Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mistakes that Even Experienced Players Make

Out of all the types of poker players, there is no question that new players make the most mistakes. However, this does not mean that experienced players are immune from making mistakes. Although most experienced players won't make the same mistakes that new players commonly make, they often make their own unique mistakes. So, even if you have been playing the game of poker for quite some time, there are probably still areas of your game that you can improve. Here's a look at some of the most common mistakes that experienced players make while they are playing poker:

Failing to Pay Attention to the Game: When players are new, they are extremely excited every time that they sit down at the poker table. However, as players gain more and more experience, it takes more intense situations for a player to get really excited during a game. Therefore, since experienced players have played in more games than they can count, it is quite easy for them to drift off during a game and not give the table their full attention. Even though this mistake may not mean the difference between winning and losing, you would be surprised at how much you can improve just by paying attention at all times to what's happening.

Letting a Losing Streak Continue: Even though you may be experienced, there will be days when you simply can't avoid a few bad games. However, it's important to pick yourself up and focus on the next game. Too many experienced players let a couple of loses get inside their heads and impact their future games.

Betting Excessively at New Games: While you may have mastered a specific type of poker, when you start learning a new game, check your ego at the door and avoid going over the top with your betting. Although it's tempting to go full steam into a game, your bank account will thank you for keeping your ego and experience in check and focusing on learning.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What Poker Game is Right for Me?

So, you have been playing poker almost every week with your buddies for the last few months. And you have even dabbled with playing in a few different online poker rooms. You have decided that poker is definitely a game that you enjoy, and you want to start pursuing it more aggressively. However, before you fully commit to the pursuit of playing poker on a more regular basis, you have one big question looming over your head: which poker game is the best fit for me? Since every poker player wants to win, you want to find the poker game that maximizes your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses. It may seem like an unimportant decision, but choosing the right type of poker can make a big difference in how well you perform over the long-term.

So, how do you decide what style of poker is the best fit for your skills and personality? There are no concrete rules, but there are some guidelines that can help you narrow your options down. Here's a look at several of the most popular poker games, along with the most common characteristics of players who excel at these games:

No Limit Hold'Em: In order to be successful at No Limit Hold'Em, you need two main sets of skills. The first is the ability to read your opponents and understand how they play, while the second is knowing how to bet based on the actions of your opponents.

Shorthand Limit Hold'Em: If you really have a knack for bluffing, Shorthand Limit Hold'Em may be the game that allows you to truly excel at poker.

Longhand Limit Hold'Em: If you are a patient and analytical player that grasps the concept of hand values, Longhand Limit Hold'Em will be your best bet for winning at poker.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Power Sex and Poker

Ewart Brown, who is currently the Premier of Bermuda, has lead a very successful life. Born in Bermuda, Brown was given a scholarship to attend Howard University in the United States thanks to his extensive accomplishments in multiple sports, most notably track and field. Not only did he letter in track and field (along with football) and receive a Bachelor's degree while at Howard University, but he went on to obtain his M.D from the school's college of medicine. After practicing medicine in Los Angeles (where he also obtained a Masters of Public Health from the University of California), he returned to Bermuda in 1993 to pursue a political career, and in 2006, was elected as the Premier of Bermuda.

On the surface, his son seems to have lead a similar life to that of his father. Like his father, after Kevin Brown graduated from college, he went on to obtain his M.D. In addition to becoming a well-known doctor in Los Angeles (he practiced at the Crenshaw Expo Medical Center), Kevin Brown also operated his own charity named the Urban Health Institute. Kevin Brown had stated that the goal of the Urban Health Institute was to provide medical relief after natural disasters struck, specifically in the United States, Africa and South America.

Although the last paragraph makes Kevin Brown seem like an admirable person (just like his father), this all changed at the beginning of July. On July 8th, the thirty-seven year old was arrested for sexual battery against a patient. Although he probably thought he would be able to put all of this behind him by posting the fifty thousand dollar bail and hiring a great legal team, the city of Los Angeles had a lot more up their sleeves. Approximately two weeks later, Kevin Brown was arrested again, but this time he was charged with nineteen felony counts! Spanning over the course of two years, the counts range from sexual exploitation to performing a lewd act on a fifteen year old girl. Since Brown has so many connections in other parts of the world, he was deemed to be a flight risk and this time given a four million dollar bail, which has kept him sitting in a cell since he was arrested.

While nineteen counts of sexual felonies against patients seems bad enough, prosecutors are now finding more blemishes in Brown's past. One of the main ways that Brown would raise money for the Urban Health Institue was by throwing lavish poker tournaments at the Playboy Mansion. In addition to Hef and his beautiful bunnies, these poker tournaments attracted celebrities like Don Cheadle, Khloe Kardashian and of course, one of the best known celebrity poker players, Shannon Elizabeth. Although these poker tournaments were amazing and raised significant amounts of money, authorities now believe most of this poker money went into Brown's pockets instead of being given to the causes that truly needed it!

Since his arrest, prosecutors have added four more felony counts, bringing his total to twenty-three. His next appearance in court will be on September 4th, and if he is eventually convicted, he could face up to twenty-seven years in prison.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

US Blows Off Online Gambling Trade Meetings with the EU

As noted awhile back, the EU was planning to hold trade meetings with the United States regarding their regulation of the online gambling industry. Because the EU feels that the United States' regulations are discriminatory and in direct violation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) treaty, the EU feels that it is important for them to get a chance to sit down with US representatives and discuss why the situation is being handled as it is.

These discussions were scheduled to take place at the beginning of August. However, the US recently announced a postponement of the scheduled meetings with representatives of the EU to discuss these online gambling issues and the stance of the current US administration on the issues (which, it should be emphasized once again, that from the EU's point of view are not in compliance with the WTO treaty).

The postponement of these talks came with very little notice from the United States. As you may remember from the previous post on this topic, the last time that the EU tried to have discussions with the United States, they prepared a lengthy report to justify how they were feeling about the situation. However, the US simply replied with nothing more than a two page document that they disagreed with the EU.

In addition to the EU, there are several other organizations that are becoming increasingly unhappy with the USTR (United States Trade Representative) about their stance on the issue of online gambling. Not only did they fail to make any progress with Antigua and Barbuda (both central locations for online gambling operations), but they also haven't released the specific terms of their previous agreements with the EU for Congress to review.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Basic Tells A Poker Player Should Know

Poker is not just a social game; it is also a game of intelligence. However, poker does have many social elements, so it is important for a poker player to know how to interact with opponents. One of the most important skills of a good poker player is the ability to read their opponents.

Because every player is different, it makes it harder for a beginner or even an experienced player to read their gestures, understand the meaning behind their words, their behavior and habits. All of these factors are known as tells. A tell is basically any of the actions mentioned above that will provide the player information about their opponent's hand. Tells will not only help you play better by knowing information about you opponent's hand, but it will also keep you from disclosing information about your hand by controlling your body language. It is very important to take advantage of tells, as they will help you understand your player's game tactics and at the same time they will help you make the right decisions, which will lead to you winning more money.

Some of the most common tells that players exhibit when they have a good hand are:

Breathing rapidly: A result of their immediate excitement.
Sighing or Shrugging: Trying too hard to act like they have a bad hand.
Shaking Hands: This is especially common in beginning players.
Looking at Their Chip Stack Directly After Seeing Their Hole Cards: They know they've got a good hand and want to see how much they might be able to make.
Not Paying Attention to a Hand: Once again, an obvious tell that they are "playing it cool."

Some of the most common tells that players exhibit when they have a bad hand are:

Although there are less than those for good hands, the two most common are holding their breath and trying to stare down other players.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Is Online Poker illegal in USA?

There is a lot of dispute as to the status of online gambling in the US. In fact the law change in 2006 in many ways did more to muddy to waters rather than clear things up.

The law was an eleventh hour addition to an unrelated port security act. Ultra conservative Bill Frist added the anti-gambling measure after proclaiming that gambling was a attack on American families and hurt society. Ironically, and perhaps due to some bribery the anti-gambling bill completely legalized online horse betting. Americans can now bet horse races online completely legally in most states. In inconsistency that has seen America losing legal battles internationally involving out breach of contract with the WTO.

But anyway, the law change does not make it illegal for Americans to play poker online. What it does is make it harder for Americans to send and receive money to online gambling sites (unless it is given special treatment like the horse racing industry). So other than a slight inconvenience with the money transfer, the bill does nothing to outlaw the act of playing online. Although a handful of states have passed laws making it technically illegal to gamble online.

Thanks to this illegal change to the law, America has been successfully sued by some small countries that rely on gambling for an income. And also some companies have banned American players, because they don't want the hassle.

Anyway, I've found you a decent overview of the law to read in the link. With any luck once this useless administration is booted out of office, the law will be updated to reflect the fact that Americans want to play poker online and in a free country there should be no laws preventing it. or attempting to.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What is Strip Poker

Sometimes people wonder what is Strip poker? how to play it and what does it involve etc etc.
Any variety of poker can be played in a strip poker version. Strip poker sometimes starts with all players wearing the same number of clothing, but the actual rules of strip poker are flexible.

The one consistent aspect of strip poker is the removal of clothing in place of or in addition to the betting aspects of other poker games. Like other adult party games, other activities besides removing clothing and playing cards might be involved. ("Truth or dare" type options are often included.) Strip poker is usually played as a variant of simpler poker variations with fewer betting rounds, like Texas Hold em poker.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tips for Being Able to Successfully Manage Your Bankroll

If you are new to world of poker, you may not be familiar with the term bankroll. A bankroll can be defined as the money that a poker player sets aside specifically for the purpose of playing poker. Although this may seem like a minor detail, being able to successfully manage your bankroll can help you become a better poker player and increase your frequency of winning.

Although being able to successfully manage your bankroll can play a major role when you are playing poker in a casino or with your friends, it plays an even bigger role in online poker. Because online poker rooms make it so simple to purchase more chips, many online poker players make the mistake of continuously buying more chips immediately after they run out. A countless number of new and experienced online poker players suffer from this problem, and it is one of the leading reasons why statistics show that ninety percent of the people who play online poker end up losing money over the long term. If you want to be in the small ten percent of players who win money from online poker over the long term, it's time to pay attention to how you can successfully manage your bankroll.

Above all else, you should never, under any circumstances, play with money that you need for necessities. Casinos refer to this type of money as "scared money," and choosing to play with it puts you at an immediate disadvantage. If you find yourself in a situation where you do not have any disposable income to play online poker with, you need to exercise some self-restraint and avoid dipping into any money that needs to be used for more important purposes.

The next key component to being able to successfully manage your bankroll is knowing what kind of stakes you will be facing as you play online poker. By taking the time to determine this information, you will be able to avoid ever finding yourself in a situation where your bankroll is completely depleted. Although you need to figure out what works specifically for you, here are some guidelines that can help get you started:

$200 or Less Bankroll: $5 Sit-&-Go Tournaments or Tables with a $0.50 to $1.00 Limit

$500-$900 Bankroll: $10 Sit-&-Go Tournaments, Tables with a $1.00 to $2.00 Limit or $0.10 to $0.25 No-Limit Tables

$1000+ Bankroll: $20 Sit-&-Go Tournaments or No-Limit Games where you can afford 100x the big blind

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Role of Luck in Poker

Poker is quite a bit different from many other types of casino games. When it comes to games like slots, your chances of winning are determined solely by the odds of the machine. Even though every person who regularly plays slots has a million different little superstitions and tricks for increasing their chances of winning, the reality is that there is nothing you can do to change the odds that the slot machines are set to pay out at. If you do happen to win, it is purely luck that you are sitting at a machine when it's odds are set to deliver a payout.

However, poker presents a completely different scenario. Unlike slots, poker does not involve a person and a machine. Instead, it involves a group of human beings. Because poker pits people against people instead of people against machines, players are actually able to have control over how they play. While slots players have no option but to bet and spin the reels, poker players can employ almost an endless amount of strategies. Whether it's betting in a specific way or going after a specific player, poker offers many opportunities for players to use their skill to increase their odds of winning.

Although skill does play a huge role in the game of poker, this does not mean that there is no room for luck. If you have ever played or watched any amount of poker, you are well-aware that there are plenty of instances where luck determines the outcome of a hand. You can play a hand exactly as any expert would recommend, but at the end of the hand, if the card you need doesn't come out of the deck (or a card your opponent needs does come out of the deck), you will ultimately lose that hand.

So, how does a player make sense of the balance of luck and skill in the game of poker? The key is focusing on strengthening your skills and improving your techniques as much as possible. Luck does play a role in the game of poker, and there is no way to eliminate that fact. However, if you work hard at making your skills and techniques as strong as possible, when you do lose a big hand, you will be able to walk away from the table knowing that you did everything right, and the next time around, luck could just as easily swing the outcome of the hand in your favor.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Child Predators, Coke Dealers and Murderers...A Recap of the 2008 WSOP

One of the reasons that poker has gained so much popularity is that anyone can start playing. Unlike other professional sports, which require an incredibly high level of athleticism, if someone is dedicated enough to practicing and learning how to play poker, they can still become a great player, even if they are five feet tall and weigh three hundred pounds. Poker is arguably the most popular professional sport that does not require its players to possess an ounce of athleticism.

While mainstream America loves watching poker and hearing the stories of average people that beat the odds and made it into the tournament, they seem to be turning a blind eye to many of the questionable individuals that make it into the tournament. Just as it's possible for an average person to get a seat at theWSOP , it's possible for people that would normally be labeled a degenerate or threat to society to earn a seat in the event. If you think I'm exaggerating, let's just take a look at some of the individuals who made their way into the World Series of Poker:

Shahram "Shawn" Sheikhan: A resident alien of the US, he was arrested in August of last year for violating his immigration status and faced possible deportation. So, what violated his immigration status? He was convicted in 1995 of misdemeanor sexual battery on a child under 18 (he allegedly offered the child a skateboard in exchange for sex)!

Mike Matusow: Over the course of his poker playing career, Matusow has won over $6.5 million. While this seems like enough money for anyone to live a very nice life, it apparently wasn't for Matusow. In 2005, he spent six months in jail for selling coke and pills to an undercover cop! When he was younger, he also stole money from his own mother to fuel his video poker playing habit.

Thomas A. “Amarillo Slim” Preston Jr.: Making an appearance in this year's Senior Tournament, Amarillo Slim is a 79 year old poker player from Amarillo, Texas. While he may sound normal enough, consider this: in 2003, he was indicted by a grand jury on three charges of indecency with a minor. And that's not all: the minor was his own twelve year old granddaughter!

Ernest Scherer III: Back in March, both of Ernest's parents were found brutally beaten to death in their Pleasanton, California home, and still wearing their pajamas. Before you start feeling sorry for Ernest, check this out: Ernest has been named as a person of interest in the investigation. Yes, you read that correctly: Ernest may have beaten both of his parents to death! What could possibly drive someone to committing a horrendous act against their own parents? According to reports circulating around the Internet, Ernest has some major gambling debts, which could serve as the motivation for taking the lives of his parents, who had accumulated a significant amount of wealth as a result of investing in real estate.