Posts Tagged ‘online poker players’

How Long should you Play Poker?

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

One of the biggest mistakes that many online poker players make is extending a session too long. For example, if you start to lose concentration after two hours of playing and you keep going, you’ve played too much online poker.

Now you may be wondering why somebody would keep playing when they’re no longer focusing on the game. And the answer is that many players don’t even think anything about it when they’ve been on the poker tables too long. In essence, it becomes somewhat of blur, kind of like when you’re playing a video game for hours.

The downside of extending online poker sessions past when you can reasonably concentrate is that you stop focusing on opponents’ tendencies. Furthermore, you begin making small mistakes such as calling when you shouldn’t or playing marginal hands past the flop. So basically, playing poker for lengthy hours decreases your profitability with the game.

This being the case, it’s crucial that you both know your limits for playing, and stick to this limit. The only way to truly find out how long you can play poker is to go until you feel yourself losing concentration. For instance, if you fall into a lull after two hours, this should be your limit for the time being.

Interestingly enough, most poker players can extend the amount of time they’re able to play eventually. A large part of this is just getting better at the game, and having the correct moves become automatic responses. As you become more comfortable with playing longer online poker sessions, a good way to increase your interest is by multi-tabling. By managing two tables or more, you increase the challenge, which in turns keeps you more focused on the game. Just make sure you’re a winning player before you start multi-tabling!


Knowing when you’ve beaten an Online Poker Limit

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Those who want to make more and more profits in online poker obviously have to move up the stakes. Of course, the smart thing to do is to wait until you’ve officially conquered a certain limit before moving on towards the next. That being said, many online poker players wonder when they’ve officially beaten a cash game limit.

After all, there is no set number of poker hands that will tell you when you’re a truly successful player at certain stakes. Some people say 5k hands or more, some people say you won’t know until you’ve played 100k hands or more. The reason why it’s so difficult to pinpoint an amount is because there’s so much variance involved with playing internet poker.

The reality is that you can never be absolutely sure about your win rate until you’ve played at least several hundred thousand poker hands at one limit. But you can take a look at your win rate vs. the amount of hands played to come up with a reasonable idea.

For example, let’s say that you’re playing at the $0.01/$0.02 stakes, and you are winning 2bb/per hour after 20,000 hands. Now this isn’t too bad for a recreational grinder who learns a little poker strategy on the side. However, if you truly want to be a winning player who makes money from the game, a win rate of 2bb ($0.04 total) at the smallest online poker stakes possible isn’t the greatest. Furthermore, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence that you’ll crush the $0.02/$0.04 stakes and up.

So it’s also important to take into account the level of competition you’re facing along with win rate and hands played. For instance, if you were winning 2bb at the $1/$2 stakes after 20k hands, this might be cause for moving up since win rates are smaller as you advance.

In answer to the original question of how you truly tell when you’ve beaten certain stakes, it’s important to look at the hands played first, then win rate and competition secondly. Provided your win rate is good enough, 15k-20k hands should be enough to determine your success rate for a given limit.

Limping into an Unraised Pot

Monday, December 5th, 2011

One thing that many online poker players preach against is limping into an unraised pot – especially from early position. The reason why limping (calling the big blind) is highly frowned upon is because you are not only showing total weakness in your hand, but you’re most likely going to be raised by at least one other player. So if you’re limping with A-T from under the gun, just don’t bother.

Back to the original point, many online poker players wonder if there is ever a situation where it’s okay to limp into an unraised pot from early position. And the answer is ‘yes’, there are some rare instances where limping into an unraised pot can be profitable. But before we continue with the reasoning behind this thought, keep in mind that, as a beginning player, you should stick to raising or folding from early position until you’re more experienced.

One situation where profitable open limping arises is on tables full of calling stations who build great pot odds for suited connectors and other drawing hands. For example, let’s say that you’re holding QsJs under the gun, which is a fold for most players in this spot. However, you’re on a micro stakes table where everybody’s calling preflop just to see some cards; in this instance, you can open limp and hope that the table dynamic continues. Even if somebody does raise, there would be enough calling stations who’ll stay in the hand and give you solid pot odds on future streets.

One more scenario where open limping could work is if you’re holding a premium hand, and there’s a very aggressive player to your left who might shove just to steal the blinds and your open limp bet. Obviously this is a very specific scenario, but it’s another instance where open limping could work.

Looking at things from an overall perspective, it’s very rare that open limping is a good idea, and only experienced players will be able to spot these situations with consistency.

Poker Strategy Stepping Stones

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

One thing that many beginning online poker players don’t realize is that poker strategy contains a lot of different levels and layers. For example, learning how to calculate pot odds is a lot more basic than polarizing an opponent’s 3-bet range. Assuming you don’t have a clue about what the latter means, it’s okay because this is a more advanced concept that most players learn later.

Basically, the key thing to realize with poker strategy is that you should look at each concept as a stepping stone. For example, the first stepping stones you should conquer include basics like pot odds, starting hand requirements and adopting a style of play. As you master the basics, you can move on to some intermediate concepts like bet sizing, implied odds, bankroll management, and figuring out the range of hands your opponents play.

After you’ve logged enough time on the tables and know plenty of strategy, you can move on to the finer points of online poker, such as defining players’ 3-bet and 4-bet ranges, realizing what cards opponents think you have, and searching poker forums to discover any other concepts that can improve your game.

To sum things up, you should be tackling two or three poker tips at a time before moving on to the next thing. Along with this thought, you need to make sure that the things you’re learning aren’t too advanced for the level of play you’re currently at. For example, if you play 0.02/0.04 NL Hold’em, racking your brain about what opponents think you have is somewhat irrelevant because players at this level aren’t very advanced. Furthermore, you might not know enough poker to put everything together when you’re jumping into advanced strategy too early.