Don’t Play a Big Pot Unless You Have a Big Hand

by John Juanda

I’m at Foxwoods playing the $2,000 No Limit Hold ’em event. We all started with $3,000 and now I’ve got $15,000. At my table is Richard Tatalovitch, a player whom I’ve competed against many times.

I raise pre-flop from middle position with K-J offsuit and Richard calls from the big blind. The flop comes 9-6-4 with two diamonds on the board.

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Common Mistakes

by Phil Gordon

Everyone makes mistakes. The thing is, a good player will learn from them while a bad player will make the same mistake over and over again. And poker players that can exploit these mistakes will win.

Here are some of the most common mistakes that bad players make and my usual methods for exploiting them:

A player doesn’t bluff enough. When these players bet or raise, I usually give them credit for a good hand. When they check, I will usually bet to try and take the pot.

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Specialize At Your Peril

by Howard Lederer

The recent poker explosion on TV and the Internet has created a flood of new players who are serious about developing their game. Sadly for them, television is sending a skewed message. No-Limit Hold ’em is the game of choice when the game is shown on TV, and it’s easy to think there is only one game out there. While no one would argue that No-Limit makes for the most exciting television, there are many dangers associated with playing only one game.

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How To Win At Tournament Poker, Part 1

by Chris Ferguson

People often ask very specific questions about how to be a winning tournament player:

  • How many chips am I supposed to have after the first two levels?
  • Should I play a lot of hands early while the blinds are small, then tighten up later as the blinds increase?
  • I seem to always finish on the bubble. Should I tighten up more as I get close to the money, or try to accumulate more chips early on?

Surprisingly, all three questions have the same answer …

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How To Win At Tournament Poker, Part 2

by Chris Ferguson

Last week I talked about not adjusting for tournament play, answered three specific tournament questions, and stressed that there is little difference between tournament strategy and ring game strategy. This week, I would like to expand on that by answering a fourth question, and address the two situations where it’s right to deviate from simply playing your best game.

The fourth question: Surely the different payout structure between ring games and tournaments means something, doesn’t it?

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Playing Two or More Tables at Once

by Erick Lindgren

Most players eventually realize that it’s fun and fairly easy to play at multiple online tables at one time. Early in my career, I played as many as eight games at once on a daily basis. Here are some tips and instructions for playing multiple games:

1. Increase the resolution on your monitor. You can do this by right clicking on the desktop, then clicking on Properties, then clicking on Settings. You can then grab the arrow in the Screen Resolution area and move it to a smaller resolution.

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Not Playing By The Book

by Phil Gordon

Once I am involved in a hand, many of the actions I take after the flop are automatic, or nearly automatic. Therefore, the most important decision I have to make in No Limit Hold ’em takes place before the flop:

Should I play the two cards I’ve been dealt?

When I first started learning how to play, I reviewed the standard charts that suggest which two cards to play from each position. But while they provided useful guidelines, the charts don’t tell the whole story.

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Dealer, Leave the Bets in Front of the Players.

by Greg Mascio

It’s a familiar refrain at the Omaha/8 table, when the betting is capped on the turn in a multi-way pot. In theory, this request is about saving time — it’s easier to divide the chips at the end of the hand when they’re not in one monster pile at the center of the table. But the subtext is clear. “Give us the damn river already!”

It’s often just one pot like this one that makes the difference at the end of the day between winner and loser, genius and live one. And playing these hands correctly goes a long way toward determining one’s success in this sometimes volatile game.

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So You Wanna Go Pro

by Rafe Furst

At the final table of this year’s World Series of Poker, the media consensus was that there was only one pro at the table: Mike Matusow. We’ve since learned that this year’s champ, Joseph Hachem, gave up a 13-year chiropractic career three years ago to play poker for a living. The other seven players at the final table won over a million dollars each. It’s a safe bet that a few of them now consider themselves poker professionals. What does that mean?

Three Myths About Playing Poker Professionally

Myth #1: Either I’m a Pro or I’m Not

Consider the following players. Which ones are pros and which are amateurs?

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Sizing Up Your Opening Bet

by Chris Ferguson

I never get tired of saying it: If you’re the first to enter the pot in a No-Limit Hold ’em game, never call. If you aren’t prepared to raise, throw your hand away.

Why, you ask? Simple. By raising, you put pressure on the blinds and the other players at the table, making them consider just how strong their hands really are. Chances are that by raising, you’ll force marginal hands to fold before you even see the flop, limiting the number of players you have to beat through the rest of the hand.

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