our opponents, with the goal of experiencing a profit.

In the short-run, we seek to make optimal decisions that give us the best opportunity to experience a profit, all while knowing standard “variance” will have an effect on our immediate results.

In the long-run, these high percentage plays in the short-run, will ultimately manifest themselves as positive results, and overall profit margin.

We reach the long-run quicker by creating a large sample size from the short-run, which makes the volume of hands we play over time the most important aspect of our poker business.

As we become more comfortable and experienced at the tables. we should be seeking to employ a strategy that will generate the maximum expected profit in the long-run. Read more of this post

How to Develop & Master Your Poker Mindset

Developing a solid poker mindset is the single most important factor in determining if you will experience a profit in the long run from playing poker. This disciplined mindset is the direct result of countless hours of focused study and experience at the tables. This poker mindset ultimately requires a long, long amount of time to develop, and an even longer (if not infinite) amount of time to truly master. Read more of this post

Poker Strategy: Optimally Playing The Image of The Table Maniac

No-limit Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular form of poker played around the world. Many professional poker players play no-limit hold’em exclusively, and for a good reason. On the surface, no-limit hold’em appears to be a very simple form of poker that almost anyone can understand with a quick tutorial.

As a result of this small learning curve, many inexperienced players will try their luck at a no-limit table. These inexperienced players are the lifeblood ($) of the poker community, and the reason that poker can be a profitable game in the long-run for the more experienced players who can effectively employ an optimal strategy for winning in the long-run. Read more of this post

The Value of Conscious Patience in Multi-Table Tournament Poker

In order to be a successful multi-table tournament poker player, you must possess a variety of personality traits that enable you to experience a profit in the long run. Because poker is a game with a luck element involved, you simply cannot win every time you sit down to play no matter how skilled you are. The skill you possess will manifest itself as positive profitable results over time if you commit yourself to a disciplined strategy. This disciplined strategy entails a lot of unique elements that are developed by countless hours of study, and ultimately first-hand experience at the tables. In multi-table tournament poker, our ultimate goal is to win the entire tournament, resulting in maximizing our potential for profit. In order to consistently win multi-table poker tournaments, you must commit to a focused disciplined strategy that revolves around patience. Read more of this post

Mental Strength Building: The Benefits of Brain Training

With our daily lifestyles consistently filled with endless stress and distraction, we may be overlooking an often forgotten, yet majorly important aspect of our bodies: our brains. In a culture that moves a mile a minute, making some quality time for you and your mind can often be a difficult thing. We often work like mindless drones and are constantly bombarded with daily distractions such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and television, which can simply take over all of our spare moments. And not to mention other stress-filled aspects of our lives such as dealing with money, houses, children and so much more. Read more of this post

Top 5 Common Exploitable Cash-Game Poker Leaks & How to Plug Them

A “leak” is a term used in poker to describe an aspect of a player’s game that is flawed, and will ultimately cost them potential for profit in the long-run. A lot of these “leaks” are below the threshold of conscious awareness for certain players. Until they become aware of their flaws, they will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again, negatively affecting their win rate in the process. Even the most experienced and skilled poker players in the world have leaks to a certain extent, as no individual’s poker game is technically “perfect.” The less leaks your poker game has, the less money you will leak off to your stronger opponents at the tables. Read more of this post

The Psychology of Poker – Achieving The Balance

It doesn’t matter if you – like me – are a casual poker player who enjoys a couple of hours of fish-baiting most nights, or a seasoned pro who has twenty-four tables open at any one time. The greatest enemy to both of us is when we lose our balance, and by that, I don’t mean our bank balance, although that’s a pretty evil entity as well.

To play poker successfully you need to submerse yourself in game theory, and to get used to crunching those all-important numbers inside your head – but, no matter how dedicated you are to obeying the laws of positive equity, you will always remain vulnerable to the threat of losing your balance, and tilting.

Why Do Players Tilt?

In all walks of life, people are prone to allowing their emotions get the better of them. In soccer, the greatest French player of his generation, Zinedine Zidane, ended his brilliant career with a head-butt to Italian Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup Final. In poker, I once turned a $50 deposit into $4,400 in twelve days, then lost it all bar $20 in one single hour. Why? Because I tilted, and didn’t do the right thing about it.

Poker can be an emotional game – heck, poker is an emotional game. When we’re on a down-swing, we take it personally. It’s not that the cards are not falling for us, it’s because we’re not playing right, even though we’re playing the same way we have always played, and successfully at that. Emotions defeat logic, and if you’ve stop playing logically, then you’re not playing well.

Understand the game … understand yourself

You’ve probably read thousands of words on psychological behavior during a game. You’ve also probably read thousands of words on how to play the game right. Yet, there is one aspect of poker that can never be truly defeated – blind chance. It’s part of the gambler’s folly to think that if you land 72o on one hand, you’re more likely to land AA the next. It’s the same reason why people bet on black on roulette because the ball landed in a red groove the last time around. Is black more likely? No, of course not. Are you more likely to land AA after 72 off-suit? No, you are not. (FYI: AA is the best possible starting hand pre-flop and 72 off-suit is the worst). If you understand that in poker, there is no connection between two successive hands, then it sends an important message to your brain. Your brain wants you to do well, so will try and persuade you that on the next hand, you’re going to be re-gathering in all those chips that you lost on a bad break on the last one.

Extending the balance beyond the table

I have the luxury of not playing professionally – you won’t bump into me at the WSOP, at least not in the real world, although I do enjoy the odd showdown at their online tables – but I still wager a lot of money online. I worked out what I could afford to wager ($5,000) some time ago, and knew that was enough for fifty 100BBs – enough to play on $50/$100 limit tables (Limit Texas Hold’em). Once I had rolled my bankroll up to $10,000, I switched to $100/$200, but when I dipped back below $10,000 I didn’t fall back down a level. It took until I was down to $6,000 (in three days!) before I found my common sense hiding under the sofa, and dropped back down.

If you’re aiming to play poker as your career, then be doubly-sure you’re doing just that. Award yourself a salary, and set enough aside for tax considerations. If you can’t meet your targets, and find playing poker becomes stressful, then it’s time to take a prolonged break.

The key to retaining balance is to recognise that you are tilting. If you find that the emotional centres of your brain rather than the logical ones are making the decisions at the table for you, then the cure is simple: Stand up, walk away, and come back to play when you’re feeling balanced once again. Having time away from the table allows you to re-focus, re-energise and place your mind somewhere that isn’t poker related. Take a walk or read a book. If you then come back to the tables, you’ll find yourself both feeling and thinking a lot sharper, and you’ll find you’ll be able to make those crucial, logical decisions with a balanced frame of mind.

Poker Awareness: Timing Tells, Table Talk, & Body Language

In a live poker game, we have the advantage of seeing how our opponent behaves right in front of us. A lot of opponents give off information unconsciously that we can use to our advantage to plan against them. We can also use our own body language to throw off opponents into making mistakes against us. No two opponents are alike, so we must be aware of how each specific opponent will react to our actions. Read more of this post

How to Develop Your Awareness at The Poker Table

This article deals with no-limit Texas Hold’em poker cash games. For an overview of how to become a profitable cash game player, please consult our extensive poker cash game strategy section.

For such a simple game to learn, poker is an extremely difficult game to master and experience a profit in the long run. Poker is played and enjoyed by individuals of all ages and demographics. While a fun and enjoyable time for some, poker has developed into a game that has the ability to be beaten in the long-run. In order to experience a profit in the long run, you must develop and possess a variety of traits that will enable you to take your game to the next level. This development requires (but is certainly not limited to): commitment, dedication, discipline, brutal honesty, and most importantly, awareness of your ultimate goal as a player. Read more of this post

The Moneymaker Effect & The Future of Poker in America

Since the famed “Moneymaker Effect” of 2003, action has picked up heavily in all forms of poker. Multi-table tournaments (MTT’s) have gained popularity due to the fact that a small initial investment can net you a large return on your investment if you make the final table, and go on to win the entire tournament. Read more of this post

Top 5 Poker Tells to Eliminate From Your Arsenal

I notice a lot of amateur poker players give away a lot of unnecessary information (poker tells) when they sit down to play poker in a live setting. A lot of the “tells” I pick up on, are subconsciously being delivered to me by my opponents without them realizing. Some opponents can’t help to shake when they have the nuts/bluffing. Also, many opponents give away the strength of their hands by their betting patterns, and how they place each bet. This article will detail how to pick up on these small details at the table so you can experience more profit in the long-run, assuming you don’t make the same mistakes yourself. Read more of this post

Understanding Flow & Playing in The Zone

One area where poker differs significantly from other sports is the degree to which the competitors are evenly matched, especially among professionals. Read more of this post

How to Design an Optimal Poker Table Image For Maximum Profit

Achieving an optimal poker strategy requires you to develop a table image that will net you the most profit in the long run. Designing an optimal table image at the poker table is a necessity if you want to generate the maximum amount of profit you can from your poker business. What is the optimal table image to create?  There are a variety of different factors that come into play, and this article will help you understand the fundamentals required to become a winning no-limit hold’em poker player. Read more of this post