Posts Tagged ‘No-Limit Hold’em’

Dan Cates describes going from Loner to Poker Star

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

These days, Dan “Jungleman12” Cates is known as one of the most successful No-Limit Hold’em players in the world. But there was once a time when Cates was an unknown, lonely high school student. Cates recently discussed his humble beginnings with, and here’s an excerpt from the interview:

I didn’t get along with my family that well, but it was not like we were fighting all the time. I was mostly isolated and played a shit ton of video games after discovering them,” Cates started recalling some of his early childhood memories.

“In school I was pretty lonely, as I didn’t have many friends and I wasn’t too good at making them. I was good at school, very good actually, and I went to the only magnet school in the area called Eleanor Roosevelt High School where I was in the science and tech program.

Cates goes on to describe how he played Command and Conquer for endless hours, despite his family’s best attempts to stop it. But there was definitely some good to come out of all this because Jungleman credits his experience with this game for helping him become a better poker player.

When Cates did get into poker, he had some rough experiences in live games. In fact, he felt like a lot of people cheated him in these games. When Jungleman began playing online poker, he started out with $5 and $10 sit and go’s. Eventually, he joined CardRunners and began playing heads-up cash games.

This is the point where Cates’ career really took off because he kept improving his game and making lots of money. As Cates says, he got to a point where he was playing against many of the people who served as his instructors.

After 2010, Jungelman became a bonafide star when he won $5 million in online poker. Since then, he’s remained a top NLHE player, winning hundreds of thousands of dollars at Full Tilt over the past few years.

Ways to make Poker More Fun

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Poker can definitely be fun and exciting – especially when you’re new to the game. But as with anything you do continuously, poker can also become dull and boring at times. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to re-inspire your love for the game. It just takes a little effort and imagination.

Play with Friends

Get together with some friends for a poker night so you can remember how fun the game can be. There’s nothing like a group of 3-9 friends playing poker and getting some social interaction! And if you’ve got more people wanting in on the action, you may even need to get two tables going. Just make sure to have the right people involved in your game so nothing gets out of hand or too crazy.

Set the Mood

It’s not the same mood you may be thinking of. Create a comfortable area to play poker in, get a table, buy a nice set of chips, and use warm lighting. Also, include music in your new setup, but don’t play it too loud. Creating the right feel for your home poker room is a perfect way to add to the game’s enjoyment.

Do Side Activities while playing Poker

Serious poker players realize that it’s important to focus on the game for the best results. However, if you’re getting bored on the online poker tables, a good way to pump up the action is by dropping down in stakes and enjoying side games and activities in between. For example, you could throw darts, shoot pool, or play video games when you’re waiting for the next hand to begin.

Try New Poker Games

One more suggestion that we have for making poker fun involves trying a new variation. Assuming you always play No-Limit Hold’em, you could try some low stakes (or free) Pot-Limit Omaha. There are also plenty of other games such as Seven Card Stud, Five Card Stud, Badugi, 2-7 Triple Draw and Razz.

Assuming your interest in poker is waning or the game feels mundane, try some of the simple steps we’ve suggested to increase fun on the felt.

Micro Stakes Differences

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The term “micro stakes” collectively lumps together limits ranging from $0.01/$0.02 to $0.25/$0.50, which often makes the poker strategy run together as well. However, it’s important to understand that there are several noticeable differences as you move from the lower end of the micro stakes cash games to the $0.25/$0.50 end – especially when it comes to No Limit Hold’em.

First off, in $0.01/$0.02 (2NL) games, players don’t value the money nearly as much because the buy-in is normally $2.00 at the most. So if you bust your entire stack twice in an hour, you’ve only lost a total of $4.00. This being the case, people are loose with both their money and play because there’s little consequence to losing. So you need to watch out for both players that are willing to call big raises (relative to big blinds ratio), and those who are frequently willing to go all-in with top or middle pair.

To address the first issue, where players call lots of raises just to see the flop, you can’t follow the standard preflop raising rules for high stakes players to protect premium hands. Instead, you often need to bet 8x the big blind or more to isolate one player after the flop with AA through JJ to keep the advantage.

Now this will also depend on the table and how everybody’s playing, but just be aware that raising 3xbb in a $0.01/$0.02 game isn’t going to ward off too many callers. Furthermore, if three or four people call your preflop raise while you’re holding aces, you may need to hit a set just to win the hand.

Moving to the second aforementioned point, which involves players going all-in with top pairs and second pairs, this is another edge that you can exploit. To find the players who are willing to go all-in with pairs on dangerous boards where you could be holding the nuts, you need to identify each player’s range.

For instance, some players may be willing to shove a full cash game buy-in from early position with Q-J(o) on a board of A-Q-9. Here the player could easily be beaten by an ace, yet they’re willing to go all-in with little information on anybody else’s hand. If you see players who’ve made plays like this before, you can be a lot more confident calling with a top pair or two pair in these scenarios.

As you move up towards the end of the micro stakes realm where 50NL games lie, be aware that players are less likely to call huge preflop raises just to see the flop with something like Q-T(o). Also, you aren’t going to see as many people shove when they’re holding top pair on dangerous boards, or middle pair on any board. Simply put, you’re going to need to play better poker, know more poker strategy, and do a lot of extra thinking in these games.

Micro Stakes Bankroll Management

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Some people claim that the micro stakes are unbeatable, which is a complete lie. The micro stakes offer the lowest form of competition available, as long as you’re willing to be patient and avoid being overly-aggressive against calling stations. Okay, it involves a little more than this, but the point of this article is to talk about micro stakes bankroll management.

The biggest problem people have when it comes to low limit bankroll management is playing at stakes where they can’t cover a sufficient amount of buy-ins. For example, a player will deposit $25 into a poker site, then jump into $0.05/$0.10 No-Limit Hold’em. This might seem okay since you’re playing against weaker players, but you also have to consider that $25 is only enough to cover 2-and-a-half buy-ins at these stakes. If you suffer a few bad beats at these limits, you are going to lose your bankroll rather quickly.

So instead of jumping into $0.05/$0.10 NLHE with a $25 bankroll, it’s a much better idea to drop down to $0.01/$0.02. Seeing as how the competition is so easy at these limits, and people are willing to go all-in with 8-6 (off-suit) on a regular basis, you’ll be able to experience success rather quickly. Sure there will be times when you’ll get beat by these crazy hands, but the large majority of the time, you will win lots of money (comparative to stakes).

More importantly, taking a $25 bankroll into $0.01/$0.02 NLHE gives you twelve-and-a-half buy-ins at these stakes. This means that you have plenty of buy-ins to survive bad variance and ultimately make some money. Now playing limits these low isn’t exactly ideal in terms of your overall money goals, but look at it this way: if you make $0.80 in an hour, you’ve made 40 big blinds. And if you consistently do this, you’ll be moving up the limits in no time!