Friday, May 26, 2006



No, I know it's not the type of subject a poker player should be talking about, but it is something we all should be aware of, because at some point it will defiantly happen to you. "Tilting" or "going on tilt" are phrases used when somebody loses emotional control. This could result in shouting/swearing, or a player stopping for the night or even turn a player into a loose cannon and make him play very poor poker. Tilt can be caused by many things, or even nothing at all, it's a state of mind.

I can hear you all asking the same question as you read this "how do I avoid tilt?"

Well in my personal opinion I think it is pretty much impossible for any poker player to avoid tilt his whole career, let's be honest, we have a bad run of cards, it will affect most players attitudes. My first tip is to play well within your bankroll, there is nothing wrong with learning your game on micro limit tables, even if $0.01/0.02 won't win you much money, you defiantly won't lose a lot. Especially for beginners, most people go through a phase where they can't win anything, so why not minimize the loss? I know definitely know I would prefer a $5 bad beat compared to a $100 one.

Secondly, the main thing to do is to remain calm, look back at what happened, analyze your play, were you ahead then completely outdrawn? If you made an obvious mistake, learn from it! There is absolutely no point beating up yourself and in turn your bankroll over one mistake. However, if you had thrown the chips in while you were ahead, you did nothing wrong. Just remember you played the hand well, your opponent got lucky.

There is of course the other side of the coin, again an obvious question pops up "can we take advantage of tilters?" Yes of course we can. Its just a simple case of playing premium hands against the person, chances are they will try and raise you out of a pot, if you think you are comfortably ahead then call, if not lay them down. Simple! Eventually you will hit a big hand and the tilter will cough up.

When at the poker tables, keep your emotion in check, If you feel you are losing control, best thing to do is to stop playing. If you really need your poker fix for the day, move down the limits, to make sure you don't destroy your hard earned bankroll.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Position in Texas Hold'em

Position in Texas Hold'em

This is one of the most vital, yet overlooked aspects in poker. Your position is determined by your seating position, in relation to the dealer button. You have position over the players to your right, as you get to act after them, therefore seeing their actions before you decide what to do. The last person to act at a table is in the strongest position, as they see everybodys action before they make their own. Being in late position (being last to act or second to last) can make marginal hands like AJo very playable, depending on the players actions before you.

Just a few points to note on position:

  1. If a tight/passive player raises Under The Gun (being first to act) there is a large chance they have a strong hand.
  2. If you notice a player making the same raises in late position time and time again, chances are they are just stealing blinds, think about playing those marginal hands.
Always be aware of your position, and the moves others around you make in and out of position.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hubbles Hold'em (no limit) Freeroll

Hubbles Hold'em (no limit) Freeroll - 23/05/2006 - 18:30 BST

Yes I know it's a freeroll, many poker players don't like them. But I think they are good tournament experience, nothing like fighting your way through literally thousands of players. The aim of this tournament is to reach the top 27, which has to be said, out of 10 or even 12 thousand players can take a lot of time and energy. Thankfully this is not peak time US for poker players, only 6118 people registered. However reaching the top 27 is still tough and can take a few hours. The players who make it get a ticket to a Weekly Round 2 event, these events can be many types of poker, there is a prize pool of $1000, with generally a first prize of around $220.

I start the tourney playing quite tight, avoiding the crazy players who go all in with anything, sometimes they get lucky. I have music playing in the background, Lemar's album Time to Grow... Yes I am singing along! First level was extremely slow, played one hand, which was only because I was in BB. The Tourney had been running 22 minutes, the best hand I received A7o, I may of played it if I was in late position, but defiantly not from under the gun. Level 3 was about to begin (blinds 25/50.) I had 1605 chips, so the blinds were defiantly not troubling me, although frustration and boredom were kicking in. We were down to 3197 players, the average stack was 2893, which was defiantly the main reason I was getting frustrated, I was so far behind it and couldn't do anything about it. The second hand of the level looked interesting, got dealt pocket 10's, although before I had a say I was raised all-in preflop, had to fold. Morale was running low.

Then came a very important hand... I was dealt AQo in mid-position.
Blinds: 25/50
Hutchylad first to limp in
Bodigs calls (Mid/late-position)
SIRZIMM raises 350 to 400
Hutchylad calls
Bodigs re-raises all-in
Hutchylad calls

Cards come: 36K27
Hutchylad: Ace high (AhQs)
Bodigs: One Pair, Kings (5cKc)
SIRZIMM: One Pair, Eights (8c8h)

Bodigs wins
Hutchylad Knocked out in 2109th

I will admit, I completely lost my attitude and probably should not of played the hand. I had let the frustration take over my game. The fact I finished 2109th after 34 minutes and only playing 4 hands, just annoys me even more. If I had stuck to my game I would be well on my way to a Weekly Round 2 game and a shot at the $220 prize. It may be due to the sour taste left in my mouth, but i think Bodigs made a move that was incorrect. Maby the "crazy" moves is the reason why lost of players dislike freerolls. However,I live to fight another tournament, even though that was a shocker.

Note Taking

Note Taking

Ask yourself...

  1. What kind of player is s/he? Tight, Solid, Aggressive, Tight/Agressive
  2. What kind of Preflop player is s/he? Do they limp often with weak hands, blind stealer, or do they only play premium hands?
  3. What class of player are they? An Elephant(constant caller) a Mouse (hardly plays any hands) a Jackal(very aggressive, unpredictable) or a Lion (good solid player)?
  4. Does the player often chase draws?
  5. Watch out for calling stations, take advantage
  6. Keep an eye out for betting patterns e.g. always raises 5 times B.B with Aces

That is my quick guide to note taking while playing poker.

Recomended Poker sites

Poker Forums -
At the moment this forum has to be my favourite, it is growing in size, great info all over the site, great banter on the forum! -
This forum is slowly building, for scottish poker comunity.
great forum there, lots of members who have good insight into the game.

Poker Freebees!
Everybody loves a freebee yeh? well this site gives you $50 money at partypoker (for new players) -
Well this site if you register sponsors you to play on CDpoker $20 ,
although if you prove yourself, you will recieve more money!
if you say hutchylad refered you, that would be great. Plus use the bonus
Beggining in Tournaments

This is a monumental moment. I am now not just the hunter gatherer of information. I am a giver. When I first started to type, I had so many ideas of what to write this article about - which hopefully means there will be more. Then I thought, "What would I have liked to know as a newbie?” Again, lots of things stood out in my mind, but to me one more than any other came top. How to play a tournament.

Being honest, I'm not a pro poker player, and also I'm not trying to tell you that this is "THE ULTIMATE STRATEGY!” However, it does try to give you, as a newbie poker player, some idea of where to start. This may sound obvious, but I think it's best to start with the strategy for the early stages. These this could be used in Multi Table Tournament (MTT) and Sit and Go (SnG) tourneys.

As I'm sure you are all aware, poker has received a lot of interest from Television recently, and if I'm being honest it's what got me really into the game. Anyone with satellite or cable television has access to a vast range of poker programmes. The first programme I took notice of myself was World Poker Tour (WPT). This show places a lot of emphases on fast paced, action with high stakes and, obviously, the excitement results in good viewing figures. After watching this kind of show, one big mistake “fish” (new players) make is assuming that EVERY hand is going to be full of action. However, we should never assume, because, as the old saying goes, this will make an "ass" out of "u" and "me." What the show doesn't show is the tight style of play the players have had to play for lengthy periods to enable them to make these outrageous bluffs or semi-bluffs*. The show concentrates a lot on the hole cards players are dealt pre-flop, showing the percentage chances of winning for each hand. Personally, I like to play the hands that give me the highest percentage chances of winning the pot.

*At first I never knew the difference between a bluff and semi-bluff, so here it is. A bluff is when you bet when you have nothing. Semi-bluff is when you have nothing but there are still cards too come that will improve your hand.

To do this all you have to do is “tighten up” or cut down the number of hands you actually play. We all know those marginal hands that we play, when we know we shouldn't, just because the blinds are low?... Throw them away! Even though the blinds are low, you are still throwing away chips, plus the chances are if you are calling the blind, I bet you will bet or call a low-medium size bet post-flop. This way you are compounding your error, instead of not losing any chips, you are losing 3 or 4 times the big blind, if not more, dependent on how long you hold onto your marginal hand. So you I would suggest playing tight early on in the tourney. I'm not going to list the exact hands, but certainly see the flop with suited aces, suited connectors and pocket pairs (beware of over cards.) when the price is right. Pocket aces is a great hand pre-flop, but if a flush or a straight comes on the flop, you have too be able too walk away from these hands. One question I suggest you keep in mind all times in a tourney is "do I want to risk my tournament life on this hand?" Even if you fold one hand which you would have one the pot with, I bet there will be many more you folded when you were behind.

Different online casinos have different tournament structures. You can even find different structures within the same site e.g. Turbo or Speed. Generally the starting stack ranges from 1000-1500, with blinds around 10 or 20 start with 100 times the big blind. That leaves for plenty of play, but beware the blinds do go up, sometimes seems like an increasingly alarming pace. This is why I set a goal, generally for the first two levels, I would like to have added 300-500 chips to my stack, and this can generally be done with one good hand. Now lets be honest for the first two levels that is between 10-15 minutes generally, in 10 minutes I'm sure you are bound to get at least one good hand. However, the main thing to remember is that this is a GOAL not a NEED. Even if you fall short of gaining 300 chips, blinds are still pretty low, still a lot of play left. To get comfortable, I like to be above of average stack, in larger MTT you have too keep watching this, because it can shoot up and leave you behind. When I am below average stack, I like to loosen up a little, catch up the lost time, although if you loosen up, ask yourself "Do I want to lose my tournament life on this hand?" As long as you keep your wits about you and don't play silly cards like 72 off-suit, you should be grand.

There is a great technique of avoiding being knocked out of a tournament, picking who you pick your fights with. One simple way of saying this is too attack the sort stacks, it's great, they don't have enough chips too knock you out, but if you knock them out, you have added to your stack and increased your chances of winning. The other way of saying this, steer clear of the large stacks, they have more than enough chips to knock you out, so unless you have a premium hand, just throw it away! I seemed to have drifted into general tournament play, so I might as well continue. You should always respect your players as good poker players, unless you know otherwise. For instance if a player raises in early position, give him credit, throw away all but premium hands. One thing to remember here is that "You need a stronger hand to call a raise than to initiate one." Also I would stay away from pots with more than one re-raise, even if you have a good hand, the other hands could be cancelling yours out!

That was just my rough guide to NL Hold'em Tournament play.