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The 20 most important features a poker player needs to possess

Do you want to be a really good poker player? If you abide by the following guidelines, you are making good progress.With many years of experience behind my back, I am now sharing with you the main principles a successful poker player should always keep in mind.

How to Play and Maximize Your Winnings With AK in a 6 Max No Limit Holdem Cash Game

AK is one of the best starting hands in 6-max No Limit Holdem Cash Game. It is a real profit-generating weapon if used correctly. In this article, I am going to share with you my guru insight and experiences on how to play this hand, depending on position, stack size  and your opponents.

Good equity in pre-flop all in situations

One of the main characteristics of this hand is that it has a tremendous equity following a pre-flop raise(2bet)-3bet-4bet-5bet all in situation against the zone of a player who is following the average strategy guidelines. By using these tactics you can stand in the line of fire with confidence, because it is possible that your opponent will fear your strength and topple out of the game following your 3bet, 4bet, or 5bet. It is easy to count on a high fold equity if you abide by these guidelines when playing AK. It has worked for me.

Beginners Poker Tips: Planning a Hand

PokerTube has recently released a brand new training video, created by gripsed, revolving around planning a hand in poker. Addressing above all novice and intermediate players, the 23.5 minutes long material provides useful hints on how to see the big picture in a hand, instead of thinking street by street.

Considering that the optimal outcome of a hand is that if you can make the villain fold, avoiding giving out information about yourself and reducing the chance of bad luck later on, there are several points you want to keep in mind. Gripsed discusses how to bet depending on your aims, maintaining control of the size of the pot, as well as some late street tricks later in the video. All in all, you can learn how to dominate your opponents unaware of the importance of hand planning.

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For more information on the video player provided on this site, visit Streamingbolaget.

Beginners Poker Tips: Expected Value

A probability term, it is “an averaged out result of a given action over time.” EV should have more and more effect on your play as you progress in skill; more precisely, you should go for +EV. Watch PaddyPowerPoker.com’s Poker School video on EV calculation and EV in poker here.  

Beginners Poker Tips: Kicker Strength

Kicker is a definition used in poker to denote a card in a hand “that does not itself take part in determining the rank of the hand, but that may be used to break ties between hands of the same rank.” Since in Texas Hold’em it is common to match only one of your hole cards with one or more from the board, the other usually takes the role of the kicker.

In each hand, the strongest five cards are taken into consideration when determining the winner. In case, for example, you had AT and your opponent had A9 on a board of A-Q-7-5-3, you were the favourite as the best combination would be A-A-Q-T-9 in which you held A and T while your opponent had “only” A and 9. If, however, the board was, say, A-K-Q-J-6, both of you had A-A-K-Q-J as the best combination, meaning the pot would be split.

Here is a training video from PaddyPowerPoker.com Poker School to show you how kickers can benefit you and how they can be deceptive. 

Want to Bluff Phil Ivey? Forget it...

In a memorable hand played on the show High Stakes Poker (S06E05), Jason Mercier tried to bluff Phil Ivey and failed. This hand is analysed in an interview by Mercier himself.

Although already under production, not much has yet surfaced about GSN’s High Stakes Poker Season 7. Nevertheless, Season 6 still offers a number of topics to think about; Craig Tapscott, for example, interviewed WSOP and EPT (2x) champion Jason Mercier on his memorable hand with Phil Ivey in Ep5, when he lost a pot of $425,200 to him.

Watch the hand:

Read the interview by CardPlayer.com here.

Poker Roundtable - Know When to Quit

This week I'm presenting you with a video from the Poker Roundtable series of Full Tilt Poker. The 5 minute video features Full Tilt's owner Howard Lederer, and fellow poker pros Jennifer Harman, Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson and Layne Flack, who talk about when and how to quit a poker game. If you have issues with losing if you're tired or on tilt, pay attention to the pros, they might give you some good advice.

Multi-Table Tournament Training Video by Jeremy 'EndlessJ' Menard

Jeremy Menard is a multi-table tournament coach at DragTheBar. He does that very successfully, since he's one of the best multi-table tournament players in the world right now. With many smaller and some huge tournament wins he's really experienced, he recently won FTP's $1,000,000 Guarantee tournament, scoring $180,123. 

The guy usually plays at PokerStars as EndlessJ and at FTP as EndlessJ83. In the following video which he shared with the readers of the PartyPoker blog, he shows how he performs and thinks at a $500 PartyPoker online tournament. Enjoy! 

Gavin Smith Poker Tips

FTP pro and WSOP bracelet winner Gavin Smith made this series of short poker strategy tips videos quite a while ago, but they are as fresh and relevant as if they were brand new. Smith first drew attention to himself on the 2004 show The Ultimate Poker Challenge where he soon became a favourite due to his attitude, sense of humor as well as his drinking habit. He has made over $4 million in tournaments since then and even won the $2,500 Mixed Hold’em event in this year’s WSOP.

Here are a couple of examples from his “Poker Tips” video series.

Gavin Smith - Small Pocket Pairs
"Small Pocket Pairs"

Poker IQ Test – Test Your Poker Knowledge with the DonkeyTest

Do you want to know how good you really are at poker? Are you seeking an outsider’s opinion on your poker decisions? Well, there is a place where you can put your skills to the test and you can gain knowledge from the IQ test available at DonkeyTest.com, put together by poker professionals.

Poker IQ Test - DonkeyTest

Maximize Your Winning Chances With Street-By-Street Fold Stats

I don't know just how familiar you are with WTSD (Went to Showdown) percentage, the factor that describes how probable it is for a player to get till showdown. If the percentage is low, he might be aggressive, conservative, or a really tight player playing only the nuts. You can never know, because WTSD stats don't show this to you. You would need to add other data (such as (VPIP, aggression, stack size, pot size, etc.) to know for sure.

showdown

‘OMGClayAiken’ vs. 'Jungleman12': Pots Review

In a recent video made for his site, PokerStatic.com, Phil ‘OMGClayAiken’ Galfond reviews 10 pots from his latest clash with Durrrr Challenge 2 participant Daniel 'jungleman12' Cates. He actually lost nine pots out of the ten that were the biggest during their session, but presenting it nevertheless certainly makes this video untypical of its kind – and definitely remarkable. You can learn a lot from it, it is truly worth watching.

What Makes a Successful Poker Player? Skills or Luck?

What does it take in order to win at poker? Is it enough if we just rely on luck or do we have to acquire knowledge and skills to build our bankroll? These are the questions I am going to try to answer and solve in this post.

1.    The outsiders’ opinion on poker

A majority of the general population solely believe that poker is a game of luck. They have a mystical image of poker portrayed as just another casino game. And they are right; they have no reason to think differently of a game that they are not familiar with and is housed in casinos.

Luck
Is poker a game of luck?

But in reality, this is definitely not what poker is about. There are multiple decisions to be made throughout the game, which at times can be easy or hard and all play an effect on our outcome. There is always a good, a bad and an even better decision that can be made and this is what determines the fate of our bankroll. On top of this, we must also consider the fact that when playing poker, we verse other opponents unlike other casino games where you verse the house (and we all know that the house always wins).

Hold’em Manager Introduces Major Update

If you use Hold’em Manager for your analytics, you must be used to updates every now and then. Only that the 1.11.04 is something different with a number of core functionalities improved and new ones introduced.

Hold'em Manager

Besides a 50% faster start-up process, a long-awaited auto-update function is now made available: you are able to have the updates downloaded and installed, if there are any new, before HM starts. They also introduced a tournament HUD filter by BB allowing the player to see stats of their opponents based on how many BBs they have. In addition, fans of FTP’s Rush Poker games now have access to an improved HUD. Finally, two more applications were stuffed into the package: Leak Buster Limit and TableNinjaFT.

I’m pretty sure users of the program will be more than pleased, for these improvements were largely based on public requests. Let the game begin!

Disappointed After a Bad Day? Can This Be Overcome?

I don’t know about all you guys, but I think when I say this concerns the general public’s opinion it doesn’t seem to be a far-fetched statement: a poker player’s mood is determined by the present-past experiences, happenings and bad beats.  When you are winning and having a good run, it seems you are the Ace and have an aura that owns this planet called Earth. However, on the flip of the coin, if you’re showing a bad day and a losing streak because of bad luck or bad decisions, this can make you feel like avoiding everyone and everything and hating the world. Even the ones living around you can grab note to this change. To put it in a nutshell, you’re feeling a bit down.

Bad Day

I had some time to reflect on this issue the other day and I started wondering if this could be overcome and controlled. Will this just pass with time; will it only take some months, or maybe even years? Could it happen that I will be able to concentrate on long-term results only and forget to focus just on the day-by-day outcomes? Will I be able to think in ’Sklansky-dollars’ and not pay attention to all misfortunes of buy-ins lost? Do I have the ability and self-control to make myself stand up after the fifteenth losing session and call it a day as if nothing happened? I think all of these are good questions and the truth being I have no idea on the answers, the only thing I know for sure is that I will never be able to completely close the door on past results, but I can still control the outcome of future ones.

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