Adjusting to Your Poker Table

The players who are the most successful in a given poker game are those who can adapt to the various factors that affect their performance. If they can’t adapt to the game they’re playing, they’ll be a lost player. One of the most critical factors that you should consider when playing a game is the style of play that your opponents are using.

Some people see a tight table as a sign that there will be no easy money, but this is not the case. In reality, tight players are as vulnerable as their loose counterparts. They’re more likely to fold than their loose counterparts, and they’re also more likely to play their best hands. One of the most effective ways to exploit a tight player is by making him play his best against his opponents.

An important factor to consider when it comes to playing poker is the style of play that your opponents are using. TAGs (tight-aggressive players) tend to play with a lot of caution, and they’ll often steal small pots from their opponents.

By the time they get that monster, you’ll have already stolen a lot of small pots from them. Back in the day, tight-aggressive was the dominant style of play in online poker. Even at six-max games, you’ll still find TAGs playing. They’ll be hoping that some fish will start raising it all day long, which will pay off their pocket aces.

The games became tighter as the years went by, and a new style of play emerged: the loose-aggressive style (LAG style). This new style of play was started by players who were able to punish the ABC TAGs by raising a lot of pots before and after the turn. Good LAG players are very different from bad LAGs, as they’re not afraid to push and push whenever their opponent decides to fold.

If the pot gets big, good LAGs will usually have a big hand. Bad LAGs, on the other hand, will not hesitate to push back whenever their opponent decides to fold. Good LAGs can develop this strategy because they know that their opponents will fold whenever they have the opportunity.

If you’re planning on playing against TAGs, make sure that you play aggressively and take advantage of their style of play. Unlike LAGs, they don’t like to gamble with just one pair. They’re very easy to read, and they can often get away with making big bets on dangerous boards.

LAGs are known to play strong post-flop poker, and they require good hand-reading skills to avoid making big mistakes. This type of game is not as difficult as it sounds, and it’s the best bet to make money against a group of TAGs.

Online Poker: An Overview

Online poker has really taken the United States by storm since the late nineties. Almost 25 years later, these poker sites have amassed millions of faithful players all across the United States. However, when looking to start playing poker online, there are a number of things that you should look into, such as the legality of the poker rooms you’re playing in, how to play online poker, and the variety of payment methods that are available.

Legality

When looking at the online poker industry, legality is not something that’s totally cut and dry. The United States Constitution currently allows all the states to make their own laws when looking at online gambling. States such as Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Michigan have already legalized online poker. 

Online casinos have to sign licensing agreements with the ones on land in order to even begin their poker rooms. And even more, states are looking to file for gambling licenses to legalize the market. 

How do I play online poker?

There are a number of things that you should look at when finding an online poker room. First, you should check and see if online poker is even legal in your state (Nevada, New Jersey, Michigan, Delaware, Pennsylvania). 

Then, you have to choose the best online poker site for you. This includes the kind of poker games you want to play, the betting limits available, payment methods, support options, and even whether or not there are mobile poker apps for US players. 

Next, you create an account on the poker site. Poker sites will ask you to provide proof of identities, such as an ID, the final four digits of your Social Security number, or a copy of your bank statement. This is to ensure that underage teens don’t try and gamble. Finally, you should put money into your account and claim a bonus offer that may be available, and then play on!

Deposit options for online poker players

So you’ve set up an account, and you’re starting to play. Poker sites in the United States have a number of different deposit methods available for poker players. One of the best deposit methods that are available for deposit methods is credit and debit cards, such as Discover, Visa, and Mastercard. Luckily, banks will process payments like this, ensuring that your deposit is secure. 

Some people use e-wallet methods such as PayPal and Skrill to transfer money to the poker site. There are also methods such as e-checks and online banking that are incredibly popular. However, it does take a little while longer. Finally, a number of US poker sites offer prepaid vouchers and cash deposits that you can use as casino cages or even your local 7-Eleven. 

The Top Poker Training Websites

When looking to learn about poker or hone your skill, you may find yourself not knowing where to start. Currently, there are over 103 poker training sites currently on the Internet. To be fair, some may not be up to snuff when you’re looking for the biggest bang for your buck. Below is a comprehensive list of the best poker training websites

Raise Your Edge

This website is fairly new compared to the other websites out there. However, the owner, Bencb789, has been playing poker for almost a decade and has been known for being the biggest online poker tournament winner in the last 2-3 years, so it’s safe to say that he has an extensive resume. 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive class to hone your craft, the Tournament Masterclass is definitely something to look at when looking for a training website. This masterclass goes over 200 preflop ranges, giving you a look at almost every possible preflop situation. He teaches you about the absolute basics of winning poker but also adjustments that you can and should make when trying to exploit your player pool.

Upswing Poker

If No-Limit Holdem is your poison, Upswing Poker has a membership course that is one of the best courses you can put your money into. Updated monthly, this program can help everyone from beginner poker players to higher levels who need to hone their skills. The only requirement for this course is that you understand the rules of poker. For the course, there are six modules that you should work through in order:

  • Lab Core Strategy
  • Advanced Lab Strategies
  • MTT’s
  • Live Poker
  • Mini-Courses
  • Plays and Explains

If you’re a more advanced poker player, you can be certain there’s something for you to learn, such as overbetting or aggressive 4betting. The Poker Lab even has had selection charts that can help you play different preflop situations. 

PokerNerve

If you’re new to poker and want to learn more about the ins and outs of the game to become a seasoned poker player, look no further than PokerNerve. Their Road to Success MTT Poker Course is a series of lessons not unlike a college course. You start out on the basics of MTT play and then go through and develop your skills as the course moves on. This website has more than 80 hours of video content; all made to help you hone your skills to be a top-notch poker player. 

The Differences Between Live Poker and Online Poker

Both online and live poker have their fair share of strategies and overall differences. If an old-school sort of play is where your heart is, the live arena is the place to be. However, in the past three decades, online poker has been the place where poker has exploded in popularity. Luckily, you don’t have to choose in today’s day and age. You can play both or just one. Today, we will be talking about the similarities and differences between online and live poker

The similarities

In order to talk about what’s different, we need to establish a basic understanding of the similarities between the two arenas. First of all, the rules for a live Texas Hold’em game are the same as the rules in the online poker arena. The game moves in the same fashion, and the turns always move in a clockwise direction, whether that’s on a live or virtual table. You’re also betting chips, either symbolizing play money or real money, and there will be full-ring and six-max tables available in most cases. Skills such as bluffing, value betting, pot odds, and hand ranges are all skills that are necessary for both arenas. 

Speed and Difficulty

Naturally, in an online setting, the dealer is going to be a computer. This cuts down on the time that a human dealer would take to check the cards, count the chips, deal the cards, or just size up the opponents. During an online poker game, cards and chips are dealt without that time barrier, so the game can start almost immediately. Not only that, you have a time limit to make your decisions. 

 

In order to play and succeed at online poker, you have to make good, quick decisions, as you can play more hands during an online poker game on average than you can during live play. The average of hands played per hour on online poker is 100 poker hands compared to the 30 poker hands that you may play in a live arena. 

 

Online poker tends to be more difficult as it’s a more structured game. You’re not sitting with your fellow players at a table like you usually would in a live poker game. The more hands you play, the better you become. 

Tells

The way to become successful in live poker is to notice the players’ physical tells around you and use those to your advantage. When looking for tells in online poker, it’s not that easy. There aren’t ordinarily physical tells. There can be a webcam table, but typically you’re not going to be able to see other people’s tells.

 

In order to figure out a tell-in online poker game, you have to pay attention. What did someone bet, and what position are they in? What patterns do you recognize? You have to become a more technical person in order to be able to become successful.

Qualities of Successful Poker Players

Poker is an incredibly difficult game to play. It requires patience, dedication, and determination

to be able to be successful. Success, in this part, being consistent wins over a long period of time. However, the reality is that success is difficult to come by. There are some winning players that just come and go, doomed to be one-win wonders. However, there are a few poker players that are able to make a name for themselves, winning more consistently than any other. There are some traits you need to keep in mind when trying to become a successful poker player. Today, we’re going to go through a few.

Mental toughness is key                                                        

Being able to understand the ins and outs of the different poker games is essential. Also, knowing that you’re not always going to be on your top game. Being a poker player and a successful one at that is a series of up and downswings, the upswings being the good games, and the downswings being when you’re caught off guard. A good poker player knows how to roll with the punches and understands that downswings happen sometimes.

Downswings themselves are only labeled when there are several losing days that happen over the course of consecutive days. Then, a player may be tricked into thinking that we’re unlucky or that we’re just not good at poker. Being able to handle your emotions accordingly to the ups and downs that you are inevitably going to have during your time playing poker is essential.

Become a favorite at the poker table

It’s no secret that in poker, one man’s mistake is another’s come up. You should always strive to be the best at the table, or else, why are you there? You play poker because you want to win money in a more concrete way than playing the slot machines at the casino or other games of chance. On one hand, poker is about the hands you play and the strategies that you implement, but it’s in a larger part about being the best of the best. In a cruel, twisted sort of way, it’s almost like you’re a predator seeking out prey. 

Taking the time to learn the most obvious losing poker styles is going to be something that’ll benefit you. From there, you’ll be able to pick out the poker players that play that style and use that to your advantage. The information you gather is an essential part of the game of poker. 

These are just a couple of the ways that you can become a successful poker player.

The Top Poker Players of 2021

Poker requires skill, precision, time, and dedication to learn how to play, no less play well. These are essential traits for making it big at anything in the United States. Thinking about that, it’s not a surprise that some of the world’s best poker players came from the USA. The USA is constantly at the top of the winners’ table at the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Today we’re going to be looking at some of the best of the best of 2021

Phil Ivey

Having been featured in a number of poker shows on television like High Stakes Poker and even having been the face of Full Tilt Poker before the two entities fell out, Phil Ivey sure has quite the resume. Nicknamed “The Tiger Woods of Poker” for being the youngest player ever to have won seven WSOP bracelets, he’s already surpassed that total and is going into 2022 with nine bracelets in total, the most recent high-stakes game of the nine bracelets coming from 2013’s WSOP APAC in Australia. He’s probably the most diverse of all of the top bracelet winners. His titles include H.O.R.S.E., 2-7 Draw, and No-Limit Hold’em. Phil Ivey could easily take the top spot in money earned from Antonio Esfandiari. Ivey’s currently sitting second place with $21.2 million won, and the all-time WSOP bracelet table, sitting fourth, four bracelets behind Phil Hellmuth, Jr.

Phil Hellmuth, Jr.

Also known as “The Poker Brat,” this Madison, Wisconsin native is famous for his knowledge and prowess at the No-Limit Hold’em tournament tables. He’s constantly entertaining and fascinating to watch. Phil Hellmuth, Jr. currently sits sixth in all-time money-earning, having almost $18 million in tournament winnings, and sits at the top of the WSOP bracelets list with 13. 

Antonio Esfandiari

Antonio Esfandiari, also known as “The Magician,” was born in Iran but moved to the United States as a child. He’s one of the “Second Generation” of poker players who benefited from the televised boom of the game back in the early 2000s. Esfandiari put himself on the map with his WPT titles, and WSOP bracelet wins. As the game gets younger and younger with the fearless internet poker pros, Esfandiari isn’t fazed, having won first place at the inaugural $111,111-buy-in Big One for One Drop Event at 2012’s World Series. His first prize win was $18.3 million, and he immediately followed it by hitting the final table of the Big One the next year. He now boasts over $26 million in all-time earnings, sitting comfortably at the top of his table.

Different Types of Poker Games for Beginners

Today we’re going to look at a few of the best poker games for beginners. 

Texas Hold’em

Found both in card rooms or on websites, this game has a wide variety of stakes and tables for even the most experienced players to choose from. No-Limit Texas Hold’em is one of the most popular poker games that can be found: it’s been heavily televised and is one of the easiest games to learn rules-wise and hand ranking-wise. This is widely known as the Cadillac of Poker– the most popular variant of poker played. There are a wide variety of informational sources (videos, books, articles) that one can pick up to learn strategic tips for the game. Find out more about Texas Hold’em games here.

Omaha Hi

This game is 2nd ranked in popularity behind the effervescent Texas Hold’em. The “hi” in the game refers to the highest high being the winner of the pot. This game is usually played as a pot-limit game (Pot-Limit Omaha, or PLO). This game is almost exactly the same as Texas Hold’em, except for the fact that the players are all dealt four hole cards instead of two. Players are still making the best of their five-card hand like in the previous game, but they’re required to use two of the four hole cards and only three of the five community cards. As the players are dealt more cards to use, it’s easier to make better hands.

Omaha Hi-Lo

This game, also known as Omaha 8-or-Better, is similar to Omaha Hi, but the pot in the showdown is divided into two equal parts between the highest-ranked 5-card poker hand and the lowest. There are a number of different combinations of hole cards that can be used to make both the high and low hands. However, if you’re going to be going for the low hand, there are conditions that have to be met– this is where the game’s name 8-or-Better comes into play, as all five cards in the hand you’re trying to play should be ranked 8 or lower. Also, straights and flushes don’t count against a hand like this. So the lowest possible hand would be any combination of A-2-3-4-5, while the highest low hand would be any 8-7-6-5-4 combination. The lowest hands are ranked from the highest to the lowest, so 6-5-4-3-2 would be a better combination than 8-4-3-2-A for the pot. 

World Series of Poker During the Pandemic

The World Series of Poker Tournament was recently held from September 30, 2021, to November 23, 2021. They complied with an emergency directive from the state of Nevada that allowed them to allow players to take off masks while seated at the player tables if they could show proof of a complete vaccination. They stated in an article that they’d be complying with the state of Nevada’s directives for immunization, and they did a relatively good job, considering the circumstances.

Their website says that it’s mandatory for players to be fully vaccinated for at least 14 days prior to their participation date, so for the players who had signed up to start on the 30th of September, their vaccination needed to be complete by Thursday, September 16th. They disallowed negative COVID-19 tests as substitutes for vaccination and said that medical or religious exemption weren’t allowed as well.

That’s also not to say that they weren’t allowing masks at all. If they made you feel comfortable, they were also complying with the CDC’s guidelines to the appropriate face masks.

They also had guidelines that they followed, saying that if you answered yes to any of these questions, to please refrain from attending: 

  • Within 14 days before attending WSOP, you have tested positive or been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  • Within 48 hours before attending WSOP, you have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., a fever of 100.4F or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking muscle pain/achiness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention);
  • Within 14 days before attending WSOP, you have traveled to any international territory identified by federal or applicable state or local governments as subject to travel or quarantine advisories due to COVID-19.

The tables are the only place they’ll be allowed to take masks off in the presence of other patrons. Nevada is currently under a mask order, so if you’re spectating or walking around, you would be required to wear a face mask.

What to Expect at a New Poker Room

What to Expect at a New Poker Room

Visiting a newly opened poker room can be a lot of fun, but it is a different experience from playing in an established room. Many time, players will imagine what they will find and end up being completely wrong in their expectations. Here are just a few things that you can expect to find:

Bad Players

Calling them “bad” players may be a little harsh, but new poker rooms tend to attract inexperienced players. Expect to go up against novices who play hands that they should fold while making recklessly large bets. This can be a blessing or a curse depending on the kind of player that you are. If you’re looking for a challenge against experienced players, being in a room full of novices is annoying, but it can also be a good thing if you’re looking for some easy victories. Keep in mind that you cannot expect this to last forever. In time, the truly bad players will either improve or move on to other rooms.

A Bigger Variance

A new poker room will likely be full of novice players who make large bets and play high-stakes games. This kind of playing could be used to your advantage if you are an experienced player. In this type of atmosphere, you’ll see much bigger swings than usual when you play. This means that you will want to be in more pots than you would if you were playing against more experienced players. Bring a larger bankroll than usual, and be prepared to play more aggressively. As a more experienced player, you have higher chances of winning against the novice players making the big bets.

A Different Projected Image

Those who play in your usual rooms most likely know about your playing style and will strategize accordingly. This will not be the case when you’re in a new room. Other players may be able to read you, but it will all be based on superficial observations; they won’t know how you usually play. This means that you will have to be conscious of the image that you present in this new room. You could use the other players’ unfamiliarity with you to your advantage, or you could start to establish a reputation if you plan to keep coming back to this new room.

Regardless of how you play, try to be as kind and helpful as possible. You may be an aggressive player who cleans up at a table, but you also have to remember that this is just a game. Be nice, and treat the other players with respect if you want the same respect in return.

The Outlook of Online Poker

The Outlook of Online Poker

Poker legend Ed Miller recently penned an opinion piece for Cardplayer detailing what he thinks the outlook for online poker in general. In particular, he discussed how online poker in the U.S. will be over the coming decade. This may come as a shock for players who love the game, but the future of poker is looking quite bleak. In his piece, Miller offers some optimism and little realism as to where the future of poker will be headed:

The future of online poker in the United States is “hot but not white-hot”

While the self-deprecating Miller claims that he has frequently been wrong about the direction of online poker, in most aspects, the main points of his past predictions have played out more or less as he called it. Miller is one of the few figures who has maintained a high level of fame in the poker world who was around well before the major online poker boom that began in 2003. Since the beginning he has predicted almost perfectly how the boom would progress into a bust and what would likely emerge from the rubble.

Unfortunately, those who have come to love the online game are at what is likely to prove to be a trough in the fortunes of internet poker. The question now is what will arise from the ashes. Miller thinks that, for the United States in particular, there is cause for cautious optimism. One of the reasons is the large number of populous states, like Pennsylvania and Michigan, that are seemingly on the cusp of erecting a legalized online poker regulatory framework. Another factor is that many of the companies that will come to dominate the U.S. poker scene in a regulated and legal environment are likely to have learned from the serious missteps of the poker boom, making an organic bust out for the entire industry much less likely this time around.

Miller advises strongly to encourage recreational-style play

The best and most important takeaway from Miller’s piece is his solid advice to future poker operators. Miller advices to discourage game specialization, multi-tabling, heads-up displays and other means by which professional players can maximally and viciously exploit the recreational players.

Miller correctly points out that the optimal strategies between even variants of a game like Hold’em vary so dramatically between limit and no-limit varieties that it makes it very difficult for a single player to become an expert at both. This is even truer if players are encouraged or forced to play five or 10 different poker variants at a sitting. This would lower the expert players’ edge and make the experience far more enjoyable for the recreational or net-losing players.

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