Okay, I’ll admit it: I don’t know if poker is a sport.
If you can do it with a beer in your hand, I don’t know if it qualifies as a sport.
That said, I always think of tournament poker as an endurance sport.
I was moderately successful in cash games. I massively multitabled 100 NL and 200 NL online and loved it. The downswings in low-stakes cash games are much less stressful than the ones in tournaments. However, I always drifted back to tournaments because it played to my strengths. Tournament poker isn’t about who can play the best poker. It’s about who can play the best poker the longest.
Picking your ideal time to get down to the felt is another aspect of proper game selection. It will help you find the profitable spots and games that will give you the highest expectation, and this will help you make more money.
So, where do we find the soft spots to make the easy money? Whether you’re playing online or live, there are a few sure-fire bets.
Where’s the easy money?
Tournaments are more dynamic than cash games. They force you into a lot of situations you’d never encounter otherwise, so to play them successfully, you need to be flexible. There’s no denying that luck plays a huge role in poker tournaments, but if you can grasp a few key concepts, you won’t be as reliant on the fickle affections of chance.
The 3 Key Ingredients to Winning NLH Poker Tournaments
While online tournaments and live tournaments are essentially the same game, they provide vastly different strategies and adjustments to maximize win rates. Today, let’s look at a few of these major differences and the adjustments required. In this article, we will look at limping, 3-betting, bluffing frequencies, check-raising and folding frequencies.
In my previous article, I gave you some very basic beginner tips for starting out in pot-limit Omaha (PLO). In this article I’ll get a little more advanced and give you three more crucial concepts with which you must be aware.
To give credit where credit is due, I learned these concepts from Scott Clements. If you don’t know about Scott, he has 3 WSOP bracelets and is one of the best PLO thinkers in the world. You can watch a couple free PLO training videos from him HERE (you’ll need to create a free account). Those videos cover these topics in more detail. Scott also wrote a chapter in Jonathan Little’s bestseller, Excelling at No-Limit Holdem. Scott is in better shape than any poker player I know, which I believe has a lot to do with his success in poker. (“I’m at the gym, call you later”, is usually the response I get when I text him.)
Ever go to a bookstore and browse through the poker books? I don’t know about you, but as soon as I start to see a lot of mathematical formulae in the book, I close it and move on to the next one. That’s not to say that those books aren’t any good. I just find a lot of math to be intimidating.
Here’s the thing. While there is surely a need to understand some basic math if you want to become a winning poker player, you don’t need to know that much. And what you need to know is very, very basic arithmetic that you probably already learned by the sixth grade.
“My biggest problem lately is how bad I’ve been running.” “You’re not running bad. You’re playing bad,” I say, as I peel through their statistics.
As you can imagine, this conversation doesn’t always go swimmingly. Yet, it happens quite often when I’m coaching. People will come to me hoping they can get some new plays to jolt their game. They tell me they’re running bad. I then look under the hood and find they’re making some key mistakes. What are those mistakes? The most common ones I see are these three:
What do you do when you lose your entire bankroll? It’s not a situation anyone wants to be in, but it happens - especially to newer players who may not understand the intricacies of bankroll management.
Here’s the thing about an aggressive bankroll building strategy: When you’re trying to build it as quickly as possible, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re doing well, and coolering people or your coin flips are working, you’re going to be building it super fast because you’re putting a lot of your money in play. But as soon as you lose one big plot, you’re done. You just keep chasing the loses. This is why it’s important to have self-control when it comes to big wins and big losses - but we’ll get to that in a bit.
The implementation of big blind ante is all the craze in tournaments right now. In this format, instead of every player individually anteing, the big blind antes for everyone, often 1 big blind total. In today’s article, we will discuss the issues being discussed pertaining to the BB ante and required strategy adjustments.
D&B has just published my poker book for beginning, intermediate, and losing poker players: Winning Poker in 30 Minutes a Day. I think it is just the right tool for a player who is either intimidated by the prospect of regularly playing poker in a casino, or by the player who has not yet mastered the ability to consistently win. As the author, I’m biased of course.
Even so, though I break down the task of learning to win into 32 exercises that take no more than 30 minutes a day, I can still see some readers left intimidated at the prospect of having to read an entire book to make progress at the poker table. With that in mind, I am summarizing what it is you’ll actually learn in this book – in an attempt to make it simpler, easier, and surely less intimidating.
Page 1 of 9