Mastering The Squeeze Play in No-Limit Hold’em

Today we’re looking at the squeeze play, a move that can increase your winrate regardless of what cards you’re holding. By leveraging a few key concepts and using your understanding of your opponents’ playing tendencies, we’ll show you how to squeeze every cent of out of your poker sessions. 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 Behind Online Poker

Facing your opponents can be crucial in a game of poker for a number of reasons. The game involves many facets of psychology and a lot of which can be used for both defensive and attacking aspects of the game. Being able to see who you’re up against and to be able to get a read on their facial expressions and body language can go a long way in trying to decipher exactly what cards they may have or what strategies they intend to employ in their game against you. Equally you can also feign certain reactions when you’re looking at your cards in order to make your opponent believe something else that’s not necessarily true. So what happens when the face to face part is removed? Well that is where the psychology of online poker comes in to play. 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: Sizing Up Your Fishy Opponents

Unlike many popular casino games, poker is played solely against other players, rather than the house itself. The house has no advantage against you in a live poker game. Because of this dynamic, skilled poker players have a long-term advantage over their non-skilled inferior opponents. These inferior opponents are prone to constantly making mistakes that can be capitalized on, assuming you exercise patience and discipline. Opportunities are constantly available to exercise exploitation of your weaker opponents, assuming you understand how each unique opponent approaches the game. 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

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

How to Identify Fish & Size Up Your Opponents at The Poker Table

Poker is a game that is played and enjoyed by a wide variety of individuals. From the complete degenerate, to the world-class, poker has always been a popular game for anyone that chooses to participate. In this article, I will outline and detail how to identify each type of playing style each player possesses, and how to exploit each weakness accordingly. 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 Extract Maximum Value From Your Opponents in No-Limit Hold’em Poker

During the last few years that I have played poker competitively, I have observed how many amateur poker players make fatal mistakes when sizing their bets in no-limit hold’em. No-limit hold’em carries a dynamic that enables you to bet as many chips as you want during any betting round. Your main goal in no-limit hold’em is to win ALL of your opponents chips. This can be achieved in a variety of different ways, but today’s article will focus on something that many players struggle with, value betting for maximum value. Read more of this post

How to Play No-Limit Hold’em Multi-Table Tournaments For The Win

Sitting down at a final table is always a fun experience. You have invested a ton of time, outlasted a good majority of the entire tournament field, and now you are in a position to maximize your return on investment. If you are not an experienced MTT (multi-table tournament) player, making a final table can be quite nerve-racking. I am here to guide you through this opportunity to expand your bankroll. Read more of this post

Is Your Poker Game Full of Leaks?

In the world of poker, a “leak” is a common term used to represent a certain weakness in a specific player’s game. There are a variety of different leaks, some mental, some physical, and some statistical. These leaks are the reason that playing poker can be profitable game in the long-run for experienced, skilled, and disciplined grinders. Read more of this post

No-Limit Hold’em Poker Cash Game: Could You Make This Fold?

I came across a discussion on a rather interesting hand the other day, and wanted to share my thoughts and analysis of the situation, along with what I would decide to do in this extremely sick spot. A solid fundamental grasp of No-Limit Hold’em cash games is required to understand this article. Read more of this post

What Can You Learn About Human Psychology From a Poker Game?

Having played poker competitively for the last few years, I have developed an understanding of how a variety of different poker players think and act at a poker table. No two opponents are exactly the same, but many poker players share very similar traits, especially the long-term losing players. A lot of long-term losing poker players are prone to being effected by their emotional state. At the poker table, one of your biggest weapons to becoming a long-term profitable player is understanding how the value of money affects certain players. When losing, a lot of weaker opponents tend to “chase their losses” hoping to break-even, but in the process, most of these players ultimately lose more money because they fail to regain the focus needed to win in the long-run. Read more of this post

My Complete Poker Manifesto, Part VI: Developing a Zen Mindset for Poker

 

Tom Dwan at the wsop

Tom Dwan Might Look Silly, But His Mind is in the Game.

Part V: Managing Your Poker Bankroll

By far your biggest tool for your business besides your poker bankroll is your poker mindset.

The psychology of poker is actually quite amazing if you think about it.

In no other game to a players true emotions reveal themselves. Money has a funny way of effecting most people. Most people are so attached to money that when they are losing big, it is written ALL OVER THEIR FACE. Read more of this post