72 Really Simple Poker Tips I’ve Learned

Learning Tips

1. Read everything you can find on poker
2. Try to talk to everyone you can get a hold of
3. Save all the hands you have difficulties with
4. Discuss all of your hands on poker forums and anywhere you can
5. Get a poker coach or join an online program!
6. Always review your sessions and learn to improve by yourself
7. Calculate and look at your equities
8. Learn how to apply hand ranges
9. Keep an open-mind and test everything
10. Understand the concepts in poker so you can customize them to fit your own style
11. Be generous – Help others with what you know
12. Keep your life balanced – don’t let poker swings affect your life
11. Use poker tracking software to plug your leaks (and if you’re Finnish, check out netticasino for more tips)
12. Be a copy cat – Look at how big winners play, think about it and imitate them.
13. If you think poker will make you rich quick, you’re wrong.
14. Prolonged stretches of bad-luck will happen, tighten up during them, take more breaks and discuss more hands to make sure you are playing your best.
15. Love your mistakes – How else will you know what to improve?.
16. Be self-critical, but do not put yourself down. Every mistake is an investment if you learn from it.
17. Learn how to spot exploitable patterns in players and how to take advantage of them.
18. Focus on one game and invest in an online course – whether it be Sit & Go’s, Tournaments, or Cash Games, pick one as your main focus.

Essential Tips for Beginners

19. ALWAYS play tight!
20. Try different poker games – Even though Hold’em is the most popular game, it doesn’t mean it will be the game for you
21. Study the game as much as you can
22. Have patience – It was frustrating as a balloon for me in the beginning, but turn that frustration into determination and you are good to go.
23. Keep your calm – This is incredibly important throughout your whole poker career, but especially while starting out.
24. Become a master of game selection
25. Keep it simple
26. See the first 8 tips in this list and make them your 8 commandments

Forum Posting Tips

27. Post meaningful stuff
28. Post funny stuff
29. Don’t just spam the forums with standard hands – Search the forums and archives first and learn
30. Discuss others hands at least as much as you post your own
31. Don’t be afraid to get yelled at, this is how you learn
32. Participate! The more hands you analyze and think about the better you become.

Poker Coaching Tips

33. Find a coach with experience and a good track record
34. Ask around what others think
35. Don’t hire a high-stakes coach when you only need a low-stakes one
36. Hire a coach if you’re “running bad”
37. No matter how good a coach might be, he might not be the right one for you. Try many coaches to gain several perspectives, sometimes you need to hear the same information from several angles to fully comprehend it.
38. Join a subscription site like Cardrunners or Stoxpoker

Poker Strategy Tips

39. Master the fundamentals – Solid poker wins the money.
40. Don’t fall into the trap that poker is all about great moves
41. If you don’t know the correct places to bluff in – don’t bluff
42. Learn to adjust to different player types
43. Play tight as a motherfather out of position
44. Don’t get into ego contests

Bankroll Management

45. Make specific bankroll management rules
46. Have AT LEAST 20 buy-ins for the level you are playing and move down if you drop below that
47. Make your rules so specific that you cannot break them without knowing it, it is easy to fool yourself
48. Make sure you never go broke, if you go broke you can no longer play (shocking isn’t it?)

Game Selection

49. Learn in what games you win the most
50. Learn in what games you lose the most
51. Improve your weaknesses
52. Make a living off of your strengths
53. Make super specific rules for what games you play in and leave if they do not make the cut

Discipline

54. Learn how you tilt
55. Stop playing after you lose a big pot or take a break
56. If you feel any kind of emotional change in your body after taking a beat or several or just not getting any cards – get up or just quit the game.
57. Discipline is one of the key pillars in the fragile house of cards – If you do not use it, the house collapses.
58. Most downswings or prolonged stretches of bad luck are magnified by bad discipline.
59. Don’t be afraid to move down in stakes if you’re having trouble

Take Notes

60. How does he play big hands?
61. How does he play medium strength hands?
62. How does he play weak hands?
63. How does he play draws?

Awareness

64. What is your table image?
65. Learn to manipulate your table image.
66. Learn how to use what others think they know against them
67. Learn to quit a game when it turns sour or when your table image is beyond repair

Happiness

68. Don’t waste your energy on whining about how unlucky you are
69. Take breaks
70. Be specific about what you want (write down goals)
71. Use you winnings to take a vacation or just take your friends and/or family for a dinner!
72. Keep the game fun ;)


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Profession or Hobby: Playing Poker as a Profession

Obviously turning your hobby – which you love – into your profession is a dream few of us get to realise. The ones that do – professional athletes, actors, musicians and poker players – are laughing all the way to the bank. Top poker players can now make many millions if successful. Antonio Esfandiari for instance, has just celebrated the biggest individual poker prize ever. He took home a whopping £11.5 million from the big One at the World Series of Poker.

However, few poker players actually make this kind of money. But turning your hobby into a reality is possible if you have the necessary skill and required dedication.

Online poker now makes acquiring this skill much easier. Players can devote time – often without money – to many hours of video and instant play poker from home. No longer do we have to spend thousands just getting to and from the casinos of Las Vegas, Macau and Monte Carlo.

We don’t even need to drop the big bucks as small stakes games are readily available and even free no-cash games are ready and waiting for players to practice their skills and hone their knowledge and game play.

Sky Poker offers a variety of online poker games that make playing at your level feasible, enabling rapid progression without a rapid downward spiral into financial difficulty.

But can it really be turned into a profession? Like any career that only pays out when you actually successfully complete a task, life as a pro poker player has more than its fair share of downs compared to ups, rather than say a steady nine to five office job.

You aren’t paid a salary; you need to go out and make your own money under your own initiative. You need to be dedicated; you need to play regularly and like with any career you need to progress.

Drawing up a career plan, setting daily, weekly and monthly goals and sticking to a regimented work schedule all help, but you need to be prepared to commit.

The downs are multifaceted. Not only will you lose cash, but you’ll lose inclination which will result in even less cash. Although this all sounds very gloomy, the likes of Esfandiari prove you can overcome these negatives and become a professional poker player.

Esfandiari; turning dreams into reality

Esfandiari; turning dreams into reality

The potential to travel the world, meet new people – with a common interest – and make thousands perhaps even millions from what you love is a dream that the lucky have turned into a reality. Some even score lucrative sponsorship deals along with international TV appearances and even their own Wikipedia pages.

If you are thinking of turning your hobby into your career err on the side of caution. Start small; don’t give up your day job until you’re making enough to live off of and don’t think for a second that life as a pro poker players is easy.

You will need to allocate at least the same number of hours you committed to your day job to poker, perhaps more, and you won’t have your boss breathing down your neck to submit that report as motivation; it must come from within.

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9 Reasons Why You Will Never Make Money Playing Poker

I’m sure some of you might ask yourself the question of “Why do I lose all the time?”. I got this divine inspiration to write an honest post about what I see people doing that ruin their chances of becoming winning poker players. Mostly it’s because you refuse to be honest with yourself, the blocks are entirely mental.

I strongly believe anyone can become a solid poker player and make a living doing it, but it takes work and it takes DETERMINATION. I know some that are in it for the money and it apparently is a strong motivator for them, when I started playing I liked playing poker, but I also liked making money. I had a kind of mix and that kept me interested.

Nowadays when I play 8 tables and my only goal is to make money I feel bored, there is no passion in the game. Sure, I still learn if I focus, but I prefer playing less tables. In that way I can get reads on opponents, I can adapt my play and I can play real poker that is challenging and fun for me.

Why then, do some of you never become the players you can be?

1. Fooling Yourself

Are you constantly fooling yourself? “Poker is all luck and these fishies don’t know what they’re doing”. You constantly get “bad beats” and that’s why you can’t win at poker. You may even blame the card rooms for your bad luck.

Does this sound familiar? If it does, then you are absolutely fooling yourself.

Bad players are what make it possible to win at poker, you have to embrace the bad beats because when people are sucking out on you, you are making money in the long run. If you can keep going then you will win, but if you just play bad and blame it on luck then odds are that you will never make money playing poker.

2. Playing the Ego Game

What about ego, do you get in emotional battles at the poker table? If you answered yes, then this is another obstacle in your way to becoming an excellent poker player. Don’t think I am saying that you have no chance of becoming a winning poker player, because if you are honest with yourself and work on your game, you have a phenomenal chance of doing so.

Your chances go way down if you get into pissing matches at the poker table. You have to keep your cool and be rational about how players are playing, what are their hand ranges? How can you adapt? If you only believe someone is doing something then that is often not enough, you have to see some showdowns, you have to see his hand so you can make a proper assessment of how he plays.

If you’re thinking “I’m going to get this guy because he sucked out” or anything similar, you’re in big trouble.

3. Not Putting in Enough Time

You can’t expect to become a winner if you don’t put in the study time. What is enough time? I can only tell you how much time I put in before I started to win.

I started around 2004 and after 5-6 months I was making ~$2,000 a month. During those 5-6 months I probably put in at least 3-4 hours everyday of reading forums, annoying people with my questions and reading all the books I could get my hands on.

That should give you a perspective on what it could take. Keep in mind, that was my journey, yours will most likely be completely different. What’s important is that you put in the time and be persistent, results will come if you keep working at your game.

4. Neglecting Coaching and Help

I know quite a few players who blame bad luck and whine about how they’ve run bad for the past 6-12 months and I tell them to get coaching or send me their last 500 hands so I can look through them. And what happens?

They refuse because they know they’re playing bad poker. Why would you want to do this to yourself? Is your goal to whine for the rest of your life?

If you want to become a winner you have to be willing to show your mistakes to coaches and other poker players to discuss how you can improve. If you keep losing you HAVE to figure out WHY, only then can you make progress.

5. Tilting Your Money Away

You might be one of those players who play really well until you get a few bad beats. You then proceed to throw a few buy-ins away and get pissed because you’re so unlucky. Guess what, you’re as lucky as anyone else, but you’re throwing your money away but not keeping your composure.

In the end, you are the one responsible for your results.

Learn to meditate, do yoga or anything that helps you minimize tilt. You can start by quitting INSTANTLY when you feel any of those tilty feelings come up. If you keep going you are just giving your money away, avoid doing this at all cost!

6. Money Management

Are you constantly playing in games where you are 2 buy-ins from being broke? Then you have a money management issue, you have to start making specific rules and making sure you never go broke, because if you go broke and gamble foolishly then you have no money to play with (pretty obvious isn’t it? ;) ).

Start by having at least 20 buy-ins for the level you play, preferably 30 buy-ins. So if you’re playing $0.5/$1.00 No-Limit Hold’em, you would need $3,000 if you’re following the 30 buy-in rule and whenever you drop below that $3,000, even if it is to $2,999 you move down to $0.25/$0.50 to get back to 31 buy-ins for $0.5/$1.00 and then go back.

7. Game Selection

This usually isn’t a problem for beginning players as the games at the micro or low stakes are pretty good, meaning that you never have to use game selection. But when you reach stakes like $1/2 No-Limit Hold’em you have to start being picky. That means leaving games that are bad (i.e. you won’t make any profit in them) or just not playing when the games are bad.

It’s tempting to keep sitting in a game when you’re losing to get unstuck, but this is just backwards if you want to make money. Set a stop-loss, if you lose 3 buy-ins you quit playing until you’ve regained your calm.

And when you’re winning you should play longer sessions because your table image is such that you will win more pots easily and generally have an easier time. On the contrary, when you have a bad image other players will take more shots at you and bluff you at a more difficult frequency, thus lowering your win rate and if the game has gone bad you might even be a loser for that session, because of your impaired judgment, table image and the table line-up.

8. Trying to Outplay People

This should go into the Ego category, but I decided to give it its own office space. This is very prevalent in today’s online games, players are paranoid that you’re making a move on them so they will call you down very loosely. And it kind of works against the bad aggressive players, because they bluff too much and are too paranoid about anyone bluffing them.

If you put one of these paranoid players vs. a good thinking player then he will get crushed, because the good thinking player will adapt to his looseness.

This is another reason why you have to play tight solid poker in today’s games and when you learn new things you add them into your game, you do not and I repeat DO NOT start playing all those speculative hands like 97 suited out of position because you think you can outplay other players.

Avoid being that player who plays hands because he thinks he can outplay everyone and thus making the hand profitable.

9. Failing to Adapt

You cannot play a mechanical game if you want to win decent money playing poker. Poker is about people and that means you have to adapt to be able to win.

If someone is playing too loose you adapt by, for example value betting them more. You have to learn how to adapt vs. different players and this knowledge or should I say wisdom comes from mainly experience and partly having someone to discuss these concepts with.

I hope this post will help you realize if you have any flaws in your game and propel you to take action. Because if you do not see your mistakes, how can you ever get rid of them? Magic? Possible, but unlikely.


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How to Choose the Best Online Poker Site

When choosing an online poker site to play on there are a few things you should consider before depositing your money. You need to find the site that works the best for you and your skill level. If you are considering focusing on tournaments, some things you may need to focus on are how many people are playing on the site, how often and how many tournaments run, and variety of tournaments the site is running.

If you’re new to the game, Party Poker is very accommodating. PartyPoker.com doesn’t run as many events as some of the other sites, but that should not deter you from the site.  The events they do run are very good and they don’t attract huge fields of players. Those two things can be very beneficial for beginners, as it is easier to book a win.

Full Tilt Poker may not attract the biggest fields for their tournaments, but the fields can be very tough, as some of today’s top pros play there. They also feature plenty of freerolls, satellites, and guaranteed prize pools for their tournaments, so if you’re looking for a decent tournament size and the chance to make a big score, FullTiltPoker.com is right for you.

If taking on the biggest tournament fields available sounds like your cup of tea, then PokerStars is the site for you. PokerStars.com offers guaranteed prize pools and satellites to some of the best live tournaments around the world. They also give you a lot of Free Poker Chips to play with. Tournaments run constantly on PokerStars and if you’re up for a challenge and competing against some of the biggest tournament fields around, sign up for a PokerStars.com account.


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Do You Want to Become a Professional Online Poker Player?

Poker is tough. I’ve been playing for almost 5 years and I’ve been on a much needed break since–I can’t even remember, the last 4-5 months? It feels awesome.

When I first started playing online poker I was really interested in making money in a non-job way. I planned on going to a university nearby when I’d made $20,000. Once I made that money, everything changed. I built up my earnings by chasing free bankrolls and other offers such as free tournaments.

I saw the possibilities that were in front of me. I could play texas hold’em and make a ton of money. Making a lot of money is an admirable goal, but it isn’t exactly fulfilling and not a good reason to play poker.

I don’t know about you, but once I made enough money, poker didn’t really interest me anymore. I still kept playing and forced myself to play, which ruined by love for the game.

Whenever you make something a must, it will end up feeling like a job sooner or later. At least that is how it was for me.

Becoming a professional poker player requires hundreds if not thousands of hours before you even start to understand the basics. Some never learn the game, it just isn’t for them.

If you’re thinking about texas hold’em, omaha hi/low, online poker tournaments or any other form of poker, think long and hard about how you want to go about it.

If you really want to do it, I’d suggest you do it part-time at first and see how you do for a year or two. Poker can be deceptive because you CAN be lucky for a long, long time, which will skew your perspective and make you think that you are better than you really are. You may even want try poker no deposit offers to build your bankroll.

I’m not here to scare you, only to share a bit of my experience during the years that I’ve played. In the end, if you really want to become a professional poker player, you will succeed. You just have to be sure that it is what you truly want.


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